Thoughts from the team
Category: Design & UX
The importance of real text on a webpage is now more important than ever before. A few years ago designers attempted to overcome the limitations of the web by using images to replace ‘boring’ text. Aesthetically it was great, allowing designers full control over all aspects of typography but it made it impossible for machines to understand the content of the page. It didn’t take long to realise the obvious shortcomings and today it seems like a distant memory. In today’s web, structured data has introduced a extra layer of compatibility between human and machine.
iOS9 was released on September 16th and whilst the release didn’t hit the headlines as much as previous years it did include a number of features designed to improve the user experience of the mobile operating system. For the past few weeks we’ve been readying an update to the Propertynews iOS app to support two of these new features.
Your site might be failing because it lacks attention to detail.
Bold statement, right? Lets say you’re looking for a new car. You’ve saved up all of your hard earned cash and you’re going to shop around. You’ve spotted a car you like the look of. It ticks all the right boxes at first glance so you want to get in and check out the interior. You get in, turn the key in anticipation of the cars response. Nothing exciting happens. The car just ‘turns on’. It’s hardly going to leave a lasting impression on you is it? You would expect a little ‘je ne said quoi’ wouldn’t you? You’d perhaps want the needles to sweep the dials. You might expect some form of welcome message or sound to greet you as you get in. Small details like this make that experience that little bit more special, enjoyable and memorable.
At GCD we are passionate about creating software that’s intuitive and easy to use. We are constantly revisiting the solutions we produce and consider Steve Krug’s “Don’t Make Me Think” approach as one of our founding principles. As designers and developers it is our job to do the thinking for people and make the job of using the software we create as easy as possible to use.
Designers and Developers are often too quick to decide that they have the right solution to certain usability and design problems. A lot of the time we create something expecting our users to conform, change their habits and change the way they would normally use an interface to suit the one we have designed. This should not be the case.
Sometimes so much energy is put into the <body> tag of a site, that the little one above it (the <head>) can be overlooked. Mainly because it’s work is behind the scenes. Invisible.
Take a minute to have a think about all the products you use in your daily life, I’m guessing the majority have some kind of digital interface. Now think about how many of these interfaces frustrate or annoy you at some stage during the day. I believe (and I’m not alone) that the main reason for these niggles is down to a lack of design process or one which doesn’t consider the user or the context in which they are using the product.
Following on from the previous post looking at an overview of CSS architecture, it’s time to outline the approach we’ve been taking and why we love it so much.
Until we began to use SASS a few years ago we had been working from a set of stylesheets loosely based upon the popular Blueprint CSS framework. The introduction of SASS into our workflow gave us the impetus to rethink the way we use CSS in a big way.