Participatory design is an approach to design that attempts to actively involve end users in the design process to help ensure that the product designed meets their needs and is usable. This approach is focused on process and is not a design style. For some, this approach has a political dimension of user empowerment and democratisation. For others, it is seen as a way of abrogating design responsibility and innovation by designers.
I am trying to evangelize the 10/20/30 Rule of PowerPoint. It’s quite simple: a PowerPoint presentation should have ten slides, last no more than twenty minutes, and contain no font smaller than thirty points. While I’m in the venture capital business, this rule is applicable for any presentation to reach agreement: for example, raising capital, making a sale, forming a partnership, etc.
Typography is often a deciding factor in the success of a design. Its importance cannot be overstated. Effective typography can be achieved in so many different ways, as demonstrated in the 17 different categories below. Some of the most common ways to treat type is with size, color variation, creative illustrations, and use of textures. The examples below are just the tip of the iceberg as far as the possibilities for type.
Most abstract information spaces work poorly in 3D because they are non-physical. If anything, they have at least a hundred dimensions, so visualizing an information space in 3D means throwing away 97 dimensions instead of 98: hardly a big enough improvement to justify the added interface complexity.
There’s something about photographs that manages to attract the attention of web users. Indeed, photos can be excellent design elements in a web design. Watch the file sizes of your web pages though; you have to strike a balance between aesthetics and page response times. From images of scenic landscapes to photos of people, the sites in this collection demonstrate the inspiring and visually tantalizing use of photos as chief elements in a web design.
It's hard to imagine a form that could be simpler: two fields, two buttons, and one link. Yet, it turns out this form was preventing customers from purchasing products from a major e-commerce site, to the tune of $300,000,000 a year. What was even worse: the designers of the site had no clue there was even a problem.
The promotion of an intranet is never-ending. From the day it's launched, through to its eventual retirement, an intranet must be constantly advertised to staff. Without this, many staff will remain unaware that the intranet even exists. Others won't recognise the full value of the intranet, or use anything but a tiny corner of the site. This article outlines 34 ideas for promoting an intranet, ranging from the obvious through to the very unusual. Somewhere in this list should be a few approaches that you can apply to your own intranet.
Three-dimensional illusion effects are powerful devices that can achieve excellent results. They can also add significantly to overall page filesize, and can reduce usability if overused, so should be used deliberately and with care (unlike the title image above, see cooltext.com if you want one).
Approaches that are either too general or too specific can easily overwhelm practitioners—and derail budgets. Fresh from recent experiences with two large-scale redesigns, Katie Kovalcin suggests that flexibility and open communication can transform all team members into what she calls “80/20 practitioners,” creating a more effective balance of time and resources.
This article showcases modern and interesting contact/web form solutions found around the Internet. I also collected interesting ways how people decide to call their contact forms – get in touch, contact info, say hello, talk to me, say hey, connect, say “hi”, mail us and of course – contact us.
The first time I discovered the 960 Grid System, I was immediately excited about the possibilities of implementing complex layouts so easily. However, since I was fairly new to web design at the time, when I downloaded the files, I quickly became overwhelmed at how complicated the whole thing seemed. With all this code, how could this be the easy way to create a layout?
We had a huge, unruly Web site. It just had different graphics, a better-named Web team and more people shoveling on content and applications. Finally, out of desperation, we decided to try a new-fangled thing called a Web content management system.
Typography for the Web has come a long way since Tim Berners-Lee flipped the switch in 1991. Back in the days of IE 1.0, good web typography was something of an oxymoron. Today things are different. Not only do we have browsers that support images (gasp!), but we have the opportunity to make our web pages come to life through great typography.
A case study of a team approach to information architecture at Duke University by graduates of the Duke Continuing Studies Technical Communication Certificate program.
When you build websites that rely on cookies and they are expected to work with privacy settings other than default, you’ll have to deal with P3P. Read on to find out about the cornerstones of the Platform for Privacy Preferences, and get your hands dirty with an example guiding you from empty hands to a complete basic implementation.
I've noticed recently that people (and organizations) often interchange the policies and standards labels as if there is no difference between them... like those who insist the Web and the Internet are the same. I'm not one for splitting hairs, but in this case, policies are truly not the same as standards and it's important to be clear about the distinction.
On a Web site or intranet each of the alphabetically arranged entries or subentries is hyperlinked to the page or to an anchor within a page to where the topic is discussed. Since an alphabetical index can be quite long, it is often divided into pages for each letter of the alphabet. Typically, each letter is linked at the top of the page allow a jump to the start of that letter’s section of the index.
The WCAG (1.0) guideline 4, checkpoint 4.2, about ABBR and ACRONYM, has for a long time been too unclear to implement. The drafts for XHTML 2.0 and WCAG 2.0 seem to have solved most problems.
Many technical communicators have heard about Computer-aided Acquisition and Logistic Support (CALS), or Standard Generalized Markup Language (SGML), but some do not understand the concept. This paper introduces CALS, the relationship between CALS and SGML, the structure of SGML, and how SGML affects technical communicators.
Study participants searched websites for background information ranging from company history to management biographies and contact details. Their success rate was 70%, leaving much room for usability improvements in the 'About Us' designs.