Little things that matter in designing software

We are putting the final wraps on Brightpod — our new collaboration app for marketing professionals. I am extremely picky over little things. These might look trivial but go a long way in building what is called a “positive user experience”.

  • Are the images and text in the header aligned?
  • Text and radio buttons that are next to each other need to be aligned vertically.
  • Every heading, sub-heading, instruction text and plain text need to be formatted correctly on every page of the app.
  • Wordings of error and success messages
  • Are the colour of the buttons ok?
  • If a sentence has a lot of text then how does it look when the text is wrapped?
  • Can we minimise the number of links in the header?
  • What is the minimum links required in the footer?
  • How can we make the instruction text simple yet effective?

I then go through every page of the app (and imagine that I am a new user) and notice how I feel. If something doesn’t feel right I revisit it and see if it can be made better. For example, we have a page where we list all Pods (pods is a lingo we use for projects) and then there are “Archive” buttons next to each Pod. Clicking on this button opens up an alert box which just asks me if I want to archive the pod. Quite useless. A better way would be to tell the user what an archived pod means and if there was a way to un-archive the pod. The addition of these few lines go a long way in making the user feel comfortable about performing certain actions within the software.

This weekend I will be taking up the new website and making sure it is simple and easy to understand for new visitors.