What’s the point of picnics? by Jay Rayner:
After “Please come to my superhero-themed fancy dress wedding” the most distressing leisure time proposition in the English language has to be: “Fancy a lovely picnic?” No, I don’t. Picnics are never lovely. Picnics are where lunch goes to die.
For the record, I think picnics are lovely, but this was too funny not to repost.
via Simon Brunning
This cute little paint can caught my eye. It lives below the footer on the Withings Activité site.
The link leads to a short form that asks for a some information and automatically collects important bits like the page they were visiting and the browser/OS version. This makes it quick and easy to report site problems. It’s a nice touch and I think it would be a great addition to most sites.
Design and development teams would rather users not see any issues. However, it’s impossible to test a site on every device. Even the most thoughtful of responsive designs is likely to look a bit wonky on some devices. Not to mention the 10,000 or so other issues that might crop up on a new or existing site. Many sites have feedback mechanisms, but usually the link to them is buried somewhere. This little can of paint makes reporting issues easy and therefore, more likely to actually get reported. I only wish that they included a “nice job” option on their form.
Don’t Prioritize Efficiency Over Expectations is a reminder that a quest to reduce clicks can actually increase the user’s interaction cost if the interface behaves differently than expected:
Features meant to increase user efficiency by reducing steps can end up hurting users if they do not conform to existing mental models and expectations based on past experiences.
I received an email at the beginning of April with the subject “Your Tax Refund Information is Enclosed”. It certainly caught my attention, but then I realized it was from Turbotax, which I don’t use. Before writing it off as a lame phishing attempt, I opened it just to see just how lame of an attempt it was.
I wasn’t entirely surprised to see that it was a marketing email from the folks at Intuit. Obviously, someone had read up on crafting their email subject lines for maximum open rates. It probably eked out more than a few sales of Turbotax, but it just seems so spammy, especially after receiving a few more of these emails before April 15th.
I used to think of Intuit as an upstanding outfit, but this and Intuit’s campaign against simplified tax returns (via ma.tt) will make me think twice before using one of their products at home or at work.
I disagree with only one statement in Password Creation: 3 Ways To Make It Easier:
For most people, the experience of creating a password is almost exactly the same as it was 20 years ago.
20 years ago, most sites were happy to accept simple passwords. Today, more sites are requiring stronger passwords, making the experience much worse. This means that we really need to pay attention to the user experience of password creation. The advice in their article is an excellent place to start.