Refreshing the Drupal administration UI

Last year, I talked to nearly one hundred Drupal agency owners to understand what is preventing them from selling Drupal. One of the most common responses raised is that Drupal's administration UI looks outdated.

This critique is not wrong. Drupal's current administration UI was originally designed almost ten years ago when we were working on Drupal 7. In the last ten years, the world did not stand still; design trends changed, user interfaces became more dynamic and end-user expectations have changed with that.

To be fair, Drupal's administration UI has received numerous improvements in the past ten years; Drupal 8 shipped with a new toolbar, an updated content creation experience, more WYSIWYG functionality, and even some design updates.

A comparison of the Drupal 7 and Drupal 8 content creation screen to highlight some of the improvements in Drupal 8.

While we made important improvements between Drupal 7 and Drupal 8, the feedback from the Drupal agency owners doesn't lie: we have not done enough to keep Drupal's administration UI modern and up-to-date.

This is something we need to address.

We are introducing a new design system that defines a complete set of principles, patterns, and tools for updating Drupal's administration UI.

In the short term, we plan on updating the existing administration UI with the new design system. Longer term, we are working on creating a completely new JavaScript-based administration UI.

The content administration screen with the new design system.

As you can see on Drupal.org, community feedback on the proposal is overwhelmingly positive with comments like Wow! Such an improvement! and Well done! High contrast and modern look..

Sample space sizing guidelines from the new design system.I also ran the new design system by a few people who spend their days selling Drupal and they described it as "clean" with "good use of space" and a design they would be confident showing to prospective customers.

Whether you are a Drupal end-user, or in the business of selling Drupal, I recommend you check out the new design system and provide your feedback on Drupal.org.

Special thanks to Cristina Chumillas, Sascha Eggenberger, Roy Scholten, Archita Arora, Dennis Cohn, Ricardo Marcelino, Balazs Kantor, Lewis Nyman,and Antonella Severo for all the work on the new design system so far!

We have started implementing the new design system as a contributed theme with the name Claro. We are aiming to release a beta version for testing in the spring of 2019 and to include it in Drupal core as an experimental theme by Drupal 8.8.0 in December 2019. With more help, we might be able to get it done faster.

Throughout the development of the refreshed administration theme, we will run usability studies to ensure that the new theme indeed is an improvement over the current experience, and we can iteratively improve it along the way.

Acquia has committed to being an early adopter of the theme through the Acquia Lightning distribution, broadening the potential base of projects that can test and provide feedback on the refresh. Hopefully other organizations and projects will do the same.
How can I help?

The team is looking for more designers and frontend developers to get involved. You can attend the weekly meetings on #javascript on Drupal Slack Mondays at 16:30 UTC and on #admin-ui on Drupal Slack Wednesdays at 14:30 UTC.

Thanks to Lauri Eskola, Gábor Hojtsy and Jeff Beeman for their help with this post.
Source: Dries Buytaert www.buytaert.net


What's new in the Commerce 2.10 release?

We made many important improvements to Drupal Commerce over the summer, including an improved promotions UI, BOGO offers, and product category conditions in the 2.8 release and full list price support with the 2.9 release. After a long sprint to the finish, we’ve now finally released 2.10, one of our largest releases to date that resolves 39 issues and feature requests.

Product administration improvements

Six years ago we released the first stable version of Commerce Kickstart 2.x and the new (at the time) Inline Entity Form module, which allowed us to manage multiple product variations from a single product page form for the first time. Since then, Inline Entity Form has become a popular Drupal module and a recommended way to manage products in Drupal 7. When we started developing Commerce 2.x for Drupal 8, we ported over Inline Entity Form and the previous approach to managing products, but now we’re ready to take another step forward to advance the usability and performance of product management.

As of the 2.10 release, product variations are managed on their own tab of the product page form. This follows the same UI pattern we established for coupons within the promotions UI.

Product variations shown on their own tab.

Moving variations to their own tab allows us to extend the UI in future releases, specifically to add bulk operations for tasks such as price updates, image replacement, and even the creation of a full set of variations. We foresee other modules adding their own elements to the tab, like the Commerce Pricelist module adding a “Prices” dropbutton item to provide quick access to every price for a variation on multiple price lists.

Having variations on a separate tab would be a bit much for products that always only have a single variation, so we’ve made sure to accommodate that use case in the new version. Each product type’s settings form includes an “Allow each product to have multiple variations.” option that when disabled reverts to the inline editing experience for products of that type.

Inline product editing for single variations.

Query access filtering

If you create a new role for your merchant and only give it the “Book: View products” permission, you’d expect users with that role to be able to book products but no others. In Drupal 7, our solution for this was a generic query access API in Drupal Commerce itself that filtered entity loading queries based on user permissions.

To achieve this same result in Drupal 8, we've rebuilt this API and added it to the recent 8.x-1.0-rc1 release of the Entity API module. Commerce is now using it for administrative listings of products, orders, and stores. The API adds a QueryAccessEvent to allow modules to alter the access conditions, making it possible to apply further filtering (e.g. only show the user’s own store). Next we will extend the filtering to Search API to filter customer facing listings.

User-driven API improvements

Over 4,000 websites have launched on Commerce 2.x in the past year, pushing us up over 6,000 in total. As developers launch their projects, we keep our lines of communication open to hear about all the things that annoyed or hindered them, and we work to improve our APIs as a result. Several examples that made it into this release include:

(Note that as a result of the last two, if you have overridden the PaymentInformation or PaymentProcess panes on your site, you will need to update them for the new release.)

We love to hear stories of the great things you’re doing with Drupal Commerce, and we’d also love to improve the core APIs and data model to better support you, too. Feel free to join us and hundreds of other developers in the #commerce channel on Drupal Slack for real-time discussion or post your proposals directly to the issue queue for discussion.


Source: Reposted from: drupalcommerce.org


How Wikipedia implemented link previews

You might have noticed that Wikipedia recently started enabling link previews; when you hover over a link, it displays a card with more information about the linked page.

My first reaction was: what took them so long? Link previews help to solve an important usability problem of having to open many articles, often in multiple tabs. However, after I started to read more about how Wikipedia implemented the design, I was reminded of how hard it is to do things at the scale Wikipedia requires.
Nirzar Pangarka, who works as a designer at the Wikimedia Foundation, shared that more than 10,000 links get hovered each second across Wikipedia. In another post, David Lyall, an engineering manager at the Wikimedia Foundation, shared that they are seeing up to half a million hits every minute on the API that serves the link preview cards. Delivering even a simple feature at this scale is an impressive achievement. I have a great appreciation for Wikipedia's seemingly straightforward link previews.
Source: Dries Buytaert www.buytaert.net


RSS auto-discovery

While working on my POSSE plan, I realized that my site no longer supported "RSS auto-discovery". RSS auto-discovery is a technique that makes it possible for browsers and RSS readers to automatically find a site's RSS feed. For example, when you enter https://dri.es in an RSS reader or browser, it should automatically discover that the feed is https://dri.es/rss.xml. It's a small adjustment, but it helps improve the usability of the open web.
To make your RSS feeds auto-discoverable, add a tag inside the tag of your website. You can even include multiple tags, which will allow you to make multiple RSS feeds auto-discoverable at the same time. Here is what it looks like for my site:

Pretty easy! Make sure to check your own websites — it helps the open web.
Source: Dries Buytaert www.buytaert.net


RSS auto-discovery

While working on my POSSE plan, I realized that my site no longer supported "RSS auto-discovery". RSS auto-discovery is a technique that makes it possible for browsers and RSS readers to automatically find a site's RSS feed. For example, when you enter https://dri.es in an RSS reader or browser, it should automatically discover that the feed is https://dri.es/rss.xml. It's a small adjustment, but it helps improve the usability of the open web.
To make your RSS feeds auto-discoverable, add a tag inside the tag of your website. You can even include multiple tags, which will allow you to make multiple RSS feeds auto-discoverable at the same time. Here is what it looks like for my site:

Pretty easy! Make sure to check your own websites — it helps the open web.
Source: Dries Buytaert www.buytaert.net


Design Systems: Problems & Solutions


Why do you need a Design System?
In a previous article, we shared our thoughts on why Design Systems may be on the rise. Now, let’s further explore why you might need one. What are some of the common problems organizations face without a Design System, and how can one help?
Common Problems
Here are a few warning signs that might indicate you need to think about implementing a Design System:
Process bottlenecks
Through agile integrationmethodologies, rapid release cycles have improved the ability for organizations to make timely and recurring updates. This means that individuals in organizations have had to do things more quickly than they used to. The benefits of speed often come at a cost. Usually, that cost is a compromise in quality. How will you ensure quality without introducing bottlenecks to your release cycles?
Design inconsistencies
Because your design needs have had to keep up with your integrationcycle, you’re left with a mess. Things as simple as having a dozen different versions of a button that could be simplified down to a few—component management. Maybe you have five different versions of a similar color or twelve different font styles when you could be using four—style management. Perhaps you’ve built a check-out flow that works differently in different places creating a nightmare for your customer support team—operational management. How will you establish and maintain consistency?
Scaling challenges
Perhaps you’ve focused on one platform when you first designed but are now scaling to multiple platforms. Maybe you started as a native application and are now working towards a web-based application or vice versa. It’s possible you didn’t think about how your designs would adapt to varying screen sizes or across platforms. How will you introduce new platforms?
How can a Design System help? What problems do they solve?
Now that you’ve explored some of the reasons you might need one, let’s look at how Design Systems can help.
Centralized knowledge base
By creating and maintaining a Design System, you’ll have a centralized reference point to account for the most up-to-date standards. This resource should be easy for anyone on the company to find, comprehend quickly, and put to use. It’s the place where you find guidelines and resources. It should be updated in harmony with your evolving needs.
Cross-platform consistency
As you expand your digital footprint across varying platforms from web to native applications or from smart watches to giant displays or from voice-activated devices to extended reality (XR), you’ll be able to better align and account for design consistency. Cross-platform consistency and brand consistency are synonymous.
Less excess
Let’s face it, the more inconsistency there is with your design, the more inconsistency there will be with your underlying code. With every different version of page elements or templates, there’s a higher likelihood of unnecessary code loading to render the design elements. This means design cruft and technical debt go hand-in-hand. By minimizing unnecessary excess, you’ll be better optimized for usability while gaining performance benefits through faster rendering of content.
Increased efficiency
The less you have to start from scratch every time you start a new design, the more efficient you will be in being able to design, build, and launch things quickly. Also worth mentioning, it will be far faster and easier to get approvals if your designs are aligned with existing standards.
Not sure where to begin?
These are just a few of the reasons you might consider implementing a Design System. In our next article, we’ll explore where to begin and why you might hire an agency (like Viget) to help with your needs.


