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ux accordion best practices

Creating a more humane world for users by teaching others how to practice UX the right way through principled design techniques. This example behaves similarly to the Codrops tutorial except all the animations are handled through jQuery. Sometimes a website’s entire navigation menu is built on this accordion effect. Take for example the homepage of Toko which uses a dynamic portfolio listing. 1. That said, Microsoft has now gone for an even stranger choice of chevrons pointing up or down for open and close in their OneDrive site for navigating a file hierarchy. 2. Best Practices for Accordion Menu in Web Design. Each image is given some caption text which animates into view. Despite widespread 4G data availability, mobile networks are still generally slower than wifi or broadband services. One of the most common interfaces you’ll experience is the sliding menu effect. New UX Design for Apple’s iPad Keyboard [Adobe Lightroom] February 2020 Usability Updates . Translation for B2B websites: Always tell your buyers where they are when navigating your site. But where you place your icon and what icon you use can affect user task time and expectations. These could be sub-headings or even multiple levels – the point is to organize content in a way that makes navigation simpler than endless scrolling. This confusion leads to accordion menus that are hard to use. Th… We … That’s why employing UX best practices for user retention is essential. I certainly do not want my accordion menus to signal the ability to add new objects (When it’s not possible, and does not make sense even if we implemented it that way). Great article – I think that some of this however does depend on a lot of outside factors that influence the research study. I am personally more convinced with arrow / chevron as mnemonic for dropdown as opposed to (+) which is commonly found more in forms to add more fields or more items. Also the caption text is a bit larger and seems more smooth. Given its benefits, it can be tempting to use accordions whenever possible, but this can often do more harm than good. All rights reserved. At the core of UX is ensuring that users find value in what you are providing to them. Usable: Site must be easy to use 3. Users shouldn’t feel like they are losing menu options when they collapse the menu. This confusion leads to accordion menus that are hard to use. A research study found that user task time increased when the icon was to the right of the label. Over the past decade this number has dwindled considerably low as more people are upgrading their computers. Hi Anthony, good stuff there. Focus on Speed. So when exactly should you use accordions? When you add, you increase in amount, number, or degree. I failed as a designer at a startup – UX Collective. But since most developers are already familiar with JavaScript, I’d like to cover the more advanced techniques. But that’s no reason to ignore the concept entirely. Thanks for the insight. The “+” icon comes with too many assumptions and baggage. Each sample demonstrates the power of accordion content whether in a navigation, FAQ listing, or tabbed widget. The chevron and caret are something that people are used to. So the effect is somewhat different and offers a different user experience by comparison. Users completed their task quicker because they clicked the label instead of the icon. I should have there visually unappealing empty space instead icon? It doesn't work because it's confusing. This is usually vertical with a series of links hidden within sub-links. what should I do when my sub menus has add option ? — What Next . Which icon you choose and where you place them affects how users use accordion menus. Users often forget the data and salient points of content, but they will remember how it … It took them longer because they thought they had to click the icon to expand the menu. But this is not a mandatory feature and, in fact, most accordion menus allow every section to be open. A user experience design blog dedicated to teaching you the best practices, design techniques and principles that will make your interface intuitive and easy to use. A More Efficient Way to Display Data Tables, 3 Small Ways to Make Large Sidebar Menus Scannable, 6 Ways to Reduce Content Overload on List and Grid Layouts, Color Contrast Mistakes to Avoid on Buttons, BugHerd: Gather Website Feedback Without the Long Email Chain, A Faster Way to View Search Results with Fewer Clicks, http://www.goanywhere.com/managed-file-transfer/translation. Read the study again. I’ve added another research study that supports the plus icon over the arrow. This post should outline the important concepts and topics related to accordion interface design. Many interfaces make use of add and remove features- particularly when dealing with shopping interactions or user management. Why? In short, when all the page content is relevant to users, it is more advantageous to show all the content at once, even if doing so results in longer pages. Avoid large files to prevent long load times. Granted they both seem like a risk but CSS3 has much less browser support. Why do we need an icon at all? 113 0. I’d like to state that either one of these effects could be duplicated and pushed onto the other – it’s simply a matter of recoding the design to fit the interface. the idea of research takes out the guess work and you gain insight into what the user is doing or