by Melissa Woodsen Associations, Usability, User Experience

Web innovation is often measured in bells and whistles—what cool features can we build and how can they out-do our competitors? But does that translate to the best user experience? If there’s not a useful product or information behind that feature, what’s the point? 

The answer is simple: there is no point. Designing user interfaces around feature lists never leads to a good user experience. The same can be said for designing an incredibly useable site and then filling it with content that hasn’t been updated and optimized for the web. It’s like building a brand new McMansion and...

by Jeannette Modic Associations, Social Media, Tips and Tricks

It is pretty standard to have social media sharing tools on your website, but did you know that many of those tools come with tracking so you can actually see what content is being shared on each social channel?

Our favorite tool to embed for our clients is ShareThis, and they have a brand new Analytics Dashboard in beta right now, that we are very excited about!

From this Analytics Dashboard you can get a quick glimpse of how many shares you have gotten, and how many click-throughs and what is the most popular social channel for you.


by Alan Yurisevic Associations, Web Development

If you’re just getting started with the CSS framework known as Sass, you might find that one of the more difficult parts is figuring out where everything goes. Using Sass means there will be a lot more files to manage and it is important to make sure you stay organized from the beginning.

First, you want to set up your working directory where all of your project files will reside.  To do this, run the Compass (Sass tool and extender) installer located here. This will set up the basic folder structure for your Sass project. If you do...

by Tracy Betts Associations, Balance Interactive, Usability, User Experience

To gain new insights and opportunities, we need to think and approach research differently. The February 2015 issue of Fast Company contained two articles of interest showcasing very different research approaches and how they contributed to the rise (or fall) of their products. One article subtitled "What the hell happened..?" was about the lackluster performance (failure?) of the Fire Phone. The Amazon Fire Phone was supposed to compete with the Apple iPhone, yet it now sells for 99 cents and Amazon has taken an $...

by Beth Yezzi Associations, Balance Interactive, CMS, Content Management, Content Strategy, Design, Information Architecture, Opinions/Reviews, Tips and Tricks, User Experience, Web Content, Web Strategy, Writing for the Web

What makes people press the back button shortly after visiting your website? Why do they bail out so quickly? And what can you do about it?

It’s not easy creating a beautiful, brilliant user experience on your website, and the reality is that most sites have issues of one kind or another. But keep an eye open for the following – often avoidable – negative factors and try to eliminate them to avoid creating the wrong impression.

  1. Autosound: don't scare me--or worse, embarrass me--by playing loud sounds suddenly in the middle of a quiet office.
  2. Poor information...