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SXSWUI15 UI Patterns: Then & Now


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Slides from my SXSW workshop entitled "UI Patterns: Then & Now". Reviewed some UI patterns on sites form a few years back, comparing to their current version, with a closer look at some newer UI patterns like hamburger menus, longer (below the fold) page content, and moving away from hero space sliders.

Published in: Design
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SXSWUI15 UI Patterns: Then & Now

  1. 1. Steve MacKley Beaconfire
  2. 2. I don’t really care, one way or the other
  3. 3. 1. Information architecture defines the structure of the content. 2. Interaction design lets people manipulate and contribute to that information. 3. Visual design communicates these possibilities to people. Source:
  4. 4. Image:
  5. 5. • 2005, The Zen of CSS Design was published by Dave Shea and web designer Molly Holzschlag. • The book is based on 36 designs featured at the Zen Garden site • The goal was/is to showcase what is possible with CSS-based design
  6. 6. (or nostalgia for a few years ago)
  7. 7. • Single screen on content • Higher info/content density • Puzzle–pieced layout • Hierarchy is more subtle • Composition mimic print • Flow is still hierarchical and linear
  8. 8.
  9. 9. Why the change?
  10. 10. Responsive Grids Long page layouts Typography Web Fonts Forms Animation Navigation Footers Sliders
  11. 11.
  12. 12. • • • • • • • photoshop-grid-for-responsive-web-design/
  13. 13.
  14. 14.
  15. 15. • Many visitors scroll down the page before it finishes loading, which means that no portion of a typical article is viewed by 100% of viewers . • The most viewed area of the page is just above the fold, at about 550 pixels, with just over 80% viewership. • From this peak at 550 pixels, there is a slow decay in viewership. About 50% of readers see 1500 pixels down the page on content pages, while on home pages and section fronts 50% of readers make it to pixel 1000
  16. 16. 1. Your website heavily relies on mobile traffic as a key source of visitors. 2. Your website has information that can be chunked/grouped into discrete sections; or help to build a narrative 3. Your website updates frequently and presents content in a reverse chronological order
  17. 17. 6/time-coms-bounce-rate-down-15-percentage- points-since-adopting-continuous-scroll/
  18. 18. Since its March redesign,’s bounce rate — has declined by 15 percentage points, according to managing editor Edward Felsenthal. The percentage of desktop visitors going to another piece of content jumped 21 percentage points between February and May. Felsenthal attributed that to the continuous scroll, which provides a clickless path for readers to reach another story.
  19. 19. —Robert Bringhurst Image:
  20. 20. Tim Brown • • typography
  21. 21. Arial is dead, long live Arial
  22. 22. Scalability: they can be increased in size with no loss in fidelity. Plus you can change their color easily, or add shadows and change their transparency…
  23. 23. One is the potential problem with screen readers that might read aloud the icon as an alphabetical letter. Note: This is not a problem with well made icon fonts. Icon Fonts can only be presented in a single color (or in a color gradient using CSS3 gradients). But this can be wonderful if you logo is a single color?
  24. 24. • • • • •
  25. 25.
  26. 26. The three biggest ways flat forms fail • Lack of affordance (affordance is how much the design of an object—physical or digital—suggests use, like a chair inviting you to sit • Insufficient distinction between form elements (e.g., fields versus labels versus instructions versus buttons) • Insufficient hierarchy within categories of form elements (e.g., primary versus secondary buttons)
  27. 27. • Causality - When one thing happens just before another, our brains infer that the two things are related and that the first caused the second • Feedback - when something indicates to a user that their actions have triggered a response • Relationships - where things are hierarchically and spatially in relation to one another and • Progression – where you are in a linear sequence • Physics – skeuomorphism (yea I said it) • Transition – crossfade from one state to another
  28. 28. • • • •
  29. 29. Source:
  30. 30. Commentary by Luis Abreu The Problems • Lower Discoverability • Less Efficient • Clash with Platform Navigation Patterns • Not Glanceable (
  31. 31. Reviewing your information architecture to reduce items down to 5 or so.
  32. 32. designers-side-drawer-navigation-costing-half- user-engagement The take-away from all of this is that if most of the user experience takes place in a single view, and it’s only things like user settings and options that need to be accessed in separate screens, then keeping the main UI nice and clean by burying those in a side menu is the way to go.
  33. 33. Source:
  34. 34. 240,000 unique mobile visitors were served the A/B test. The “MENU” button was clicked by 20% more unique visitors than the “HAMBURGER” button. Source:
  35. 35. Unique Visitors 120,543 121,152 Unique Clicks 1,211 1,455 Engagement 1.0% 1.2%
  36. 36. Bootstrap nents/ Quick and easy to be off and running, good documentation. Lightly skinned and the CSS is set up in such a way that it is very easy to restyle. Foundation Very similar to Bootstrap but even more lightly skinned. Sencha extJS examples/kitchensink/ Javascript library providing a huge array of features. This is a bit more than a "plug n play" library. jQuery Tools os Fairly limited library of widgets, more-or-less on par with jQueryUI. Pretty heavily skinned, best to use if you like what they look like out of the box. jQueryUI Pretty heavily skinned (with theme options), best to use if you like what they look like out of the box.
  37. 37. • Better links • Navigation • Buttons