Posts Tagged ‘Usability’.
We are pleased to present below all posts tagged with ‘Usability’.
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We are pleased to present below all posts tagged with ‘Usability’.
The world of online sales, whether of products or services, can be daunting at first; the options seem confusing and the information conflicted. Yet as the designer or developer of an online store, you will need to guide your client through the maze of choices in order to get it up and running.
I have developed many e-commerce websites during my career as a Web developer. I've used and modified off-the-shelf software and have also developed custom solutions — so I know from experience that there are a number of important questions to answer before presenting possible solutions to a client. Getting all the pertinent information up front is vital if such a project is to run smoothly, and it can save you from delays during the process. It can also help you advise the client on whether they need a full custom cart or an open-source or off-the-shelf product.
This article responds to some questions you should be asking of your client before putting together a proposal for the development of an e-commerce website. I'll explain the most important things to think about in terms of taking payments and credit card security. It should give you enough information to be able to guide your client and to look up more detailed information about the aspects that apply to your particular situation.Read more...
With advertising, a curious thing happens: most people want its benefits but are rarely willing to put up with its hassles. Those who run websites and applications have enough on their plates without having to worry about handling transactions, putting banners across their website or hearing requests from advertisers. Moreover, users have little to no interest in even looking at advertisements that flank a website's content, some going so far as to block ads before they're delivered. So, what's a website owner to do?
Advertising hasn't always been this way. Some people even enjoy them. Scary thought, I know, but stay with me. You know those previews shown before movies and those signs outside of gas stations announcing fuel prices? Those are rarely seen as advertisements at all. That's because people find them informative, helpful and engaging. Heck, some people say they watch the Superbowl for the advertisements themselves. So why are websites any different? What has changed online that people (apparently) find less acceptable than offline? Not much, really… well, not much unless you count that whole "Internet" thing.
As a general rule, when people surf the Web, they're in control of the experience. If someone wants information about a particular topic, they might query Google or look up an article on Wikipedia. Regardless of what they do, they choose how to obtain the information they want. The traditional advertising model — shout at your audience until it listens (as Groundswell would put it) — is diametrically opposed to this.Read more...
Over the years designers have pushed themselves to create unique and inspiring designs. Companies have yearned to have websites which are innovative and make them stand out against their competitors. Yet charity websites have not progressed along with trends and expectations — they seem to have been designed for launch and then only updated with minor tweaks to suit the content.
It has become a recent trend for charities to look at their online identities and branding; spending money on creating user experiences which suit their user base, and over time getting people involved with their campaigns and messages.
Below we look at charity websites which have successfully developed their online brand using modern and creative ideas. We will also discuss how each charity website can be improved because, as we all know, not every website is perfect. There are always improvements to the design or usability that may have been overlooked by management, designers, or developers.Read more...
In the first part of this Better User Experience With Storytelling series, we explored some of the basic structures and story patterns found in myths and religions. We saw how these patterns continued into modern stories such as The Matrix and Star Wars. We also explored some of the basics of bringing storytelling into the user experience process and some places to get started.
Concluding this two-part article, we hear from creative professionals who are leading the way in this relatively new world of combining the craft of storytelling with user experience. We'll also see how storytelling can be applied to more than just interactive experiences: we find it in everything from packaging to architecture.Read more...
Online shopping is a great way to economize and reduce the stress of shopping, but shopping online for certain types of products can be harder than shopping in person. Recently, I looked at how well major online retailers (Macy's, Target and Overstock.com) facilitate shopping for a deceptively complex, though very common, item: a set of 300-thread-count, white cotton sheets for a queen-sized bed. Here's what I found.
As with all things Macy's, its website is highly polished and savvy with marketing. The home page is clear and well organized, with categories that are well delineated and prominently displayed. This clarity continues on the "Bed & Bath" landing page, where the "Sheets" option is emphasized, being listed under "Bedding" as well as in the "Featured Categories" on the right. But once they've made their big choices, most shoppers will undoubtedly run into problems.Read more...
We're all mostly accustomed to educating ourselves by reading articles. Rare are the opportunities to attend conferences or watch live shows on subjects that we're interested in. That's why we are presenting here phenomenal videos and related resources on the topic of user experience (UX) by different presenters at different events. We have focused on current content but have included some older videos that are still relevant. It will take you more than 16 hours to watch all of these videos. So, make some popcorn, turn off the lights and enjoy.
Jesse James Garett, founder of Adaptive Path and author of the book The Elements of User Experience, speaks on what UX and UX design is, what UX looked like before and what are some of the challenges people are encountering now. He cites engagement as the main goal of UX design and, through some fantastic examples, shows that engagement is an universal quality achieved through visuality, sound, touch, smell, taste, body and mind. One of the most impressive moments from the session is when Jesse compares Beethoven to an experience designer, accompanied by the Ninth Symphony.Read more...
