At the User Experience Office, we value accessibility, research, clarity, usability and reusability.
Make it for everyone
How many opportunities do we have to dramatically improve people’s lives just by doing our job a little better?
– Steve Krug
Provide the information and access necessary
When you make a site accessible to assistive technology users, you’re also creating a better experience for all users, regardless of device. Why? An accessible website uses time-tested strategies to help users accomplish tasks: valid and semantic html, browser compatibility, and clear processes. You don’t need to use a screen reader to benefit from that.
Make it informed
Research is what I’m doing when I don’t know what I’m doing.
– Wernher Von Braun
Tackle complexity with research
Identity and Frame the challenge
Research and Strategy
In order to know you’re building the right service you need to understand the tasks your users need to accomplish. Start by clearly defining your audience then talk to those people. Seek out service owners and subject matter experts. Leverage their knowledge of existing processes and how their users currently interact with their product. Use the insights you gather to define the requirements for your project.
Make it clear
Any intelligent fool can make things bigger and more complex... It takes a touch of genius – and a lot of courage to move in the opposite direction.
– E. F. Schumacher
Focus on clarity and consistency
Content and Architecture
Since 2000, our attention spans have dropped from 12 seconds to 8 seconds. (That’s shorter than a goldfish’s attention span!) People don’t just want to accomplish their tasks quickly. With so many distractions, they need to move quickly. Clear content helps them do just that. When you use heading structures, plain language, and supporting components, the user can scan a page and find what they need—without frustration.
Make it useful
I strive for two things in design: simplicity and clarity. Great design is born of those two things.
– Lindon Leader
Layout and Design
Visual design is only one part of a user’s experience, but it’s often the most noticeable. That’s why it’s so important for form to follow function. In other words, your design should support the user’s processes and interactions above all. Use typography and white space to establish content hierarchy, rhythm, and consistency. And don’t be afraid to follow conventions and leverage design patterns.
Establish hierarchy, rhythm, and consistency with good typography and white space
Make it reusable
Good programmers know what to write. Great ones know what to rewrite (and reuse).
– Eric S. Raymond
Help give others a head start
Documentation and Sharing
When we work together, we work better. Consider the problem you are solving and other departments who are (or might one day be) working on that same problem. Build implementations or code that works and can be shared and reused. Share your development processes and decisions with the community. Document ideas that worked and warnings about failures.