UI/UX Articles and Interesting Tidbits of the Week

August//19//2022

Here are some interesting finds on UI/UX of the week!

1.

Designing a Better Back Button. Another interesting article from Vitaly Friedman for The Smashing Magazine, who tackles yet another Design pattern, this time around the behaviors, expectations and paradigms surrounding back buttons (including emphasis on placement). The article is quite thorough and provides plentiful of examples, both in terms of context (flow of pages and forms), but also in terms of implementation (examples include Van’s and Fully). Worth reading through. Highlight of the article includes:

“The way we see our own websites isn’t necessarily the same way our users perceive it. The more different the views are from one interaction to another, the more likely users perceive these views as “separate things”. Users rely on a “Back” button to go back, but often we mismatch their expectations, bringing frustration and abandonment. We definitely need to align users’ expectations with the “Back” button behavior at a very minimum. Additionally, it’s a good idea to add a custom “Back” button to our interfaces — and perhaps place them far away from the “Next” or “Continue” buttons, maybe even at the top of the page.”

2.

Maze’s Evolving Design System. Very interesting article hailing from Maze’s design blog, written by Alberto Calvo. This article is particularly insightful since it dives deep into how Maze is building its Design Language, and how its Design system is a representation of the evolution of that same language. The author highlights aspects on this journey, which include “Committing to the Long Journey”, “Auditing Existing Design and Code”, “Identification and Streamlining”, “Building Bridges with Other Teams”, to name but a few. Well worth reading through. Highlight of the article includes:

“For many people, a design system is a set of UI components and libraries for building interfaces. But a design system is more than a box of UI Lego pieces you can snap together to create different pages. It’s also the guidelines and principles for how those pieces can be put together, and why. I like to say that our design system is an experience language that helps establish harmony in every context in our ecosystem. This shared language connects our product, marketing, and technology teams through principles, foundations, processes, and components for creating intuitive and inclusive experiences for our users. A well-designed system increases the quality of these experiences, strengthens our brand consistency, and improves the efficiency of our team’s work.”

3.

Improving Newsletter Signup. Succinct article from Ben Moss for The Web Designer Depot on the topic of increasing subscribers for newsletters, while also making the process more streamlined and efficient. This is a particularly relevant aspect, since these days users are bombarded with Newsletters, therefore making this process anchored in transparency, control of information and ultimately respect for the users’ attention and time is of the utmost importance. The author includes aspects such as telling the user what they’re signing up for (clarity of the subscription), using a horizontal layout, using system fonts, to name but a few, are among the pertinent aspects to keep in mind when tackling subscription initiatives. Highlight of the article includes:

“As with any form, the easier it is to fill out, the more likely a user will fill it out. The perfect sign-up form has an email field and a submit button. You do not need to know your subscriber’s name, age, gender, marital status, or shoe size. Users that are prepared to disclose that much information need to be committed. Focus on the gut reaction of users; all you’re trying to do is persuade a user to disclose their email address. That is enough.”

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