Here are some interesting finds on UI/UX of the week!
Required Fields in Forms. A granular look at a very important topic: forms, how they capture information and how to make sure required fields are highlighted. The article from Nielsen Norman Group details how to highlight required fields across a variety of scenarios. Designers should always keep in mind, that forms and their filling are typically a friction point for users, and therefore, grouping information properly, being aware of hierarchy of information, accessibility factors, readability, are all crucial factors when tackling something such as this. Highlight of the article includes:
“Most users, however, will not bother to look around — they will simply make assumptions. They will say — “Well, phone number — they don’t really need my phone number, do they? Maybe I’ll leave this blank”. And even if they don’t leave it blank, having to pause to decide whether a field needs to be completed slows down the interaction and makes the process seem longer and more tedious. (Remember, as much as you’d like to think otherwise, nobody wants to fill out a form — whether on a small screen or on a large one.) The result will be a form-submission error, which will mean even more time spent addressing it.”
Design Conferences Decline. Not something I usually highlight per se, but a topic worth considering. One of the things professionals in general and designers in particular are expected to do, is continuous learning and improvement. Design Conferences have long been opportunities to network, attended workshops and be aware of trends/case studies that can be impactful to one’s career path or specific project being tackled. Author Suzanne Scacca describes the issues that may surround the decline of visibility and attendance of these Design conferences. Highlight of the article includes:
“It should come as no surprise to anyone that the cost of these events and the destinations in which they are held take the top three spots. While some employers may still be inclined to spend marketing dollars on sending employees to professional conferences, this likely isn’t something self-employed designers can afford to do for themselves. Unfortunately, this is a group of professionals that could greatly benefit from the educational and networking opportunities available at conferences. What’s more, the stuff that would make attending an event like this worth it (e.g. workshops, one-on-one opportunities with guest speakers, etc.) is only available when you pay for upgraded VIP packages.”
Mobile Emails and On-Site Conversion. Another interesting article from Suzanne Scacca, this one focused on strategies behind mobile emails (and their convergence with desktop solutions). This topic is particularly important since emails are prevailing in how users get contacted/approached and how the relationship between product/brand and that consumer is established. The article goes into details such as spam inducing copy, colors to utilize in email construction and even utilization of emojis, among other factors/considerations to have when tackling this particular type of project/product. Highlight of the article includes:
“Bottom line: while mobile certainly gets more email subscribers over to a website, the conversion-friendliness of desktop cannot be ignored. Which is why you don’t want to segment your lists based on device. If you want to maximize the number of conversions you get from a campaign, enable subscribers to seamlessly move from one device to the other as they decide what action to take with your emails. In other words, design the same exact email for desktop and mobile. But assume that the majority of subscribers will open the email on their mobile device (unless historical data of your campaigns says otherwise). Then, use mobile-first design and marketing tips to create an email that’s suitable for all subscribers, regardless of device.”