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The Smashing Book #5

We use ad-blockers as well, you know. We gotta keep those servers running though. Did you know that we publish useful books and run friendly conferences — crafted for pros like yourself? E.g. new Smashing Book 5 features smart responsive design techniques and patterns.

Author:

Founder of UX Movement, an online magazine for learning user experience design. Creator of Wireframe Patterns, a pro wireframing toolkit & Flow Patterns, a toolkit for making visual site/user flows

Twitter: Follow Anthony T on Twitter

Why Passphrases Are More User-Friendly Than Passwords

A user’s account on a website is like a house. The password is the key, and logging in is like walking through the front door. When a user can’t remember their password, it’s like losing their keys. When a user’s account is hacked, it’s like their house is getting broken into.

Why Passphrases Are More User-Friendly Than Passwords

Nearly half of Americans (47%) have had their account hacked in the last year alone. Are web designers and developers taking enough measures to prevent these problems? Or do we need to rethink passwords?

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Better Password Masking For Sign-Up Forms

Editor's Note: This article expresses the author's personal opinion and covers experimental UX techniques which aren't considered to be best practice.

Masking passwords is an old practice that’s commonly implemented in sign-up and log-in forms. It’s used to prevent over-the-shoulder snoopers from catching the user’s password. While masking passwords is a good security practice, there’s a chance it could jeopardize the user experience of your sign-up form. When users sign up on a website, they expect a no-hassle, worry-free form to fill out. But masking the password could prevent that.

Better Password Masking For Sign-Up Forms

Log-in forms are used more often than sign-up forms. Users only need to sign up once to create an account, whereas they will need to log in multiple times to access their account. Because log-in forms are used so frequently, there’s a strong chance that users will end up typing their password in front of other people.

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Why Your Links Should Never Say “Click Here”

Have you ever wanted your users to click a link but didn’t know how to get them to act? When some designers run into this problem, they’re tempted to use the words “Click here” on their links.

Why Your Links Should Never Say 'Click Here'

Before giving in to the temptation, you should know how using these words on a link can affect how users experience your interface. Not to mention that having proper link titles is a major accessibility requirement since the term ‘click’ is irrelevant to many assistive technologies and isn’t descriptive enough for screen readers.

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Finger-Friendly Design: Ideal Mobile Touchscreen Target Sizes

In darts, hitting the bulls-eye is harder to do than hitting any other part of the dartboard. This is because the bullseye is the smallest target. This same principle can also apply to touch targets on mobile devices. Smaller touch targets are harder for users to hit than larger ones.

Finger-Friendly Design: Ideal Mobile Touch Target Sizes

When you’re designing mobile interfaces, it’s best to make your targets big so that they’re easy for users to tap. But exactly how big should you make them to give the best ease of use to the majority of your users? Many mobile developers have wondered this, and most have turned to the user interface guidelines provided by the platform developer for the answer.

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Innovative Techniques To Simplify Sign-Ups And Log-Ins

There are many ways to design sign-up and log-in forms. Most designers are familiar with the conventional ways. But understanding and applying a few innovative techniques could make your forms simpler and more efficient to fill out. In this article, we'd like to present a couple of new ideas that might be useful for your next designs. Please notice that before using these techniques, you should make sure that they make sense in the context in which you are going to use them. We'd love to hear about your case-studies and usability tests that affirm or dismiss the suggestions proposed below.

Innovative Techniques To Simplify Sign-Ups and Log-Ins

The purpose of every sign-up form is for users to complete it successfully and send it in. However, if the form is long and complicated, then the user’s excitement for your website could turn to displeasure. Here are a few innovative techniques that will make your forms faster and easier to fill out.

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