This week I’ve picked a variety of UX articles that I found extremely useful. We’ll be exploring a new piece of software Adobe has recently launched that could be a go-to tool for UX experts. I also discovered an award-winning UX website I’m keen to share with everyone. As well as this, I’ve chosen an in-depth article analysing the web forms best-practice; this was my favourite article of the week due to the reasons I shall explain below.
I frequently hear mixed opinions from online marketers and UX designers on how best to set up a web form. Should there be a minimal number of fields to fill in? Or should there be many so you can collect more detailed information? It’s tough to say as there are variety of factors that come into play. Although, according to the writer here, there actually isn’t a specific length that works better; shorter forms get more of a certain kind of conversion, while longer fields get more of another kind of conversion.
As I’m currently setting up an eCommerce store, I enjoyed the point they made about removing mandatory registration. Too frequently I have visited a website, found a product I wanted, added it to my cart, and then visited the checkout to find I’m forced to sign up for an account with them. For me, and for many other people, this is a huge turn-off. It adds another step to the sales process and conversion rates drop (Here’s another article on this topic by KISSMetrics). This is something I will be sure to remember to do with my store!
Fellow UX designers, this article is definitely for you. Adobe has recently released a brand new design tool. It has rolled wireframing, visual design, previewing and prototype into one piece of software.
In my opinion this tool is perfect for the UX designers of today. Nowadays we have to work differently as no longer are we designing for just one screen. Instead, we have to think about how websites will look on desktops, tablets, smartphones. With this software, you can design, prototype and iterate at a fast pace and all the tools you need are in the software. This means there’s no need to have multiple programs open. I’m excited to test this software for myself. If you manage to test it, I’d be keen to hear your experience.
I’m always on the lookout for design inspiration. In the news this week I spotted a company called Palette that had won a UX design award in Berlin. Palette develops modular hardware interfaces that enable users to design their own controls for software like Photoshop.
Take a look through their website to see what you think. I’m particularly a fan of their colour scheme throughout the homepage, and the site is very easy to navigate. The ‘Shop Now’ call to action button is also in the perfect position. Great job, Palette!
Occasionally, it’s important to analyse poor practices of UX, as holding the design community to higher standards will result in innovation and better product design. This article covers six examples of poor UX:
Phone Locks: a necessary evil
Ever get frustrated when your phone locks during a phone call and you’re trying to switch to speaker, or hang up, but you have to go through the process of unlocking your phone? It can be very frustrating. Is there a way to solve this issue?
Overly Complex Password Protections
Nowadays it’s commonplace for websites asking for a secure password to force you to create a password that includes all sorts of strange characters. Using a secure password is important, but from a UX point of view a frustrating complication for the user as they now have to remember a ridiculously complicated password.
Long Forms with Quick Resets
Occasionally, reset buttons on online forms can be extremely close to the submit button. Make sure you eliminate any opportunity the user has to accidentally erase all the information they’ve entered.
“Users react to visuals faster than text, so always make sure your content matches the supporting visuals. The best method is to let your content inform your design. Imagery, though it’s the first thing a user sees, should be a secondary concern in your mind, until you’ve decided what information is most important to the user. The imagery needs to emphasize or complement the content, not overshadow or replace it.” Included is an example of how AirBnB does this well with an interactive map displaying all AirBnB users across the world.
Automatic Cloud Uploads
Now more than ever, privacy is a huge concern for people. An example is the celebrity scandal involving people like Jennifer Lawrence where their photos were being automatically uploaded to iCloud then stolen by hackers. On most smartphones, the default setting is to backup images to the cloud therefore many users are simply unaware that their images are stored online. Not great UX!
Overly complex interfaces
An extreme example of complex UX mentioned in the article is a story of nurses who didn’t correctly rehydrate a young woman after surgery. Despite knowing what needs to take place, they had no idea how to use the software designed to track patients’ treatments.
Last week, eBay turned 20, and to celebrate they launched an updated design for their mobile app. Econsultancy took a detailed look at the app and gave their opinion on the new design. I downloaded the app to test it out too.
It’s clear that eBay has put a lot of effort into making this app as useful as possible for the end user. I encourage you to read the article and see the app designs for yourself. We would love to hear what you think to it in the comments below.