“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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Research & Insights

How to find the best design agency? Useful tips

WSTAW

In today's digital landscape, the success of your company largely depends on the user experience (UX) of your website or application. In fact, it can be the make-or-break factor for your business. A well-designed and intuitive interface can keep users engaged and satisfied, while a poorly designed one can drive them away. This might seem obvious, but there's still a surprising number of digital products in the market that fail to fulfill their intended role. It's not just about aesthetics; it's about aligning your offerings with the needs of the users, ensuring that those who start using your product stay with you longer than just during a free trial period. In this article, we will show you how to find the UX design specialists who can help you achieve this goal and how your business can benefit from it all.

If you want to stay in the game, you must focus on delivering solutions that are not only useful and attractive but, above all, tailored to your target audience. Moreover, it's worth considering whether there's even a demand for your product in the market before investing significant time and money in realizing your grand vision. After all, you wouldn't want to channel resources into something destined to fail. It's valuable to have someone who will take care of the entire process, someone who will define our potential audience, plan how what we're creating should work, and be beneficial (both to you as the product owner and to the users, its consumers). We will show you how UX specialists and design agencies can perfectly fulfill this role. You will discover precisely how they can support your business grow and ensure that you reap the intended benefits.

You have 3 possible approaches at your disposal

  • You can create a dedicated department within your team responsible for research, analysis, and design solutions, or hire at least one person to be responsible for this
  • You can hire an external person, a freelancer, who will provide you with the appropriate solution
  • Finally, you can hire a design agency or software house, which will likely take a very comprehensive approach to the matter and propose a tailored solution

The first option generally makes a lot of sense when the solution you're creating is a long-term project, something that will require continuous monitoring, updating, and comprehensive care. Typically, large corporations, banks, or public institutions opt for this approach because they have the budget to permanently maintain an additional department or at least a person responsible for UX/UI. Furthermore, their product keeps growing and requires continuous testing, changes, and supervision. If you're not a corporation but a startup or a company that simply needs project help here and now, creating a UX department may not be the best choice. It's essential to keep in mind that establishing a dedicated department in your company, or even implementing a single individual to fill a UX role, is often a time-consuming process that can stretch over months or even years. Moreover, having a UX department also entails a dedicated career path for specialists, ensuring benefits and keeping their knowledge up to date in a rapidly changing market. As we're aware, competition never rests, and it's in our best interest to ensure we don't fall behind. Not every company has the resources to smoothly establish a new department without encountering obstacles.

A freelancer is often a good choice for a so-called quick task. This is also usually the cheapest option, but you must remember that it's a single individual. If you expect a comprehensive service, value your time, or your product is more than just a simple landing page, relying solely on a freelancer may not be the most suitable route to take.

In most cases, however, the best option will be the third approach, choosing to hire an external design agency. You don't have to immediately change your internal structures and commit to a permanent partnership, but at the same time, you can rely on professional support from not just one, but often many individuals whose knowledge and experience complement each other. An agency often has established internal processes, appropriate software, and resources that you sort of get "out of the box," and unlike a freelancer, they can deliver a complex product in a reasonable time frame.

In this article, we will focus on choosing the right design agency. As you can probably imagine, not all agencies are the same, the number of options can be overwhelming and discouraging, and in the end, you must come to an agreement with one of them. The one that will provide you with a solution that meets the expectations of all stakeholders.

What do you gain by hiring a design agency?

Before we share with you the recipe for finding a design agency that will contribute to the success of your product, you should understand the detailed benefits and services you can expect as part of your collaboration with such an agency.

Depending on your needs, you can choose an agency that specializes in a specific area within the overall design process. For example, you can request only a website audit or preliminary research to define the target audience and the actual needs of potential users. There are also many companies that focus on the visual aspect, i.e., UI (User Interface) design or creating your brand's entire identity.

However, most of these agencies typically offer a comprehensive range of services and provide a holistic design process, from conducting research to defining user journeys, designing both necessary functionalities and visual elements, usability testing, and even KPI (Key Performance Indicator) analysis.

Is a company that offers such a broad range of services trustworthy?

Absolutely, because it's usually not just one person but a team of individuals, each responsible for a different aspect of your project. By choosing a reputable agency, you gain access to a pool of experts and enthusiasts — people who specialize in delivering solutions that simply convert.

