Lightbox: illuminating ideas by Astriata

insider insights

less is more

In place of our blog article highlights this month and in keeping with our theme of “less is more,” we’re using fewer words and sharing some short videos to watch, with tips for usability that are rooted in psychology.

Psychology, Design, and Usability: An Animation Series

Psychology, Design, and Usability: An Animation Series

From progressive disclosure to the serial positioning effect and Cowan’s theory, principles rooted in psychology can make a difference in your website’s usability. These six short animations explain how.

the trifecta


You’ve heard it before: your users want to get to the information quickly and efficiently. That means making tough decisions on what to prune from your navigation, your content, and the number of steps it takes to get to information. Consider usability testing to understand how your audience navigates through content and completes tasks on your website. You can use what you learn to guide your usability optimization.


A minimalist approach to design leads to a clean design that focuses on the most important elements. The simplicity of Google’s search page, which utilizes negative space, is just one example of how this approach can be successfully applied. Think about how negative space on your own website could keep users from feeling overwhelmed, create visual groupings that help chunk the information into smaller spaces, bring attention to an area of focus, and allow for a visual pause.


Page load speed not only affects usability but also represents an important factor in search engine optimization (SEO). To keep your pages from loading too slowly, consider an optimal hosting solution, reduce your image and media files, lower your number of redirects, enable browser caching, and use minify CSS. If you are using WordPress, consider a customize-developed theme, optimize your database, and remove any plug-ins you are not using.

mental memo from Aline

As summer winds down, I hope you have had a chance to take a break. We did just that with our blog and social media posts. I like to think of it as white space in design. It serves a purpose. It gives our eyes a place to rest and focus on the important things. It also gives us some space to take a step back and re-evaluate where we are. In this month’s newsletter, we’re sharing some resources that relate to this very theme: sometimes less is more.

Meanwhile, enjoy, stay well — and when it comes to usability, design, and technology, stay intentional.

Aline, Astriata CEO & Creative Director

cerebral matters

Curated resources that bring light to intriguing topics.

Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can’t Stop Talking
I just started reading this book and am eager to see Susan Cain’s perspective. Our society frequently values the extrovert, but the reality is: we need both. It’s a good thing that all of us have both tendencies.

Don’t Make Me Think – Key Learning Points for UX Design for the Web
Looking for some light summer reading? You can read the full book (and classic) Don’t Make Me Think by Steve Krug. But if you’re looking for the CliffNotes, this article breaks down the key learning points.

Do Less
This episode from one of our favorite podcasts, Hidden Brain, teaches us the benefits of keeping things simple. Plus, it reminds us that improving the user experience often involves removing extra steps—and, well, doing less.

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