“Design used to be the seasoning you’d sprinkle on for taste. Now it’s the flour you need at the start of the recipe.’’

— John Maeda, Designer and Technologist

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Privacy Policy

This Privacy policy was published on March 1st, 2020.

GDPR compliance

At UX GIRL we are committed to protect and respect your privacy in compliance with EU - General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) 2016/679, dated April 27th, 2016. This privacy statement explains when and why we collect personal information, how we use it, the conditions under which we may disclose it to others and how we keep it secure. This Privacy Policy applies to the use of our services, products and our sales, but also marketing and client contract fulfilment activities. It also applies to individuals seeking a job at UX GIRL.

About UX GIRL

UX GIRL is a design studio firm that specialises in research, strategy and design and offers clients software design services. Our company is headquartered in Warsaw, Poland and you can get in touch with us by writing to hello@uxgirl.com.

When we collect personal data about you
  • When you interact with us in person – through correspondence, by phone, by social media, or through our uxgirl.com (“Site”).
  • When we get personal information from other legitimate sources, such as third-party data aggregators, UX GIRL marketing partners, public sources or social networks. We only use this data if you have given your consent to them to share your personal data with others.
  • We may collect personal data if it is considered to be of legitimate interest and if this interest is not overridden by your privacy interests. We make sure an assessment is made, with an established mutual interest between you and UX GIRL.
  • When you are using our products.
Why we collect and use personal data

We collect and use personal data mainly to perform direct sales, direct marketing, and customer service. We also collect data about partners and persons seeking a job or working in our company. We may use your information for the following purposes:

  • Send you marketing communications which you have requested. These may include information about our services, products, events, activities, and promotions of our partners. This communication is subscription based and requires your consent.
  • Send you information about the services and products that you have purchased from us.
  • Perform direct sales activities in cases where legitimate and mutual interest is established.
  • Provide you content and venue details on a webinar or event you signed up for.
  • Reply to a ‘Contact me’ or other web forms you have completed on our Site (e.g., to download an ebook).
  • Follow up on incoming requests (client support, emails, chats, or phone calls).
  • Perform contractual obligations such as invoices, reminders, and similar. The contract may be with UX GIRL directly or with a UX GIRL partner.
  • Notify you of any disruptions to our services.
  • Contact you to conduct surveys about your opinion on our services and products.
  • When we do a business deal or negotiate a business deal, involving sale or transfer of all or a part of our business or assets. These deals can include any merger, financing, acquisition, or bankruptcy transaction or proceeding.
  • Process a job application.
  • To comply with laws.
  • To respond to lawful requests and legal process.
  • To protect the rights and property of UX GIRL, our agents, customers, and others. Includes enforcing our agreements, policies, and terms of use.
  • In an emergency. Includes protecting the safety of our employees, our customers, or any person.
Type of personal data collected

We collect your email, full name and company’s name, but in addition, we can also collect phone numbers. We may also collect feedback, comments and questions received from you in service-related communication and activities, such as meetings, phone calls, chats, documents, and emails.

If you apply for a job at UX GIRL, we collect the data you provide during the application process. UX GIRL does not collect or process any particular categories of personal data, such as unique public identifiers or sensitive personal data.

Information we collect automatically

We automatically log information about you and your computer. For example, when visiting uxgirl.com, we log ‎your computer operating system type,‎ browser type,‎ browser language,‎ pages you viewed,‎ how long you spent on a page,‎ access times,‎ internet protocol (IP) address and information about your actions on our Site.

The use of cookies and web beacons

We may log information using "cookies." Cookies are small data files stored on your hard drive by a website. Cookies help us make our Site and your visit better.

We may log information using digital images called web beacons on our Site or in our emails.

This information is used to make our Site work more efficiently, as well as to provide business and marketing information to the owners of the Site, and to gather such personal data as browser type and operating system, referring page, path through site, domain of ISP, etc. for the purposes of understanding how visitors use our Site. Cookies and similar technologies help us tailor our Site to your personal needs, as well as to detect and prevent security threats and abuse. If used alone, cookies and web beacons do not personally identify you.