Source: VigetInspire


Massachusetts launches Mass.gov on DrupalCoin Blockchain

This year at Acquia Engage, the Commonwealth of Massachusetts launched Mass.gov on DrupalCoin Blockchain 8. Holly St. Clair, the Chief Digital Officer of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, joined me during my keynote to share how Mass.gov is making constituents' interactions with the state fast, easy, meaningful, and "wicked awesome".
[youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dK4k2w7MZyY&w=640&h=360]
Since its founding, Acquia has been headquartered in Massachusetts, so it was very exciting to celebrate this milestone with the Mass.gov team.
Constituents at the center
Today, 76% of constituents prefer to interact with their government online. Before Mass.gov switched to DrupalCoin Blockchain it struggled to provide a constituent-centric experience. For example, a student looking for information on tuition assistance on Mass.gov would have to sort through 7 different government websites before finding relevant information.

To better serve residents, businesses and visitors, the Mass.gov team took a data-driven approach. After analyzing site data, they discovered that 10% of the content serviced 89% of site traffic. This means that up to 90% of the content on Mass.gov was either redundant, out-of-date or distracting. The digital services team used this insight to develop a site architecture and content strategy that prioritized the needs and interests of citizens. In one year, the team at Mass.gov moved a 15-year-old site from a legacy CMS to Acquia and DrupalCoin Blockchain.
The team at Mass.gov also incorporated user testing into every step of the redesign process, including usability, information architecture and accessibility. In addition to inviting over 330,000 users to provide feedback on the pilot site, the Mass.gov team partnered with the Perkins School for the Blind to deliver meaningful accessibility that surpasses compliance requirements. This approach has earned Mass.gov a score of 80.7 on the System Usability Scale; 12 percent higher than the reported average.
Open from the start
As an early adopter of DrupalCoin Blockchain 8, the Commonwealth of Massachusetts decided to open source the code that powers Mass.gov. Everyone can see the code that make Mass.gov work, point out problems, suggest improvements, or use the code for their own state. It's inspiring to see the Commonwealth of Massachusetts fully embrace the unique innovation and collaboration model inherent to open source. I wish more governments would do the same!
Congratulations Mass.gov
The new Mass.gov is engaging, intuitive and above all else, wicked awesome. Congratulations Mass.gov!
Source: Dries Buytaert www.buytaert.net


Usability as a Design Consideration

Inspired Magazine
Inspired Magazine - creativity & inspiration daily
Designers understand the importance of utility Sometimes it can be difficult to explain to non-designers, such as marketing managers, why utility is more important than aesthetics.
That’s one of the biggest challenges every designer faces when designing user interfaces for software and websites, where the work is subject to approval from higher level marketing executives.
Of course it is important to try and get the best looking result that you can, but not if it means getting in the way of what the user wants to achieve when visiting your website or using software designed by you.
Usability is a dynamic field, the rules are not static
There are some old usability rules that people are clinging to that may no longer be relevant, because the majority of people are now either using wide screen monitors or mobile devices. Some users also have multiple monitors attached to a single device.
We need to think about how to create acceptable outcomes for all these different display types. If anyone feels like they’ve been left out, overlooked, or ignored, you can be certain it will generate complaints. This looks bad for you as a designer, even if neglecting to support a certain display type wasn’t your decision.

Accessibility is extremely important as well
The one thing that’s even worse than somebody feeling excluded is somebody feeling that they’ve been discriminated against.
Because accessibility is so easy to include these days, there’s really no excuse not to do it. Some managers may despair at the additional time spent catering to a “fringe group” that they don’t see any value in supporting.
When you are faced with that attitude, it’s worth pointing out that approximately 10 percent of the population has a disability. Even if the manager can’t see the value of accessibility from simply a fairness point of view, they should at least understand the economic impact of alienating up to 10 percent of the potential market.
Taking the time to do things properly will be noticed and appreciated by those who benefit from you doing so. They may even talk about it on social media, which can yield valuable PR points for the company.
Naturally the opposite is also a possibility. If you blatantly neglect accessibility and it makes the wrong person angry, their social media diatribe may well have solid repercussions for you. If a competitor is providing better accessibility than you are, they may gain some of the market share that may otherwise have gone to you.
Aim for simplicity
When it comes to GUI design, it seems many people are tempted to show off how complex they can make the design, believing people will be impressed by this. Produce something special, and initially they may really be impressed.
It becomes a problem when that initial good impression is squandered due to poor usability. The user becomes frustrated and is actually likely to be more angry than if you hadn’t created a strong first impression.
This is because your fancy visual extravaganza raised their expectations, and then you failed to deliver on the promise. A bit like the F35 Joint Strike Fighter.
Expending the maximum amount of the project time and budget on developing good usability is always the safest policy. At the heart of good usability design is simplicity.
Make everything easy for the user, and they won’t become frustrated. If they don’t become frustrated, they won’t give up on your site and look for solutions elsewhere.

Conventions exist for a reason
Everyone wants to express some creative originality, but be careful when your desire for originality begins to cross over well-established conventions. If you suddenly flip the rules, it can lead to confusion, and confusion is not a desirable outcome.
In no way does that mean you should follow the herd. Trends and fads can be risky to follow. Also it’s not sensible to follow a trend that you didn’t set. Being perceived as a follower is not a good perception.
What you do need to do is be aware of what long standing conventions exist and try to not digress too far from those. These conventions have created an expectation for users, and it’s crucial to understand that when reality does not meet expectation, the usual result is disappointment or bewilderment.
Never make your users do any kind of thinking
This is actually the logical conclusion of using conventions and keeping things simple. You do all the thinking so the user doesn’t have to.
Why is it bad if the user is forced to think? Because it slows things down and breaks immersion in whatever it is they are doing. You want the user to be fully immersed in their task, not thinking about what they’re doing. That counts double if it’s a commercial site and your aim is for the user to buy something from you.
If you’ve done a good job of creating a practical design, everything should be intuitive, with no need for any thinking to be done. Part of your job as a designer is to anticipate what the user is going to try to accomplish and do whatever you can to facilitate that accomplishment.
Common things to watch for include:

Things that look clickable but aren’t
Things that don’t look clickable but are
Confusing or poorly worded instructions
Objects overlapping on screen
Excessive delay between click and response
Improper tab order
Blocking normal operation of input devices
Expecting desktop interaction from mobile devices

Your designs are your reputation
Every design you create needs to work well, and this is more important than how the design looks. When a design works properly, it will stand out from the vast majority of designs that actually don’t work at all well.
So remember this when you are designing your next interface, because your reputation stands or falls on the quality of the usability you have incorporated into it.
This post Usability as a Design Consideration was written by Catalin Zorzini and first appearedon Inspired Magazine.
Source: inspiredm.com


For the love of God, please tell me what your company does

Kasper Kubica goes on a humorous rant about the way companies describe themselves on their websites:
More and more often, upon discovering a new company or product, I visit their website hoping to find out what it is they do, but instead get fed a mash of buzzwords about their “team” and “values”. And this isn’t a side dish — this is the main entrée of these sites, with a coherent explanation of the company’s products or services rarely occupying more than a footnote on the menu.

While many of the examples and points are funny at their core, there's clearly a level of frustration laced between the lines and it's easy to understand why:
At this point, I’ve given up. I’m back to Google, back to searching ... because even though I came to [the site] knowing exactly what I wanted, I have no idea what they offer.
While this isn't so much about front-end development, it is a good reminder about content's role in usability and user experience. We can have the cleanest, performant and accessible code ever committed but the site still has to communicate something and do it well for it to be useful to the end user.
Direct Link to Article — Permalink
For the love of God, please tell me what your company does is a post from CSS-Tricks
Source: CssTricks


Using Custom Properties to Modify Components

Instead of using custom properties to style whole portions of a website’s interface I think we should use them to customize and modify tiny components. Here’s why.
Whenever anyone mentions CSS custom properties they often talk about the ability to theme a website’s interface in one fell swoop. For example, if you’re working at somewhere like a big news org then we might want to specify a distinct visual design for the Finance section and the Sports section – buttons, headers, pull quotes and text color could all change on the fly.

