Dear Delicious, 

I don't think you understand how people use your product or you just don't care. It's exhausting. I should just leave but I'm in too deep and everything else is more product than I want or need. Will you read this and just think about it? If you can't figure out how to do better. Just make this whole thing Open Source and get out of the way. But I don't think it needs to come to that. You have a lot of people and content and you have history. I'm sure you can figure something out. Maybe look at some analytics or ask your users some questions. Just a thought...

 

1. This is what I want but it's over here. Marginalized, disrespected trapped in a design pattern that doesn't understand it. Why Delicious? Why?

 

2. You know I want this. The navigation label acknowledges this.  

 

3. What about this big space? My tags would love to stretch out here and be easy to browse and click. What's this stuff? I just saved these. I'm not here to remember them. Recency doesn't equal importance. 

 

4. Really this much space reserved for one saved link? You know there is a whole site behind that saved link. I only have to click it and I'll get more than you could every show me here.  Also, why do I care who else saved the link?  I have enough friends. Quit pushing these people on me. 

 

5. This list that I have been adding to for almost 10 years is a glimpse into my inner workings. It documents my professional development and my personal interest. This raw data about me is not for public consumption. You know that about me. I've never in 10 years responded to any of these social features.  

The problem with Delicious.jpg
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Posted
AuthorTyesha Snow
KornFerry Home Page

I like this site.*

1. The colors and texture are really pleasing and unexpected for a staffing site.

2. I'm a fan of using the main navigation to tell the story. By placing it in the middle of the page what's inside the site is elevated to something worth exploring not just a bunch of links pushed to the side or up in the corner.

This placement allows the eyes to bounce through each navigation label and build a quick understanding of what the site and/or company has to offer.

3. The subtle animations in the hero and the headers of the sub pages are smooth, interesting and add to the experience.

*Yes, there are places it falls apart, especially on some of the internal pages, but I suspect the final comps and interaction plan before development and months of little changes by various business interests, were really great.

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Posted
Authortyesha

Alright. there are many points I could make about the experience I just had but this is the one (ok, maybe two) I'm choosing.

Amazon doesn't have pages for authors and this is confusing and problematic for people. The best evidence I can give you without doing some user research is found right on the site in plain view, so why haven't they fixed it?

This is what I discovered while trying to find a list of books by a particular author.

You can't click on an Authors name and get a list. Some of the big Authors names are hot and these took you to a search results list, not an Author page. This is kinda good but really actually bad because it breaks the pattern. If one Author name is hot, they should all be hot or you start to think you are going crazy.

I thought...this can't be right, maybe I'm missing something (please tell me if I am). So I search for Authors and look at the suggestions! I'm sure these are generated by the most commonly searched terms.


Seems other people are trying to find this illusive author page and list of authors

Now being in the web industry I can see a few reasons why they do this, but what seems so interesting is that they have diverted so far away from creating an experience that mirrors the physical world. Book stores are organized by author. I wonder what the larger impact of all this is?

Whatever the impact, it is lame and annoying. boo.

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Posted
Authortyesha
Tagsamazon
7 CommentsPost a comment

Judging by the number of people reading the first Pagination entry, it seems to be a topic of interest for people, which is wonderful. So here are a couple more.

Today's competition is between Amazon and Anthropologie

Let's see what the largest online retailer's contribution to the conversation is:

At the top of the page it gives you a count of total results and how many are showing on current page. This is good. But there is no pagination here so you can't begin to move through the results.The "pagi" as I will fondly refer to it from this point on, is all the way at the bottom. We need to see the total number of results and the total number of pages. I don't want to just keep clicking next for who know's how long.

You can't jump to the last page, which would be a problem if you were browsing a alph sort list.

As you move along continually hitting next, scrolling to the bottom of the list and hitting next again, the pagi displays like this. Once you hit the 5th page it shifts a bit alowing you to get back to the first page. Ok, that's good but once you get in a few more pages you realize that the only way to get back to say page 9 is to hit Previous, scroll to the bottom (repeat 4 times) or Go back to the first page and do pretty much the same thing. Leaving you to wonder which is the fastest, a calculation I'm not sure anyone wants to do. Positives are the clean lines and easy to select Next and Previous

Now for the store that makes you want dress in lacey pjs, sip cappacinos out of mugs the size of a baby head and slip beneth pathwork quilts until spring arrives.

Here's what I like.

You get to select how many items to show on the page. I always want as many as I can get to reduce using the pagi. It would be really great if it detected your connection speed and defaulted to a larger set if your connection was fast enough.

You get next, previous and a total of pages.

I like clicking the green box highlighting next. I don't know why, I just do.

What isn't good is the same issue we saw with Amazon. Once you get in a few pages it is difficult to get back to the earlier pages. Although, the number of possible pages on this site is much less than Amazon so, it isn't as bad.

aaaaaaannnnnd......

Our winner today is Anthropologie. Yeah!

I'm now on the hunt for a site that doesn't do what both of these two failed at today. If you have an example please send me a link!

(the 3 items at the top of the page are on my wishlist)

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Posted
Authortyesha

I'm working on a diagram that illustrates how the major consideration of web strategy/design (also a working concept) should be addressed by the tools of a User Experience Architect. This is the first piece of a presentation I am developing on the topic of "Appropriate use of the User Experience Architect" or "How to plug UX into a project or agency and get value, make life easier for everyone and end up with better products." If you have a moment I would love your feedback.

Couple things before you start.

