“Formatting” social media posts by using special unicode characters (that, for example, look like bold text but aren’t) is one of the most common ways to create completely inaccessible social media posts. Joschi Kuphal’s screencast demonstrates the problem:
While usability and UX have long been obsessed with simplification, following the “Don’t make me think” credo, Ralph Ammer formulates while the reduction of depth and the increased abstraction that comes with that is maybe not the best outcome:
Our decisions have consequences for ourselves and others. A simplified appearance can make us blind to those consequences. […] Simplification is a powerful design strategy. Naturally the button to make an emergency call should be as simple as possible. And yet, we also need further design strategies that help us accept, understand, and interact with complex situations in our lives.
Designers: icons for actions is A BAD IDEA. Just had to help my mum write an email on a tablet after years of using the Gmail app and thinking it was reading only. The fucking pencil icon means *nothing* and the paper aeroplane doesn’t mean “send” either. Use. Words. On. Buttons.
I still remember working on a Nokia project from a good ten years ago, where “for convenience of internationalisation” all action buttons were replaced with icons only. What a fight it was to convince the stakeholders it was a bad idea (we were just an agency, and when this battle was […]
25 September 2018 marked the first World Interaction Design Day, running under the global theme of “Diversity and Inclusion in Design”. The Berlin IxDA chapter arranged an inspiring event, inviting two speakers who examine these issues both personally and professionally. IxDA Berlin […]
The design takes into account privacy-conscious users with cookies disabled. When closing the notification popup, the user learns that by using an alternative URL, they can reach a version of the site without the notification
A beautifully designed collection of laws that apply in UX (e.g. Fitts’ law, and some of the gestalt laws), with introductory texts on their origins and links to related resources. By Jon Yablonski. Update: In 2020, Jon Yablonski published an extended book version of the “Laws of […]
Mischa Andrews lists five reasons how the web, an accessible medium by default, ended up in an inaccessible mess: We can (and do) learn to make websites without learning accessibility We’re not held accountable for inaccessible products Assumptions guide us astray The legislation […]
Recent writings about the consequences of the AWS outage on centralised services make me believe that an “Offline First” mindset can help improve the worth and use experience of digital artefacts. (Screenshots from the Mashable article quoted below and offlinefirst.org) Allow […]
Cognitive bias - the tendency of the human brain to interpret information based on unrecognised irrational factors - is a phenomenon that has been fascinating me for well over a decade. There is no more efficient way to improve the quality of a design concept than by doing a heuristic evaluation on […]
The results from this large-scale study by Nielsen Norman Group are significant not so much for what usability issues they identified to be most common, but the fact that these are still the same basic problems that have been around as long as websites have:
A burning rant by Maciej Cegłowski (aka. Idle Words) on the commercially introduced complexity (“obesity”) of the web. Drawing a bow from ads to assets, the talk also introduces some rather innovative terminology:
Chickenshit Minimalism: the illusion of simplicity backed […]
Social media and usability are words rarely expressed in one sentence. Publishing in social media means adherence to a strict corset: the services limit the length of texts, unify the appearance of messages and profiles, and define the interactions enabled around them. If usability in only seen as a question of easy-to-use and smooth interfaces, the means to make an impact are indeed limited. But considering technical usability along with context of use and individual worth for the user, communication professionals can largely improve the usability of their organisations' social media channels.
As sociologists, we frequently use inequality as a lens to examine various dimensions of social life. A blog post by Jenny L. Davis illustrates how the non-use of technology (in this particular instance, due to lack of access) may not only be a manifestation of the so called “digital […]
The impact of social technology’s non-use on its users is sometimes abstract to explain. But every now and then, the issue surfaces in very accessible manner as in an editorial piece by Radhika Sanghani on the Telegraph. While active social media users, through constant sharing of detailed […]
An exhaustive list of (commercial) tools for remote user/UX research, compiled in five categories: self-moderated tools (users execute tasks on their own, recorded for later analysis) mobile tools (a short but growing category of options) automated tools (providing enhanced analytics while test […]
The “People don’t click” UX myth is one of many that I discuss in my teaching at the MIF training programme for communications professionals. This write-up provides the argument that the designer’s choice to make is whether an interaction is about making a decision (use a […]
A few days ago, I noticed an interesting item on my LinkedIn feed that serves to illustrate one of the instances how non-use may manifest itself in social web services. A message featured in the news feed encouraged me (and likely a large number of others) to congratulate a former colleague for her […]