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Monthly Archives: December 2011

Wireframe your Christmas and New Year cards!

Hello friends!

We wish you all the best in the Holiday break and upcoming New Year. Have a greatly designed time!

This is wireframe of card that I made for you in UXPin.

Yes! You can wireframe Christmas and New Year cards in UXPin. We’ve added some special widgets.

Finally: post links to your cards created in UXPin in comments below. Most creative card will win 1 year long licence for Freelancer’s Friend plan of UXPin App!

Remember that you can use UXPin for FREE on 14 day trial. Join now!

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What does Eiffel Tower have to do with UX tools?

Picture source: Eiffel Tower official website

The story

Paris, 1884.

Two engineers of the Eiffel’s Company are working on World’s Fair 1899 building.
They need to provide idea for something really disruptive, modern and energizing. And they need to do it now. Tension is almost unbearable. They’re sketching their asses off. Finally they come up with gigantic and very complex tower. Couple of blueprints later they are sure they are on the right track. If everything would go according to the plan they will create new and shocking pride of Paris.
2 of them are not enough. 48 designers and engineers joined the team. Amazingly detailed and beautiful documentation helped 450 workers to build a masterpiece.

The problem

  • Good design doesn’t happen by accident. Eiffel tower wasn’t created by random toss of iron pillars (though some old timers from XIX century could think that).
  • Design needs documentation. Bulding Eiffel Tower without detailed blueprints would be impossible.
  • Design is a team game. It requires 50 designers to create Eiffel Tower.
  • Documentation shouldn’t be just about planning and drawing. Good design documentation enhance communication. Well discussed design will be bulletproof.
  • Unfortunately popular UX tools are usually focused only on drawing part of documenting User Experience. With all the respect, our competitors don’t get the fact that user experience isn’t just about drawing rectangles.

The solution

We used and observed various UX tools throughout the years and finally we just couldn’t resist building our own system.

The system that finally addresses specific problems of documenting UX design and helps designers, all over the world, collaboratively build their own monumental masterpieces.

We are on the mission to bring you complex and collaborative UX tools. From UX professionals for UX professionals

Resources

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Don’t design wireframes. Document experience!

Once upon a time, in the kingdom of far far away, I needed to explain that UX deliverables aren’t just ugly, simplified versions of visual design. I’m pretty sure you’ve been there too. I came up with an analogy that meant to kill the dragon, steal princess and win me a shiny pot of gold.

„Architectural blueprints don’t look pretty too.” – I said with a self-confident smile. To my surprise, my dearest interlocutor didn’t seem to be particularly happy. Why? Well If UX designers are architects…who are developers? Sloppy analogy, especially if you’re talking with a worshiper of developers driven organizations.

Memory of this awkward encounter forced me to rethink the whole problem. What if I won’t focus on defense of wireframes? What if I say…

Don’t design wireframes! Don’t focus on that!

Well that must give you a strange impression. „Didn’t he create wireframing software?” – You may ask. „Nope.” – I will answer. Wireframing software is something that was created by people who don’t get UX design. I’m shooting to a different duck (mind that I don’t support hunting, this is just a silly metaphor that came to my mind). UXPin is and will be focused entirely on documenting user experience. We’re just starting our engines of changes („Wind of change” should be played right now), so why don’t you join us in a fight for the right cause brave knight (/knightness)?

Anyway…

UX designers should focus on designing seductive and fruitful experiences, not wireframes. Wireframes, mock-ups, prototypes – are just solutions to communicate design ideas. You may use them or not or even create something completely new. Important thing is, you need to exhaust your brain on concept work and document user experience.

After all we are not called „Wireframers” nor „Wireframe designers” and we should be proud of our creative and important job called „UX designer” (/Information Architect/Interaction Designer/UX Ninja/Lord of Experiences…).

I know, I know… UX is young and people don’t get what we do and it seems to be so important to explain why we prototype, wireframe, mock-up and why it looks like that, because at the end somebody needs to pay for that. Guess what? It doesn’t matter. We should be judged and paid by the result of our designs. And the result we’re hitting on is: great user experience.

So don’t be a „wireframer”. If somebody asks you „why this is so ugly?!” answer „because at the end this ugly duckling/ugly Betty transforms into something so super cool your nose will start bleeding”.

So what do you reckon guys? Any similar stories? Is this fight worth fighting? Let me know in the comments. Cheerio!

