Recent Posts by Sam Gerdt

The UX Designer's Toolbox (Part 2): Prototyping

 

The planning stage of a new design doesn’t end with research. Research answers the “who” and “what” questions, but not the “how” questions. The next tool in the true UX designer’s tool belt is most commonly referred to as prototyping (or wireframing). In a nutshell, prototyping involves taking all of those funnels, forms, and CTAs, organizing them in a way that makes everybody happy, and defining specific functionality before you start design – and it can be as simple or complex as you want it to be. This is where true UX designers stand above the rest and where we could all stand to improve.

In the future I will dedicate whole posts to prototyping. I will break down my own practice and offer suggestions for designers who don’t prototype. And speaking of designers who don’t prototype, here are a few reasons why you might consider incorporating some amount of prototyping into your design process. This list comes out of my own experience as a non-prototyper who ultimately saw the light and converted:

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Posted by Sam Gerdt on February 3, 2015 in Web Design, UX Design | 0 Comments

The UX Designer's Toolbox (Part 1): Research

 

How much you, as a designer, research before you start new design speaks volumes of your claim to be a “UX designer.” As a student, and even as a young professional starting out, I was convinced that there was such a thing as “an eye for design,” and it showed in the amount of research I did (or didn’t do). While it is true that some people grasp the rules of design much more naturally than the rest, and perhaps some do possess greater natural ability in lesser regards (say, color vision); there is no natural ability contained within any person to divine rules for design and usability out of thin air and without prompting. All designers must research.

Research takes many shapes. For the more naturally gifted, research can be as simple as looking at other people’s work, or better yet, looking at nature. Personally, the majority of my early research that made up my misunderstood “eye for design” came from over-exposure to TV and the internet from a young age, a somewhat photographic memory, and a knack for pattern recognition. But for most designers, research looks more like work – especially when you dig deeper into functional design (web/application design, industrial design, packaging design, etc.).

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Posted by Sam Gerdt on January 22, 2015 in Web Design, UX Design | 0 Comments

Responsive Web Design Isn't Enough

 

Responsive Web Design (RWD) is popular for many reasons:

  • It allows for quick implementation of mobile-friendly websites.
  • It doesn’t require a separate platform or database.
  • It is as flexible as the CSS used to create it (extremely flexible).

But while everyone is thrilled that we finally have a simple, broadly accepted solution to the years old question of how best to develop mobile websites, there is a big question that has been largely ignored in the mainstream. What about mobile usability?

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Posted by Sam Gerdt on December 4, 2014 in Web Design | 0 Comments

3 Simple Fixes to Improve Website Conversion Rates

 

You already have a website. It's a few years old and conversions are not where you would like them to be, but you can't quite justify a full-scale redesign. It's time to think about a few band-aids - short term fixes to get you through the next year or two while you save up for that nice new website and marketing strategy from your friends here at Waypost. Here are three simple ways to increase your conversions on an existing website.

1. Replace your image rotator with a single call to action.

The data is in and image carousels often have a negative impact on conversion. This is primarily due to visitors not hanging around on your home page long enough to see more than one slide. It's time to focus that valuable home page real estate in three easy steps.
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Posted by Sam Gerdt on October 28, 2014 in Internet Marketing, Digital Marketing, Web Design | 1 Comment

Responsive Web Design Explained

 

So, what exactly is ‘Responsive Web Design’?

The emergence of responsive web design is largely due to the rapid growth of smartphones and other mobile devices. More people are using smaller-screen devices to view Web pages.

Responsive web design is an approach that a web designer uses to create a website that “responds to” or re-sizes itself depending on the type of device being used to view it. The objective is to have one website with elements that respond differently when viewed on devices of different sizes. The result is an optimal viewing experience across a wide range of devices, such as desktop monitors, laptops, iPads, tablets, and smartphones.

Note: In 2012, Google recommended responsive web design as the best strategy for smartphone-optimized websites.

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Posted by Sam Gerdt on April 12, 2014 in Mobile, Web Design | 0 Comments