“Have nothing in your house that you do not know to be useful, or believe to be beautiful.” ― William Morris

Getting People to Complete Registrations

Posted: August 4th, 2008 | Author: | Filed under: Interaction Design | Tags: , , , | No Comments »

ReadWriteWeb has a good piece about how different sites get their users to fill in their profiles as completely as possible. They cover LinkedIn which uses a progress bar going to 100%, along with suggested next steps (such as ‘Get a recommendation’) to move you to the completed state, and this is one of my favourite approaches. Other techniques they’ve observed include having an embarrassing default photo – in some cases of George W Bush.. and who wouldn’t quickly move to put something less irksome in its place.

Years ago I had a conversation with a marketing friend who took the approach that people enjoyed filling out forms once they’d started. To that end she would always advocate adding in relevant, but somewhat random questions at the end of registration forms as this would add colour to our understanding of our guests. It’s an interesting idea, and for some demographics this is likely the case, however in these days of signup overload it’s a practice that most of us would avoid.


"To Clarify, Add Detail" – Edward Tufte’s Review of the iPhone

Posted: February 1st, 2008 | Author: | Filed under: Interaction Design | Tags: , , , , , | No Comments »

Edward Tufte, information design master, has released an insightful and educational video review of the iPhone on his website. It’s a large movie shot in clear, Apple style black background with Tufte talking through his observations as he goes. Delivered in calm, soothing tones are such wonderful phrases such as “To clarify, add detail” and “Clutter and overload are not an attribute of information, they are a failure of design”.

Tufte has a high regard for the iPhone’s high resolution (163dpi) screen as well as how Apple have removed “computer administrative debris” to ensure “the information is the interface” with direct interactions by humans on the content, not via buttons – or at least with transparent controls where necessary. Where he’s not so impressed is with the “strong colours and zebra stripes, but not much information” on the stocks page – suggesting that instead of the “cartoon/Excel resolution” Apple could employ their “image level resolution” to let people zoom in and out of complex, informative displays. Similarly for the weather page shown above.

Aside from these few suggestions for information design improvement Tufte seems to like the iPhone – to quote; “If the information is in chaos don’t start throwing out information, instead fix the design – and that is exactly what the iPhone has done.” Go watch the video and learn from a master.