Category Archive for: usability

rfp-robotRFP ROBOT: Website Request for Proposal Generator

The time has come for a new website (or website redesign), which means you need to write a website request for proposal or web RFP. A Google search produces a few examples, but they vary wildly and don’t seem to speak really to your goals for developing or redesigning a new website. You need to write a website RFP that will clearly articulate your needs and generate responses from the best website designers and developers out there. But how?

Have no fear, RFP Robot is here. He will walk you through a step-by-step process to help you work through the details of your project and create a PDF formatted website design RFP that will provide the information vendors need to write an accurate bid. RFP Robot will tell you what info you should include, point out pitfalls, and give examples.


How to Combine Usability & Beauty for an Awesome Website Design by @bsmarketer

Follow these three tips if you want to create a website that’s both beautiful and usable.The post How to Combine Usability & Beauty for an Awesome Website Design by @bsmarketer appeared first on Search Engine Journal. Source: https://www.searchenginejournal.com/feed/

Having fun with link hover effects

A designer I work with was presenting comps at a recent team meeting. She had done a wonderful job piecing together the concept for a design system, from components to patterns and everything in between that would make any front-end developer happy. But there was a teeny tiny detail in her work that caught my eye: the hover state for links was a squiggle. Default link (top) and hover effect (bottom) Huh! Not only had I not seen that before, the idea had never even crossed my mind. Turns out there are plenty of instances of it on live sites, one being The Outline. That was the one that was implementation that inspired the design. Cool, I figured. We can do something like a linear background gradient or even a background image. But! That wasn’t the end of the design. Turns out it’s animated as well. Again, from The Outline:…

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A Simple Way to Communicate Better with Your Customers

Whenever you get into a situation where you are not sure which version of Drupal to use, or you expect to get challenged by a client, my recommendation is to use the approach of putting together the pros and cons, and see what insights emerge. This actually is a good follow-up to our discussion around Drupal 7 vs Drupal 8. So let’s build a table for that case as an example. This should be easily adaptable whenever Drupal 9 starts to be a thing. It also works for other technology discussions. Note that this table doesn’t intend to be a fully comprehensive list — just a starting point to launch a conversation. It may even need some updating as new Drupal 8 minor releases bring more and more functionality. Criteria D7 D8 Reusability (from D7 platform) Very limited to none Higher reusability between Drupal 8 and next versions (Drupal 9,…

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Building “Renderless” Vue Components

There’s this popular analogy of Vue that goes like this: Vue is what you get when React and Angular come together and make a baby. I’ve always shared this feeling. With Vue’s small learning curve, it’s no wonder so many people love it. Since Vue tries to give the developer power over components and their implementation as much as it possibly can, this sentiment has led to today’s topic. The term renderless components refers to components that don’t render anything. In this article, we’ll cover how Vue handles the rendering of a component. We’ll also see how we can use the render() function to build renderless components. You may want to know a little about Vue to get the most out of this article. If you are a newbie Sarah Drasner’s got your back. The official documentation is also a very good resource. Demystifying How Vue Renders a Component Vue…

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Presenting Your Design

I’m halfway through my internship at Viget and have become more familiar with what a UX designer does (information modeling, usability testing, and so on). But what has stood out the most to me, is that a UX designer needs to know how to present and defend their choices. It may be common sense, but this is an essential skill when creating products because the process is highly collaborative and iterative. In many professional settings, one should expect to discuss their choices with other designers, different kinds of team members (developers, project managers, etc.), and clients. Here are a few brief lessons that I’ve learned from my own experience and observations: 1. Be confident If you don’t confidently believe what you say, it’s going to be difficult to convince other people to do so. Self-assured body language and tone are important aspects of presentation in general and are the foundation of being…

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3 Ways Content Improves Your Website Usability by @KatyKatzTX

Here are a few ways to optimize your website content for enhanced usability.The post 3 Ways Content Improves Your Website Usability by @KatyKatzTX appeared first on Search Engine Journal. Source: https://www.searchenginejournal.com/feed/

