Breaking Conventions for Better Usability

November 3, 2006

Doing what you’re not supposed to; breaking conventions…sometimes it works.

We are just finalizing some designs for our upcoming release [about 10 days from now]. We have redesigned a few pages including our “view user” page. I have long had a problem with our “view user” page. We used bold text to describe information like this:

I have never really like the way that looked. The text emphasis in on the bolded words like, “Contact, Email, etc.” It’s just wrong.

We are doing something slightly different in the new release. We are dropping the text size of the bolded words (they are still useful for contextual reference within the page) and leaving the plain text (i.e. the useful content) larger. It looks like this (see the Green box):


Resizing text like this is unconventional and I love it.

P.S. For those of you observant types who look at pictures carefully, this does in fact mean that you are days away from having the ability to make and track credits using FreshBooks. Consider it leaked.

about the author

Co-Founder & CEO, FreshBooks Mike is the co-founder and CEO of FreshBooks, the world’s #1 cloud accounting software for self-employed professionals. Built in 2003 after he accidentally saved over an invoice, Mike spent 3.5 years growing FreshBooks from his parents’ basement. Since then, over 10 million people have used FreshBooks to save time billing, and collect billions of dollars. A lover of the outdoors, Mike has been bitten so many times it’s rumored he’s the first human to have developed immunity to mosquitoes.