Monthly Archives: May 2016Blog

And Now, the Right to Disconnect

Leave it to the French to put a balance on things. Digital devices are wearing people out, so the French government is doing something about it. They’ve passed a law making it illegal for companies with more than 50 employees to contact their people after hours. This forced untethering is long overdue, considering how smartphones dominate so much of our lives, interrupting moments, fracturing conversations, and marginalizing face-to-face relationships. We’ve become addicted and, by definition, helpless to help ourselves.

Will this new law stick? Personally, I don’t think so. People want to be connected, it seems, beyond all reason. It’s more likely that the fear of missing some bit of information will be even greater than the stress of hearing the next ping in your pocket.

The cat’s out of the bag. Once connected, always connected. And like marriage, that’s for better or for worse.

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Mobile Rising

As if we needed more proof that the world has gone mobile, FB ended its desktop advertising platform. The numbers in this article paint a clear picture of why.

What should we do in the face of the mobile juggernaut? Create a separate mobile website? How about an app? You can avoid the cost and hassle of both these options by converting your existing site to a responsive design. Very simply, responsive design uses simple browser technology to automatically reconfigure a typical website based on the size of the screen being used to view it. In other words, responsive websites look great on big desktop screens, little phones, and everything else in between.

Going responsive may require redesigning your existing web presence. Still, the benefits can be huge when considering how many people access the web and email via smartphones today. And responsive is far less costly than developing an app or separate mobile site. Also, going responsive would be a good reason to convert to WordPress, the free, open-source platform for web development that’s become so popular. Most WordPress themes are responsive right out of the box. Plus, you’ll get benefits like customizability, search engine optimization, and a plugin architecture that provides a world of added features, all of which come with WordPress.

Add to Cart, or Add to Basket? Why It Matters

Should the button read, “add to cart,” or “add to basket?” Designers often struggle trying to do something new, something more accurate, or something just for the sake of doing something. None of this matters to users though, who just want conventions, consistency, and simplicity to do what they need to do as quickly as possible. Once someone has to think, the interface is no longer intuitive, and we provide a good reason for the user to click elsewhere. But if you respect users’ desire to “scan, click, and go,” you’ll delight them with a good experience. And if you’re careful to not break conventions, you’ll avoid tripping up your visitors.

Changing your button label from ‘Cart’ to ‘Bag’ isn’t helpful if the former is what users are more familiar with. Designers think ‘Bag’ is more technically correct if their store doesn’t use carts. But being legalistic doesn’t get you the high conversion rate. Speaking the user’s language does.

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