Designing The Perfect Date And Time Picker

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What could be so difficult about designing a decent date picker? Basically, we just need an input field and an icon that represents a calendar clearly enough, and once the user clicks on that icon, we pop up a little overlay with the days lined up in rows. Right?

Designing The Perfect Date And Time Picker

Well, not every date picker fits every interface, just like not every interface actually needs a date picker. But when a date picker is required, quite often it’s just a bit too tedious and annoying to specify that one date, and too often it produces irrelevant results or even a zero-results page, although just a few minor refinements would make it much easier to use.

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Is UX Really That Important?

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One of the most oft-repeated criticisms of any design is that it’s “poor user experience”. UX is set up as the ultimate achievement for any design project. But is this an over-simplification of the designer’s role? Should everything be about user experience?

To paraphrase Leonard Hofstadter: “UX is a ‘smart decision’; it is like a bran muffin—a thing that you’re choosing because it is good for you…But sometimes, you want things in your design to be a Cinnabon, you know? A strawberry Pop Tart. Something you’re excited about even though it could give you diabetes”.

Today I’ve put together a list of sites that are rarely credited with good user experience, but that are still praise-worthy despite—or perhaps because of—that fact. We can admire their originality, their interactions, and their creative direction.

1. Scrolling: parallax, long and infinite

While scrolling, in all its hypostases, underlies a bunch of today’s websites—especially those that bring to life a storytelling experience—UX gurus find this technique “mauvais ton”. They consider it bad for many reasons:

  • users may not know what to do when first they stumble upon such a site;
  • users can feel confused and frustrated;
  • users often become bored after several minutes of constant moving;
  • there is no way out, whatsoever;
  • the navigation is not transparent and habitual;
  • relatively bad site performance;
  • in some cases, it does not work in mobile devices;
  • etc.

However, we still eagerly click on a website that promises to take us on a long exciting adventure. Does the “comfort zone” matter? When all you need to do is to toy with a mouse scroll wheel and amuse yourself with some inventive tricks.

What does the Bank of England do?

Ivan Toro

2. Experiments with Typography and Taglines

As all we know, your message to the targeted audience should be as clean and clear as a little angel’s tear. Good contrast, optimal readability, and some other factors ensure the successful transmission of the company’s message. For example, Six Potatoes or Biron: their titles are pretty straightforward and plain. Without a doubt, this technique works: it is really hard to miss the tagline.

Six Potatoes

Biron

However, what about the homepage of Bolden? Their “welcome” message is a true mess. Letters overlap each other looking much like the Venn diagram. The first thing that comes to mind “What a…?” Undoubtedly, such a peculiar solution evokes mixed feelings. Nevertheless, these feelings ignite our interest. Curiosity is our natural instinct that is truly powerful.

What’s really hidden inside this tiny chaos? The team is managed to seize and hold our attention, and not only convey the message and reflect a creative thinking but also use our short memory span to their advantage.

Bolden

3. WebGL Experiments

Can anyone call WebGL along with Chrome experiments an example of good UX? Absolutely, not. Some of them even do not work on the majority of browsers, so a lion share of online audience are simply unable to open them on their desktops, to say nothing about the tablets and mobile devices. But still, the upsurge of using high-end features and experimental libraries in building web applications is evident. Interland by Google, DEVX Experiments, 86 and half years—all these and many more concepts slowly but surely are earning their place in the sun. They are impressive, ingenious and intriguing; and if they open in your browser you will definitely forget about the comfort at least for 10-15 minutes.

Welcome to Fillory

Senso

4. Original Navigation

“Should I stay or should I go?”

Navigation plays a decisive role in whether your users stay or leave. No one wants to fish in the dark. Navigation’s power to destroy user experience (or vice versa) take it to the next level. Good practice encourages us to make the main menu simple, handy, intuitive, but at the same time all-embracing. Everything should be on the surface, or at within easy clicks. The user should get answers to their questions quickly and without much pain.

Plain top bars with nav links, hamburger menu buttons and of course, sticky nav bars that accompany us on our journey through the website are really popular these days. Staying conservative and pragmatic in choosing the navigation lets you provide your visitors with a Navigation GPS Unit rather than a map with descriptions written in Moon-letters. Nonetheless, to a certain degree these trivial solutions will take away all the fun and playfulness of your interface.

