The Associate Producer will work closely with the production team in scheduling, resource management, budgeting, and planning. They manage the site production process for assigned projects from pre-production through development, QA, launch, and post-launch updates. The Associate producer is also be responsible for the day-to-day maintenance of existing sites helping produce content updates and troubleshooting efforts.
Email your resume to email@example.com.
Building a website is easy, right?
Uh, no. Most clients are prepared to really handle a website, and don’t limit themselves to what they are capable of within a budget.
Here’s the first 10 of 72 questions to ask web clients from bonfx.
Read the complete list here.
“Use red asterisks — they’re the standard for showing required fields.”
Standards are wonderful; but if I asked my mom what is the international symbol for a required field, she would look at me like I was on drugs (not much different than today, but still).
This was something even the great Jared Spool mentioned as gospel at an event and showed an example in his PowerPoint, which I still haven’t received – but that’s another blog post. He was explaining how another client had used asterisks to show optional fields.
Here’s a few truths about form design that I’ve discovered in my time by testing actual users.
Most forms are hard to read.
Does anyone find it interesting the note for required fields is after the fields?
There have been a few books and web posts, but for the most part, web form design hasn’t changed that much since 1996. Form fields are left on a white background with a grey line around them. Some sites, like this WordPress blog software I’m using, have a lighter grey line around the form fields for design purposes.
On other sites, form fields are in columns so that they’re next to each other, making the user to really have to work at it.
Given eight form fields, users will fill out all eight.
I’ve run countless of tests and the result in most of them is that users will try to fill out every single form field. This includes the second address field we all know so well even if they don’t have a second address.
Form fields are one of those things that users expect to fill out every single field, because they don’t want to have to figure out error messages when they are wrong. They have been trained that most web forms are ineffective, they do as much work as possible (bad solution number 1) or walk away (worse solution number 2), leaving either a frustrated user, a lost sale or both.
The red asterisk and even the explanation text that reads “Required Fields” are marked as (*). No one’s going to read it.
It’s usually at the top of the form, in line, and all users skip it to dig right in. Users rarely read instruction text, and because most form design is so poorly thought out, users rush through it to make it as painless as possible. Users need visual cues next to the field or at the field they are working on, not 300 pixels, at least, away.
Additionally, the “Required Field” line is usually small and hard to read (read: Designers License), so in the grand scheme of watching users browse the site, they skip right over it.
This was a solution we used at Disney Shopping: the word Optional was placed to the right of the field and required fields were colored yellow so users could spot them.
I’m using this particular design pattern on other sites, because at Disney Shopping and a few other sites I’ve worked on, this is the design pattern I’ve enforced. It’s doesn’t interfere with the form because the error messages are usually below the form field, and it’s easy to scan for it.
Why am I enforcing it?
Because, changing Required Fields from the asterisk to this example increases form completions across the board. We’ve tested it, and it works.
One of the way cool, nifty things that you get by working for an online marketing education company is access to great tools that are just a bit beta. That’s just the sort of thing we needed over at Online Marketing Summit as we do usability testing and other analysis work.
Enter Attention Wizard. Attention Wizard is a tool that shows possible eye tracking without the human part. The smart folks over at Site Tuners (Thanks Tim, for the invite) have written an algorithm that produces an “attention heatmap”, a way of saying here’s some possible areas that the users are paying attention to based on color and Gestalt theory. All you have to do is upload a screen shot, and in five minutes, it gives you results of what it could look like.
I did it with Online Marketing Summit (click on the thumbnail) to show you what one of their results are.
We’re going to make more changes, but the goal is to get results quickly and increase conversion rate on the site, and that’s what we got with Attention Wizard.
My honest opinion about Attention Wizard?
I wouldn’t take this as gospel science (is eye tracking that now, anyways?), but it’s a good first cut at “well, let’s see what we have.” They claim a 75 percent rate of matching eye and mouse tracking, and that’s good enough for me. It’s much better to do several tests with this tool (which would be great as a subscription model site) than spending $5,000 for an eye tracking system that no one’s going use because, well, it’s hard to use.
It’s a great tool that’s only going to get better once they work out the kinks.
Ironically, the smallest bits of copy, microcopy, can have the biggest impact.
Microcopy is small yet powerful copy. It's fast, light, and deadly. It's a short sentence, a phrase, a few words. A single word. It's the small copy that has the biggest impact. Don't judge it on its sizeâ€¦judge it on its effectiveness.
One of the biggest misconceptions about the web is you just design it, and don’t worry about copy.
Copy has such a big impact, more so than design in some cases.
From Social Media Today:
The most influential people on Twitter are either already celebrities, create their own content, or both. Who do you see most often retweeted? Major news outlets like CNN, the Wall Street Journal and the New York Times. Mashable. Guy Kawasaki. Robert Scoble. Of course there are many reasons these people are influential, but a very basic reason is that they are creating original content somewhere other than Twitter. They are most often using Twitter as a super-news-feed, and as a way to drive people back to their blog, web site, etc. (Scoble is an exception. He converses everywhere.)
There are a lot of wonderful reasons to have a Twitter account (mostly to promote your blog), but I think the main relevant point is that I can’t think of anyone that is taken seriously only because they have a Twitter account. Twitter is used to promote something else, and it can’t really stand on it’s own.
I have a client that wants the transition the role to full time. I’m starting another gig, so I can’t do it. I’m recruiting for the role, so…
A well-funded startup with founders that have multiple successes behind them (good, as opposed to lucky). They seem like really good people, and the track record of the leadership is solid. Like huge startup solid, five times over, with cash in the bank.
Information Architect with some design experience so when the contract designer is done, the IA can carry through creating of buttons, some graphics, etc. Must know personas, wireframes, site maps, A/B testing, usability testing, but doesn’t have to be overly formal about it. It’s an agile environment, so the IA should have experience working in one. I would like to see people with at least 5 years experience, because the manager doesn’t have time to baby sit. The person must be a self starter. Consumer-facing site design experience required. Social Media (Facebook Connect) experience a huge plus. Willing to wash my car in exchange for the position, another plus.
Send resume, portfolio, some indication of design experience and salary expectations to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Shape your user experience career. Read this before asking for career advice.
If you live in Seattle or Vancouver, we can set something up. Set up a time.