Here are some interesting finds on UI/UX of the week!
Popups. A detailed exercise on popups from the Nielsen Norman Group. This article defines the variety of popups, their application, and what scenarios to avoid in terms of its application. It’s an article with a comprehensive list of what to do with popups, but the conclusion coincides with what has been amply acknowledged in the UX practice: use popups sparingly since they are more of an intrusion, as opposed to a solution for the users product experience. Highlight of the article includes:
“Regardless of the variation used, never show a popup before users can glean value from your website or application. This trend is highly intrusive because the users’ task is interrupted before they even land on the page. People have grown accustomed to seeing premature popups on websites and usually ignore them or immediately look for the fastest means by which to close the popup to return to their task. Popups that appear before the page loads make the site look desperate and the user experience feel frantic. Additionally, sites who fail to recognize these facts risk low rankings in search-engine results as Google penalizes sites that use practices which make content less accessible to users, especially on mobile.”
Dark Patterns. A fantastic article hailing from Princeton, who looked at Dark Interactive Patterns observed primarily on shopping websites. The article lists these dark patterns under categories such as Sneaking, Urgency, Misdirection, Scarcity, Forced Action, to name but a few. This is particularly enlightening, as good Design has at its core, Honesty, as one of its main principles. The article has a lot of documented examples, from products such as Samsung.com, JustFab.com, and the list goes on. Highlight of the article includes:
“These 1,818 dark patterns were present on 1,254 of the ∼11K shopping websites (∼11.1%) in our data set. Shopping websites that were more popular, according to Alexa rankings, were more likely to feature dark patterns. We demonstrate which of the dark patterns that we discovered rely on consumer deception. In total, we uncovered 234 instances of deceptive dark patterns across 183 websites.”
Social Media and Mobile Web Design. Another interesting article from Suzanne Scacca, this time focused on social media integration with mobile web design. It’s an article well worth a read, primarily because it advocates for solutions who intent is of course, to gather effective responses from users/consumers. This response is gathered by enhancing the credibility, security and ultimately, reliability of the products, using techniques such as Trust Marks, Impactful Imagery, understanding and embracing some trends, among many others she details thoroughly with interesting examples. Highlight of the article includes:
“Trust marks are already used on the web to let visitors know when a site is safe enough to engage with and make a purchase through. However, they usually come in the form of big security provider logos like Norton Security that build consumer trust just before checkout.Instead, you should find ways to leverage smaller trust marks to reinforce trust throughout the entire experience.”