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Archive for the ‘Usability’ Category

Please Your Audience First

Written by Sam Bishop | December 22nd, 2010 | Usability, Web Design | Comments

I want everyone to take a step back from their website.  Think about who the site is for and what the objective is.  For most business owners and professionals, they look to their website as a sales tool ultimately.  While the objectives (generate more leads, increase awareness, educate consumers, etc)  might be slightly different, your website is usually providing information to others (as opposed to yourself).

With this in mind, most of us (including CWS at times) design sites and content for ourselves before considering the audience and users.  We become so wrapped up in our own content and source material that it becomes hard to distinguish what is actually important to the users of the site.  We think about what looks good to us and stop there.  Obviously we all want to be proud of our websites but we must be careful not to look past the audience in …

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Goodbye to em’s…Welcome back pixel font sizes!?

Written by Sam Bishop | July 9th, 2009 | Usability, Web Design | Comments

Celebrate!Happy days to web designers and developers across the world.  There have been quite a bit of posts lately about dropping em values as font-sizes and switching back to pixel sizes.  This will definitely save headaches for lots of us.  Cameron Moll’s article explains some of the reasoning behind this but it makes all the sense in the world to us.

I also heard on a recent Boag World podcast that this would probably be adopted for the host’s company as well in their future developments.

Yes, em values as font sizes will scale the text larger when you set the browser’s text size larger but many modern browsers have replaced the shortcuts for this with page zooming instead.  Yes you run the risk of zooming in so much there is horizontal scrolling but I think if your text size is large enough overall you can eliminate this problem.

No …

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jQuery for added enhancements

Written by Sam Bishop | June 18th, 2009 | Usability, Web Design | 2 Comments »

jQuery LogoI thought I would write a little post about how jQuery can be used for little usability enhancements and effects.  Now I would never recommend using jQuery without some prior Javascript knowledge but you can definitely jump right into jQuery if you want.  I was fortunate enough to learn enough Javascript over the past year (see DOM Scripting by Jeremy Keith) where I have really been able to use jQuery to its full potential.  For those of you that don’t know jQuery is a Javascript library that takes out a lot of the tedious coding that is required in Javascript.  The packed version is only 19kb so the added functionality is definitely worth it.  Now onto some examples.

One of our most recent clients, MVP Software Inc., wanted to make use of some scrolling and fading elements.  Now a year ago I would have used some simple …

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