UX (User Experience) design firms have an in-depth understanding of your users. They achieve this through methods like analyzing the competition, studying quantitative and qualitative data, engaging with potential users, conducting workshops, and creating user profiles. With a profound understanding of the target audience, they can create user-focused designs and deliver experiences tailored to their needs. Furthermore, they make decisions based on data and ultimately create unique products tailored to your specific business, allowing you to stand out in the market. Your business objectives are equally important to UX designers. They act as a bridge between users, development teams, and stakeholders. On one hand, they know what customers want and expect. On the other hand, they collaborate with developers to achieve these goals while simultaneously improving the company's profitability.

In summary, when partnering with an agency, you can expect the following benefits:

Expertise and experience

A reputable agency boasts an extensive portfolio of successful projects, which serves as a testament to its experience. In general, agencies are well-prepared to handle complex projects right from the start. Their teams consist of multiple specialists who are poised to contribute from various angles to your project.

A well-organized design process

When working with various clients, representatives of project agencies understand what works in individual cases and can propose a process that not only delivers the final solution but also helps alleviate some of your company's resources. Furthermore, what an agency creates is not just mockups for developers to implement the product but also comprehensive documentation that can be utilized by different departments within your company. With well-defined objectives, values, and processes, we can prepare business presentations or even update the entire team's product knowledge. Additionally, along with the mockups, you receive a so-called design system or style guide that defines the individual elements of the product, enabling its easy maintenance and future development.

Save Time and Resources

By entrusting your design work to professionals, you free up your time and resources to focus on your core business activities.

Access to specialized tools

By working with an agency, your company can enjoy the benefits of using industry-specific tools like Figma or Miro without the need to purchase individual licenses. This not only saves your organization the cost of software licenses but also grants you access to the full potential of these powerful tools, enhancing your team's collaborative capabilities and productivity.

Efficient onboarding and swift turnaround

Unlike relying on a single individual where project progress could stall due to their absence, an agency ensures uninterrupted progress. Team members can seamlessly step in to maintain momentum, address any issues, and keep the project moving forward.

Transparent budget and timeline

In most cases, before you start cooperation, you will receive a general cost and estimated completion time. This transparent approach ensures that you possess a clear understanding of the budget and timeframe from the very beginning, enabling you to make well-informed decisions regarding your investment and confirming that the project harmonizes with your financial objectives.

Stay current with design trends

Design agencies are well-versed in the latest design trends and technologies, ensuring your project is up-to-date and competitive.

Defining the Direction

Lastly, if you're not entirely sure about your needs, what would work best for your product, or if you simply want to enhance your existing offerings, a project agency can guide you in the right direction. Drawing upon data and research, they can provide you with insights that shed new light on your product. Armed with a well-structured analysis, you can proceed to implement specific steps in alignment with your priorities.

How to choose the best design agency?

It's easy to imagine that after entering the right query into Google, you'll get dozens, if not hundreds, of matching results.

How do you navigate through it all and select the company that will deliver what you expect?

Of course, it's not straightforward, and in the end, it may depend a little on your luck. However, to significantly boost your chances, you can take the right steps to ensure that the company you choose meets your expectations.

What matters most isn't just the range of services offered or a portfolio filled with recognizable clients – the most crucial factor is the so-called 'match.' Every company is different, with its unique work culture and approach to the solution delivery process. You should find the one that aligns best with your approach and with whom you can communicate effectively.

Effective communication is key here. Of course, we can't downplay the importance of designers' experience and technical skills because the quality of the solutions they create ultimately depends on that. However, before diving into analysis, building flows, or creating prototypes, you should have a clear understanding of your mutual expectations and the way you'll work together. Nothing hampers a project like a lack of good communication!

Below, we present the key steps to consider in selecting the right design agency for your objectives.

Define your needs

Before you start your search, it's essential to have a clear understanding of your project goals and objectives. What do you want to achieve with your design project? Do you need a comprehensive end-to-end solution or maybe only some updates to your existing project? Do you need brand identity or visual resources? This clarity will help you communicate your requirements effectively and evaluate potential agencies.

Even if you don't have a complete grasp of your expectations, you likely have a vision of what you want to achieve, knowing your goals or priorities. These insights are valuable as they can further pinpoint the areas where you need assistance.

Prepare project brief

Now that you have a clear understanding of your expectations and goals, it's time to create a project brief, an indispensable tool for discussions with potential design agencies and a key component of the project's kick-off meeting. We will delve a bit deeper into this topic in the further part of the article.

