crystal beasley
gleam in her eye with whiteboard marker in hand

My 1/3-Life Crisis

My 1/3-Life Crisis

Today is my one-third life birthday. I’m 33 and 1/3 years old. I have a lot of great stories from this first chunk. So what’s next? Have you seen the documentary where Picasso paints from the other side of a glass? It’s a national treasure of Spain and for good...
Designing for COPPA

Designing for COPPA

If you’ve never heard of COPPA, consider yourself lucky… and now, warned. Chances are, if you’re finding this article via a search engine, you’re already in the thick of it. For that, I offer my consolations and a few lessons learned.
People DO Care About Little "p" Privacy

People DO Care About Little “p” Privacy

There’s a common perception that people don’t care about privacy. This is sort of right. Our research shows that most users are unaware of how extensively they’re being tracked by advertisers across the websites they visit. Even those that do know are unsure of what to do about it. They...
Latest entries
My Nerd Story

My Nerd Story

Hi, Paul Graham. My name is Crystal and I’ve been hacking for the past 29 years. I don’t know how you intended your comments but oh lordy, the internet has had a fun time speculating. I’ll leave that commentary to others but I do want to say I’m happy you brought up this debate about...
UX of a Wine Glass

UX of a Wine Glass

There’s a study that shows that people report that wine tastes better out of fancy crystal wine glass. Poor winemakers toil away in the mud, consulting the phases of the moon, to bottle a more excellent vintage than the last. Who knew all they need do is order up a box of Riedel stems.

How to Interview a Developer

I’m in the fortunate position of interviewing developers for the Identity team at Mozilla. I’m not sure how common it is for a designer to interview a developer, but that’s how we do. I queried Twitter “Designers: When interviewing a developer for your team, what are your best questions for finding out if you’ll work...
Code Talks and Designers Don't Speak the Language

Code Talks and Designers Don’t Speak the Language

In an exasperated voice “Why is it so hard to get designers in open source.” I hear this all the time. Well firstly, it depends on what sorts of skills you’re talking about. Just like in code, there are small tactical problems that are good first bugs. Even the simplest issue requires a knowledge of...
9 of 10 Sites Agree Requiring Log-in is Whack

9 of 10 Sites Agree Requiring Log-in is Whack

I’ve been thinking about log-in a lot lately. Yesterday it occurred to me to see what sites across the web were doing about it. Do they require log-in? Sure, almost all of these have user accounts, but can you use the core functionality of the site without one? The results were overwhelming, 87 of the...
How People *Think* Facebook Connect Log‑in and Log‑out Work

How People *Think* Facebook Connect Log‑in and Log‑out Work

  As part of my work on the Identity project at Mozilla, I’ve been taking a look into how the average person thinks about single sign-on. It’s a complex system, so not surprisingly, it’s most often misunderstood at a fundamental level. I ran an unmoderated user test with usertesting.com with five users. Their task was...
13 Signs Your Site Needs a UX Exorcism

13 Signs Your Site Needs a UX Exorcism

13 Signs Your UX Needs an Exorcism View more presentations from Crystal Beasley. Making simple, elegant solutions is HARD and often invisible. These are some of the most common things I hear when heading for a bad UX decision. And before any veteran designers go ripping me a new one, these are rules of thumb...
Simple: Getting users to pick strong, memorable passwords

Simple: Getting users to pick strong, memorable passwords

Simple (a.k.a. Bank Simple) is doing a hell of a job with their password strength indicator. Here’s a sneak peak into their interface. Thanks to Ryan Snyder for getting me a super early invite.
Chief eXperience Officer at Mozilla in 2012

Chief eXperience Officer at Mozilla in 2012

  Yes, this is a post about Mozilla, but you can generalize to any open-source software project. At every conference I hear the same refrain, “Why is design so hard in open source?” It’s so hard because *drumroll please* it’s not made a priority. None of the top decision-makers are designers. Period. The End. You...
Spaces shape creativity: Ziba project rooms

Spaces shape creativity: Ziba project rooms

I visited Ziba on a sunny, crisp fall day. (Yes, we do have them at least once a decade here in Portland.) One of their talented creative directors, Kai Halsinger, was generous enough to show me around the studio and talk about what makes it all work. Specifically on my mind was how their physical...
My Android tablet is Kenneth Parcell

My Android tablet is Kenneth Parcell

You know Kenneth. From 30 Rock. The one who’s well-meaning, goofy, clumsy, sweet and… charming? Or something not quite like that. His earnestness makes you want it all to work out for him, but you know it won’t. My Android tablet, the Samsung Galaxy Tab, is Kenneth. Its helpfulness is enraging. There’s a bright little...
UX of a Protest: Occupy Portland

UX of a Protest: Occupy Portland

There aren’t many things more viscerally experienced than a protest. It’s got all the right components: big crowds, a common purpose you’re passionate about, defiance of authority and the accompanying tinge of danger. For me, that danger was foremost in my mind. A funny but serious post went up on the weekly rag, The Portland...