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Really Good UX – A look inside your favorite products (reallygoodux.io)
154 points by mattleblank on Nov 13, 2017 | hide | past | web | favorite | 35 comments

Okay, this one has to be really good UX. The floating bar at the bottom that covered text “one mail each...” (before I could read it) contains a number 617 and few social buttons. Linkedin, that is blocked in my country, fb/tw/g+ that I don’t have, and buffer that I’m unaware of. The same for 617. After first stripe scrolled, there is ugly site name floating at the top that I can see in my phone’s browser titlebar anyway. Two floating bars, nice. Menu(?) stripe seems to have an inconsistency at “modal windows” item. Oh, and css is broken between email input and stay inspired button.

I don’t want to read or tap anywhere on this site or stay inspired, but I suspect how much time was spent to make it at least what it is (leading web-based project right now). I think it is not good UX, nor a good platform to do it.

My often used products are google and youtube, among others. Google can’t remember my password when I’m switching accounts, i.e. my browser places wrong remembered password into account switching form, because the domain is not changing. This ruins the entire fast switching, and my browser made it really faster than google, but now there is no way to do it, because login is integrated with fast-switch and asks for login and password in separate screens. Separate ... screens.

Youtube remembers the last button I pressed and leaves it focused. So, when I’m clicking “next” in a playlist, two things happen: 1) I can’t control the volume and time position with keys anymore, 2) pressing space does not pause the video, it only shows focused “next” control. I don’t know what it does pressed twice, but if it activates “next” again, then it is a double fail. Hey, but you knew it was focused, can you ask. Yes, but not so after watching content for half a hour. It is a surprise every time. Every ... time.

There was no desktop product such shitty, except for builtin IE and WMP, and even those were better imo. Because no product could survive such inconveniences, stupid design and the absense of real end-user usability testing like today’s. Now that web has an ability to lock-in user via content, not through good design, design went to the secondary plane and goes deeper and deeper. And if you’ll try to make a good youtube viewer with human design, UX and all, they’ll sue you to death.

Modern UX (web UX really) is a pile of trash. There may be something you can learn from, but not much to do.


FWIW, Firefox seems to be able to handle the "password in separate screen" idiocy, the password manager still lets you choose the account despite the domain not changing.

The YouTube Android app is a piece of work as well. Honestly, the UI is soooooo bad, and in soooooo many different ways, it's difficult to ascribe it to incompetence. I wouldn't think twice about paying $25 for a good youtube app, likely even more.

>Separate ... screens.

I can almost see the "let that sink in" expression on your face. Wholly agree with the rant. Might as call it the "Modern Design Manifesto".

Okay so I will be a bit cranky here but you can't just tear a product to bits and pieces when it concerns UX.

On the site there was an example of Google Hangouts, I was curious because this product has one of the worst UX as far as messaging services go.

Their first point is praising:

> ‍The first welcome message makes it very clear that users are in the right place: Hangouts. This can help orientate users, especially since Google has so many integrated products with similar-looking branding.

Well... nope, this first card is lying actually. When you open the hangouts page and click on Video Call, you will be catapulted to Meet with no way of actually calling anybody.

Second point:

> ‍The modal series provides a broad overview of the best features. The copy is short, and each window is image-heavy.

The copy is short but the images have absolutely no link to the content.

So my question would be, who writes these posts?

Google Hangouts has one of the worst UX of any app I have used. I have used it weekly for a while now and I still amn't sure how to use it properly.

Yep. I randomly clicked on the Slack in-app upsells link [1].

The pros they list are just spun positive; you can just as easily reword them to be negative.

>Slack shows users the first upsell message once they reach the searchable 10K message limit. Any user who reaches this point has definitely experienced the product's value.

Users aren't told there's a message limit until they reach the 10K searchable message limit, surprising them with a required upgrade that loses their old logs unless they fork over some cash.

>Slack integrates similar upsell prompts throughout the app when users take relevant actions like searching through their history or reviewing a conversation.

Users are constantly bombarded with calls to upgrade all around the app, reminding them of their choice of subpar experience.

>An upsell message appears also in the user settings with a neat chart that visualizes current usage on the free plan.

Can't argue with this one. Pretty charts make everything better, although the chart isn't super clear what it even portrays.

[1] https://www.reallygoodux.io/blog/slacks-integrated-upsell-pr...

Ah Google Hangouts... Doesn't work in Firefox, since they only was told about changes to the extension API about a year before the change was made. No logout button so have to go to google.com to logout after using it. Opening Hangouts with an account with no access to Hangouts (test-account) and you get an error page with option to use another account, but no place to logout...

