24ways #3 - Subliminal User Experience
The latest post on 24ways is all about subliminal user experience - that is, subtle things in your site that can make the user fully aware of the polish that went into the site. In it, Chris Sealey discusses three topics:
- progress activity and post-active states
- pseudo-class preloading
- buttons and their (mis)behaviour
The first topic is about making it clear to a user that an activity is taking place: have no fear, end user, you really did successfully hit that link - now chill out and wait for it. He just adds a spinner and a state change to buttons when they've been pressed, but it provides a calming effect that leaves no room for ambiguity, and it just feels better.
Next, Sealey discusses using basic css to preload any content that may be conditionally shown later, so that the user doesn't have to deal with a seemingly-briefly-unresponsive design while their browser fetches a few tens of Ks in the background.
He also covers making a button non-draggable, but for me this didn't work in either Firefox or Chrome.
Anyway, the article's fantastic and I wholeheartedly encourage you to check it out.