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Issue 6

The big news this week was the release of Apple Pay – it’s a potential gamechanger in the world of digital payments, which is why I’m really excited to have Skip Allums, author of Designing Mobile Payment Experiences, curate some must read articles on mobile payments for this issue.


Good UX Manager/Bad UX Manager
The good, the bad, and the ugly of UX design management.

The End of Apps As We Know Them
A pretty in depth and compelling article about how interactive notifications are a glimpse of the future and designers need to design systems, not destinations.

Form Usability: The Pitfalls of Inline Accordion and Tab Designs
Here’s a good study on why you should avoid inline accordion and tab designs for forms along with better alternatives.

Why Design Documentation Matters
While static documentation is quickly becoming a thing of the past, design documentation is crucial to communicate design, the rationale for decisions, and the tools for clients to carry on once the project wraps up.

How to Find a UX Mentor
Time commitment, formality, location, experience gap, and desired knowledge are all factors in finding a UX mentor. Oz of UX Beginner writes about the insignts he found while researching the metor/mentee relationship.

The Making of MailChimp Snap
After observing a common problem among retail customers, the MailChimp team sketched out an idea, created a quick prototype, tested the concepts, and created a simple app that sends photo-based email campaigns straight from your phone.

The Hardest Job At Facebook: Teaching Users To Be Empathetic
As a UX designer, one of the characteritics you have to have is empathy. But how does one create empathy among 1.3 billion users behind a keyboard?

Mobile Payments UX by Skip Allums

Fintech the UX Opportunity
Presentation from BillGuard CTO Raphael Ouzan on how banks could be better at educating users, especially when it comes to their savings and investments. The second half delves into some of BillGuard’s UX process: usability testing and finding new ways to implement account performance graphs and spending patterns. Great quote: “Trust is an impression made in 2 seconds.”

Improving payment experiences with animations: behind the scenes of Stripe Checkout
Looking for ways to make dry checkout forms more delightful? The team at Stripe Checkout do a teardown of how they use animations in their checkout interactions for error cases, process feedback, and whimsical screen transitions to orient and reassure the user.

Identity in the 21st Century
Our concepts of money and identity are evolving at a rapid pace, and in this entertaining talk by Dave Birch outlines why we need to leave behind the plastic card as we know it.

Adding mobile payments to Foursquare app
UX deisgner Marta Fioni has thoroughly documented the process her General Assembly UX class used to introduce conceptual payments into the Foursquare/Swarm app. Excellent examples of field research, rapid prototyping and testing.

Meet Apple Pay
Apple Pay launched this week, so far to rave reviews. Here is my post on exactly what differentiates the Apple Pay UX and security model from other NFC wallets like Google Wallet and Softcard.

Skip Allums is a UX designer who lives in Napa, working in the mobile payments and banking space. He leads UX design for the US arm of Monitise Create, and recently wrote Designing Mobile Payment Experiences for O’Reilly Media.

Tools & Resources

Google Material Guidelines (Updated)
Google updated their Material Design guidelines and resources including updated sticker sheets for Photoshop, Sketch, and Illustrator. In addition, they open-sourced 750 Material Deisgn icons.

Mitya is yet another prototyping design tool for interactive experiences that looks like it has some potential. Another prototype tool released this week in beta is Noodl.

OS X Human Interface Guidelines: Designing for Yosemite
Even if you don’t plan on designing an app Apple’s new operating system, some of the UX concepts can apply to all products you design for.


ShopTalk with Jared Spool
Jared Spool talks about wearables, questionnaires, prototyping tools, and more.

Discussing Design Without Losing Your Mind
Tips and techniques from Aaron Irizarray for improving the conversations you have surrounding design with your teams, clients, and organizations.

Empathy in Design
How much can we really know about a stranger’s experience, and how do we create for people who see the world very, very differently than we do?


Abby the IA
You don’t need to have a website to have a portfolio. As Abby Covert shows, you can show off your work using presentation slides.


Digital User Experience Specialist-Marketing at Colonial Williamsburg Foundation (Williamsburg, Virginia)
Develop and manage the user experience strategy, information architecture, design, implementation, testing, and optimization for web and mobile applications as well as other interactive experiences for the world’s largest living history museum.

Last But Not Least

Six UX
What do you get when you combine Vine type videos with UX patterns? A collection of awesome six second transitions and animations.

“As far as the customer is concerned, the interface is the product.”
— Jef Raskin

As a final reminder, this is last week to take a quick survey about the newsletter. Thanks to everyone that has already taken it – I read through all the comments and will be working to implement a lot of your great ideas and feedback in the coming weeks. See you next week for a special Halloween edition where I’ll announce the book winner and a new contest.
— Kenny