Custom properties would make this sort of theming easy because we won’t have to add a whole bunch of classes to each component. All we’d have to do is edit a single variable that’s in the :root, plus we can then edit those custom props with JavaScript which is something we can’t do with something like Sass variables.
A while back Chris wrote about this use case in a post about custom properties and theming and the example he gave looked like this:
:root {
--mainColor: #5eb5ff;
}

header {
background: var(--mainColor);
}

footer {
background: var(--mainColor);
}
See the Pen Theming a site with CSS Custom Properties by Chris Coyier (@chriscoyier) on CodePen.
But the more I learn about building big ol’ systems with CSS, the more I think that changing global styles like this is really difficult to keep the code clean and consistent over the long haul. And if you’re working on any large web app then you’re probably using something like React where everything is made of tiny reusable components anyway, especially because at this scale the cascade can be scary and dangerous.
If we’re working on larger, more complex systems then how should we be using custom properties then? Well I think the best option is to keep them on the component level to help make our CSS really clean. So instead of adding variables to the root element we could bind them to the component instead, like this:
.btn {
--btnColor: #5eb5ff;
}
After which we could set properties such as color or border to use this variable:
.btn {
--btnColor: #5eb5ff;
border: 1px solid var(--btnColor);
color: var(--btnColor);

&:hover {
color: white;
background-color: var(--btnColor);
}
}
So far so good! We can then add modifier classes that simply change the value of the custom property:
.btn-red {
--btnColor: #ff6969;
}

.btn-green {
--btnColor: #7ae07a;
}

.btn-gray {
--btnColor: #555;
}
See the Pen Custom Properties by Robin Rendle (@robinrendle) on CodePen.
See how nice and tidy that is? With just a few lines of CSS we’ve created a whole system of buttons – we could easily change the font-size or add animations or anything else and keep our classes nice and small without messing with the global scope of our CSS. Especially since all this code is likely to live in a single file like buttons.scss it’s helpful that all the logic exists in one place.
Anyway, for sure this method of using custom properties on a component level isn’t as exciting or stylish as using a single variable to style every part of a website but I’m not entirely sure how useful that sort of theming is anyway. A lot of the time a design will require a bunch of tiny adjustments to each component for usability reasons so it makes sense to break everything down to the component level.
What do you think is the most useful thing about custom properties? I’d love to hear what everyone thinks about this stuff in the comments below.

Using Custom Properties to Modify Components is a post from CSS-Tricks
Source: CssTricks


7 Tips for the Aspiring UX Designer

This time last year, I had never heard of UX. Coming from a family of doctors, the only job-related acronym I knew was MD. But this changed during my summer in Silicon Valley, where I worked as a media intern with a startup accelerator and venture capital firm. Over the course of just three weeks, four colleagues told me that I should look into UX. I really think you would like this. You’d be so good at it!
Thinking it was some sort of sign, I decided to give UX a try. It was love at first sight.

From that point on, I spent my free time immersed in UX books, articles, and blogs. I had never felt so passionate about a field before.  I used my Christmas break to take an online UX course. I filled my schedule with phone calls with every UXer in my LinkedIn network. I convinced a professor to give me the last seat in her graduate level usability design course.
And after months of hard work, this intense immersion paid off. In April, I landed my dream job: a UX internship with Viget.
I might have “won the prize,” so to speak, but I haven’t forgotten all of the the stress, long hours, and uncertainty it took to get here. At first, like many aspiring UXers, I was totally lost.  What even is UX? How do I learn the skills I need? What do I need to do to get a UX job?
From my experience, finding answers to the questions can feel impossible.

But it doesn’t have to be that way. Here are 7 tips I’ve come up with to help others interested in pursuing UX get the answers they need...without the stress.

1.  Immerse yourself in UX knowledge

UX is a hot field right now, so there are tons of resources out there to learn more. The challenge is finding the right ones. Here are some of the resources I found the most useful starting off:
Books:
Don’t Make Me Think (Steve Krug) – this is UX must-read #1. It walks you through the basics of every aspect of UX, without overwhelming you with hyper-technical terms.The Design of Everyday Things (Don Norman) – although it’s centered around the design of physical objects, this book stresses the importance of understanding user needs. The Elements of User Experience (Jesse James Garrett) – this book will help you see the big picture of UX. It breaks down the complexity of the field into clear explanations and diagrams.
Blogs:
52 Weeks of UX – this is an easy and quick way to build your UX knowledge. Content is broken down into 52 weeks, each of which features 1-3 short UX insights. UX Booth – this site is made for beginners and intermediate UXers. Start with this article for a UX crash course.UX Magazine – this publication is like UX Booth, but with the addition of UX event calendars and job listings.
People:
Brad Frost (@brad_frost) – a developer, designer, speaker, and writer, Brad  tweets about a wide variety of awesome web design stuff.Luke Wroblewski (@lukew) – currently a Product Director at Google, Luke is one of the most influential people in the UX field. (He coined the idea of “Mobile First.”)Kim Goodwin (@kimgoodwin) – author of Designing for the Digital Age, Kim offers great tips on what it takes to be a successful UXer.

2. Take an online class
If you prefer structured learning but don’t have the time or money for a full-fledged UX program, online classes could be the move.  There is a plethora of options out there, but based on my research and personal experience, here are the three classes I  would recommend:
Hack Design – 50 easy-to-follow (and free!) design lessons delivered straight to your inbox over the course of 50 weeksUser Experience Design Fundamentals – a cheap, video-based course that teaches you basic UX principles in just 10 hoursGeneral Assembly UX Design Circuit – if you have the time and money, this is a course worth investing in. You will learn key UX skills and put them to practice in a real project.

3. Find mentors
Although I learned a ton about UX from scouring the internet, reading books, and taking online classes, I have gleaned the most from conversations with people in the field.
If you live in a small city or somewhere non-techy, it may seem like you’re all alone in the big, scary world of UX. But chances are, you’re not.

Do some LinkedIn detective work.  Ask family and friends if they know anyone who does UX (if they look at you with blank stares, try “web design”).  Even if you only find one match, that one UXer can probably connect you to dozens more.
Once you’ve found these potential mentors, get their attention. Send emails and InMails, Tweet at them, reach out via their website. It may take months, but your perseverance will pay off.
When you land a conversation – whether by phone, in-person, or simply through email – make sure you show up prepared. Know what the person does and be ready to ask questions catered to that experience. I saw on your LinkedIn that you attended grad school for Human-Computer Interaction...do you think that’s the best path for becoming a UX Designer?  
Most people don’t want to simply tell you about their job – they want to tell you about the journey, the challenges and successes, and the learnings along the way. And they want to share those learnings with you.
Approach every networking opportunity as an opportunity to learn. Don’t waste your time figuring out how to make yourself sound as awesome as possible. Spend that time finding the best way to learn from each connection you make.

4. Attend local UX Meetups
Meetups are another great way to network with UXers in your area. They’re also an awesome opportunity to learn new design skills and discuss broader tech-related topics.
All you have to do is go to the Meetups app or website, search UX (try usability and interaction design if you reach a dead end), register for an event, and then show up.

5. Start a personal project
After you have some basic UX knowledge under your belt, you can take it to the next level by applying it to an actual project. If you can’t take a class or get an internship or apprenticeship with a company right away, don’t worry – you can do UX work anytime, anywhere.
There are several routes you can take:
Think of a website you hate. What makes you hate it? What could make it better? Now turn those ideas into designs – sketch out some ways you think the site could be improved.Send an email to a company you like asking if you can do some informal research on their website. Does it match the needs of the target audience? Does it follow basic UX design standards? Make sure to clarify that your only intention is professional development.Design your own app or website. You can use a  pre-existing product as a launching point or create something radically new.
No matter which route you choose, make sure you record every part of the project process so you can add it to your UX portfolio. Write about what you did, take photos of sketches and scribbles, and capture screenshots of sites that inspired your designs.  You’ll be able to compile case studies from these artifacts.

6. Analyze everyday experiences
An easy way to build your UX chops is to evaluate the experiences that everyday objects, products, and technologies create.  What could make them more intuitive or enjoyable to use? What prevents them from being this way?
For practice, think about how the principles of UX apply to these examples:

Can you think of other real-world applications of UX principles?
And most importantly...

7. Trust yourself
There are very few rights and wrongs when it comes to UX. There’s no right way to break into the field – no specific degree you have to get or class you have to take.  And there’s is no right way to design a website.
So if you’re worrying about not doing UX “the right way,” don’t.
As long as you’re absorbing all of the knowledge you can and then starting to apply that knowledge in your daily life, you’re already well on your way to becoming a UX Designer.
Have any tips you’d like to add to the list? Post in the comments below!


Source: VigetInspire


The Advantage of Comparative Research

No matter how new a problem may be to us, we are never the first person to tackle it. There are always examples to learn from. That said, the way we learn from others’ examples can make the difference between uncritical emulation and a solution that fits the unique problem and context we’re facing.
Here I’ll describe what comparative research is, why it’s worth your time, and give an example of how it helped us on a recent project.
Some Fundamentals of Comparative Research
Comparative research is a way to broaden our thinking about product functionality. It answers questions like, “How have others dealt with this kind of content complexity? What is a good way to conduct this kind of interaction? How are different use cases accounted for?” This type of research is particularly useful when trying to identify best practices that haven’t yet solidified into conventions–ones that aren’t likely to be documented anywhere but in products themselves.
When doing comparative research, we’re essentially critiquing others’ product design, reverse-engineering decisions that have been made when navigating tradeoffs and complexities similar to our own. It’s an investigative process that allows us to build on the wisdom (and errors) of designs that have come before us. We figure out what works and what doesn’t, and why, and borrow accordingly.
Relevant patterns often become the basis for a common design language shared between teams and clients, which is particularly significant early on in projects when trying to manage the ambiguity that characterizes early phases of product work. The example below will make this clearer.
An Example: Researching Email Editors
When designing and developing a new email editor for iContact, we confronted a number of design challenges that we hadn’t faced before, or at least not at the same scale and density required by the project. Let it be said that designing visual manipulation products is hard. One of the challenges is determining straightforward interface patterns for content selection and manipulation. What happens if a user hovers over this, and clicks this, or drags this? What if they want to resize this and then duplicate it and move it? We had notions for how features could be addressed, but knew we had to do our homework.
We began by looking at how visual email and website editors dealt with content manipulation. We studied our the design tools we use day-in and day-out. We held a magnifying glass up to Gmail (not really). In almost every instance, a primary editing canvas is flanked by one or more content manipulation panels. Manipulation of canvas content was handled differently in each tool, yet the variations were often subtle. We picked apart these subtleties. For example, Constant Contact’s editor allows users to edit and style text directly in the canvas, while Mailchimp’s editor displays a text field in a utility to the side of the canvas. Each approach has benefits and drawbacks: direct manipulation is to be preferred, yet that can complicate the interface with WYSIWYG styling controls. The pattern in this case was to allow direct manipulation where possible and show styling controls without cluttering the content being edited.

