I’m building a WordPress site that incorporates the draft US Web Design Standards (USWDS). It was going swimmingly until I began to style the vertical sidebar navigation.
I’ve always been suspicious of web carousels, especially those that auto-rotate. That’s because the reader can’t control the rate at which information is disseminated*. They might want to look more closely, and POW! you’ve moved them onto the next graphic. Silly rabbit: Let the reader decide if and when to advance to the next slide.
But even if they don’t auto-rotate, they still make me itch, and that’s because there is little to no indication for the reader as to what they’ll find at their next stop. A few years ago, we saw many web carousels like this:
eBriefing is an enterprise app developed by some of my friends and colleagues at MetroStar. It is a system comprising a Builder (a SharePoint-based web tool to help people build digital briefing books) and a Reader (a free mobile app that lets people consume digital briefing books). I will confine my thoughts here to the Reader, which I downloaded and explored on my iPad. I have not yet seen a demo of the Builder.
From their description in the App Store:
Guide allows you to consume more of your favorite web content while you do other tasks like working, exercising, cooking, eating, or even getting ready in the morning. Our news anchors read the content to you while presenting the most important elements from the article like videos, images, and comments.
Now that’s an app I can get behind: I love the idea of listening and barely watching while I do other things (knit, for example). So I was one of…everyone else on the planet, apparently who downloaded this app yesterday. But I have to say, I don’t get it.
I am a huge fan of Seth Godin’s This is Broken TED talk. He gives several examples of “broken” design, and talks about the different reasons things are broken.
In that spirit, I offer a morning observation of brokenness.
This sign is posted on an office door in the building in which I work. Here’s a transcription:
My employer recently got me a nice new iPad to use for research and design purposes. They also gave me a rooCASE “executive” leather case in which to keep it. I love the iPad. But I’ve used this case for about two weeks, and I have to say, it doesn’t work for me. Why? Because it was designed by a dude. An old-school dude. It’s a case that Gordon Gekko would love.
I don’t have empirical evidence of this product’s designer’s age, gender, or favorite Wall Street character, but I’m comfortable calling it: this case was designed by a dude with an MBA from the oldest of schools. Here’s why: