Design with a Punch: Comic Books and the Difference Between UX & UI

The best way to explain any complex topic is to think about how you would explain it to a 10-year-old. So we asked Brooks Bells’ Senior Experience Designer, A.J. Bikowski, to use this approach to tackle a question that we encounter a lot: What’s the difference between UX and UI?  Here’s his take.  Many people have […]

The post Design with a Punch: Comic Books and the Difference Between UX & UI appeared first on Brooks Bell.

The best way to explain any complex topic is to think about how you would explain it to a 10-year-old. So we asked Brooks Bells’ Senior Experience Designer, A.J. Bikowski, to use this approach to tackle a question that we encounter a lot: What’s the difference between UX and UI?  Here’s his take. 

Many people have trouble with the distinction between user experience (UX) and user interface (UI). When you need to get to the heart of something, I find it’s best to stick with an analogy that is personal to you. And as a guy who loves all things dorky, I immediately think of comic books.

For those of you who have never read a comic (first of all, shame on you), they have so much UI they practically KAPOW you in the face with it! The pages, the binding staples, the frames the artwork—the list goes on. These are all elements that make up a comic books’ UI.

But there are outside elements that make up an interface: things like the pages you have to turn, the words that are in each bubble or even how much light you need to read your comic book. Simply put, the user interface is made up of all the stuff you have to touch and interact with to accomplish what you’re trying to do (which is to read some killer comics, of course).

On the other hand, the UX, or the experience, is the feeling you get when you’re finally reading that amazing new comic. In the end, your behavior was influenced by the UI, but how you felt while doing it—that’s your UX.

This metaphor also applies when we consider the user journey in the digital realm.

Just like a comic story arc, your users have to follow a linear progression of tasks in order to accomplish their goal. In a comic book, the superhero’s goal is to defeat the bad guy; for your user, it may be purchasing a new product or signing up for a new service.

Throughout their journey, your user will need to interact with countless interfaces: the navigation, the buttons, radio toggles, form fields, font sizes, colors and more. All of these elements work to help your users along their way to accomplishing their goal.

But when a single UI is out of place or broken, what happens to your user journey? How does it make them feel? And will that feeling make them complete the task at hand, or will they abandon their mission?

Understanding that the difference between UI and UX is important, but it’s more important that you understand how these elements work together: every user will have to use your UI to accomplish the task at hand. How they feel while using your UI is critical to whether or not they’re successful, and whether they’re willing to come back for more. 

The post Design with a Punch: Comic Books and the Difference Between UX & UI appeared first on Brooks Bell.

Who’s Hiring in September?

Pumpkin spice is not the only thing in surplus this month, take a look at some job postings around experimentation and personalization. Here are our picks: Director, Digital Strategy – Universal Orlando is looking for a Director to “champion the consumer’s journey across channels to achieve business and campaign objectives and collaborates with leaders of […]

The post Who’s Hiring in September? appeared first on Brooks Bell.


Pumpkin spice is not the only thing in surplus this month, take a look at some job postings around experimentation and personalization.

Here are our picks:

Director, Digital Strategy – Universal Orlando is looking for a Director to “champion the consumer’s journey across channels to achieve business and campaign objectives and collaborates with leaders of non-digital channels to ideate and recommend campaign integration opportunities.”

Senior Web Experimentation Lead – The marketing experimentation team at esurance is looking for a leader to “embed an experimentation culture into the esurance DNA in San Francisco. This role will deliver increased cost savings, additional revenue and industry leading user experiences through the power of site testing technology and the scientific rigor of controlled experimentation.”

Senior User Experience & Small Business Project Manager –  Lenovo is seeking a candidate in Raleigh, NC to drive “UX projects to improve the online customer experience for Lenovo.com globally. The project manager will manage the identification, conception, definition, design, testing and implementation of UX projects with the goal of improving the customer experience, online engagement and purchase conversion.”

Manager of Digital Testing & Optimization, Analytics – Join the digital analytics and optimization team at L Brands in Reynoldsburg, Ohio and “lead digital testing and optimization efforts. This person will champion the advancement of testing and optimization capabilities and be viewed as the optimization evangelist for different brand partners.”

Digital Marketing Manager, Personalization – looking for an ambitious learner to lead a test & learn strategy through experimentation for our digital marketing channels. You will be the leader and subject matter expert of A/B testing with the goal of developing the strategy and approach on personalization.

E-Commerce & Digital Operations Manager – In New York, Zacharys Fine Wine is looking for a candidate to plan and execute “digital and website activities for retail including: content, merchandising, landing pages, site search, product recommendations, personalization, loyalty and other on-site conversion optimization tools.”

