Which is better, this or that? Improving the Color Contrast Ratio on Your Website

In a recent job interview, I was asked about designing for accessibility and how that would impact my design decisions. I replied at a minimum I’d use the following guidelines: Use alt tags with images Be aware of red/green color blindness issues And never (ever) use an image for a word on a page I then decided to put the my portfolio design through an accessibility audit using the Accessibility Developer Tools Chrome extension. To my dismay, the light blue color of my navigation bar caused an audit warning of “Text elements should have a reasonable contrast ratio”. This would …

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Accident Tracking Application Workflow – Before and After

In an earlier post about observing and testing application workflows, I described the frustration of highly educated and tech savvy safety employees when the process for adding employee names to a accident report was confusing. In the original workflow, the employee look up for an incident required navigating to a new screen and clicking the hyperlinked employee name to add them to the incident. Our team documented the usability issues and I took the project from there by creating screen prototypes and conducting user acceptance testing. The result was an updated workflow including a pop up window where ALL employee names could be added to …

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bay area barks persona overview

Bay Area Barks User Experience: Design through Discovery – Chapter 5

Now we come to my favorite part of the UX/UI process – design! In the UX Apprentice it states that “Discovery and Strategy only account for 20% of the process, the bulk of your time will be spent prototyping, testing and refining designs.” I’ll add to this by stating that any NEW feature, even if it’s a “small one”, must be prototyped and tested. Until your users can get their hands on a clickable prototype or mockup to test the new feature – they won’t understand how it works – period.   Thankfully, great prototyping tools like Balsamiq or Sketch, …

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image of Bay Area Barks Storyboard

Bay Area Barks User Experience: Design through Discovery – Chapter 4

The Bay Area Barks fake application then moved on to the Strategy phase of the project as outlined in the UX Apprentice. Seems pretty straightforward, but experience has taught me that ALL design needs to be firmly rooted in what can be accomplished in the current technology environment with the current developer talent. With that in mind, I would suggest that the development team (even if it’s a team of one), be brought in to review the story boards, prototypes and site map. Part of those meetings could be to capture a checklist of: – feature requested – browsers supported …

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Observe and Test You Must!

In the UX Apprentice tutorial, there is a quote from a CNN Money article by the founder of Wesabe, Marc Hedlund, where he noted that “while I was focused on trying to make the usability of editing data as easy and functional as it could be; Mint was focused on making it so you never had to do that (editing data) at all. Their approach completely kicked our approach’s ass.” This story reminded me of my first User Experience project that involved complaints about an enterprise Accident Reporting application. This application met all the requirements of the Safety Department, had a …

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