Go beyond RWD with unified design



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Today’s web users are fanatically multi-screen users. They’ll add a product to their Amazon cart on a laptop at work and finish checking out on a smartphone in bed. Responsive web design (RWD) laid the foundation for designing multi-screen UX within the browser by creating a unified browsing experience. Unified design aims to build on that foundation by unifying the entire experience across devices and platforms.

We invited Cameron Moll to teach us 10 best practices for delivering a unified, consistent user experience regardless of where the digital experience begins, continues, and ends.

Watch Cameron’s full talk below, or read on for our short recap.


The role of intuition in UX

Cameron talked about his refrigerator’s confusing water dispenser. Most people who come to visit him have a preconceived notion of how the dispenser should operate, since it looks similar to a self-serve soda fountain. But when they use it in the same way, water sprays all over the ground.

People bring their intuition to interactions. Cameron defines intuition as it relates to user experience as: “The degree to which users successfully navigate new, unfamiliar experiences based on knowledge acquired in previous experiences.”

“People bring their intuition to interactions.”

When we as designers say that an experience is intuitive, we mean that the user can correctly guess how to use an interface based on those previous experiences with similar interfaces. Intuition, or lack thereof, is the reason water ends up on Cameron’s floor.

We’re at a point now where it’s common to interact with a product on your laptop earlier in the day and then return to that product from your smartphone later on.

The best interface is the one within the user’s reach—regardless of the medium or platform. When we get it right, our users can be successful no matter where they are or what device they’re using.

To learn Cameron’s 10 best practices for delivering a unified, consistent user experience, I encourage you to watch the video above!

Read more about responsive design

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Margaret Kelsey
Margaret Kelsey leads content marketing at Appcues. Before Appcues, she built content programs for InVision’s design community for 3.5 years and has roots in painting and PR. She’s a big fan of puns, Blackbird Donuts, and Oxford commas—probably in that order.

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