A more complicated problem to address was how to structure email content so that users would be able to easily determine how content is nested and how to create, arrange, and otherwise edit it. To do this, we compared the interface patterns and descriptive language used across a range of tools, and abstracted what we felt was the most straightforward structure that met the requirements of the product. What resulted was a taxonomy of layouts, rows, columns, and blocks, and rules for how they relate. In hindsight, this arrangement seems simple enough, yet it was a challenging process, laying the foundation for the features and variations we knew would have to be accounted for. We argued about and scrapped an additional layer or two that, while they may have added nuance, would have sacrificed usability.

The general system taxonomy we used for the visual email editor. While the project team used these terms frequently among themselves, “Rows” is the only term that is actually displayed in the interface.

These basic terms – layout, row, column, block – became catchwords on the project, providing necessary distinctions that allowed us to move quickly. When a designer talked with a developer about row manipulation, both knew exactly what was being discussed and how the other components would be affected. When we eventually dealt with theme manipulation, we could talk about how theme attributes would cascade down to each element of the layout. These terms were reflected in the information architecture, visual design, front-end code, and the backend systems that translate the edited code into email-compliant HTML.
This language was essential to the project, and resulted from comparative research we conducted in the first weeks of our work. Instead of replicating the structure of the first product we came across, we weighed the pros and cons of various implementations to suss out an appropriate approach that balanced usability and feature-richness. What could’ve been seen as a questionably-productive phase of the project – from our own or our client’s perspective – proved to be crucial, especially given a tight timeline that didn’t afford us a chance to stumble around in the dark.
Further Considerations
Comparative research can inform projects at early stages, providing fodder and direction for initial design concepts, and in the midst of design iterations when refining content, interaction, and general architectural patterns. Some things to consider:
Comparative analyses can save time. Unless you have the time and budget to learn by trial and error or your own user research, learn from others’ experience. See what the most successful products are doing and try to figure out how they do it.
Focus on primary, complex workflows. Don’t conduct a comparative analysis on form design unless you’re designing a new EMR (which you should, if given the chance). Rely on established conventions where you can in order to devote time and attention to bigger, riskier aspects.
Gather examples widely. Study the work of obvious competitors, but also look outside of the immediate industry. Be inventive and broad-ranging as you collect examples in order to avoid provincial biases and assumptions that may be inherent to industry products. When documenting instances, consider using animated gifs to show interactivity to teammates and clients.
Consider user testing your competitors’ products. For the email product redesign, we started weekly user testing before we had a functioning prototype. Because we knew we’d be dealing with direct manipulation of content and features like drag-and-drop, which can be difficult to replicate in rough prototypes, we decided to use our competitor’s products in moderated usability tests. This gave us a sense for where people succeed – and where they get tripped up – when using industry-leading software.
Practice the habit of criticism. Design criticism ought to be something we do constantly and casually, reflecting on the products we interact with daily. Although we may treat it as a formal activity on projects, the perspective we bring (or don’t bring) to projects is formed by all that we do beforehand. Don’t forget to ask why. Not that you would. You’re a designer, after all.
Note: This article is a reflection on work done mostly by the astute and esteemed Curt Arledge.


Source: VigetInspire


Breadcrumb Navigation & its Usefulness

While navigating through websites, breadcrumbs are one way to ensure that you (or your users) can browse and explore easily. Breadcrumbs, or breadcrumb navigation links, are a set of hyperlinks that function as an extra navigation feature for websites. Breadcrumbs positively effect usability by minimizing the number of actions a website user needs to take to get into high-level pages, which enhances ease of navigation. They also provide indication as to the exact location of the visitor within the website’s hierarchy, providing context and, essentially, a virtual mini map of the site.

 What are Breadcrumbs?
A “breadcrumb” is a kind of alternate navigation method which helps to reveal the visitor’s location within a website or Web app. We often find breadcrumbs on websites that have an extensive catalogue of information organized in a hierarchical manner. We can also see breadcrumbs in Web apps that have a vast quantity of content, or multiple functionalities, in which case they function just like a progress bar. Visually, breadcrumbs are text links separated by symbols (most commonly “>”) that indicate the depth or level of associated pages.

An example of a breadcrumb where the current page is marked in red
 
When are Breadcrumbs useful?
Breadcrumbs are becoming more and more common for navigating websites with extensive content. To explain their value we’ll look at e-commerce websites, as breadcrumbs are most commonly associated with this site genre.
Breadcrumbs are virtually a must when it comes to E-commerce websites since these sites require a vast amount of categorically organized content that can be browsed easily. Even if a site has the best products on the market, if the organization of the content is difficult to understand, or difficult to browse, the website will be unable to contend with the multitude of other more user friendly competitors. One way to stay current and competitive in this market is by simplifying navigation, and breadcrumbs are the easiest way to promote simple navigation across hundreds of pages of products. E-commerce websites are the best example of the value of breadcrumbs, but any website that displays a high volume of content over many pages could benefit from using this system as well.
So how do you know if using breadcrumbs is right for your website? Essentially, breadcrumbs won’t be useful for single level sites or sites that have minimal content. If you’re unsure, a great way to determine if your website could benefit from implementing breadcrumbs is to create a detailed outline of the sitemap for your entire website. This will help you visually ascertain the depth, hierarchy and number of pages that you’re working with. It’s likely though that if you need to create a sitemap to help you keep track of all the content on your site, implementing breadcrumbs may be a good decision.
However, keep in mind that if the content on your pages is so rich that single categories (used to name your breadcrumbs) cannot easily describe the content, breadcrumbs may actually add to the confusion and decrease usability, in which case you may want to use tags instead of, or along with, breadcrumbs.
Also remember that this system is in no way a replacement for the main navigation on your site so ensure that you have a well-designed navigation bar on your homepage. Breadcrumbs are simply a helpful additional feature for browsing and exploring. It’s an alternate navigation scheme that allows users to keep track of where they are and where they’ve already been while browsing your site.
 
Advantages of Breadcrumbs

User Friendliness

Promotes easy navigation throughout the website to make browsing easier

User Efficiency

Rather than using the browser’s back button to sift through pages they’ve visited, users can easily reach their destination page, and toggle between pages, in just one simple click. 

Builds Interest

When a user lands on a page that they’ve visited before, breadcrumbs can be useful in that they may provide links to related pages, which can save time and be very useful for visitors.

Increases Site Traffic

Search engines love links, and since breadcrumbs are essentially just internal links they can help increase your search engine ratings, which means more traffic! Furthermore, if someone reaches your site from a search engine, seeing the list of breadcrumbs may encourage them to visit high-level pages and do more browsing than they normally would without access to this feature.

Breadcrumbs are easy!

Setting up breadcrumbs on your website is incredibly easy and takes up very little bandwidth. 

Decrease Bounces

Since Breadcrumbs usually provide a far more detailed navigation system then your primary one, they improve the health of your website and reduce your bounce rates. With such flexibility and easy browsing, few people would choose to navigate away after viewing only one page.
Preparing and implementing Breadcrumbs
When creating breadcrumb navigation, there are a few simple but imperative guidelines that must be considered. Let’s take a look at these guidelines in detail:
Separating Breadcrumbs
The most commonly used and recognized symbol for link separation in breadcrumb trails is the “greater than” symbol (>). Usually, the > symbol is used to indicate hierarchy, which is the format of Parent category > Child category.
Other symbols can be used as well, such as arrows and slashes. Depending on the website and the type of breadcrumb used, these are all viable options.
Placement
Breadcrumbs should always be located on the first half of the page where they will be easily noted. You want your breadcrumbs to stand out enough that users notice and take advantage of this feature.
Size Matters
Implementing a sizeable Breadcrumbs bar will negatively affect your websites structure and aesthetics; therefore you should always opt for a smaller, less prominent bar.
Types of Breadcrumbs
Before you implement breadcrumbs on your site, you should know that there are two types of breadcrumb links: 

Location-based Breadcrumb Links

Also known as a “history trail,” the intention of path-based breadcrumb links is to show visitors the steps they have taken to reach the current page. This type of breadcrumb link navigation usually looks something like this:
About Us >Services > Contacts > News > Services> Company
Location breadcrumbs are static, starting with the homepage URL and including all of the main pages in the website hierarchy. Each of the pages is hyperlinked, providing the opportunity to toggle back to any previously viewed pages or any higher-level pages. Not only are these breadcrumbs useful to site visitors, they are also what search engines use to determine the subject and scope of the site and are important for site rankings.

