Sunny “The Dog Whisperer” Kumar’s Movember effort. 

Sunny “The Dog Whisperer” Kumar’s Movember effort. 

3D UX. Next level stuff.

3D UX. Next level stuff.

Journeys don’t get much more segmented than this - ScottishPower capture intent and tailor their homepage via a roadblock modal window. Effective? Discuss.

Journeys don’t get much more segmented than this - ScottishPower capture intent and tailor their homepage via a roadblock modal window. Effective? Discuss.

Cookie policy messaging - before and after, by Nestle

We nearly passed out when we saw the original cookie messaging on Nestle’s UK site:

Where to start? Taking over the whole browser and firing this much information at the user completely disorientates them. Those big cross and tick icons? That’s where you click. There’s no other way to proceed. Despite the negative call-to-action, the ‘No’ column actually seems to be the one Nestle want you to go for, with five pros listed underneath, with the random ‘Yes’ what is it that “This website will not…” - we may never know.

Thankfully, someone seems to have had a quiet word, and they’ve now replaced it with a much more friendly banner at the top of the page:

This time the message explains what a cookie is, yet doesn’t interfere with the experience. It’s still not perfect though - the link accessibility is terrible, being dark grey and white on rollover without any underline, and a dismiss button would be nice.

Touch screen target sizes - virtual or physical?

Charbs flagged up this article by UX Movement, discussing mobile touch target sizes.

It’s a great article and a good starting point, but we’re not convinced pixels are the correct measurement to use due to the complexity of pixels per inch (PPI), and the massive variations across devices.

We think it’s better to design for an appropriate size/space on the screen, e.g. a button should be 1cm square. In terms of how we ensure that is achieved, we can help developers by specifying pixels, as the article suggests, but we need to be careful how that information is used when accounting for different devices, and be wary that screen densities vary massively.

The iPad 3 with its retina screen comes in at 264 PPI, as it has a big screen to go with the big resolution, but the iPhone 4S has much bigger PPI figure of 326. At the other end of the scale, the HTC Wildfire S has a decent sized screen but is only 320px wide, meaning 181 PPI. Some more examples can be found in WikiPedia’s List of displays by pixel density.

All this would seem to confirm that target sizes should be measured physically rather than in pixels.

Cookie Policy Messaging Examples

In this article from the Guardian about the new EU cookie regulations, which are about to take force in the UK, the examples leave a lot to be desired in terms of user experience.

Before we start, it’s worth pointing out that according to the UK Information Commissioner’s Office guidelines, if cookies are used as an essential part of the service being provided, no notification or consent is required.

Cookie policy exceptions from the guidelines document (see link below)

Here’s a link to the guidelines document - Guidance on the rules on use of cookies and similar technologies (opens a PDF).

The first example the Guardian cites is Delia Smith’s recipe and cooking community, Delia Online. Let’s take a more detailed look at the message:

Delia Online cookie statement

There is no real information here about what a cookie is, or how they use them - whether they are essential or not. Users will be none-the-wiser as to why they are seeing the message, even though it is “the law”. The link provided takes the user to the general privacy policy meaning they have to search for information on cookies. There is also use of the dreaded “click here” link text - so they’re making a nod towards complying with cookie laws, but not accessibility ones.

And, let’s not forget the name cookie itself. No doubt the irony of a cookie policy on a cooking website will be lost on most users, leaving them trying to work out why there are now laws around the small sweet cakes that Delia, and most of the rest of us, are so fond of!

According to the Guardian, the Information Commissioner’s Office suggested Reddbridge Media as a good solution (below). We’d suggest it’s far from perfect, presenting a conflicting mixture of statements and calls-to-action, with the white underlined text looking just like a link for added confusion:

Reddbridge Media cookie statement

These are just two examples, and we should at least give credit to the sites for being upfront about their use of cookies. Over the coming months we’ll no doubt see many more variations, and with a bit of luck, perhaps a dominant ‘best practice’ message will come forward!

Super-simple Clear, a new to-do list app by Realmac Software (via the ever reliable @gofftony and Dave L).

From The Design Office, “Modern Pictograms is a typeface for interface designers and programmers." Thanks guys, very handy!

From The Design Office, “Modern Pictograms is a typeface for interface designers and programmers." Thanks guys, very handy!

We like the UI for the Scorekeeper app!

Find it on the app store.

One-step checkout process at the online MIH Jeans shop

One-step checkout process at the online MIH Jeans shop

We think the buttons on the new Gmail interface are just too similar, forcing you to double-take every time rather than intuitively knowing what is what. No doubt the more you use it, the easier it will become, but it’s still not a great user experience.

We think the buttons on the new Gmail interface are just too similar, forcing you to double-take every time rather than intuitively knowing what is what. No doubt the more you use it, the easier it will become, but it’s still not a great user experience.