Tallan Blog

Tallan’s Experts Share Their Knowledge on Technology, Trends and Solutions to Business Challenges

Category Archive for "User Experience"

2019’s Top 5: Most Viewed Blog Posts

Now that COVID-19 has completely derailed any strategy and subsequent plan to achieve Q1 goals and we are all continuing to adjust to the ‘new normal,’ we’re thrilled to present our curated list of Tallan’s top viewed blog posts of 2019.
It’s no surprise that the top two posts are both about developing in an Azure environment. Microsoft Azure was awarded a highly sought after contract from the U.S. Department of Defense (DOD) in October of last year. You can read the statement published by the DOD here.
Importantly noted in the statement, is that the DOD has not aligned with any one vendor or provider for their cloud strategy efforts, “Today the Department of Defense has taken another step forward in the implementation of our Cloud Strategy with the award of an enterprise general-purpose cloud contract to Microsoft.  This continues our…

Coding an Email Template

You’ve just been assigned to code an Email Template by your Project Manager, and you have no idea where to start. If you are put in this unfortunate position, you should first ask if you can simply use an already established email service, which includes support. If that proves to be fruitless, you will have to write your own. Writing email templates gets frustrating fast due to its incompatibility with CSS and the inconsistency between Email clients such as Gmail vs. Outlook.
CSS Incompatibility
The first step with dealing with CSS incompatibility is to break the cardinal rule of front-end development completely; you have to inline-style your CSS code. I can feel your contempt for me right now, but it’s the only way to guarantee your styling is rendered properly. 
Example:

Tables          
When creating the layout for the HTML code, you…

QA is the foundation for UX Evolvement

As a UX designer, I was tasked with a QA assignment that required me to change hats. QA needs direction, and it is essential that UX delivers designs that have a story in the form of journey maps and sitemaps so QA can create test cases with useful sample data for effective interactive testing. It is important to have visual workflows and explicit instructions that can be easily followed by developers, which in turn provides QA with a clear direction in testing efforts.
Walking through test cases as a QA with a UX background allowed me to see what most developers may not recognize including simple usability issues that may not have been thought of:

Visibility of system status
Match between system and the real world
User control and freedom
Consistency and standards
Error prevention
Recognition rather than recall
Flexibility and efficiency of use
Aesthetic and minimalist design
Help users…

How to Avoid ADA Litigation: 5 Ways to Improve Your Website Accessibility

Introduction
Lawsuits filed under Title III of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) related to web accessibility increased 177% from 2017 to 2018. Court decisions as recent as October 7, 2019 have left businesses open to more accessibility lawsuits. While public entities have had to comply with web accessibility for decades, the topic has quickly become more of a concern for private businesses than it has ever been. Unfortunately, not every private business has the resources to address these concerns. Luckily, there are some general principles and low-hanging fruit that you can address to make an effort to improve the accessibility of your website. Here are five of them:
Every business should strive to deliver a web experience that translates to any user. This includes users with visual impairment, deafness and hard-of-hearing, motor impairment, cognitive disabilities, and any other users of assistive technology (AT)….

Empathy, Applications, User Experience.

I LOVE psychology. I love psychology so much that I went out and paid thousands of dollars to get a nice nifty college degree in the subject of psychology. Believe it or not, I try to apply the principles learned in my psychology classes back in my scholarly days to my life today. Maybe all that studying was made for one moment; that moment perhaps being this very blog post…
One of my favorite psychology classes was cognitive psychology – this is the study of mental processes such as attention, language use, memory, perception, problem-solving, and creativity. To put it simply, it is the study of how people think. Within the cognitive psychology class the topic of “cognitive empathy” is discussed. Cognitive empathy is the capacity for a person to understand another’s perspective or mental state. Again, to be simplistic in…

Design System: Bringing Order to the Chaos

Systems are awesome. They are especially awesome when used in businesses, may it be in sales, marketing, finance, or even in creative departments. You see, systems if implemented properly; help create consistency, efficiencies, and standardizations for organizations to scale and become more agile.
When it comes to branding, marketing, and overall design what is keeping an organization on track to ensure that the colors, components, messaging and layouts stay consistent across teams, applications, interfaces and ultimately across time?
Welcome to the world of Design Systems.
A design system is a collection of reusable components, along with usage documentation that make-up the building blocks used to assemble a user interface (UI) and can be used across multiple applications, devices, screen sizes, and mediums.
Design systems simply create a unified experience across digital platforms and applications. They create a strong, extensible base through a modular approach using…

What are Microinteractions in UX Design?

The word microinteractions is likely unfamiliar if you’re not a UX designer but, you interact with them all the time in the physical world and digital world. They’re the notifications for new emails, the likes you give on Instagram posts and the visual cue your scrollbar gives you about your position on a page. You likely haven’t thought too much about these microinteractions which is exactly how they’re supposed to be.
Microinteractions are interactions with a single main task. They are made of 4 parts: a trigger, rules, feedback and loops & modes.

The trigger starts the microinteraction.
Rules determine what happens when the microinteraction is triggered.
Feedback lets users know what is happening such as error messages or a loading graphic.
Loops & modes determine the meta-rules of the interaction, such as how long it will take.

Microinteractions serve a multitude of purposes. Some are…

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User Experience…What’s That?

Last Thanksgiving, I had the opportunity to mingle with the family members that I rarely get to see which inevitably leads to the predictable small talk question of “so what are you up to?” It was around this time I had just started a position in the User Experience (UX) practice at Tallan and the concept of user experience was still fairly new to me and completely unknown to the person I was talking to.
Commence Small Talk:
“So, user experience huh? Tell me more about it”
“Well…it’s not easily defined”
“Give it a shot.”
You ever have that moment when you are explaining something, and you can tell you have lost the person on the other end of the conversation? This happens to me often, but in this moment, it happened quicker than usual as I attempted to use imagery of Apple, Amazon and…

How I Found Myself Involved in #WomenInSTEM

#WomenInSTEM isn’t a movement I ever expected to get involved in, even as recently as six months ago.  That said, I couldn’t be any happier that I’m part of a team that is taking on this subject head-on.
So – backing things up a bit – I joined Tallan in May of 2018.  I quickly noticed that our own office is, by a vast majority, male consultants.  This made it all the more exciting to learn about the scholarship program we put in place at the beginning of 2018 to promote the #WomenInSTEM movement.
Plans to keep the scholarship going in 2019 were in place before my arrival, but the team that put the program together wanted to do more, and I wanted to be a part of that.  I worked with some of our own #WomenInSTEM, alongside a few fantastic educators…

Chosen as an advocate for Women in STEM

Most of my life I have been the only female in the room in a male-dominated profession.  No matter what obstacles I faced, I persevered and found myself at a great company called Tallan. I was honored when Ben Fischbein, a colleague of mine here at Tallan, approached me and acknowledged my achievements as a female programmer.  He shared his findings about the scarcity of women in STEM while offering me the opportunity to present to the students of Conard High School about the importance of women in these fields during their Computer Science Education Week.
To open my presentation, I wanted to connect with the students about why there is a gender gap in STEM.  I had asked the students what they had thought an artist looked like and I featured a picture of a painter, a musician, a male…

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