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Research (93)  Tips and guidelines (65)  Tools (51)  Books (32)  Cases and Examples (12)  Interviews (10)  Primers (9)  GUUUI articles (8)  Posters (5)  Online books (5)  Glossaries (2)  People and organisations (2) 
 

11

Introduction to eye-tracking

"The eye is the mirror of the soul, and the soul is the mirror of our thoughts." In his introduction to eye-tracking, Matteo Penzo explains how eyetracking works, what the outputs are, and how eye-tracking can introduce quantitative measurement to standard usability evaluation techniques.

Links:

  • Introduction to Eyetracking: Seeing Through Your Users' Eyes

Henrik Olsen - January 15, 2006

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See also: Eye-tracking (7)  Primers (9) 


 

12

Visio - the interaction designer's nail gun (2nd edition)

The Q1 2006 issue of GUUUI is a second edition of an article on using Visio for rapid prototyping for the web that was published at GUUUI back in Q3 2002. The new edition includes a new and improved version of the GUUUI Prototyping Tool for Visio 2003.

Links:

Henrik Olsen - January 15, 2006

Permanent link Comments (1)

See also: GUUUI articles (8)  Prototyping and wireframing (32) 


 

13

Only experts use help

In usability tests Jensen Harris has observed that help in Microsoft Office is mostly used by experts and enthusiasts. While novices and intermediates click around and experiment, experts try to reason thing out and look them up in help.

Jensen suggests that reasons for the varied usage of help include:
- Only experts know the "magic" words to bring up what they're looking for
- Help doesn't help you become familiar with a piece of software - it's designed to troubleshoot, not to teach.
- The process of experimenting with the product is totally removed from opening and reading articles in the help window
- Experts use more of the powerful and involved features, and thus benefit from the help system more.

Links:

  • Help Is For Experts

Henrik Olsen - December 17, 2005

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See also: Help (2)  Research (93) 


 

14

Best bets - hand-crafted search results

Much can be done to improve the quality of search results. But according to James Robertson, no amount of tweaking search engines will ensure that the most relevant results always appear at the beginning of the list. This is where "best bets" come in.

Best bets are a hand-created list of key resources for common queries, presented prominently at the beginning of the search results. By analyzing search statistics, we can ensure that the most useful pages are listed right at the top of popular searches.

Links:

  • Search engine 'best bets'

Henrik Olsen - December 06, 2005

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See also: Tips and guidelines (65)  Search (24) 


 

15

Designing pages listing links to content

According to Jared Spool, gallery pages - pages listing links to content pages - are the hardest working pages on a web site. They separate those users who find the content they are looking for from the users who don't.

Studies by UIE show that when gallery pages don't contain the information that users will need to make their choice, they have to resort to "pogosticking" - jumping back and forth between the gallery and the content pages hoping they'll eventually hit the content they desire.

UIE also noticed that users expect the most important items to always be listed first in the gallery. If the first few items aren't of interest, they often assume the rest will be even less interesting.

Links:

  • Galleries: The Hardest Working Page on Your Site

Henrik Olsen - December 01, 2005

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See also: Research (93)  Persuasive design (13)  Sections (5)  Web page design (23)  Navigation (46) 


 

16

Online journal on usability studies

The Journal of Usability Studies (JUS) is a peer-reviewed, international, online publication dedicated to promoting and enhancing the practice, research, and education of usability engineering.

The journal aims to provide usability practitioners and researchers with a forum to share:
- Empirical findings and case studies
- Emerging methods and tools
- Reports of good practices in usability engineering
- Approaches and case studies in usability education and training
- Opinions and experiences regarding the practice and education of usability engineering

Links:

  • Journal of Usability Studies

Henrik Olsen - November 23, 2005 - via Usernomics

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See also: Research (93)  Online magazines (3) 


 

17

Setting goals and measuring success for web sites

With this free e-book by Steve Jackson, editor of Conversion Chronicles, you can learn the basics of how to set up measurable goals for web site conversion, how to reach your goals through persuasive design and how to measure success with web site statistic tools.

You have to sign up for their newsletter to get the e-book (they are taking their own medicine and use the book to boost their newsletter conversion and prospect acquisition).

Links:

  • The e-book Learn before you spend

Henrik Olsen - November 22, 2005

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See also: Online books (5)  Books (32)  Persuasive design (13)  Web log analysis (7) 


 

18

Usability is more important that aesthetics in the long run

The October 2005 newsletter from HFI is a discussion of how beauty can influence users' overall impression of a product and how to measure the product-emotion relationship.

The newsletter mentions a study by M. Hassenzahl where a MP3 application was evaluated with a variety of different visual designs. They study showed that:
- When participants only looked at the MP3 player, the overall rating of the product was based on its perceived beauty and anticipated usability
- When participants were allowed to use the player, the overall rating of the product was more influenced by participants' experience of using the product

The study suggests that the emotional aspects of a design are important in attracting customers in the first place. However, when the product is judged through usage over time, usability is what matters most.

Links:

  • Is Beauty the new usability attribute?

Henrik Olsen - November 16, 2005

Permanent link Comments (1)

See also: Usability testing (30)  Visual design (14)  Research (93) 


 

19

Demographics is not critical when recruiting study participants

When recruiting participants for usability testing, field research and the like, candidates experience and behaviour is more important than demographics.

According to Jared Spool, studies of user experience professionals have shown that successful teams have learnt that candidates' previous experience and how they will behave in the study is more important than where they live, how old they are, and how much they earn. You don't need to have someone who is in your target audience. You only need someone who behaves like people in your audience group and is comfortable with the study situation.

Links:

  • Putting Perfect Participants in Every Session

Henrik Olsen - November 13, 2005

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See also: Research (93)  Requirement Analysis (12)  Usability testing (30) 


 

20

Explain icons with labels

"Part of the user experience efforts around Outlook 98 was improving the menu and toolbar structure. One of the problems that were noticed was that non-expert users didn't use the toolbar at all. One change caused a total turnaround: labeling the important toolbar buttons."

According to Jensen Harris, icons can work by themselves, but the richness is just not there relative to human language.

Links:

  • The Importance Of Labels

Henrik Olsen - November 06, 2005

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See also: Tips and guidelines (65)  Navigation (46) 


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