Posts About Design Page 2

Designing navigation for web applications

I’m working on a web-based administrative application where you can install remote applications. The goal is to have a platform that provides a consistent UI, somewhat like SharePoint. But less assy in general and more flexible than what most portlet servers allow. Thinking about the way that applications work on Facebook is a good way to think about it.

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When using no stock photo is better

I’ve been ripping on other sites lately, but I’ve just been overly amused lately at the poor quality of these scammers’ sites.

Take a look at the primary photo used on the home page of BackLinkPageRank, a link exchange service.

Free Link Exchange, Link Swap and Link Trade Directory

What the hell does that photo have to do with their service? Are free link exchanges fun for the whole family? Will your little girl laugh with glee as you gain low-quality links back to your site?

I’m hoping that the designer of this site thought, “Well, it’s better than empty space.” Then they would have at least a little saving grace.

But in this case, a better choice would have been leaving the space empty.

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Thoughtful design by simplehuman

I picked up a simplehuman trash can on Monday and was surprised to see how well it was designed.

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Designing by committee

Most things should not be designed by committee. This is what you get. While funny, there is a lot of truth that rings from it.

Committees are OK for some things, but not the design process.

Take it from experience. In terms of Internet Marketing, the worst thing that you can do is design a website by committee. The fewer the people involved in the process, the better.

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What else does your message say?

I submitted a support ticket on behalf of a client today in their e-commerce system. After filling in the fields and submitting the form, I got this message:

In very alerting red text: "Your support request has been submitted."

At first, I thought I had made a mistake. An exclamation point icon? Bold red text? All of these visual cues tell a completely different story than what the message says.

What do your messages really say in context with visuals? And do you really want for your message to make someone feel undeserved panic, even if it’s just for a couple seconds?

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Design blunder: Using a sentence to point out your bad interface

As a web developer, some design decisions are in your hands. The UI team (if you have one) isn’t going to decide on what every single screen should look like.

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Product design: utility vs. focus

A reversible belt that I own recently got me thinking about product design. Its extra utility has made my experience as a belt-wearer kind of unpleasant.

What does this have to do with product design? Read on to find out.

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Tools for putting fake content into your design

If you’re expecting content in your design but it’s not your job to write it, a common practice is to fill in the space with gibberish Latin. If you try to write your own content as a placeholder, your client will start to critique the content instead of worrying about the design. Even if you ask them not to read the content, they will.

Here are a couple of awesome tools that I’ve used to get the job done.

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FreshBooks’s helpful web registration forms

I coo periodically about FreshBooks’s web marketing approach.

Their home page lets your know what they’re about right away, and the tone is just… human.

They also win my heart with their registration process.

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Design first

I’m working on building an elaborate marketing and e-commerce system. I just don’t feel like anyone has done it right, so I’m taking a stab at it.

Here’s why I think the other software vendors have done such a poor job: lack of design in their process. I intend to make a system that’s pleasant and easy to use, that “gets out of the way” of users’ tasks. And I’m not going to get there without design.

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