To the front pageThe Interaction Designer's Coffee Break - Weekly postings and quarterly articles about interaction design  
  To the front pageSign inTo the frontpageSearch in GUUUI postingsAbout GUUUI  
   
 

BROWSE GUUUI POSTINGS

Navigation (63)  Web page design (40)  Search (27)  Text (24)  Forms (30)  Links (19)  Guidelines and Standards (15)  Site design (14)  Ads (9)  Design patterns (8)  Sections (8)  Shopping Carts (9)  Error handling (7)  Home pages (9)  Help (3)  E-mails (3)  Sitemaps (2)  Personalization (1)  Print-friendly (1)  Landing pages (5) 
 

11

Bad usability hinder donations

Jakob Nielsen has conducted a large-scale usability test that shows that non-profit organizations lose out donations because their fail answer donor's questions about what the organization stand for are and how they use donations.

Key findings:
- 47% of the usability problems were about people having problems with finding critical information
- 53% were content issues, including unclear or missing information and confusing terms
- On 17% of the sites, the test participant couldn't find where to make a donation
- The participants had few problems in completing the actual donations

Links:

  • Donation Usability: Increasing Online Giving to Non-Profits and Charities Open link in new window

Henrik Olsen - March 30, 2009

Permanent link Comments (1)

See also: Navigation (63)  Text (24)  Research (129) 


 

12

How removing a button can make you $300,000,000 a year

In this article, Jared Spool tells a story of how his company helped an e-commerce site increase purchases by 45%.

The site lost lots of purchases because the required customer registration frustrated people. Usability tests showed that they resented having to register and repeat customers couldn't remember their account login.

The designers fixed the problem simply. They took away the Register button and made customer registration optional. With an increased sale of $300,000,000 the first year, the client was happy.

Links:

  • The $300 Million Button Open link in new window

Henrik Olsen - January 15, 2009

Permanent link Comments (0)

See also: Cases and Examples (28)  E-commerce (27)  Shopping Carts (9)  Forms (30)  Cost-justification and ROI (27)  Usability testing (68) 


 

13

How to use arrows together with links

Sometimes an arrow character or icon is used together with a link. According to Dmitry from Usability Post, we can use such arrows to mean two things.

1. An arrow placed after a link, pointing somewhere else, is saying "hey, click here to go there." It can be used to direct users to an article page or the next page of some content.

2. An arrow placed before a link is advertising the link itself saying "hey, click this link." It can be used for other types of links that we need to draw peoples' attention to.

Links:

  • Should Arrows be Placed Before Link Text or After? Open link in new window

Henrik Olsen - October 28, 2008

Permanent link Comments (0)

See also: Tips and guidelines (95)  Links (19) 


 

14

How to make customers read your emails

Email is a powerful tool for connecting a website with its customers. But according to Jakob Nielsen, transactional email has appallingly low usability.

He gives a few tips on how to avoid your email being mistaken for spam and survive users' hectic approach to reading email:

- The From field should contain a recognizable and descriptive sender name such as "JetBlue Reservations" or "BestBuy Online Store"

- Provide a meaningful subject line that's relevant to the recipient such as "Order has shipped", rather than meaningless subjects such as "Important information"

- In the message, start with the facts that are important to users, rather marketing fluff or other seemingly irrelevant information

- To avoid inbox overload when sending order confirmations, settle for an order and a shipping confirmation

Links:

  • Transactional Email and Confirmation Messages Open link in new window

Henrik Olsen - October 22, 2008

Permanent link Comments (0)

See also: E-mails (3)  Research (129) 


 

15

About Us sections are getting better

According to Jakob Nielsen, "saying who you are and what you do is basic to good manners." Though there is still room for improvement, companies are learning their online manners.

Compared to a study five years ago:
- The usability of About Us information has increased from 70% to 79%
- The ease of finding contact information has increased from 62% to 91%
- The ease of figuring out what a company does has dropped from 90% to 81%
- User's satisfaction with About Us sections decreased from 5.2 to 4.6 on a 1-7 scale - probably because people's expectations have grown.
- People show higher interest in videos showing products, corporate events, or personality of the CEO or other key staff.

Jakob recommends providing About Us information at four levels of detail:
- A tagline on the home page
- A summary of what the company does on the About Us page
- A fact sheet following the summary
- Subsidiary pages with more depth

Links:

Henrik Olsen - September 29, 2008

Permanent link Comments (0)

See also: Research (129)  Sections (8) 


 

16

Spell out whether form fields are required or not

In a comparative test, Erin Walsh learned that spelling out that a form field is optional works significant better than indicating it with some visual means.

Links:

  • Erin Walsh's post on the IxDA discussion list Open link in new window

Henrik Olsen - September 06, 2008 - via Luke Wroblewski's Web Form Design blog

Permanent link Comments (0)

See also: Forms (30)  Research (129)  Tips and guidelines (95) 


 

17

Messy interfaces for repeated use and efficiency

Ryan from 37signals has written an interesting post on the trade-off between populating interfaces with many features to improve efficiency versus distributing them over more screens to make them easier to digest.

