Mike Propst User Experience

Mike's Blog

User Experience, Front End, Home Studios, Dad Stuff. Slightly less pink than it was.

July 5

Stealing your way to original design with Dan Mall

Mall is a capable, arguably influential designer and writer on the web. It's always cool to see how the sausage is made, but even cooler to see that a person with his credentials has a framework for creative "theft" as a basis for starting new designs.

When you're experienced, you start to internalize these kinds of layout patterns. But while recently working on a website, I realized I hadn't designed one in a very long time and was pretty unfamiliar with the nuts and bolts of a site these days. This would've been a great way to get rolling, and I might try it for the next iteration.

June 28

Inline validation considered harmful

Just kidding, this article didn't really use that word. And rather than an alarmist view, this is a fairly measured take. However, most of the arguments are actually against realtime (onblur) validation, not inline validation.

I spent two years dealing with some serious problems that were born entirely out of the fact that an application used realtime+inline validation. And that was primarily in a series of wizard-like dialogs, which really didn't make any sense (the pattern of "disable the continue button until validation is cleared" would've worked well).

Our problems included:

  • forms that didn't require a certain order to filling them out, but validation that did
  • false positives triggered by mouse actions that left users in an unresolvable state if they clicked "wrong"
  • field groups often in a false-positive state (point #4 in the article)

This isn't the same as saying that per-field validation is wrong, and I still strongly believe in that, but this article has a lot of solid points.

June 11

Type on the web

Some great fundamentals here. Other than the wide trend toward cranking the size that's been going on for a few years, really solid type work on the web is only recently coming into its own. It's kind of like when Khoi Vinh popularized grids a few years back; it made me wonder how many folks in this business have even studied design. I think it's great when people with more formal knowledge spread it to the web.

When it comes to type though, it's only been recently that we've been able to have a real level of control over it.

March 13

It's grid time!

Firefox and Chrome have now officially launched support for CSS grid. Months of saving Rachel Andrew talks in your Pocket account and saying "I'll get to that soon, it won't be ready for a couple years anyway" have finally paid off!

I'm kind of stoked to get into it. Here's a CSS-Tricks primer.