User Experience

How Twitter, WordPress, and Google Contacts Influenced Notify My Team’s UI

Projects always sound simpler and more straight forward than they really are when you’re in the planning phase. When we came up with the idea for Notify My Team, the programming sounded so simple to me. Sign up, add employees, post a notification via SMS or email. How hard could it be? One of the most unexpectedly difficult aspects was getting the key user interfaces right (or, at least right enough for a version 1.0). Especially when you want the site to be fully functional… Continue reading


A Great UI in the Most Unlikely of Places

I recently picked up this Orbit hose timer from Home Depot. I feel like quite often programming little single-purpose devices like these can be quite a pain. But this timer is pleasantly simple: you start the dial at “Set Time” and work your way around. So what you end up with is a very conversational-like programming. You set the time, pick a start time, and then say how long you want it to run for and how often, then move the dial back to “Auto”…. Continue reading


I Admire the Simplicity of Pandora

Pandora, which seemed to be all the rage a decade ago, has taken a backseat to Spotify, Apple Music, and Google Play Music. And with good reason – those are complete music library replacements, you can listen to anything, anytime, anywhere, even offline. Heck, Pandora even has their own competitor in the space called Pandora Premium (formerly Rdio). But I still love good old Pandora Radio. You just turn it on and it plays. No choices, no setting up, no downloading or configuring. It even… Continue reading


Our Entire Navigation Menu, Now on Mobile

The growth of mobile visits and purchases on Detailed Image has been amazing. One of the reasons that we launched our responsive design back in April of last year was that we saw this coming. We wanted to be ahead of the curve. One of the key tenets of our redesign was that we wanted the experience to be equally good regardless of device. The primary thing that was holding our mobile experience back in my opinion was the navigation. Here’s what it looked like… Continue reading


Our Exhaustive Shipping Project – What We Learned and What New Features We Added

Today we launched some really cool new shipping features on Detailed Image.  They were a cumulation of about a month long shipping project that we took on.  It was really the one big thing that we wanted to make sure that we got done before the holidays.  Shipping options are just so important to customers that you’d have to be crazy not to be regularly reviewing and improving how you ship. The Study Like most online retailers, we didn’t have a good understanding of how… Continue reading


Simple Solutions to Simple Problems

If you’re a Windows user, do you ever use Notepad? If so, how often? My guess is that you use it and that you use it frequently. At least I know that my partners and I do. Why though? We all have Google Docs access. We all have Open Office Writer installed on our computer. The answer lies in it’s simplicity. It opens super fast, doesn’t auto format any of my text, and saves tiny .txt files. I use it for quick to-do lists, to… Continue reading


Why Don’t All News Sites Have This?

The other day I noticed that has an awesome feature on all of their stories: a bulleted list of “story highlights” in the upper-right hand corner of the page. is owned by CNN, so CNN also has the same “story highlights”.  I’m actually surprised that more news sites don’t have this feature.  I normally scan 95% of the articles I click on just to pick up the key points that they have so neatly summarized for me up on top.  For most stories,… Continue reading


Why The Release of IE8 Matters (to us at least)

Yesterday Microsoft finally released the latest version of the Internet Explorer browser, IE8, which can now be downloaded from Microsoft’s official site.  Hopefully within a few weeks it will get pushed to people via Windows updates and the majority of people using IE7 right now will be upgraded to IE8.  Why do I say hopefully?  Because for us there is one little feature that will drastically increase the quality of the new Detailed Image – CSS table support. Let me explain.   Way back when… Continue reading


Integrating Customer Reviews into our Cart

Several months back I built an email follow-up system for Detailed Image that sends an email to our customers two weeks after their purchase.  In addition to checking in with them to see if they received their products in a timely manner, it also asks them to write a product review for each product they ordered.  The email provides direct links to the product review pages for the specific products. However, the reviews were intentionally buried a bit on the site.  We wanted to have… Continue reading