How Important are Forms?

Very Important! Its necessary for your User to move through the form quickly and using the least amount of thought as possible.

Asking questions like “Would you like to deliver the package to your house?” can seem to be helpful, but unless they’re already ‘logged in’ it’s an irrelevant question. Since they need to type in the entire address anyway, whether its going to their own house or their friends house, its not going to change how the package is delivered.

Condensing legal terms and side notes into one paragraph, and placing them at the bottom or to the side of the page, gives the User the freedom to read it or complete the form without distraction.

Long Password Instructions

Providing guidance to the user is great and speed up form completion. However, when the instructions take 4 lines would you read them?

Screen Shot 2013-09-16 at 2.01.25 PM

I did not, and I was rewarded by a 6 lines error message.

Screen Shot 2013-09-16 at 1.57.56 PM

Was it really necessary? This frustrating experience happened I had to request a special pin in order to reset my password. Why did I simply got a temporary email link?

I am left wondering: why does it have to be so difficult to reset a password?

Hamburger button on desktop sites

The hamburger button, as we have discussed, presents some challenges, mainly not universal recognition and behavior differences. An Apple User Experience Evangelist goes as far as asking you not to use it. Despite all these challenges, however, the icon is more popular than ever. It was originally created to represent collapsed menus in mobile devices, where real estate is at a premium. Now, it is appearing more and more on desktop sites. Evernote and Typeform are the latest web apps to use it for their desktop versions.

click on thumbnails to see bigger. Typeform menu is collapsed by default.
typeform2 evernote4 evernote3  

In my opinion this decreases the UX: why do I have to make an extra click just to navigate the site, or even worse to login?

What do YOU think? Do you like this new trend?

User Onboarding

The sign up process is maybe one of the most critical interactions you can have with your audience, because it starts building the commitment you have been looking for. This process is called user onboarding.

User Onboarding is the process of increasing the likelihood that new users become successful when adopting your product. (useronboard.com).

Is your registration form supporting instant gratification and facilitation the process? Is your form so complex that it discourage users? And how are some popular web apps doing?

Find out in this rundown from useronboard.com

Implementation Model

Just on cue: just as we finished talking about implementation model, I tried to send email and got this message:

email error

Very useful, right? The problem turned out to be: no internet connection. As soon as it got back on, I searched for the error, and it turns out to be a “I/O Interrupt” error, basically a slow response from the server. However, most people are baffled by this, as you can see in many forums.

Wouldn’t be easier, once you know it is a error 007, to simply say something like: “I am sorry, the server is taking a long time to respond, so I can’t send your email right now. Please try again”. Or even better, how about asking me to check my internet connection? What do you think? Can you improve on this?

Interesting Usability Test

lgutin-thumb_130_130I have found this very interesting article on a simple usability test and its results. Lance Gutin, from the company Viget, explains in detail the usability testing they performed to find the most efficient accordion menu. While interesting in its own right, he perfectly shows how to explain an usability testing, including his conclusion and recommendation. It is a good template for your test results.

The Dark Side Of UX

sheepsCreating a good user experience means intersecting business goals with a pleasant user experience. Where is the intersecting point though? When do the business needs take over the user’s needs? There is no clear answer, but it is something you need to think about. This is sometimes referred as the Dark Side of UX. Consider the ubiquitous overlays: are the business needs going too far, destroying the user experience? For commercial purposes, both the user and the business should benefit EQUALLY. In this article from usertesting.com, Jennifer Winter mentions a few examples of bad practices. Very illuminating.