Putting A New Coat of Paint on Paint Shopping

Nerds enjoy the pursuit of impactful outcomes. Valspar told us their business goal, but they counted on us to drive design decisions. Together, we’ll win the paint chip war.

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Making Content Strategy Practical

A few weeks ago, I helped lead a workshop at the 2016 Information Architecture Summit called “Practical Content Strategy.” If you’ve never heard of content strategy before, you’ve probably done it without realizing it.

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Building Axure Icon Widget Libraries Using Web Fonts

One of Axure’s strengths is creating deliverables of different visual fidelity: the ability to customize styles across variety of widgets creates a modular approach to design. When talking about visual design, however, it is not uncommon for user experience designers to have difficulty finding reliable icon libraries.

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The Nerdery User Experience Lab: Transforming How We Conduct Research

When The Nerdery’s Chicago branch outgrew its original location, we designed and built an innovative research space in the new office. The Nerdery User Experience Lab, or “UX Lab” for short, was formed in a similar way to how we approach new or untested products.

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Participant-Led Usability Testing

Usability testing has a PR problem. Here’s a quick run-down of the common, pervasive knocks against it:

“Usability testing is too expensive.”

“We have no time or money to make fixes.”

“A skilled user experience (UX) professional can find as many problems as usability testing can.”

“Results and learnings can be misleading or useless.”

“The exercise is so artificial that the output can’t possibly reflect the real world.”

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Converging on Diversity: Expanding the Horizons of UX Education

Fred Beecher is The Nerdery’s Director of User Experience and Design. He has been training UX designers since 2007 and in 2013 he started our UX Apprenticeship program. He is co-chairing the 2016 Interaction Design Education Summit, which will take place February 28-29 in Helsinki, Finland.
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Long-time listeners, first-time Soundset mobile App makers

Several Nerds will enjoy what’s become a traditional Memorial Day weekend at Soundset this Sunday, but for the first time there’s an app for that fine festival – and that’s because we built it for our friends at Rhymesayers. Continue reading Long-time listeners, first-time Soundset mobile App makers

Hitting the Strategy Sweet Spot: The Importance of Business Discovery

The beginning of The Nerdery’s UX process can feel strange and unfamiliar to clients who have previously engaged in projects with similar vendors. Why? Because we ask a lot of questions. Questions that dig into the roots of the company; operations, reasons behind decisions, internal systems and tools, long-term goals. Although, these topics may seem unrelated to the project at hand, they are the foundation and initial step in applying our holistic approach to a design project. Afterall, design is about everything. The Nerdery UX department has validated over time that its success is based on understanding its partners’ business (and their users). It is essential to develop this understanding because project success is reliant on taking into account the whole of the business.

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Your Users are Yip Yips

Using UX tools to serve all your users. Yip, even the plush aliens.

By Emily Schmittler and Christopher Stephan, Senior UX Designers

As UX designers, we always want people to understand, benefit from and even enjoy the designed interfaces and experiences we’ve shaped for them. The clients and companies we work with feel the same way; however, where we often differ in approach is in how we do the work to get there. To many UX professionals the appropriate process involves engaging with and talking to members of the target-user population. Many companies assume the UX professionals they hire have built-in knowledge about their audience and don’t think spending time with users is necessary.

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The Science of Successful Bars: How Customer Experience Relates to Digital User Experience

Bar RescueHave you watched the show Bar Rescue? It resonated with me since I was a former bartender and now user experience designer. There are so many comparisons to be drawn when creating customer experiences in a bar and digital user experiences.

Bar Rescue features the boisterous and successful bar consultant Jon Taffer and his team of top chefs, mixologists, interior designers and other experts. The premise of the show is to renovate and transform failing bars into successful bars.  They do this by diagnosing problems and using methods and tactics similar to the user experience process.

In this article, we will cover these similarities in three phases—Discovery, Definition and Design.

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