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Topic: Interaction Design

  • The Elements of Social Architecture

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    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

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    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

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    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

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    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

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    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

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    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

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    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

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    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

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    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.

  • Quick CSS Mockups with Photoshop

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    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

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    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.

  • Where Am I?

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    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.

  • Calling All Designers: Learn to Write!

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    You know all that copy that goes around your forms and in your confirmation e-mails? Who’s writing it? Derek Powazek explains why it’s important for user-interface designers to sharpen up their writing skills.

  • Flywheels, Kinetic Energy, and Friction

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    You want your users to do something, buy things, beg you to work for them, learn how they too can achieve inner peace. So how do you get them to do what you want? Try getting out of the way.

  • Home Page Goals

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    Home pages may get plenty of design attention, but that doesn’t mean they don’t need improvement.

  • In Search of the Holy Grail

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    Just in case you might want a three-column layout that doesn’t require the usual sacrifices, we thought we’d share this technique. Not that you’d want that or anything.

  • Thinking Outside the Grid

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    CSS has broken the manacles that kept us chained to grid-based design…so why do so few sites deviate from the grid? Molly E. Holzschlag can tell us that the answer has something to do with airplanes, urban planning, and British cab drivers.

  • Sensible Forms: A Form Usability Checklist

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    Sometimes it’s the little things that drive you nuts. As many of us have probably noticed during this season of holiday shopping, usability problems in online forms can be infuriating. Brian Crescimanno helps solve the problem with a checklist of form-usability recommendations.

  • Power to the People

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    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.

  • Ambient Findability: Findability Hacks

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    In this excerpt from his new book, Ambient Findability, Peter Morville explains why findability is a required element of good design and engineering—and what that means for you.