UX? UI? U what?

So you’ve got a digital application in your sights. You’ve got visions and dreams of massive return on your investments floating on cloud computing with number one customer satisfaction stars shooting at you like a machine gun, riding rainbows into your pot of revenue gold. How do you realize this dream? Start the Ride Whether you are a small or large business, you want success for your digital product which generally entails levels of financial investments. You may be redesigning a legacy system, building a custom web app, or launching the next mobile app to take the market by storm, but if you don’t know how to navigate the UX/UI road your visions may soon become unfocused. The road can become treacherous because of the various opinions on what UX is and how it adds value. Well, here at Surge, we’ve been down this road before, let us help you […]

UX 101: Creating WOW! Moments in Your Software/Website

One of the biggest revolutions of the past 5-10 years has been the focus on the user for both software and website design. At one time, user experience issues were an afterthought, something to be caught during testing (if at all). The focus was on the company’s version of how their product was to be used and whom would use it. This shift in focus has largely been due to the fact that many of these assumptions were wrong. It is often illuminating for a development team, not to mention designers, to watch actual users use their products. Anyone who has ever taken part in a usability test know that, quite often, users use products in unexpected ways. Even companies with a robust UX process (user stories, personas, etc.) can be shocked to see their product used by actual people. Plus, as the people who build things, it can be […]

The Vernacular of Icons

Icons are a wonderful thing.  Whether used in software development, the custom-designed interface of a SaaS application, or on a website, icons can be a useful design shorthand.  Especially when it comes to software, where it seems like the most successful designs are the simplest designs, every pixel is scrutinized for its overall effectiveness.  Often, icons can be used to make designs more efficient, clean, and usable.  Icons can make copy more skimmable, features more discoverable, and application functions more accessible.  However, like anything else, there is a danger to the over-reliance on icons. The problem with icons, as we see it anyway, has to do with the common language of the web.  That is, often it is the least common denominator that is used to judge an application’s, or website’s, usability, and icons (especially in the context of the web) just have not been used long enough to establish […]

Putting the User Back in User Experience (UX) Design

Often times, as designers (or even as developers) it can be easy to forget the user.  Now, this seems antithetical, with all of the current focus on user experience, persona development, user research, user testing, etc., but it is actually a surprisingly easy trap to fall into. Now, it is important to note, that this is not something we usually do on purpose.  When we are building something, especially something complicated, there is a momentum that builds.  Sometimes, this momentum can be strong enough to blow right by the user.  It it a forest through the trees sort of scenario, where we get so focused on the work of design (or development) that we lose the big-picture view, we lose the perspective that lives outside of ourselves (or our small teams), the perspective of the users. It takes dedicated effort and discipline to truly stay connected with the user throughout […]