Too Many Links.

Design Shack recently revealed their list “Best and Worst: 50 U.S. State Websites”

Official state websites often have terrible design and are not user friendly.  This is true of a lot of .gov websites, I suppose.  However, there are quite a few well designed websites on the list.

Some common features of the top 10 websites:

  • large, engaging photos
  • a prominently-featured search box
  • simple, clean menus

I’m not surprised that Texas, Washington and Wisconsin were ranked among the worst.  These sites are frustrating to use and quite cluttered.

Of course, thinking about the course design of any state, county or municipality website reminds me of this clip from Portlandia, where the Mayor of Portland proclaims that Portland’s website is the best official city website out there and “Seattle’s is the worst…Too many links.”

Designing User-Centered Buttons

launch buttonUXmatters has a useful article, 7 Best Practices for Buttons, which offers some simple tips for creating buttons.  Admittedly, many of these seem like common sense, but it’s surprising how many poorly designed buttons are out there!

Here are a few of the best practices:

  • put buttons where users can find them.
  • make the most important button look like it’s the most important one.
  • label buttons with what they do.
Like many articles from UXmatters, the author provides plenty of visual examples to illustrate her points.

As a librarian, I work to create user-centered spaces, whether that is in the physical library  or on the library website.  Unfortunately, library websites can be notorious offenders of best practices for user experience design.

While I don’t have many opportunities to create and customize buttons in my current job, I do design forms and menus and have some input in how they are developed by my college’s web team.  I’m glad that I’m already doing some of these best practices, but I hope to incorporate more of them in my button design in the future.

Photo cred: stevendepolo via flickr under a Creative Commons license.