• Do your users know your site/application as well as you do? How long will they spend learning it before they give up and leave? What will their experience do to your reputation?

“I can’t remember that!”

Here’s something that’s a little bugbear of mine: Passwords. Now, we all have a way of remembering our passwords for all the hundreds of different apps and systems that we use on a daily basis – current thinking is that, with so many to remember, we might as well just write them down on a piece … Continue reading

Advanced Responsive Proportional Control

This is an advance on the JQuery scripting I used for control of fonts and borders in my last post. It works in a very similar way but I’ll explain a little more clearly this time. The area we need to measure is the viewport – this is the part of the browser that actually … Continue reading

Fonts, borders, and Rounded Corners for responsive sites

Responsive design is great but there are some things that can be a real pain to deal with. The first is font sizes. Since fonts don’t respond to the browser size we need another solution and the easiest to add and manage uses a tiny bit of javaScript: document.body.style.fontSize=(window.innerWidth / 100)+”px”; When this piece of … Continue reading

What’s so great about Pattern Libraries?

Humans have become extremely adept at recognising patterns. Long ago it would have been a survival trait: those who could spot the tiger before it attacked would survive. Pattern recognition isn’t often needed in that capacity any more but we still have the skill and it’s so hard-wired into our system that most of the time we … Continue reading

Uh-Oh! Microsoft has another go at social media

so.cl (pronounced “Social” apparently) seems doomed to failure. Aimed at the notoriously fickle student market this is a social tool to share your search results complete with some sort of video sharing system that they’re refering to as ‘Video Parties’ – anyone want to guess how long it will be before it becomes the best … Continue reading

Best Practice For Buttons

Caroline Jarrett has written a great piece over on the UX Matters site: http://www.uxmatters.com/mt/archives/2012/05/7-basic-best-practices-for-buttons.php For those of you with short attention spans here is Caroline’s own summary: Make buttons look like buttons. Put buttons where users can find them. Make the most important button look like it’s the most important one. Put buttons in a sensible order. Label … Continue reading

Meta-programming and leading language

Here is a user test: “Where do we put the ‘Cancel’ button?” A form on a web page needs to have a way of clearing or submitting the data – traditionally this is handled with two buttons. One says ‘Cancel’ and the other says ‘Submit’. Of the two buttons, One is on the left and … Continue reading

Brown M&Ms and The Importance Of Small Details

There is a, now infamous, story of a famous rock band who demanded several bowls of M&Ms with all the brown ones removed and refused to perform if they found even one brown M&M. The story is true. The rock band was Van Halen whose shows relied on extensive power requirements, intricate stage constructions and … Continue reading

Cognitive Overload

Back in the 1970’s, 3 friends clubbed together to buy themselves a TV for the house they shared. Each of them managed to save £10 for the TV so out they went. Eventually they came across a shop that had, in the window, an excellent model with 3 preset channel buttons plus 1 spare. It … Continue reading

On Morality and Multi-screen

In my twitter stream this morning I found a link to a page full of examples of responsive design (http://thenextweb.com/dd/2012/02/01/10-beautiful-examples-of-responsive-web-design/) While these are undoubtedly beautiful and well-crafted examples of responsive design, I’m not sure how relevant the ‘responsiveness’ is to each site’s audience. Curiously, as available bandwidth increases for most users, the amount of bandwidth … Continue reading

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