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1 Feb. 2018 Posted by A List Apart in External

Design Like a Teacher

In 2014, the clinic where I served as head of communications and digital strategy switched to a new online patient portal, a change that was mandated by the electronic health record (EHR) system we used. The company that provides the EHR system held several meetings for the COO and me to learn the new tool and provided materials to give to patients to help them register for and use the new portal.

30 Jan. 2018 Posted by A List Apart in External
23 Jan. 2018 Posted by A List Apart in External

The King vs. Pawn Game of UI Design

If you want to improve your UI design skills, have you tried looking at chess? I know it sounds contrived, but hear me out. I’m going to take a concept from chess and use it to build a toolkit of UI design strategies. By the end, we’ll have covered color, typography, lighting and shadows, and more.

But it all starts with rooks and pawns.

18 Jan. 2018 Posted by A List Apart in External

Mental Illness in the Web Industry

The picture of the tortured artist has endured for centuries: creative geniuses who struggle with their metaphorical demons and don’t relate to life the same way as most people. Today, we know some of this can be attributed to mental illness: depression, anxiety, bipolar disorder, and many others. We have modern stories about this and plenty of anecdotal information that fuels the popular belief in a link between creativity and mental illness.

16 Jan. 2018 Posted by A List Apart in External

Working with External User Researchers: Part I

You’ve got an idea or perhaps some rough sketches, or you have a fully formed product nearing launch. Or maybe you’ve launched it already. Regardless of where you are in the product lifecycle, you know you need to get input from users.

You have a few sound options to get this input: use a full-time user researcher or contract out the work (or maybe a combination of both). Between the three of us, we’ve run a user research agency, hired external researchers, and worked as freelancers. Through our different perspectives, we hope to provide some helpful considerations.

11 Jan. 2018 Posted by A List Apart in External

No More FAQs: Create Purposeful Information for a More Effective User Experience

It’s normal for your website users to have recurring questions and need quick access to specific information to complete … whatever it is they came looking for. Many companies still opt for the ubiquitous FAQ (frequently asked/anticipated questions) format to address some or even all information needs. But FAQs often miss the mark because people don’t realize that creating effective user information—even when using the apparently simple question/answer format—is complex and requires careful planning.

9 Jan. 2018 Posted by A List Apart in External

Why Mutation Can Be Scary

A note from the editors: This article contain sample lessons from Learn JavaScript, a course that helps you learn JavaScript to build real-world components from scratch.

4 Jan. 2018 Posted by A List Apart in External

Discovery on a Budget: Part I

If you crack open any design textbook, you’ll see some depiction of the design cycle: discover, ideate, create, evaluate, and repeat. Whenever we bring on a new client or start working on a new feature, we start at the top of the wheel with discover (or discovery). It is the time in the project when we define what problem we are trying to solve and what our first approach at solving it should be.

14 Dec. 2017 Posted by A List Apart in External

My Grandfather’s Travel Logs and Other Repetitive Tasks

My grandfather, James, was a meticulous recordkeeper. He kept handwritten journals detailing everything from his doctor visits to the daily fluctuations of stocks he owned. I only discovered this part of his life seven years after his death, when my family’s basement flooded on Christmas Eve in 2011 and we found his journals while cleaning up the damage. His travel records impressed me the most. He documented every trip he ever took, including dates, countries and cities visited, methods of travel, and people he traveled with.

12 Dec. 2017 Posted by A List Apart in External

How the Sausage Gets Made: The Hidden Work of Content

I won an Emmy for keeping a website free of dick pics.

Officially, my award certificate says I was on a team that won a 2014 Emmy for Interactive Media, Social TV Experience. The category “Social TV Experience” sounds far classier than my true contribution to the project.

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