Errors, Warnings, Alerts and other Messages: A Framework

There are lots of reasons for software to push messages to the user and a variety of ways for this to be done. Messages are often overlooked and left until late in the development process, but they an important aspect of design, since they represent the software reaching out to the user directly. Messages can … More Errors, Warnings, Alerts and other Messages: A Framework

How can Hidden Functionality be Justified?

User Interfaces can be seen as being made up of three elements: Visible features that can be directly scanned by the user. Hierarchical structures that offer functionality that is not immediately visible, but can be hunted through. Hidden features that cannot be directly intuited from simply looking at the interface and therefore must be learned. … More How can Hidden Functionality be Justified?

Hierarchical Structure, Black Holes and Root Complexity

Many aspects of user interfaces can be thought of as hierarchies, some explicit and others implicit. Website menu structures are a form of explicit hierarchy: they seek to give navigational access to a set of pages. Application menu structures are also explicit hierarchies. Except that they contain functions rather than navigation. However, thinking more laterally, … More Hierarchical Structure, Black Holes and Root Complexity

Types of Sharing

Sharing features allow users to collaborate over the production of assets and dissemination of information. However, there are various ways in which this can be done. This post outlines the key types of sharing behaviour, provides examples and describes some of the challenges associated with each type.

Content Building Blocks and Resizing Strategies

Scrolling has long been the default method of dealing with a difference between the amount of content to be displayed and the available space, with various strategies used to modify content to avoid horizontal scrolling. However, the status quo has been challenged recently by two developments: First, the rise of mobile devices has meant that┬áit … More Content Building Blocks and Resizing Strategies