Molly Malsam, Author at Perficient Blogs

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Molly Malsam

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Bad User: error messages matter on mobile applications too

Lately, it seems I’ve been experiencing a rash of extremely uninformative and even appalling error messages on iPhone apps. The latest one, shown in this post, made me laugh out loud. “Bad User,” I was told. I felt like a 1950s Catholic schoolgirl getting rapped on the knuckles with a ruler. Bad User! It’s looking […]

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In praise of page guides

I’ve been working with Axure’s 6.0 update for a few weeks, and so far I think my favorite feature is the addition of page guides.  Page guides make aligning elements so much easier, and since they are standard for most design tools, they were overdue in Axure. The guides are easy to use — just […]

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Ratings overload?

Though I’m all for the ratings information people freely provide on various social platforms, I often wonder if at some point there will be so many things to rate, people will stop bothering. So I found the following site and video pretty entertaining: Jotly – Rate Everything In the video, the narrator reviews ratings on […]

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Books on X/HTML & CSS

Over the past couple of weeks I’ve been looking over a number of books designed to teach X/HTML & CSS. It’s a bit overwhelming knowing where to begin with all the versions and types of web coding. I landed on a book that I really enjoyed: Head First HTML with CSS & XHTML. Of the […]

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Prioritizing your primary users’ tasks

I’ve done this several times now, and I bet I’m not alone. I go a popular web site to look at used cars. My eyes scan for the first input area, which is how the majority of users who have a specific task in mind approach a page, and I immediately see a series of search […]

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HTML target=”_blank” attibute: to use or not to use?

I’ve had this discussion several times in my career in the user experience field: Should this link open in a new tab/window (HTML link attribute target=”_blank”) or in the same window? My understanding has generally been that if the link goes to an external site or to a help or informational-type page, it should be […]

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Accessibility tips

I recently listened to an interview with accessibility expert Derek Featherstone. He provided some of the following practical and valuable tips for Web accessibility. A site designed to conform to good usability, copywriting, and Web standards goes a long way to making a site accessible. Things like using the proper heading structure (H1 on every page, […]

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Are mega menus right for you?

Portals often have highly complex information architectures. A design pattern that has become popular in the past couple of years to deal with this complexity is the “mega menu”.  A mega menu is a large, often two-dimensional drop-down panel that is displayed for one of more global navigation items, in which options are grouped into […]

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Mega Menus: Spool vs. Nielsen

Today UIE’s Jared Spool posted an article criticizing mega menus. I’ve confidently designed a couple of these based on Jakob Nielsen’s assessment that Mega Drop-Down Navigation Menus Work Well. I’m not convinced that “mega menus aren’t evil, just troubled” based on Spool’s article. My primary issue with the article is that five out of the […]

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QR codes for the dead

Did you ever think your smartphone would come in handy at a cemetery? The Seattle Times recently reported on the use of ‘living headstones’ affixed with QR codes. The destination site includes a history and pictures of the person’s life. The codes are offered by Quiring Monuments, who have sold about three dozen in the […]

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Sharing Axure Prototypes

Perficient UX team members often use Axure to create design prototypes. We prototype varying levels of fidelity based on the stage of the design process and the particular project’s needs, from basic wireframes to advanced interactive prototypes. A generated prototype includes HTML and JavaScript files as well as associated images. If you don’t have a […]

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Getting the right information on your web site

Just recently came across this comic and had to laugh. University web sites are notorious for not providing key information for their primary users. What’s on your home page, and is it the most relevant information for your audience or is it what your business wants to place there?

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Designing for the Future

In his post Time to Give Up on Controlling Our Designs, Jonathan Smiley says that what we need to know about designing for the future is: “You will never know what device someone will use to view your website, or read your content.” He goes on to say that there will be so many permutations of […]

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Learning about experience design from my children

As a practitioner in the user experience design field, I have a foundational understanding that the way I do or think of things is not necessarily the same as others. It never ceases to amaze and inspire me when I get user feedback on an existing or proposed design and they bring things to the […]

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Marking required fields on forms: should you or shouldn’t you?

When I first started working in user experience design, the thought of designing a form filled me with dread. It’s something that seems like it would be so easy, but creating a really good form requires a lot of thought (which is why poorly designed forms still abound). Many Web conventions exist around form creation, […]

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Should Designers Code?

Should designers know how to code? It seems lately I can’t get away from this question. I’ve read countless blog posts and online discussions answering the question in varying levels of detail and with differing opinions. Though not a reliable sampling, anecdotally I’ve noticed that job descriptions for User Experience or Visual Designers lately have almost […]

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Integrating the real world with mobile: Yelp art

The explosion of smartphone ownership over the past few years has brought with it all manner of software designed to tie mobile devices with a person’s experiences in the real world. I’ve got friends developing some pretty exciting location-based game apps and I’m sure these will get richer and more immersive as more people move […]

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Progressive Enhancement and Effective Browser Support

I always enjoy Paul Boag’s posts on Boagworld when I get a chance to read them. His most recent post, Where are My Rounded Corners?, includes a great downloadable factsheet that helps explain how static design comps play out in various browsers. Here’s an excerpt: “One of the biggest areas of confusion among our clients […]

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iPhone Built-In Application Design Issues

As a regular iPhone user, I do certain things over and over again. Mostly, Apple gets the design of their common applications pretty spot-on, but a couple of issues trip me up regularly that could be easily addressed with small interface design changes. Placement of the Send button in Messages   I have a couple […]

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Creating High-Fidelity Portal Prototypes in Axure

I recently posted about high-fidelity Axure prototypes on our new Spark blog. While the post focuses more on the visual design aspects of Axure, the prototype I created was for a financial services portal and also included a fair amount of interactivity for the purpose of demonstrating the product to potential customers. Axure has sophisticated […]

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