Digital products are about content. Even if you think they’re all about interactivity, controls are pointless if users don’t understand their purpose and cannot read about what they do. The most important thing you can do to make a Web site or app usable is to make sure everyone can read its text, on every device, under every condition.
Units and Conversions
First, let’s define some terminology. People often use the term font incorrectly these days. Technically, in the modern world, a font is a digital file containing a particular typeface. In this column, I’ll be using the term type when referring to the characters that make up printed or displayed text—including the content, the font or typeface, and its size and color. Read More
Has your boss or a client ever asked you to review a user interface for a Web or desktop application? Perhaps the request went something like this: Can you just look over these new screens for us? Oh, and can you check the error messages, too? It won’t take long! And, by the way, we ship next month. Whether you are an interaction designer, usability professional, technical communicator, quality assurance engineer, or developer, reviewing a user interface typically means identifying
usability problems related to the layout, logical flow, and structure of the interface and inconsistencies in the design
non-compliance with standards
ambiguous wording in labels, dialog boxes, error messages, and onscreen user assistance
This is my first Good Questions column for UXmatters. In this column, I’ll be writing about questions. When communicating with users in one direction, we typically ask them questions—often through forms or surveys. When communication goes in the other direction, we try to respond to users’ questions—both through the design of our Web applications and other products and, sometimes, in assemblies of what we hope will be their Frequently Asked Questions.
In January 2010, Janet Six’s column, Ask Matters, “Label Alignment in Long Forms,” included extensive discussion of one of the most frequently asked questions about forms design: where to put labels in relation to their fields.
Don’t worry. I’m not going to discuss labels further in this column. But thinking about labels reminded me of another question we hear from time to time: Should we put a hint inside a text box?Read More