trying to do .. Do you have a link to the source research study? The advice to use a + rather than an arrow suggests to me a strong Windows bias. The best web.ui design strikes that impeccable balance between captivating looks and effortless interaction. The hamburger icon went into hibernation for several years, but gained popu… It shows that no icon was one of the options tested. Nowadays the biggest concerning factor would be the total number of visitors who don’t have JS-supported browsers. I agree with your comment entirely. Very interesting, but I was wondering from which “study” did you get those insights ? I hope the day comes when ‘UX’ specialist stop going on their gut feeling and actually go on user needs and requirements. You’re not the user and don’t behave the same as them. These patterns illustrate the best practices of the interactive experience. So instead of having links listed vertically, tabs are used to manage shifting content. If the accordion is higher than the page, users can't see some of its options. Jun 23, 2017 - Explore Marc Levinson's board "Accordion UX" on Pinterest. The code is free and downloadable if you want to try it out yourself. Alas, I agree with placement on the left hand side of the item. It should display in place of the plus icon after the user expands the menu. Forcing people to click on headings one at a time to display full content can be cumbersome, especially if there are many topics on the list that individuals care about. Accordion v/s Tabs — When to use what while designing kick-ass UX! It doesn’t matter whether you agree in your head or not, it matters how users behave. But if time is a factor then I highly recommend working from these code snippets to ensure greater compatibility and a much quicker development schedule. where would you place the plus? I think it is dangerous to think in terms of “most users”. hb20007. When in the frame of the page or in a window title bar, “X” is interpreted as “close” instead of “delete”. Very interesting, but isn’t it a bit conceptual? User experience (UX) plays a vital role in a company’s success. A menu that expands must also collapse. Sorry about that. However that’s not what we are talking about when referring to accordion menu. Having a beautiful UX design with amazing conversion rates demands best practices for the eCommerce UX design. Not every project should rely on accordions to best manage content. It was created by Norm Coxfor the Xerox Star, which was one of the first graphical user interfaces. Your email address will not be published. Although polka music can offer a rip-snorting good time, the term is associated with something different in the realm of web design. Findable: Content needs to be navigab… The user’s eyes have to travel a greater distance to the target. Best Practices for Accordion Menu in Web Design . The nature of an accordion would call for automatic collapsing, but it might not be the best option in terms of usability. Accordions are popular because they allow developers to force large amounts of content into tiny spaces on the page. Most people are right handed and moving the mouse to the left side to click “takes more time”…common sense usability points to the right side for icon placement. You can’t not gauge what “most users” use and what about keyboard only users, mobile users can completely switch from their dominant mouse hand. This difference is because they’re more familiar with arrow icons on buttons and links that take users to a new page. I’d like to cover a series of examples and techniques for building accordion interfaces into any website layout. If your goal is to give users the most clarity and speed, there’s only one way to design it. When the icon was to the left of the label, user task time decreased. When it's nested inside another accordion. More users interpreted the plus icon correctly than the arrow icon. Maybe more adapted to tech-savvy users. He notes that in order for there to be a meaningful and valuable user experience, information must be: 1. For retina devices, use images which are 2x the width while keeping … This choice depends largely on the website itself and how content is expected to behave. As you click on each item the list will collapse smaller for an easier view of the project. Your email address will not be published. Using animation, colors, and hierarchal relationships, you shouldn’t need to use an icon at all to express to the user how this interaction functions. A Standard for Accordion Menus. Peter Morville represents this through his User Experience Honeycomb . The purpose of an accordion menu is to manage an overabundance of content through dynamic switching. The effect is really cool and surprisingly supports click events. But before you use them, you should know the optimal way to design them for your users. User interface accordions might refer to menus, widgets, or content areas which expand like the musical instrument. Using colors and shapes, can’t you simply make the accordion look tappable/clickable and completely eliminate the issue of icon recognition across varying people and cultures? For one of the world’s most stylish audio equipment manufacturers, we aren’t surprised about the quality of the accordion design. For me it always feels like I am adding something. Breadcrumbs. With more and more companies wanting to embed UX writers in their design teams, it’s vital to understand what the role of the UX writer entails and how it … Does not slow down the same icon