Except they mention B&A
in there which hasn't updated since January (why?) but there are some must-haves, some new-to-mes and some cool apps listed in there as well. Kuler
rocks. Some questionable choices, though - Twitter? An uneven list but some gold to mine.
Why is it when you compile a list of such seemingly obvious and innocuous methods to increase conversions, you suddenly realize just how many retailers don't follow these practices? The statistic: "23% of shoppers will abandon when asked to register before checking out." I've heard that a million times before, yet how many sites allow guest checkout, or even better - allows the user to register MUCH LATER in the checkout process? And persistent shopping carts are, IMO, a must-have; it's horrifying how many retailers fail to implement them. I've personally changed my mind on dozens of products because two days later when I went back to finish the sale, my cart was empty.
Such a simple thing to make such a marked improvement. Behooves us all to remember that sometimes the Big Hairy solution isn't the thing that will make the user's experience - and conversions, by extension - better.
Brilliant solution to a usability test shorthand that lets you actually find a way to manage the data coming in, stay focused, and produce a very quick report (and beginnings of a bug fix list!) afterwards. With samples - always a nice extra.
Given how many companies I've consulted with whose SEO-firm approved IAs were truly heinous, I'd have to agree. No, I don't think every SEO firm makes for a bad web site. But all too often getting #1 on Google supercedes - often to an incredibly damaging extent - the web site's ability to provide findable information and utility for its readers/users. As I've said a million times to clients, what GOOD is a #1 web site on Google if your potential customers/readers/clients can't find what they're looking for?
"There is a tremendous amount of spit and polish that goes into making a major website highly usable. A developer, asked how hard something will be to clone, simply does not think about the polish, because the polish is incidental to the implementation." I'm sure that this is not true of every
developer, but it is certainly true of the developers I've worked with most closely over the years. Some good thinking in here about open source software. Loved the last paragraph most of all, and will be sending it to developer friends for years to come.
Not sure if I agree with the author's reasons to "not critique", but many of these seem useful. Not all pure web design, either - there's some solid UX in there and a smattering of programming. I'll be downloading many of these myself (well, other than the few I've already read) this weekend. Whoo! Do I know how to party.
Now that's handy. Some guides on how to write a UI style guide, and links to sample style guides as well.
Great collection of ideas and inspiration. The color coding looks particularly useful, especially if you carry it through the nav for that account so they can always identify the plan they have.
Sweet, simple, useful, and saves time. Excellent for quick wireframes, etc.
I don't get the horrified part. This is what I have been drumbeating to everyone I know for as long as I have been breathing eating and sleeping the web. The average person does not care how this whole thing works. They have lives and jobs and just want "the Internet" to work. The comments on THIS post are the most revealing to me - how can people who spend their lives trying to make life easier for people have such disdain for those very people? It's not about education. Do we know how to adjust a color television more than we did ages ago? He!! no. TVs come with the ability to do that for us, now. Yes, the computer is a vastly more complex machine. But the general principles are the same. It's not about education. It's not about giving up on some folks. It's about smarter designs, constantly and incrementally evolving as we learn more about users' needs.
Great overview and would well even if your "product" is a web site. Good things to keep in mind regardless.
Some good thinking, elegantly designed - the folks in the comments don't seem to understand that he's not suggesting to only DESIGN with four colors but that less is more and that rule, like so many others, is something to keep in mind when designing a site. See also his excellent diatribe on below the fold, or Life Below 600px
Very useful list including all the oldies but goodies (JJG, ahem) and a few ones that are new to me.
Great overview on sketching. I find it much easier to do this stage (at least VERY roughly) before trying the wireframe stage. It's also far more portable and works better when dealing with non-techy, non-designy stakeholders. Paper is something everyone can understand. :) Though I must admit this
looks v. sexy.
Can I just say yum? Always a fan of Smashing Magazine, even more so with this fab collection of wireframing kits, form elements, grids and more. Like porn for folks who like UX design.
Social media expert Rob takes Facebook to task for asking users for feedback then putting that feedback in a black box. I just want to know why they would EVER show you an ad again that you've actually taken the time to dislike. Do their advertisers know this? Because that's, er, rather relevant... wouldn't you think?
So conflicted about this. The UX side of me knows it's hard to get people's true responses no matter how well designed your survey. The marketer in me believes that this kind of in-depth study may indeed result in better targeted ads and packaging for consumers. But the rest of me is squicked by the idea that the only way we can really engage our customers is to hook them up like the borg. Is this progress? Or a slightly more underground/convoluted way to sell "food product" to an unsuspecting public? I'm honestly torn.
Interesting piece on Agile development from the UCD framework perspective. Some tips on what to look out for, pitfalls to avoid. I found it interesting that he suggest the design team work a sprint ahead of the development team. Fascinating stuff in the comments too, about other implementations and challenges.
In a recent Alertbox, Neilsen writes: "Even though it's a bad course title, it's a good overall mnemonic to design for cavemen and their literal-minded and limited-capacity brains. After all, your paying customers are only one step out of the cave." So often, designers and web business people are horrified by the idea of designing for the lowest common denominator, feeling that it's an insult to their clients. I've just NEVER seen it that way; instead, I've always looked at it as nothing short of a miracle that, in this online world of constantly shifting interface rules, that we manage to communicate at all... why make it harder on the user if you don't have to?
Quote: "Information architecture (IA) means so much to our projects, from setting requirements to establishing the baseline layout for our design and development teams. But what does it mean to your clients? Do they see the value in IA? What happens when they change their minds? Can IA help manage the change control process? More than ever, we must ensure that our clients find value in and embrace IA - and it's is our job to educate them."
Quote: "If multiple customers are repeatedly making the same mistake, maybe it's not a mistake on their part. Maybe it's a mistake on your
Has to be one of my favorite flowcharts ever. And sooo true. :)
One of my favorite tech writers (though we don't always agree on everything
) spells it out: companies who design software need to think
- not about what would be cool/easy/wonderful to sell but what would match the customers needs and make it easy for them
. The fact that, to this day, software companies don't have dedicated UX persons/team/evangelist(s) boggles. My. Mind.
Online Master's thesis on information design patterns. Really interesting stuff here; I've only had a chance to glance through it but it seems like a great resource.
Here's my concern: ability to data mine or created faceted views of large-scale sites is great for the intermediate to the advanced user (when implemented with a focus on the user, and logic - sadly, not always the case, but I digress). But building these UIs into the default interface (seen by all, as opposed to by choice) seems to create an environment rich in complexity and potentially confusing as all hell, particularly since this is a new(ish) UI trait that hasn't become standardized, hasn't been widely adopted, and therefore the user isn't necessarily well educated about how to work it.
Fast, clean and trustworthy. Yes. I wish more retailers understood this - they'd get more of my money.
Really cool little UX widget/helper. Hard to describe, so boot yourself on over there if you're a UX/web designer. Mac only, darnit.
Knowledge Sharing & Competitive Research for User Experience Design. Very, very sweet.