The latest move from Google for their Chrome browser is about removing the address bar. Based on a number of blog articles and criticism this move has received, it looks like it’s hitting the sore spot for people.
Despite the heavy opposition, however, I totally think it is a necessary and a “naturally adaptive” proposition. Here is why. Ask yourself, when was the last time you actually used the address bar to type in the full URL of the site that you are trying to go to? OK, many will say “a minute ago” or “everyday, duh”. And sure, I did too. But almost all the browsers are smart enough to auto-detect where you are going (since you would be going to the place you’ve visited before, probably).
In addition, the whole characteristic of the Web, namely, its hyper-linked structure beckons us to reconsider the emphasis we are putting on the address bar. Most of the time, aren’t we just clicking our way through? Either finding something useful and then bookmarking them, sharing them or “Reading later” via Instapaper?
This is a natural progression of user behaviour. I find myself hardly ever typing URL of a brand new website I have never visited before. Because all the new addresses, I find them on the Web and click them. Maybe what we need is the “search bar” then incorporates with your visit history, so it suggests you where you’d be going. So in the end, maybe we just need 1 input field at the top, rather than URL bar AND search bar.
Remember when Apple finally got rid of the optical drives in Mac Air? Nobody complained, but rather they praised! Or how about when iMac didn’t come with the floppy drives? We just have to let it go sometimes.
Oh and if you are ever thinking about letting go, don’t throw it away, use Freally.
It’s strange how much I can overlook when I’m doing a certain task. And I find it annoying only to later find out all the helpful tips & shortcuts available to achieve the very task.
I’ve been working with the Web application for awhile now, but never did spend too much effort or time in “user design & interface”. It’s an area which a developer can easily dismiss (hence the need for designers!), but as a person who is deeply involved in the development of something that is so confrontational (users see it all the time!), it is worth to explore this area a little bit.
So that’s exactly what I did this week. I gathered some articles and found some great sites that explain what UI, UX and CSS3 designs are and I’d like to compile some of the more helpful ones here ONLY in a point format because that’s how I like it and i think it makes things simpler. Hopefully, the more study I do, I can make this a some sort of series.
- As far as the customer/user is concerned, UI is the product.
- Use familiarity – find out what users are familiar with in life and on Web. For example, green means “go” (positive) and red means “stop” (negative). So let’s try to find things that are familiar and implement them on our design.
- Make your design – clear, concise, familiar, fast (under 8 seconds!), efficient.
- Use whitespace for grouping similar things together topically or contextually – e.g. GMail buttons at the top.
- Rounded edges are for creating boundaries.
- Emphasize core actions over not-so-important actions e.g. SUBMIT vs. cancel
- Use verbs on labels
- Auto-focus on forms on the page if it is the first thing that they should be doing.
- If there are many repeated texts on the page, hide them and make them appear via hover control – e.g. Twitter tweets show menus when you hover over them.
- Make use of link states! i.e. active, visited, hover
- Many people are already familiar with “blue” links. Why re-invent the wheel?
- If you can, you should implement “un-do” feature on actions of the site.
- Confirm dialogue should appear only on destructive actions – e.g. Are you sure you want to delete? – for other non-destructive actions, you can overcome this by “undo” feature above.
- Use animation to grab user’s attention.
- Users on web usually “scan” your web page in “F-shaped” gaze pattern. That means, they will go from top-left and progressively through your page.
- Improve readability by using font-combination and whitespace margins.
- Emphasize only the important text! Do not over-emphasize and annoy users.
- Get rid of all the roadblocks. CAPTCHA is good for security, but is it confusing users?
That’s all for now. Hopefully my study will continue!
hZDNet covered an interesting story on a company called Aspiritech which primarily specialize in employing people with Asperger’s Syndrome. You say “huh” and Wikipedia explains to us as
Asperger syndrome or Asperger’s syndrome (/ˈɑːspərɡərz/) is an autism spectrum disorder that is characterized by significant difficulties in social interaction, along with restricted and repetitive patterns of behavior and interests. It differs from other autism spectrum disorders by its relative preservation of linguistic and cognitive development. Although not required for diagnosis, physical clumsiness and atypical use of language are frequently reported.
While some of the comments I read say this is an “exploitation”, I would totally disagree since the company is helping these people to find a niche area in which they can find employment and assume normal life, instead of possibly facing redundancies like the story shared in the article.
It goes to say that it isn’t just our “abilities”, but even some of the “disabilities”, can actually become “abilities” if you find a good fit where that trait is highly desired. Maybe this is a new trend in talent acquisition. We must know that we are not all equal and cannot conform to a bottle and be forced to become who we cannot be.
I thought it would be a good time for my to contribute to CodeIgniter community. I feel like I’ve been just a lazy and greedy consumer from the CI community and over the years of my experience with CI, I think I have a few things in my hands, which I want to put it out there for the world.
Anyway, the first one is integrating Tank Auth with any 3rd party authentication tools. By 3rd party authentication tools, I mean obviously Facebook Connect (using Open Graph), Twitter oAuth, using Google and OpenID.
Well, so far that is the plan and hopefully I can continue to update my blog for more updates on this.