Unexpected menus are creative, thought-provoking and captivating. Yes, they can be misleading, but when done right they are almost flawless masterpieces that pique our curiosity.

Daniel Spatzek

In The Box

Conclusion

Without a doubt, user experience is a vital aspect of a good web application whether it is just a plain blog, complex corporate portal, or huge e-commerce website. Along with such important things like mobile-friendliness or cross-browser compatibility it forms a safe and sound foundation that ensures success. However, sometimes, like in the real world, there are things that we find truly uncomfortable, like taking long trips in a sports car or wearing high heels, but still we admire them, want to possess them, they make us turn our heads.

So, should everything be about UX? Should we all abandon the desire of going off the beaten track and follow the same old roads over and over? Is it possible to strike the balance between creativeness and pragmatism?

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Designing The Perfect Accordion

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Design patterns. An almost mythical phrase that often inspires either awe or resentment. As designers, we tend to think of design patterns as generic off-the-shelf solutions that can be applied to various contexts almost mechanically, often without proper consideration. Navigation? Off-canvas! Deals of the day? Carousel! You get the idea.

Designing The Perfect Accordion (With A Checklist)

Sometimes we use these patterns without even thinking about them, and there is a good reason for it: Coming up with a brand new solution every time we encounter an interface problem is time-consuming and risky, because we just don’t know how much time will be needed to implement a new solution and whether it will gracefully succeed or miserably fail in usability tests.

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Just Keep Scrolling! How To Design Lengthy, Lengthy Pages

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Websites with long or infinite scrolling are becoming more and more common lately, and it’s no mere trend or coincidence. The technique of long scrolling allows users to traverse chunks of content without any interruption or additional interaction — information simply appear as the user scrolls down the page.

Just Keep Scrolling! How To Design Lengthy, Lengthy Pages

Infinite scrolling is a variety of long scrolling that allows users to scroll through a massive chunk of content with no finish line in sight (it’s the endless scrolling you see on Facebook, Twitter and Tumblr feeds).

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Better Form Design: One Thing Per Page (Case Study)

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In 2008, I worked on Boots.com. They wanted a single-page checkout with the trendiest of techniques from that era, including accordions, AJAX and client-side validation.

Better Form Design: One Thing Per Page

Each step (delivery address, delivery options and credit-card details) had an accordion panel. Each panel was submitted via AJAX. Upon successful submission, the panel collapsed and the next one opened, with a sliding transition.

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Free Virtual Conference To Take Your Agile UX Skills To The Next Level

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To get better at your craft, there’s nothing more valuable as learning first-hand from the experience of others. What little tricks have helped fellow designers, design leaders, and developers become more efficient? And how do they overcome hurdles in their projects? Conferences are a brilliant opportunity to get up close with the pros and exchange tips and ideas. But they aren’t the only one.

Agile UX Virtual Summit

To spread expert knowledge between people who are hundreds, even thousands of miles apart, our friends at the full-stack UX design platform UXPin brought the first free virtual summit to life a few months ago. Now the second edition is on its way, and we are very happy to help make it happen: the Agile UX Virtual Summit, focusing on all things Agile UX. Because, well, we all know that building a UX team with agile organization can be quite a challenge.

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Filling Up Your Tank, Or How To Justify User Research Sample Size And Data

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Jen is presenting her research report to a client, who runs an e-commerce website. She conducted interviews with 12 potential users. Her goal was to understand the conditions under which users choose to shop online versus in store.

Filling Up Your Tank, Or How To Justify User Research Sample Size And Data

The client asks Jen why they should trust her research when she has spoken to only 12 people. Jen explains her process to the client. She shares how she determined the sample size and collected and analyzed her data through the lens of data saturation. The client feels comfortable with the explanation. She asks Jen to continue the presentation.

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Improve Your Billing Form’s UX In One Day

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The checkout page is the last page a user visits before finally decide to complete a purchase on your website. It’s where window shoppers turn into paying customers. If you want to leave a good impression, you should provide optimal usability of the billing form and improve it wherever it is possible to.

Improve Your Billing Form’s UX In One Day

In less than one day, you can add some simple and useful features to your project to make your billing form user-friendly and easy to fill in. A demo with all the functions covered below is available. You can find its code in the GitHub repository.

