A directory of resources inthe field of technical communication.

Nielsen, Jakob

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1.
#21878

2D is Better Than 3D

Most abstract information spaces work poorly in 3D because they are non-physical. If anything, they have at least a hundred dimensions, so visualizing an information space in 3D means throwing away 97 dimensions instead of 98: hardly a big enough improvement to justify the added interface complexity.

Nielsen, Jakob. Alertbox (1998). Design>Web Design>Usability

2.
#33458

About Us Information on Websites

We found a 9% improvement in the usability of About Us information on websites over the past 5 years. But companies and organizations still can't explain what they do in one paragraph.

Nielsen, Jakob. Alertbox (2008). Articles>Web Design>Usability>Writing

3.
#20624

"About Us" -- Presenting Information About an Organization on Its Website

Study participants searched websites for background information ranging from company history to management biographies and contact details. Their success rate was 70%, leaving much room for usability improvements in the 'About Us' designs.

Nielsen, Jakob. Alertbox (2003). Articles>Web Design>Usability>Writing

4.
#26626

Accessibility Is Not Enough

A strict focus on accessibility as a scorecard item doesn't help users with disabilities. To help these users accomplish critical tasks, you must adopt a usability perspective.

Nielsen, Jakob. Alertbox (2005). Design>Web Design>Accessibility>Usability

5.
#20856

Accessible Design for Users With Disabilities

Making the Web more accessible for users with various disabilities is to a great extent a matter of using HTML the way it was intended: to encode meaning rather than appearance. As long as a page is coded for meaning, it is possible for alternative browsers to present that meaning in ways that are optimized for the abilities of individual users and thus facilitate the use of the Web by disabled users.

Nielsen, Jakob. Alertbox (1996). Design>Web Design>Accessibility

6.
#38336

Accuracy vs. Insights in Quantitative Usability

Better to accept a wider margin of error in usability metrics than to spend the entire budget learning too few things with extreme precision.

Nielsen, Jakob. Alertbox (2011). Articles>Usability>Testing>Methods

7.
#33352

Acting on User Research

User research offers a learning opportunity that can help you build an understanding of user behavior, but you must resolve discrepancies between research findings and your own beliefs.

Nielsen, Jakob. Alertbox (2004). Articles>Usability>Research

8.
#33454

Agile Development Projects and Usability

Agile methods aim to overcome usability barriers in traditional development, but pose new threats to user experience quality. By modifying Agile approaches, however, many companies have realized the benefits without the pain.

Nielsen, Jakob. Alertbox (2008). Articles>Project Management>Usability>Agile

9.
#35715

Agile User Experience Projects

Agile projects aren't yet fully user-driven, but new research shows that developers are actually more bullish on key user experience issues than UX people themselves.

Nielsen, Jakob. Alertbox (2009). Articles>Project Management>User Experience>Agile

10.
#20179

Alertbox #200

Jakob Nielsen has published 200 Alertbox columns on the Web since 1995; in addition to promoting usability, the column's readership statistics validate the practice of archiving content.

Nielsen, Jakob. Alertbox (2003). Articles>Usability>Web Design

11.
#37627

Alphabetical Sorting Must (Mostly) Die

Ordinal sequences, logical structuring, time lines, or prioritization by importance or frequency are usually better than A–Z listings for presenting options to users.

Nielsen, Jakob. Alertbox (2010). Articles>Information Design>Web Design>Usability

12.
#21010

Alternative Interfaces for Accessibility

The key difference between user interfaces for sighted users and blind users is not that between graphics and text; it's the difference between 2-D and 1-D. Optimal usability for users with disabilities requires new approaches and new user interfaces.

Nielsen, Jakob. Alertbox (2003). Design>Accessibility>Usability>Universal Usability

13.
#26640

Amazon: No Longer the Role Model for E-Commerce Design

Many design elements work for Amazon.com mainly because of its status as the world's largest and most established e-commerce site. Normal sites should not copy Amazon's design.

Nielsen, Jakob. Alertbox (2005). Design>Web Design>E Commerce>Usability

14.
#33452

American English vs. British English for Web Content

Users pay attention to details in a site's writing style, and they'll notice if you use the wrong variant of the English language.

Nielsen, Jakob. Alertbox (2008). Articles>Usability>Writing>International

15.
#36162

Anybody Can Do Usability

Usability is like cooking: everybody needs the results, anybody can do it reasonably well with a bit of training, and yet it takes a master to produce a gourmet outcome.

Nielsen, Jakob. Alertbox (2009). Articles>Usability

16.
#26643

Archiving Usability Reports

Most usability practitioners don't derive full value from their user tests because they don't systematically archive the reports. An intranet-based usability archive offers four substantial benefits.

Nielsen, Jakob. Alertbox (2005). Articles>Usability>Methods

17.
#11861

Are Users Stupid?

Opponents of the usability movement claim that it focuses on 'stupid' users and that most users can easily overcome complexity. In reality, even smart users prefer pursuing their own goals to navigating idiosyncratic designs. As Web use grows, the price of ignoring usability will only increase.

Nielsen, Jakob. Alertbox (2001). Articles>Usability

18.
#33455

Aspects of Design Quality

Usability scores for 51 websites show some correlation between navigation, content, and feature quality, but no connections to other usability areas.

Nielsen, Jakob. Alertbox (2008). Articles>Web Design>Usability>Case Studies

19.
#25194

Authentic Behavior in User Testing

Despite being an artificial situation, user testing generates realistic findings because people engage strongly with the tasks and suspend their disbelief.

Nielsen, Jakob. Alertbox (2005). Articles>Usability>Testing

20.
#20814

Automated Email From Websites to Customers

Transactional email can be a website's customer service ambassador, but messages must first survive a ruthless selection process in the user's in-box. Differentiating your message from spam is thus the first duty of email design.

Nielsen, Jakob. Alertbox (2003). Articles>Business Communication>Correspondence>Email

21.
#27939

Avoid Within-Page Links

On the Web, users have a clear mental model for a hypertext link: it should bring up a new page. Within-page links violate this model and thus cause confusion.

Nielsen, Jakob. Alertbox (2006). Design>Web Design>Hypertext

22.
#21012

Avoiding Bias from the Survivor Effect

Only a few of the survey sites we analyzed in 2000 are still around. We can safely assume that the surviving sites are not a random sample of the original group, but rather that significant differences exist between the sites that made it and those that died. Survival might be due partly to luck, but it is mainly a result of good management and an understanding of Internet fundamentals. Thus, the surviving sites are likely to be disproportionately clued-in about what it takes to run an online business.

Nielsen, Jakob. Alertbox (2002). Articles>Usability>Methods>Web Design

23.
#13371

Avoiding Commodity Status

Software innovations are the main way to differentiate both high-tech products and websites.

Nielsen, Jakob. Alertbox (2002). Design>Usability

24.
#27694

B2B Usability

User testing shows that business-to-business websites have substantially lower usability than mainstream consumer sites. If they want to convert more prospects into leads, B2B sites should follow more guidelines and make it easier for prospects to research their offerings.

Nielsen, Jakob. Alertbox (2006). Design>Web Design>Usability>E Commerce

25.
#22586

B2B: Help Your Fans Convince Their Bosses

B2B websites must support a more complex buying process than B2C sites. Three key goals are to make a buyer's shortlist, offer a downloadable advocacy kit, and build a reputation for great service.

Nielsen, Jakob. Alertbox (2004). Design>Web Design>Usability>Community

 
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