Posts Tagged ‘Usability’

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

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.

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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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Splash Pages: Do We Really Need Them?

Yes, sometimes we do. Should we use them? No, we probably shouldn't. Splash screen (or splash page) is a front page of a web-site that don't provide the actual content, but offers visitors some kind of intuition or background information for what the site is about. Designers use splash pages in their portfolios to impress potential clients with eye-candy. Companies tend to make use of them to draw users' attention to their latest products. And users literally can't stand them, because splash pages usually take a long time to load and provide (almost) no navigation options — except of "entering the site".

Splashpage Screenshot

Depending on designers' creativity, splash pages use more or less attractive visual elements, sometimes with interactive Flash-movies which sometimes start to play automatically. Splash pages usually have a very simple structure — mostly just an image with few text lines and links. The design of these pages sometimes isn't related to the overall site design. And although most sites don't use them, splash pages are sometimes necessary and therefore remain popular. In fact, there are some situations in which we might want or might even need to use them. Even although we shouldn't — for our visitors' sake.

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30 Usability Issues To Be Aware Of

You don't have to agree upon everything. As a professional web developer you are the advocate of your visitors' interests and needs; you have to protect your understanding of good user experience and make sure the visitors will find their way through (possibly) complex site architecture. And this means that you need to be able to protect your position and communicate your ideas effectively — in discussions with your clients and colleagues. In fact, it's your job to compromise wrong ideas and misleading concepts instead of following them blindly.

In this context nothing can support you more than the profound knowledge of fundamental issues related to your work. But even if you know most of them it's important to know how to name these concepts and how to refer to them once they appear in the conversation. Furthermore, it's always useful to have some precise terms ready to hand once you might need them as an argument in your discussions.

Eye-Tracking
Eye-Tracking: Source.

In this article we present 30 important usability issues, terms, rules and principles which are usually forgotten, ignored or misunderstood. What is the difference between readability and legibility? What exactly does 80/20 or Pareto principle mean? What is meant with minesweeping and satisficing? And what is Progressive Enhancement and Graceful Degradation? OK, it's time to dive in.

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10 Usability Nightmares You Should Be Aware Of

Sometimes you just want to get the information you're after, save it and move along. And you can't. Usability nightmares — which are rather the daily routine than an exception — appear every now and again; usually almost every time you type your search keywords in Google. In his article "Why award-winning websites are so awful" Gerry McGovern points out that "the shiny surface wins awards, real substance wins customers" and that is absolutely true.

Nevermind what design you have, and nevermind which functionality you have to offer — if your visitors don't understand how they can get from point A to point B they won't use your site.

In almost every professional design (except from special design showcases such as, e.g., portfolios) you need to offer your visitors

  • a clear, self-explanatory navigation,
  • precise text-presentation,
  • search functionality and
  • visible and thought-out site structure.

And that means that you simply have to folow the basic rules of usability and common sense. You want to communicate with your visitors, don't drive them away, right?

Real Player

In this article we take a look at some of the usability nightmares you should avoid designing functional and usable web-sites. At the end of the article you'll also find 8 usability check-points you should probably be aware of.

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20 (Alternate) Ways to Focus on Users

Many web professionals know about certain ways to focus on users. The most popular methods surely include usability tests, card sorting, personas, surveys, and watching current research, and they mean valid approaches to enable products and services that actually work. The following list aims to show some alternative methods towards more useful products. Note: This article is based on own usability work and experience, but several methods have also been inspired by IDEO’s commendable Method Cards (order at William Stout). Read more...

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