Topic: Visual Design
November 8, 2015
Clickable UI elements with absent or weak visual signifiers condition users over time to click and hover uncertainly across pages—reducing efficiency and increasing reliance on contextual cues and immediate click feedback. Young adult users may be better at perceiving subtle clickability clues, but they don’t enjoy click uncertainty any more than other age groups.
October 25, 2015
You-are-here navigation consists of signs that help orient website visitors as they explore the site. Many websites need stronger location indicators.
October 18, 2015
If you place text over a background image, make sure it’s readable by providing adequate contrast. Subtle tweaks can increase the contrast without affecting the overall aesthetic of the site.
October 11, 2015
Avoid awkward and difficult page layouts by fitting flexible templates to content whenever possible. Test often during design, and plan to scale up.
September 27, 2015
Flat design is a web-design style that became popular around 2012. It is still widely used today, and its overuse can cause serious usability problems.
July 26, 2015
Displaying faceted-search controls on mobile devices in a ‘tray’ overlay is a new effective solution to the challenge of showing both results and filters on small screens.
July 19, 2015
Page control (dots), Submit at top, and the Plus (+) and Move icons are 4 common iOS patterns that cause usability problems in testing.
July 12, 2015
Our analysis of 112 minimalist websites revealed the defining features of minimalism: flat design, limited color schemes, few UI elements, use of negative space, and dramatic typography.
June 28, 2015
Many popular web-design trends originate in minimalism, a movement that aims to reduce information overload by presenting content in its simplest form.
June 7, 2015
Low-contrast text may be trendy, but it is also illegible, undiscoverable, and inaccessible. Instead, consider more usable alternatives.
March 8, 2015
Whether you adopt a flat-design style or not, interactive components must retain sufficient cues to suggest clickability. Signaling clickability with cues such as borders, color, size, consistency, placement, and adherence to web standards can give interactive components the proper look.
February 1, 2015
What appears at the top of the page vs. what’s hidden will always influence the user experience—regardless of screen size.
September 28, 2014
Large images are visually appealing, but they can harm the overall user experience if they aren't appropriately prioritized.
September 21, 2014
Moving elements are a powerful tool to attract users’ attention. When designing an animation consider its goal, its frequency of occurrence, and its mechanics.
August 17, 2014
The tighter the mapping between icons and the thing they represent, the easier they are to understand, but standardization can also make an icon easy.
July 27, 2014
A user’s understanding of an icon is based on previous experience. Due to the absence of a standard usage for most icons, text labels are necessary to communicate the meaning and reduce ambiguity.
April 27, 2014
Even as more sites mimic swiping gestures and incorporate horizontal scrolling in desktop designs, users remain reluctant to move sideways through content.
March 30, 2014
For mobile navigation, image grids should be saved for deeper IA levels where visual differentiation between menu items is critical.
February 23, 2014
Users recognize a magnifying-glass icon as meaning ‘search’ even without a textual label. The downside is that icon-only search is harder for users to find.
February 16, 2014
Instructions in mobile applications must be designed for optimal scannability, as users tend to dismiss them quickly and do not read thoroughly.