How long we keep your data

We store personal data for as long as we find it necessary to fulfil the purpose for which the personal data was collected, while also considering our need to answer your queries or resolve possible problems. This helps us to comply with legal requirements under applicable laws, to attend to any legal claims/complaints, and for safeguarding purposes.

This means that we may retain your personal data for a reasonable period after your last interaction with us. When the personal data that we have collected is no longer required, we will delete it securely. We may process data for statistical purposes, but in such cases, data will be anonymised.

Your rights to your personal data

You have the following rights concerning your personal data:

  • The right to request a copy of your personal data that UX GIRL holds about you.
  • The right to request that UX GIRL correct your personal data if inaccurate or out of date.
  • The right to request that your personal data is deleted when it is no longer necessary for UX GIRL to retain such data.
  • The right to withdraw any consent to personal data processing at any time. For example, your consent to receive digital marketing messages. If you want to withdraw your consent for digital marketing messages, please make use of the link to manage your subscriptions included in our communication.
  • The right to request that UX GIRL provides you with your personal data.
  • The right to request a restriction on further data processing, in case there is a dispute about the accuracy or processing of your personal data.
  • The right to object to the processing of personal data, in case data processing has been based on legitimate interest and/or direct marketing.

Any query about your privacy rights should be sent to hello@uxgirl.com.

Hotjar’s privacy policy

We use Hotjar in order to better understand our users’ needs and to optimize this service and experience. Hotjar is a technology service that helps us better understand our users experience (e.g. how much time they spend on which pages, which links they choose to click, what users do and don’t like, etc.) and this enables us to build and maintain our service with user feedback. Hotjar uses cookies and other technologies to collect data on our users’ behavior and their devices (in particular device's IP address (captured and stored only in anonymized form), device screen size, device type (unique device identifiers), browser information, geographic location (country only), preferred language used to display our website). Hotjar stores this information in a pseudonymized user profile. Neither Hotjar nor we will ever use this information to identify individual users or to match it with further data on an individual user. For further details, please see Hotjar’s privacy policy by clicking on this link.

You can opt-out to the creation of a user profile, Hotjar’s storing of data about your usage of our site and Hotjar’s use of tracking cookies on other websites by following this opt-out link.

Sharethis’s privacy policy

We use Sharethis to enable our users to share our content on social media. Sharethis lets us collects information about the number of shares of our posts. For further details, please see Sharethis’s privacy policy by clicking on this link.

You can opt-out of Sharethis collecting data about you by following this opt-out link.

Changes to this Privacy Policy

UX GIRL reserves the right to amend this privacy policy at any time. The latest version will always be found on our Site. We encourage you to check this page occasionally to ensure that you are happy with any changes.

If we make changes that significantly alter our privacy practices, we will notify you by email or post a notice on our Site before the change takes effect.

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Innovation

AI Demystified: Breaking Down the Basics

WSTAW

Welcome to the era of Artificial Intelligence, a revolutionary field that is reshaping the world as we know it. AI, once relegated to the realm of science fiction, has now become an integral part of our daily lives, impacting everything from our smartphones to the way we interact with businesses. In this article, we will explore the fundamental concepts of AI, its immense potential, and the exciting opportunities it offers, while also considering its challenges and possible threats.

What is AI?

Artificial Intelligence, or AI, is the science of creating intelligent machines that can mimic human intelligence and perform tasks that typically require human cognitive abilities. These tasks encompass a wide range of activities, from understanding natural language, decision-making, and problem-solving to recognizing patterns in data, and even driving autonomous vehicles. AI systems are designed to learn, reason, and adapt based on the data they receive, allowing them to make predictions and take actions. Thus based on vast amounts of information, algorithms adapt their behavior accordingly, making AI systems invaluable tools for numerous industries.

