Some Stuff About User Experience, eCommerce, Social Media & etc.

Tag Archives: design

Dark Patterns: May the force be with UX

When the planet Alderaan is destroyed in A New Hope, Obi-Wan senses “a great disturbance in the Force, as if millions of voices suddenly cried out in terror, and were suddenly silenced”. Now, like another Obi-Wan Kenobi, Harry Brignull has felt a disturbance in the Force and upon realizing that Dark Patters pose a threat to the whole UX community, gives a heads-up to all of us through his Dark Patterns wiki.

Dark Patterns

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Seven Guidelines For Designing High-Performance Mobile User Experiences

A positive first impression is essential to relationships. People look for trust and integrity, and they expect subsequent encounters to reflect and reinforce their first impression. The same principles apply to brands and their products. Design plays an important role in building lasting relationships with end users and, thus, in supporting the brand’s promise.

Users expect mobile services to be relevant and user-friendly and to perform well. The limitations of the medium, however, impose significant challenges to designing products that meet all of those expectations. While often underestimated, performance is a crucial contributor to a trustworthy mobile user experience. Therefore, it should be considered a key driver in the design process.

In this article, we’ll discuss performance in relation to design and present seven guidelines that can help shape design decisions related to performance while accounting for the needs of end users and businesses. These guidelines are based on the experiences of our teams in designing native mobile apps for a broad product portfolio and on multiple mobile platforms.

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User Experience and The Design of News at BBC World Service

Designing a setting for the torrent of content that passes daily through a news website is a challenge unlike any other. At the BBC World Service we’ve got a user experience and design team which designs and develops news sites for the web and mobile devices in 27 languages, catering for audiences across world. In this article I will share some of our experiences with you.

A sample of The BBC World Service news sites. Clockwise: BBC Russian, BBC Arabic, BBC Chinese and BBC Brasil

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Breadcrumbs In Web Design: Examples And Best Practices

On websites that have a lot of pages, breadcrumb navigation can greatly enhance the way users find their way around. In terms of usability, breadcrumbs reduce the number of actions a website visitor needs to take in order to get to a higher-level page, and they improve the findability of website sections and pages. They are also an effective visual aid that indicates the location of the user within the website’s hierarchy, making it a great source of contextual information for landing pages.

What is a breadcrumb?

A “breadcrumb” (or “breadcrumb trail”) is a type of secondary navigation scheme that reveals the user’s location in a website or Web application. The term comes from the Hansel and Gretel fairy tale in which the two title children drop breadcrumbs to form a trail back to their home. Just like in the tale, breadcrumbs in real-world applications offer users a way to trace the path back to their original landing point.

Interactive Delicious in Breadcrumbs In Web Design: Examples And Best Practices
Breadcrumbs on Delicious.com

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Basic UX Design Patterns


Pre-accepted and trusted visual standards are vital to user acceptance and experience as they encourage adoption of technology systems. This is vital so that users don’t need to learn new or counter intuitive interaction behaviours.


Just as the creators of hypertext transfer protocol (http) were able to attribute their invention to Vannevar Bush’s ‘Memex’ so user interface architects are able to attribute the key concepts of user interface structures to principals defined by Gestalt. The following explains the key principals of user interface design as key patterns based upon Gestalt principals.

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User-Centred Design and Mobile User Experience

What Is UCD & How Does It Relate to the Mobile User Experience?

So what is this ‘user-centred design’ (or UCD) you have been hearing about? Well it comes down to you really! As the user you are bombarded with a plethora of experiences and interactions through websites everyday. UCD is a design philosophy in which your needs, wants and constraints are taken into consideration at each stage of the design process.

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Are your users S.T.U.P.I.D? How Good Design Can Make Users Effective

It is an honest question: how smart are your users? The answer may surprise you: it doesn’t matter. They can be geniuses or morons, but if you don’t engage their intelligence, you can’t depend on their brain power.

Far more important than their IQ (which is a questionable measure in any case) is their Effective Intelligence: the fraction of their intelligence they can (or are motivated to) apply to a task.

Take, for example, a good driver. They are a worse driver when texting or when drunk. (We don’t want to think about the drunk driver who is texting.) An extreme example you say? Perhaps, but only by degree. A person who wins a game of Scrabble one evening may be late for work because they forgot to set their alarm clock. How could the same person make such a dumb mistake? Call it concentration, or focus, we use more of our brain when engaged and need support when we are distracted.

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Marketing: Don’t be a Hater

Since starting at Adaptive Path I’ve discovered a few words that cause unexpected reactions in people from nervous tics to outright diatribes.

Included on this list are “branding,” “advertising,” and “marketing.” This was a bit of a shock for me having come from the world of advertising and graphic design. From what I can tell, the reactions are based on the notion that advertising and marketing are manipulative. And the belief that UX designers create useful services while advertisers use people.

I would like to challenge this perspective and point out some things I have learned in the world of advertising and marketing that have made me a better UX designer.

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Design Guidelines For E-commerce Product Pages With Eyetracking Data

According to IMRG/Capgemini, it is estimated that UK shoppers spent £13.16bn online in the last quarter of 2008. This is 15% more than the last quarter of 2007.

On the other hand, a statistic by Jupiter Research in September 2007 shows that 42% of 1,179 online shoppers surveyed have left a site without buying a number of products because they were unable to find answers to questions about a product in their shopping basket.

Why and what we wanted to do

I carried out a series of eye tracking studies at cxpartners to look into what shoppers need and prefer to see on a product page to help them make a decision on which products to buy. I also aimed to find out what the best design might be for a product page in helping customers: (1) to be more interested in the product they are about to buy; and (2) to easily find other items that they might need.

Elements that have been looked into in this study include: content of the page (product description, delivery), design (page, fonts, colours), features (recommendations, customers’ reviews) and layout (two versus three columns).

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Why Users Click Right Call to Actions More Than Left Ones

How you design your call to action but­tons can affect whether users click them or not. Most design­ers focus on how their call to action but­tons look. But where you place your call to actions is also some­thing you should think about.

This is because users view home pages in a par­tic­u­lar pat­tern. The home page focal point is the large cen­ter area that users first see when they enter your web­site. It dom­i­nates the top fold of your home page and holds your call to action. When you place your call to action in the area where users look last, you’ll get users to click your call to actions more often.

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