I wrote about it in my blogpost Easiest
Gradual Engagement is simply the concept of not throwing a big fat sign-up form in the face of the first-time visitor before he has a chance to try out the site. A better approach is to try to get him engaged in what the site is all about before trying to get tons of information from him.
In the upcoming new version of Internet Explorer 8, which is in public Beta 1 right now, there’s support for a new technique called WebSlices. Is this yet another proprietary feature of Microsoft or is it a really useful evolution of RSS that will be adopted as a web standard? Since it follows the patterns of the Microformat hAtom,
The MVC framework certainly solves a lot of the issues I have with ASP.NET and actually makes it possible to create standard compliant websites without having to bend over backwards with all the awkward quirks of the ASP.NET Web Forms model.
I’ve listed them in the order I think one should read them and I’ve also written a small text about each.
Why is it that web apps very often lack something that we take for granted in most window applications, namely the undo function? Is it because it’s not needed? Is it too hard to implement or is it simply just because it’s something that developers don’t think is needed?
The most common solution to prevent user errors is to simply throw an alertbox warning about potential damage or loss of data that the action might cause. Even otherwise awesome web applications often resorts to this behavior. Take for example Backpack
This is, from the developers point of view, the easiest way to handle it. It’s almost too easy to implement an alert and many developers habitually do it without giving it a second thought.
A far better solution is to use an undo function. Although harder to implement it maps so much better to the users mental model and behavior patterns. As Alan Cooper puts it in About Face 3:
Users generally don’t believe, or at least don’t want to believe, that they make mistakes. This is another way of saying that the persona’s mental model typically doesn’t include error on his part. Following a persona’s mental model means absolving him of blame. The implementation model, however, is based on an error-free CPU. Following the implementation model means proposing that all culpability must rest with the user. Thus, most software assumes that it is blameless, and any problems are purely the fault of the user.
Alan Cooper, Aboute Face 3
An undo function enables the user to easily recover from mistakes and also encourage him to explore the interface without fear of doing irreversible damage. It transfers the responsibility of handling errors from the user to the system, where it righteously belongs.
When we are designing user interfaces it’s important to be aware of where the users locus of attention are, so that we are able to show crucial information where the user has his or her attention.
I recently wanted to contact Northface regarding a jacket of mine which zipper has broke. I went to www.northface.com and searched their web site for an email address or something. After some searching I found a button labeled “Email us” and clicked on it expecting my email client to launch, but instead I was transferred to a page with a contact
I’ve just discovered a new site called Geni.