There are many ways to design sign-up and log-in forms. Most designers are familiar with the conventional ways. But understanding and applying a few innovative techniques could make your forms simpler and more efficient to fill out. In this article, we’d like to present a couple of new ideas that might be useful for your next designs. Please notice that before using these techniques, you should make sure that they make sense in the context in which you are going to use them. We’d love to hear about your case-studies and usability tests that affirm or dismiss the suggestions proposed below.
The purpose of every sign-up form is for users to complete it successfully and send it in. However, if the form is long and complicated, then the user’s excitement for your website could turn to displeasure. Here are a few innovative techniques that will make your forms faster and easier to fill out.
Ask for a User Name After The User Has Signed Up
Sign-up forms typically ask users to create a name that is unique to the website. However, coming up with a unique user name that’s not taken could take trial and error and, thus, time. Instead of hassling people for a user name when they sign up, you might want to consider asking afterwards. This way, you won’t lose sign-ups from frustrated users, and you’ll prevent users from creating random and forgettable names just to satisfy the form’s requirements.
Need a cool hover effect for something on your site? Look no further! We’ve created several custom examples that you can view live for inspiration.
If you like the effect, steal it! We’ve got the CSS ready and waiting for you to copy.
Bring Your Boring Site to Life
The effects we’ll be using today all use code that is supported by modern browsers, meaning of course Mozilla and Webkit for the most part. IE support is spotty at best across various versions so be sure to test thoroughly in your own implementation. Fancy hover effects are one of those things that you can usually degrade fairly gracefully so that older browsers still see some change.
With the arrival of IE9, Microsoft has signalled its intent to work more with standards-based technologies. With IE still the single most popular browser and in many ways the browser for the uninitiated, this is hopefully the long awaited start of us Web craftsmen embracing the idea of using CSS3 as freely as we do CSS 2.1. However, with IE9 not being supported on versions of Windows before Vista and a lot of businesses still running XP and reluctant (or unable) to upgrade, it might take a while until a vast majority of our users will see the new technologies put to practice.
While plenty of people out there are using CSS3, many aren’t so keen or don’t know where to start. This article will first look at the ideas behind CSS3, and then consider some good working practices for older browsers and some new common issues.
A Helpful Analogy
The best analogy to explain CSS3 that I’ve heard relates to the world of film. Filmmakers can’t guarantee what platform their viewers will see their films on. Some will watch them at the cinema, some will watch them at home, and some will watch them on portable devices. Even among these few viewing options, there is still a massive potential for differences: IMAX, DVD, Blu-ray, surround sound — somebody may even opt for VHS!
So, does that mean you shouldn’t take advantage of all the great stuff that Blu-ray allows with sound and video just because someone somewhere will not watch the film on a Blu-ray player? Of course not. You make the experience as good as you can make it, and then people will get an experience that is suitable to what they’re viewing the movie on. Continue reading
Parallax and Scrolling
Parallax is an animation effect that allows layers to move in response to a particular viewpoint. The effect is used to add a three-dimensional depth illusion to the design and make interaction more responsive and interesting. Recently, this technique has been frequently used to animate background images, as in the famous Nike Better World site.
Nike Better World
Rich graphics and parallax 3D effects
As web design and design in general have evolved, rules have been established to ensure consistent and usable designs.
Some of these rules were created simply because website creators abused certain principles without regard for their users. But these rules are not enforced by anyone and should be broken when necessary, especially when breaking them would lead to a stunning design. In this article, we present 10 rules that you can break if it suits your design needs.
Rule #1: Do Not Display the Horizontal Scroll Bar
A significant number of mice don’t have a horizontal mouse wheel. This makes it awkward to scroll left or right when a web page’s content extends past the sides of the browser. It can be annoying to have to bring the mouse cursor down to the bottom of the window and drag the scroll bar over just to see a word or two that lies beyond the viewable area of the page. That said, here are some well-designed sites that put the scroll bar to work in effective ways. Continue reading
When you think of most websites, purple is the color you may think of the least. Some designers have embraced this and made their sites stand out from the rest. In this post I will share with you 17 websites that make use of the color purple.
