If you are designing a web site, and you are considering overriding the browser’s shortcut to the find on page function, please reconsider. Control + F launches a familiar function in most browsers, users that use it expect to find a text string on the current page, not something else.

I hadn’t seen this done until it caught me by surprise on the community section of the letsencrypt.org site. Here’s what happens when one presses CTRL + F:

CTRL-F Override

The first press launches the site’s search form, the second press closes the site’s search form and open’s the browser’s search form. In my case, Google search had already done the heavy lifting by sending me to a text-dense page. Now I wanted to find my search term on that page, but I was thwarted by the site’s override of a browser function.

Enough people have wanted to do this that there are a few questions about how to override the browser’s find function with javascript on Stackoverflow. Like I said at the top, if you are thinking about implementing this sort of thing on your site, please reconsider.

I have an upcoming doctor’s appointment, I know because I’ve received two emails and a text reminding me of this. Reminders are great, but do I need so many? The text reminders are the most frustrating, especially since I never asked for them. This one joins a growing list of texts I receive that I never asked for–and can’t turn off. I have two companies that send emails and texts when a new bill is available AND when it has been paid–even though both are set for auto-payment. This feels less like helpful information, and more like nagging.

Do you really want to nag your users? I hope not. Notifications should be used judiciously. Those of us responsible for user experience (I’m looking at all of us, including product managers, developers, customer service, founders, CEOs… everybody) should really take a hard look at our notification strategy from the user’s standpoint and make sure it is serving them.

Here are a few of my suggestions:

  • Seriously, consider whether you need to send that notification at all, really.
  • Give your users the ability to tailor which notifications they will receive, how they will receive them (email/text/in-app/etc.) and how often and/or when.
  • Be smart about initial notification preferences, don’t just turn them all on by default. Most of your users should be perfectly happy to never adjust their notification preferences. A little user research goes a long way here.
  • Make sure notifications make sense, they should be specific, succinct and actionable.
  • Speaking of actionable. Instead of ending your messages with “Don’t reply to this message.”, figure out a way to let the user reply to the damn message. You’re the one that decided to send it, let them reply.

Now I’ll sit back and take my lumps from anyone who was notified of this post. At least none of them are getting a text about it, as far as I know anyway.

Amazon GO is a retail concept that promises no checkout lines. Awesome!

I’m a bit surprised that the friction-free shopping experience they show in the video is kicked off by scanning a QR code from one’s phone. It would be slick if they extended their “Just Walk Out technology” to provide a less cumbersome just walk in experience.

We’ll see this sort of experience beyond stores operated by Amazon. I’m sure someone at Amazon is already has a deck describing how to package this for retailers. It will be great, I just hope that people without smartphones, Amazon accounts and credit cards can take part in this experience as well.

via NY Times