Abstract illustration of some devices
Abstract illustration of some devices
Abstract Illustrations https://icons8.com/illustrations/illustration/abstract-1281

I do quite a bit of mentoring with designers who are at the start of their journey as a designer. And I often get asked this question.

What should I include in my portfolio when I haven’t worked on many projects?

This is a question that is tough to answer when you’re starting. We all struggled with it at some stage. And the reason we struggled with it is we wanted to demonstrate our skills, but we hadn’t worked on many — if any — projects.

There are a few options you can take to grow your portfolio, such as the…


In the vast majority of apps, sign in & sign up screens are the first screens a user will experience, and this first impression will affect how users’ perceive the aesthetics, usability, and credibility of an app.

“Unfortunately, people do judge the book by its cover.” — Norman Nielsen Group

They are also largely forgotten about for most designers and developers, which generally means that the user experience for a large portion of people is plain awful when a user lands on these screens. …


More often than not, product design teams spend too little time enhancing their skills.

They get into a rut of always focusing on their product’s industry and never have time to look around at new technologies or trends. This is not a bad thing per se; it is just the way it is. They want to make their product better so they but all their energy into it.

But this approach introduces a big problem; the team can start to lack creativity and designers don’t get to flex their creative muscles. It can become mundane and boring. …


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Image for post

Too much time is often wasted when creating and testing landing pages. We as designers spend too much time making a landing page pretty before we test does the message resonate with our target users.

We open up Sketch, XD, or Figma and spend a lot of time thinking about our visual identity, but the content is often an afterthought. We fill the screen full of lorem ipsum and tell us ourselves that we’ll get back to that later. But the problem is words is what will convey our message to users. …


Focus states are an essential part of ensuring that a user interface can be navigated by a person not using a mouse. And ensuring that everyone has a positive user experience.

Simply put, a focus state highlights the current element which enables people to navigate and interact with a website using a keyboard or voice control software or technologies.

They are also largely forgotten about for most designers and developers, which generally means that the user experience for a large portion of people is plain awful when they interact with these user interfaces.

So to make the web a little better here are a few simple tips for improving the design of focus states in a user interface.

1- Know what components need a focus state

Any interactive component in your user interface needs a focus state. It is as simple as that. That might sound obvious. But why do we forget to add focus states for clickable list items or cards? Most of the time, we only create focus states for form elements. Things like icons, avatars, cards, list items, grid items, toggles, tooltips, sliders, along with all other interactive components, need a focus state. …


Two dog avatars on a zoom call.
Two dog avatars on a zoom call.
Two adorable doggos on Zoom. Photo by visuals on Unsplash

I’ve mentioned a few times now that as a UX designer, I regularly perform user testing. There are tons of user testing methods, but two I like to do are unmoderated and moderated usability testing from time to time.

I often run unmoderated sessions for the following benefits:

  • It is usually faster than a moderated session, and I can do other work while users are testing.
  • It more closely mimics user interaction of a product in “the wild”.
  • I can schedule it to suits a user’s timezone — no need to get up during the middle of the night.

There are a lot of limitations to unmoderated usability testing, so it is not ideal for every scenario. …


Dollar bills
Dollar bills
Who doesn’t like dollary-doos? https://unsplash.com/photos/H_KabGs8FMw

In my previous post, I shared two ways that you can raise awareness and promote UX in your company. One of the methods was to start talking about the ROI of UX Design and how it can make the company thrive.

Today, I’m going to share a simple case study about how a trivial user experience problem was costing us a small fortune in hidden costs each year if we chose not to fix it.

Just an FYI, I’ve simplified and changed the numbers for the sake of this case study. …


Change by design book
Change by design book
Photo by Krisztian Tabori on Unsplash

I joined Threefold over two years ago, and to say it was a completely different place in terms of designs awareness back then is an understatement.

You see, when I arrived, no one knew what design was, let alone the power it has to boost a company’s fortunes. To be brutally honest, a lot of people in the company thought it was a complete waste of time and money. “Paint by numbers” and “make it pretty” is all anyone thought designers could do. And UX design was not important at all.

How many companies have this mentality? Too many. That is how many and you know what it is not their fault either. There are too many designers with their heads in the clouds. All they care about is users and making them happy. Now, I’m not going to say that I don’t want users to be happy — of course, I do -, but not enough designers have empathy for the business and what it needs to survive. …


I have been designing apps — both Android and iOS — since 2012, and over the years, I’ve learned a thing or two about creating award-winning ones. I’ve turned 2-star mobile apps into 5-star apps that ranked number 1 on the Google Play Store.

Here are five articles that will help you improve the user experience of your mobile apps so that they provide beautiful experiences. You too, can improve the user experience of your apps. It won’t happen overnight, but enough small changes will lead to improving the UX of your mobile apps.

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From 2-star to 5-star apps

First up is an article I wrote in 2017, which tells the story of how we turned our 2-star apps into 5-star apps that ranked number 1 on both the App Store and Google Play Store. The moral of this story is always to be willing to learn from your users through user research and usability testing. And start focussing on providing the best user experience possible will lead to better ratings. Better ratings will mean more downloads. And more downloads will help boost revenues. …


A few months ago, I shared a simple usability template that I every day in our UX design process to perform more efficient and better user testing. You can access the user testing template here.

Since then, I’ve had quite a few people asking me “how do you write a user testing script?” so I’ve decided to share how I create a user testing script when I’m performing usability testing.

What is a user testing script?

Ok so before I share the script, I want to answer a simple question that some of you might have; “what is a user testing script?”.

A user testing script is a guide that will help you moderate more consistent and efficient user testing sessions. In a nutshell, it will guide you through the interview and prompt you to ask the right questions at the right time. A good script should answer the following…

About

Shane Doyle

Husband • Lead UX Designer • 🇮🇪🇪🇺 • shanedoyle.io • co-founder of getReviewr.com

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