Jakob Nielsen publishes an Alertbox:

People can use computer systems for years without knowing about features that would be very useful to them. This is true even for productivity applications that people rely on for their livelihood, such as email, word processing, and spreadsheets. In testing intranets, we frequently find that employees are unaware of key enterprise features.

This seems like a paradox, because users would gain substantial benefits — potentially accrued over several years — if only they bothered to spend a few moments looking around the user interface. The ROI seems clear.

However, while users might have a mathematically true ROI from learning more about user interfaces, the ROI might not be so clear from a behavioral standpoint. The problem is that the investment occurs immediately: users must suffer the interaction cost of navigating through obscure parts of the user interface. In contrast, the benefit is deferred: users realize it only in small increments in some undefined future moments when they might use newly discovered features.

And then he provides tips on how to encourage learing. First among them: Fewer features.

I wanted to share five paragraphs of customer support conversation I’ve had with the rest of the team (two other guys). As I’ve IMed with one of the guys few minutes ago, I automatically went for the IM window. But first thing that stopped me was I remembered that sometimes the IM does not send longer messages. So I am thinking: “OK, there has to be some better way.”

Then it clicked: “Oh, wait, this is the sort of thing we have Basecamp account for!” And that led me to realizing one obvious disadvantage of abstract software.
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Jon Myers for Medium:

Researchers have identified over 18 visual cues wired into our brains and the list keeps growing. These cues range from the orientation of lines, thickness of lines and blinking, to the density of visual objects to motion, velocity and so on. The cues are illustrated below.

Hakim strikes again.

I think this could work.

Modal dialogs built out of pure CSS. You know, if you can’t avoid it ;-)

Shortly after his “Stop Drawing Dead Fish” video Bret Victor is inspiring us all again.

Simple overlay instructions for your apps.

Timo Arnall writes:

We must abandon invisibility as a goal for interfaces; it’s misleading, unhelpful and ultimately dishonest. It unleashes so much potential for unusable, harmful and frustrating interfaces, and systems that gradually erode users and designers agency. Invisibility might seem an attractive concept at first glance, but it ignores the real, thorny, difficult issues of designing and using complex interfaces and systems.

Flat UI - Logo
Free Web User Interface Kit.

Think of it as a WordPress template but for your next web application.

Blueprints by Codrops starting with full width image slider and elastic content slider.


Nice overview by Harry Roberts.

Via @sixrevisions

JavaScript tooltip framework.

Dropzone.js is an open source library that provides drag’n’drop file uploads with image previews.

Snímek obrazovky 2013-01-26 v 18.30.33

Image Picker is a simple jQuery plugin that transforms a select element into a more user friendly graphical interface.

Two tutorials by Codrops: Understanding the CSS Clip Property and Putting CSS Clip to Work.

John Gruber fireballs:

The trend away from skeuomorphic special effects in UI design is the beginning of the retina-resolution design era. Our designs no longer need to accommodate for crude pixels. Glossy/glassy surfaces, heavy-handed transparency, glaring drop shadows, embossed text, textured material surfaces — these hallmarks of modern UI graphic design style are (almost) never used in good print graphic design. They’re unnecessary in print, and, the higher the quality of the output and more heavy-handed the effect, the sillier such techniques look. They’re the aesthetic equivalent of screen-optimized typefaces like Lucida Grande and Verdana. They work on sub-retina displays because sub-retina displays are so crude. On retina displays, as with high quality print output, these techniques are revealed for what they truly are: an assortment of parlor tricks that fool our eyes into thinking we see something that looks good on a display that is technically incapable of rendering graphic design that truly looks good.

If you want to see the future of software UI design, look to the history of print design.

I mostly agree, but I would be carefull with relying on the print for guidence to future software UI designs. For one thing, print is not interactive, neither is used to get the job done in the same way software is.

I agree we are at the beginning of the swing in the opposite direction from skeuomorphism and I think we will overdo it, as we always do.

The evolution of design is sort of tacking against the wind.

Another example of what I call primary research in HTML5, CSS & JavaScript:

FFF is a collection of interactive experiences. Each experience has its own unique design and functionality. All the experiences are created in HTML5, the site works beatifully on both desktop and tablet.

A fully responsive and lightweight jQuery dateinput picker

Via @Zraly

Title says it all.

Via @machal