The Apple Store's Checkout Form Redesign

I finally made some time to read through Luke Wroblewski’s excellent review of the changes in the Apple store’s redesigned checkout form. According to Wroblewski, "…retail sales data shows that Mac sales were up 21% year-over-year in the months of October and November. So it’s interesting to note that Apple’s primary online sales channel (Web-based checkout) was redesigned during this time.

I wasn't surprised that the single page checkout form is an improvement over the paged version. What I was particularly interested in reading was Luke's observations about the problems with the move to put labels in inputs on so much of the form, and the improvements made with error messaging and breaking up secondary actions via tabbed sections.

I consider this a must read, and as always it's great to read whatever Luke continues to provide as an update to the form book. Read it on Functioning Form.

Re-nourish: Design Sustainably is an independent online toolkit for sustainable graphic design.

By providing reliable, accessible sustainability tools untethered to commercial interests, we empower graphic designers to implement sustainable decision making in their day-to-day work. Our mission is nothing short of changing the industry, helping truly sustainable graphic design become what design is, not merely what it "could be."

Check it out and learn how to change your business' impact on the earth.

Usabilla Officially Launches

Remote usability testing service Usabilla has officially launched with tiered payment plans and PDF reports for all your test results. They will continue to provide a free service for up to 5 pages which lets you analyze the results of the first 25 participants of each test.

The Amsterdam based usability startup has been making impressive progress since their launch nearly six months ago. With the help of beta testers Usabilla have been able to build a useful tool to collect feedback on webpages, mockups, sketches, and other images. According to their press release, more then 2500 usability experts, web designers, online marketeers and other web professionals are using Usabilla to conduct remote usability tests and collect feedback.

I have been a beta user of Usabilla during their pre-release this year, and Usabilla is a Konigi sponsor.

HTML Prototyping Discussion Group

As you may know, I've been working on an html prototyping toolkit that's in its infancy, and available to play with in pre-release form here on Konigi. What you also may know is that I hope to put the code in a repository so that people can contribute UI component markup/css/js to it, but what I've got is not mature enough yet.

A few people have already started sharing their ideas and tips with me and I've felt like it's kind of a waste to have some of these discussions happen offline, so I want to step out and start these discussions in a wider venue.

I've created the HTML Prototyping Google group so that those of us who are interested in going deep on HTML wireframes or prototypes can talk about what we're doing and how we're doing it. Hopefully we'll give each other advice and find ways to learn new techniques or refine our craft. The group is NOT intended to focus on what I'm doing with the protokit, but is there for anyone who's using any method to do HTML prototyping. I will be there every day to monitor and participate.

I will look at every member that comes through this group and promise to try to keep the discussion on topic and keep flaming, trolls, spamming, and advertising from littering the list. So if you're interested, sign up and introduce yourself.

Let's go.

About the close tab behaviour in Google Chrome

Basil Safwat does a very thorough comparison of the the tabs in Mac Safari and Chrome, pointing out the subtleties in the close button positioning and behavior. While Mac close icons are on the left by convention, Chrome positions them to the right of the tab and keeps them visible, while Safari positions them to the left and only displays the close icon on hover. I initially had to relearn the close button position because Firefox also places them on the right. Both handle tab resizing in a way that allows you to close multiple tabs while keeping the cursor in one position while clicking the close icon repeatedly.

Check out theinvisibl for the screenshots and complete deconstruction.

Build It With Me Connects App Designers and Builders

Build It With Me is a free site that connects like-minded designers & developers with the same goal: create cool & useful apps.

Getting funding for your app idea is hard and often unrealistic. Most of the time you may just need to connect with a partner who has a skill set you lack to finish off your app. This is where Build It With Me is comes in, connecting you to those people. Skip the funding. Build It With Me will help you bootstrap your ideas into actual apps.

Check it.

50% of every dollar you spend will to go to charity in December

The Plan

I’ve been thinking of two things a lot with the holidays arriving. The first is, how can I provide a discount on Konigi stuff to my friends who use the notepads and sketchbooks. The second is, how can I find a way to make my Christmastime donations interesting. When I was an avid Lala trader a few years ago, I tried to see if I could get one of the many CDs sleeves I marked back and vowed to make my donations coincide with the event. I never got a sleeve back, but made the donations anyway and was included in a WashPost article because I tend do end of year charitable giving.

Last year I ran a discount code for Black Friday/Cyber Monday. This year, however, I thought I would forego a discount and instead donate 50% of all sales revenue–not just profit, but all sales– to 2 charities. I figure the cost of these little sketchbooks and tools is not so great, and we can all give a little while getting something back. The donations will be made to 2 local organizations devoted to fighting poverty and hunger.

The Beneficiaries

Robin Hood is an organization that gives 100% of donations to poverty-fighting organizations with programs focussing on Early Childhood, Education, Jobs & Economic Security, and Survival, and uses sound investment principles to sustain in its philanthropic mission.

The New York Food Bank organizes food, information and support for community survival and dignity. Working to end food poverty and increase access to affordable, nutritious food for low-income New Yorkers throughout the five boroughs, the Food Bank’s initiatives focus on direct services, food sourcing and distribution, nutrition and health education, financial empowerment, disaster relief and policy and research.


Thanks for participating with me. When you buy one of the Konigi products in the store, you are making a small contribution to these philanthropic organizations . I will be doing an update to the icons to help entice you to make your purchase. I feel fortunate to have something to trade for dollars in donations, and to have the help of my friends and readers.

Google's New Fade In UI

Google launched a new behavior on the search page that hides everything but the logo and search form on load, and fades in the rest of the surrounding interface when the user moves the mouse. The idea is to give focus to search for the primary use case, where a user hits the page and starts typing without moving the mouse. They talk about the new behavior on the Google Blog.