Category Archives: UX/UI Design

How humans interact with the world around them, online and off, has always fascinated me.

ESPN’s Floating Nav

I’m not a fan of “cute” navigational elements. As a rule all they are good for is showing off the coding skills of the developer and giving the user a brief “Oh, that’s cool” moment. Very quickly, that “cool” factor devolves into “God, that is so annoying. How do I turn it off?”

An excellent example of this is ESPN’s navigation. When you first enter the site, you see this- a typical primary nav (black bar) and a corresponding sub-nav (white NFL bar):

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However, if you scroll down a bit the sub-nav jumps into the primary position, covering the main nav:

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Where this gets REALLY annoying is that if you are a mouse scroller (as most of us are) once you get past a certain point on the screen every UP click exposes the black bar and every DOWN click hides it again. So if you are reading an article and wheel-scrolling it through it there is an almost constant black/white strobe going on at the top of the page.

ESPN- give me a way to turn this off. Please.

MLK Day Flyer- What happens when the organizers just don’t care.

Today is MLK Day here in Atlanta. Since Dr. King is a native son of Atlanta this is a pretty big deal around here.

The organizers have known for months precisely where the festivities would occur… including the center piece for the weekend, today’s MLK Day Parade.

Despite this advance notice (it follows the same route every year) it is painfully clear that the organizers didn’t give a damn about publishing a useful and coherent map.

Have a look at the mess below. When I first clicked it on the AJC site it displayed in portrait, meaning I had to rotate it just to read it. Then the bad really started. Whoever created this mess was either painfully incompetent or brutally lazy- ditto for the person or persons that approved it.

Dear MLK Day Organizers, 

Next year, get with me. I’ll provide you with a usable map for free. It’ll take me less time to make than it took to write this post bitching about your current artist’s incompetence. 

– Jay

ESPN’s new mobile strategy: fewer apps on more screens

Thank GOD!

That is all.


A few years back, ESPN was in a bit of an app hell: The sports network had 45 different apps, and sports fans had to figure out whether they needed the SportsCenter app, the WatchESPN app or one of a number of other apps targeting fantasy leagues and specific sports to find what they wanted.

The ESPN Digital team has since worked hard to reduce the app overload, and the sportscaster is set to take another big step towards a simpler experience for its mobile users next year. The SportsCenter app will simply be called the ESPN app when it relaunches early next year in time for the Super Bowl, and the app will feature more personalization to do away with the need for specialized apps around different sports.

The app will be all about cricket in India, more about soccer in other places of the world, and about that…

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Out of the mouths of babes… or at least teens

This blog’s name comes from an old joke that any child knows the answer to:

“What is red and smells like blue paint?”

“Red paint”

The idea that an adult would think of the most complicated answer while a kid would just look at you like “Duh” appealed to my sense of simplicity.

Something just happened to me that reinforces that.

Have a look at an icon you’ve seen a thousand times:


We adults know what that is… an old 3.5 disc. However, it’s very doubtful that a teenager like my daughter has ever even seen one. Yet, the icon is so engraved in their brains that they know WHAT it does without knowing WHAT it is.

Out of curiosity I asked my daughter’s boyfriend (God it kills me to type that) if he knows what that is.

His answer… “You mean the thing that looks like a SIM card.. or a floppy?”

It never dawned on me that it could be read to look like a phone SIM card. He took an icon that dates back to 20 years before he was born and re imagined it to something that makes sense to him.

At least my little girl isn’t dating a moron.

The Dangers of Using Templates

I saw the sign below last night on my usual torture run around the neighborhood. Since the house has been on the market for some time it had to have been the 100th time I’d seen it, but this was the first time I’d actually read it.


Have a look at the website. Not the huge “” in red, but the small one in white near the bottom.

I’m pretty sure that this local Realtor doesn’t own the URL “”.

If you’re going to use a template when creating some artifact for your business… double check it.


US Army Website… Not Squared Away

The Army recruiting site gets a NO-GO at this station.

There are two major problems with this screen.

Can you spot them, boys and girls?  Go on, I’ll give you a minute.





1- The floating “Social Bar” blocks a good chunk of the navigation. Very annoying to the user.

2- It violates “RPR #2” in a huge, lazy way.  Have a look at the “About Us” text box. Lorem ipsum, anybody.

Sloppiness like this makes joining the Coast Guard look like a better move.