I find that developer documentation is often not very pleasant to look at and, more importantly, often very difficult to navigate. I worked briefly with the PayPal REST API and, while I found that at times it can be confusing to deal with the numerous APIs PayPal offers, aesthetically their developer documentation is clear and effective.
What I Like
Clear Overall Design
Overall the documentation looks nice and clear. I like the fonts and colours used. The multi-level menu on the left fits in well and provides good means of navigation without feeling overwhelming.
Good Instructions and Code Examples
The subheadings are easy to spot and the step-by-step instructions weave code into them quite nicely. Code examples stand out due to the different background colour.
Clear and Informative Footer
The footer for the page fits nicely into the overall design and gives access to a wide range of resources.
I want to start a new category of articles for this blog where I record web or user experience design I come across and which impresses me. I will start today with the homepage of Squarespace. Since they are a web design company, good design can be expected of course. Some things which I noticed where the following:
For headings, they use an all-caps, spaced out font: Gotham with font size 22px, line height 1.6em and letter spacing of 0.2em. The body text is also Gotham with font size 14px and line height of 1.8em.
Simple but Effective Buttons
Buttons come either with a white background and black text or the other way around. The font size used is 11px.
Nice and Clean Gallery of Templates
What I didn’t Like
I think the lack of a main menu makes it quite difficult to find the things one is looking for. To find the gallery of templates, one needs to scroll all the way down to the bottom of the page and then select ‘Websites’. Also the pricing information is not easily accessible.
After I had recently completed a first version of interactive showcases for the Appjangle platform, it was now about time to give a little rework to the homepage. Arguably, it was a bit dull and, more importantly, not very informative – in particular in regards to giving an overview of what Appjangle is good for and what it does.
This is how the last version of the homepage looked like:
The redesign, accomplished in 350 min (yes, I am slow and I also love to measure time), focused on the following objectives:
- Allow to understand what the Appjangle platform does.
- Provide an overview of the benefits of the platform.
- Give a clear indication of what a visitor can do next.
Well, this is how the new page looks like:
I believe that this new design meets the described objectives much better than the old version. However, there are still plenty of steps which stand between this version and ‘perfect’.
Now, I am certainly not what I would call a naturally gifted graphics artist. However, I think it’s often a diversion from my usual occupations of writing code and writing academically to move around some pixels. Also, it’s nice to see a design develop over time. Actually I started working on this ‘entry page’ in November 2011 – at that time Appjangle was still called ‘Nx Framework’, and the Introduction was somewhat wordy: Nx Framework Introduction.
Anyway, next on my list are the sign up screen and the hosting options– when my thesis will grant me some time.
This post is also published on the Appjangle Blog.