All posts in Design

Just Fab? Or Fabulously Awful Customer Practices?

Just-Fab-ScamIf you are a girly girl like I am, chances are you’ve seen the Just Fab and Fabletics ads as you wander around the internet, offering really cute stuff for a fairly cheap price… pretty much the way to stop any card-carrying fashionista on a limited budget in her tracks.

Well, after ignoring these ads for months, this past week I got a wild hair and wound up setting up an account at Just Fab to buy a $9.95 pair of precious over-the-knee boots, in sort of a “I am a Girl!!!” moment to counterbalance the 85% athletic/triathlon/cycling gear my money is spent on these days, which is what I also mostly wear. The thing about swimming, biking and running is you must always be dressed for these occasions – such a pain!!

So I was excited, and shared this fabulous deal on Facebook. By signing up to get these boots for so cheap, I had committed to a VIP membership, which means that the 1st-5th of every month they send me a personalized “boutique” of items they feel are suited to my tastes, and I can select from those or find something else to buy for $39.95 a month (shipping is free over $39 so most months you should be able to get something for that amount.) Fabletics, owned in part by Kate Hudson, the actress, operates the same way but I think the monthly amount might be different. Fabletics features exercise gear supposedly on a par with the super-expensive and elite Lululemon but I can assure you the design is not the same.

Should a $39.95 a month subscription throw people off, the Just Fab site promises that you can “Skip this Month” and pay nothing, or cancel your account at any time. So…. nothing to worry about, right?? They have, at first glance, made this whole deal sound pretty good.

But………. don’t get excited just yet. A friend showed up on my Facebook post with a warning as she too, had tried Just Fab and found the quality of her order kind of cheap, but the bigger problem was it took a ton of effort to cancel. She waited on hold on the phone forever with no results (that’s right – no way to cancel online) and finally resorted to simply not updating her CC when the bank issued a new one so her membership fee would just bounce and they would finally get the hint. So that made me nervous and I did a little Google search. WOW. I should have done that FIRST.

Consumer Affairs lists 1648 complaints and reviews for them and the complaints all center around a) not knowing the user would be billed by default monthly… they disclose this pretty well so people just must not have read at all and b) hanging on hold with no one ever answering their call so they could cancel. TechCrunch said their checkout tactics are shady. Valleywag over at Gawker calls them “the biggest scam in online fashion.” And Literally Darling (fun blog) describes a gigantic cluster situation where ultimately she lost money with Just Fab because of system glitches and non-caring, non-listening customer support personnel.

I’m so glad they have my credit card number. Sigh.

So I kind of freaked out and decided to try to pull out before even beginning. That has gone nowhere. After several automated emails saying a fashion stylist would contact me, she showed up, answered my support email with a non-answer and when I wrote back and asked her to answer the question (and not ship my first order and cancel me altogether) she did not respond again. And the shoes have now been billed to me.

So I am going to follow this through as a user experiment, not that we don’t know where it’s going. Those damn $10 boots better be FABULOUS! Here is your user experience lesson for the day, retailers and commerce sellers. Take it to heart because though you may get away with shoddy, underhanded practices initially, ultimately you will bankrupt the company and it will be you, flinging yourself off the ledge.

Retailers, it is not enough to offer cheap, cute, whatever products that customers want. You must follow through with reasonable processes and practices and the Golden Rule perpetually applies… treat customers as you want to be treated, and you can hardly go wrong.

Ecommerce-Subscriptions-UXP

Handmade Fonts for Gorgeous & Quirky Typographic Style

If you know Fresh ID, you know we love hand-drawn, handmade, designs, fonts and illustrations. Something about the urge to add layers and texture to the rather flat nature of the digital screen is perhaps why.

We’ve collected some of our favorite handmade fonts from Creative Market, to give you some ideas for your next project. Most of these are on our long wish list of goodies to design with!

Vintage

It’s funny that, surrounded by modern gadgets and devices, we just can’t get enough of vintage styling. Jackson & Brown was inspired by old potato sacks, and the Atlas font comes from old map typography.

display-1-o sdddsd-o nexarust-01-o

title-edited-01-o cm-harman-poster1-o true-north-1-o

atlas-o eighty-one-typeface-00-o wilder-pack-present-1-o

Quirky

header3-sample-01-o trendhm-8-o header-1-01-o

sparhawk-complete-1-o provence-header-01-o madprev1-o

Romantic

preview-1-o rmbike-myfonts-5-o lbsweetie-01-o

dasha-five-o 01_hipsteria-o brush-serif-julian-o

Sketchy

saltpetre-one-o  fontsofchaos-ninaketchup-01-o display-images-02-o

largecookies-o official_wood_preview-o franq2-o

Modern Web Design Doesn’t Have to Mean Black, White & Minimal

So many website themes professing to be “modern” or Swiss-influenced are extremely stark, minimalistic layouts with no color at all. Black, white, gray… at a certain point it just becomes boring.

Enter Modernline. Though blue is certainly used in corporate web design a lot, the rarely-used pairing of dark navy and bright pink (sort of an Indian pink-red) is such a refreshing change it practically leaps off the screen. Let’s explore this brand (which appears to be a wholesaler or retailer of residential and commercial building materials) and take a look at some interesting design choices that make this brand a stand-out (even though I can’t read a word of it!)

Hitting the homepage is like stepping into a sleek modern showroom. The focus is on the color scheme and getting a glimpse of beautiful decor in different key categories. The brand names are featured at the bottom in grayscale for uniformity.