We can distinguish many different branches in the AI industry, among which the most popular currently include:

Natural Language Processing (NLP): NLP focuses on enabling machines to understand, interpret, and generate human language. It powers applications like chatbots, language translation, sentiment analysis, and text summarization. Advanced language models, such as GPT-4, have made significant strides in this field, allowing for more sophisticated language understanding and generation.

Computer Vision: Computer vision involves teaching machines to interpret and understand visual information from images and videos. It finds applications in facial recognition, object detection, autonomous vehicles, medical imaging, and augmented reality. Deep learning techniques like Convolutional Neural Networks (CNNs) have been crucial in advancing computer vision capabilities.

Machine Learning: Machine learning is a broader field that encompasses algorithms and techniques enabling systems to learn and improve from data without explicit programming. Supervised learning, unsupervised learning, and reinforcement learning are common paradigms within machine learning. It is the backbone of many AI applications, including recommendation systems, fraud detection, and predictive analytics.

Deep Learning: Deep learning is a subset of machine learning that uses artificial neural networks to model and solve complex problems. It excels in handling large amounts of data and is responsible for significant breakthroughs in image and speech recognition, natural language processing, and game playing (e.g., AlphaGo).

Reinforcement Learning: Reinforcement learning is a subset of machine learning that focuses on training agents to make decisions in an environment to achieve specific goals. It is instrumental in developing AI systems capable of playing games, optimizing processes, and controlling robots.

Robotics and Automation: AI-driven robots are becoming more prevalent across various industries, from manufacturing and logistics to healthcare and household assistance. These robots use AI algorithms to perceive their environment, plan actions, and perform tasks autonomously.

Generative Models: Generative models, particularly Generative Adversarial Networks (GANs) and Variational Autoencoders (VAEs), can create new content based on existing data. They have been used for image synthesis, video generation, and even creating realistic AI-generated artwork and music. In recent weeks, popular tools like Midjourney, Photoshop, and Framer AI have been leveraging generative AI to provide their users with features that were once considered abstract just a few months ago. Currently, these are among the fastest-growing algorithms in the industry.

Why should you be interested in AI and start learning it?

The relevance of AI has never been more apparent than in today's fast-paced world. By understanding AI, we unlock the potential to develop cutting-edge solutions to complex problems, leading to technological advancements that can improve our quality of life. As AI permeates various industries, learning about it becomes a strategic advantage for individuals and businesses alike. The recent months have, in many cases, exceeded our expectations. People have seen that the potential of AI tools can be accessible to everyone, and the content being generated is already so realistic and complex that it can mimic (and in many cases, even enhance) human creativity. 

Given how AI is growing quickly and finding new uses, it's clear that AI skills are in high demand today. The increasing number of job opportunities in fields such as data science, robotics, and AI research and more and more interest in AI tools by most of the big companies and start-ups should be the best proof.

Those who are willing to learn, collaborate with AI, and embrace the AI revolution with an open mind will emerge victorious. Those who neglect these opportunities will inevitably fall behind.

The Benefits of AI

The benefits of AI are immense and wide-ranging, promising a transformative impact on society. One of the most significant advantages is enhanced efficiency and productivity. AI-powered systems can handle repetitive tasks at an unprecedented speed and accuracy, liberating human resources for more creative and strategic endeavors.

Additionally, AI has revolutionized various sectors, such as healthcare. With AI-driven diagnostics and personalized treatment plans, medical professionals can make more accurate and timely decisions, potentially saving countless lives. In agriculture, AI helps optimize crop yields and monitor livestock health, contributing to sustainable and efficient food production.

Moreover, AI has vastly improved user experiences across various industries. Virtual assistants like Siri and Alexa have become our helpful companions, providing us with useful information and managing our daily tasks. AI-driven recommendation systems in online shopping platforms, music streaming services, and video content providers cater to our preferences, making our lives more convenient and enjoyable.

Both companies and individuals are now using AI-based tools in their daily lives. From well-known ones like ChatGPT and MidJourney to tools such as Copilot, Jasper, copy.ai, Adobe Firefly, and a variety of specialized plugins and enhancements that enable more effective business management, time management, social media content creation, and much more.