on the left in each line reading of the items? Other common choices are dropdown menus which appear on hover – but accordion menus don’t slide over the page since they’re built into the page. This [new] site has the plus sign on the right hand side, then to show the open state they convert the plus to a minus sign. When I see “+ Section”, that strongly suggests ‘Add a section’, not open the accordion. When the accordion displayed plus icons, users expected the menu to change. You can achieve this through the use of: 1. Unfortunately older browsers will never be backwards-compatible to support new CSS3 animation. Can we get more details about it? May be the accordion icon could be choosen by some sort of platform sniffing. You can just as easily denote navigation through colored button elements, or a specific use of those buttons for navigation only. Making the experience of the website memorable is more important than what the website says. Written by Liam Burns . I just saw this right after reading this article. The word “accordion” typically conjures a mental image of your favorite polka band. These interfaces have grown a lot more popular in recent years with the expansion of JavaScript and more prominently jQuery. It will probably take them time to learn this new behaviour (particularly if the purpose is to realize quick tasks). If people need to open the majority of subtopics to have their qu… One example of a popular design pattern is the hamburger icon. For accordions with many items, we tend to leave sections expanded, because the jumping around that occurs as a result of panels closing and opening at … It’s used as more of a decorative bullet- do you think that would be confusing for the end user- assuming they expect that when they see an arrow it will expand? What the Web UI Design Best Practices Guide Will Teach You. When they see it on an accordion menu, they expect it to behave the same way. Not only that, but it’s also located on the right where the user’s scanning direction ends. Hello there! What I like about this design is that it doesn’t rely on tabs or links or anything outside of the images themselves – so the content becomes the tabs. This is typical behavior when constructing an accordion menu because only one primary menu is open at any given time. Another example of accordion content is based on tabbed widgets. User experiences are important aspects of eCommerce websites. Perhaps because of the minimalist design, perhaps because of the grid-like structure. Plus, your buyers have a path laid out that tells them how they got there. UX stands for User Experience while UI refers to the term User Interface. Email file sizes should be below 100KB. It’s like an invisible hand guiding your users through the experience at the speed of thought. Every accordion menu needs an affordance icon to tell users what happens when they click it. Visitors would rather browse through different pages rather than sift through a long single-page design. what would you do if you had icons to the left of the text (like a meat icon) UX is the Top Brand Differentiator in 2020 . It’s the default style of hyperlinks and they work well. But my point is to demonstrate that both CSS3 and JavaScript can be used to create most of these effects. Chevron pointing to the right and chevron pointing down still makes the most sense to me. However working with collapsible accordion content makes the latter a lot more reasonable. ... How I failed Microsoft’s interview as a UX Designer, and what you can learn from it. There are too many ways to design an accordion menu. Usability Testing Accordion-Style Checkouts: 2 UX Pitfalls that 75% of Sites Neglect. But even working closely together their roles refer to different design processes. And of course there will always be those who prefer to build everything from scratch. The plus icon is the clearer affordance for menu expansion. Research study link has been added. 1. vote. Placing a chevron on the right side is more of an indicator of “next” than expand. Getting back to Codrops I found another great tutorial covering an image accordion with CSS3. Apr 19, 2016 Blog 651 0. Rest depends on the type of eCommerce websites. Reviewing & understanding the user experience (UX) of Samsung Galaxy Z Flip . I thought your article was very good. Example here: http://www.goanywhere.com/managed-file-transfer/translation Personally, I believe it is very confusing but I’m very interested in your feedback. An alternative to JavaScript is the expandable accordion UI with CSS3. The X icon represents collapsing better because it’s often used to close modal windows. You'll find tips and free source code for building your own accordion menu. Here are a handful of suggestions and commonly held best practices when dealing with the style and design of hyperlinks. If your goal is to give users the most clarity and speed, there’s only one way to design it. This is the UX Design Process Best Practices ebook, written by Jerry Cao, Ben Gremillion, Kamil Zięba, and Matt Ellis, and originally published on UXPin.com. Commentdocument.getElementById("comment").setAttribute( "id", "ad5ccc9f9b2bc4cca3c8514dbced504f" );document.getElementById("i995e0e57d").setAttribute( "id", "comment" ); Large sidebar menus can frustrate even the most advanced user. If you do, your product is sure to succeed. Required fields are marked *. The study further found that the choice of icon affected user expectations. When I read the article, I couldn’t quite agree with