I have an account that used to admin Google Apps. If that account is available as a choice to log in -- doesn't matter if it's logged in or not, only has to be on the account select -- then none of my accounts can log in to Hangouts. Seems it's trying to redirect me to enable my Google Apps account again, then complains that only an administrator can perform that action.

On the surface though, yeah, if you take some screenshots it looks like really good UI. The follow through is generally garbage though. I think it's fair to put it on the site.

Hah! Can we can lump all of these into a new "Business Experience" category? None of the examples I looked at are good user experiences, they're just good ways of making more money off of users. Every design that takes more money from you is a negative UX. Causing the user headache or inconvenience in the hopes that they'll become a little less wealthy after the interaction and calling it UX is fucking ridiculous. This is UX in the same way a carrot and stick is to a donkey. And of course this site has a spam list^W^Wnewsletter, fucking marketroids.

Not really sure who in their right mind considers "upsell prompts" part of a great user experience.

So I randomly clicked on this:


None of the points why this is __really good UX__ are valid in my opinion.

The practice of providing alternatives when unsubscribing is quite common today. I get why it's there but it keeps me from achieving my goal.

Furthermore if I have to go through a two page survey to achieve my goal, then no, that is not a good user experience. Doesn't matter if you get potential valuable feedback out of this.

And finally the button "I've changed my mind" is also pretty common.

So all in all nothing special here. If that's the quality I can expect from the newsletter then I can't say I would find this valuable.

I clicked too, and the site's introduction is pretty telling, in my opinion:

HelloFresh's cancellation flow helps them mitigate churn and capture valuable feedback to improve their product experience for the future.

That sounds very much like it takes the business' side, and not the user. "Mitigating churn" sounds like business speak for "making users stay since quitting is hard". Very annoying.

I thought nobody but the actual user could have UX, talking about user experiences based on the large-scale effects they have on your site/business is ... cynical, at least to me. Bluergh.

I'm having trouble taking what they say seriously.

I was the tech lead of a project that appeared on this site. Since it launched (and after hiring an actual UX researcher!) we've identified some serious UX antipatterns and places we could improve. And yet this site lauds us for them :(

I similarly agree for the Pinterst's 'value driven' onboarding flow [0]. All the points are very bland and generic (and not great UX in my opinion), almost as if they've been auto-generated:

> * Pinterest drives users to its core value quickly by having users select the categories that interest them most.

> * By incorporating their browser button in the onboarding flow, Pinterest makes sure users get value from the app even when not directly logged into the social platform's website.

> * When users click to skip the addition of the browser step, a modal explains the value users will be missing out on without it.

I guess there's some value in 'relatively well known websites UX'. So you can compare what you're doing to other websites.

[0]: https://www.reallygoodux.io/blog/pinterests-value-driven-onb...

This site doesn't seem terribly useful -- looks like they're mostly looking for shiny things; pretty buttons, nice on-boarding flows, fancy modals etc.

What I would like is a nice in-depth analysis of the UX in highly complex applications -- does anybody know of a book or site that de-constructs web apps (and/or mobile apps) that aim to replace desktop software? Thinking about document management, hierarchical and context-aware menus, best-practices for editing stuff on a canvas (including alternatives for right-click menus).

Too often we just replicate what we would have done on a desktop, in the constraints of HTML, but usually that leads to poor UX (or at least sub-optimal).

Any suggestions appreciated...

--- After-thought: Does the 4th Edition of About Face go in to any of this? Back in the early 00's, v2 of that book was an enlightening read, but I haven't picked up the newer versions.

Ironically, this seems like a good example of someone not knowing the difference between UI and UX.

To recapitulate:

UI: User Interface. The design and aesthetics of the interactive and informative parts of an application.

UX: User experience. The ways in which the UI enables users to navigate and use the application with ease, understanding and minimal effort.

Many of the products (which others have mentioned) have a lovely UI, but the UX leaves a lot to be desired. For example Google Hangouts might __look__ pretty but that's no use if it's making it harder to locate the relevant actions.

My rule of thumb is this: If the average Joe would have more luck finding their way around if it was just a HTML list of links to the right activity, then your UX is crap.

> My rule of thumb is this: If the average Joe would have more luck finding their way around if it was just a HTML list of links to the right activity, then your UX is crap.

These are the objective metrics that designers should rely on. A UI needs to be simplest and most obvious. It should draw from what Joe already knows. So if your UI is less simple or less obvious than a clear design option such as the above, you're doing it wrong.

But the distinction between UI and UX is a hard one. It's muddled, and different parties have different stakes in the meaning itself (their jobs depend on it), so they need to be left alone. You just need to predicate your definition with "the definition I go by".

