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Topic: Interaction Design

  • Accent Folding for Auto-Complete

    by Carlos Bueno · Issue 301 ·

    Another generation of technology has passed and Unicode support is almost everywhere. The next step is to write software that is not just "internationalized" but truly multilingual. In this article we will skip through a bit of history and theory, then illustrate a neat hack called accent-folding. Accent-folding has its limitations but it can help make some important yet overlooked user interactions work better.

  • Can You Say That in English? Explaining UX Research to Clients

    by David Sherwin · Issue 295 ·

    It's hard for clients to understand the true value of user experience research. As much as you'd like to tell your clients to go read The Elements of User Experience and call you back when they're done, that won't cut it in a professional services environment. David Sherwin creates a cheat sheet to help you pitch UX research using plain, client-friendly language that focuses on the business value of each exercise.

  • Inline Validation in Web Forms

    by Luke Wroblewski · Issue 291 ·

    Web forms don’t have to be irritating, and your inline validation choices don't have to be based on wild guesses. In his examination of inline form validation options, Luke Wroblewski offers that rarest of beasts: actual data about which things make people smile and which make them want to stab your website with a fork.

  • Visual Decision Making

    by Patrick Lynch · Issue 286 ·

    If it takes only 50 milliseconds for users to form an aesthetic opinion of your site’s credibility and trustworthiness, are designers who create visually compelling sites simply wasting time and treasure on graphic indulgences? Patrick Lynch doesn't think so.

  • Taking the Guesswork Out of Design

    by Daniel Ritzenthaler · Issue 283 ·

    Clients, like other humans, often fear what they don't understand. Daniel Ritzenthaler explains how sound goal-setting, documentation, and communication strategies can bridge the gap between a designer's intuition and a client's need for proof.

  • The Elegance of Imperfection

    by David Sherwin · Issue 280 ·

    Asymmetry, asperity, simplicity, modesty, intimacy, and the suggestion of a natural process: these attributes of elegant design may seem relevant only to a project's aesthetics. But the most successful web designs reflect these considerations at every stage, from idea to finished product. Bring heart to the experiences you create by infusing them with intelligence that transcends aesthetics and reflects the imperfection of the natural world.

  • The Elements of Social Architecture

    by Christina Wodtke · Issue 279 ·

    While our designs can never control people, they can encourage good behavior and discourage bad. In this excerpt from Information Architecture: Blueprints for the Web 2nd Edition, Christina Wodtke tells us how to make products that delight people and change their lives by remembering the social in social architecture.

  • Deafness and the User Experience

    by Lisa Herrod · Issue 265 ·

    Because of limited awareness around Deafness and accessibility in the web community, it seems plausible to many of us that good captioning will fix it all. It won’t. Before we can enhance the user experience for all deaf people, we must understand that the needs of deaf, hard of hearing, and big-D Deaf users are often very different.

  • Writing an Interface Style Guide

    by Jina Bolton · Issue 260 ·

    Ever designed or developed a beautiful interface only to find your hard work ruined months later by gaudy graphics or invalid markup? With proper documentation you'll have a better chance at seeing your interface stay beautiful. Jina Bolton guides us through the process of developing an interface style guide.

  • Sign Up Forms Must Die

    by Luke Wroblewski · Issue 255 ·

    You load a new web service, eager to dive in and start engaging, and what’s the first thing that greets you? A sign-up form. We can do better, says Luke Wroblewski, author of Web Form Design: Filling in the Blanks. Via a technique of "gradual engagment," we can get people using and caring about our web services instead of frustrating them (or sending them to a competitor's site) by forcing them to fill out a sign-up form first.

  • Designing For Flow

    by Jim Ramsey · Issue 250 ·

    Ask a web designer what makes a site great, and you're likely to hear "ease of use." Jim Ramsey begs to differ. Web applications in particular, he tells us, work best and engage most profoundly when they challenge users to overcome difficulties.

  • Understanding Web Design

    by Jeffrey Zeldman · Issue 249 ·

    We'll have better web design when we stop asking it to be something it's not, and start appreciating it for what it is. It's not print, not video, not a poster—and that's not a problem. Find out why cultural and business leaders misunderstand web design, and learn which other forms it most usefully resembles.

  • Put Your Content in my Pocket, Part II

    by Craig Hockenberry · Issue 245 ·

    Screen size matters. And now that Apple is embedding mobile Safari in more iPods than the iPhone alone, it matters even more. Concluding his remarkable two-part series, Craig Hockenberry covers the down and dirty details of designing and coding with the iPhone (and its brethren) in mind.

  • Put Your Content in My Pocket

    by Craig Hockenberry · Issue 244 ·

    In this first of two articles on bringing your content to the iPhone, the Iconfactory's Craig Hockenberry offers detailed guidance on tuning your site for the hot new phone, and making changes that can enhance even non-iPhone-users’ experience. Hotcha!

  • Never Use a Warning When you Mean Undo

    by Aza Raskin · Issue 241 ·

    Are our web apps as smart as they should be? By failing to account for habituation (the tendency, when presented with a string of repetitive tasks, to keep clicking OK), do our designs cause people to lose their work? Raskin's simple, foolproof rule solves the problem.

  • Where Am I?

    by Derek Powazek · Issue 221 ·

    It’s 2006 and we’re still messing up global navigation. Derek Powazek gets back to basics and offers a few simple guidelines for getting it right.

  • Power to the People

    by D. Keith Robinson · Issue 208 ·

    Relentlessly simple solutions to complex design problems can be the difference between an average experience and a great one. D. Keith Robinson reminds web designers and developers that ease of use is more important than technological sophistication.

  • Quick CSS Mockups with Photoshop

    by Casper Voogt · Issue 231 ·

    It may seem like we're trying to party like it's 1999, but rest assured, we're not. Casper Voogt shows us a way to use Photoshop, ImageReady, and slices to produce mockups that utilize clean XHTML and CSS.

  • Paper Prototyping

    by Shawn Medero · Issue 231 ·

    Running with scissors isn't recommended for kids, but it might be ideal for your next big development project. With interfaces becoming more complex and schedules growing shorter, the best prototyping tools may be simpler than you think.

  • Invasion of the Body Switchers

    by James Edwards, Andy Clarke · Issue 189 ·

    Wouldn’t it be great if we could update the classic ALA style switcher to accommodate multiple users and devices, including some that aren’t even traditional browsers, all from a single JavaScript and CSS file? Well, now we can! Enter the Body Switcher.

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