Smashing Magazine

For Professional Web Designers and Developers
  1. Efficiently Simplifying Navigation, Part 3: Interaction Design

      

    Having addressed the information architecture and the various systems of navigation in the first two articles of this series, the last step is to efficiently simplify the navigation experience — specifically, by carefully designing interaction with the navigation menu.

    When designing interaction with any type of navigation menu, we have to consider symbols, target areas, interaction event, layout, levels, functional context. It is possible to design these aspects in different ways. Designers often experiment with new techniques to create a more exciting navigation experience. And looking for new, more engaging solutions is a very good thing.

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  2. Why Companies Need Full-Time Product Managers (And What They Do All Day)

      

    What is a product manager? What do product managers do all day? Most importantly, why do companies need to hire them? Good questions. Well, the first confusion we have to clear up is what we mean by "product."

    In the context of software development, a product is the website, application or online service that users interact with. Depending on the size of the company and its products, a product manager could be responsible for an entire system (such as a mobile app) or part of a system (such as the checkout flow on an e-commerce website across all devices).

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  3. Essential Visual Feedback Tools For Web Designers

      

    The creative process takes a lot of time, and web designers know it. When you factor in feedback from clients, the process takes even longer: numerous emails, revision notes, chats and meetings — that's what it normally takes to find out precisely what the client wants.

    Fortunately, today's web provides various solutions to optimize the communication process. The first web services that allow users to report bugs on web pages appeared several years ago. Since then, tools and technologies have emerged to make the process more convenient and user-friendly. Today’s market offers several useful useful products for visual bug-tracking, each with its pros and cons.

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  4. Making Modal Windows Better For Everyone

      

    To you, modal windows might be a blessing of additional screen real estate, providing a way to deliver contextual information, notifications and other actions relevant to the current screen. On the other hand, modals might feel like a hack that you’ve been forced to commit in order to cram extra content on the screen. These are the extreme ends of the spectrum, and users are caught in the middle. Depending on how a user browses the Internet, modal windows can be downright confusing.

    Modals quickly shift visual focus from one part of a website or application to another area of (hopefully related) content. The action is usually not jarring if initiated by the user, but it can be annoying and disorienting if it occurs automatically, as happens with the modal window’s evil cousins, the “nag screen” and the “interstitial.”

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  5. Are Your Internal Systems Damaging Your Business?

      

    The internal systems of many organizations have shocking user interfaces. This costs companies in productivity, training and even the customer experience. Fortunately, we can fix this.

    "How come I can download an app on my phone and instantly know how to use it, yet need training to use our content management system? Shouldn’t our system be intuitive?" This was just one of the comments I heard in a recent stakeholder interview. People are fed up with inadequate internal systems. Many of those I interviewed had given up on the official software. Instead, they use tools like Dropbox, Google Docs and Evernote.

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