Monthly Archives: February 2016

lacksonomy

Lacksonomy

Word: Lacksonomy

Definition: (Full disclosure, this is a made up word — but so worth defining) — The organic structure that emerges from an unwillingness to think about how to structure something.

Origin: This word was made up by foremost information architecture expert, Abby Covert. It emerged from her frustration with designers lack of emphasis on how products are organized.

Thoughts: I felt that this word was important to define because any UXer worth her salt should understand the importance of information architecture and how organization impacts all aspects of design and ultimately a product’s success.

Covert recently wrote an article on this very topic for the blog, A List Apartand states,

We need to teach people that information architecture (IA) decisions are just as important as the look and feel of technology stack choices.

PSA: Don’t ever fall into a lacksonomy and forget that there is always a better and more succinct way to organize information. Your users will thank you for this; I promise.

skeletonScreens

Skeleton Screens

Word: Skeleton Screens

Definition: A blank version of the page currently loading. Users generally see gray boxes where images will soon appear alongside gray lines denoting areas where text will load.

Thoughts: This is a common user experience technique is used as a page load distraction device. It is a common alternative to the loading spinners, beachballs of death, and agonizing progress bars.

By displaying skeleton content, it gives the user the illusion that things are happening immediately. When the user sees something, anything, appear on screen, she tends to be less impatient knowing that her command has been heard and action is taking place.

Screen Shot 2016-02-01 at 4.41.11 PM

Reference: I first came upon this term reading Luke Wroblewski‘s blog in reference to his mobile app Polar, which utilizes the technique.

Skeleton screens can be seen all over the web and on mobile. Pay attention next time you’re waiting for a Medium article to load or you’re opening up your LinkedIn app.