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Latest Articles on 2015 by Our Team

Our expert team of designers and developers love what the do and enjoy sharing their knowledge with the world.

The story of the moving boxes - an example of the impact of UX on revenue

By Ildikó Tuck,

2015 design ux

This is a story about a first-hand experience I had recently with a service. I am not naming the service, the goal of this post isn’t to name-and-shame. Instead, I want to highlight an issue that happens on various websites all over the web. I am a user experience designer by trade. I am also a “regular user”, sometimes, though my experience with the web and UX usually makes me a bad usability test participant. Regardless, on with the story.

I am moving house in the near future, so I went online to look for moving companies. I found one that also offers re-usable boxes for free if you book your move with them! Sold. On to the booking process. Since I haven’t moved the current contents of my home before, I have no idea about the size of truck I need. Is the smallest truck big enough? I’ll select it to see what happens. To my relief, a help text appears as soon as I select the option. “Ideal if you are only moving a few large pieces of furniture”... Hmm, that’s not me, I’m moving the whole house. Finally I settle on the “ideal for 1-2 bedroom apartments” option. All good.

Choosing appropriate tools for the job

By Yuji Yokoo,

2015 development learning rails

In software development, it is easy for developers to sometimes choose tools that are not perfect for the job. This could be because maybe it made sense at that particular time, we were facing a tight deadline, we were not familiar enough with our tools, or a plethora of particular circumstances. It is always beneficial to consider alternatives.

Recently, we have encountered a few situations where using alternatives to our "default" tools improved our project code. The tools that were already in place did the job sufficiently well, but replacing them with simpler ones made more sense in these situations.

Extending Ruby with Extensions, FFI or Inline

By Yuji Yokoo,

2015 development rails

Ruby is a great programming language, but like all programming languages it is not suitable for everything. Sometimes it can make sense to use native libraries on the platform or C to improve the performance of slow Ruby code.

This post will explore calling C libraries and functions from Ruby. Although the methods mentioned in this post are not limited to just that, it is a very common use case.

Five UX tips for better mobile apps

By Ildikó Tuck,

2015 design learning mobile ux

We have reached the point where if your business doesn’t exist on mobile you are suffering serious disadvantages regardless of what you are selling or providing. Deciding between what to build is a topic that needs its own blog post. Discussing the native app, hybrid app vs mobile website/responsive website topic is a separate one that I wouldn’t like to get into today. For the purposes of this post I will assume that you have decided on the right solution for you and that happens to be a native app. What can you do to ensure its success?

Context is crucial to the success of any app. With the web it’s easy - people will be using it while sitting at a desk or at least sitting with a laptop somewhere. With mobile, it can be any number of places and situations. If you’re building an app for runners, think of what features they can and should access while running. For example, for a runner it’s very useful to know their heart rate, their speed, track their movements on a map, see how many calories they’ve burned and have the ability to share their progress with their peer group. All of this is great to have in a mobile app, but should you have it all present at once? Or does it make sense to have a big “Start/Stop” button that takes up the whole screen? If you go with the start/stop button, how large should it be? What’s the ideal size to prevent accidental taps while in motion, but at the same time prevent the runner from having to stop to activate it? Or, what about a GPS app for mountain climbers? They probably don't have available hands to fiddle with their device while trying to keep safe. What features are still useful, and how can you ensure that your app is actually usable in the real world?

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