usability

Burying Firefox's White Tab of Death

3 minute read Published

How to change the Firefox New Tab page for suitable display in low-light.

I don’t know about you but I really like dark interfaces. Dark interfaces use less battery on AMOLED screens, reduce eye strain at night, and help protect you from shoulder surfers and nosy bar flies. Plus they just look good.

Which is why I was a bit miffed after installing ghacks-user.js to lock-down security in Firefox Quantum. I finished setup right before bed, opened the browser and – WHAM – my entire room illuminated with New Tab page:

Touch Events and Mobile Web App Usability

3 minute read Published

Why PPKs “Stick with click” may not be the best advice in all situations.

I recently heard a talk from Peter-Paul Koch of QuirksMode on the touch events in mobile at the orbitz.com office in Chicago. During his presentation PPK gave us a great sound bite to use when dealing with the *300ms delay* many touch devices use for capturing double-tap (zoom) events:

Stick with click.

Peter-Paul Koch

Under stick with click devs are discouraged from hijacking ontouchstart to make click events occur without noticeable delay. And though a good rule of thumb I view it as more of a best practice than a hard-and-fast rule.

Here’s why…

Improve SEO with AdWords Keyword Tool

1 minute read Published

Working on SEO and need to find out which keywords to optimize for? Need ideas keyword changes? The AdWords Keyword Tool ought to help.

Building a Better Lightbox

3 minute read Published

Though modal dialogs are not a new concept in UI design, the number of homegrown Lightbox clones (source) appearing on the Web since major JavaScript libraries like Prototype and jQuery hit the scene has been staggering. Unfortunately, many of the clones developed leave some key usability considerations unaddressed, and struggle with common problems in accessibility.

Some key usability features that should be considered during creation of a Web-based modal dialog include (1) manage focus and allow tab navigation (2) disable elements outside the modal dialog (3) give users an out and (4) provide graceful error recovery.