Tom Carding

Tom Carding

Notes to self... and other people

Dear web designer, let’s stop breaking the affordance of scrolling — User Experience Design (UX) — Medium

Getting tired of the edge to edge image and arrow? You are not alone...

Dear web designer, let’s stop breaking the affordance of scrolling — User Experience Design (UX) — Medium
Dear web designer, let's stop breaking the affordance of scrolling Big picture + arrow down = lazy design We’ve all seen it. You get on a website and there it is: a massive edge-to-edge picture, and it's beautiful… It’s a huge ( pun intended ) web design trend and it looks like a lot of people love it. Ok not everybody love it. Wait… What's that? Why are you screaming at me, arrow down? Or should I call you " scrorrow ?" BLARGH! I know how to use my computer, ok? I'm a natural explorer. I've be...

How you preview the photo matters - BBC overwhelmed by surge in screen size shocker!!

To give the BBC credit here this is a fast-moving story delivered to multiple screen sizes. However I have a feeling the (photo) editor had a small screen to preview things on...


Mobile resolution - looking good







Tablet in landscape - looking good




Decent sized desktop resolution - er, hold on...






Large desktop resolution, the kind you'd expect a photo editor or a news editor to have...


Please Do Not Crush

Does this ever work? Do you think someone who is careless enough to actually crush a parcel is looking for a label telling them not to? Is it aimed at people casting around for things to crush? It can't be, surely they'd be attracted by such a thing

The simple explanation has to be that this message is not what it proports to be. It's not a label telling you not to crush something, it's a label telling you not to put something on top of this because it will crush it. It's big and red to get your attention and because you might be in a hurry or at a distance or doing something else like driving a forklift its message is short and simple.

Because you, the final consumer of this product, also sees this parcel its phrasing is also changed otherwise there would be no Please involved and it would say something like "Do Not Stack".


UX Project Checklist

Just in case you forget something! 


UXD - Getting serious, getting some education

I've been interested in design for a long time and web design for as long as I've had any presesnce on the web at all - this is now becoming a long time as my original blog dates from 2004 and I had built other pages even before this.

As a developer of eLearning I had to learn about interaction design for a specific outcome but I was, of necessity, self taught and learning mostly by trial and error. There was a lot of error, at least to begin with...

When I became a Digital Analyst I had to learn more about measurement, research and execution of web projects at a large scale. This was/is also for an audience of people who really need and care about the information and services that are looking for or deliver, who often need them quickly. It was a sharp change in discipline.

Business analysis has become a core part of the role but at times it is a little too inwardly focussed and doesn't in and of itself produce the best results unless you use the customer perspective throughout and try to tie the business goals together with those of the customer.

I'm at a juncture in my working life now where I need to be able to tie those different strands together and deliver a meaningful and beautiful product that gets outcomes for its users and for organisations - enter "User Experience Design".

I'd been interested in this for a while but what really cemented my interest was the keynote at Drupal South from Harriet Wakelam. I've put the video of this below.


As of 12 May this year I'm doing General Assembly's User Experience Design course to give me the exposure to the practices and techniques I need to take things to the next level. I will be writing about it here and using this site as a User Experience Design scrapbook. In fact for the foreseeable future it's likely that that's all this will be and any other content will be moved elsewhere.


Thomas Byttebier - The best icon is a text label


Thomas Byttebier - The best icon is a text label
The best icon is a text label Previously I wrote about clarity being the most important characteristic of a great interface. Let’s talk about icons now. They’re an essential part of many user interfaces. The thing is: more often than not, they break clarity. Pictograms have been in use since the early days of mankind. They are often seen as the first expressions of a written language. Some non-literate cultures still use them today as their main medium of written communication. In many public s...

A reminder to cross check user settings and UX

The reason users are given options to configure the settings is not just to make sure that they see useful information but to ensure that they can use the software in a way that makes sense to them. Unfortunately in order to keep things simple it's rare that settings adjustments are reflected back out to the interface for the user and defaults are employed that usually assume that the user has the same preferences as the developer.

This can grate on you if the two sets of preferences are even slightly different in fact it's often the small differences that cause the most inconvenience. The difference between the way the US formats a date and the way it's formatted elsewhere cause additional cognitive load on a user in places where their attention needs to be elsewhere.

We wouldn't give a user with a language that reads right to left all left-aligned text but yet we don't think through these adjustments.

Structure

Most stories, or at least most good ones, have a beginning a middle and an end. Of course these sections in their own right have sections and transitions in which they begin and end. It seems then necessary to separate them into the beginning of the beginning, the middle of the beginning, the end of the beginning, the beginning of the middle, the middle of the middle, the end of the middle, the beginning of the end, the middle of the end and the end of the end.

For the sake of symmetry and for a sense of satisfaction it would seem to be logical to further segment these into their transitions and stages to give us the beginning of the beginning of the beginning, the middle of the beginning of the beginning, the end of the beginning of the beginning, the beginning of the the middle of the beginning, the middle of the middle of the beginning, the end of the middle of the beginning, the beginning of the end of the beginning, the middle of the end of the beginning, the end of the end of the beginning, the beginning of the beginning of the middle, the middle of the beginning of the middle, the end of the beginning of the middle, the beginning of the middle of the middle, the middle of the middle of the middle, the end of the middle of the middle, the beginning of the end of the middle, the middle of the end of the middle, the end of the end of the middle, the beginning of the beginning of the end, the middle of the beginning of the end, the end of the beginning of the end, the beginning of the middle of the end, the middle of the middle of the end, the end of the middle of the end, the beginning of the end of the end, the middle of the end of the end and the end of the end of the end.

However this would be the act of a fool, quite unworthy of the time it would take to write down as well as giving us a sentance-paragraph of near nonsense and leaving the reader with some peculiar feelings about the word middle.