Alternative Keyboards for iOS

Around the office, we’ve been experimenting with alternative keyboards inside iOS (something Android users have been able to do for years). Our current favorite? The just-released Gboard, which makes it easy to type by “swiping,” and also allows you to directly access Google Search from any text entry field. For all of those who are as reliant on Google as we are, the tool makes multitasking much easier and eliminates the need to jump back and forth between applications.

We also rely on animated GIFs for self-expression (sometimes exclusively), which makes the Giphy keyboard, Giphy Keys, an interesting tool as well.

Simpsons GIF Re Technology

We think these custom keyboards are interesting tools and distribution channels for a few key players like search engines and media companies. But does your service need to create one? Probably not.

Make Sure that Your Application Meets Accessibility Guidelines

There are 60 million people with disabilities in the United States, so making sure they can all use your website easily isn’t just the right thing to do – it’s also good business.

Virtually all businesses can be sued if their website or application does not comply with the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA).

How well does your site do? Try this validator to find out some basics.

For a good overview of guidelines and resources, see this brief presentation that one of our team members recently put together here.

As a basis, just remember the simple acronym “POUR“:

Perceivable

  • Provide text  alternatives for images, form elements
  • User good color contrast to make it easier for users to see content
  • Avoid nose, movement, and distractions on pages

Operable

  • All functionality should be accessible via keyboard (tabbing, opening links without the mouse, etc.)
  • Provide ways to help users navigate, find content, and determine where they are in the system / application

Understandable

  • Use economical and plain use of language
  • Make pages operate in predictable ways
  • Help users avoid and correct mistakes

Robust

  • Ensure that your application is functional across various technologies
  • Verify that syntax is correct – syntax errors may not affect visual presentation but may hamper assistive technology and accessibility valuation tools

1-800-PetMeds Launches Redesigned Website

Congratulations to our client, 1-800-PetMeds, who recently launched their redesigned website 1800PetMeds.com!

Early last year, the company asked Iteration Group to completely redesign and modernize their current e-commerce website (for desktop and mobile). The site is a leading online retailer of pet-related products and is responsible for the vast majority of the company’s revenue.  The project was led by Iteration Group UX Strategy expert, Jaime Levy, who carefully laid out and tested the new designs with the aim of improving important performance metrics.

1-800-PetMeds Director of Marketing, Alex Irvin stated that “The fresh, functional new responsive design was developed with ease-of-use for the customer as our top priority. […] Our customers will find great improvement in our navigation and check-out process, as well as a fresh presentation of all of our educational articles. ”

You can read the full press release here.

Know What Users are Thinking and Doing on Your Site or App

Many of you are familiar with UserTesting.com – a service that takes the pain out of recruiting users and allows you to see how users interact with your site or application.

At Iteration Group, we think UserTesting.com can be useful if you do a lot of homework upfront. Specifically, you need to understand precisely what you want to learn, set recruiting criteria very closely, and take qualitative opinions with a BIG grain of salt.

Working with UserTesting.com can be great for quick feedback, but it’s no substitute for thoughtful, in-depth, contextual inquiry sessions run by trained UX researchers.

For those who do need quick, general feedback, though, we recommend checking out Peek, a new service from UserTesting, that’s free.

Just type in the URL or application that you would like to get tested, and within 24 hours you will receive a short 2 to 5 minute video of someone using your site or app.

Clareity Security Releases New SSO Dashboard that has Customers Raving

Congratulations to our client, Clareity Security, who recently launched their new Single Sign-On Dashboard! Version 3.0 was released in October, and the feedback has been very positive with users raving that the new design is sleek, modern, mobile responsive and easy to navigate.

In their press release, Clareity states that:

With Iteration Group’s design expertise and Clareity’s knowledge of the real estate industry, the two teams collaborated to create the “dream dashboard” for agents, brokers and other real estate professionals.