Sr. Integrated Marketing Manager – Web Analyst – Microsoft in Redmond, Washington is looking to fill a role to “work with the web lead to strategize, create, manage, execute and optimize web analytics. This includes building experimentation and personalization programs for Dynamics 365 and Power BI.”

Director, eCommerce – “Drive the strategy, development, implementation, and continued improvement of the eCommerce booking experience for Carnival Cruise Line” in Miami, Florida.  “Help lead the presentation across the eCommerce website and mobile app, supporting the integrated programs, promotions and initiatives across the organization.”

Sr Analyst A/B Testing & Site Optimization – Help “drive and support A/B and multivariate testing initiatives on the Homedepot.com site” in Atlanta, Georgia. “The Sr Analyst will be responsible for statistical design, analysis, and reporting aimed at the continued improvement of Homedepot.com onsite experience, with a focus on partnership for making data-driven decisions that drive improved conversion.”

User Experience (UX) Designer – Join the Brooks Bell’s UX team in Raleigh, North Carolina.  “The core function of this role is to research, concept, design, user test, and produce all files needed to execute A/B tests for our clients. This includes creating digital assets that are consistent with the development team’s standards and templates, as well as selecting images, designing layouts, and creating digital experiences that answer user issues outlined by our digital analytics and user research sessions.”

Trying to fill a position in testing and optimization? Send us your posting and we’ll include it on our next post!

The post Who’s Hiring in September? appeared first on Brooks Bell.

Who’s Hiring in August?

Here are our picks: Director, Digital Marketing, Estee Lauder – North America – “Develop, execute and manage best in class national and coop digital marketing programs to promote brand awareness and drive retail sales” in New York.  “Manage digital budget, timelines and drive creative production for asset development.” VP, Digital Technology – Total Wine & More […]

The post Who’s Hiring in August? appeared first on Brooks Bell.

Here are our picks:

Director, Digital Marketing, Estee Lauder – North America – “Develop, execute and manage best in class national and coop digital marketing programs to promote brand awareness and drive retail sales” in New York.  “Manage digital budget, timelines and drive creative production for asset development.”

VP, Digital Technology – Total Wine & More is looking for a candidate in Raleigh, North Carolina to “build the right technology strategy to support the Omni-channel efforts across the company.  This individual should have deep experience with high-traffic, content-rich retail websites sites and applications focused on bringing digital solutions to all store and customer interactions.”

Associate Director, Testing (Marketing Analytics) – “Help the World’s largest omnichannel retailer, Walmart eCommerce, drive optimal efficiency and effectiveness of our Marketing investment through continuous testing of optimization scenarios” in San Bruno.

Personalization & Site Testing Analyst – Levi Strauss & Company is looking for a candidate in San Francisco to “play a key role in accelerating the growth of Levi’s and Dockers eCommerce businesses via site testing & personalization.”

UX/UI Developer & Designer – Direct energy is looking for a “passionate and dynamic Mobile UX/UI Design & Develop professional who understands the intricacies of cross-browser development and knows how to build simple interfaces by writing maintainable CSS.”

Digital Marketing Manager, Personalization – Charlotte Russe is going through an “exciting digital transformation to become a best-in-class fast-fashion retailer.” They are looking for an “ambitious learner to lead a test and learn strategy through experimentation for their digital marketing channels” in San Francisco.

Senior Digital Optimization & Testing Analyst – Dignity Health is searching for a candidate in San Francisco to “improve the user experience through Personalization, A/B & Multivariate testing and inform experimentation strategy across the organization.”

Testing & Personalization Specialist, Analytics & Data – In New York, IBM is seeking a “champion of user-centric thinking to help shape marketing through A/B testing and personalization.”

Manager, Site Analytics and Optimization – “Manage the optimization of Eddie Bauer’s digital properties and support a testing and analysis-based culture to drive customer experience” and business goals in Bellevue, Washington.

Vice President, Finance – Brooks Bell is looking for someone to join the leadership team in Raleigh, North Carolina.  They will be responsible for financial strategy, accounting and contract negotiations with clients.

Help us, help you! Trying to fill a position in testing and optimization? Send us your posting and we’ll include it on our next post!

The post Who’s Hiring in August? appeared first on Brooks Bell.

User Testing a User Testing Tool

I realize the title of this article sounds unbelievably meta but stick with me. This was exactly what we had to do when reimagining the Loop11 participant interface used during usability studies run by our customers. The context you need for this artic…

I realize the title of this article sounds unbelievably meta but stick with me. This was exactly what we had to do when reimagining the Loop11 participant interface used during usability studies run by our customers. The context you need for this article is that Loop11 is a remote usability testing platform used by UX professionals around the world to test […]