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How To Spark A UX Revolution

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Editor’s Note: Making big changes doesn’t necessarily require big efforts — it’s just a matter of moving in the right direction. We can’t wait for Paul’s new book on User Experience Revolution (free worldwide shipping starting from April 18!), and in this article, Paul shares just some of the little tricks and techniques to bring around a big UX revolution into your company — with a series of small, effective steps.

It feels like everywhere I turn somebody is saying that user experience is the next frontier in business, that we have moved beyond the age of features to creating outstanding experiences.

How To Spark A UX Revolution

But for many of us who work on in-house teams, the reality feels a million miles away from this. Getting management to understand the importance of user experience seems so tough. Even colleagues don’t seem to see the benefit. For those of us in-house, how are we going to get to this golden age of user experience design that people keep promising us?

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Using Social Media For User Research

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Social media is one of the dominant forms of interactions on the Internet. Leading platforms such as Facebook and Twitter count hundreds of millions of users each month. In this article, I will show you how social media is a rich vein of data for user researchers.

Using Social Media For User Research

I will argue that it would be an oversight for an organization to treat social media as nothing more than an opportunity for customer service enquiries, help requests and brand advocacy.

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How To Use Shadows And Blur Effects In Modern UI Design

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When you examine the most successful interaction designs of recent years, the clear winners are those who provide an excellent functionality. While functional aspect of a design is key to product success, aesthetics and visual details are equally important?—?particularly how they can improve those functional elements.

In today’s article, I’ll explain how visual elements, such as shadows and blur effects, can improve the functional elements of a design.

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The Realities Of User Experience Design Within The Luxury Industry

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For luxury companies and upscale lifestyle service providers, excellence in experience is an essential component of the value delivered. Conceptually different from the mass market, the luxury domain relies not only on offering the highest differentiated products and services, but on delivering experiential value.

The Realities Of UX Design In The Luxury Industry

Adopting technology and embracing a digital presence through platforms and initiatives, the luxury industry today is tackling the challenge of designing an unparalleled user experience (UX) online. In this article, we’ll present a case study and share observations on the peculiarities of the UX design of a luxury lifestyle service platform and its mobile apps.

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The Role Of Empty States In User Onboarding

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The first set of screens with which users interact, set the expectations of the app. To make sure your users don’t delete your app after the first use, you should teach them how to complete key tasks and make them want to come back for more. In other words, you need to successfully onboard and engage your users during those first interactions.

The Role Of Empty States In User Onboarding

The onboarding process is a critical step in setting up your users for success with your product. You only get one chance to make a first impression. In this article, we’ll provide some tips on how to approach onboarding using a simple pattern called “empty states.” If you’d like to bring your app or website to life with little effort, you can download and test Adobe XD for free.

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Getting Started With VR Interface Design

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The virtual realm is uncharted territory for many designers. In the last few years, we’ve witnessed an explosion in virtual reality (VR) hardware and applications. VR experiences range from the mundane to the wondrous, their complexity and utility varying greatly.

Getting Started With VR Interface Design

Taking your first steps into VR as a UX or UI designer can be daunting. We know because we’ve been there. But fear not! In this article, we’ll share a process for designing VR apps that we hope you’ll use to start designing for VR yourself. You don’t need to be an expert in VR; you just need to be willing to apply your skills to a new domain. Ultimately, as a community working together, we can accelerate VR to reach its full potential faster.

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Mobile-First Is Just Not Good Enough: Meet Journey-Driven Design

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In a recent sales meeting for a prospective healthcare client, our team at Mad*Pow found ourselves answering an all-too-familiar question. We had covered the fundamental approach of user-centered design, agreed on leading with research and strategy, and everything was going smoothly. Just as we were wrapping up, the head of their team suddenly asked, “Oh, you guys design mobile-first, right?”

Mobile First Is Just Not Good Enough: Meet Journey-Driven Design

Well, that’s a difficult question to answer. While the concept of mobile-first began as a philosophy to help prioritize content and ensure positive, device-agnostic experiences, budgetary and scheduling constraints often result in mobile-first meaning mobile-only.

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92 West is a branding, digital marketing, web design and advertising agency focused on helping brands discover their true voice and sense of purpose; genuinely inspiring audiences.

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