The Threats of AI

While AI presents numerous benefits, we must also be mindful of the potential risks and challenges it brings. One of the most significant concerns is job displacement. As AI automates tasks previously performed by humans, certain jobs might become obsolete, leading to job insecurity for certain professions. However, it is essential to remember that AI also creates new job opportunities in related fields, requiring a skilled workforce to develop and manage AI systems.

Another critical aspect to address is AI ethics. As AI systems become increasingly sophisticated, they may face ethical dilemmas, especially in areas like autonomous vehicles and healthcare. Striking the right balance between AI autonomy and human control is crucial to ensure safety and accountability. 

Furthermore, there are concerns about data privacy and security. AI systems rely heavily on data for training and decision-making, raising the risk of potential data breaches or misuse. It is essential to develop robust data protection mechanisms and ensure responsible AI usage to safeguard individual privacy and prevent unauthorized access.

We must also remember that many publicly available AI tools still face several limitations, such as social biases, hallucinations, and adversarial prompts. It's important to be aware that not everything provided by, for instance, ChatGPT, should be taken as absolute truth. However, companies are continually working to improve and fine-tune their models. The latest language model from OpenAI, known as GPT-4, is claimed to be 82% less likely to respond to requests for prohibited content and 40% more likely to provide fact-based answers compared to GPT-3.5.

Nevertheless, it's essential to remember that these are merely tools in our hands. How we use them still depends entirely on us. Staying informed and aware is valuable, as the revolution doesn't happen overnight; it's a lengthy and error-prone process.

Let's take a moment to dive a little deeper and examine three concepts without which our current AI conversation would be meaningless…

Machine Learning: The Core of AI

At the heart of AI lies Machine Learning (ML), a subset of AI that empowers machines to learn from data without explicit programming. ML algorithms use statistical techniques to identify patterns in data, enabling them to make predictions or decisions based on new information. This ability to learn and improve with experience is what sets ML apart and makes it a powerful tool in various applications.

Prompt Engineering: Igniting Creativity in AI

Prompt engineering is a fascinating aspect of AI that involves crafting effective instructions or queries to direct AI models' output. By providing appropriate prompts, developers can influence the content, style, or tone of AI-generated outputs. This technique has been particularly instrumental in the development of Generative AI.

Generative AI: Fostering Creativity

Generative AI is a branch of AI that deals with machines' capability to create new content, such as images, music, text, and more.

In simpler terms, Generative AI is precisely the branch that has recently gained immense popularity thanks to tools like ChatGPT, MidJourney, DALL-E, or Jasper. As the name suggests, it's generative, meaning it can generate (or just create) new content based on specific queries, known as prompts.

But how is this even possible? In a nutshell, by learning patterns from a vast amount of data (such as existing articles, research papers, images, and more), the algorithm creates new content based on these patterns. Importantly, even though we "feed" the algorithm with certain content (pre-trained data sets), it doesn't mean we'll get copies or similar replicas of the input. The algorithm, using learned transformations, can iteratively generate genuinely new things. It's all powered by deep neural networks, but the exact workings and why the algorithm produces a specific response are not obvious, even to the creators of these neural networks. You input the data, and run the algorithm, but what happens inside the network remains a puzzle.

ChatGPT - What's All the Buzz About?

Imagine having a super-smart assistant, like a virtual wordsmith, at your fingertips, ready to help you create captivating content and answer your queries. That's precisely what ChatGPT is!

ChatGPT, developed by the American company OpenAI, is a content generator that relies on a large language model called GPT (currently in version 3.5 or, paid GPT-4). It's a bot with which you can communicate using natural language. This tool over 50 different languages, capable of answering questions, translating documents into various languages, conducting proofreading and language editing of texts, summarizing and analyzing scientific papers, suggesting solutions to diverse problems, crafting essays, scripts, debugging programming code, and searching through databases. In the paid version of the tool, you even have the ability to work with images, allowing you to upload an image as input and, for example, expect its analysis.

