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Web Design>Usability

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1.
#34759

25-Point Website Usability Checklist  (link broken)

Four major components are covered in this checklist: accessibility, identity, navigation and content. The list is a printable PDF and contains a rating system and space for comments.

User Effect (2009). Articles>Web Design>Usability>Workflow

2.
#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

3.
#37049

The $300 Million Button

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.

Spool, Jared M. User Interface Engineering (2009). Articles>Web Design>Usability>Forms

4.
#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

5.
#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

6.
#19037

Accessibility Arguments Revisited

Frontend has recently completed the delivery of the first version (1.1) of the Irish National Disability Authority (NDA) IT Accessibility Guidelines. In the course of our work for the NDA over the last year we’ve talked to a wide variety groups and individuals who have an interest in accessibility and as a result of their input, our approach has shifted a little. Here’s what we found out.

Poskitt, Henry. Frontend Infocentre (2002). Design>Web Design>Accessibility>Usability

7.
#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

8.
#33131

Accessible Forms

This document is concerned with what the user of a Website form "sees" and interacts with. It outlines how you can create forms for the Web that are more accessible and describes the appropriate use of.

Hudson, William. Webusability (2004). Articles>Web Design>Usability>Forms

9.
#22949

Accountability of Accessibility and Usability

Focus on your users, all of them. Learn from mistakes currently made on the Web. If a user can't fill out a form, they can't buy anything from your site. People turned away by unusable sites will probably try a competitor's site. Don't be the site that turned people away. Make your Web site as usable and accessible as possible. It's the business savvy thing to do. It's the right thing to do. If you don't, someone just might force you legally to do it or threaten to sue.

Pavka, Anitra. Digital Web Magazine (2002). Design>Web Design>Accessibility>Usability

10.
#18285

Aesthetics and Usability: A Look at Color and Balance

As websites continue to fight for the attention of potential users, designers must begin to look not only at the inherent usability of the site, but also its perceived usability. For instance, Tractinsky (1997) found a correlation between perceived usability and aesthetics when investigating ATM machines. Subjects based their overall opinion of the usability of the ATM on the 'look' of the machine. Moreover, in examining users' first impression of websites, Shenkman and Jonsson (2000) found that the best predictor for the overall judgment by typical users of a website was its beauty. Design principles are frequently utilized by graphic designers to create aesthetically pleasing websites. The term harmony can be defined as a pleasing arrangement of parts, whether it be music, poetry, or color. In visual experiences, harmony is something that is pleasing to the eye. Two design principles that influence harmony are balance and color. When a website is harmonious, it engages the viewer and creates an inner sense of order, a balance in the visual experience. When something is not harmonious, it becomes either boring or chaotic (Lauer & Pentak, 2002). According to Lindgaard (1999), color is a strong predictor in the overall appeal of a website.

Brady, Laurie and Christine Phillips. Usability News (2003). Design>Web Design>Usability>Aesthetics

11.
#24578

Afraid So: Horrible Web Monstrosities

Here they come. Nightmare web sites that, from a usability perspective, are horrid monsters. When you're tired and in a hurry, you want a web site to quickly and easily provide relevant content to you, so you can solve a problem or perform some task. Discover common hideous impediments to web usability. WARNING: Not for the faint hearted!

Streight, Steven. Blogger.com (2004). Articles>Web Design>Usability>User Centered Design

12.
#22377

Against Non-Standard Link Colors

User tasks are carried out faster and better with sites that use standard link colors as opposed to non-standard.

Bohmann, Kristoffer. Bohmann Usability (2000). Design>Web Design>Usability>Color

13.
#29534

AJAX Usability Metrics

A look at how to quantify or measure the benefits of a better user interface built with Ajax.

Charland, Andre. SlideShare (2006). Presentations>Web Design>Usability>Ajax

14.
#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

15.
#35397

(Almost) Never Add a Reset Button to a Form

Next time you consider adding a reset button to a form, think it through very carefully first. Does the user really benefit from being able to reset the form? Is being able to reset the form to its initial state so valuable that it is worth the risk of the user losing the data they have entered? Probably not.

456 Berea Street (2009). Articles>Web Design>Forms>Usability

16.
#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

17.
#20899

An Alternative to Banner Ads

Banner ads are not a particularly useful way of getting people to 'click', but inserting a plain vanilla link just might be.

Baker, Adam. Merges.net (2001). Design>Web Design>Marketing>Usability

18.
#24524

Altruistic vs. Narcissistic Web Sites

Users are repulsed by web sites that are narcissistic, egotistic, corporate-speak, hard to understand, and difficult to use. Users are attracted to and enjoy web sites that are altruistic, user-prioritized, user-focused, easy to understand, easy to use, and full of fresh, relevant content.

Streight, Steven. Blogger.com (2004). Articles>Web Design>User Centered Design>Usability

19.
#21106

Amazon, You Just Lost $82.62

The purpose of this article is to openly display my disgust with Amazon and to discuss the implications. On Monday, 11-June-2000, I ordered a gift certificate from Amazon.com. I was going to use the certificate for Father's Day, however Amazon failed to send the certificate in time. So, I drove to Barnes and Noble, bought some books, and bought a gift certificate. Amazon just lost $82.62.

Rhodes, John S. WebWord (2001). Design>Web Design>Usability>E Commerce

20.
#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

21.
#33114

Analysis Phase  (link broken)

It is most effective and efficient to incorporate accessibility from the very beginning of a project. When accessibility is only addressed late in product design, it can be very costly to make required design changes. Incorporating accessibility early in the project increases the potential positive design impact, and decreases the time and money required to design accessible products. This chapter provides information on setting usability goals, user analysis, workflow analysis and understanding accessibility issues.

UIaccess (2007). Articles>Web Design>Accessibility>Usability

22.
#14995

Analyzing Usability of a Beta-Version Web Site Through Server Logs, User Profile Data, and Online Questionnaire Responses  (link broken)   (PDF)

This paper discusses the use of automated data collection to learn from hundreds of beta-test users of a web-based industrial product database how successfully the product met their needs. The collected data consisted of web server log data, opinion data from online questionnaires and follow-up interviews, and user profile data from telerecruiting and online registration was also collected. In the Proceedings of the 1998 Usability Professionals' Association Conference.

Kantner, Laurie and Larry Rusinsky. Tec-Ed, Inc. (1998). Articles>Web Design>Usability

23.
#21052

Are Standards-Compliant Websites Better?

The adhoc way in which much of the web was developed has created a dilemma for web designers: should websites comply with standards, ensuring accessibility, or break the rules and work with older browsers? At this moment, the answer is simple: Websites should work with older browsers.

Baker, Adam. Merges.net (2001). Design>Web Design>Standards>Usability

24.
#23062

Are the Product Lists on Your Site Reducing Sales?   (PDF)

You can increase sales on your site as much as 225% by offering sufficient product information to your customers at the time they need it. One way to do this is to develop product lists that don't require shoppers to bounce back-and-forth between the list and individual product pages.

User Interface Engineering (2004). Design>Web Design>Usability>E Commerce

25.
#14211

Are There Users Who Always Search?

Web designers often tell us that they spend a great deal of their limited time and resources working to improve their on-site search engines because, they believe, there are some people who always rely on the search engine to reach their target content. They find further support for this assumption from Jakob Nielsen who, in his book, 'Designing Web Usability,' asserts that more than half of all users demonstrate 'search-dominant' tendencies by going right to the search engine when they first visit a web site looking for content.

User Interface Engineering (2002). Design>Web Design>Usability>Search

 
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