18 Apr 2017
18 Apr 2017
11 Nov 2016
25 Aug 2016
27 Apr 2016
I have a confession.
Please don’t place blame or judge too harshly - and hear me out.
My name is Annie, and I overuse lightboxes.
11 Jul 2013
Recently, the web community has been sharing a link that argues that carousels don’t work.
10 Apr 2013
Last week, Brian and I sat with our peers in rapt attention at the Seattle occurrence of An Event Apart, the inspiring one-track web conference started by Jeffrey Zeldman and Eric Meyer in 2005. Known as “the design conference for people who make websites,” AEA is a particularly acclaimed web conference for good reason. Zeldman and Meyer, visionaries famous for helping shape the web as we know it, gather a dozen of the web’s most influential creators and gifted presenters to share their thoughts, inquiries, and discoveries with the several hundred fortunate attendees.
Since you were too busy vacuuming and/or getting your tires rotated to attend, I’ve summarized the best parts. Enjoy!
13 Nov 2012
“What are the most annoying things you encounter when filling out a web form?” was a recent tweet posted by our Chief Evangelist and it got me thinking. Web forms are the one interaction you are most likely forced to deal with more regularly than you’d like; to sign up for that online service, join that social community, or just because completing the goal online is easier than offline. Usually it’s easier to buy that airline ticket online, instead of picking up the phone and calling that surely booking agent. Buying a ticket to that show should be more convenient than standing in a line at the box office. And yet, sometimes the online process can actually make it more complicated, frustrating, or maybe even impossible. Why is that? In many cases, it all comes down to frustrations with the web forms. Prompted by the tweet, we set out to uncover not only the most annoying things you encounter in web forms, but how they can be remedied.
12 Sep 2012
30 Aug 2012
30 Aug 2012
I know what you might be thinking. This is a post about which Portland mayoral candidate I think might/should win this November. It’s not. I am by no means a political consultant. I don’t follow polls. And furthermore, I never like to talk politics (with strangers at least).
But what I do like to talk about is user experience design. And inspired by this recent article on the mobile differences between our two presidential candidates, I decided to take it local and conduct a quick usability audit on the sites of Portland’s mayoral candidates, Charlie Hales and Jefferson Smith.
14 Aug 2012
At the beginning of this month, I was fortunate enough to attend the Cooper UX Boot Camp. What is unique about this course is that Cooper partners with a non-profit to identify a need they have and, in turn, give the class a real-world problem to work towards resolving. In the end, teams may “compete” for the best idea, but everyone walks away with a clearer idea of the process and the chosen non-profit walks away with all of the ideas AND a donation in the name of the winning team.
17 Jul 2012
As Alice Cooper put it so eloquently, school may be out for summer, but it’s most certainly not forever. While kids are busy with summer activities and teachers are taking their much needed breaks, some of us have been busy. With our design help TCI, a K-12 publishing company, released their new online tools for students and teachers, primed and ready for the 2012-2013 school year.
10 Jul 2012
We’re so very proud and excited to announce that our project with partners iKare has launched! An idea that was more than a year in the making, the FamilyLink connects families and friends to their loved ones through a device that shares photos, videos chats, messages, but more importantly provide an ease of mind.
24 May 2012
At this point, we’ve gone through the early stages of our design strategy by researching, sketching ideas, and making a paper prototype. We then extended that strategy phase into a development of a mobile prototype to help explain how each page would function on the site. It was now time to complete the user’s experience by adding visuals to complement that functionality. Thanks to the extra work we did in the beginning, we knew what we wanted to see, so the transition from our quick and dirty prototype to a finished user experience adding visual design elements was practically seamless.
17 May 2012
In developing the Contiki mobile website, we thought it would be a good idea to provide them with a working prototype that they could actually click through on their mobile devices. Luckily, jQuery mobile was there to help make this a painless and useful process.
9 May 2012
Over 10% of Contiki’s traffic is coming from mobile devices, with over 58% being iOS, but the mobile bounce rate of 8.25% is more than the site average.
30 Apr 2012
Wouldn’t it be nice to be able to meet the people you’re about to tour across a country with before you leave?
