Pattern: inline labels

September 27, 2016

In reaction to Baymard’s post ‘avoiding inline labels in mobile forms‘ there is a recent pattern I have been seeing, at least have seen so far on 2 desktop sites:

bcc

Clicking an empty form moves the inline label to above textfield, and resizes label

It seems this patterns disregards Baymard recommendations, but still works for me. Still have to test if & how they did it on mobile. The only issue I can imagine is if the textfield is on top of the viewport. Otherwise shouldn’t seem a problem CSS wise.


Zoom effect

March 10, 2016

Powerpoint

Make a Magnifying Glass Effect in PowerPoint

  1. Duplicate the layer
  2. Crop as a circle
  3. Add Bevel with height 18

Sketch

 

Other

How To Create A Simple Zoomed Effect On Screenshots In GIMP

 

 

keywords: portfolio


Powerpoint keyboard shortcuts for productivity

August 25, 2015

Alt, H, G, K Send to Back – Send the selected object behind all other objects. – Home > Drawing > Arrange > Send to Back
Alt, H, G, R Bring to Front
Alt, H, G, F Bring Forward

Alt, H, H Distribute Horizontal

……. Crop


Mobile lightbox or overlay

May 13, 2014

Overlays are an aggressive disruptive method of getting users attention. If abused or not implemented properly, visitors may leave the site. Especially on mobile, due to the limited screen size, there are better solutions. As usual it depends on the context and content. Highly recommend that you evaluate the need for a (mobile) overlay on a per-project/per-application basis.

Some applications that could be using overlay (but could be handled with an alternative):

  • Web survey
  • Can I help you chat function
  • Modal dialog message   (if content is limited, say just one line of text and 2 buttons, then these are maybe the only exception for using mobile lightbox)
  • Image slideshow or video preview
  • Content preview  (by clicking a ‘?’ or info-button)
  • Other

Alternative solutions:

  • Fixed-position button that scrolls along while the user moves down the page
  • Fixed-position button appearing at some point e.g. appears only after if the user has scrolled 1 pagelength down
  • Prominent content on the page  (e.g. near the navigation header)
  • Navigate to new page, expand an accordion, slider/carrousel, swap content.  (for lightbox overlays that appear after a user clicks something)
  • Modal dialog. Probably using the alert JS function (TBC if it’s feasible to add links and other rich content)
  • Other solutions

Some principles (if overlay is the only option):

  • The overlay should always be visible in the mobile viewport. It should never be the case that a user scrolls and only sees the overlay background.
  • The close button should always be visible. (must-have).  This is often in the form of an X in the top-right and/or “Close” button, but can be a floating X or auto-hiding X as done in some Jquery plug-ins.
  • Overlay background should be visible so that user knows it’s an overlay that is part of the site.
  • Sometimes it needs to be clearly part of the site (e.g. branded or mentioning company/website name the title)
  • The overlay should be resized and the content scaled down (see some Jquery plug-ins for overlays/lightboxes)
  • It needs to be carefully tested on different devices/browsers. Zooming in and out of the conten should be possible, without hampering the possibility of closing the overlay.
  • Content should be limited on mobile. Scrolling can be problematic.
  • Generally it is not recommended to show an overlay after x seconds, especially if the user doesn’t expect it and didn’t click anything.

 

General behaviour

  • For regular overlays
    • Clicking outside the overlay will close it
    • Clicking on the X will close it (as is)
    • Pressing Escape key will close it (as is)
  • For modal overlays
    • Clicking on the Close label, image and/or button will close it

Examples and best practice 

 

A reasonable example is the cookie lightbox of www.Hertz.com on mobile:

–       Manage expectations. It seems to appear 1-2 seconds after the homepage is loaded, so the user still knows he’s on the right website and can still act on the cookie request. (dispite that lightbox may not be the best solution for cookie permission)

–       Closing. There is a clear, branded “< back” button placed on the top of the overlay, making it quick and easy to close or ignore the message.

–       Flexible. It takes up the full real-estate of the screen and if there’s a lot of content this is not a problem, it can be quite tall.

