Category: Information Architecture

Design Thinking Series - Part I: Increase member engagement using design thinking

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The method focuses on three main elements of a product or solution: people, technology, and business. All of these aspects evolve around the customer.

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FINDING BALANCE: A BROADER VIEW WITH Director of User Experience + Design, Lillie Obioha

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Our next interviewee for this series is with Director of User Experience + Design, Lillie Obioha. Lillie not only poses a poise that puts Elizabeth Taylor to shame, but she encourages us all to think outside the box and always find exciting and inspiring ways to make our clients stand out. 

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10 reasons why I will leave your website in 10 seconds

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What makes people press the back button shortly after visiting your website? Why do they bail out so quickly? And what can you do about it?

It’s not easy creating a beautiful, brilliant user experience on your website, and the reality is that most sites have issues of one kind or another. But keep an eye open for the following – often avoidable – negative factors and try to eliminate them to avoid creating the wrong impression.

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Life above the fold - Why it's no longer relevant

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Anytime we begin our UX and design process, our clients are concerned about the dreaded “fold.” You know the part of your site that users see when they come to your site? The part that shows before you scroll? That area is considered “above the fold”—and it used to be a major concern when thinking about usability and accessing content. After all, we wouldn’t want our users to miss out on valuable content because they fail to scroll down, right? 

Guess what? Users scroll.

It’s true. 

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Rapid prototyping: What it is and why it matters!

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Traditionally, wireframing has been the go-to activity for specking out web designs, architecting the layout of the site and envisioning user experience. But the fact of the matter is, no matter how detailed the annotations, no matter how intuitive we think we've designed it to be, nothing substitutes for the real thing--a live, working site. In a world with infinite dollars and hours, we could build multiple iterations of sites until our hearts' content. Sadly, projects have budgets and timelines and reality to contend with, and multiple builds just aren't in the cards.

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The User Experience

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One of my favorite parts of my work is conducting user interviews and focus groups. I’m always eager to talk to people about how they use websites and to learn more about what they want out of their user experience. 

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How to Increase Engagement in Your Online Communities

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Your target audience is busy. Capturing their attention and engaging them in your private online communities can be can be a daunting challenge. To start, you must build awareness of your private community. Once you've captured their attention, you must engage them with content that is valuable and that encourages conversation. Now that they are engaged, you need to make sure you have a process in place to drive them back to the community on a regular basis.

So how do you write to drive engagement?

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Distilling a Site to its Essentials – No Matter the Screen Size

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Most sites we do now at Balance use responsive design. That means the width of the site resizes and page elements adjust according to the visitor's screen width. For example, a four-column website would rearrange content and images to become two columns for a tablet display and one column for a smartphone display.

For clients who don't have the need or budget for a separate mobile site, responsive design is a good solution to make a website accessible on many devices, including tablets and smartphones.

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Content Strategy at the IA Summit

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I sit here writing this less than 24 hours since arriving home from the 2011 IA Summit, my first. I attended this conference after watching it from afar for 2 years, since it included a pre-conference Content Strategy Consortium.

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Websites Are Not Set in Stone, But…

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Often when we hand over websites to clients, they have questions like:

“Can I add another page to the main navigation?”

“Can we make that font blue?”

“Can we add an image there?”

The answer to all of these questions is “Yes, but…” Here’s why.

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