While product findability is a key factor of success in e-commerce, it is predominantly enabled by simple search alone. And while simple search usually doesn't fulfill complex needs among users, website developers and owners still regard advanced search as just another boring to-do item during development. Owners won't go so far as to leave it out, because every e-commerce website has some kind of advanced search functionality, but they probably do not believe it brings in much revenue.
On the contrary, well-devised advanced search offers several benefits and can be more than just a clumsy, complicated tool. First of all, effective search can accelerate the sales process. And faster sales can increase conversions, because you will not be losing customers who give up trying to find products. Furthermore, fast, precise and successful searches increase your customers' trust.
In this article, we will review how to build an interface that offers users the power of advanced search while preserving the clarity of simple search.
Also consider our previous articles:
The standard approach to interface design is to craft a channel that allows you to easily and efficiently control hardware or software; it's all about the interaction between people and computers. But today, the two entities on each side of the user interface are changing: it's no longer about people interacting with computers, but rather about people interacting with people through computers. [Content Care Dec/12/2016]
This is the nature of the social Web. Social news websites, message boards, social networks, online stores and blogs all have some sort of user interaction going on, whether it's comments on a blog post or social games on Facebook. The critical issue here is that people are not interacting directly with other people; rather the interaction occurs through a user interface. The computer acts as a mediator.
In essence, we control the flow of user interaction on our websites. By crafting an interface to facilitate certain behaviors, we can influence the direction in which our community goes. In this article, we'll demonstrate the power of social interface design and what it can do for you, using several practical examples.Read more...
When designing an online store, you have to consider many different types of customers: repeat customers, first-timers, people in a rush, etc. One thing that would help all of them is optimum usability. You can achieve this in a variety of ways, starting with eliminating the most common usability problems from your website. Fixing any one of the following eight common usability problems will get you started on the path to usability and user-experience heaven and, ultimately, more sales.
A solid information architecture can do wonders for people who enjoy browsing, but some customers just want to find what they're looking for, buy it and get out. These people are search dominant, and as soon as they land on your website, they will start searching. And if they can't find your search box, they will leave. As simple as that.Read more...
Selling online can open up huge new markets for many businesses. When your store can be open 24/7 and you can reach a global market without the costs of mailings and call centers, it can be a huge boon to your business. But there are plenty of things to consider when designing an ecommerce site. It's not as simple as throwing up some shopping cart software and plopping products into a database.
There are tons of mistakes that online retailers make every day, all of them avoidable with a little careful planning. And even if you're already committing some of these mistakes, most of them are easy enough to fix. Avoiding them will greatly improve the experience of your customers.
Below are 15 of the most common mistakes that e-commerce sites make, as well as advice on how to avoid or fix them. Take the advice under consideration before embarking on a new e-commerce project or when thinking over your current ecommerce site, and make efforts to follow the recommendations outlined here.Read more...
Clean. Easy to use. User-friendly. Intuitive. This mantra is proclaimed by many but often gets lost in translation. The culprit: complexity. How one deals with complexity can make or break an application. A complex interface can disorient the user in a mild case and completely alienate them in an extreme case. But if you take measures first to reduce actual complexity and then to minimize perceived complexity, the user will be rewarded with a gratifying experience.
We recently faced this very challenge while designing two Web-based applications, including an enterprise-level content management system. What follows are several techniques that have helped us streamline complex applications into lightweight user experiences.
The first weapon for fighting the villain of complexity is a hatchet. Studies have found that 80% of users use only 20% of software features. Not only are all those unused features a waste of development time, but they frequently detract rather than add value by making the application more difficult to use. Applications that try to do everything often struggle to do anything well.Read more...
Everyone would agree that usability is an important aspect of Web design. Whether you're working on a portfolio website, online store or Web app, making your pages easy and enjoyable for your visitors to use is key. Many studies have been done over the years on various aspects of Web and interface design, and the findings are valuable in helping us improve our work. Here are 10 useful usability findings and guidelines that may help you improve the user experience on your websites. [Links checked February/09/2017]
A study by UX Matters found that the ideal position for labels in forms is above the fields. On many forms, labels are put to the left of the fields, creating a two-column layout; while this looks good, it's not the easiest layout to use.
Why is that? Because forms are generally vertically oriented; i.e. users fill the form from top to bottom. Users scan the form downwards as they go along. And following the label to the field below is easier than finding the field to the right of the label.Read more...