The definition I go by is this:

UI: The interface. This can be observed and designed without the user, and just by looking at the app and applying best practices from expertise on UI.

UX: The experience. This can only be observed and designed with the user, and them using the app. This will include feedback on the UI, but also on the product/service, on performance of the app/site, and on the user themselves.

UI's that have been designed without any user feedback are often the technical, developer-centric interfaces. They may simulate the user, but they prioritize what they believe is right, as a developer. Worst case, the developer goes with their gut on aesthetics as well.

UI's that have been designed only with user feedback tend to become generic, arbitrary, and often user-unfriendly. The unfriendliness stems from the designers adamant on the data. They insist on user behavior that fits their models. The problem with this is that no user exactly matches any statistic. So you've tailored the entire product to someone who does not exist.

The solution is in communication. The app/site needs to communicate exactly what it is you're offering. And the user needs to be able to communicate exactly what it is they want. Users should be able to tailor their experience. By this, we don't mean UI, but UX, and this is often where many apps go wrong. And this conversation about the experience is exactly what you want. At the end of the day, you are there to serve the user, and by user, we mean their experience.

the difference between UI and UX.

This sort of criticism is neither helpful nor accurate. UI has always been about more than just cosmetic details. We've been talking about usability, accessibility, information architecture and so on for almost as long as we've been making UIs. Certainly that means several decades before someone in need of a new buzzword for their blog/presentation/resume first coined the term "user experience".

> We've been talking about usability, accessibility, information architecture and so on for almost as long as we've been making UIs.

All of the above is UX, and should be integral part of design. Too often it isn't.

> Certainly that means several decades before someone in need of a new buzzword for their blog/presentation/resume first coined the term "user experience".

--- start quote ---

Early developments in User Experience can be traced back to the machine age that includes the 19th and early 20th centuries.

The term user experience was brought to wider knowledge by Donald Norman in the mid-1990s. He never intended the term "user experience" to be applied only to the affective aspects of usage. A review of his earlier work suggests that the term "user experience" was used to signal a shift to include affective factors, along with the pre-requisite behavioral concerns, which had been traditionally considered in the field. Many usability practitioners continue to research and attend to affective factors associated with end-users, and have been doing so for years, long before the term "user experience" was introduced in the mid-1990s.

--- end quote ---

What's that shiny new buzzword you are talking about?

What's that shiny new buzzword you are talking about?

Just to be clear, it's not the term "user experience" itself that I object to, so much as people making artificial distinctions between UI and UX. Using UX instead of UI to try to sound more qualified or authoritative most certainly does qualify as a buzzword, and it most certainly is a relatively recent and IMNSHO undesirable trend. I have never seen an expert of the standing of Don Norman claiming that UI is limited to no more than design or aesthetics, as the comment I replied to claimed.

To me this site seems like it was slapped together at minimum cost pull eyeballs and place ads.

This would be a cool idea if it was executed with passion and expertise.

Agreed. Less thorough and more informal, but you might like http://littlebigdetails.com/

Really good UX is when i can still use a website even after activating all bad content filters with firefox Klar. This site ain‘t one of those...

How much JS and whatever shit in background-loading do they need to tell me whats good UX???

For those wondering, Firefox Klar is the name of Firefox Focus in German speaking countries.

Thanks, i wasn’t aware of the name being different in different markets ( which somehow sounds reasonable and then again makes international communication complicated)

And on FDroid

So, 90% of those seem to be about making it easier for the web site to sell me stuff. Didn't we talk about how the Mac menu has invisible triangles for submenus, or pie menus or stuff like that instead of sales workflows?

A good UX would be one where the UI is invisible. So the bullet points would and should be about the elements that don't exist -- that are invisible. This makes "Really Good UX" an oxymoron of sorts, because the focus is on what doesn't exist.

Seems most of these are "Really Good Ways To X" where X is capture emails, retain those who want to leave, gather information at the expense of user attention, etc.

This, by definition, is bad UX, but good product design.

This dilemma is unavoidable. But it still should be made clear. Maybe not to users, but between designers.

For a site that claims to laud "really good UX", their own UX leaves a bit to be desired. If you go into a category page, there's no navbar or breadcrumb that can help the user identify where they are in the site hierarchy.

Poe's law in action.

It's amazing: it is almost impossible to tell whether this is satire. I almost thought https://www.reallygoodux.io/about clinched it, because the "Submit" button had scrollbars in Chrome, but, alas, Firefox renders it without them.

In the final analysis, I find it hard to believe appcues.com would do such subtle satire.

I like the idea, but the content is difficult to read. The photos are really small and I can't see the elements being described.

LOL this website should be featured on datkpatterns.org

> A look inside your favorite products

…which have been selected for you.

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