Here are some interesting finds on UI/UX of the week!
Conversion Lessons. An interesting compendium that serves as reference when designing Products that capture sensitive information in general, and payment information in particular. With all the rampant and dramatic situations surrounding fraud and data protection, this article highlights solid recommendations to provide users as they go through the flow of a product where in essence, a purchase is performed. The article highlights topics such as building trust, providing a UI that is clear and demonstrable of actions performed, avoiding dark patterns (such as sneaking, obstruction, scarcity, to name but a few), among others. Highlight of the article includes:
“In our case, we had a few chances to be completely transparent with our users: we changed our pricing logic a few times, added new policies, changed them, and made sure to communicate those changes transparently with our users. It worked well. The only time we didn’t follow this guideline was when we had a critical bug involving our payment gateway that caused many of our transactions to fail. The bug was kind of messy and took us a few weeks to fix it. Once it was fixed, our gateway company performed the faulty transaction retroactively. It was a very bad move because many users got a notification about a transaction they didn’t remember doing. When we explained what happened and that the original transactions never happened in the first place — it was already too late to fix the bad impression.”
Directional Cues in User Interfaces. Once in a while articles like this one, reminds us all of the importance of effective visual cues in good Interface Design. The Laws of UX, particularly the Aesthetic Usability Effect, showcases the fact that users consider aesthetically pleasing products as far more usable ones, and this article provides a series of examples and recommendations, on how to improve attention/retention of users through a series of visual cues. Highlight of the article includes:
“Not only arrows can give users a hint that interaction is possible. Other objects can provide some help, like icons or illustrations symbolizing the type of interaction. The mouse may mean that you can scroll, the hand animation will let you know that it’s possible to swipe and so on. This way the users don’t need to take additional effort to understand how the interface works.”
Designing for a Hierarchy of Needs. Revisiting an interesting article from Smashing Magazine, and a particularly interesting one, in the sense this article was originally written in 2010. The reason to bring it up at this time, is primarily due to the fact that when designing products/features, Product Design teams should always be aware of the core motivations behind what is being done: who is it for, what’s its purpose, functionality, reliability, scalability, innovation, branding integration, longevity, among many other factors. This combination of both Design Principles and Hierarchy of Needs, is a constant reminder for Designers and Product Design Teams, that it is fundamental that what is being created functions and answers questions on a multitude of levels. Highlight of the article includes:
“These hierarchies are not absolutes that you must follow. As with all design, look at your success criteria to determine your design objectives. Your audience may well prefer an aesthetically beautiful website that has occasional hiccups to a boring website that is perfectly reliable. There’s no reason why you couldn’t satisfy higher-level needs before completely satisfying all lower-level needs, as long as you understand that some low-level needs are absolutely essential. Naturally, if none of your pages load, then everything else is irrelevant. You will have to remedy that problem before worrying about progressive enhancement.”