Attribute-Based Breadcrumb Links

Attribute breadcrumbs are a more specified breed that tracks selected items on the webpages a visitor has viewed. This allows users to see even more data related to their browsing history, and further increases usability.
In order to differentiate between location and attribute breadcrumbs, look for a close (x) button near the text, as shown below:

Attribute based breadcrumb on newegg.com
 The Downfalls
There are a couple of noteworthy downfalls when it comes to breadcrumbs, so it is really worth considering if they are right for you and your website before implementing this system.

Visitors who arrive at the site through a Google search may find this navigation bar confusing as it shows a history of pages visited that the user has not actually landed on yet.
This type of Breadcrumb navigation also increases the chances of duplicate content listing within search engines like Google. Attribute-based breadcrumb links can cause content duplication issues on search engine listing, but SEO professionals can usually easily manage this issue.

Conclusion
A Breadcrumb can be a great way to ensure that you receive positive feedback from both search engines and visitors. Make sure you weigh the pros and cons of the system to ascertain if it’s the right navigation system for you, and if it is, remember that clear and simple breadcrumb navigation is the secret to success! Happy navigating!
The post Breadcrumb Navigation & its Usefulness appeared first on Web Designer Hub.
Source: http://www.webdesignerhub.com


What Not to Wearable: Part 2

In Part 1, I outlined strategies to coordinate the design goals of digital and physical products. Now, I want to take a look at how employing those strategies might yield wearables that appeal to a broad market.
Wearables consist of three designed components:
The Product This is the object that will house the hardware.The Hardware These are the technology components that make a product “smart.” It includes the sensors, indicators, transmitters (as well as requisite power sources) that are layered into a physical product to add functionality.The Digital Experience This is the suite of apps and interfaces that the user interacts with in relation to the wearable. It may be on the wearable itself (as in a full-display watch) or synced to a device (as with a fitness tracker).

There are many articles (including this one and this one) that offer guidance on designing for wearables. But, they all tend to focus on the digital experience. They advise best practices for designing apps for tiny screens or explain the consequences of inappropriately timed notifications. While these are great resources, they gloss over the biggest hurdle in wearables design: how to seamlessly integrate technology into physical products.
These articles do not address the design of the product or the hardware. Instead, they assume constraints, like screen dimensions and available sensors and inputs, based on set product and hardware specifications. Here, the digital experience is framed as a part that is layered on top of already set product and hardware designs, instead of designed alongside them.
However, I think the biggest opportunity for innovation within the wearables space is at the juncture between the product, the hardware, and the digital experience. By giving each of these parts equal weight and consideration throughout the design process, the design of these parts can influence and drive each other. Collaboration and communication between the separate teams that design these parts is key to creating more integrated and relevant wearable products.
Designing Smarter Objects
Let’s take a brief second to look at the design of an analog object to understand the goals of object design. Take a look at a handbag. You may be surprised to find that the average bag is made up of at least 20 visible component parts. This includes linings, zippers, zipper pullers, thread, leather, trims, edgepaint, and various hardware pieces. However, in a successful design, people don’t notice the parts; they see the whole. Functional elements, like zippers, fade into the background. They make the bag more useful without calling attention to themselves or creating difficulties or hassles.

A handbag deconstructed into its component parts.

Compare the above approach with the design of many connected products. Recently, I’ve seen quite a few attempts to design connected mirrors. Many use a display behind a two-way mirror and rely on touch to control the interface. 

I think we can all agree that bathroom and dressing room mirrors are designed to be able to see yourself. Despite this, connected mirrors layer on interfaces that take up visual real estate. This actually makes the mirror less useful as a mirror. The way technology has been incorporated into the product competes with the analog goals of a mirror. 
Additionally, mirrors are most reliable as a tool when they are smudge-free and clean. Considering this, a touchscreen interface is not the best design choice. Think about a woman trying to apply makeup and then control the mirror. It’s going to end up a grimy mess.
Beyond this, the interfaces I've seen are generally flat, and simply adapt the basic UI of a phone or tablet to new dimensions. These designs don't account for a mirror's material properties. Phones and tablets aren’t reflective in the same way that a mirror is. When a person looks into a mirror, they have a perception of depth. To ignore this is in the interface design is a missed opportunity. A connected mirror would be far more compelling if the display functioned more like an augmented reality experience with a sense of depth and an awareness of the space and objects the analog mirror is displaying. Instead, the flat interface creates a disconnect between the digital and analog products. All this just goes to say, just because you can add a screen to an object doesn’t mean you should.

Considerations for Designing Wearables
So, to create a successful connected product of any kind, you must first align the goals of the physical and digital products. In extending this design strategy to wearables, designers are challenged to fully incorporate tech hardware into the design of apparel and accessories without disrupting the aesthetics or analog functions of those products. By doing this, wearables are more likely to appeal to the mass-market consumer (as opposed to the tech niche).
These are the questions designers will need to answer as they go about designing wearables from the ground up. Granted, these aren't easy questions to tackle, but they should steer wearable designs toward a more viable future.
What is the use case?
With connected products, technology is sometimes thrown at analog objects to see what sticks. Later, a use case is reverse-engineered for the resulting franken-product. (See bluetooth toasters.) Over-complicating simple analog tasks by adding technology thwarts long-term adoption. If a rube-goldbergian series of interactions is necessary to do something as simple as make toast, the product is unlikely to find a large customer base. This approach frames the product as a novelty item, as opposed to a tool to make life easier. Instead, identify a problem worth solving first, and figure out if that problem is relevant to your primary users.
(A quick aside to acknowledge that Nike’s self-lacing shoes are an interesting exception to this rule. The initial shoe design stemmed from a novelty prop from Back to the Future. However, they later discovered that a self-lacing shoe could be a great assistive device for people who struggle to tie their own shoelaces including elderly adults, pregnant women, and people who have disabilities. The product could actually make the lives of people with limited flexibility, mobility, or dexterity easier.)
Which product is appropriate to solve the problem at hand?
You then have to decide which product is the right one to connect, as well as what types of inputs and outputs it will need. Say you decide that you need a wearable with a speaker to solve a certain problem. Now, you must determine which product is most appropriate to relay that sound. Maybe it is a watch with a speaker, but would people want to hold their hands up to their ear to hear? And how private does the sound need to be? Perhaps the speaker could go on a product that is naturally closer to the ear, like glasses or earrings. Instead of thinking about which products will most readily accept hardware, concentrate on which would be most appropriate to outfit with a specific technology.
Does the application of technology actually enhance the product?
Technology shouldn’t interrupt the usability of the non-connected product. It should enhance it. If the addition of technology disrupts the analog function of the object, it likely isn’t a good application of the technology. I don’t want a connected handbag, where the technology components take up so much room, there is no room left for me to store my stuff. No matter how many other features it might offer, it doesn’t do what a non-connected bag promises to do for me.
How can technology be fully incorporated into the product?

Finally, we have arrived at the material sensitivity component of wearables design. First, discover a product's inherent physical properties and the nature of its materials. Then, explore ways that both the physical materials and technological components can be adapted to work together seamlessly. To me, the hybrid smart watch concept demonstrates this type of thinking. It uses analog hands to indicate digital notifications, as opposed to full digital display watches. The analog and digital components of the product are one in the same and inseparable. To that end, I’d love to see more industrial and fashion designers working closely together with engineers and hardware developers to design components that are fully incorporated into the product, both in form and aesthetics. 
A Model for Innovation
So, what does a good connected product look like in the wearables space? I believe the Google Jacquard project is the best current model. Google partnered with Levi’s to overcome the hurdle of incorporating sensors directly into the physical object without sacrificing quality, durability, or aesthetics. They wove conductive wires directly into denim and used this new hybrid material in the cuff of a jacket sleeve. This allows the wearer to use the sleeve as an interface for controlling their phone, swiping across it to advance or pause music or ignore a call.

[youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qObSFfdfe7I]

The technology is literally woven into the product. The functional components of the product are so perfectly part of the composite whole that we don’t think of them as separate anymore. That is the type of thinking and design necessary to make wearable technology appeal to the masses.
It is at the intersection of disparate fields that some of the most interesting and innovative solutions come to life. So, I’m excited to see where wearable tech leads, and how designers from the digital space to the physical space continue to integrate increasingly complex technologies into the products we interact with everyday.
Interested in reading more about holistic design approaches to wearables? Check out some of the newest wearables products featured at Dezeen or take a look at these articles
Designing for Wearables: Beyond the Cool Factor by Kayleigh Karutis for Invision BlogDesigning for Smartwatches And Wearables to Enhance Real-Life Experience by Jonathan Kohl for Smashing Magazine


Source: VigetInspire


Accessibility, New Technology & the Aging Baby Boomers

[youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=68qU3uiCRR8&w=560&h=315]
Accessibility isn’t just for the blind or deaf. Accessibility is for everyone. Our eyes, ears, and motor function won’t improve with age.
By 2020, the elderly will outnumber those over the age of 5, and Baby Boomers will make up 15% of our population, and of those Baby Boomers 68% of them have multiple electronic devices. Organizations can’t afford to ignore the growing need this part of the population has for accessible digital platforms. And when those numbers are combined with the fact that 1 in 10 Americans has a disability, the importance of improving accessibility becomes a business imperative.
At this year’s DrupalCoin BlockchainCon in Baltimore, MD, Catharine McNally and I will be discussing how accessible design improves usability for everyone, while also increasing SEO and market size for every website which matters more now than ever.
With a technologically competent and aging Baby Boomer population, we are expecting previously unseen numbers of users who will demand accessible experiences, and we can help you understand how to create them.
In our DrupalCoin BlockchainCon talk we will provide our audience with:

An updated understanding of what accessibility is and whom it is for
An experience of websites through a screen-reader on a non-compliant, as well as a compliant website.
A time and budget-saving method for creating closed captions.
Information about the long-term benefits of accessible design to improve web experiences for all users
Insight into the great opportunities and requirements for voice control
Updates about the upcoming / new Section 508 Refresh and how it may impact your work.

