My name is Jack Moffett
. I am an Interaction Designer with over ten years of experience. According to Herb Simon
, that makes me an expert, so I must have something worth sharing. I have started this venture as an exercise to spur critical thinking about my chosen profession. I hope that others may find it thought provoking as well.
DesignAday will present a brief thought about Design every weekday.
I appreciate the usefulness of placeholder text in form fields. Yesterday’s post was a great example of the use of placeholder text to inject some fun into an otherwise forgettable activity. But it isn’t always a good idea.
I know it is grayed out, but it sure looks like I’m submitting a form with Apartment 12 as part of my address. Optional fields probably shouldn’t contain placeholder text. Or, they should clear when text has been entered into any of the fields.
Trello, an online project management tool from Fog Creek Software, conveys a fun, informal attitude right from the account creation screen.
It’s the first sign up screen that I’ve wanted to spend time with, hitting refresh repeatedly before actually filling it out.
If they put this much creativity and effort into their sign up form, the product must be awesome.
In Mac OS X’s Dock, labels appear above items as you cursor over them. Typically, a label is centered above its item, remaining centered as the item grows and shrinks with the Dock’s magnifying behavior. At the very edge of the screen, however, that isn’t possible. So, the entire label stays on the screen while its little anchor slides back and forth, pointing to its item.
Unfortunately, if the label is short enough, as is the case with the Trash, the anchor ends up floating away from the label.
If there is a required (or expected) number of characters to be entered in a given form field, the field should be sized to fit. This serves both to visually communicate the expected length of the string and to provide enough room to see the entire string once entered.
Each of the fields provided here is one digit too short. That may be due to browser inconsistencies, but whatever the case, it is inexcusable sloppiness.
Rarely is there the opportunity to completely redesign a product’s UI, even when it is desperately in need of a redesign. Rather than completely ignoring the need, find ways to move the ball forward. For example, I’m currently adding a new capability to a product sporting the same UI it had in 2006 with HTML that dates back to 2001. Rather than implementing the new features with frames and table-based layout, I’m proposing some changes that will allow new screens to be implemented with modern CSS while leaving existing screens untouched.
Usually, after any conference, I make a post about the schwag. They did give out a schwag bag this year, and personally, I prefer that. I’d rather my money (and sponsor money) go to improving the conference. They did give us one lovely, little, hard-bound notebook. The cover featured this beautiful shot that also graces the conference website.
I decided to go ahead and use the first few pages of it to capture notes during the sessions I attended.
I thought the badges were fairly well designed this year. The best feature was that the front and back were identical. There were no problems with them flipping around, though the name could have been larger. The badge contained tabbed cards that could pivot out to reveal the schedule. These were also mirrored front and back. To keep the badges to a reasonable size, sessions were only listed by presenter name, not title, which made them a little less useful. Name order corresponded to the room, though that wasn’t indicated. Each morning, as we entered, we were presented with booklets containing full details on all sessions and activities for the day. Before the opening keynote, I would go through the booklet and underline the presenters on my badge that I wanted to see.
Kickstarter was the latest company to have to apologize for a security breach. They encouraged me to change my password. So I did. Even though I was already signed in, I had to enter my current password to edit my account. Then, the change password form provided two fields in which to enter the new password. I clicked my 1Password button and had it insert a newly generated password. When I pressed the submit button, 1Password immediately asked me if I wanted to replace the existing password with this new one, and I of course told it to do so. Then I get this:
Yes, even though I had just entered my existing password prior to entering the new password, it again asked me to enter the old password. I had already replaced the password in 1Password, so I couldn’t have it insert it. Luckily, 1Password keeps a history of passwords for each site, so I was able to open the application, find the old password, and copy it into the field.
I understand the need to be secure, but asking for the old password after entering the new one is just confusing.
I’m a fan of Game of Thrones. I was reading the books before the television show was aired, and I think they’ve done a fine job translating them. The casting is perfect, the acting is top-notch, and the production values are of feature film quality. I don’t have HBO, so I purchase each season when it comes out on Blu-ray. That means I’m watching them long after they originally aired, but I don’t mind. I can’t be spoiled by people tweeting their shock at the red wedding. I already read it.
So, when I received email from Amazon in January stating that the third season was available for pre-order, I ordered it. Yesterday, I received shipment notification, and they were delivered today. I say “they” because I received two of them: two shipment notifications and two copies with two receipts and two order numbers. One was dated April 10, 2013. I checked my order history, and sure enough, I had pre-ordered the title in April.
- Amazon can’t expect me to remember that I pre-ordered something nine months ago.
- They should know that I already ordered it, and therefore shouldn’t send me email announcing the availability of something I’ve already ordered.
- When I order something that I’ve already ordered, Amazon should inform me of the fact.
- When I return one of them, Amazon shouldn’t deduct shipping from my refund, stating that the return “wasn’t their fault”.