Top 5 usability mistakes web designers are still making

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Stepping in gum.

How's that for a linkbait headline? Sorry about that. The web design industry is still only a baby, but it's old enough to have established a number of best practices that make sure that everyone has the best possible experience. It saddens me to still see the following crimes against usability pop up on the web.

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Responsive Web Design Lessons

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gscc_atmosphere

So the dust is starting to settle as we become familiar with a number of techniques for developing responsive websites, but for myself, this road has not exactly been as problem-free as I thought it was going to be. Time for some quick reflection on a recent project and the challenges of "going responsive".

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What features should a commercial CMS have?

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Unsafe electrical plugs

Does ExpressionEngine rely too heavily on paid addons to provide basic functionality that should come out-of-the-box with a commercial content management system worth $300? What is the base-level of functionality that you should expect from a commercial CMS?

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Jcrop - Quick and easy image cropping with jQuery.

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Jcrop from Deep Liquid is a quick and easy way to add image cropping functionality to your web application. It combines the ease-of-use of a typical jQuery plugin with a powerful cross-platform DHTML cropping engine that is faithful to familiar desktop graphics applications.

  • Attaches unobtrusively to any image
  • Supports aspect ratio locking
  • Supports minSize/maxSize setting
  • Callbacks for selection done, or while moving
  • Keyboard support for nudging selection
  • API features to create interactivity, including animation
  • Support for CSS styling

It's definitely one of the best one's I've come across. It's about 5.5KB (minified), compatible with all browsers and its free (MIT license)! Check out the demos.


"UX Professional" may be a bullshit job title, but they're still needed.

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Desk workspace with man working with sticky notes.

The web industry is still only a baby. New job titles are being invented all the time. Some stick, some, thankfully, do not. Some people have to take on many roles, while others specialise in one or two areas. So what should we call ourselves? How much importance are we putting on our job titles?

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When email marketing meets online user testing

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Loop11 Screenshot

A marketing email from Loop11, the maker of online usability testing software, did the rounds among local government IT managers, marketing teams and mailing groups last week claiming in its subject that "City Of Melbourne website ranks 2nd in Australia."

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Bounce your way to goodwill

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Bounce app by ZURB

Those zany boffins at ZURB have just unleashed their latest creation: something they call Bounce. Their website claims Bounce is a "fun and easy way to share ideas on a website" and after a quick play, I'd have to agree.

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Javascript NES emulator

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This javascript NES emulator (ported from vNES) is pretty amazing. It runs full speed in Chrome on a modern PC. Try it out, but make sure you have nothing else important to do this afternoon. :)


SHazAM! or "The Secret" to a happy life?

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Random meandering thoughts on self-help books that promise magical results.

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Curtis CSS Typeface

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Mad web scientist, David Desandro (who you may remember as the creator of the fantastic jQuery plugin, Masonry and the Opera logo in CSS among other wonderful things), has done it again, this time crafting an entire typeface out of CSS3.

Dubbed "Curtis" the typeface is entirely rendered in the browser, comprised of spans, background colour, borders, border radius and absolute positioning.

All we need now is a jQuery plugin to apply this typeface to our own elements. :)