Tim Berners-Lee said it best: “The power of the web is in its universality”. To make websites truly universal they must be accessible, ie: “that every person can perceive, understand, navigate, interact with, and contribute to the web.” Here are 10 tips to broaden the reach of your information, products and services by designing with everyone in mind: http://bit.ly/2uiIz5H
The last holdouts for the once glorious web-media format known as Flash now know how much longer they have to create their animations and videos. Adobe has announced that Flash will be end-of-lifed in 2020. For the last few years it was not a matter of ‘if,’ but ‘when.’
Flash made the web spectacular, and made YouTube video, which was originally delivered in Flash format, universally playable since virtually all browsers came with the Flash plugin installed. Prior to Flash, web video was a mishmash of formats, plugins and players — somewhat similar to the situation we have today. But video delivered in Flash could be viewed everywhere, opening the door for video to become the content staple it has become. That is, until the iPhone launched.
The iPhone did not ship with Flash and would not play it. Websites, and especially YouTube, to Steve Jobs’ delight, scrambled to find new methods of delivery, namely open, non-proprietary formats. (In all fairness, Jobs was right about Flash hogging too much of the limited resources available on mobile devices. And relying on proprietary solutions on the open web is never a good thing). The greater the iPhone’s success, the more certain was Flash’s demise. And so we read Adobe’s announcement:
Adobe is planning to end-of-life Flash. Specifically, we will stop updating and distributing the Flash Player at the end of 2020 and encourage content creators to migrate any existing Flash content to these new open formats.
Farewell Flash, you served us well. But open, efficient formats are far better for everyone in the long run.
Read full article: https://adobe.ly/2h0mO4y
It’s been coming for a while, and now it’s time to make the move to https, the secure transfer protocol for web communications. Encrypted transmissions will become the norm as the web moves toward greater security. Traditional http websites will soon be hit with INSECURE warnings by browsers, and search ranking penalties from Google as https becomes the standard. Check with your developer or hosting company for specifics.
Read full article: http://bit.ly/2sTrniC
How website buttons appear affects how easily customers can use your site to accomplish their goals. Here are some tips for improving your CTA’s: http://bit.ly/2rsR8Im
Page scrolling was once shunned — a design feature to be avoided because the physical act of moving a web page with a mouse disturbed users’ cognitive flow. But that was before mobile. Now, due to the predominance of small screens that provide tiny portions of page content at a time, users have no choice but to scroll in order to read or find something. This would be bad, except for the fact that mobile screens can be scrolled much faster using a finger rather than a mouse. The overall user experience is actually better since with little effort a whole page can be browsed in a few seconds.
Now that scrolling is being embraced, best practices have arisen to support scrolling design. In fact, designing for scrolling opens up new possibilities for creating engaging websites:
… once you start approaching the long scroll as a canvas for illustrating a beginning, middle, and end (through graphics, animations, icons, etc.), then you start to see it’s film-like power in capturing user attention.
The following is an update that describes current thinking about scrolling, and provides some tips on how to incorporate scrolling successfully for today’s web.
Read full article: http://bit.ly/2pO2m7N
All things digital must be usable and provide value on mobile devices these days. Web forms, one of the most mundane but essential elements of user interaction, is no exception, especially since almost every form of online transaction is conducted, and much data is collected, via forms. Here are some tips on updating your forms to make them effective on mobile: http://bit.ly/2lN1oYO
People don’t want to think, they want to buy! Making a website intuitive makes it a delight to use, which creates a great experience and increases the likelihood of conversion.
In an intuitively designed webpage, the constituent elements are built and organized in such a way that the user can access information, navigate and transact naturally and effortlessly. Intuitive design is inconspicuous, but not necessarily unremarkable.
In an effort to make sites aesthetically pleasing, designers often sacrifice usability. This is a crime, considering that if the user does not find a clear value proposition within the first 10 seconds, they are very likely going to bail out. The site needs to make its purpose obvious through its design.
This article will give you some ideas about how you can make your website more intuitive, design better calls to action, and delight visitors with how easy it can be to find what they want and complete a transaction.
Read full article: http://bit.ly/2k4tcYT
Turns out people aren’t so enamored with talking tech. Using automated answering systems as an example, why would it take so long to figure out that callers hate when a bot, that never offers the right option, picks up the phone? It’s impossible for programmers to cover every possible need a caller might have, and the unhuman, unnatural voice inflections and mannerisms of the bots just scream ‘we don’t care’ to customers / partners / constituents. The more ‘human-like’ they try to make these things, the worse it seems to get. Tech is not always the answer, and we must learn to distinguish between solutions that can and should be high-tech versus those that must be high-touch. For those parts of your business that involves serving people, the best interface is another person.
Read full article: http://bit.ly/2j5Qj1h
Amazon is building physical bookstores. But why?
The big trend in retailing today is toward “omnichannel” strategies, which blend physical stores, Web stores, and mobile apps in a way that makes the most of the convenience of smartphones and overcomes their limitations. … What Amazon lacks is experience in the touchy-feely world of traditional retailing. The company’s proficiency in software and data crunching is unquestioned. Its people skills are another matter.
This article speculates on some reasons for the move, but also shows why existing local bookstores, with coffee bars, comfy reading spaces and eclectic selection, should have nothing to fear: http://bit.ly/2eRQbQ9
This is an article that takes us briefly outside the matrix of modern technology. As cool, useful and exciting as today’s tech – created for the most part in Silicon Valley – can be, the ideology behind it is, in this view, founded on a body beliefs that users readily accept, but that serve creators and purveyors far more than the consumers who pay for products they don’t truly own, and give away personal information over which they no longer have control.
The greatest of the United States’ homegrown religions – greater than Jehovah’s Witnesses, greater than the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, greater even than Scientology – is the religion of technology … By spreading a utopian view of technology, a view that defines progress as essentially technological, they’ve encouraged people to switch off their critical faculties and give Silicon Valley entrepreneurs and financiers free rein in remaking culture to fit their commercial interests.
For many, especially younger consumers, notions of privacy and surveillance are not of concern at all. For others, this is the dawn of the ‘Big Brother’ society, which gives unprecedented power to elites in government and commerce. If the latter is the case, how then can an entire society, founded on principles of individual freedom and liberty be led down such a path so easily?
John Kenneth Galbraith coined the term ‘innocent fraud’. He used it to describe a lie or a half-truth that, because it suits the needs or views of those in power, is presented as fact. After much repetition, the fiction becomes common wisdom. ‘It is innocent because most who employ it are without conscious guilt,’ Galbraith wrote in 1999. ‘It is fraud because it is quietly in the service of special interest.’ The idea of the computer network as an engine of liberation is an innocent fraud.
This article might take some eyes off of screens for a moment to look down the road we’re on, and consider how far technology has come so quickly, and where it might be headed. As we become more dependent on our devices and connections, and as the entities that provide and manage them become more consolidated and enriched, is unquestioning faith still justified?
Read full article: http://bit.ly/2cdWNN4