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Involving users in intranet design

User involvement for user adoption: an intranet strategy As we begin to investigate how an intranet here might work, this is a timely article from usability experts Nielsen Norman Group. Even when a new, usable design replaces a previous, terrible design, users may not be excited for the change. However bad the previous design was,…

8 December 2014Design

Spending time with real users

The correlation between time spend by your team with real users and the improvements in design. @jmspool pic.twitter.com/JWlhMdVcH9 — Steyn Viljoen (@SteynViljoen) November 13, 2014

25 November 2014Design

Transparency in data and user needs

Info pages: publishing data about user needs and metrics Gov.uk now publishes data about the usage of almost every page on their website. These pages include stats on pageviews and search terms used. But they also show the user stories used to justify the page’s existence, and how the page seeks to meet the user…

24 November 2014Design

Consistency, not uniformity

Being consistent, not uniform This is a good explanation of the concept behind a common look and feel such as what we are currently developing. It is not about reducing the amount of flexibility or giving every page the same design. It is about creating a visually consistent experience. The BBC do something very similar…

8 October 2014Design

How important are large images?

Image-focused design: Is bigger better? The latest research from Nielsen Norman Group surrounds the use of large images. The rationale for this approach is that compelling images have a unique ability to inspire and engage your audience. In his book, Emotional Design, Don Norman described the powerful, visceral responses people can have to visual appearance.…

6 October 2014Design

The importance of typography

How we read Good typography is an underrated element of the user experience. Good typography makes content easier to read, which is why we have rules about how the text is laid out on the page. It’s up to us to keep the reading experience unencumbered. At the core of typography is our audience, our…

18 September 2014Design

Complex navigation

Improving Gov.uk’s navigation This is an interesting article about changes to the navigation of Gov.uk. I was struck by the fact that Gov.uk has three different ‘content areas’: mainstream, specialist and whitehall. Mainstream is for the majority of users. Specialist is for those with a professional-level interest in a topic. Whitehall is for those interested…

8 September 2014Design

What the use of colour tells us about trust

And it was all yellow: what the design of Vox and BuzzFeed tells us about trusting content Colour is very tricky to get right. It is not just about choosing colours that are visually appealing. They have to be accessible. But each colour also has certain associations, and these can vary from culture to culture.…

19 June 2014Design

Designing forms

Asking for a date of birth Designing forms is difficult. Often what is best on desktop is a very bad solution on mobile. Sometimes the research we have about form design is conflicting. So I am always interested to learn more about how different types of form perform. The Government Digital Service has been testing…

17 June 2014Design

The perils of hiding navigation

Side drawer navigation could be costing you half your user engagement The side drawer navigation menu is similar in function to the hamburger menu, as used on the Study at St Andrews website. The side drawer / hamburger menu has been an increasingly common design pattern, especially on mobile, and particularly Android. But it seems…

28 May 2014Design