 

 

Conclusion

Because of the limited mobile screen size and the uasbility requirements listed here, content needs to be limited and overlays are often not ideal on mobile. Overlays that are limited in content and user-triggered may be an exception. In any case overlays must behave properly, as outlined in the principles above. I recommend to make a list of on what pages overlays are needed and approve the need for a (mobile) overlay on a per-project/per-application basis. If you have little control over this, offer guidelines (in the CMS or another form) to help the client realise the negative consequences of mobile overlays and offer suitable alternatives. Consider limiting the use of mobile overlays for the sake of conversion and the client’s own sake. Provide a overlay solution that can handle any type of (large) content and test it well.


Usability in the real world

March 23, 2014



Car park in Belgium: Elevator or toilets?

lift

 

 

Car park in Belgium: Where am I parked?

parkspace

 

 

More – Psychology of things book

More https://www.facebook.com/Belgiansolutions

See also: Web bloopers book

 

 


Layout options

March 23, 2014

 

When designing you generally have these layout options. Using any of these patterns often will have pros/cons and consequences on the flow and rest of the page design. Possible factors/pro-con considerations influencing your decision are:

  • real-estate  (and fold)
  • visibility/prominence
  • suitability
  • loss of orientation
  • convention versus intuition

 

Vertical layouts

Vertical tabs

 

Cards

google-now-cards-600x318

 

 

 

CON: Everything is shown expanded resulting in information overload and clutter.
PRO: No sub-navigation is needed

 

Accordions   –  popular with mobile  (risks)

Anchor links

Carousel

  • Warning: http://bradfrostweb.com/blog/post/carousels/

‘More details’ link (half-way accordion)

 

Horizontal layouts

Horizontal tabs

Row of links

Row of buttons

Thumbnails

 

 

Other layouts

Rollover tooltip / toast message

Lightbox

Navigate to a different page

‘next’ button

Progressive menu (or expandable tree)  –  popular with mobile

Filters   (or row of toggles)

Swap content  (flip div)

A combination   –   e.g.

, expand an accordion, slider/carrousel, …  (for lightbox overlays that appear after a user clicks something)

 

Some things to note

NOTE:

  • Tabs can also look like buttons or large links
  • Re-use page templates  (see Consistency post)

 

ENIMAGE1346765261199

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Further reading:

http://www.smashingmagazine.com/2009/05/19/8-layout-solutions-to-improve-your-designs/

http://bradfrost.github.io/this-is-responsive/patterns.html

http://designingwebinterfaces.com/essential_controls

https://www.patternfly.org/wikis/patterns/pattern-development/pattern-whiteboards/secondarylocal-navigation/

 


Axure annotations: show/hide call-outs or footnotes

January 30, 2014

In this article I briefly discuss the possibilities of annotating your designs, with the option of quickly removing annotations when you don’t want to show them in your deliverable.

Let’s face it: Axure doesn’t have an quick and clean way to annotate your wireframes. This can be a pain when you are using your designs for different purposes:

1) you want an annotated version of your designs for functional documentation,

2) but you also want a clean non-annotated version.

 

Annotation is typically done with call-outs or “numbers in bubbles”.

In Axure the standard way to annotate your wireframes is using footnotes. Unfortunately these footnotes are very small and can’t easily be customised.

 

Option A – temporary delete/move

Unfortunately there is no quick and easy way to publish an Axure without your call-outs.

The best I can suggest is to temporarily delete or move the call-outs off the screen before publishing. Repeat this for every page you want to publish without call-outs.

with call-outs

 

without call-outs

Option B – dynamic panels

There isn’t the ease like layers in Photoshop. Axure does have dynamic panels. These work a bit like layers as you can quickly show/hide/move them, even in your clickable demo. But to edit a layer’s content you have to click around a lot  (see demo http://screencast.com/t/mItXg1bqsg) switching back and forth between the annotation layer and the wireframe layer until the annotation is at the correct position.

If you go for the delete option, then you may also want to use the group feature of Axure. This way you can quickly select all call-outs at once (and then undo the change. Before you start, make sure to save your file as a different version, so that you don’t lose your original call-outs locations.

Option A or B?

I would go for either of these options, depending on the project. I usually just use custom annotations (option A) but then keep the call-outs in my click-demos. That’s because deleting them all just takes too much time. It might not be acceptable for all client presentation though.

 

 

 

Option C – footnotes

Other options like the built-in yellow Axure footnotes/annotations like this: cid:image005.png@01CE200F.E3F0F220  are advanced but unfortunately not easy to maintain. They are also hard to read.

 

Hope they improve this in the next Axure release!