Easter is the time those who are Christian in belief both remember and honor the crucifixion and resurrection of Jesus Christ that occurred almost 2,000 years ago. Christ in final words to His disciples told them what was to come at His time of physical death and the future He would prepare for them.
History has demonstrated words spoken near or at the time of death are often introspective for those soon to expire. The wise Socrates lived about 400 years prior to Christ, but in his last words was searching, “All of the wisdom of this world is but a tiny raft upon which we must set sail when we leave this earth. If only there was a firmer foundation upon which to stand, perhaps some divine word.”
A contemporary of Christ 20 centuries ago, the famous philosopher Seneca in his final words said, “All my life I have been seeking to climb out of the pit of my besetting sins and I cannot do it and I never will unless a hand is let down to draw me up.”
A frustrated Sigmund Freud, as a psychoanalyst and atheist who berated religion his entire career, in last moments expressed frustration, “The meager satisfaction that man can extract from reality leaves him starving.”
On a more humorous note, the lifelong agnostic comedian and actor, W. C. Fields, was discovered reading a Bible moments before death. Upon being discovered, he exclaimed to the surprised gathering, “I’m looking for a loophole!” Continue reading
Your website is designed, the CMS works, content has been added and the client is happy. It’s time to take the website live. Or is it? When launching a website, you can often forget a number of things in your eagerness to make it live, so it’s useful to have a checklist to look through as you make your final touches and before you announce your website to the world.
This article reviews some important and necessary checks that web-sites should be checked against before the official launch — little details are often forgotten or ignored, but – if done in time – may sum up to an overall greater user experience and avoid unnecessary costs after the official site release.
A favicon brands the tab or window in which your website is open in the user’s browser. It is also saved with the bookmark so that users can easily identify pages from your website. Some browsers pick up the favicon if you save it in your root directory as favicon.ico, but to be sure it’s picked up all the time, include the following in your head.
And if you have an iPhone favicon:
At the end of every trade show or business convention, the participants go home with a fistful of business cards. Card printing is as important to your business as banner printing, poster printing or any kind of custom printing for that matter. Your business cards are your only link to the contacts you make. A full-service online printing company like 4over4.com can print impressive, attention-getting business cards quickly and deliver them just as rapidly by mail or courier.
For your business card to make the best impression, it needs to appeal to the touch, first of all. High-gloss paper feels classy. Specialty business cards made of plastic or metal are sure conversation starters. With online printing, you can peruse the entire inventory of card stock to find the perfect fit for you.
The design of your business card says a lot about your company. Your child may be an artist-in-training, but hire a professional to design your card. Use a logo or graphic if you like. Full color card printing is as easy to order as single color printing but be careful to maintain a professional appearance. Obviously, if you’re a professional clown, you’ll want to have a fun, colorful card but if you’re a financial adviser, you need a more stately appearance so your customers take you seriously. Continue reading
Content, content, content. It’s an obvious part of any interactive experience. In fact, you’ve probably heard content is king, or queen, or some sort of royalty. Yet, content is elusive. Often, you don’t realize your content isn’t cutting it until it’s too late. Does any of this sound familiar?
The Real Solution
No SEO trick and no technology product alone will solve the content problem for you. The real solution to the content problem is hard work that demands change in your (or your company’s) approach to planning, designing and developing interactive experiences. That’s what gets results. There’s no shortcut. And indeed, the path to content that counts is a hard road. But it cannot be the excuse for compromising the quality of experience we provide to our users.
Content strategy is planning for every aspect of content to get results. That goes far beyond writing the copy. When getting strategic about content, focus on three key areas: analysis, editorial and architecture. While explaining content strategy in detail literally requires a book (or two or three), I’d like to share with you a concise introduction to each area in this article.