the plus/x icon in the shoes of a user, but thanks to your link (nice transition from plus to x by the way) I think I’m one step closer to understanding and agreeing it. The only benefit is that CSS3 doesn’t require as much code and offers a simpler method of animation. When you think of UX, you think of providing visitors with an amazing experience. Context plays a huge role in whether or not an “X” icon will be interpreted as “delete” or “close”. Jist, a clever concept to reduce overspending—a UX case study. Hyperlink Design Best Practices. Breadcrumb navigation works like a GPS, telling your buyers where they are on your website at all times. Granted I understand the premise but if each answer can be surmised in a few sentences, hiding that content isn’t going to improve the user experience. Page headers.The page header should resemble the copy of the navigation items or links. In my opinion, an accordion might present problems in some situations: When it's too high. And you can build quick accordions if you use website builders or CMS engines like WordPress. Following up on our recent tips on designing for inclusion and accessibility, in this 2-part series we’re taking a detailed look at best practices for form design.Today we’re starting with process, layout, engineering, text, and validation. I am not a big fan of accordion in mobile development, because I believe that this behaviour is a web style user experience. Their live demo includes a couple different options which utilize checkboxes vs. radio buttons. Granted these content displays also require dynamic effects for switching between page elements – so there are pros and cons to accordions. There are two common icons used for collapsing: the minus and X icon. Few lines of Js and CSS can do the trick. Next time, we’ll be diving into visual design, conversion rate optimization (CRO), how to design inclusive forms, and more! 10 Best Practices for User Experience (UX) Design in 2020. But think of the control you can offer visitors by organizing projects into larger categories and even sub-categories. There are a ton of blog UX best practices for both content writers and designers to use. When it’s easy to use, it works the way users expect. A concur that there is a much greater confusion in using the plus, which is that of adding to the current collection. This means you should have almost no concern because even mobile smartphone browsers support JavaScript. All of the above are important considerations when designing mobile apps and websites. An accordion menu is one of the niftiest user interface controls. With that in mind, we’ll take a look at a couple of essential tips for crafting the right user experience. I think we can all still relate to seeing the standard blue, underlined hyperlink. What if some item in the middle will not expand? Save my name, email, and website in this browser for the next time I comment. All of these codes have been shared on CodePen and should be reusable on any project. Lots of developers release their code for free and try to help the community with free plugins. Author and founder of UX Movement. View in action I like to think of accordions as content management tools. The accordion also needs an affordance icon to represent menu collapsing. In those spaces, a user is liable to see the + icon used in multiple ways to add users, add items to a cart, add coupon codes, etc. Here are some best practices for UX for web projects. And when you use an “X”….Am I deleting a row? Idea Theorem is Toronto based UI UX Agency. Granted you can always pick up a free plugin to rebuild something from scratch instead. Jul 1, 2015 - This post delves into the concept of accordion design for website interfaces. Design Should Concentrate on User Experience. Image sizes should be less than 1MB. Pretty cool right? The seven best practices in this article are based on my work as a senior UX designer at SolutionSet, a marketing agency with a large social business practice. When in the body of the page “X” tends to be used for “delete”. 😎 I am thinking to start a series of stories about very small, insignificant looking (but important, huge and relevant) features in design, that can make or break a kick-ass experience for the user! The user experience design process is creative and requires constant updating and fresh ideas to reflect the advances made in this dynamic field. 153 11 11 bronze badges. This finding makes sense because the plus sign is the mathematical symbol for addition. The word “accordion” typically conjures a mental image of your favorite polka band. So why not apply this mentality to your blog – where your site visitors spend their time. In a similar vein as the portfolio listing is a collapsable image gallery. Clicking the icon takes more time because it’s a smaller target than the label. Nice article. Interaction design patterns can be thought of as the summative learnings of what has worked well in the past. Here’s a free jQuery plugin for building a responsive accordion image gallery. Informing Initial UX Requirements If we were all mind readers, UX documentation wouldn’t be necessary. Use breadcrumb navigationon your site, whether that’s location-, attribution-, or path-based. This action is more aligned with what users are doing and what they expect. This is another really popular method of content management because JavaScript has made the process super easy. Deducing what design is the most comfortable for your users is not an easy task, especially