A huge redesign of my company's public-facing product just launched. We got quite a few feedback from field ops that it causes some confusion to our customers, and our testing volume has dropped. It was honestly scary to hear that. I panicked a bit because I was the one who created the redesign. I really didn't want to face the reality that my design failed.
We quickly released a few quick fixes to clear away some of the confusion and it seemed to be working better. However, I still don't know if the confusion was because my design was bad; or because we didn't do a good job communicating with field ops before releasing; or because we only launched about half of the redesign, the other half is still in work. And as for a startup built for the pandemic, we never got a chance to implement a great system to track how well a new design is performing. We are working on it, but for now, we are just going to work in the dark for a bit.
Why white looks bigger than black — The irradiation illusion
I noticed this a lot after I started using Dark Reader. Sometimes texts just look bolder when it's in dark mode. Now finally I got an explanation on why this happens. My short dirty sum up is that it's about how much the light energy each colour reflects to our eyes. White objects on black background reflect more light and our brains are more sensitive to the higher contrast. So the object looks bigger. It's funny how our brain works. As designers, we should always achieve optical balance, rather than numerical.
What If Phones Were Actually Designed for Hands?
Phones are all starting to look the same. Similar glasses panel, similar size, similar metal frame. (I know we have foldable phones now, but let's just go with this first). People enjoy looking at them, so they will buy them. Once companies figure out people buy them, they are not gonna go out of their way to try things differently. After all, profit is the most important thing in capitalism. That reminds me of design, are we designing things just because we know it will work? Are we actually trying out of our way to innovate? At the same time, would it be bad to bring more familiar designs if they are working? After all, many parts of the world are still far behind in terms of design.
How Designers Can Prevent User Errors
User errors can never be eliminated, but there are many ways to prevent them and make them less costly. This article lays out many useful principles to help with user errors. They seem simple, but implementing those principles and doing user testing could improve the overall UX of the product.