‘User Interface Design’ In 25 Hottest Skills List for 2016

‘User Interface Design’ made it to the 10th place on LinkedIn’s ‘Hottest Skills of 2015’ Global list — jumping 4 places. It puts ‘User Interface Design’ in the 11th place for Canada. LinkedIn analyzed the hiring and recruiting activity on its website in 2015, and uncovered the 25 hottest skills, and it believes that these skills will stay in demand in the early part of 2016. You can also view the presentation on SlideShare.

LinkedIn - User Interface Design in The Hottest Skills of 2015 - Global

Source: The 25 Skills That Can Get You Hired in 2016 | Official LinkedIn Blog

Time For a Fresh WordPress Theme?

I have mulled to change the current WordPress theme, and it’s not an easy task. In 2014, I chose this design for its RWD capabilities and simply loved it. Almost 2 years later, and after many design analysis, I have realised the flaws which are crucial, not just for the visitors but for me as a designer. Here’s what I have found with my review and why I need changes in the theme desperately.

The all-important search functionality lies buried under a cryptic ‘folder’ icon and glancing at my analytics, not many users have ‘cracked the code’. It’s a worrisome situation if users have to first find the search function, before looking for information.

Font Customization
Despite the Easy Google Fonts plugin, I find it hard to change the font for the H1 tag unless if I edit the stylesheet within the WordPress system (which is very meh!). The one way I can bring subtle changes to the theme and effect a better user-experience is by toying with the typography. I quite frankly want to move away from the current typeface used for H1. I even started a thread on WordPress Support forums for help which is lying ‘dead’.

Featured Image
I think a large featured image is an absolute overkill for a write-up. Unfortunately, for my limited coding skills, I would rather change the theme. Besides, I really don’t need large images to convey meanings.

Simply large and bloated, and I would appreciate a more subtle approach.

Challenges with New Theme
I’m looking for a new minimalist theme and this is taking time. A changed theme means a new experience for the user, a fresh learning curve. I also have no idea what happens to the design of the posts (i.e. the large featured images) when the new theme takes over. Hopefully, we will know soon.

Lastly, Designing from Scratch
My first priority is to design an original theme. Considering the challenges and limitations, I’m keeping all fingers crossed for now.

The Best UX Design Articles of January 2016

A catalogue of some of my favourite and insightful UX articles published in January 2016.

Usability Of Beacon Technology At Conferences
Codal’s Creative Strategist Jenna Erickson looks at the various factors involved in integrating beacon technology at conferences to deliver content on your mobile devices.

7 User Interface Guidelines For Designing Watch Apps
Neha Modgil shares her views on designing for this newest wearable device keeping the user needs into perspective. She’s the Global Design Head and Owner at Techved Consulting.

Guidelines For Designing And Building A Multilingual Website
In this insightful article, Alan Smith speaks about how multilingual websites have become common today and describes ways to meet the challenges.

The Crucial Role Deep Linking Should Play in Your Mobile App
Bobby Emamian expresses his concerns while describing the advantages of deep-linking processes for mobile apps.

Innovation with Intention: The Next Evolution for the Experience Designer
As consumers demand more value, meaning and positive experiences in their lives, organizations are looking for experience designers who want to lead the change through creative new approaches. Senior User Experience Strategist and Director of Experience Design at SiteMinder, Meg Barbic, shares feedback from her interactions at the UXSTRAT 2015 conference in Athens, Georgia.

UX Strategy: How to Devise Innovative Digital Products That People Want, Part 2
This is a sample chapter from the book UX Strategy: How to Devise Innovative Digital Products That People Want, by Jaime Levy, published by O’Reilly Media. It speaks about UX strategy as a way of thinking, and not a means of executing a plan. Part 1 of this article was published in December 2015. Jaime is a UX Consultant at JLR Interactive based in Los Angeles, CA.

UX Performance Metrics: How to Measure Change
How can we really tell if we’ve made anything better, less frustrating, cheaper, or hassle-free for the people we serve? In this insightful article, Dana Botka draws from her experience using some project case-studies, on measuring change on content design.

UX vs CX: Which is more important?
If you are still thinking about UX versus CX, this article by Netania Engelbrecht should help you get around the concepts easily. Netania is Content Marketing Specialist at Usabilla.

Using Proto-content for a Better User Experience
Content Strategist Robert Mills describes his ‘content-first’ approach through this insightful article.

How to Determine the Right Number of Participants for Usability Studies
Unlocking the fear of UX researchers on the number of participants to find the best possible outcome, authors Janet M. Six and Ritch Macefield uncover some research findings in this article to answer your question.

Cleaning Up My Calendar And The Chaos

I signed up for a 1-hour webinar for creating a Business Model Canvas in November 2015 and I accepted a calendar (.iCal) invite for the event from my email account. It’s always convenient as a reminder with the event details now etched for eternity in my Calendar on Mac and Google. Soon after, the organizer wrote back saying there was a mistake from their side. The platform used to send the invites “wasn’t meeting the standards for a smooth broadcast”. I thought how serious could this be. My calendar displayed some unidentified entries, such as meeting invites from John Doe, also the host of this webinar, and I deleted them steadfastly. It was chaotic and I falsely thought that my tragedy has ended here.

I’m an infrequent Calendar user on Mac. But ever since this November incident, I started receiving a server connection error every time I would open it. I only realized today that this silly server mishap had rained a deluge of personal entries from John Doe’s calendar onto my calendar entries, right back up to 2011! Apart from the many recurring meetings, there was a court appearance for a traffic offense, some haircut schedules, details on flights, itineraries, and hotel stays, dinner meetings with executives, and more. Not to mention the calendar displayed time and place particulars as well. Much embarrassing as it was for me to know such intimate information from John’s personal schedule, he would be horrified to learn about this rather bizarre leak to more than 20 participants of this seminar!

I began a clean-up operation lasting about an hour, painstakingly glancing and deleting every single entry I could find until 2011 so far. Unfortunately, some of the deleted entries would have sent email notifications causing inconvenience to its participants but it doesn’t matter to me. My calendar was mutilated and my privacy has been wrecked and it led to unimaginable turmoil, thanks to some web platform broadcast which went awry. Now I only hope that John Doe doesn’t have a long-winded career and his entries don’t go far back in time. This incident has taught me an invaluable lesson, that convenience is sometimes costly.

The Difference Between URLs and URIs

I had, for decades, referred anything residing online as a ‘file’ and its address as a ‘URL’ to be accessed from the browser. However, I uncovered an interesting truth in my online research with a term called ‘URI’ or ‘Uniform Resource Identifier’:

One can classify URIs as locators (URLs), or as names (URNs), or as both. A Uniform Resource Name (URN) functions like a person’s name, while a Uniform Resource Locator (URL) resembles that person’s street address. In other words: the URN defines an item’s identity, while the URL provides a method for finding it.

The article further states that the term ‘URL’ has become or is becoming deprecated. Though it shows examples of a URI which it says, can also be called a URL, causing confusion. Furthermore, we don’t know the design implications of using the URI/URL terms intermittently, which usually takes a while before it enters popular tech lexicon. Considering this, and to avoid a confusing situation (or spark a debate in a meeting or chat), I would suggest using ‘URL’ for now.

Source: The Difference Between URLs and URIs