Spa Sensation on the Web

Canyon Ranch, the luxury destination spa, makes good use of visual interface design to convey a highly sensory experience for its desktop and mobile web users.

In particular, strategic use of text, shapes, and the size of the shapes along with high-quality video and dramatic contrasts among elements make the site attractive, drawing in even the shortest attention-span users.… Continue Reading »

Design Critique: MailChimp (Web Platform)

Description

Mailchimp is a platform that helps manage, create, distribute, and track analytics from newsletters. Newsletters are a commonly used marketing tool commonly used by organizations to promote products, circulate ideas or stay connected with an audience. Due to inconsistencies in the rendering of HTML and CSS code on different devices, platforms and operating systems Mailchimp is a useful tool that allows users to use visual templates to create letters with interactivity and analytics to track engagement.Continue Reading »

Home screen ATK

Delicious Navigation

America’s Test Kitchen (ATK) has long separated itself from its Food Network siblings by its serious approach to cooking and a rich, subscription website. The experience is close to seamless as users are able to access and watch familiar television episodes and the tone of voice mirrors the on-air relationship that the ATK conveys.

While it’s not obvious if it is a fully responsive site, it does seem to be free from the “myth of the mobile user” as described by Peterson.… Continue Reading »

Relax or Stress?

Airbnb.com, booking.com, homeaway.com, and many other vacation rental websites have expanded the universe of what is available to travellers and what travellers expect on vacation.

User experience and how users interact with a booking website and the vacation experience means that homeowners wanting to earn passive income need to be aware of who their users are and what they want.… Continue Reading »

Design Critique: Kindle Notebook Interface (PC app)

Figure 1.          

This critique evaluates the interface of Notebook function on Kindle PC app. The Notebook stores the following type of notes: bookmarked page, user’s written notes, colored highlights, starred highlights, and popular highlights from other users. Users can select from a drop-down menu to review their preferred type of notes. In addition, users can star or delete a specific highlight or written note.… Continue Reading »

Design Critique: The FOIA Electronic Reading Room of the CIA [website] (Or: Better Design as a Key Issue in Public Access to Government Information)

 

The Central Intelligence Agency’s (CIA) FOIA Electronic Reading Room (www.cia.gov/library/readingroom) is a section of the CIA’s overall website dedicated to providing public access to CIA documents that have been released under Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) requests and/or other information release mechanisms. This section of their website hosts a number of digital/scanned agency records and provides access to these records to the public via links and search tools.… Continue Reading »

Design Critique: 8fit (Android app)

Introduction

8fit Workouts & Meal Planner is a mobile health and fitness app offering free personalized workouts with step-by-step guidance. Exclusive workouts and meal plans are available with subscription to 8fit Pro but this review is for the initial set-up and use of the free version of the 8fit app. The 8fit app aims to simplify fitness and nutrition, and to create a healthy lifestyle change for everyone, from beginners to advanced fitness enthusiasts.… Continue Reading »

Design Critique: WhatsApp (iPhone app)

Conversation Page of WhatsApp

Description

The conversation page of WhatsApp is what shown after user clicks any individual/group chat in chat list of the app’s 4th main tab, where they can communicate with other users through rich text, voice messages voice calls or video calls. In addition, it also supports document, location and contact sharing to enable a rich communication platform.… Continue Reading »

Design Critique: Transit (iPhone App)

Transit is a mobile app that provides directions for public transportation systems in over a hundred cities around the world. The app also allows users to subscribe to real-time updates for routes that they frequent. I’ll be critiquing the app from the standpoint of a user in New York City who only uses the subway.

The natural mapping

The home screen of the app shows the user’s GPS location on an interactive map with the closest routes listed underneath, sorted from nearest to furthest:

           

 

The action cycle is very clear throughout, bridging the Gulf of Execution and the Gulf of Evaluation by making the design simple yet comprehensive. Continue Reading »

Design Critique: Zillow (website)

Zillow’s homepage

 

Introduction

Zillow is an online real estate database, which aggregates content from multiple listing services across the United States and Canada. Users may search the site for home rentals, sales, auctions, and foreclosures. Features of the site include the ability to save searches with multiple criteria, save favorites homes, and share these favorites with others.… Continue Reading »