Read more about the session here. And if you are going to be at DrupalCoin BlockchainCon Baltimore and would like to talk to me or Catharine about accessibility, please reach out to us and let us know: @dbspira, @cmcnally

Source: https://www.phase2technology.com/feed/


Avoidable Design Flaws That Can Hurt Your Site

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The web was supposed to get better,  that was the promise.  And you’d think it would have, with all the increased awareness of accessibility and usability considerations.  But strangely enough, we’re more than 25 years in, and things are actually getting worse in general.  How could this be so?
It can’t be blamed on education.  Every course in Internet Design and Development worth its salt covers the fundamentals of good design principles, usability, and accessibility.  It can’t be blamed on the engineering standards, because the W3C guidelines are stricter and more clearly defined than ever before.  Nor can it be blamed on technology, because the technology is more supportive of developing high quality sites, not less.
No, the answer to this paradox is actually quite simple.  It’s because designers have had their power stripped away by the demands of marketers and their clients.  So the designer knows there should be good contrast between the text and the background, but he or she can’t implement that good design principle because somebody in marketing thinks it will look more cool to have “dark silver” text instead of black, and of course we must have “that washed out blue font that Twitter uses” for the headings, so “all the young people can better identify with our site.”
The concern about “looking good” and also copying what everyone else is doing is taking precedence over practical considerations like high speed, low bandwidth, and good usability.  If you’re one of the clients who needs to make decisions about what your site should look like, then this article is for you.  It’s also for those designers who have the courage to negotiate with clients to get websites more in line with how they’re supposed to be, instead of being just like every other similar site out there.  It’s time for the future to arrive already.
1. Poor contrast
This has lately become fashionable.  It’s amazing that it could be so, given the repeated message driven home to us repeatedly over the past 25 years that we must avoid poor contrast.  The precursor to this fashion seems to be Twitter and Bootstrap, but they in turn could have been inspired by someone else.  Let’s take a look at an example:

The above is a fragment from one of Twitter’s help pages.  The philosophy behind the design seems to be that the more important a piece of information is held to be, the darker it appears on the page.  Thus the H1 heading for the page is in black text, because that seems to be considered to be very important.
Although it’s not clear in the screenshot, the main body of text is actually a dark gray color (not full black) because that appears to be important, but not as important as the heading.
Links aren’t in the standard shade of blue, they’re in “Twitter Blue”, which is a very pale shade that doesn’t contrast well with white backgrounds.
The H2 heading further down the page is a more pale shade of gray than the main body text, which some people will find confusing.  Headings shouldn’t be more difficult to see than the rest of the text, unless they’d be a major distraction (in which case you probably should be questioning whether they need to be headings at all).
The left panel navigatgion options are also in pale gray and pale blue shades, and again the idea seems to be to have these items fade into insignificance so they won’t distract you from the main content area.
Finally the most pale area of all is the feedback zone, which is clearly the least important part of all.  But even Twitter is doing a better job of things than this site:

The only logical conclusion that can be derived from this example is that they don’t want you to know the answer to the question.  It is, if you’ll forgive the expression, beyond the pale.
2. Bad encoding
This is simply a symptom of extreme laziness and not even bothering to check how your page renders.  It would seem impossible to make this blunder in this day and age, but still somehow people are managing to do it.  They’re even managing to do it for the wrong reasons, as shown in this example:

Looks like just an ordinary case of somebody forgetting to set the encoding to UTF-8, right?  Except it’s not, because the encoding for this page is set to UTF-8.  The site designer did everything correctly, even going to the extreme length of escaping all the apostrophes in the meta-data to entity character 39, even though that may not even be necessary.  The problem occurred with the insertion of the content into the design, because what has obviously happened here is wrongly encoded text containing MS Word smart quotes has been pasted into the content section, thus ensuring it will render incorrectly in every browser, because the encoding of the page is set to UTF-8 and the content isn’t encoded in UTF-8.
While most people will be willing to overlook the small matter of smart apostrophes being rendered as ’, it is very annoying, and it’s even worse when the mistake occurs in the headline. The bottom line is that you must check your content is displaying correctly when you release it onto the web, and you should always ensure you’ve used proper encoding (which for most purposes will be UTF-8 or UTF-16).  Remember that websites are mainly about first impressions, and it’s really not good if the first impression somebody is getting of your business is “sloppy” or “lazy”.
3. Using Flash
There is simply no reason to do this any more.  Flash had it’s day, but that day is over.  Still many sites, and particularly gambling sites (where it is the least appropriate) are still using Flash.  Plus some of the biggest and most successful sites on the Web make extensive use of Flash in many different contexts.  So if it’s good enough for them, why wouldn’t it be good enough for you?

Well for one thing, Flash is a massive resource hog.  It’s also riddled with vulnerabilities, has been targeted by malicious hackers as a trojan delivery mechanism, and is inherently a privacy risk as well due to the incorporation of persistent Flash cookies, otherwise known as Local Shared Objects.  These cookies bypass the browser’s security settings, and may contain way more information than a regular cookie.  Worse still, LSOs share data between different browsers, making it even more difficult for ordinary users to maintain privacy.
At best, users who know enough about Flash to be concerned, will view your use of Flash as being lazy or out-dated, but there’s also the possibility that users could perceive your business as lacking security consciousness, disregarding privacy concerns, or worse still that you are untrustworthy.
Everything that can be done in Flash can be done in regular HTML 5, so if you’re still using Flash that indicates to users that you either don’t know how to replicate the functionality in HTML 5, that you’re too cheap to do so, or that you’re intentionally exploiting the dark side of Flash.  If you’re thinking of using Flash and you don’t have dishonest intentions, it’s simply not worth the trouble.
4. AutoPlay video
If there’s one thing users universally can’t stand, it’s the obnoxious assumption that if your site provides video content, they’ll want to play it.  News websites are especially guilty of this sin, and many of them even go as far as to shamelessly append a never-ending playlist to the video that they’re autoplaying.  YouTube also has auto playlisting turned on by default, but at least they don’t autoplay your first video.  Of course users should have to opt-in to autoplay, they should not have to opt-out.
Users on limited bandwidth plans, and especially mobile users (which is most of them), will not appreciate that your site has been loading and playing videos in their browser without their awareness of it.  The only time it can be considered appropriate to autoplay a video is when the video is very small (in terms of bytes), self-contained, and adds value to the user experience.

If so many users are describing this behavior as annoying and actually asking how to disable it, it must really be annoying.  And yes, we know it’s actually quite simple for users of Firefox, Chrome, and Chromium to disable autoplay completely, but how many users are really comfortable digging around in about:config or installing a plug-in to block behavior that shouldn’t be exploited in the first place?
Notice that we talked about exploitation there?  It’s because the creators of HTML 5 did nothing wrong by including the possibility of AutoPlay.  It’s just that they didn’t anticipate people using it incorrectly like this.
5. Infinite scroll
This is another once novel and interesting concept that has been totally hijacked by marketers, making it now a source of frustration rather than entertainment as it should be.  Marketers figured out that if they use endless scroll on a web page, they can keep people on the page for more time.
But once again, search results tell a story.  See this example:

As you can see, the general tone is that infinite scrolling is annoying.  It’s not enhancing the user experience, it causes massive usability problems, and it can lead to memory and performance problems as pages grow and generate more content.  This is especially so when users open multiple tabs, and when providers are delivering media-rich content on infinite scrolling sites in multiple tabs, it’s definitely going to lead to problems.
6. Generating pop-under or pop-over windows when they’re not needed
Anything that doesn’t add to the user experience detracts from it.  Detracting from the user experience builds resentment, and users will avoid your site if there’s a viable alternative.  That’s why sites that are in very secure positions like TripAdvisor fling pop-under windows around as casually as US soldiers lob propaganda teddy bears to starving Afghan children. But where the bears at least bring joy, the pop-ups only result in annoyance.

