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Issue 11

Hope you had a happy Thanksgiving. Check out some awesome UX & design Black Friday deals below. The winner of the UX book giveaway for November is Shivanand. If you didn’t win, you can try and win one for December – all you have to do is tell me one UX related resolution for 2015.

The LA Auto Show is going on right now in my neck of the woods so it’s only fitting that Chris Liu, a UX designer for Mercedes Benz, guest curates a list of his favorite car UX links this week.


Writing-first Design
UX designers will usually first research and sketch out ideas before going into more detail. Jonas Downey writes that you need to first start with writing to improve your chances of success in the final product.

Design Details: Android Lollipop Pt. 1
I love Brian Lovin’s attention to detail in his breakdowns. This time, he writes about Android’s new platform based on material design. Part one is focuses on the OS as a whole and is a good primer for those who don’t use an Android as their everyday phone.

Android Vs. iOS Start Experience
Which OS has the better start experience? One OS takes 23 or more steps and the other takes only 8 steps.

Are You Ready to Become a Product Designer?
The discipline and job titles of design is complex and vague. Zurb has a great write up about how product design is different from UX and why would you want to become one.

Designing the New User Experience
A look at the design decision behind the Bipsync onboarding experience along with a summary checklist that you can use to plan your own onboarding process.

Increasing Customer Empathy from Day One
Read how Shopify has doubled their staff each year but still ensures that each new employee will learn to empathize with the users by promoting a focus on the customer during employee onboarding.

Designing a mobile interface for older people
When you are designing an experience, you need to take into account your users. See how the developers behind KoalaPhone used research and findings to design and develop their app targeted towards those with sight problems.

Sponsored Link

The World Usability Day Giveaway – A competition worth ENGAGING with
Optimal Workshop is celebrating World Usability Day 2014 by giving away $30,000 of UX tools and services to one lucky winner. The Ultimate UX Toolkit consists of annual subscriptions to companies such as UserTesting, Crazy Egg, Loop 11, and Rosenfeld Media.

Enter by uploading an image of something you find engaging (online or off) and a description of why it engages you. Read more

Interested in sponsoring a future issue? Contact me.

Car UX by Chris Liu

A touchscreen prototype for a new car UI
This is a bit old but still interesting. In general, I like the out-of-the-box thinking, but I am very concerned about the learning curve and the need to look at the screen to interact. Despite what the video claims, touchscreens require the user’s attention. Any time looking down at a screen is time that a driver is not concentrating on what’s happenging on the road. But take a look and judge for yourself!

The State of In-car UX
Geoff Teehan (of teehan+lax) put together a great post on the current state of in-car infotainment systems. The tl;dr is that they are all pretty horrible. The good news, there is a great opportunity for designers to enter the field and really do some good!

The Near Future of In-car HMI
ustwo auto put together a really great post on in-car HMI (human-machine interface, the technical name for car UX). As an aside, ustwo also put together the amazing iOS game, Monument Valley!

The Typography of Speed
Lastly, here is a great writeup on how BMW uses typography to help reinforce the feeling of speed. As a graphic designer (originally) I love to read these kinds of articles and geek out about letterforms.

Chris Liu is a UX designer that currently at Mercedes-Benz R&D North America working on stuff that he can’t really discuss publicly. But in addition to that stuff and his side projects (like 200 Words), he is also 1/2 of a new UX-focused podcast called the Design Review. He hopes you’ll listen and enjoy! Feel free to reach out to him on Twitter, @machinehuman

Tools & Resources

Black Friday Design Deals
UI8 has a few UI design asset kits for $8
DesignModo is offering up to 70% off
Save $10/month on Adobe’s Creative Cloud
Learn to design an iPhone app with Sketch from the designer behind Google Inbox
Another Sketch course on iOS design
Sketch & Code from MengTo for 80% off
Save 50% on all eBooks and videos from O’Reilly
Udemy has many design courses on sale
One year unlimited access to the Smashing Library, for only $39
Get some every day UX deals I put together

Material Up
A daily showcase of the very best Material Design websites and apps.

Ocean is a community of designers sharing feedback. While it’s still new, it has great potential if you want opinions.


Better User Research Through Surveys
Surveys can be a formidable tool for user research but are often executed badly. Chris from UX Mastery gives tips on how to build an effective survey to collect the most valuable information from users.


Interaction Designer at Modea (Blacksburg, VA)
Modea is hiring an interaction designers that can combine creativity, innovation, technical-proficiency, and team collaboration to create superior digital products to help transform top healthcare, financial services and telecom companies into digital leaders.

Last But Not Least

The UX Guru says…
Because user experience needs to express its inner static-positioned mental model to empower a transversal assumption reversal plan.

“To design is to communicate clearly by whatever means you can control or master”
— Milton Glaser

Do you have a friend, colleague or teammates you think would enjoy this newsletter? I would be grateful if invite them to sign up (click to email) or send a Tweet about it.

See you next week,

— Kenny

Thanks to this issue’s sponsors: