Yesterday, we pushed an update to Campfire that added some new functionality to the transcripts screen. You can read the details in this post on our product blog, but I wanted to share the thought process on a small change we made as part of the update.

While working on the “Files, Transcripts and Search” tab in Campfire we noticed that the heading for each transcript day was kind of a mess. Here’s what it looked like before the update (the image has been reduced, click to see it full size):

Original transcript design

The design has essentially four elements using 3 font sizes, 4 colors, and 2 font weights. It certainly gets the job done, but it adds a lot of noise to the screen and can only make scanning the page slower than it needs to be. Contrast is essential to differentiating elements of a design, but here everything is unnecessarily different from everything else.

As we looked more critically we also felt like the link to read the transcript could be more obvious and that the link to delete a transcript was far too prominent for a feature that is rarely needed.

Here is what it looks like today:

New transcript design

The redesigned header reduces the contrast between the date and room name to just the weight of the font — a good example of least effective difference. The link to read the transcript is now explicit, reducing confusion, and the delete transcript link it subdued. Aligning it to the right keeps it out of the way where it is less likely to be accidentally clicked. Finally, a heavy black rule decidedly separates each day while giving each entry some visual weight.

The new design retains the same four elements as the original but by reducing unnecessary contrast, and refining the arrangement makes it feel like fewer to the eye. This results in less clutter and better scanability. It’s a small change that we think makes the whole page better.