No, I won’t shut up about how much Iove these essays by @workjon. I reread most of them today. It’s hard to choose an excerpt to feature, but this post, your sign-up form tells me all I need to know, is highly relevant to the past few hours of productivity.
We swept all our forms on Sociallist to get consistent capitalization and created as many classes as needed to ensure the spacing on every label was done right. There are also a few (hopefully) delightful interactions in the form filling experience we hope our users will like. Yes, FORM FILLING — They are going to be some of the nicest forms on the internet.
Some designers treat sign-up/sign-in forms as being outside the core experience for a web app. A few necessarily frustrating hoops before getting to the real fun of the site.
I disagree. Forms are the handshake, the joke to break the ice, the first impression. Your form tells me everything I need to know about your app, and by extension, your interaction design skills.
Sorry Tumblfolk, I haven’t been sketching much lately because I’ve been heads down into a few freelance projects and a larger project of my own. That, and finding another fulltime gig.
Still, I can’t help but to waste time doodling. Here a few favourite form the past few months pulled off of instagram. I’m @susanl if you care to follow.
A handful of more sharpie sketches of various projects I’m thinking about: sociallist and a future portal page, susanl.in. I pulled the trigger for the .in domain when I learned the awesome namecheap offered it for $2.78 the first year, so cheap!
on building things
When I try out new products, especially productivity products, I find the greatest overarching flaw is this:
The creators always force their mental model onto their users.
I don’t mean to say it in a bad way; I believe the creators have good intentions. (I mean, I’d love it if anyone adopted even bits of my mental model, but that’s not always going to be the case.) It’s just that no one has the same exact mental model for what works. I believe this is why most fail. Sure, it may sound great in theory, but, in the end, it won’t stick if the user can’t emulate their ideal productivity schema into the product.
This is why I believe for productivity tools, it needs to crafted with the idea of not just powerful, but flexible. The tool needs to be powerful in order to be valuable in the everyday, yet flexible so anyone can start using and loving it.
Your own schema is a good starting point, but you need to abstract one level higher to figure out how to get it right for your users. I believe there should be this addendum to the saying: Build something you would want to use and then evolve it to something your users would want to use.
the sociallist.me* branding: logo and colors. there was a lot of ugly before this. rather proud of this. it has a css3 shape and animation. :)
will post more process, but for now, sleep!
* for onlooking strangers, (hi!), sociallist is a side project of mine.
I flew home to LA from SF again this past weekend. These were the sketches created from those few painful moments of being forced to disconnect from electronics. I used a uniball ink pen for these to change things up from the usual double-tipped sharpie or papermate ballpoint. The flow of the ink is kind of addicting to work with, but not so fantastic for conveying values.