Improved UX, The Gift That Keeps On Giving

User experience (UX) is all about making websites easier and more intuitive to use; better UX means you’re more likely to visit a site and enjoy your time when you’re there. To that end, Adaptistration is offering up an early present to readers in the form of some enhanced UX based on what metrics tell us how you access the site and get around the content.

Added Love For Tablet Users

Mobile device users have been on the rise for multiple years now but the latter half of 2014 saw that trend accelerate, especially those of you using larger Smartphones and tablets. As a result, we put two big changes in place:

  1. New threshold for mobile navigation. Previously, mobile navigation (the single black strip at the top of the page with the hamburger menu icon) became visible when users accessed the site using a mobile device with a browser screen width smaller than a typical tablet (which FYI is 768 pixels wide). But even though the navigation menu looked fine in say a tablet used via landscape mode (wide), it stacked in a slightly odd way for tablet users via portrait mode (tall).
    Following the enhancements, tablet users will notice the mobile menu kicks in via portrait mode, creating a remarkably focused reading experience thanks to not only the mobile menu but relocating the sidebar content to appear below the main blog content.
    If you flip back and forth from landscape to tablet, the site will keep up with you and swap one version out for the other…like magic! Try it, it’s actually fun to flip from one to the other in seamless fashion.
  2. New mobile navigation layout: instead of stuffing 100 percent of the menu items into the mobile version, we’ve paired them down to include only the most commonly clicked items when visiting the site via a mobile device. We also made the nav items easier to tap and added higher contrast styles.

New Adaptistration Navigation
New Adaptistration Navigation

Sticky Menus For Laptop And Desktop Users

According to Adaptistration’s heatmap metrics, quite a few users make good use of just about every item in the navigation menus so in order to make it easier to get into and use them the menu is now sticky, meaning it will remain in the same spot at the top, albeit it in a new unobtrusive manifestation, as you scroll down the page.

This makes it easy to access menu at all times without having to scroll back to the top of the page to navigate to a different part of the site. The really cool bit is it only kicks in when you access the site using a laptop or desktop. In order to help bring out the new feature, we turned up the transition animation just a bit so it really makes it easy to notice it sticking to the top of the page.

New Sticky Navigation
New Sticky Navigation

Speaking of heatmap metrics, check out this great ArtsHacker post on the subject from Ceci Dadisman).

All of the above solutions are part of special functionality designed as part of The Venture Platform that a number of our users have put to good use (especially these folks) and it has been ported over here to improve your experience; to that end, I hope that’s exactly what it does!

UPDATE: completely forgot to mention that the UX improvements here have been applied to Adaptistration Jobs too so swing by there and experience the changes.

About Drew McManus

"I hear that every time you show up to work with an orchestra, people get fired." Those were the first words out of an executive's mouth after her board chair introduced us. That executive is now a dear colleague and friend but the day that consulting contract began with her orchestra, she was convinced I was a hatchet-man brought in by the board to clean house.

I understand where the trepidation comes from as a great deal of my consulting and technology provider work for arts organizations involves due diligence, separating fact from fiction, interpreting spin, as well as performance review and oversight. So yes, sometimes that work results in one or two individuals "aggressively embracing career change" but far more often than not, it reinforces and clarifies exactly what works and why.

In short, it doesn't matter if you know where all the bodies are buried if you can't keep your own clients out of the ground, and I'm fortunate enough to say that for more than 15 years, I've done exactly that for groups of all budget size from Qatar to Kathmandu.

For fun, I write a daily blog about the orchestra business, provide a platform for arts insiders to speak their mind, keep track of what people in this business get paid, help write a satirical cartoon about orchestra life, hack the arts, and love a good coffee drink.

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