Amit Diwan, Jan 01

Tools for Testing Website Performance

Amit Diwan looks at what makes a performance testing tool effective and considers 7 options you'll want to look at.
Design & UX
Alex Walker, Dec 31

Checkboxes, Passwords and Magical Incantations

We program our computers but maybe they program us too? Alex looks at how working on the web changes the way we think.
Dave Albert, Dec 30

Pushing Push - Have Notifications Come of Age?

Recent Developments in Android and iOS have increased the potential of Push Notifications. Dave Albert explores the possibilities.
Design & UX
Gabrielle Gosha, Dec 23

Push It! Making Your CTA Buttons More Clickable

Whether it's article links, signups, or sales, most sites live and die on their ability to coerce clicks. Gabrielle breaks down the DNA of a good button
Jordan Morgan, Dec 22

8 Steps to Take Before You Start Coding Your next iOS App

Jordan Morgan outlines the steps you should consider before embarking on your next iOS app.
Design & UX
Amit Diwan, Dec 19

Review: Apps for Creating Online Graphs and Charts

Graphs and charts change minds and influence people. Amit looks at five browser-based chart apps that even non-designers can use.
Craig Buckler, Dec 15

Would You Implement Passwordless Login?

It's possible to create a secure system which doesn't rely on passwords, biometrics or any complicated solutions. Craig looks at the pros and cons
Design & UX
Byron Houwens, Dec 15

The UX of Error Messages

In a perfect world we'd never need them, but creating a thoughtful error message UX is one of the best ways to help our users. Byron explains.
Craig Buckler, Dec 10

Boost Traffic and Conversions with Website Wisdom

Raw data from website analytics does not help you understand the visitors who influence those figures. Craig looks at Ptengine - a service which could lead to website enlightenment!
Design & UX
Helen Stark, Dec 10

Which is More Important in Design: Images or Text?

Images are part of our brain's native OS, but the written word has accuracy and precision. Helen tries to find the balance point between images and text.
Design & UX
Alex Walker, Dec 09

Generating Responsive Image Assets with Photoshop CC 2014

Crafting images that are as well-adapted to each device as our code is may be our next big challenge. It's a area of focus for Photoshop CC 2014 release.
Design & UX
Alex Walker, Dec 03

Fighting Spiders and the London Underground Map

Sometimes design genius isn't what you add -- it's what you take away. Henry Beck's London Underground Map tells us a lot about good information design.
Chris Brown, Dec 03

Integrating Social Media without Sacrificing UX

Integrating a social media stream with your website can bring valuable traffic. Chris Brown explains how to achieve this integration without destroying UX.
Design & UX
Kerry Butters, Dec 02

Designer Must Reads: Don't Make Me Think Revisited

'Don't Make Me Think' was the the UX bible before UX was a thing. Now Steve Krug has rewritten the book for the mobile generation.
Design & UX
Kaitlyn Ellison, Dec 01

3 Principles For Perfect Typeface Pairing

Mixing typefaces is a little like mixing your wardrobe. That old leather jacket may not work with dress shoes -- but sometimes it does! Kaitlyn explains.
Design & UX
Annarita Tranfici, Nov 25

Breaking Bad Habits: Ineffective UX Patterns

Einstein described insanity as doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results. Arguably bad UX patterns are a type of insanity.
Design & UX
Massimo Cassandro, Nov 20

A Box of Tricks for Building Responsive Email

While we can't give up HTML tables, more email is read on mobile devices every day. Massimo walks us through the latest thinking in responsive email.
Design & UX
Alex Walker, Nov 19

Travelling by Typeface: San Francisco via San Serriffe

From Monaco to New York to Chicago, type has often been linked to cities. Apple's newest typeface San Francisco, takes a big city into small places.
Design & UX
Georgina Laidlaw, Nov 17

Why Don't You Have a Writer in Your UX Team?

The web is stitched together with words, but often we don't consider words part of the UX. Georgina wants to know why there aren't more writers in UX.
Design & UX
Alex Walker, Nov 12

The Secret to Underlined Links That Don't Sting Your Eyes?

Hypertext Editing System - Brown University This is the Hypertext Editing System (HES) created at Brown University by the 'father of the hyperlink' - Ted Nelson in 1969. The coolest thing about the system was the built-in lightpen, that allowed the operator to manually underline the text they wanted to link. Gee Willikers, Mr. Peabody! You can almost trace that lightpen directly through to the underlined links we still use on the web today. The underline may be the most widely understood convention on the Web, and isn't going away any time soon. On the other hand, in typography circles, underlining has always been a serious no-no. Butterick's Practical Typography goes as far as saying: "Absolutely not. In a printed doc­u­ment, don’t un­der­line. Ever." So,.. accessibility and UX experts tell us we should use them, but we're told they are typographical poison. Mr. Rock. Can I introduce you to Mr. Hard Place?

The Problem

So, if we can't throw away the underlined link convention, can we make it better? What are its biggest failings? Beside the general cramping that comes with filling in the whitespace between lines, perhaps the biggest single issue is what happens when the underline touches the letterforms. Problems with lowercase 'q' and 'a'. One common example of nastiness is where the descenders on lowercase p, g, y, q and sometimes z often crashing into an underline. Light bauhaus-influenced fonts with short decenders seem to suffer worse than most typefaces. As you can see below with Google Fonts suchs as Rajdhani and Poiret One, it's visually difficult to discern the difference between a lowercase 'q' and an 'a' when an underline is involved. Quattrocentro's capital Q disappears into the underline Likewise, the tail on capital 'Q' is usually fine with an underline, but can present serious problems with certain typefaces. For instance, Quattrocentro has a very low, horizontal tail that almost disappears in an underline. The small tail on the capital 'J' also becomes less clear. Messy, right?

Is there a Solution?

Annarita Tranfici, Nov 12

Rethinking Icon and Logo Design for the Responsive Web

With the multitude of devices, we no longer have complete control over how icons will look. Annarita Tranfici looks at solutions to tackle this challenge.
Design & UX
Gabrielle Gosha, Nov 11

Review: Top 5 Web-based Presentation Tools Compared

The rise of a new breed of free web-based presentation tools has freed us from reliance on Powerpoint and Keynote. Gabrielle compares the best 5.
Design & UX
Annarita Tranfici, Nov 10

3 Ways to Combine Text and Images

Text and images each has its own strengths, but often work most effectively when combined. Annarita has some easy wins to focus on.
Design & UX
Alex Walker, Nov 07

'Less is More': Truth, Justice and the Design of Maps

'Less is more' is a principle often applied to pure design problems, but you can even see it at work in the design of late 1700's maps.