I agree with pretty much everything in this post at the WPMU DEV blog on “common web design UX errors,” especially in regard to the dysfunctionality from a “UX” (user experience) perspective both of big “Vanity Images” and of “Sliders,” two image treatments often front-paged by “magazine” sites that may impress web design clients more than they impress (or serve) real web users. When the League of Ordinary Gentlemen implemented its re-design last Summer in conjunction with their name change, the slider sparked a near-revolution among commenters. As for the VIs, tho I think the GIGANTIC IMAGE layouts at other sites, notably Medium, may be more justifiable at least from the currently widespread “mobile first” perspective – since what looks relatively gigantic on my desktop screen is still only a couple inches high on a smartphone – I don’t think they wear very well.

On the other hand, I’m not sure that W-P-M-U D-E-V is, namewise, the best UX either. I like a lot about the site and its services, and I know there’s a school of thought in advertising that an unwieldy name is more memorable than one that’s too smooth, but WPMU-DEV has got to be meaningless to most people. I’m a WordPress junkie and a fan of WPMU DEV, but I don’t recall, if I ever knew, what the “MU” stands for. “Multi-Use” would be my first guess, but it’s just a guess. Yet another thing to look into one of these days. (Come to think of it, the acronym “UX” is itself probably bad UX unless U happen to speak web developerese.)

While we’re on the subject of Web Design, I’m planning to keep a regular Web Design journal at this site, but will mostly keep new entries, especially heavily technical ones, off the front page.

2 comments on “2014.02.20

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  1. One thing I didn’t see addressed there was whether links send you to another window/tab or not. Your links keep you in the same window – personally I prefer another window especially, as is the case frequently here, I want to go back and forth between the original site and the linked site. Any thoughts on this?

    • It’s easy to make links open in a new window, but it’s rare that anyone will set up a web site so that all links do so, since it creates clutter. If you have some kind of sub-routine like picking a shirt size, or if you want to make a definition or tip available, then there are various options including a full-fledged new window (you can also to a large extent control the size and availability of menus and tools). Generally, though, with most browsers these days, users can choose on their own how they want links to open: for instance with a right-mouse click/menu selection, or by setting their browsers to different defaults.

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