What's crucial is that the paid version of ChatGPT (GPT-4) now has (or, compared to the competition, is just getting) internet access. This means it can now browse the internet to provide you with current and authoritative information, complete with direct links to sources. It's no longer confined to data from before September 2021. Additionally, we can utilize various plugins and integrations, such as speech recognition (Whisper) and complex data calculations and analysis (Wolfram Alpha), making the tool even more powerful. Currently, there are over 900 plugins available!

Recently, ChatGPT also received an update that enables the ability to converse with the chatbot using voice commands. ChatGPT, GPT-3.5, and GPT-4 will be able to comprehend user questions and respond using one of five distinct voices.

Now, you might wonder why you should use ChatGPT. The answer is simple: it saves you time and boosts your productivity. Writing high-quality content can be time-consuming, and not everyone has the expertise to craft captivating texts. ChatGPT eliminates that hurdle, offering instant assistance whenever you need it. Furthermore, it helps overcome writer's block, as it can spark new ideas and inspire creativity. 

In short, ChatGPT can help us with a range of tasks, including:

  • Brainstorming
  • Exploring various options for what we want to do
  • Providing suggestions regarding different approaches, for example, how to do something on iOS or Android
  • Fueling creativity: X ideas for headlines, X ideas for navigation in the design industry, and so on…
  • Writing meeting summaries
  • Preparing transcriptions
  • Making analyses
  • Sprint management
  • Customer service
  • Delivering corporate wiki - uploading documentation to the AI model and using queries to direct to specific places, like where the button component is located
  • And much more!

Here are a few tips on how to effectively "converse" with Chat GPT (or any similar tool) to get the best possible responses:

  • Write simple and uncomplicated sentences
  • Break down sentences into shorter and more precise ones
  • Describe the context of your problem in detail
  • Start with the general idea and ask follow-up questions to refine your queries based on the response you receive
  • Speak as if you were talking to a 5-year-old

What is a noteworthy alternative to Chat GPT?

As you might imagine, the competition is not resting, and the market is flooded with a multitude of tools that utilize GPT models and more.

Currently, the two most popular tools, operating similarly to ChatGPT, are:

  • Bing - Microsoft's chatbot that uses the same GPT model as ChatGPT, but integrates it with the Bing search engine. This means that it can access the internet by default and provide you with relevant information, sources, and suggestions. You can also change the tone of the chatbot to be more creative, more precise, or balanced;
  • Bard - Google's chatbot that uses a combination of two language models: LaMDA and PaLM. LaMDA is designed for dialogue applications and PaLM is good at math and logic. Google Bard can also access the internet by default and display photos in the results. You can also export the results to Gmail or Google Docs, or modify them without typing. Google Bard is free and available for anyone to use.

The best chatbot for you depends on your needs and preferences. You might want to try them all and see which one suits you better. They are all amazing examples of how AI can help us communicate, create, and learn.

Check out our other

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5 min

Magdalena Ostoja-Chyżyńska: Shaping UX GIRL Future in AI and Web3

Magdalena Ostoja-Chyżyńska, our esteemed CEO, recently engaged in an enlightening interview with BlockyDevs. The conversation delved into the intricacies of the Computer Science industry, our meticulous approach to team building, and our forward-thinking initiatives in web3 and artificial intelligence.

Journey into the Future of Technology:

Magdalena provided a comprehensive view of the operational intricacies propelling UX GIRL forward. From our discerning hiring practices to an unwavering commitment to crafting distinctive UX/UI projects, the interview unveils how UX GIRL aims to be at the forefront of future industry leadership.

Focus on Artificial Intelligence:

A focal point of our endeavours is Artificial Intelligence. Positioned to explore groundbreaking solutions, we are poised to redefine the landscape of technology and the Computer Science industry.

