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💥Design Brief #122: Designing a Mood Around Data, a Designer’s Shift to Product Manager, Surface Delight vs. Deep Delight, Tap to Dismiss, and UX of Interactive TV

Welcome to the 122nd edition of Design Brief – our weekly selection of news and tips from the design world.

Designing a Mood Around Data — a UX Case Study

Sodatone (acq by Warner Music Group) is a data analytics and visualization platform built to assist the music industry in discovering emerging talents. Joseph Kim describes what it was like to join Sodatone as its first designer. He believed that music listeners connect with artists on an emotional level, so artists shouldn’t be strictly represented by numbers. And he set quite a challenge before him - help users discover and understand an artist’s creative identity and impact in the music industry at-a-glance. How did it go? Read more


Reflections from a Designer Turned Product Manager: 6 Unexpected Differences

Ex-designer Suelyn Ju shares her reflections on transitioning to product management and how the two roles feel different on a day-to-day basis. A common reason designers consider switching to product management is to “get a seat at the table” to have more control over product strategy. “That is also true for me. Besides that, I’ve always found ‘why’ we’re building something as interesting as ‘how’” - says Ju. But on the other hand she also mentions that you no longer have the time to work in flow states, focus on detailed designs, or enjoy a flexible schedule. Which one turned out better eventually? Read more


Surface Delight Won’t Help You Build Better Products

Users’ experience of a product is influenced by their feelings. It’s a scientific fact. But does that mean that emotions are what designers layer on top of features when they’re done? According to Aarron Walter’s Hierarchy of User Needs, only when all the needs are met, including functionality, reliability, usability, and pleasure from using the product, a Deep Delight’ happens. And it is by no means equivalent with the ‘Surface Delight’ most designers get stuck on. Read more


Design Ethics and the Limits of the Ethical Designer

“It seems likely that the biggest challenges for our generation of technologists, designers included, will be ethical, not technical” - writes Curt Arledge, Senior User Experience Designer. The discussion about ethical design seems never-ending. The truth is, most of the decisions that influence a design are made long before designers get involved. In practice, the “design process” is almost always pre-constrained by a mountain of technical and commercial realities. So, designing responsible digital products requires understanding where designers fit in. Read more


Tap to Dismiss

Modals, dialogs, pop-ups, or whatever we want to call them, are a necessary evil for transient content, and designers need to build accessible escape hatches for users. Of course, there is no need to reinvent the wheel here: the interactive icon of the [x] symbol has now been used for decades by everyone across the world to move pesky pop-ups away from your desired content. But are they doing it right? Read more


The User Experience of Interactive TV

Netflix debuted a brand new interactive “choose your own adventure” film where users are active participants. Black Mirror’s Bandersnatch is a stand-alone film that puts users in control of how the story plays out. “The films are fun to interact with, and make users feel important - Melody Sabouri, UI/UX Designer shares her feedback on the usability of the product - Netflix is changing the digital viewing experience” - she says. Read more

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