Little niceties about MailChimp’s new logo

The MailChimp email newsletter company got a new logo recently – Creative Bloq explains the designer’s attention to detail.

Interesting read; it’s nice to be able to see what the pros see.

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How users read on the web

How Users Read on the Web is an article from 1997 on writing style, formatting and language – and research on what worked best for websites. It’s old, but I’d still put stock in it, just from how tired I still get after reading hyped, flashy, marketing copy.

Here are some highlights:

People rarely read Web pages word by word; instead, they scan the page, picking out individual words and sentences.

[W]e found that 79 percent of our test users always scanned any new page they came across; only 16 percent read word-by-word.

Credibility can be increased by high-quality graphics, good writing, and use of outbound hypertext links.

Users detested “marketese”; the promotional writing style with boastful subjective claims (“hottest ever”) that currently is prevalent on the Web. Web users are busy: they want to get the straight facts. Also, credibility suffers when users clearly see that the site exaggerates.

Check out the table with test results for how changing writing style improved usability. Their theory of why it happened hit home for me:

Our conjecture to explain this finding is that promotional language imposes a cognitive burden on users who have to spend resources on filtering out the hyperbole to get at the facts. When people read a paragraph that starts “Nebraska is filled with internationally recognized attractions,” their first reaction is no, it’s notand this thought slows them down and distracts them from using the site.

6 ways to make your website tablet-friendly

A checklist of simple things from UX Magazine:

When a website exhibits “tappiness,” it’s easy—or even delightful—to use on a mobile or tablet device. Tappiness encompasses smart use of space, text that is easy to read, logical interaction clues, and large touch targets that allow visitors to navigate with confidence.

Read: The Pursuit of Tappiness

Tl;dr:

  • Bigger buttons with more whitespace around them.
  • Make links more obvious, without relying on hover states.
  • Bigger font sizes.
  • More padding in nav menus (to create bigger hitboxes).
  • Greater margin, padding and line-heights for better readability.
  • Bigger form fields with more whitespace around them.

Honour your trolls

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Honour your trolls with the credit they deserve.

When a comment is marked as trolling, the comment appears in Comic Sans, lighter color and has a troll face next to the comment author.

via Little Big Details, which is an awesome blog full of cool ux things.

Thanks, @davempalmer, for the link!

Dyslexie – a font for dyslexics

Tl;dw –

Dyslexia causes the reader to see letters as real world objects, influenced by gravity, motion and mistaken identity (letters of the alphabet do look pretty similar!).

Working with this trait, the designers of Dyslexie use fat bottoms, longer necks and accentuated curves to make it easier for readers to recognise differences between letters.

Design is design

A conversation with a long-standing, well-known, old-school designer about how design is design, regardless of medium.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SG0Ou07IDhQ

My favourite quotes:

“Yes, web designers work like print designers. They look at the issue, they look at the client, they look at the brief, the circumstances, the user – they don’t have to keep looking at the technology anymore. But ultimately, we always had our constraints. I had to cut paper. With glue, for christ’s sakes.”

“If you design a typeface, it’s very much like writing a pop song. You can’t stop anybody singing it in their bathroom out of tune.”

Thanks, @dos4gw for the link!

When bad design happens to good content

A quick, short read on good practise for styling text:

And something more recent from Smashing that uses more big words:

When kerning goes bad

Recap: Kerning is the space between letters.

Bad kerning is not enough and/or too much space between letters.

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