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UX Patterns

UX is about surfacing insights and designing products based on user behavior; it includes user research and interface design. We document emerging practices for tech and how UX elements shape behavior

Blink and You’ll Miss It: Notifications in an AI World

I’ve been enjoying the videos from AI Now, an exploration of artificial intelligence and ethics hosted by the U.S. White House and NYU’s Information Law Institute. Co-chairs Kate Crawford and Simply Secure co-founder Meredith Whittaker put together a program focused on issues of social inequality, labor, and ethics in artificial... (Read more)

Your Software Can Help At-risk People, Too

Web browsers are utility software; they are designed to work for all people. Not only must their features meet the needs of average members of a population, they must also work for people with special needs. As Firefox says on its mobile accessibility features page, the browser has been "designed... (Read more)

Don't Let Color Drown Out Your Message

Visual design makes for compelling software; learn about color and how to choose a persuasive color scheme.

Illustrated Quick-start Intro to Wireframing

If you're new to UX design, wireframing is a powerful tool to understand how users experience your software. People with technical backgrounds benefit from wireframing because it forces them to take a step back from their coding mentality. Rather than focusing on the technical architecture, wireframing exposes the user-experience structure:... (Read more)

Compelling Color

Great user experiences are born through the hard work of professionals with a variety of skills. As illustrated by the UX unicorn we've seen before, there's a lot that goes into what we call "design" or "usability".The skills and responsibilities of an effective UX team. Originally published in Building an... (Read more)

Chatbots, UX, and Privacy

Chatbots, or conversational programs that simulate interactive human speech patterns, are a hot topic in UX right now. Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella recently claimed that “bots are the new apps”, and that they are the interface of the future for tasks like ordering food and booking transportation. In San Francisco,... (Read more)

Tradeoffs In Seamlessness: The WhatsApp Update

This look at UX design decisions from WhatsApp’s 2016 end-to-end encryption update shares lessons for designers and developers.

How UX Excludes or Includes

Software communicates its values via its user experience (UX) by making some actions easy and others harder. For example, mobile apps can be configured to automatically opt users in to location sharing, and require people to dig through multiple layers of menus to opt out. This design choice reflects the... (Read more)

Awkward! QR Scanning + LinkedIn Spam

Messaging with friends and colleagues is rewarding – but sharing contact information is awkward. Many people want to preserve their privacy by carefully controlling who gets their contact information, and choose not to broadcast their email address or phone number via a public Facebook or Twitter profile. Instead, they choose... (Read more)

Maximizing Meaning in Empty States

It can be hard to communicate about security-related features with users who aren't already security experts. From word choice to the level of detail included, it's easy to overwhelm people with information, leave them scared, or bore them to indifference. For many applications, one major challenge is finding the right... (Read more)

Why Open-Source Projects Need Style Guides

Style guides specify the look and feel of how a company or team communicates with the outside word. Styleguides.io collects examples of website visual standards that maintain a consistent online presence. Brand guidelines typically focus on how logos are treated, while style guides are more extensive – including not only... (Read more)

Mind The Gap Between Mobile Apps

Users of the Facebook iPhone app were recently surprised by a new feature offering to “Add the last link you copied?” into a status update. Many people did not expect to see a complete URL that they had put onto the clipboard from another app, without explicitly involving Facebook. Christian... (Read more)

Writing for User Interfaces

Here are tips for UX copywriting to explain how your technology works and reduce the need for additional user support.

Behind-the-Scenes: Emerging Conversations from Slack

Thank you to everyone contributing to the Simply Secure Slack channel. Ifyou’re interested in joining, email slack@simplysecure.org for aninvitation. I’m especially eager to get more UX people in privacy and securityinvolved, so spread the world. Here are some highlights from our recent Slackconversations.Sharing the Rationale for UX DecisionsCheck out Gabriel... (Read more)

Lessons from Architecture School: Part 3

This is the third and final installment in the series on Lessons fromArchitecture School: Lessons for IoT Security. You can also read the first and secondinstallments, or download the presentation.Thank you to the audience at Solid Conference forgood questions and lively discussion.Homes Are More Than HousesShop houses are a type... (Read more)