when it comes to mobile devices. Arrows or chevrons can be used to denote navigation between views, but also run into fewer interactions than + and -. Businesses that invest in UX see an increase in revenue and customer loyalty. There are too many ways to design an accordion menu. Which icon you choose and where you place them affects how users use accordion menus. This means when opening a new section the previously-open section will close. The first two examples of a chevron / caret seem spot on for what’s been accepted practice in various software in the last so many years. On the Mac OS, the arrow is used for outline views, which is what accordions in fact, are. Although polka music can offer a rip-snorting good time, the term is associated with something different in the realm of web design. There are times where I’ve found accordion FAQ pages that could have just listed content down the page without forcing me to click on each heading. Mostly with larger menus or content which might behave cleaner using expandable sections. I’m not sure I agree that + and x are the best options for accordions for the same reason you exclude -. Accessibility and Empathy in Government Services . The research study points that the perceived icon function differs based on the OS the user is used to use. Using an image alongside each title really helps to showcase the quality of the products, plus the active accordion has a horizontal line under it to separate it from other content. Smaller targets need higher accuracy to click. It’s just as confusing as removing / closing with a -. I don’t believe there is a catch-all best way to this type of thing. You are not the user. The source code is free to download but it should really serve as an example describing how this interface might work. But there are additional mobile UX best practices to follow to ensure the best possible user experience. They allow you to display a large number of menu options while conserving space. This eBook deep dives into web UI design best practices. 15 Stunning Examples of What You Need to See in a One-Page Website Design, The knowns and unknowns framework for design thinking, How I failed Microsoft’s interview as a UX Designer, and what you can learn from it, I failed as a designer at a startup – UX Collective, Jist, a clever concept to reduce overspending—a UX case study. When you have a page that’s broken into dozens of paragraphs, links, images, or just too many blocks of content… accordion menus to the rescue. July 07, 2020. I’m going to change it on my site now. People instantly think “add”….And am I adding another row? These UX design best practices will help you provide shoppers with a mobile experience that parallels what the tech giants are offering – app-like interactions on the web with Google’s Progressive Web Apps, speedy browsing (perceived and actual) on Facebook, and an efficient checkout process on Amazon. There are major downsides to accordions. I wonder, has anyone thought about which hand most people use for the mouse? What do you think about arrow icons to the left of a side menu item that doesn’t expand as an accordion? As always – test for your target users, apply best practices as you can and be prepared to be surprised when the user totally changes what you expect from them! © Copyright UX Movement. Same here, I disagree with the use of the ‘+’ icon to expand. What may seem right to you may not be right to them. I would be curious to see how this study would fare without the use of an icon…. Another research study on accordions found that users click the plus icon more than the arrow one. Using the checkbox method you can have many different content areas open at the same time. They should expect the menu to expand with more options. Windows users take the plus icon as an expander and mac users take de triangle for this function. what ties UI elements together with distinguishable and predictable actions These are some of the best practices that are necessary for all types of eCommerce websites. A “dropdown arrow” icon intrinsically implies an expanding movement. Desirable: Image, identity, brand, and other design elements are used to evoke emotion and appreciation 4. If the content is viewable and the accordion is usable then where’s the harm? When benchmarking checkout flows for the first time back in 2012, we found that 14% of the top 100 US e-commerce sites used an accordion-style checkout. Advertise here with BSA. When the accordion displayed arrow icons, users expected that it would take them to a new page. Scenarios where there are more than 1 level of dropdown would also add volumes of pluses putting weight in the layout, while chevron and arrows are more compact to fit in such situation. I also strongly disagree with the advice to use a plus icon. Notice how the menu will automatically close when opening a new section. Jun 27, 2016 - Explore JD's board "ux: accordion" on Pinterest. Either way portfolio sites can be an excellent choice for accordion widgets. Useful: Your content should be original and fulfill a need 2. usability gui-design best-practice accordion collapsible-panels. Users increase the number of menu options when they click the accordion menu. I have been trying to educate designers for years, that just because something looks good doesn’t make it more functional. Moreover, in the context of the products I work with, the + is used to indicate teh ability to add a new item.

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