1. This is a draft 2. It isn't meant to consider every little detail but stay at a certain big picture distance 3. I'm not stupid, but it is possible this isn't totally right. That's ok, I'm practicing shameless collaboration and artistic expression by not editing myself too much and assuming you folks can fill in the blanks without me over explaining.

click to make bigger. The Five Considerations: Brand Needs: Content, features and design choices that support the goals of the brand, reinforcing the correct perceptions and enriching the user's experience.

Business Desires: What the business wants in order to grow, increase profit and realize company goals (not necessarily digital/web goals).

Technology Needs: That the new solution utilize available tools and/or implement "appropriate" new tools within a specific budget.

User Desires: What the users think they want. Stuff that gives them an emotional reaction and satisfies their expectations.

User Needs: The essential tasks the user is trying to accomplish, which must be completed with ease and clarity.

Industry Ecosystem: What's going on in the larger ecosystem of the business and the users. How and where this digital presence will fit in and contribute.

Tools & Methods Business Strategy Definition: Stakeholder Interviews, Goals and Tactics Definition, Multi-year road-map development, Competitive Research.

User Research: Quantitative and Qualitative methods. Interviews, surveys, usability testing, focus groups, card sorts. Audience segmentation, Tasks analysis, Flows.

Information Architecture: Site structure, content organization, taxonomy, utilize analytic data, collaboration with back-end developers.

Interaction Design: User centered design, industry standards, best practices, collaboration with graphic designers and front end developers

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I'm going to start an ongoing series on pagination. i know, it's not that sexy but every time I need to design one i tend to have to rethink it all over again and then find examples to plead my case with my graphic designers.

Bad:Why? because the easiest thing to click on is "Last >>" but this isn't the most desired link. It takes some focused mousing to click the little 1 2 3 4 5 or the >> next arrows, all of which are the more likely desired links.

It is showing which page you are on and how many total pages their are so they get a bonus points for that.

Better and Interesting:

The Next and Previous buttons are easy to click, although I still think the Beginning and Last links shouldn't be equally weighted to the Next and Previous, but a good argument could be made depending on the content (and it looks nice).

What I really like about this, is being able to just type in the page you want to jump to. So many pagination designs will only show you the next 3-5 pages (see above) so if you want to jump way a head, to say 17 you have to perform a few annoying clicks.

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Posted
Authortyesha
3 CommentsPost a comment

What is the current standard for showing where you are and were you can go? This site (which is lovely by the way) uses the bright yellow to show to show active links. But while I was there my mind kept getting really confused. I expected the place I was to be highlighted and even though I realized what the convention was I couldn't quit making mistakes as I navigated around.

What do you think?

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I once had a meeting, the purpose of the meeting was to explain to a potential client the process and tools of UX and how we might apply it to the redesign of there site. In the meeting my super smart, totally brilliant coworker was showing an example of how a wireframe had been translated into a completed site design and he said something that gave me serious pause, it hit nerve.

It's not the first time I've heard this, both from other UX peeps (including this smart one) and non-UX peeps and every time I hear it I go crazy. See the final site design had a top navigation scheme and the wireframe architecture was based on a left hand navigation design and my coworker said, something along the lines of "see in this example the final design moved the navigation and that's fine, we don't do design, the wires can be interpreted any number of ways." (not a direct quote but close)

I just about had a heart attack, this perspective is right at the center of 4 big issues big issues for me.

1. The myth that the content of the UX deliverables, especially wireframes are just suggestions for the final product.

The short version of this explanation is that we work for months defining goals, interviewing users, analyzing tasks and flows. We create huge strategy docs and road maps, and the final realization of all this work is the wireframe.

If we are doing our job everything that appears in the wires is on purpose, backed by research and data and is a product of multidisciplinary creative thinking. If a wire has a top nav, it's there for a reason and the art director and I made the decision together. It better freaking be a top nav in the final designs. Got it. 2. To drill in a bit further on #1, decisions like basic page structure including how navigation is displayed a joint exercise between UX and Graphic Design not a solo expedition.

It's just wrong to make wireframe without input and buy in from the Designer. Two heads are better......

3. All to often UX doesn't take responsibility for the ultimate design of the site.

The site design is the realization of the digital strategy, if we throw up our hands and say, "hey, it was in the wires...." we might as well have not done any research or strategy work. UX Mag said it best in this article:

"There are a lot of designers and UX architects who are happy to go with the flow and let marketing dictate the terms of the design. If a poorly dictated design ends up crippling the user experience, well, that’s not their fault. But blame has a way of trickling down to the people closest to a project. Who’s going to take the bullet? The senior marketing executive who oversaw the project, or you, the worker in charge of actually executing it?"

Hot damn! So well put and so important.

4. and finally.....We are Creative.

Too many agencies and companies don't consider UX part of the "Creative" team. This is crap-o-la.

The work we do is an exercise in some serious creative expression. The best teams are a trio of Graphic designer, Writer and UX geek, all owning the creative process and contributing equally. If you can find a balance and each member of the team is taking responsibility for those items specific to their expertise but open to free participation and idea generation you are going to have one sweet product a the end.

photo: Seattle Graffiti

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Posted
Authortyesha

I've been digging Wireframes a great new blog showcasing the work of those of us in the UX trenches and highlighting the new and the tried and true of wireframing. Today Mr. Linowski posted about using templates that looks less formal and more like a sketch. I've found this type of wire to be super effective in putting to bed the whole "is this what it's going to look like?" argument. Clients and research subjects alike seem to have no problem understanding the concept of a wireframe when I use it. It's like magic. Here are a few I did recently. These are three different ideas a comparison tool. I've been doing user interviews and then getting their opinion on these at the end. It's going pretty well so far. I'll report back when the research and design is done.

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Posted
Authortyesha