Jimmy Breck-McKye

Developing opinions

Styling form elements

Form elements are notoriously difficult to style. Even apparently simple tasks like horizontally aligning different types of input can prove a headache for experienced developers. Only by understanding how form elements are laid out can we master them.

Time for a change

The story of my time as a User Experience designer, and why I turned my back on design in favour of development.

I'm no longer a UX designer

After twelve months of radio silence I’m resuming the blog under a new design – and, more importantly, a new focus on development rather than UX.

Human Vision for UI Designers

This post was rescued from my old UX blog

With rare exception, the interfaces we design rely on graphical output. They use text, colour, layout and motion to communicate messages and respond to user activity. Working with a primarily visual medium, then, it’s vital that we understand the capacities and limitations of human vision.

Character count design: some guidelines

This post was rescued from my old UX blog

Character limits are ubiquitous on the web, not least in applications that rely on user-generated content. Yet for something so common, character limits are often poorly implemented. Thankfully, by following six simple guidelines about designing length-limited fields and displaying character counters, you can make writing character-restricted text and smooth and painless as possible.

Designing in-context editors

This post was rescued from my old UX blog

In-context (or ‘in-place’) editors allow users to edit content in the same page or space that they view it, rather than using a separate form or administration area. They establish a strong relationship between content and the tools used to manage it, which makes those tools extremely discoverable, and gives users confidence about the consequences of their activity. However, in-place editors can also pose certain design challenges. I take a look at these issues and offer some ideas on how to ameliorate them.

The problem with video help

This post was rescued from my old UX blog

Video guides have become enormously popular as a help strategy. They’re attractive to new users, they’re easy to create with today’s tools and they impart a real ‘wow’ factor. But like all tools, video help has its limitations, and needs to be employed carefully – because advanced and long-term users find them tremendously frustrating.