Experience (design) is everything

A weekly roundup of UX nuggets to stay up to date in the design industry. Want updates? Sign up for the UX newsletter here.

UX/UI improvements to a player’s quality of life on Animal Crossing New Horizon

Nintendo’s Animal Crossing New Horizon (ACNH) is a very engaging game. Players can easily spend tens and hundreds of hours crafting and terraforming their newly inhabited deserted island. 

At the same time, the effort put into the game makes players realize that there would be many UX improvements needed for some of the game mechanics to reduce some of the mundane randomness and redundancy:

  • Inventory Management – being able to organize how items get placed into your pocket, possibly by alphabetical or type. 
  • Tools Durability Indicator – even the golden tools in ACNH will random snap after usage but it seems random when they do break. 
  • Crafting Experience – when crafting DIYs, they have to be done one by one so perhaps a quantity selector would help to eliminate the time-wasting interaction. 

While these ideas are early designs and suggestions, they are some sentiments shared by the many ACNH players. The game continues to be a great companion during a continued shelter-in-place and there are thousands of minor details that make Animal Crossing fun to play. 

Optimize Cumulative Layout Shift (“CLS”)

Cumulative Layout Shift (CLS) is a user-centric metric for measuring visual stability. It helps quantify how often users experience unexpected layout shifts. A lower CLS correlates to a more delightful page. 

The most common causes of poor CLS are: 

  • Images without dimensions
  • Ads, embeds, and iframes without dimensions
  • Dynamically injected content
  • Web Fonts causing FOIT/FOUT
  • Actions waiting for a network response before updating DOM

As a UX designer, it’s easy to forget about the experience of the user when there is a fixation on the cool animations on the screen. This could be fixed by some basic understanding of HTML and CSS because you can build and test the live prototypes. 

Although the article doesn’t mention it, it’s worth noting that accessibility would also be easier met if the CLS score showed minimal layout shifts. 

Over-complicated? Over-simplified? The UX Efficient Frontier

“Efficient Frontier” is a borrowed term from financial theory on understanding investment portfolios through plotting risks and returns. Ultimately, there is a desirable sweet spot to achieve. 

Now, taking that idea into a design, the curve graphs a complicated, simplified, and just the right experience. Obviously, as designers, we want to get as close to users being able to use your product and see value in their work as possible. 

A couple of things to consider while going through this article: 

  • The product experience has a user side and the maintenance side, where on the backend, it’s important that it is easy to navigate but the information isn’t oversimplified to devalue the work. 
  • The graph is a curve; there is no linear progression in comparing interface and business expertise because just like progression in life, you don’t continue to learn and perform like when you were younger. 

💎 UX Nuggets 💎

Design tips & tools

Easy-access to collections of icons → Flaticon

ui-icon-library

Explore the latest mobile app designs for inspiration → Mobbin

Design quotes

“Action is the foundational key to all success.”

Pablo Picasso

“Make it simple, but significant.”

Don Draper

UX podcast episode 

Sharing the experience of interviewing vulnerable people → #237 User research during a pandemic with Mar Murube

UX TED Talk

A TED talk from Rochelle King, the senior designer at Spotify → The complex relationship between data and design in UX

UX book: Microcopy (link)

Want to drastically improve your design through user interface writing and microcopy? 

Pick up The Microcopy book by Niaw de Leon.

REMOTE UX JOBS:

UI Design Tutors and Mentors

CareerFoundry was created to help others build their career through flexible online courses. 

Requirements: professional UI design experience; knowledge of industry best practices; basic UX design knowledge; portfolio to demonstrate work

#freelance # flexible


UX Researcher

Torre is a software company that creates strategic roadmaps for clients.

Requirements: responsibilities include usability testing, exploratory testing, analysis of user sessions, manual regression testing, NPS surveys, and accessibility testing

#startup #smallteam #unicornpotential


Product Designer

Hotjar is a behavior analytics software that makes it easy to understand website insights.

Requirements: candidates in European timezones between UTC-1 and UTC+3; 4+ years of experience designing and shipping digital products and systems; natural inclination to always think MVP first

#flexible #greatperks

Remote Senior UX Positions

Senior Product Designer

DuckDuckGo is a search engine that ensures privacy protection for browsers. 

Requirements: 6+ years of product design experience with a minimum of 2+ years in senior-level design positions at significant global consumer brands; proficiency with leveraging both qualitative and quantitative data

#smallteam #greatperks #friendlycoworkers


UXDI Instructor Lead

General Assembly is a pioneer in education and career transformation, specializing in today’s most in-demand skills.

Requirements: 3-5 years of experience working in user experience design; have previous user experience design teaching experience, through a course, team training, mentoring, etc. 

#greatperks #flexible #bigcompany


Senior Product Designer

webuild is a digital product design agency. 

Requirements: familiarity/experience with Figma; 4+ years of experience designing web and/or mobile apps; love creating designs focused around engagement; love for product strategy and planning

#flexible #smallteam #friendlycoworkers

About the Author

Kim Chung

Designer, foodie, and lover of aesthetics.

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