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State Department

A new site for the State Department guides journeys across the globe.




Cutting-edge design to revolutionize the world of user experience.



Nicole Dingess

What is UX?

UX should be in your digital vocabulary, but do you fully understand its significance?


Blog Category: User Experience

March 27th, 2014

Tips to Ensure Your Site is Tablet Friendly

by: Matthew White

The rapid adoption of tablet and similar touch screen devices means that we can no longer merely focus on desktop monitors as the sole means for website display. Towards this end, I suggest taking a “tablet first” approach to website design. This is the idea that websites should function and display accurately on a tablet device as well as on a traditional desktop monitor. This approach includes the following:

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March 11th, 2014

Adopting Lean Startup Principles and Methodology

by: John Sutton

Far too often, we see good projects fail because a business demands feature-rich perfection out of their initial product launches, and at the same time demands the product be released on some arbitrary launch date. More often than we would like, the features required by users do not align to what the business perceives as features users actually want. If the customer doesn’t want it, then why build it? To support a marketing manager’s notion that they intrinsically know what their customers want? Organizations manifest this type of behavior quite often, if only subconsciously.

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March 4th, 2014

Building Amazing Enterprise Software

by: Chad Van Lier

Technological shifts causing massive disruption in enterprise software have dominated the press.  Much like the VHS cassette, the PC is fading into history.  Cloud storage has put unlimited computing power in the hands of everyone at very low costs with software-as-a-service now a reliable alternative to on-premises software.  And the proliferation of mobile devices is leading the business users to supplement enterprise software with their own cloud-based services. 

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February 25th, 2014

Three Myths of Usability Testing

by: Tony Fugolo

Usability testing is arguably the most important part of the user experience design process. For those unfamiliar with the term “usability testing,” it refers to a number of methods that can be used to evaluate an interface by observing a user’s interactions. These observations are critical because we learn directly from the user what we can do to improve the design of the interface to better meet the user’s needs.

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February 19th, 2014

UX and Agile: Can They Work Together?

by: Lashanda Hodge

I recently worked on a project to transform a paper based system into a user-friendly case management database.  It was my first experience in a project that truly practiced agile, as the development team was using an agile development methodology called Scrum.  The project team was collocated; there were fixed sprints and fixed iteration lengths, a sprint backlog, daily stand ups, 5 whys, iteration planning and tons of other agile activities and practices.

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February 13th, 2014

Toyota’s Improved Build and Price UI

by: Thai Lam

The very first car I bought back in 1997 was a Toyota Camry Le, which was purchased right off the lot. There were not build and price car websites back then as I can recall, but over the past year the ability for a potential car buyer to select their vehicle, choose their model, and customize their options has proliferated to all car websites (both auto and motorcycle). The forest green Toyota Camry Le lasted me about 13 years before I got rid of it and that level of reliability has always impressed me. Over the past 2 years as I’ve been looking for another car to replace not just that Camry but also my current 2003 Nissan 350z, I’ve trolled all the brand sites to shop and build out my possible future transport.

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December 10th, 2013

It All Adds Up: User Experience in the Financial Industry

by: John Judge

The increasing importance of User Experience has tremendously benefited the Financial Industry (not all industries have benefited from it) by giving customers the ability to be more in touch with their finances and make transactions on the go. The self-service model has decreased operational costs while yielding more ways to serve and interact with potential and existing customers.  The best part for consumers is that functionality and user experience for these institutions are becoming competitive advantages, so they’re tirelessly working to improve online transactions to make things easier and better for us.  The result is less time spent with our finances while still feeling very aware of them.

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November 20th, 2013

Mercedes Benz Goes Responsive- but Perhaps Not Enough

by: Douglas Brashear

Each morning, but particularly on Mondays, I’m treated to a host of mobile-related news goodness courtesy of the many websites and news outlets that track the mobile industry. While browsing this week’s roundup from Mobile Marketer, I found some interesting coverage of a Mercedes Benz executive who really gets the benefits of responsive design. Though I might question his use of the term “personalization” (what he’s talking about is screen “optimization,” with “personalization” meaning something very different to the UX world), it is refreshing to see a car company executive embracing multi-screen technology and understanding the benefits of adaptive, responsive experiences. 

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April 2014
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