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Spotlight On: Watercolor Website Design

We are starting a new “Spotlight” series featuring a single style or element used in modern web design or brand identity that inspires and moves us. This spotlight is on watercolor website design, used to turn our everyday computing environment into something more rich and tactile.

Toggle

Everything about Toggle is designed to challenge your expectations. The result is a gorgeous experience of user exploration enveloped in this lovely, soothing cream and blue.

Continue reading to check out more watercolor designs and fun design elements you can use to design one of your own if you’re not an artist (I’m not – I love having real art like this to use!)

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The Most Gorgeous Website You Will See Today: XHTML Cafe

Today’s site is a true work of art, and you get the double benefit of it being quite handy should you need a PSD to HTML or WordPress conversion, because that’s what they do!

XHTML Cafe has gone the extra mile to appeal to designers, with its beautiful watercolor welcome…

Who wouldn’t trust their precious design to them after seeing the excellent job they’ve done on their own site?

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The Most Gorgeous Website You Will See Today: Holy Cow!

Today’s site may or may not be pleasing to your senses, but it’s definitely interesting! Holy Cow, an Aussie design and ad agency, has a very bovine-flavored website… in hot pink, naturally. :-)

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The Most Gorgeous Website You Will See Today: National Honesty Index

Today’s most gorgeous site is a little bit unusual. Brought to you by the Honest Tea brand, in a take on their name they decided to conduct  an experiment to find out where the most honest people dwell and what categories they fall into. Is Madison Avenue more honest than Wall Street? Is Wall Street more honest than the folks on Capitol Hill? You can discover the non-scientific answers to these questions and more at this unique site.

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Saturday Freebies! Attractive Bits for Your Sites & Apps

I have found some pretty things for you to download and enjoy for free (check licenses for personal, non-profit and commercial use) and today these are focused on web/user interface elements so you can dress up your search bars, forms, social media buttons and other elements that may be a bit too mundane right now.

Web UI Elements

These white outlined, smooth and beveled buttons from Invent Layout will most assuredly turn heads!

DOWNLOAD

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The Most Gorgeous Website You Will See Today: Fuel America

Coffee bags that resemble old motor oil cans, Americana flavoring, and as the designer quips “Coffee for yer Pops.” Fuel America is the brainchild of Commoner, Inc., a Boston-based identity studio that makes logos and trademarks fun again. You could get lost for a while in their Dribbble account, but I recommend it highly. But let’s focus on this one brand identity for a moment, because it’s loaded with great inspiration and solid branding lessons.

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First Impression: Marie Catrib’s Restaurant Website & Online Bakery

The moment I stumbled across Marie Catrib’s, I was delighted. When a website design gives you that “claps hands like seal” feeling, you know something awesome went into the making of it.

Continue reading for user experience perspectives, photography points and an assessment of the company’s social presence and integration into the business of this unique restaurant in Grand Rapids, Michigan.

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The Most Gorgeous Website You Will See Today: Grayden Poper

Grayden Poper is an interactive designer with a great sense of whimsy. I came across his site in a list of creative “About” pages and am so glad I did!

When you first hit his site, you see some different things Grayden wanted to be when he grew up. Hit the teardrop above each one to reveal his comment about it. The intro is the perfect setup for his work, the bulk of which seem to incorporate lovely textures and rich depth in colors and images like his own personal site does.

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October 2012 Designer Wallpapers for Desktops & Devices

I loaded a beautiful new wallpaper onto my desktop that is representative of my birth sign, Libra. It’s called Aire and it’s both calming and uplifting, at least to me, which is probably because I am the stereotypical air sign with head-in-clouds syndrome! Find it and some more pretty, nature-inspired looks at The Art Times.

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The Most Gorgeous Website You Will See Today: Oliver Lisher

Stumbling around the internets this morning while drinking coffee I found a designer/coder’s site that is just jaw-droppingly simple and beautiful, a user experience dream if not for one noticeable flaw (in my mind at least)… there’s no portfolio! With such a pretty site in hand I wanted to see more, more, more but the closest I could come was to click on the Dribbble link – I wonder if he is using that platform as his portfolio?? I would find that a little odd, but keeping up a portfolio IS a giant pain (our Fresh ID portfolio is not updated at all, even now).

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365 Days Worth of Massive Inspiration for Designers of Print, Digital Web & User Interfaces

Yesterday I ran across two amazing sites I wanted to share with you. As a designer, I know what it’s like to both get stuck in a creative block, and envy the work of others. Prepare to feel envious looking at some of these digital masterpieces!

365 Awesome Designers

The first offers 365 Awesome Designers with links to their sites and Twitter handles, and some of the work is phenomenal, from illustrations to web design, print and user interface design.

In addition to the samples which are easy to scan quickly, the designers sites are works of art and must-see as well… you’re going to be here for days and days unless you caffeine up and immerse yourself in a design orgy! Here are a few of my favorites – I have no doubt you’ll find many of your own if you spend time perusing the work here.

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WebPlatform.org Aims to Help Developers Standardize the Web

In a rare show of solidarity some of the internet’s biggest players have joined forces and launched WebPlatform.org, a wiki of web standards contributed to by an open community of developers.

The Next Web reports that Apple, Adobe, Facebook, Google, HP, Microsoft, Mozilla, Nokia, and Opera have all committed to the initiative and that the new site will serve as a single source of relevant, up-to-date information on the latest standards, including HTML5, CSS3 and others as defined by W3c.

All documents shared will be licensed under creative commons and community users are encouraged to share code and examples under this license so all can benefit. For more information watch this video and visit the site.