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 browser tabs. However, after I started to read more about how Wikipedia implemented the link previews, 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. I have a great appreciation for…

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Managing Heading Levels In Design Systems

Heydon Pickering looks into how to give a React component a certain heading (like <h1>, <h2>, etc.) depending on its context and thereby ensure that the DOM is still perfectly accessible for screen readers. Why is using the right heading important though? Heydon writes in the intro: One thing that keeps coming back to me, in research, testing, and everyday conversation with colleagues and friends, is just how important headings are. For screen reader users, headings describe the relationships between sections and subsections and — where used correctly — provide both an outline and a means of navigation. Headings are infrastructure. This reminds me of an excellent post by Amelia Bellamy-Royds where she explored all the problems caused by this “Document Outline Dilemma” or, say, a <h1> following a <h3>: As it currently stands, the document outline is only of daily importance to screen-reader users, and those users are currently used to dealing with…

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What’s New in Basecamp 3.9 for iOS

This release is all about usability improvements. Download it for iPhone and iPad from the App Store now.Find tab improvements 🔍The Find tab now lets you quickly jump to anything you recently viewed without having to type a word! When you open Find, you’ll see your most recently visited pages, making it super easy to quickly get back to something you were viewing. Or start typing to instantly search in place for anything in your Basecamp account. You can also use advanced filters to define even more specific search terms. Go forth and find!New project and team pages ⚡️The old project and team pages were… slow. We decided to speed them up, as well as feature your team’s latest activity more prominently with this new design. Instead of nearly identical cards for each tool, you’ll see a unique icon in a bright color, making them easier to recognize. Each icon also has a…

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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

Fostering a Culture of User Research in Your Organization

Usability is central to the work of user experience design, which means that user research is central to our work as designers. At Viget, we’ve come to see research and design as inseparable. Yet it isn’t enough to conduct research every now and then, when a client asks for it. What’s needed is a culture of research, a shared habit of testing design assumptions with real people. A few years ago, we realized that we weren’t doing the research we needed to be doing, and had to change. This post describes our shift to become a more research-oriented group of designers. We’ve grown as design researchers since then and hope that what we’ve learned along the way can help you improve your process and convey the value of research to clients and coworkers. Here are some of those lessons. 1. Commit to making research a priority For research to become integral to the way you work, it…

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The Best UX is No User Interface at All

I have been obsessed with User Interfaces (UI) for as long as I can remember. I remember marveling at the beauty that was Compaq TabWorks while I played “The Incredible Machine” and listened to “Tears For Fears—Greatest Hits” on the family computer. Don’t judge me—I was listening to “Mad World” way before Donny Darko and that creepy rabbit. If none of those references landed with you, it’s probably because I’m super old. In the words of George Castanza, “It’s not you, it’s me.” That’s another super old reference you might not get. You know what—forget all that, let’s move on. I really got into UI when I bought my own computer. I had joined the Coast Guard and saved a bunch of money during boot camp (when you can’t go shopping—you know—because of push-ups and stuff). I wanted to buy a Chevy Cavalier (sadly, that’s not a joke), but my…

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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 development methodologies, 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…

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Accelerate Drupal 8 by funding a Core Committer

We have ambitious goals for Drupal 8, including new core features such as Workspaces (content staging) and Layout Builder (drag-and-drop blocks), completing efforts such as the Migration path and Media in core, automated upgrades, and adoption of a JavaScript framework. I met with several of the coordinators behind these initiatives. Across the board, they identified the need for faster feedback from Core Committers, citing that a lack of Committer time was often a barrier to the initiative’s progress. We have worked hard to scale the Core Committer Team. When Drupal 8 began, it was just catch and myself. Over time, we added additional Core Committers, and the team is now up to 13 members. We also added the concept of Maintainer roles to create more specialization and focus, which has increased our velocity as well. I recently challenged the Core Committer Team and asked them what it would take to…

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Massachusetts launches Mass.gov on Drupal

This year at Acquia Engage, the Commonwealth of Massachusetts launched Mass.gov on Drupal 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”. 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 Drupal 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…

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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…

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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…

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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.…

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