Posts Tagged ‘Usability’

We are pleased to present below all posts tagged with ‘Usability’.

Strategic Design: 6 Steps For Building Successful Websites

Web design isn’t art. It involves a whole collection of different skills — from copywriting and typography to layout and art — all fused together to create an interface that not only features a pleasant aesthetic but that communicates function and facilitates easy access to its content.

The jQuery website redesign

But in order to combine all these elements of Web design together and achieve successful results you must have a clear direction, a direction that will guide each and every aspect of your design towards common goals. You must think strategically.

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Web Form Design Patterns: Sign-Up Forms

If you want to maximize the revenue of your service you need to maximize completion rates of your web forms. Unless you have some revolutionary ideas to impress your visitors at first glance, it is not enough to simply enable users to sign up on your site. To make it possible for the service to reach a maximal exposure we, designers, need to provide users with a good user experience. We need to invite them, describe to them how the service works, explain to them why they should fill in the form and suggests the benefits they'll get in return. And, of course, we should also make it extremely easy for them to participate.

However, designing effective web forms isn't easy. And it has one simple reason: nobody likes to fill in forms — neither offline nor online. Therefore, as designers, we need to figure out sound design decisions to make the form completion easy, intuitive and painless.

Web Form Design Patterns

But how exactly can we figure out these decisions? Where should the link to the form be placed in the layout? How should we design it? How should we highlight the labels and how should we align them? How do web form design patterns look like in modern web-sites? These were exactly the questions we've asked ourselves. And to get the answers we've conducted a survey.

Below we present findings of our survey of current web form design patterns — the results of an analysis of 100 popular web-sites where web-forms (should) matter. We have decided to start with sign-up forms first. We present the first part of our findings below; the second part of the survey results will be published next week.

Update: the second part of the survey results is now also published: Web Form Design Patterns: Sign-Up Forms Part 2.

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Should Links Open In New Windows?

No, they shouldn't. At first glance the decision to open links in new windows or not depends on the given site and the preferences of its visitors. Visitors of the sites with heavy linking are more willing to have links opened in new windows than open dozens of links in new windows manually. Visitors of less-heavy-linkage-sites are more likely to open some specific link in new window to remain on the site and continue to browse through it afterwards. However, this is not true.

Open links in new tabs

Users also don't like to deal with dozens of opened tabs and some visitors tend to quickly become angry with the disabled back-button. Furthermore, some visitors may not even realize that a new window was opened and hit the back-button mercilessly — without any result. That's not user-friendly and that's not a good user experience we, web designers, strive for.

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Five More Principles Of Effective Web Design

Web design has significantly improved over the last years. It's more user-friendly and more appealing today — and there is a good reason behind it: over the years we've found out that design with focus on usability and user experience is just more effective. Modern cut-edge design isn't filled with loud happy talk and blinking advertisements. We've learnt to initiate the dialogue with visitors, involve them into discussions and gain their trust by addressing their needs and speaking with them honestly and directly.

Signalfeuer

Few weeks ago we've presented 10 Principles Of Effective Web Design — a comprehensive article about effective Web design and provided you with insights about how users actually think as well as with some examples of how effective designs can be achieved.

This article highlights 5 further principles, heuristics and approaches for effective Web design — approaches which, used properly, can lead to more sophisticated design decisions and simplify the process of perceiving presented information.

Please notice that you might be interested in the following usability-related articles:

  • 10 Usability Nightmares showcases usability nightmares you should avoid when designing functional and usable web-sites,
  • 30 Usability Issues explains important usability issues, terms, rules and principles which are usually forgotten, ignored or misunderstood.
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10 Principles Of Effective Web Design

Usability and the utility, not the visual design, determine the success or failure of a web-site. Since the visitor of the page is the only person who clicks the mouse and therefore decides everything, user-centric design has established as a standard approach for successful and profit-oriented web design. After all, if users can't use a feature, it might as well not exist.

We aren't going to discuss the implementation details (e.g. where the search box should be placed) as it has already been done in a number of articles; instead we focus on the main principles, heuristics and approaches for effective web design — approaches which, used properly, can lead to more sophisticated design decisions and simplify the process of perceiving presented information.

Screenshot

Please notice that

In order to use the principles properly we first need to understand how users interact with web-sites, how they think and what are the basic patterns of users' behavior.

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Usability and Interface Design Books

Usability and interaction design are fields that are becoming important for every website design. They consider the interactions between the user and every system, nowadays most commonly applied to websites. A product has more chances to be successful if it’s design makes emphasis on usability. Making a website easy to use and easy to understand has direct economical impact as, for example, it guides the users across the sites, helps user to successfully sign up for a service or to complete a checkout process.

About Face 3. The Essentials of Interaction Design

We have selected excellent books about usability and interaction design, some provide the theory of user interface design, others have a number of precise examples of how the theory can be used in practice. All these books are prestigious, well-known and recommended by experts. They include the origins of user-friendly products, creation of personas, goal-directed design, information on how to conduct usability tests and much more.

Images are, as always, clickable and lead to the sites which have more information about the books.

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Evolve Your User Interface To Educate Your Users

The Web has changed. This isn’t your neighbor’s nerdy kid’s internet anymore. Now the Web is home to your mom, your grandma and your technophobe sister. With computers as common a household appliance as televisions now, who might be using your web-application has expanded beyond the realm of just the power user.

Zooomr

Complicated menu systems, alert dialog messages that lock you out of the browser and flashy but confusing layouts aren’t necessarily going to help you make conversions. The Web user demographic has changed and to make your web application appeal to the masses your user interface needs to teach and to guide.

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