Post scriptum

I guess now you know why in new UXPin Kits there are special notepads for:

  • working on a design problem
  • designing personas
  • diagraming

Whole concept of designing with UXPin is aimed to free creative power. You’re starting in notepad feeling the blanks with your ideas, pinning some post-its to the paper…KABASH (sound of taking a picture with your iPhone) and whole concept is in the App where you can work with your team (same concept – same time, collaboration baby!). It’s quick, it’s smooth, no endless polishing of wireframes is supported (at least – not mentally supported, you can create what you want with UXPin, I just won’t be happy about beautiful wireframes with poor user experience).

FREE trial of UXPin App

UXPin Web Kit for Web Design ($29,99)

UXPin Mobile Kit for iPhone ($29,99)

The end

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Try paper prototype to digital wireframe conversion with UXPin

Hello!

With over 1000 users couple of days after the launch on TechCrunch UXPin is becoming new UX tool of choice. We just couldn’t be more proud.

Today I’d like to show you how our famous paper prototype to digital wireframe feature works.

It’s easy. To try it please download picture below and send it to me[at]uxpin.com.

Download paper prototype (2mb)

If you don’t have account it will be automatically created. After logging in on uxpin.com choose or create project to add your paper prototype and… that’s it. Your paper prototype is now fully editable digital wireframe!

You can expect something like that (that’s how you can share projects on UXPin).

This rough paper prototype on the picture was made with help of UXPin notepad. Buy yourself one and you’ll be able to convert all your paper prototypes into digital wireframes with UXPin.

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When You’re Holding A Hammer Everything Seems Like A Nail

This post is inspired by a conversation with one of the winners of the UXBite competition, Tomek. We were talking about various wireframing tools and one of things Tomek said caught my attention: I was trying to work with ***, but I felt like they gave me a hammer and now I’m obliged to only see nails around me.  That made me thinking.

We are being limited by the names we give to specific objects and tools. We are being limited by our habits. We are being limited by habits of other people. And we are being limited by our own usual ways of using certain tools.

For example: what you can do with a hammer? First thing that comes to mind: hit the nails with it of course! What a stupid question?! But as you keep thinking you can find different ways of using a hammer. You can hit nails with it but you can take them out of wooden boards as well. Or you can kill someone with this tool. Everything depends on current needs.

I know that you may be thinking  prototyping / wireframing tool  is only for wireframing or prototyping. Period. Today I want to show you a little alternative way of using JustProto. How? See below.

 

Product Retrospect.

Product Retrospect is a simple yet effective way of summary after the project’s closed. You gather the whole team and discuss every pro and con that’s project related. You don’t point fingers saying “You screwed this up by not talking to me earlier” but say “This was badly executed due to lack of communication”. Sometimes when your team is spread all over the world it’s extremely difficult to do this kind of project retrospective – time difference and gathering everyone on the same page is hard. JustProto’s collaborative features come in handy in this time of need:

  • Multiple Collaborators,
  • Real-Time Collaboration,
  • Chat,
  • Project Preview with just One Link,
  • Live Preview.

 

How it works?

Each JustProto account have an Administrator/Owner, who can grant access to others – The Collaborators. Each Collaborator gets his unique login and password to login to the project at a certain time. Using nothing else but computer with Internet access everyone edit the same project at the same time and everyone see all changes in the real time (that’s the Real-Time Collaboration).Kinda like on Google Docs while editing the same spreadsheet or word document.

Each person choses note, tag or pin color they like and that’s that – by editing its text Collaborators – The Team add their point of view on a closed project. What is important – everyone can talk on a project Chat. Smart history will save all the conversations. This way everyone’s up to date even if the Internet connection dies: Chat history and current version of the retrospective is saved and always available online.

 

 

This is en example of project retrospective in JustProto

 

 This is another example of project retrospective in JustProto

 

Any person who is not on the project team but gets the Preview Link will see the retrospective project. Let’s say your boss is not one of your project team but you’d like him to know the results of the retrospective – send him a Preview Link and that’s that!

What’s even more fun and handy and cool – if a person who get the Preview Link will open it while you and your team edit the notes, they will see everything in the real time too thanks to Realtime Preview! How the project retrospective can all look like? See here.

 

This example shows that you don’t ALWAYS need to stick to the tool’s purpose. Don’t be limited, try thinking of other ways you can use the tools you like : ) What it also shows is the fact that wireframing tool can be helpful not only while design happen – it can also become pretty useful after the project is done. Remember that the tool is just a hammer. You don’t need to see nails everywhere.

