Category: usability

  1. Conclusions: Hamburgers—can you have your cake and eat it?

    “Conclusions” are my take on hot topics once they have got cold. Taking inspiration from the slow news movement. The next dead horses to be given their final flogs are likely to include: Skeuomorphism: good or bad? Does the fold exist after all? and What’s the real definition of UX?  For three little lines hamburger menus got […]

  2. Checkout experience design principles

    By the time a customer is on a checkout page the design has one job: taking their money. Having worked on a few checkouts for major ecommerce sites this is a collection of design principles I’ve learnt, borrowed and stolen. Each may or may not apply to your design, customers, clients or products so as ever apply […]

  3. Undesigning the password strength indicator

    Updated 30/12/2013 It’s a small unloved corner of the web but I’ve never seen a password strength indicator that I’m happy with. They all seem to be over-designed. A quick Google image search just returns huge amounts of ugliness, and a Dribbble search shows much the same but with more pixel-polish. The standard design pattern […]

  4. Dissatisfaction amplification—or “How users bear a grudge.”

    Some design improvements to a client’s order journey went live recently and they show some interesting statistics.* The first is that there was a 12% like-for-like increase in conversion, which totals about £7 million of extra sales per year. I’m obviously proud to have worked on a project that has results like that and it’s […]

  5. Two and a bit thoughts on buttons and interaction design metaphors

    Thought one: The distance that a traditional button on the screen appears to depress is the same distance that a mouse button depresses There is a school of thought going around saying that buttons should be avoided in interface design. This makes a lot of sense for touch interfaces, but before we get rid of […]

  6. Design for zombies

    The new look BBC website homepage has it’s links as just gray text. Not blue, not underlined and with only the faintest of hover effects. As a result, tired and at the end of the day, I found myself reading the headlines as absurdist poetry: Sarkozy warns of disintegration, Inquiry into unfair exam advice, Child […]

  7. Axure wireframe callout widget library

    I looked for it but couldn’t find it so I made it. Here’s an Axure library of callout widgets: It’s not exactly rocket science but hopefully someone might find it useful. Callouts are probably an oddity in the Axure world, as Axure is more based on prototypes rather than wireframes. But at work we use […]

  8. Infographics – please stop!

    There’s a recent trend that’s started really bugging me. Infographics. Not all infographics: I love websites like that show case some inspiring and beautiful ways of visually presenting data. What I’m hating is cheap blog infographics like this example on Mashable. It’s a time line; is the best way to present a list of events on […]

  9. Styling the TinyMCE interface

    One of the big problems with most web based WYSIWYG text editors is that standard editor interfaces don’t provide any feedback about the horrors going on underneath the surface. WYSIWYG editors are often blamed for producing crappy HTML. However I think they generally do a decent job, it’s the users that screw things up by copying and pasting from Word or other web pages and generally doing the sort of unexpected things people do. But that’s not really the user’s fault; we can’t expect most users to know HTML or care if an H3 element is illegally nested in a P element. What we can do is create a nicer user interface that gives them more feedback on what they are creating.