I was recently fortunate enough to participate in the IxDA mentor program, which provides mentoring and advice to up and coming UX Designers. It is a great program, so any mentors out there please sign up. As part of this, I created the mentor canvas to help my mentee and I get the most out of the program.
Not…A Personal development program
Who remembers personal development programs (PDPs)? Usually lengthy documents with silly questions and long empty boxes for you to vaguely stare at and try to write something useful. The Mentor Canvas is not one of those long documents. It is a way for you and your mentee to quickly get onto the same page about how you as a mentor can add value during the 12 week program (Or longer).
Soundcloud is an online service allowing musicians, artists, DJs to upload music they have created and share with friends on poplar social networks. It also allows music lovers to listen to, discover and share new music, again with theirfriends via social networks.
Landing Page Optimised for Conversion
Soundcloud uses a popular landing page design pattern that gives good detail about the service in a structured way, designed to help convert the different visitor types who will land on this page; 1. I know I want to sign up. 2. I want to make sure this is for me. 3. I’m sceptical. More detail can be found on this landing page design pattern here, via Joshua Porter and an example of a landing page AB test following this design pattern I ran on Hotfrog a few years ago here.
Pinterest, the online pin board where users can share things they like from around the web has enjoyed rapid growth since its launch in 2010. Right now it is growing faster than Facebook and twitter were at the same time of their lifespan. The sign up process of any website is crucial to its success or failure and the Pinterest sign up process is super easy, beta invite requirement aside.
Sign up is all about a users motivation to access the service that is behind the form. If you can get your potential users highly motivated to use your service, then the form should become almost irrelevant. However, that doesn’t mean designers of web forms should become lazy just because they have a killer service offering.
At the end of a particularly hard spin class, sweating like crazy I realised that the instructor had just “persuaded” or “sold” me and my ability to complete the class. I was planning to just coast along and get a light sweat on. Yet here I was gasping for air, feeling light headed, needing a lie down and having completed “The hardest class ever” as promised by our instructor. So how did he do it and how have gym instructors become sales professionals perfecting the art of persuasion rather than army drill sergeants barking orders at participants?
This post will use a format of first describing the quote from the class instructor, and then comparing that to a sales technique or the art of persuasion.
Loads has been written about how to use twitter for marketing and generating new customers using social media, principally Twitter and Facebook. Apparently its all about “customer engagement” and fancy business words like that. Some companies use it to field customer service enquiries, like NEC Australia. But what about customer acquisition? And how can your average small business owner make use of it? How do they use twitter effectively whilst trying to run their own business day-to-day?
I am currently away taking some time out traveling, which has given me some great time to read. A great book, The Myths of Innovation which I read some time ago, is now out in paperback with 4 new chapters – It’s gotten fantastic reviews for being fun, inspiring and a great read. You have to check it out if you work with ideas or hope to someday.
Web forms have come a long way over the last few years, from bland and lifeless labels with input fields barely better than paper forms, to interactive and beautifully designed experiences like huffduffer. New technologies like inline validation have really helped web forms become far more intuitive and easier to use, providing timely and helpful feedback to users as they move through a form.
Inline validation, when used correctly provides immediate feedback next to the input field showing that the field has been filled out correctly or incorrectly, without the need to press submit and waiting for the error message. The example below is from audible, having finished typing in the username field and tabbing to the password field, I was informed that my username had already been taken allowing me to immediately select an alternative. This saves me time and prevents me getting to the end of the form, pressing submit and only then finding out the username was already taken. Read more
I have been busily packing up my life into boxes in preparation for placing them into storage before I head overseas for a few months sabbatical. Inevitably, I packed something I now needed, the manual to the washing machine so I could check how to drain it properly. I had no clue which of the 20 or so sealed boxes it was in and certainly didn’t want to open them all to find it.
I turned to Google to try to find the manual, with no success. I then checked the website for NEC, the brand of washing machine I own and discovered that they no longer made washing machines. The signs were not looking good. In the footer of the site, I noticed they had prominent links to their twitter, youtube and flickr pages. So, I decided to turn to twitter, but did not hold out much hope.
The BBC have been gradually upgrading the design and visual interaction of their pages over the last 12 months. The latest upgrade is very subtle but is a great improvement to the design and usability of the pages.
Within a deep page of the BBC site if you want to get to the homepage or a high level category, you can access these using the horizontal navigation bar pictured at the top of the page in black below.