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11 Jan. 2018 Posted by A List Apart in External

No More FAQs: Create Purposeful Information for a More Effective User Experience

It’s normal for your website users to have recurring questions and need quick access to specific information to complete … whatever it is they came looking for. Many companies still opt for the ubiquitous FAQ (frequently asked/anticipated questions) format to address some or even all information needs. But FAQs often miss the mark because people don’t realize that creating effective user information—even when using the apparently simple question/answer format—is complex and requires careful planning.

9 Jan. 2018 Posted by A List Apart in External

Why Mutation Can Be Scary

A note from the editors: This article contain sample lessons from Learn JavaScript, a course that helps you learn JavaScript to build real-world components from scratch.

4 Jan. 2018 Posted by A List Apart in External

Discovery on a Budget: Part I

If you crack open any design textbook, you’ll see some depiction of the design cycle: discover, ideate, create, evaluate, and repeat. Whenever we bring on a new client or start working on a new feature, we start at the top of the wheel with discover (or discovery). It is the time in the project when we define what problem we are trying to solve and what our first approach at solving it should be.

14 Dec. 2017 Posted by A List Apart in External

My Grandfather’s Travel Logs and Other Repetitive Tasks

My grandfather, James, was a meticulous recordkeeper. He kept handwritten journals detailing everything from his doctor visits to the daily fluctuations of stocks he owned. I only discovered this part of his life seven years after his death, when my family’s basement flooded on Christmas Eve in 2011 and we found his journals while cleaning up the damage. His travel records impressed me the most. He documented every trip he ever took, including dates, countries and cities visited, methods of travel, and people he traveled with.

12 Dec. 2017 Posted by A List Apart in External

How the Sausage Gets Made: The Hidden Work of Content

I won an Emmy for keeping a website free of dick pics.

Officially, my award certificate says I was on a team that won a 2014 Emmy for Interactive Media, Social TV Experience. The category “Social TV Experience” sounds far classier than my true contribution to the project.

28 Nov. 2017 Posted by A List Apart in External

The Best Request Is No Request, Revisited

Over the last decade, web performance optimization has been controlled by one indisputable guideline: the best request is no request. A very humble rule, easy to interpret. Every network call for a resource eliminated improves performance. Every src attribute spared, every link element dropped.

21 Nov. 2017 Posted by A List Apart in External

Faux Grid Tracks

A little while back, there was a question posted to css-discuss:

Is it possible to style the rows and columns of a [CSS] grid—the grid itself? I have an upcoming layout that uses what looks like a tic-tac-toe board—complete with the vertical and horizontal lines of said tic-tac-toe board—with text/icon in each grid cell.

14 Nov. 2017 Posted by A List Apart in External

Feedback That Gives Focus

I have harbored a lifelong dislike of feedback. I didn’t like it in sixth grade when a kid on the bus told me my brand new sneakers were “too bright.” And I didn’t like it when a senior executive heard my pitch for a digital project and said, “I hate this idea.” Turns out my sneakers were pretty bright, and my pitch wasn’t the best idea. Still, those experiences and many others like them didn’t help me learn to stop worrying and love the feedback process.

7 Nov. 2017 Posted by A List Apart in External

Ten Extras for Great API Documentation

If you manage to create amazing API documentation and ensure that developers have a positive experience implementing your API, they will sing the praises of your product. Continuously improving your API documentation is an investment, but it can have a huge impact. Great documentation builds trust, differentiates you from your competition, and provides marketing value.

2 Nov. 2017 Posted by A List Apart in External

What the Failure of New Coke Can Teach Us About User Research And Design

In the late 1970s, Pepsi was running behind Coca-Cola in the competition to be the leading cola. But then Pepsi discovered that in blind taste tests, people actually preferred the sweeter taste of Pepsi. To spread the word, Pepsi ran a famous advertising campaign, called the Pepsi Challenge, which showed people tasting the two brands of cola while not knowing which was which. They chose Pepsi every time.

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