 

 

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Christmas presents for UX Design geeks

Hello UX designers and UX designer’s families

Nick Finck – exceptional UX professional (and our great client) provides UX gift list every year. He’s doing amazing job. I decided to add a little bit something to the list. My collection is rather personal. Connected not only to UX design but to design in general. Hopefully you’ll like it and who knows… maybe Santa will give you something from this list. That would be great. Cheers!

For sentimental designers.

alessi lemon squeezer

Legendary design by Philippe Starck (1990) most known among UX designers from a cover of “Emotional design” by Don Norman. It looks good, it brings certain emotions and actually is quite practical. Great present for UX geek. Will be appreciated.

Is it enough time to order it? Yes. It’s popular and available in many shops. Try here. Approximate cost: $85

For design history lovers.

Dieter Rams means a lot to many UX designers. His minimalistic and very…human approach at Braun shaped generations of designers. This present will be loved and worshiped by any ux design geek.

Is it enough time to order it? Might be hard. 3-6 weeks at Amazon (~$50)

 

For tech geeks inside of every UX designer

Thermostat from former president of iPod division at Apple. That’s certainly something we all want to have. Beautifully crafted, functional…seductive thing. Proof that good design can change ordinary thing into somethin amazing.

Is it enough time to order it? No. It’s sold out. You may try to find it on eBay or just wait till Christmas 2012.

For the busy UX designers

Behance’s Actionmethod is a unique system to manage your time & tasks. I love their approach and I think you know why. They share UXPin vision to use both paper and digital apps to free mind and enhance creativity. Lovable thing.

Is it enough time to order it? Honestly – no idea. Can’t find shipping info. You may try in Behance retail stores.

For UXers that loves classic approach and futuristic technology

Our new notepads let UX designers quickly create paper prototypes by sticking unique post-its with user interface elements to the paper notepad.

Finally all paper prototypes can be recognized and auto-transformed by UXPin App (from $7)

Is it enough time to order it?

Yes, definitely. We use DHL Air delivery. It reaches most locations in 1-3 days.

$29.99 Buy 3 and get free DHL delivery

And even more presents…

Sharpies – UXers favorite markers
$18.99 (1-2 days delivery)

“Graphic Design, Referenced” $23.10 (1-3 days delivery)

“Seductive interaction design” $21.34 (1-3 days delivery)

“100 Things Every Designer Needs to Know About People” $18.41 (1-3 days)

“BRAUN – Fifty Years of Design and Innovation” $44.04 (1-3 weeks delivery)

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UXPin is changing world of user experience

Dear friends,

finally we’ve launched UXPin. That was huge. Exclusive launch on TechCrunch gave us great buzz. Somehow we managed to make a little history. UXPin is one of first UX tools mentioned on TechCrunch and also we’e on of first polish companies out there. Great start. Thank you all for supporting us.

You’re doing a lot for UXPin with your support, spreading buzz, purchasing and registering… but what exactly UXPin will do for you?

Here’s a little infographic:

Join our system and register for a free trial now

All of our early supporters get up to -50% lifetime discount on UXPin accounts. This promo will be on till the next signifcant update, so hurry up!

It’s also great time to buy our notepads. We managed to create great delivery offer. First of all we’re using just DHL Air delivery. Second, if you’ll buy at least 3 kits and live in North America, or Europe, you’ll get delivery for FREE!

Go and get UXPin notepads now. They will be with you before Christmas!

Wondering how exactly our kits look like? Wonder no more.

Learn more about our technology and get yourself one of professional’s notepads.

Finally if you want to see how paper prototypes can be converted into digital wireframes have a look on our demo from beta time of UXPin App.

Thank you one more time. I’m getting back to work. It’s just a beginning of UXPin.

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UXPin notepads are on the way

Hello folks!

Our big launch is coming soon. First transport of UXPin notepads went to our brand new warehouse in England just yesterday. From there all UXPins will be sent to you using DHL service (around 3 days to deliver package to USA!) in prices that will be actually lower than our current rates. We’re very excited about that.

I took couple of shots on our production side to show you how UXPin notepads are made. This is all handmade work (big applause to our team!). You may notice our new uncompromised triple hard covers. Expect something special inside of it.

Thanks to your great feedback UXPin App is almost ready to start and we’re about to move UX tools to the next level.

Stay tuned friends. You may expect big surprise pretty soon. We’re preparing something that none wireframing/prototyping achieved.

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