Tag Archives: user experience Blog

Scrolling Redeemed

Page scrolling is a browser feature that was once shunned because the physical act of manipulating a web page with a mouse disturbed users’ “cognitive flow” (otherwise known as “patience”). But that was before mobile. Now, due to the predominance of small screens that can only show a tiny portion of a page’s content at a time, users have no choice but to scroll to read or find something. This would be bad except that mobile screens can be scrolled much faster by flicking a finger instead of dragging a computer 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 in 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 its film-like power in capturing user attention.

The following is an update that describes current thinking about scrolling and provides some tips on incorporating scrolling successfully in modern website design.

Read full article: http://bit.ly/2pO2m7N

IBM Embraces Design, Puts Customers First

IBM has embraced design as a core value to the extent that they’re retraining the entire company to “think design” — an interesting transformation of corporate philosophy that puts customers first to create more value.

“Designers bring [an] intuitive sense … and understand the power of delivering a great experience and how to treat a user as if they were guests in their own home,” says Phil Gilbert, chief design evangelist. The design program allows the $143 billion company to be more strategic and shift away from the engineering-driven “features-first” ethos toward a more “user first” mentality. “It allows us to solve real problems for real people …”

It’s a massive effort that involves retraining the entire company and hiring reams of design talent to lead the “design first” initiative. But if you believe that companies that provide the best experience for customers will win, committing to a strategy like this could well pay off.

Read full article: http://bit.ly/2cinCfw

Type, and Digital Design

Designing for digital requires efficiency, consistency, and clarity to make it easier for people to do things. Consider that digital interfaces need to work at the ‘speed of thought.’ That’s why people prefer clicking to scrolling. It’s also why movie cuts work since cuts mimic eye movements. Designers should create digital interfaces that allow people to glance, scan, feel for hierarchy, and find things in expected ways. It’s what we mean when we say a digital experience is ‘intuitive.’

Typography is a big part of visual communication. And an essential aspect of typography is ‘letter case,’ which uses capital and small letters to convey meaning. This article looks at Title Case vs. Sentence Case and provides some insights on the use of each.

Read full article: http://bit.ly/2aGLV4b

Understanding Users

In the end, we’re all users. No, not the manipulators who want to steal someone’s time, money, or ideas, but the everyday people who use technology. Those of us that create solutions from tech often take users for granted or consider them with disdain when we see the ‘mistakes’ they make while ‘using’ our latest product. But we all know what it’s like to be left adrift by technology that hasn’t been well thought out or whose developers have made assumptions about us that are ill-founded at best. This article sheds light on tech from the users’ end, which can serve as a guide when we’re designing something with the goal of someone doing business with us online. The quick take-aways? Make it easy, put yourself in their place, and never call your customers ‘dumb.’

Read full article: http://bit.ly/1ORqWOQ

Questioning the Value of Apps

We all know it’s an ‘app world’ now. Users love the simplicity of elegant one-trick apps that can perform a needed function. But the following article sheds some light on why apps aren’t always the answer. It asks why some apps are created in the first place and points out frustrations due to the significantly reduced feature sets and restrictive interfaces that come with mobile devices in general.

Have you ever tried actually using the Amazon app on iOS, Android, and Windows? … the Amazon app is a frustrating morass of missing and incomplete functions from the website. Sure, maybe you don’t need the full breadth of Amazon functions on your phone, though that’s debatable on a tablet. But natural web conveniences like opening links in new tabs, sharing links, the back button, searching within the page, and zooming in and out are available inconsistently, if at all.

There’s also the issue of privacy. What exactly are some of these apps accessing on your device? And how much additional data can they collect when users choose an app over the website?

Ultimately people will choose the best experience. Just because you offer an app doesn’t mean anyone will want it. App strategies must offer something unique or valuable that users can’t live without. Convenience on mobile devices is a good reason for creating an app, but not if it is poorly executed and frustrates users.

I use lots of apps — mostly clever utilities that allow my devices to do useful things like photo editing, FTP, or synchronized note-taking. But I usually reject apps and use websites for research, e-commerce, and search. I even resist mobile versions of websites because many of them are feature-restricted and inconsistent with their full web counterparts. In fact, my favorite link on most mobile websites is the ‘view desktop version’ link, usually found in the footer and only present if the website owner understands that users want to decide for themselves how to interact with the site.

It may be an ‘app world,’ but that doesn’t mean that every app is necessary, or even good. There’s no need to create an app for its own sake. But do create one when you can offer something so good that there’s no better way to deliver it.

Read full article: http://blog.codinghorror.com/app-pocalypse-now/