Emily Smith is an information architect and usability consultant for the web and Apple devices. She co-works with other web professionals in Greenville, SC and can be found online at emilysmith.cc.

Emily's articles

  1. Know the (iOS) Rules Before You Break Them

    The problem with iOS is that it makes everything possible, both the good and ugly. Apple has worked hard to create guidelines, but it’s rare to find an app that follows all of them! Take a look at these four frequent ways rules get broken and decide for yourself how much of a renegade you want to be.

  2. DesignFestival: The Fold Exists but Does it Matter?

    Digging around the web will unearth a heavy bias against the fold. “A rule of thumb that kills innovation.” “Used by people who don’t know what they’re talking about.” “A concept introduced by someone who is a moron.” “The fold is bogus.” “The fold is a myth.” “The fold is a silly thing that clients like to focus on.” “There is no fold.” There is even a web site called thereisnofold.com . This is not an issue that lacks for opinion. What is the fold and what do we know about it?

  3. The Fold Exists but Does it Matter?

    Before proclaiming the fold as a myth or misnomer, we should take a fair look at the research and controversy around it. See what you think and join the conversation!

  4. DesignFestival: Creating Meaningful Site Search by Challenging Assumptions

    The role of search in your site can be a hot topic. Sometimes there is pressure to make it a giant bandage to cover poor navigational structure, and other times it’s included just because “every site needs search.” Let’s look at three pervasive myths about search and two questions that will help us create a strategy unique to every site. Misconceptions About Search Myth #1: Site Visitors Prefer to Find Information With Search Researchers have worked to combat this myth and have found that site visitors’ behavior does not naturally trend toward search first, even when searchers know exactly what they’re looking for.

  5. Creating Meaningful Site Search by Challenging Assumptions

    Too often we stick a generic site search in the corner of our site as an afterthought, or we expect it to be a magic bullet that will solve our problems. Leverage search by dispelling three myths and asking critical questions that lead you to a fantastic strategy!

  6. DesignFesival: Creating a Marketing Strategy for Your UX Skills

    Do you ever have trouble selling your work to your colleagues or clients? Do people listen when you talk? Do people seek you out to ask for your opinion? Whether you’re working within your company or as an independent, the way you are personally perceived by others directly impacts the way your work is perceived.

  7. Creating a Marketing Strategy for Your UX Skills

    Even with all of the right technical skills, you can become sidelined unless you’re intentional about marketing your value to others. Learn to earn respect and create a career roadmap by asking four kinds of critical questions. It won’t be easy, but it will be worth it!

  8. User Interviews and Tests with Site Visitors

    Ditch mom’s advice and start talking to strangers! Follow this method to ask people who are using your web site right now to participate in a usability test or user interview. Improve your site and have fun doing it!

  9. An Introduction to Card Sorting

    Have you heard of card sorting but haven’t been sure what it’s all about? Check out the details in this primer and see if it might be a good fit for your next web endeavor!

  10. Preventing a Bloated Homepage

    After all these years, home page real estate is still a hot commodity. Instead of handing out plots to everybody in your company who wants one, learn to keep things in check with these three considerations.

  11. Creating Comfortable Usability Tests

    We’ve heard that usability tests are meant to test the product and not the person, but let’s not stop there. Consider these four basic ways to treat your participants right and run the best tests possible!

  12. The Sophistication of Simplicity

    A beautiful web site isn’t always elegant and a complex web site isn’t necessarily complicated. Learn how to tell the difference with four simple examples.

  13. Over-Designing the Web

    A building with an innovative but ill-planned design can be a huge headache! Spot the warning signs of an overly designed web site early before you’re stuck with it.