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This post was written by Paul Spencer

About Paul Spencer

Paul is obsessed with UI and enamoured by the evolution of front end development. If left unattended, he'll beautiful mind that code all over your windows. In his spare time, Paul can be found performing in musicals, folding origami dinosaurs, drawing comic books or singing karaoke.

Bringing a product homepage to life

12 Sep 2016

animating-a-waaffle

If you missed it, a few months ago we at Humaan released a social aggregation platform called Waaffle.

The marketing site features an animation sequence which is bound to the natural scrolling of the page. Because this animation received an overwhelmingly positive response we thought we’d break down a portion of this sequence and explain how it was accomplished. Unfortunately we can’t break down the entire sequence as that would make for an exceptionally long blog post and nobody wants that (tldr).

For this tutorial we’ll create a stripped back, simplified version of the office scene which appears in the bottom portion of the Waaffle homepage.

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Once upon a pirate

26 Nov 2015

pirate

There were many breakthrough moments that transitioned me to the Humaan I am today and I widely credit those wins to a skill-set I acquired from an unlikely source. It wasn’t a web conference I attended or internal review, it was theatre. I want to tell you the story of how I first discovered theatre, what I learnt from the experience and how it has affected my career in web.

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Humaans and the Web #6 – On the 8th day…

05 Jun 2014

The day is finally here. You and your team have slaved over the latest website for months and your boss is nodding smugly as the QA gives the all clear. Everyone’s high fiving and the champagne cork is about to fly across the room to hit Greg in HR, but wait! Is that really the end?

The methodology in delivering an effective product that will meet the client’s objectives is the primary goal when building a web site, but often there’s no consideration to the above-and-beyond finishing touches that will set your work apart from others. Have you done anything unexpected of you to go the extra mile?

When we experience something that is unexpected or unanticipated, the reaction evoked is a sense of wonder, astonishment or amazement. Are there any small surprises built into the user experience while the user is navigating your project? Surprises not only satisfy the user, but also capture attention, keeping them on task. Surprises can be anything from ‘easter eggs’, pockets of text with personality and flair or maybe even a compliment.

Surprises and finishing touches are often referred to as ‘delighters’. Delighters are small satisfying points of difference that form a favourable and memorable impression on the user. We respond well to small, unexpected and playful pleasures, so before your project wraps take a few moments to think of what delighters are included.

Only then should you unwrap that gold foil and uncork. Look out Greg!

Humaans and the Web #5 – Once upon a time…

02 Aug 2013

Once upon a time

Telling stories is inherently human; they are entrenched into our culture and history. More importantly though, we relate to stories.

It can sometimes be a struggle to recall and explain factual information from memory. However, it’s a lot easier to communicate something if the elements include a narrative, a voice, compelling characters and perhaps a sense of conflict that all lead to a clear message. Our brain retains more information when our senses are stimulated.

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Humaans and the web #3 – The power of Persuasion

19 Apr 2013

Power of Persuasion

The decisions made when approaching the design of a project have a tremendous effect on the way users interact with the content and where they are likely to navigate.

Less is more.

Users are more likely to make a decision when there are fewer options, particularly when your intention is to encourage an action (eg Sign Up, Buy now or Contact Us). When designing a website, a structure based around a hierarchy of clearly defined goals will help determine priorities. Use these priorities to develop your content and define clear pathways for users to navigate and understand the intended goal.

People enjoy the process of discovery.

Using design to provide glimpses of information will imbue a curiosity within the user, encouraging them to further explore the content. Limiting the amount of information that is readily available aids in data retention and understanding, increasing the potency of the content.

Effective content, design and user experience often follow the ‘goldilocks principle’; not too much, or too little, but just the right amount. The aim should be to create the most efficient, accurate depiction of your intended goals and information, allowing your audience to explore and make simple decisions based on clearly defined options.

Humaans and the web #2 – Aesthetic-Usability Effect

05 Feb 2013

With great design, comes great usability. Aesthetically pleasing designs are easier to use, at least that that’s the way we perceive it. Aesthetic-usability Effect describes a phenomenon where people perceive quality design with a greater sense of usability than a counterpart with lesser aesthetics.

Strong aesthetics and great design is an aspiration we should all strive towards on the web. Good design promotes usability and encourages the user to be immersed in the overall experience of the website, app or interface, and affords a greater threshold for misgivings.

Humaans and the web #1 – Cognition

02 Nov 2012

Cognition

We dont want to think more than we have to. Navigating and understanding a website should be simple – the more choices, the harder we make the user work. The responsibility for meeting a users needs and wants rests purely with the structure of information.

By flooding the architecture of your page with content, you are overwhelming the senses. Digesting the material becomes difficult for the user and therefore you deliver a counterintuitive experience. Information should be restricted at first glance, yet provide clear paths for the user to explore content if they are interested in doing so. Research what your targeted demographic is seeking and optimise your content using a priority hierarchy.

Simplicity and efficiency are qualities that should be cultivated to provide great user experience.

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