17 Apr 2012
When approached by one of Northwest’s icon, McMenamins, to help with their user experience, we knew we were in for something big. Something challenging, but rewarding. Learn how we took the first step towards better UXD by redesigning their navigation.
25 Jan 2012
A community needs a common passion or value, something that brings the members together. The Contiki Community is not about a passion for travel. It’s not about the product either. Much in the same way that you are not simply “buying a tour,” the Contiki Community is about the Contiki experience. It’s about the hunt for the perfect trip, the rush of making the decision and booking a trip, the buildup as you get closer to your departure, the letting go and immersing yourself in a new culture with new people, the high after you return where you can’t stop talking about what you saw and did, and the burning desire to do it again; or rather it’s about all the feelings you have as you go through the lifecycle of doing a Contiki.
– Allison Beckwith, Planet Argon, on the design vision for the new community pages
What began as a vision between Contiki and the Planet Argon Team became a reality this week as we launched the new Contiki Community pages.
4 Nov 2011
Contiki is the worldwide leader in tours for 18-35’s. This summer, they asked us to update their homepage to be more relevant for their users. They wanted more interaction and to organize many quick bits of information for potential travelers. The presentation near the bottom and middle parts of the homepage felt unorganized, and we sensed it wasn’t working as an introduction to Contiki.
Contiki’s homepage needs to create interest in the tours, draw potential travelers deeper into the site, and sell the brand as the best option for holidays. We spent a lot of time planning on how to help Contiki make a great first impression. Not everyone who lands on the Contiki homepage knows what Contiki is and what they have to offer.
29 Sep 2011
With more than 200 itineraries in over 40 countries, finding the perfect trip with Contiki can be daunting if you’re not given the right tools. In collaboration with Contiki, our latest deployment of Contiki’s Trip Finder adds more functionality, improves the design, and has some added perks.
27 Sep 2011
Leupold & Stevens has been designing, machining, and assembling precision optical instruments for a century. They recently expanded their hunting lineup with the addition of an RCX Trail Camera System to track animals for hunting.
The RCX Trail System comes with a remote camera that you can place anywhere and a controller/viewer that allows you to see what that remote camera sees. This system allows the user to find targets they wouldn’t normally be able to see from their position.
Leupold came to us to make a microsite for the launch of the RCX Trail Camera System. Leupold is a local company, and it’s always a pleasure collaborating with clients in person for a project. We went with a sales sheet model for how to present the product on the website. We felt Leupold’s potential RCX customers would want a simple explanation of the products, large photos to view, and full technical specifications for evaluating their purchase.
26 Sep 2011
Contiki is the worldwide leader in tours for 18-35’s and operates in over 40 countries around the world. For more than fifty years, Contiki has primarily relied on print brochures to allure and entice young adults to explore the globe. The printed brochures provide detailed and photographic overviews of the many available tours and benefits of going Contiki, however they do not provide the same flexibility and accessibility of an always up-to-date website.
Regardless, Contiki still has a large customer base that prefers to flip through a physical brochure just like many of us do with our annual Ikea catalog. While we cannot share the correlation between print brochures and purchasing decisions, there is still a significant percentage of customers that use the printed brochure to decide which product to purchase. So it was critical that we improve the user interaction to increase leads here.
1 Jun 2011
Allison, Brian, and I attended WebVisions in Portland, OR on May 26-27. It was a great event, and I appreciated that time limits for speakers were mostly set at 15-30 minutes. This made for a more energetic conference than most, and speakers needed to get to the point quickly or risk not getting time to make one at all.
I attended as many design related presentations as I could, and this year the talk in web design has shifted from visual design to emotional and interaction design. What makes a user return? What excites them? How can you guide them through your site? Having a pleasing visual design isn’t a big deal anymore, because now that’s just expected.
22 Apr 2011
We recently received notification that our google apps account was transitioning to be more like a regular google email address. It contained this wonderful line:
“The Help Center also has answers to many common questions (note that you won’t be able to view the full Help Center until you’ve been transitioned).”