Research and Shortlist

Start by conducting thorough research. Look for design agencies online, ask for recommendations from peers, and read reviews. Create a shortlist of agencies that align with your goals, have a strong portfolio, and a good reputation. Here, it's crucial to pay attention to the services a particular agency offers and what they specialize in. It's possible that the agency specializes exclusively in e-commerce solutions, while you may be in need of a mobile application for team management, for example. Often, this scope is directly described on the agency's website or can be inferred from their portfolio. However, if you have any doubts, you can always inquire about their scope and experience during an introductory conversation. Furthermore, it's worth considering the type of collaboration you expect, whether it's long-term or short-term. This information can be valuable for the agency and ultimately help narrow down your search.

Review Portfolios

A design agency's portfolio is like their resume. It showcases their past work and the quality of their designs. Review their portfolio to see if their style and expertise match your project's needs. Pay attention to the diversity of their work and their experience in your industry. And what is important - do not be impressed with their clients, look for what exact work they did and is it a quality one.

Check Client Testimonials

Testimonials and case studies can provide valuable insights into an agency's track record. Reach out to their past clients if possible to get direct feedback on their experience with the agency. Look for reviews on third-party websites like Clutch or DesignRush. You can also check out their LinkedIn profile. It will give you a better understanding of the agency's professionalism, communication, and results.

Meet the Team

A design agency is only as good as its team. Schedule a meeting or consultation with the agency to meet the designers and project managers who will be working on your project. Try to find out how they work and engage in a conversation with their product lead or head of design. Ensure that their expertise and communication style align with your expectations.

Ask about the design process

A good UX/UI design agency should have a clear process for working with clients. Ask about their process, including how they approach research, design, and testing. A well-defined process ensures that your project will be completed on time and to your satisfaction.

Check for Flexibility and Scalability

Consider whether the agency can adapt to your changing needs or future projects. A scalable agency can be a long-term partner for your design requirements, offering a consistent design language across different projects.

Evaluate their communication skills

Effective communication and collaboration are vital for a successful project. Ensure that the agency values open and transparent communication and is willing to collaborate with your team to achieve the best results.

Consider their pricing

Pricing is an important consideration when choosing a UX/UI design agency. Look for an agency that offers transparent pricing and is upfront about any additional costs.

Read the contract carefully

Before signing any agreement, read the contract carefully. Make sure it outlines the project scope, deliverables, timelines, and payment terms clearly. Seek legal advice if necessary to protect your interests.

Pay attention to red flags before hiring an agency...

In the process of hiring designers or design agencies, pay attention to signs that suggest they might not be the best fit. Look beyond their experience and online reviews; consider whether they show a genuine interest in your project by asking for data, research, and the possibility of conducting analyses. This commitment to understanding your project's goals is a positive sign. Conversely, if they rush into creating mockups without thorough inquiry, it could be a red flag.

Also, consider whether they approach each project uniquely or follow a standard pattern. Opting for a company that customizes their approach for each project can be beneficial.

Don't skip the project brief – it's your preparation for the kick-off meeting!

As mentioned earlier, preparing a project brief is one of the key steps to ensuring a successful start when collaborating with a design agency. It's safe to say it's one of the most crucial steps, as the UX designers' understanding of your needs largely depends on what you present to them. You don't have to have all the answers to every possible question, as you and the design team will work together to uncover solutions throughout the project. However, the more information you can provide at the beginning of the project, whether it's for the design team, researchers, auditors, or even branding experts, the better.

Your project brief might and often should include the following:

  • Defining the project's goals and expectations
  • Outlining the scope of work
  • Setting timelines and budget constraints
  • Providing all relevant materials your company possesses in the context of the project, such as brand guidelines, reports, previous work results (if applicable), and analysis findings
  • Clearly expressing any specific methodologies, technologies, or design principles you prefer, along with your questions and expectations.

A well-structured project brief serves as a roadmap for productive collaboration and ensures a successful project launch.

Remember, finding the right UX/UI design agency is not about settling for what's readily available - it's about investing time and effort into finding a partner who can bring your ideas to life in the most impactful way possible. So don't rush this decision; take the time needed to research, compare portfolios, read client testimonials, and have conversations with potential agencies. Your project deserves nothing less than the best fit for success.

Check out our other

articles

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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?

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