The transcript of a terrific talk by Harry on how dark patterns are often driven by a slavish devotion to conversion rates.
Carousels are shit. Auto-animating carousels are really shit. Now proven with science!
I’ll be speaking at this event in London on Thursday. It would be lovely if you could come along. It’s free!
I concur completely with Luke’s assessment here. Most password-masking on the web is just security theatre. Displaying password inputs by default (but with an option to hide) should be the norm.
This looks handy: a video-sharing service designed specifically to work with Silverback
The Boston Globe’s got nothing on this!
Luke collates some useful mobile browsing statistics once again. Most of it is quite US-centric, but this closing point is a whopper:
36 countries more than doubled their Opera Mini user bases in one year.
A really fascinating analysis by Jason into the apparent disparity in web browsing between Android and iOS devices: it turns out that the kind of network connection could be a big factor.
Some good practical advice on improving performance. This should all be familiar to you, but it’s always worth repeating.
Josh responds to Jakob Nielsen’s audaciously ignorant advice on siloing mobile devices. Josh is right.
Nielsen says his research is based on studies of hundreds of mobile experiences, and I don’t doubt it. But because he’s finding tons of poor mobile websites doesn’t mean we should punt on creating great, full-featured mobile experiences.
A cautionary tale from Stuart. We, the makers of modern technology, are letting people down. Badly.
We’re in this to help users, remember: not just the ones who think as we do, but the ones who rely on us to build things for them because they don’t know what they’re doing. If your response is honestly “well, he should have spent more on a phone to get something better”, then I’m exceedingly disillusioned by you.
Jason reiterates Bruce’s rallying cry: Performance First!
If you could only do one thing to prepare your desktop site for mobile and had to choose between employing media queries to make it look good on a mobile device or optimizing the site for performance, you would be better served by making the desktop site blazingly fast.
Bruce hammers home the importance of speed and performance on mobile (and frankly, everywhere).
So perhaps some of the time and effort put into media queries, viewports, avoiding scrolling, line length would actually be better employed reducing HTTP requests and optimising so that websites are perceived to render faster.
Yes, yes, yes! This article does an excellent job of explaining what Captchas are attempting to do and why, therefore, they are so utterly shit.
Excellent points, eloquently delivered, on why sites shouldn’t be shoving their native Apps in the face of people who just arrived at their website on a mobile device.
Putting up a splash screen is like McDonalds putting a bouncer on the door, and telling customers who just parked their car and want to enter the restaurant that they should use the drive-through instead.
A nice overview of the increasing importance of UX on the web, written by Bobbie with soundbites from Andy.
Superb in-depth analysis of Ryanair’s website dark patterns and nasty brand strategy.
A really nice example of responsive web design from an unexpected source.
Aza Raskin on the UI failings of kitchens.
A lesson from Google Buzz: a large sampling isn't always a representative sampling.
If you want to see this book published (and you should), why not pledge a little something to the cause?
Leah has some great ideas on combing "log in" and "sign up" forms into one.
Hixie has been making changes to microdata in HTML5 based, not on opinion or theory, but on the results of user testing.
A detailed document from Apple on their products' total carbon footprint.
Another interesting take on assigning a visual clue to password fields.
Bert Bos's 2000 Treatise (published in 2003) is a must-read for anyone involved in developing any kind of format. "This essay tries to make explicit what the developers in the various W3C working groups mean when they invoke words like efficiency, maintainability, accessibility, extensibility, learnability, simplicity, longevity, and other long words ending in -y."
Here's an interesting idea: generating a sparkline when you input a password ...familiarity with the generated sparkline acts as a visual aid to the user.
An excellent rumination on the meaning of accessibility, prompted by real world experiences.
The five second test is a simple usability test that helps you measure the effectiveness of your user interfaces.
Chris has written an in-depth critique of the state of OpenID, focusing strongly on usability.
A useful collection of frustrations. Find an suitable one to send to a client today.
Garrett's in-depth look at Silverback, the Mac app that we've been cooking up at Clearleft.
Put all those years of reading science fiction to use. Help track down first usage of sci-fi terms.
Ignore the attention-grabbing headline. Brothercake is something more nuanced here (and he's backing it up with examples).
The importance of good URL design.
Slides based on a usability analysis of Wordpress by some of the Happy Coggers.
"The sharp increase has been attributed to smokers keeping themselves occupied as they're forced outdoors and away from their mates. Many are also turning to their phones as a distraction and a way to avoid temptation."
Finally revealed: what Jeff has been working on since he moved into the lair of the Google. He's been making Google Analytics look and feel nicer.
Track Cindy and Jason on their trip across the country... mashup style.
Worst. Error message. Ever.
A great hands-on article on the benefits of playing with paper.
Joe's notes make for great reading, specifically "Accessibility is a precursor to usability."
Matt points out that we can get sidetracked by taking what matters most to us and assuming that it matters most for success.
The devil can cite scripture for his own purpose... and now I can cite Nielsen: "...use a liquid layout that stretches well for any resolution, from 800x600 to 1280x1024."
Flickr photo set, AIGA card sorting exercise.
Participating in a card-sorting exercise for the AIGA redesign.
Yes, Ajax is over-used but here are some cases where it really helps.
Talking with the youth of today about how they spend their time online.
A nice introduction the XMLHttpRequest object by Cameron Adams.
Mike Stenhouse tackles the usability concerns raised by Ajax apps, specifically the breaking of the back button functionality.