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User Experience

Squarespace hear my plea!

On 24, Mar 2010 | 8 Comments | In User Experience | By Ryan Feeley

While my career is firmly rooted in user experience design, I often find myself rescuing websites stuck in old-world web-designer arrangements and migrating them to blog/CMS platforms like WordPress or Squarespace.

Squarespace It may not be free or open-source but Squarespace has become my #1 recommended solution for small businesses because it’s easy to get up and running, is reasonably priced, and I feel confident that when I hand over the keys to the site, the owner can manage the content succesfully themselves. I wish I had designed it!

Development on the product has been quiet for months, and I’m willing to bet a new release is on the horizon. Before it launches, I decided that I’d best make a wishlist for their team. Most are likely known issues, but even for a near-perfect interface, user feedback is never a bad thing.

  • Often buttons respond as if they’ve been pressed, but then action does not occur, as if they’ve been dragged not clicked. Increase hit area?
  • Allow pages to have different column layouts. I had to work some CSS magic to get Thom’s homepage to look like this. It’s common for homepages to have more featured content, but subsequent pages to have more room for core content.
  • It took me a while to realize that sections can contain either page links, or widgets, but not both together. Now that I know, this is fune, but is this a necessary restriction?
  • Change Widths interface too buried. Perhaps promote to become a sibling item of Banner & Navigation?
  • Applying a border is overly tedious for most common scenario (all-sided solid border)
  • Page links should usage page title as link TITLE. Best for SEO and hint text.
  • I have been on projects where the only horizantal navigation is the footer navigation, currently it not supported
  • Overhaul image gallery entirely
    • Debug image navigation on a slow connection. Loading can be spastic, and lack of loading indicators do not help.
    • Many image professionals do not want to, or are not allowed to, offer full screen versions. Lightbox should be optional.
    • Consider offering of host of jQuery-based slideshows, even my own Wideslide
    • Allow users to embed image slideshows inside blog posts

More comments will appear are they come to me!

Comments

  1. Here’s the Squarespace 2010 roadmap for those interested.

    http://blog.squarespace.com/blog/2010/3/23/the-squarespace-2010-roadmap.html

    There are no specific dates around any of these items which leads me to believe this is just one of those posts to keep the Squarespace community quiet for a few more months.

  2. man this design is so in the box… lol awesome :)

  3. @Grant That’s hillarious! This blog post was sitting in my draft for a few days. I didn’t think to check their blog again before posting. Thanks!

  4. Nice post… some great points here. I passed along the URL to the rest of the Squarespacers. :)

    Re: having a nav in the footer, I occasionally use jQuery to move things around. (Obviously it’s not as awesome as a built-in solution would be, but a decent temporary solution until a native one is available.)

    I sometimes remember to share my workarounds, and post them here: http://www.squaregirl.com/blog/category/squarespace

    Hope that helps!

  5. All excellent valid points. Noted. :)

  6. Im really confused why they havent “fixed” the page title issue. My URL is correct (sitename.com/category/article), but when sharing the link (you know, as people tend to do these days on facebook, twitter, digg, etc.), the title comes out to be some long mess with my article name buried 100 characters in!

  7. I’d bet their working on a major overhaul, although it’s becoming their own: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Duke_Nukem_Forever

    They’re taking so long, they’re giving competitors a real opportunity. When people don’t see enough action in a hosted service, they think it’s not healthy.

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