Magdalena extends her gratitude to our dedicated community for their steadfast support. She emphasises our readiness for an exciting journey into the future, aligning with the shared vision of our valued supporters.

Read Magdalena's Full Interview:

For a deeper understanding of Magdalena's journey—from a computer science student to leading the innovative team at UX GIRL—please refer to the full interview. This narrative is characterised by passion, continuous learning, and an unwavering commitment to excellence in user experience.

Adapting to the Future Landscape:

As discussed in the interview, the integration of AI and web3 is fundamentally reshaping the design landscape. Magdalena sheds light on UX GIRL's strategic adaptation, recognizing that this integration is pivotal to shaping future user experiences.

AI has the potential to revolutionise the way we approach design...

For a more in-depth exploration of this transformative shift and UX GIRL's strategic direction, please refer to the interview.

Collaboration Fuels Innovation:

Magdalena underscores UX GIRL's distinctive approach to pairing senior and junior designers. It extends beyond optimising project outcomes; it's about mutual growth. As articulated in collaboration with BlockyDevs:

We introduce two main methods: pairing a junior or mid-level designer with a senior designer... Alternatively, we assemble teams with a mix of skills and experience levels.

This approach not only optimises project outcomes and budgets but also yields collaboration-fueled results that outperform single-designer projects. For a detailed exploration of this innovative approach, please refer to the interview.

In the image, there is a depiction of the subject of the article described below.
5 min

Transitioning from Interest to Profession: The Journey to UX Design

"As the demand for digital products increases, so does the need for UX." - Magdalena Ostoja-Chyżyńska's words encapsulate the dynamic nature of today's IT market. In a conversation with Magdalena Ostoja-Chyżyńska, the founder and CEO of UX GIRL, we delved into the intricacies of this fascinating field.

The Path to UX: Igniting the Passion

Magdalena reveals that she took her first steps in web design as a child, inspired by her brother. It was during those formative years that her passion for user interface design ignited. Her choice of academic path, studying computer science, and involvement in the "Human-Computer Interaction" research group directed her towards UX Design.

The Evolution of UX in the IT Space

Over the past 10 years, we've witnessed a revolution in how UX is perceived in the IT industry. Magdalena mentions that previously, few emphasized user needs. Today, thanks to methodological advancements and increased understanding, UX plays a pivotal role in the digital product creation process.

Key Competencies of a UX Designer

Magdalena emphasizes that a good UX Designer should possess curiosity, analytical thinking, and interpersonal skills. There isn't a single path to becoming a UX Designer, but practice and gaining experience are crucial.

The Role of UX GIRL in the Market

Magdalena's company, UX GIRL, responds to the growing demand for UX specialists. She notes that the sector is evolving rapidly in tandem with the increasing demand for digital products.

Challenges and Prospects for Women in IT

Most of Magdalena's colleagues are women, reflecting the changing perception of women in IT. Studies show that women are appreciated for their meticulousness and dedication to their work.

Embarking on the UX Adventure

For those looking to enter the world of UX, Magdalena advises making a decision and consistently pursuing it. Practice, volunteering for digital projects, and finding a mentor are key to development in this field.

Through our interview with Magdalena Ostoja-Chyżyńska, we discover that the world of UX is not just about interfaces; it's also about passion, hard work, and continuous improvement. It's hopeful that inspiring stories like hers will attract more talent to this dynamic field.

For specifics please refer to the full interview.

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5 min

The Evolution of the Blinking Cursor: Navigating the Challenge of Multiple Cursors in Design

The digital environment is constantly changing. Design evolves and adapts to new needs and new users. However, some solutions do not go out of fashion. People from all generations know them and changing them could introduce chaos or at least frustration.

All of you know it very well and see it every day while typing on any of your devices. It helps you by indicating the spot for your future text and does follow new letters as you type. It also specifies the location in the text where you want to paste something that you previously copied. You might have seen it as an underscore or a block but usually, it takes the form of a blinking vertical line. As we found out while researching for this article - it also has a lot of names

  • caret
  • blinking cursor
  • text cursor
  • text insertion point

Where did the blinking cursor even come from?

