Read my latest article: 8 things I look for in a Ruby on Rails app (posted Thu, 06 Jul 2017 17:59:00 GMT)

Google Chrome: discuss

Posted by Tue, 02 Sep 2008 02:40:00 GMT

I’m sure that most of you heard the news that Google is releasing a new web browser named Chrome. Their comic for the announcement was very refreshing and entertaining read. Granted… nobody that I know has seen it (as of today)...

For me, I’m really interested in seeing what they’ve done to hopefully improve some of the short-comings of the user experience through their interaction design process. For example, tabs containing their own url/search fields sounds refreshing (I really dislike the hierarchy currently). Also, I’m really looking forward to their dashboard-like default page.

Google Chrome - Google Book Search

From a web development standpoint, it definitely raises questions about what we’ll be able to do in the coming year(s).

What are your initial thoughts on this? Discuss…

Update: Gary came across this amusing quote from a response by a representative at Microsoft.

“The browser landscape is highly competitive, but people will choose Internet Explorer 8 for the way it puts the services they want right at their fingertips … and, more than any other browsing technology, puts them in control of their personal data on-line,” Hachamovitch said. (read article on CNN)

I’m really not sure what that even means. Don’t we already have our online services at our fingertips? I suspect CNN interviewed the wrong person.. because this person said nothing.

Update #2: Only a PC version available… OSX / Linux are in development. Oh well…

That Checkbox Needs a Label

Posted by Sun, 02 Dec 2007 06:43:00 GMT

As a user of many web applications, I often find myself noticing little things that slow me down. One such thing is the use of checkboxes in web forms. It’s not the problem of checkboxes itself, it’s the face that checkboxes require the user to really focus their attention to a fairly small box on the page and perform a click inside. If you’re filling out a form really quickly, it’s almost guaranteed that you’ll take advantage of you your tab key to get through each field quickly. Sometimes there are select boxes, which require the user to make selections with their mouse. Checkboxes drive me crazy because it requires more time to position the cursor and move on.

So, when I see a form like this, I don’t see it being very quick to interact with.

While I’m not in love with the date selection interface here, my bigger pain has been the checkbox in the form. Why? Because they forgot to use the <label for=""> HTML tag.

What’s the problem? Well, I don’t have the convenience of clicking on the label text, which would toggle the corresponding checkbox.

I know, many of you know all about this… but I run into this problem everywhere. This is an accessibility issue for people and really just increases the chances for a frustrating user experience. When you use the label tag properly… it will provide a larger amount of the screen for people to click, which reduces the chance of not clicking in the right spot. The label tag was designed with this in mind so that people could click close enough to trigger the desired action.

Here is an example of where it becomes really useful.

So, the lesson? Please remember to use the label for tag. :-)


<input type="checkbox" id="remember_me" name="remember_me" value="true" />
<label for="remember_me">Remember info?</label>  

This is an easy thing to forget when building web applications. We’ve forgot and I’m sure you have too. I just wanted to point it out though because I see this happen so much… even in new sites.

Perhaps you run into similar problems with web applications that can be fixed with just a little more HTML. Care to share your experiences?

For more information, read Labeling form elements from the Dive Into Accessibility site.

Zeldman on Web Design

Posted by Tue, 20 Nov 2007 18:01:00 GMT

In a new article on A List Apart, Jeffrey Zeldman writes:

“Some who don’t understand web design nevertheless have the job of creating websites or supervising web designers and developers. Others who don’t understand web design are nevertheless professionally charged with evaluating it on behalf of the rest of us. Those who understand the least make the most noise. They are the ones leading charges, slamming doors, and throwing money—at all the wrong people and things.”

He goes on to describe Web Design as, “as the creation of digital environments that facilitate and encourage human activity; reflect or adapt to individual voices and content; and change gracefully over time while always retaining their identity.”

Read the rest of the article, Understanding Web Design on alistapart.com.