As part of the Web Application Development with Vaadin university course held last winter by our very own Miki Olszewski, I had the pleasure of holding a 90 minute lecture on user interface and user experience design, with special focus on how to improve the usability of Vaadin applications.
While user interface design is probably familiar to everybody in the IT industry, User Experience design, or "UX" amongst friends, still needs some explaining. Personally, I like to describe it as a holistic approach to delivering a pleasant and efficient experience to the users of an application. This includes functional specifications, information architecture, interaction design and usability testing, in addition to user interface design.
New "UX" section in the wiki
Although we will be publishing all the lectures from the course on our YouTube channel, I figured it would be nice to also publish the material from the UX lecture as a series of articles in the Vaadin wiki. Since UX topics didn't really fit into any of the existing categories, we decided to open a new "UX" section in the wiki, dedicated to things like UI design, usability testing and theming.
So far, I've converted about a third of my lecture notes into wiki articles, mainly covering simple tips and techniques to improve usability, such as
- Choosing the right type of input field component
- Enabling and disabling buttons to indicate state
- Read-only vs. Disabled
- Distinguishing primary vs. secondary actions
As time permits, the rest will also be wikified, including topics that I didn't fit into the lecture itself. The lecture notes are really just the beginning, though: the Vaadin UX Team will be adding all kinds of UX-related material into the wiki, and we'll write a blog post here every once in a while to notify you of new articles.
So, grab a cup of coffee and read the UX wiki; delight your users, get a competitive advantage, and make the world (or at least your Vaadin application) a better place.
If there's some specific UX-related topic you would like us to cover, please let us know in the comments. Also feel free to comment the articles themselves.
Rolf Smeds works as a Designer at Vaadin, helping its customers design and implement awesome UIs that make you and your bosses happy with first-class user experience. Learn more about how Vaadin can help your business at https://vaadin.com/services.