User experience design is a subset of the field of experience design which pertains to the creation of the architecture and interaction models which impact a user's perception of a device or system. The scope of the field is directed at affecting 'all aspects of the user’s interaction with the product: how it is perceived, learned, and used.'
A well-designed information architecture with intuitive organization, labeling, navigation, and indexing systems can significantly reduce the amount of time that users spend blundering through the hierarchies of Web sites and intranets. How much is this time-savings worth? The case is clearest for intranets where the users are your employees.
Over the past year we have worked with a number of organizations that have chosen to relocate their sites from an existing domain to a new domain. One of the questions that always comes up early in the process is “how much traffic are we going to lose?” It is an excellent question and not an easy one to answer, but in today’s column I am going to explore that exact question.
The language you use on your web site is critically important and shapes the user experience in ways that you might not expect. You can seriously harm or augment the experience by changing words in small ways.
You know all that copy that goes around your forms and in your confirmation e-mails? Who’s writing it? Derek Powazek explains why it’s important for user-interface designers to sharpen up their writing skills.
What is likely to win the most converts is the joy Wroblewski takes in designing. This impression becomes clear as you page through the book. He isn’t just an ardent evangelizer, following the rituals of going to conferences selling snake oil. He’s been there in the trenches, just like you; he’s done this a hundred, maybe a thousand times. He’s tested these ideas and provides a framework for you to use from day one. Half the battle in good form design is defending your decisions to stakeholders.
Given the proliferation of computers and rapidly aging demographic trends, there is a critical need for user interface designs that accommodate older adults. It is known that many adults in this age group experience declines in cognitive, sensory, and/or motor capacities that may interfere with their ability to interact effectively with current user interfaces. Motor behavior slows with age. Compared to younger adults, older adults take longer to complete the same movement, and their movements are more variable, less smooth, and less coordinated (Seidler & Stelmach, 1996). The loss of fine motor skills makes it difficult for older adults to position cursors on computer screens, particularly when interacting with small objects (Chaparro, et al., 1999; Walker et al., 1996). This can lead to greater frustration and possibly increased risk of cumulative trauma due to prolonged periods of time in awkward postures. This article describes one of a series of studies designed to explore alternative interaction techniques to make object selection easier for older mouse users.
Some people thought Firefox was going to fail because of these broken links. Just like Adobe is trying to say that Apple’s iPad is going to fail because of its own set of broken links. But just a few years later and have you seen a site that doesn’t work on Firefox? I haven’t. Can Adobe save Flash? No. But Google can.
Personality traits are used to describe the strong consistencies that people demonstrate in their behavior across time and situations. People display behaviors that fall into a continuum of trait extremes. This behavior can be malleable to the situation such as the differences in behaviors across various shopping venues. For example, while consumers may not hesitate to give their credit card to a cashier or give personal or credit card information over the phone, research has shown that many consumers are concerned with online security. Therefore, this study explores Internet purchasing behaviors and the following personality traits: Vigilance and Openness to Change.
In the current editor’s draft of the HTML 5 specification, the alt attribute for images is no longer required. I am not convinced that this is a good idea.
A number of organisations are experimenting with how the experience of reading a paper book or a magazine can be replicated when they are displayed on a screen. Underlying all of these, is an assumption that people can and want to read content online (or on screen) in the same way as they read paper books and magazines.
Convincing photo manipulation is not quite as easy as it's made out to be. Adding something to a photo, for example, is much harder than removing existing items. And while it often makes sense to expend time and effort on this for advertising, it's not cost-effective, despite inexpensive software, for most journalistic or political purposes.
In recent years, intranet homepages have become very similar in their basic layout. Intranets that look the same can nonetheless differ drastically in usability due to different features and content.
An online petition is being circulated to all Internet users for the purpose of collecting signatures showing support for Google to make its word verification scheme accessible to the blind and visually impaired.
My business and passion is accessibility and there is obviously a huge problem with these visual CAPTCHAs. If you used alt-text on this image, alt="e3TJ6Jdp", that would be fine and very welcome for blind visitors. It would also be welcome for any computer system seeking to sign up for lots of emails. Using alt-text on the image does not solve the problem! The visual image CAPTCHA is fundamentally inaccessible. For the example above, this means very simply that Yahoo excludes people who are blind (or vision impaired) from signing up for Yahoo email accounts.
In the exercise that follows, and in the second part of this series, we are going to add captions, using both methods, to the same video. For those passionate about web standards, the first method involves the use of Timed Text captions. If you go this route, you need to follow the standard laid out by the W3C. There is a lot to it but, in a nutshell, it requires you to create a specific type of XML document using the required tags.
In this article, we’re going to look at a method of captioning a Flash video file: embedding the XML directly into the FLV file. In very simple terms, the XML document will contain the cue points for the captions. When one of those cue points is reached, the caption appears over the video.
Describes how to use Microsoft FrontPage and Access to build a system for organizing and retrieving feedback from reviewers. The article is intended for those with some experience with Web and database design.
A relatively large navigation list (about 50 content areas) of ‘un-substructured’ finance related material. The intranet in question uses single menu pages for each of 8 main information groups and the above list was part of the wider finance information group. Some work had already be done on other subsections (i.e purchasing). But the rest of the content, which included policies, procedures and other reference material, was all in the same sub-section. The list was structured by alphabetical order only.