Nothing beats innovation—except for common sense, of course. I've been doing some field research regarding sign up and pricing charts for our upcoming product, and nearly fell out of my chair over this otherwise great-looking pricing chart.
I was linked over to Fetch
having read Smashing Magazine's blog post on pricing tables
. What interested me most was the implementation of a button on the left and text links for the main calls to action. You click the button, but instead of doing something productive, the button moves to the right and briefly highlights the table headers.
Fetch's "neat" highlight feature could potentially cost them more than just a wasted click. At first, the button calls me to click on it to sign up, but I'm misled by the text. Clicking it just moves it to the right and highlights what I *really* wanted.
This is a perfect example of how an early "neat" idea can take a turn for the worse. These kind of **ideas need iteration** more than quick implementation. Had the designers taken a step back to do so, they may have realized that the columns needed the button and that the headers should be highlighted by default. Instead, not only does the button call more attention than the hyperlinks for signing up, but the button is entirely useless! Clicks are wasted, attention misdirected, and confusion abound.
Why the huff and puff about such a *little* thing? Well, to be honest, it's because **small interactions have the potential to make all the difference**. Those neat ideas take iteration and smart application to really add any benefit. It's very easy to turn a neat idea into a really sucky feature, but **it's just as easy to take a neat idea and make it awesome**.
Fetch can take their "neat" highlighting feature and up the ante quite a bit with a little iteration. Here's a few options to make the entire table more effective, just by tweaking the interaction of the button and highlighting.
1. **Remove the original button and turn the hyperlinks into buttons.** Want people to take more action? Limit and focus the possible actions by using four buttons over four links.
2. **Make the columns highlighted on hover instead of on click.** A nice usability feature, highlighting columns or rows on hover makes it easy to skim across or down for more information.
3. **Highlight the best plan for users and nothing else.** One plan standing out amongst the others will snatch up attention left and right.
You can see how easy it is to iterate on a neat idea and make it all the more useful. We need more neat ideas, but those ideas have to be put through the grinder a bit every now and then. **Iterate and experiment**—remembering it's quantity over quality early on—until you land on something that's not only free of silly mistakes, but neat *and* refined.