Jun 022014
 

This is a great article on web accessibility. It covers keyboard, forms, contrast ratio, images, and links and buttons in detail, with a discussion of accessibility implications, usage, and coding in each area. Three case studies on the big 3 automaker’s mobile websites are also included.

This is a must read!

Mobile And Accessibility: Why You Should Care And What You Can Do About It | Smashing Magazine.

Jan 302014
 

A concise overview on designing elements for accessibility that includes those using assistive technologies as well as touch screens and small devices, which present unique considerations. For example, hover works great for mouse interactions but not well for screen reader and touch screens. So what are your options in those circumstances? Read the article tips and techniques.

Designing for Easy Interaction · An A List Apart Article.

Jan 132014
 

We’ve all arrived at search results pages where no results are found. If handled poorly these pages can harm your website’s goodwill, and if handled well they can increase site use by offering your visitors alternative suggestions and options. The author provides good examples and tips on best practices.

3 Guidelines for Search Engine "No Results" Pages.

Jan 132014
 

Nielsen distinguishes between intrinsic and extraneous cognitive load, and as implied by the label, the latter should be reduced on your pages so your visitors focus on the tasks and information at hand. Tips are offered on how this can be achieved. The article is a very short but important reminder on obvious ways to increase your website usability.

Minimize Cognitive Load to Maximize Usability | Nielsen Norman Group.

Dec 102013
 

Most of us have experienced running an app while offline, or losing connectivity while in an app only to receive an error message or helplessly watch the app crash or seize up. Connectivity is especially important in developing nations where Internet access can be unreliable and bandwidth limited. So designing for Offline-First is important and in many cases a necessity. Many apps that depend on synchronization are already doing this. Case in point, Evernote.

Designing Offline-First Web Apps on A List Apart

Nov 222013
 

There are many quotes pertaining to usability on this site and for good reason. Usability underpins good user experience good conversion rates and more. Case studies on usability are typically instructive and this one is worth noting because the author makes use of a remote testing service:usability testers for hire. It works out well in this case but on a cautionary note there is something I call “professional tester syndrome” where people whose job is usability testing may not represent the average user and your results may be skewed.

If you’re going to use a remote testing service it’s a good idea to mix in some actual user tests. You can also conduct effective tests remotely using services like join.me and gotomeeting.com. The user may not be in the same room but they are live tests which you can record.

How Usability Testing Drastically Improved My Clients App | Smashing UX Design.

Oct 302013
 

Basic design elements can impact usability quite dramatically. Users often ignore the right column or right-rail on a page because it’s typically a place for ads or irrelevant information. As a result, if there are elements that appear “ad-like” at a glance it will cast a banner blindness spell over your right column causing it to be ignored. This article from the Nielsen group offers valuable tips and examples to help keep all columns of multi-column designs in the visual field of your visitors.

Fight Against “Right-Rail Blindness”.