User Experience

A collection of articles and thoughts on the importance of usability, split testing, and generally improving the end user experience as much as possible.

Articles on User Experience

Sexy Forms in Rails

I've been meaning to release this for quite a while now, I've finally got around to packaging it up for some form of public consumption. Basically, I got sick of having to manually create label tags for each of my form inputs. They should be there by default so that users with visual or other impairments have enough additional information to use the site. I'm also lazy, and would have a tendency to forget to put them in otherwise. I also wanted a consistent way to display any additional contextual information, so here it is. I'll…

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Useful Flash Messages in Rails

Inevitably somewhere in your rails app you display flash messages to your users to inform them that an action has (or hasn't) taken place. Sometimes they need to provide more info, maybe you've just created some new information for them. Why make them sit around, or wonder where they need to go next when you can take them straight to it in the message itself? I've ripped this code out of a project I've been working on and made it a little more generic. Initially I was going to just insert a link in the flash…

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Top 5 usability and design principles in web site development

Many clients I work with today have come from a wealth of experience in other media formats, be it the big screen or traditional print. They often bring with them a pre-conceived notion of how they want things to look and work on the site. Quite often it is a direct translation of their existing media strategies and they want to keep the content and format consistent for the sake of 'branding'. The web however is a fundamentally different beast than most mediums due to both the way the user interacts with it and the immensely broad reach. So…

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