It's hard to imagine a form that could be simpler: two fields, two buttons, and one link. Yet, it turns out this form was preventing customers from purchasing products from a major e-commerce site, to the tune of $300,000,000 a year. What was even worse: the designers of the site had no clue there was even a problem.
Approaches that are either too general or too specific can easily overwhelm practitioners—and derail budgets. Fresh from recent experiences with two large-scale redesigns, Katie Kovalcin suggests that flexibility and open communication can transform all team members into what she calls “80/20 practitioners,” creating a more effective balance of time and resources.
The first time I discovered the 960 Grid System, I was immediately excited about the possibilities of implementing complex layouts so easily. However, since I was fairly new to web design at the time, when I downloaded the files, I quickly became overwhelmed at how complicated the whole thing seemed. With all this code, how could this be the easy way to create a layout?
We had a huge, unruly Web site. It just had different graphics, a better-named Web team and more people shoveling on content and applications. Finally, out of desperation, we decided to try a new-fangled thing called a Web content management system.
When you build websites that rely on cookies and they are expected to work with privacy settings other than default, you’ll have to deal with P3P. Read on to find out about the cornerstones of the Platform for Privacy Preferences, and get your hands dirty with an example guiding you from empty hands to a complete basic implementation.
I've noticed recently that people (and organizations) often interchange the policies and standards labels as if there is no difference between them... like those who insist the Web and the Internet are the same. I'm not one for splitting hairs, but in this case, policies are truly not the same as standards and it's important to be clear about the distinction.
On a Web site or intranet each of the alphabetically arranged entries or subentries is hyperlinked to the page or to an anchor within a page to where the topic is discussed. Since an alphabetical index can be quite long, it is often divided into pages for each letter of the alphabet. Typically, each letter is linked at the top of the page allow a jump to the start of that letter’s section of the index.
The WCAG (1.0) guideline 4, checkpoint 4.2, about ABBR and ACRONYM, has for a long time been too unclear to implement. The drafts for XHTML 2.0 and WCAG 2.0 seem to have solved most problems.
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.
No matter how beautifully designed, if a site’s voice doesn’t ring true, it’s easy to spot an “ugh.” Rather than using this section of a site like a congratulatory press release, consider approaching “About Us” like a magazine’s Editor Letter.
The World Wide Web Consortium (W3C), along with other groups and standards bodies, has established technologies for creating and interpreting web-based content. These technologies, which we call 'web standards', are carefully designed to deliver the greatest benefits to the greatest number of web users while ensuring the long-term viability of any document published on the Web. Designing and building with these standards simplifies and lowers the cost of production, while delivering sites that are accessible to more people and more types of Internet devices. Sites developed along these lines will continue to function correctly as traditional desktop browsers evolve, and as new Internet devices come to market.
What affects decision outcomes most is the actual context in which people make decisions. All kinds of things affect decision making—the type of decision someone is making, the decision maker’s level of expertise, the number of options available, the way and order in which options are presented, and many others. This column examines how the number of available options affects the decision-making process.
A common assumption about internationalization is that every user fits into a single locale like “English, United States” or “French, France.” It’s a hangover from the PC days when just getting the computer to display the right squiggly bits was a big deal. One byte equaled one character, no exceptions, and you could only load one language’s alphabet at a time. This was fine because it was better than nothing, and because users spent most of their time with documents they or their coworkers produced themselves. Today users deal with data from everywhere, in multiple languages and locales, all the time. The locale I prefer is only loosely correlated with the locales I expect applications to process.
Yesterday we launched a new version of our developer community website. It doesn’t have many ‘community’ features as yet but that’s all to come. One thing it does now have is an HTML version of all of our product documentation, in an easily searchable format. This new format of the product documentation is largely to move us away from PDF only documentation. At present we still have a set of PDFs but they aren’t particularly usable.
Social media can be a terrific way to share information with your customers, provide them with crucial support, and otherwise communicate with them. Although there is little you can do to compensate accessibility problems while you are visiting Facebook, Twitter, or YouTube, there are many things you can do to make shared information on those sites easier for your customers to access.
In traditional marketing you're looking to define your targeted audience for your business or organisation. In Internet marketing things work in the same way. Unfortunately, with the growing popularity of the Internet in the past years and with the growing number of people building sites, a certain part of the online audience has been overlooked.
With this paper... we are primarily concerned with the problems people with cognitive and learning difficulties might have when using the web and offering a few practical suggestions on how these problems might be addressed.
Most web developers act in blindness when they design accessible websites, since they know next to nothing about disabled people and the technology they use. Accessibility guidelines and validation tools doesn't provide this insight. Accessibility should rather be approached from a user centred perspective.
Personas are "hypothetical archetypes" of actual users. They are not real people, but they represent real people during the design process. A persona is a fictional characterization of a user. The purpose of personas is to make the users seem more real, to help designers keep realistic ideas of users throughout the design process.
Although typically we think of accessibility in terms of visual, hearing, dexterity, cognitive disabilities and so on, this concept of disability is very limiting in terms of the need for accessible technology. More than 50 million Americans have some sort of disability, and the numbers are increasing as the population ages. Tens of millions of people in the European Union (EU) and half a million worldwide have a disability. Disability knows no boundaries, languages or borders.
Accessibility is one of the fundamentals of the Web, so how people who claim to be passionate about the Web and say that they deliver high quality can choose to ignore it is beyond me.
You often read advice from industry experts along the lines of "using tags as they were meant to be used" and limiting your use of advanced programming techniques in order to make your site accessible.