Referring to Edward Tufte, Ryan explains the dilemma as a question of having information displayed adjacent in space or stacked in time. He concludes that while screens with low complexity gives the eye less to filter through, separating elements onto different screens reduces the need for navigation and makes it easier to move attention from one element to another.

Links:

Henrik Olsen - September 01, 2008

Permanent link Comments (1)

See also: Web page design (40)  Simplicity vs. capability (7) 


 

18

ISO standard for usability of everyday products

ISO has released a new standard for developing and testing the usability of everyday products, such as ticket machines, mobile phones and digital cameras. The standard outlines a five step process for design teams to follow and methods for testing the outcome of this process.

Links:

  • Article about the ISO standard by David Travis Open link in new window
  • The ISO standard Open link in new window

Henrik Olsen - August 11, 2008 - via Via the product usability weblog

Permanent link Comments (0)

See also: Usability testing (68)  Guidelines and Standards (15) 


 

19

How to design search result pages

In this two-part article, Jared Spool shares some tips on how to design search results pages:

- Prevent that people have to jump back and forth between the search result page and the individual result pages (pogosticking), by providing the information people need to make qualified choices between the results

- Keep the most relevant results at the top as people will loose momentum as they encounter results that don't seem relevant. Providing sorting and filtering tools can help people find the results that are most relevant to them.

- Eliminate 'wacko' results that are irrelevant as they reduce peoples confidence in the search

- Put more results on each result page. Limiting each page to ten results doesn't seem to be for the benefit of the users as they tend not to look beyond the first page and don't mind search results pages containing many results

- Handle "No Results" gracefully by telling people that you don't have what they are looking for.

Links:

  • Producing Great Search Results: Harder than It Looks, Part 1 Open link in new window
  • Producing Great Search Results: Harder than It Looks, Part 2 Open link in new window

Henrik Olsen - August 04, 2008

Permanent link Comments (0)

See also: Tips and guidelines (95)  Search (27) 


 

20

Study of login functions

In a study, UIE had the opportunity to learn how the login functions at different travel sites works.

They found that:

- There doesn't seem to be much consistency across travel site in how they locate their login and whether they use a login form or a login link

- When looking for the login, user seemed to first look for a pair of text fields. If they couldn't find it, they would start looking for a link.

- The location and type of login made no discernable difference.

- Users had trouble when the login feature wasn't visually distinct from the rest of the page

- If two text fields were located close to each other, some users would mistake them for the login form

- Once logged in, a pattern that worked well was to replace the login feature with the user's name and a logout link.

- Users had strong expectations about when the login features should appear. The most successful approach was to give users the option when it was beneficial to them.

Links:

  • The Wheres and Whens of Users' Expectations Open link in new window

Henrik Olsen - June 09, 2008

Permanent link Comments (1)

See also: Research (129)  Links (19)  Forms (30) 


 

Browse GUUUI postings

Methods and the design process

Prototyping and wireframing (119)  Usability testing (68)  Cost-justification and ROI (27)  User research (23)  Personas (19)  The design process (24)  Eye-tracking (14)  Card sorting (13)  Web traffic analysis (12)  Expert reviews (11)  Implementing user-centred design (9)  Site and flow diagramming (6)  Envisionments (4)  Use Cases (3) 

Design elements

Navigation (63)  Web page design (40)  Search (27)  Text (24)  Forms (30)  Links (19)  Guidelines and Standards (15)  Site design (14)  Ads (9)  Design patterns (8)  Sections (8)  Shopping Carts (9)  Error handling (7)  Home pages (9)  Help (3)  E-mails (3)  Sitemaps (2)  Personalization (1)  Print-friendly (1)  Landing pages (5) 

General aspects

E-commerce (27)  Persuasive design (21)  Visual design (19)  Information architecture (15)  Accessibility (13)  Search engines (7)  Credibility, Trust and Privacy (6)  Emotional design (10)  Simplicity vs. capability (7)  Web applications (6)  Intranets (3) 

Technology

Flash (6)  Download time (5)  Javascript (3)  URLs (3)  Browsers (3)  Web standards (2) 

Humour

Bad designs (20)  Cartoons (14)  Fun music and videos (13)  Funny tools and games (12)  Misc humor (8)  Fun with Jakob Nielsen (9)  Designs with humor (3)  Fun posters (5)  Funny 404 pages (2) 

Resource types

Research (129)  Tips and guidelines (95)  Tools (106)  Books (47)  Audio and video (48)  Interviews (30)  Cases and Examples (28)  Talks and presentations (18)  GUUUI articles (11)  Primers (14)  Online books (5)  Posters (5)  Glossaries (3)  People and organisations (3) 

Information sources

Blogs (12)  Websites (11)  Discussion lists (4)  News (3)  Newsletters (3)  Online magazines (3)  Wikis (1) 

 
     
  To the front pageSign inTo the frontpageSearch in GUUUI postingsAbout GUUUI