Horrible Page Design at JPost.com

I just loaded up a link at jpost.com talking about how the Rami Levy supermarket chain predicts that by 2012 20% of food purchases in Israel will be online. However, when I loaded the link, it took me a minute to actually find the content. Can you see the problem here?

To make it a little bit clearer, I have added highlights – Ads are in yellow, In-site navigation is in green, and the content is in blue. The content occupies a tiny strip down the center of the page (maybe 30-40% of the total width of the page). This is surrounded on all sides several layers: Continue reading

Ajax Progress Image Generator

I was in need of an Ajax-style animated gif that could be used to indicate that something is going on in the background or loading. I have seen them on hundreds of sites, but I don’t feel comfortable just copying someone else’s image to use for myself.

After a bit of searching, I found this site: AjaxLoad.Info. This is a nice, simple site that generates 37 different “loading” animated gifs, allowing you to customize the style, foreground and background colors, and transparency. Definitely a good site to know about.

Forgot your Zooomr password?

Good luck finding a way to get it back? Seriously, head over to zooomr.com and try to find a way to retrieve or reset a password (if you find it, I will be humbled and thankful).

I was going to go and try to use your site. I know that I created an account in the past and I don’t want to create another one. There is no excuse nowadays to leave off basic functions like this. A good way to lose potential users and publicity.

Lesson to be learned: when designing web sites, it is not cool to leave off common user interface elements, or move them around on your own initiative to places on the page where a user does not expect them to be. ("But I thought that the title banner would look good in the footer!"). Even if you have really neat Ajax and mobile features, and your site is internationalized and socialized to the hilt, you will still just be left with with frustrated (or no) users.

(Read Defensive Design for Web or Jakob Neilsen if you want some more advice in this area. Also worth reading about what you can learn about typical user behavior from eye-tracking studies.)