Tallan Blog

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Category Archive for "User Experience"

JavascriptHelper–Managing JS files for ASP.NET MVC

After working several years with the Castle Monorail MVC framework, I decided to try ASP.NET MVC to see if it had caught up to Monorail. The transition seemed to go rather smoothly, but one area where I was surprised to find how clumsily it was handled, was the management of JavaScript files. Basically, if some part of a page, say a helper or partial page, needed a particular JS file, you had one of two choices.
The first option is to have the part itself would write the script tag. This allows the part to operate as a “black box” – just drop it in and it works – But it means that there will be script tags loading file scattered throughout the page, and that the part needs to know your folder structure where you keep your JavaScript files. And…

Creating a Helpful Extension Method for Visibility in XAML

In this post, I’ll show you how to create an extension method for the bool class that will simplify your .NET code in XAML-based apps (either WPF or Silverlight). In particular, this extension method addresses the fact that the Visibility property of UI controls in XAML is not a Boolean (true/false) value (as has traditionally been the case for both Windows Forms and ASP.NET). Instead, it’s one of three possible enumerated constant values: Hidden, Collapsed, and Visible.
Visible obviously means “visible,” while both Hidden and Collapsed mean “invisible.” The difference between Hidden and Collapsed is merely whether or not the invisible control occupies blank space on the screen that it would occupy if it were visible. Collapsed consumes no space, while Hidden does.
It’s nice to have the three options, but in most cases you’ll find that you just need the two…

UX Enhancements to Existing Products

Recently, I rolled off a client project where we implemented an e-commerce platform with lots of customization to meet client needs. This brought to light the delicate balance between using the platform’s existing features and customizing the user experience to more effectively accommodate your users. You want to think that every out-of-the-box solution is going to provide an optimal user experience, but we all know that’s just not the case. Every project needs tweaking.
Updating the Existing Front-End
Styles
There are some solutions and platforms that you can tell were built by developers with good coding skills but the UX is not ideal; that’s not their baileywick. The clues are in the existing CSS files. Maybe they are using points to define font-size for an online experience and setting your background-color property as “lightyellow” in your default CSS file; yup, you need some degree of damage control when…

The Use of Color in User Interfaces

This article focuses on one aspect of the recommendations I made for a client, which saw its way into the final Design Recommendations document I left with them at the end: how the use or misuse of color affects user interfaces.

HTML5 Live in NYC

On Tuesday, November 9th, Krish Mandal, Eric Fitchett, Paul Hurlock and I attended an event in New York called HTML5 Live. My intentions going into this were to get a better understanding of HTML5, where it is now, and where it’s going.
I actually got more out of the conference than I had anticipated. I was pleasantly surprised with some of the tools that were demonstrated, and some of the HTML5 features that were shown, particularly native validation and the enhancements to Adobe’s Creative Suite. As I expected, the general sentiment was that HTML5 is going to be big, but it is only practical to develop it right now in a controlled browsing environment. Progressive enhancement is certainly possible, but with all the uncertainty around video and audio codecs, and how other native features will be handled in a standardized way…

Agile User Experience Design

Integrating Agile methodology and User Experience Design has long been a challenge. This diagram shows how the two can work in harmony with each other to produce profitable products that meet the demands of stakeholders.

The UX Process

This diagram shows the stages and deliverables of the User Experience Design process.

Transform System.Drawing.ContentAlignment property to System.Drawing. StringFormat Alignment property

Recently we had the need to transform System.Drawing.ContentAlignment property to System.Drawing. Stringformat alignment property for creating a Graphic object with text drawn on it inside a given rectangle.  Assuming that you want the text printed from left to right, you can use the ContentAlignment Enum values to obtain the desired StringAlignment Enum value.  For example:

1: public StringFormat TransformProperty(ContentAlignment alignment)

2: {

3: StringFormat myStringFromat = new StringFormat();

4: switch(alignment)

5: {

6: …

Designing an eCommerce Workflow: Gathering Requirements

It seems today that most people look to out of the box solutions when considering augmenting their sites with eCommerce features. Maybe it is because there are a lot of small businesses who just want to get started with eCommerce and a template site or open source solution is really the best way to go for them. This articles is intended for those whose responsibility is to service the smaller portion of companies where eCommerce revenue accounts for a large part (if not all) of their revenue to the tune of millions of dollars. To these companies it is necessary to have a finely tuned, customized and heavily integrated eCommerce solution, and sustain a high enough volume of business to benefit greatly by investing in more complex eCommerce features. In this case, the teams in charge of designing the intricacies…

Create an Animated Shine Effect with jQuery Part 1

jQuery is an amazing javascript framework that equips you with the tools to create beautiful effects extremely easily. While designing an add to cart notification for an online store I knew I needed to create something that caught the user’s eye to let him/her know that their product had been successfully added to their cart. I drew inspiration from the “slide to unlock” animation found on the iPhone and ended up with the following.

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