The worst thing about this behavior from TripAdvisor is that there really isn’t any point to what they’re doing because the user is already on their site.  The only imaginable reasons for TripAdvisor to duplicate the same window the user is already on as a pop-under would be:

to fool Google’s bounce rate analytics
to try to make you have second thoughts if you do bounce

Neither of these seems like a particularly good idea.  Of course there could be other reasons for doing this, but if they exist, they’re not obvious.
7. Annoying overlays
It’s not “International Bash TripAdvisor Day” (yet), but since they’re so generously providing examples of obnoxious web page behavior, it would truly be looking a gift horse in the mouth to ignore this.  So here’s what TripAdvisor just showed a moment ago when I was setting up that pop-under screenshot:

You can probably guess already what’s so stupid about this.  It’s that I’m already on their site.  I’m already considering shopping on their site.  So this pop-over is achieving nothing except getting in the way of me doing that.  At least it’s not one of those similar overlays begging me to subscribe to a newsletter or download a “free” e-book.
You absolutely should never use these things except when it’s to provide some very important information to the user.  An example of that might be instructions on how to play a game they’ve requested in the browser, or a security or privacy warning message.
It’s mostly a matter of common sense (which is probably why marketers fail at it)
The really obvious thing is that when you do something on the Web which only has benefit to yourself, provides no benefit to the user, and in some way inconveniences them, invades their privacy, or actually costs them money (as in the case of autoplay video and infinite scrolling websites), users are going to resent it.  Maybe not all users, but enough of a vocally active majority to influence quite a few more.
If your website has any of these design flaws, you should take action immediately to correct these flaws.  They have the potential to harm your public image and to drive users away from your site.
header image courtesy of Dan Dragomir
This post Avoidable Design Flaws That Can Hurt Your Site was written by Catalin Zorzini and first appearedon Inspired Magazine.
Source: inspiredm.com


Web 3.0

Whatever happened to Web 3.0? What was it? Did it ever happen? I’ve seen multiple attempts at definitions. Things about artificial intelligence. The semantic web. Social networks.One thing I remember about Web 2.0 was that 37signals (the original company behind Basecamp) was labeled as a company who was very “Web 2.0”.I’m not sure that was true.Are those grapes? No, coffee beans. Coffee beans aren’t actually the chocolatey looking things we usually see until they are roasted. And even as recently as 1850, folks were buying those green beans and had to roast and grind them by hand at home.Along came William H. Bovee in 1850 who figured there had to be an opportunity here. He came up with an idea to roast the beans, grind them himself and sell the product in cans to consumers — making coffee much more convenient.He also hired a carpenter, named James, who took a lot of interest in the coffee business. James eventually became William’s partner and later bought the entire company for himself. Williams company, originally “Pioneer Steam Coffee and Spice Mills” was then renamed after James’ own last name: J.A. Folger & Co. What we now call just “Folgers”.William and James ushered in what many coffee historians refer to as the “First Wave” of coffee.The First Wave of coffee was mass production. Bringing convenience to consumers. Making sure everyone who wanted coffee could get it. Maybe not the best or freshest quality, but an easy source of caffeine nonetheless.Then came a Second Wave. It started with three friends from college, Jerry Baldwin, Zev Siegl and Gordon Bowker, who opened up a store to sell their own roasted beans and coffee. They scoffed at the idea of selling fancy lattes that were being sold in Italy. But one of their employees couldn’t resist the urge to transform the company to sell the fancier beverages. So that employee, Howard Schultz, bought their small chain called Starbucks and transformed it into the mega-success it is today.Starbucks is the exemplar of the Second Wave. The Second Wave was coffee becoming a first class citizen of retail. You went out to have coffee. It was no longer just something stuck onto breakfast or dessert. The customization options were infinite.The Third Wave of coffee is where we are today. Shops like Intelligentsia and Stumptown realized coffee still had another level of appreciation. Not about: “What country was this coffee from?” but: “Which farmer grew these beans?”Earth’s highest coffee farm at IntelligentsiaIntelligentsia connects the consumer to the minute details and people making your beverage.The Third Wave is about coffee becoming… artisanal.Once you see these waves with coffee, you start to see these waves everywhere. Beer is now in its third wave with all of the microbreweries. There are reality TV shows about bakery artisans. Everything at the grocery store seems to have gone from: laborious to convenient to mass produced to “locally farmed and sourced.”Was Web 1.0, 2.0 the same thing?Craigslist is the perfect example of Web 1.0. Here were “things that you used to have to do laboriously by placing ads in newspapers, or hanging up flyers in your neighborhood” now online. It looked (and still looks) terrible. Had plenty of issues and navigation problems. But quality didn’t matter. It was online and you’re never going back. It was ground beans in a can.A key component of Web 2.0 was usability. Convenience wasn’t enough anymore. Things had to work well and be easy to use. It was about the “end user’s experience.” Reminds me of a Starbucks cafe.37signals launched Basecamp back in 2004. Many lobbed them into experts at Web 2.0. Afterall, they spent so much time on design and making sure their products were dead simple to understand and use.But when Basecamp launched I found myself not just interested in the product, but the makers. They opened up their process, their philosophies, even their morning routines and which pens they used.You got to connect with them on a level that seemed unheard of for people making software. And it created an audience around them that loved to use and spread their products.I think 37signals/Basecamp wasn’t another example of Web 2.0, but like Intelligentsia, they ushered in a third wave. Jason, David, and the 37signals crew created artisanal software.What’s funny to me is that even though they were doing this since the early oughts (I just had to find a reason to use the word ought), I feel like few others have understood how powerful this was and utilized it for themselves.Today’s typical company blog is glorified “press releases” no one gives a shit about (features launched, new hires, self-congrats on raising money or business acquisitions). Or the blog is “content marketing”, where hired freelancers spin out countless articles with hopes Google will bless them.Now, don’t get me wrong: company news isn’t a bad thing, SEO and helpful articles on how to use your product isn’t a bad thing. But they pale in comparison to trying to connect as humans with the people who come across your work.And it’s been a huge inspiration in how I run things over here at Highrise. Newsletters I write share something about our life and kind. My welcome email to new customers mention our current weekend plans. And my vlog opens up our process in taking over and rejuvenating Highrise and the crazy life of raising a toddler balanced in. I’ve enjoyed the results: huge open/click rates to things I send, email replies about customers own lives, and support for all the decisions we have to make and figure out.So if you are in a spot where you’re building a business or trying to grow attention to what you’re doing, take a minute to consider… Are you still trying to mass produce something that’s already been mass produced? Or are you focusing on ‘user experience’ as your main goal, when no one else disagrees anymore that ‘user experience’ is important?Or is it time for you to try connecting? Is it time for the Third Wave?P.S. If you enjoyed this article, please help spread it by clicking that ❤ below. And if you are interested in more, you should follow my YouTube channel, where I share more about how history, psychology, and science can help us come up with better ideas and start businesses. And if you need a simple system to track leads and follow-ups you should give Highrise a look.Web 3.0 was originally published in Signal v. Noise on Medium, where people are continuing the conversation by highlighting and responding to this story.


Source: 37signals


Snapchat is the Donald Trump of UI Design

A few days ago, I enjoyed reading Carmel DeAmicis’ article on Medium, Did Snapchat succeed because of its controversial UI? If you haven’t read that article yet, you should stop now and give it a read, but the general argument is this: Snapchat breaks all the rules of conventional usability, yet it has been widely adopted in part because of this rather than in spite of it.
I was intrigued by the article's points about why this might be, but I want to add another perspective. As I read the article, there was a particular analogy that I couldn’t get out of my head: Snapchat is the Donald Trump of UI design.
Let me explain. Every once in a while, a truly disruptive event comes along that challenges things we thought we knew about the world. Within a few hours on Election Night 2016, the world realized in unison that rules of electoral politics that we thought mattered – polls, campaign infrastructure, party orthodoxy – actually didn't.
What Trump has done to our received wisdom about electability, Snapchat has done to designers’ convictions about the importance of usability in design. UX designers in particular regard intuitive design and usability testing as core threads of our intellectual lineage and professional identity. And yet here is Snapchat, a $28-billion marvel of unintuitive design.
It can be deeply troubling to see our pillars of conventional wisdom demolished. We wonder, how could we have been so wrong? What else have we missed? We also tend to overreact. If we could be so wrong about this, does anything really matter?

