Regardless of the level of success, no one should assume that their design process “just works.” We must understand that no design system is or should be perfect. No one gets it right 100% of the time.Design Systems Need to be Challenged
All of old. Nothing else ever. Ever tried. Ever failed. No matter. Try again. Fail again. Fail better.Samuel Beckett, “Worstward Ho,” 1983. Read the article about The importance of Failure.
I always liked Axure for prototyping. It’s simple to use, it has advanced ‘event handling’ and it can export to HTML, which means everyone can see it everywhere. Also, the priority, assign and note features are awesome when working in a team.
On the other hand, I also like programs like Balsamiq and ForeUI, which are more like dynamic sketches. Because of this, the prototype looks more unfinished and is easier to understand for clients. In most cases I start out with Balsamiq for the first rough sketches and then progress on Axure. But… my feeling is that this process can be steamlined more.
ForeUI 2 has made some good progress on closing in to Axure. It now has really advanced event handling (like onKeyUp).
While I still prefer Axure because of it’s stability and better user interface, I find ForeUI a very good alternative. Check out the demo of ForeUI 2.
There is much we do not recognise and there is so much we ignore from our immature days of play, learning and discovery. The relevance of some lessons and understanding may not seem immediately apparent, but I believe they are all mightily important to understanding how we all interact socially, with the physical world around us, and with the many many interfaces we come into contact with on a daily basis.Johny Holland: Learning from Our Childhood
Back in the 1980s, if you didn’t get to the phone in time, you’d hear the caller starting to leave a message. No big deal, you could just pick up the phone and cut in. It was so straightforward and obvious, you didn’t even think of it as a feature.Via Why today’s voicemail systems are worse than 1980
I never thought of it before, but Karl Gilis made an excellent point about flags in language selection screens on his website (dutch). Flags are linked to countries, not to languages. One country can have more than one language. So, linking flags to a language doesn’t make sense!
This screenshots illustrates a Belgium website which uses flags for language selection. (link: usability-blog.be)
Contact pages are underrated, while they’re often the ultimate ‘goal’ of a website. Here are some quick notes on contact pages!
Track your goals
Google Analytics offers a simple way of tracking ‘goals’ on a website. Assuming contacting you is one of your goals, it might be a good idea to define this as goal in your tracking software, so you can measure the ways people get there.
- Check out Google Analytics Help section: How to set-up a goal
The contact form
Websites which are selling something, often tend to ‘narrow down’ the contact form, by asking questions like ‘what’s the budget?’, or ‘project type’. I don’t think that’s a good thing. You might scare the potential clients and also, what if he/she likes to know some other stuff before getting started?
The contact form should be used for initial contact. After that, follow up e-mails can refer to project type, or budget questions.
The contact form often should be as simple as a compose mail screen in Outlook, Hotmail or Gmail. Give the user the opportunity of writing something he wants.
Add an address
Your office address might never be used on this page, but it has another purpose. If you want to look professional, you want your visitors to trust you. Adding an address, phone number, e-mail address is a good way to gain trust.
Some contact pages
Fajne Chlopaki has a nice contact page
Speak Humans links their ‘Contact’ link to an mailto address. Very annoying!