UX vs. Product Design vs. UI: The Never-Ending Battle

Digital product design teams are often referred to as “the UX team” or “the UX/UI team,” which are terminologies that can significantly disturb a proper understanding of what UX and digital product design actually are and what a digital product design team does. For one, the user’s experience can’t be designed in the first place, and “doing UX” goes way beyond the scope of digital product design. For another, saying “UX/UI” isn’t meaningful since they’re neither the same nor separable concepts within a process; one can’t “do UI” without also “doing UX.” Generally speaking, digital product design covers design research, interaction design, and visual design, and it’s a much more accurate term for what’s commonly referred to as “UX” or “UX/UI.” We believe a proper understanding of terminology is essential for being able to deliver one’s best possible work as a designer.

Creating Medium-Fidelity Prototypes for AR/VR Experiences

Prototyping in 3D isn't the same as in just two dimensions. Compared to regular, flat websites, augmented and virtual reality have very different requirements when it comes to creating prototypes. To close a gap in the medium-fidelity range of AR/VR prototyping methods, we've created 360theater, which makes use of dioramas and 360° content for creating physical-digital prototypes. We've used our new method in workshops with design students and found that it comes close to the final experience while complementing other methods with different levels of fidelity.

My Ultimate List of Books You Need to Read If You Want to Truly Understand Digital Design: A Work in Progress

This list contains the books I believe everyone who wants to truly understand what digital design is all about needs to read. I've tried to roughly categorize them into more foundational topics and then somewhat along the double diamond: finding the right problem and finding the right solution. To provide a glimpse into the future, I also list some books on designing for an with (a selection of) novel types of interfaces.

KPI-Centered Design

Despite evidence that employing a human-centered design (HCD) approach to product design yields a strong competitive edge, many companies neglect HCD or don't even consider it in the first place. One reason for that is probably that many who think they're working user-centered are practicing something entirely different: KPI-Centered Design. This article inquires into different forms of design processes, into the differences between proper HCD and KPI-Centered Design, and how a resonable compromise can look like: Formulating hypotheses based on evidence rather than just KPIs or gut feeling, and complementing quantitative experimentation with more qualitative insights.

Practical Approaches to Customer Centricity in Product Development

Products often tend to be technology-driven, without actually solving a real problem of real users ‒ we see companies and products fail every day because money was invested in the wrong idea. In contrast, a truly customer-centric approach ensures you enter the right market with the right product, thus increasing user experience, loyalty, and profitability ‒ a win-win situation. One format for user-centered innovation projects are Design Sprints, which allow for a first validation of a product idea within a week.

5 Design Methods I’ve Successfully Applied as a UX Manager at C&A

Depending on the environment you have to navigate, it's not always easy to try and apply all of the awesome design methods that are out there, be it due to daily business or a lack of management buy-in. In this article, I describe 5 methods that I have successfully and effectively applied in C&A's eCommerce department: Design Jams, Storyboards, Crazy 8s, 4×4×4, and Buy a Feature.

What’s a Design System, Design Language, and Design Language System? And what’s the Difference?

Depending on who you ask, a design system and a design language might be the same thing or not. Regardless, the important point here is that both a system and a language go beyond a simple pattern library. They have to include a set of rules and guidelines to give the included components structure and meaning.

The Beautiful Simplicity of Hollow Knight (and How to Improve It Even Further)

Hollow Knight is mainly characterized by dual-purpose design and general minimalism. A particular feature is the use of fluid builds based on charms that can be (un)equipped rather than a skill tree. However, changing builds can be too much blind trial and error while experience becomes too abundant too early in the game. One solution to this could be requiring the user to pay with experience when (un)equipping charms.

The Design Philosophy Behind My New Website

After analyzing my old website, I decided to put more emphasis on (1) identifying and highlighting the pieces of information that are actually useful and (2) a two-dimensional approach to displaying my CV along traditional categories and skills/topics. Moreover, I set myself design constraints that forced me to keep my new website as clean and simple as possible, following the design philosophies of brutalism and Mies van der Rohe.

What is Design Thinking?

Design Thinking is often considered a buzzword or bullshit and many people—even if familiar with the concept—struggle to define it in a brief, but concise way. In this article, I develop such a definition: "Design Thinking is the understanding that the process is the design and therefore all people involved, no matter their role, are responsible for creating a product that is useful, functional, aesthetically appealing, and affordable."