In the last century, along with technological development, the possibility of creating and editing texts on the first computers appeared. However, writers struggled with the problem of the lack of a quick and intuitive possibility of changing or removing a selected fragment of the text.

Charles Kiesling was one of the engineers interested in advancing the capabilities of computers in the 1950s. He worked on improving the logic circuitry of computers such as the IBM 650. In 1967, Kiesling filed a patent for a new typing solution - a blinking cursor. However, this solution became widely known and used in 1977 with the premiere of Apple II and a year later with the premiere of the first commercially popular word processor WordStar.

Today, anyone who has had a computer in their hands at least once knows what a cursor means. Designers and developers working on products and adding new features can’t disregard  solutions users are already used to.

So what should we do if we need to point two spots at once?

We’ve recently asked ourselves this question for the first time. We came across a case that made us think about it while designing a tool similar to code creator. The user was supposed to add a few elements in the line, which together created a whole code. Each of the elements could have been selected from a code completion list that also had a search function. First caret: the user needed to be able to see the location of a new element added in the "code". Second caret: if the user wanted to search for an element, the caret must have appeared in the active textfield.

What now? Should we delete one cursor? Gray it out? How about leaving both of them and ignoring the problem? We’ve decided to check some popular apps - desktop and mobile and find out how they solve this problem.
Gmail on Mac - Adding emoji to a new email

One caret follows the text entered in the search box. The other indicates the place in the email where the selected emoji will appear. It's worth noticing that they are both blinking and have the same color.

Adding emoji to a new email. Illustration of the cursors' behavior.
Google Docs - Searching an element in the doc

In that case, the first cursor follows the text typed in the finder tool. The second one points to the last active text location. Both of the cursors have the same color, but just the one in the finder is blinking. The second cursor starts to blink again after closing the finder.

Searching an element in the google document. Illustration of the cursors' behavior.
iOS Notes - Adding emoji to the note

iPhone users can experience a double text cursor creating a new note on their phones. The cursors are very different from each other - they have different colors and only the one in the search box is blinking.

Adding emoji to the iOS note. Illustration of the cursors' behavior.
WhatsApp for Android - Adding emoji to the new message

In that case, we can see only one caret and it’s in a search box. The one in the textfield is invisible but the selected emoji appears in the place where a caret was active the last time.

Adding emoji to the new WhatsApp message. Illustration of the cursors' behavior.

Which one is the best?

After testing a few apps, it's time to summarize the pros and cons of each solution.

Visibility of both cursors at once

In our opinion, the user should always be able to see where the result of their action will appear. Making one of the carets invisible takes away some part of the user's control. So we stand for keeping both cursors visible to the user. What is important here is creating a hierarchy for them. So now let's take care of…

Colors

Let's pay attention to a good idea that appeared in one of the inspirations we found: the cursor that is not responsible for the main action on the screen is grayed out. To highlight the importance of the main cursor, we can also choose colors other than black. Blue for example will call attention to the active status of the textfield.

Blinking

Last but not least - blinking of the cursor. It is obvious that this function helps a lot in finding our current location in the text. But aren't two elements blinking on the screen too much? In our opinion, yes. In the case of a double cursor, we would definitely choose to animate only one of them, the main action one.

Conclusions

Adding a blinking cursor to the interfaces was undoubtedly necessary to facilitate many people's daily work. This invention has stood the test of time and is still widely used today. However, sometimes even the most reliable solutions need an adaptation to more complex features. Yet, as designers, we have to remember that if the user already knows the action of a component, we shouldn’t change it.

In our opinion, in this task, we should focus on designing the hierarchy of elements. We have the ability to work on the visibility, color, and movement of elements. This essential UX designer skill will keep the interface transparent and let the user stay in control. 

And you? How would you design a tool that requires two cursors? And as a user, have you noticed this problem in the apps you use?

Begin your design adventure now!
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