So what can the rise of Donald Trump teach designers about the perplexing success of Snapchat’s unconventional UI? Here are a few thoughts.
Don’t mistake luck for genius
As DeAmicis notes, it’s not clear whether Snapchat’s UI design is the product of visionary foresight or just an accident that worked. Josh Elman’s concept of “shareable design” as a successor to “intuitive design” is a compelling idea, but I'm doubtful that it was an operating philosophy in the early days of Snapchat (but I could be wrong!).
To their credit, Donald Trump's campaign developed a strategy that was ultimately successful, but the early months of the campaign were by all indications a sustained improvisation. Trump never expected to stay in the presidential race past October 2015, much less make it all the way to the White House. He listened to what made his crowds cheer, and then he said more of that stuff.
Both hit on a powerful idea at just the right time, but that doesn’t mean that anyone else will be able to replicate their successes by following the same playbook.
In both of these cases, ascribing some kind of genius vision to Snapchat and Trump ignores the role that happenstance played in both cases. Both hit on a powerful idea at just the right time, but that doesn’t mean that anyone else will be able to replicate their successes by following the same playbook. (After all, lots more bullies and weirdos lose elections than win them.) On the bright side, you don’t need to be a genius with a fancy concept to introduce your strange new idea into the world. Just put it in front of people, listen, and iterate.
Value is bigger than presentation
An intuitive digital interface is only one part of what makes a product valuable. A slick UI isn’t even necessary to make a product great: just look at Craigslist. By making its photos self-destruct after sending, Snapchat encouraged a new type of user behavior and then benefitted from the network effects of a growing user base. Then it released its amazing filters, and its value multiplied further.
During the election, Trump’s value was his message, which was basically “F**k you, Establishment.” This message was catnip to a plurality of the Republican base. Trump said things no other politician would say: build a wall, ban Muslims, lock her up, etc. Unburdened by the usual political constraints of feasibility and tact, Trump said exactly what his base was already thinking. After all, he watches the same TV shows.
Snapchat’s features and network and Donald Trump’s message are so valuable to their audience that matters of presentation are basically irrelevant by comparison.
The point is that Snapchat’s features and network and Donald Trump’s message are so valuable to their audience that matters of presentation are basically irrelevant by comparison. While it might be true that a certain amount of esotericism may be appealing to its youthful audience, Snapchat’s filters would be a killer feature no matter how easy or difficult they are to find in the app. As important as design can be to the success or failure of a product, Snapchat’s value comes from its function, not from its design.
Similarly, the power of Trump’s message allowed his supporters to overlook massively dissonant aspects of his persona. It’s why evangelical Christians supported a guy who bragged about sexual assault, and why Rust Belt workers voted for a billionaire playboy. In the general election, not being Hillary Clinton proved valuable enough to mainstream Republicans that they could overlook their grave doubts about his fitness to serve. When people find something valuable, they’ll do anything to get it.
Changing priorities, changing tactics
Being weird and unconventional is a good way to build a niche, but widespread adoption requires a more inclusive approach. What both Snapchat and Trump have been really, really good at is speaking the language of their target audiences. But now that Snap is a public company and Trump is commander in chief and leader of the GOP, their constituencies have changed, which means new tactics are needed.
For social, tech-savvy millennials, spending time fumbling through an app may be no big deal. For those users, the Snapchat UI’s hostility to older users is a feature, but the market will most likely judge that to be a bug. I would be surprised if we don’t see usability improvements start popping up in Snapchat almost immediately. Who knows, there may even be a menu bar by the end of the year.
Now that Snap is a public company and Trump is commander in chief and leader of the GOP, their constituencies have changed, which means new tactics are needed.
If you think that these types of changes would detract from what makes Snapchat special, you're going to be in for a lot more disappointment as it makes the inevitable Facebook-like shift to mainstream adoption. Hiding a few easter eggs in the UI is one thing, but no product seeking a large user base would dare to release something as unusable as Snapchat in its current form. Expect post-IPO Snapchat to be thoroughly focus grouped and user tested.
Similarly, the game has changed for Trump. As a presidential candidate, being loud and accusatory is a great way to stir up GOP support, but as a president, it’s a great way to get yourself investigated and spend your term mired in scandal. Time will tell whether Trump’s administration learns to play by the rules of Washington’s entrenched power dynamics or tries to steamroll the whole thing. Whether either course will be to the benefit of the American people or the world is another story, but learning to moderate his impulses would certainly allow Trump to get more accomplished.
This is happening, whether you like it or not
No matter how much you may dislike Snapchat’s janky UI or our unprecedented new president, you can’t put the genie back in the bottle. Ignoring or discounting the remarkable successes of these two American phenomena is not an option.
Before being too snobby about Snapchat’s design choices, we should remember that design conventions don’t emerge from thin air. The hidden gesture control of today may become the recognizable interaction pattern of tomorrow. For better or worse, expect to see more products mimicking Snapchat’s UI, and the gradual convergence on new design conventions that will result.
For better or worse, expect to see more products mimicking Snapchat’s UI, and the gradual convergence on new design conventions that will result.
In the same way, Trump has changed our cultural and civic playing field irrevocably. We will never be the same country we were before Trump. And as much as many of us may struggle to remind ourselves that this is not normal, norms change.
As citizens, we can play a part in shaping those norms through vigilance, education, and activism. As designers, we can do our part by designing products that are intuitive and accessible to everyone. Sure, there is more to design than usability, and bold new ideas help move our practice forward. But no matter how trends change, usability isn’t going out of style any time soon.


Source: VigetInspire


Using Breadcrumbs for Website Navigation

While navigating through websites, breadcrumbs are one way to ensure that you (or your users) can browse and explore easily. Breadcrumbs, or breadcrumb navigation links, are a set of hyperlinks that function as an extra navigation feature for websites. Breadcrumbs positively effect usability by minimizing the number of actions a website user needs to take to get into high-level pages, which enhances ease of navigation. They also provide indication as to the exact location of the visitor within the website’s hierarchy, providing context and, essentially, a virtual mini map of the site.
What are Breadcrumbs?
A “breadcrumb” is a kind of alternate navigation method which helps to reveal the visitor’s location within a website or Web app. We often find breadcrumbs on websites that have an extensive catalogue of information organized in a hierarchical manner. We can also see breadcrumbs in Web apps that have a vast quantity of content, or multiple functionalities, in which case they function just like a progress bar. Visually, breadcrumbs are text links separated by symbols (most commonly “>”) that indicate the depth or level of associated pages.

 An example of a breadcrumb where the current page is marked in Red
 When are Breadcrumbs Useful?
Breadcrumbs are becoming more and more common for navigating websites with extensive content. To explain their value we’ll look at e-commerce websites, as breadcrumbs are most commonly associated with this site genre.
Breadcrumbs are virtually a must when it comes to E-commerce websites since these sites require a vast amount of categorically organized content that can be browsed easily. Even if a site has the best products on the market, if the organization of the content is difficult to understand, or difficult to browse, the website will be unable to contend with the multitude of other more user friendly competitors. One way to stay current and competitive in this market is by simplifying navigation, and breadcrumbs are the easiest way to promote simple navigation across hundreds of pages of products. E-commerce websites are the best example of the value of breadcrumbs, but any website that displays a high volume of content over many pages could benefit from using this system as well.
So how do you know if using breadcrumbs is right for your website? Essentially, breadcrumbs won’t be useful for single level sites or sites that have minimal content. If you’re unsure, a great way to determine if your website could benefit from implementing breadcrumbs is to create a detailed outline of the sitemap for your entire website. This will help you visually ascertain the depth, hierarchy and number of pages that you’re working with. It’s likely though that if you need to create a sitemap to help you keep track of all the content on your site, implementing breadcrumbs may be a good decision.
However, keep in mind that if the content on your pages is so rich that single categories (used to name your breadcrumbs) cannot easily describe the content, breadcrumbs may actually add to the confusion and decrease usability, in which case you may want to use tags instead of, or along with, breadcrumbs.
Also remember that this system is in no way a replacement for the main navigation on your site so ensure that you have a well-designed navigation bar on your homepage. Breadcrumbs are simply a helpful additional feature for browsing and exploring. It’s an alternate navigation scheme that allows users to keep track of where they are and where they’ve already been while browsing your site.
Advantages of Breadcrumbs

User Friendliness

Promotes easy navigation throughout the website to make browsing easier

User Efficiency

Rather than using the browser’s back button to sift through pages they’ve visited, users can easily reach their destination page, and toggle between pages, in just one simple click. 

Builds Interest

When a user lands on a page that they’ve visited before, breadcrumbs can be useful in that they may provide links to related pages, which can save time and be very useful for visitors.

Increases Site Traffic

Search engines love links, and since breadcrumbs are essentially just internal links they can help increase your search engine ratings, which means more traffic! Furthermore, if someone reaches your site from a search engine, seeing the list of breadcrumbs may encourage them to visit high-level pages and do more browsing than they normally would without access to this feature.

Breadcrumbs are easy!

Setting up breadcrumbs on your website is incredibly easy and takes up very little bandwidth. 

Decrease Bounces

Since Breadcrumbs usually provide a far more detailed navigation system then your primary one, they improve the health of your website and reduce your bounce rates. With such flexibility and easy browsing, few people would choose to navigate away after viewing only one page.
Preparing and Implementing Breadcrumbs
When creating breadcrumb navigation, there are a few simple but imperative guidelines that must be considered. Let’s take a look at these guidelines in detail:
Separating Breadcrumbs
The most commonly used and recognized symbol for link separation in breadcrumb trails is the “greater than” symbol (>). Usually, the > symbol is used to indicate hierarchy, which is the format of Parent category > Child category.
Other symbols can be used as well, such as arrows and slashes. Depending on the website and the type of breadcrumb used, these are all viable options.
Placement
Breadcrumbs should always be located on the first half of the page where they will be easily noted. You want your breadcrumbs to stand out enough that users notice and take advantage of this feature.
Size matters
Implementing a sizeable Breadcrumbs bar will negatively affect your websites structure and aesthetics; therefore you should always opt for a smaller, less prominent bar.
Types of Breadcrumbs
Before you implement breadcrumbs on your site, you should know that there are two types of breadcrumb links: 

Location-based Breadcrumb Links

Also known as a “history trail,” the intention of path-based breadcrumb links is to show visitors the steps they have taken to reach the current page. This type of breadcrumb link navigation usually looks something like this:
About Us >Services > Contacts > News > Services> Company
Location breadcrumbs are static, starting with the homepage URL and including all of the main pages in the website hierarchy. Each of the pages is hyperlinked, providing the opportunity to toggle back to any previously viewed pages or any higher-level pages. Not only are these breadcrumbs useful to site visitors, they are also what search engines use to determine the subject and scope of the site and are important for site rankings.

Attribute-Based Breadcrumb Links

Attribute breadcrumbs are a more specified breed that tracks selected items on the webpages a visitor has viewed. This allows users to see even more data related to their browsing history, and further increases usability.
In order to differentiate between location and attribute breadcrumbs, look for a close (x) button near the text, as shown below:

Attribute based breadcrumb on newegg.com
The Downfalls
There are a couple of noteworthy downfalls when it comes to breadcrumbs, so it is really worth considering if they are right for you and your website before implementing this system.

Visitors who arrive at the site through a Google search may find this navigation bar confusing as it shows a history of pages visited that the user has not actually landed on yet.
This type of Breadcrumb navigation also increases the chances of duplicate content listing within search engines like Google. Attribute-based breadcrumb links can cause content duplication issues on search engine listing, but SEO professionals can usually easily manage this issue.

Conclusion
Breadcrumbs can be a great way to ensure that you receive positive feedback from both search engines and visitors. Make sure you weigh the pros and cons of the system to ascertain if it’s the right navigation system for you, and if it is, remember that clear and simple breadcrumb navigation is the secret to success! Happy navigating!
The post Using Breadcrumbs for Website Navigation appeared first on Web Designer Hub.
Source: http://www.webdesignerhub.com


Users Gonna Use—How Lullabot Does Usability Testing

Matt and Mike sit down with three of Lullabot's senior UX designers to talk the ins and outs of usability testing within our design process.
Source: https://www.lullabot.com