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Vitaly Friedman

Creative Lead & EIC at Smashing Media AG

Vitaly loves beautiful content and does not give up easily. Born in Minsk, Belarus, he studied computer science and mathematics in Germany.
While writing algebra proofs and preparing for software engineering at nights in the kitchen, at the same time he discovered passion for typography, interface design and writing. After working as a freelance designer and developer for 6 years, he co-founded Smashing Magazine back in 2006, a leading online magazine for designers and developers. His curiosity drove him from interface design to front-end to performance optimization to accessibility and back to user experience over all the years.
Vitaly is the author, co-author and editor of all Smashing books, and a curator of all Smashing Conferences. He currently works as editor-in-chief and creative lead of Smashing Magazine and front-end/UX consultant in Europe and abroad, working with European Parliament, Haufe-Lexware, Axel-Springer and a few other companies.


Designing for the people

We often get entangled in conversations about the fine details of interface components on the web. How do we design that button? How do we choose the right icon? How do we find the best typographic pairing? As it turns out, most users won’t even notice if buttons change, or icons get replaced, or web fonts don’t load. Before we start designing pixels, we need to design to eliminate ambiguity, minimize errors and maximize clarity. We need to design keeping in mind all the different people using all the different devices in all kinds of environments — who just happen to land on our websites or use our apps.

In this talk, Vitaly Friedman, the creative lead of Smashing Magazine and a UX designer working on EU Parliament’s websites, will dive into design patterns for accessibility and inclusive design. We won’t be covering fundamental things such as accessible colour palettes or legible font sizes — instead, we’ll look into how to design by focusing on users’ priorities, and allowing universal access to content for everybody. We’ll explore how to use design KPIs to drive better design decisions, and what design patterns we can use to support accessibility, inclusive design and user privacy.


Fixing frustrating design patterns in 2023 (about 7 h)

  • November 23, 2022 at 10:00
  • Tallinn University, Uus-Sadama 5, Mare Atrium + ONLINE

You’ve seen them before. Confusing and frustrating design patterns that seem to be chasing you everywhere you go, from one website to another. Perhaps it’s a birthday selector dropdown that always starts in 2022, or a disabled submit button that never communicates what’s actually wrong or tooltips that — once opened — always cover the input field just when you need to correct a mistake. They are everywhere, and they are annoying, often tossing us from one dead-end to another, in something that seems like a well-orchestrated and poorly designed mousetrap.

In this hands-on workshop session, we’ll take a closer look at some frustrating design patterns and explore better alternatives, along with plenty of examples and checklists to keep in mind when building or designing one. We’ll look into birthday input, mega-drop-down-hover-menus, disabled “Continue” buttons, newsletter boxes showing on the first load, draconian password requirements, unusable sliders, poor inline validation, invisible tooltips, broken filters, back button UX, unusable error messages, and of course parallax and scrolljacking — along with identifying buses and fire hydrants.

We’ll be going through a series of group exercises, solving issues on spot, in groups, so make sure to have your coffee (and water) ready!

The insights are coming from usability tests and user research conducted by yours truly or our colleagues in the community. You’ll walk away with a packed toolbox of techniques that you’ll be able to apply to your projects right away.

You’ll learn:

  • Authentication UX, and common design struggles with OTP, 2FA, passphrases, password requirements and password recovery,
  • Complex mega-dropdown UX, with multi-level navigation and how to avoid hover tunnel breakages with hover menus,
  • Hamburger navigation UX, with common anti-patterns and solutions for speeding up users when accessing navigation on mobile,
  • Complex tables UX, with design patterns to make tables more usable on desktop and on mobile, how to display error messages, how to deal with batch actions, filters, and inline editing,
  • Carousel UX, with better ways to ensure visibility of content and encourage people to swipe through the carousel on mobile and on desktop.
  • Infinite scroll UX, with patterns to encourage discoverability of content while also allowing users to maintain state and continue navigating later,
  • Modals UX, and when they do make sense, with use-cases when they perform well, and when they perform poorly,
  • Filters UX, and how to avoid frozen UIs, auto-scrolling and blocking the UI, with design patterns for mobile and desktop,
  • Autocomplete UX, with patterns to avoid autocomplete blindness, keep autocomplete accessible, how to group and show available options,
  • Form design UX, from inline validation and disabled buttons to form layout in enterprise apps, tooltips, and filtering,
  • Error messages UX, for everything from birthday and sex questions to religion and expiry dates,
  • Language selector UX, with options to choose language, country, currency, and common frustrations around auto-redirects,
  • Dashboards and Data visualization UX, with a few patterns for better dashboard design, and how to choose the right charts to avoid confusing and unclear data visualization.
  • Designing for Touch, with general design consideration for mobile websites and applications, how to avoid rage clicks/taps and mistakes in our UIs,
  • Privacy UX and cookie prompts UX, with common patterns for better cookie prompts, how to design them and where to place them to avoid interruptions.

Workshop length – full day (approximately 7 h) with a lunch break.

Participation possible – online + offline.

Maximum participants at the workshop – unlimited.