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11

Balancing visual and structural complexity in interaction design

For people with little experience in interaction design it's tempting to equate visual simplicity with usability. But there is more between heaven and earth than meets the eye. The Q4 issue of GUUUI takes a look at some common pitfalls, where studies have proven that what appears to be simple isn't always what is easy to use.

Links:

Henrik Olsen - September 30, 2003

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


 

12

How people evaluate a web site's credibility

Consumer WebWatch has published a research report by B. J. Fogg and the Stanford Persuasive Technology Lab on how people evaluate web sites' credibility. 100 sites in 10 content categories were studied and total of 2,684 people completed the survey.

When asked to comment on site's credibility, the top 10 issues addressed by the survey participants was:

1. Design Look (46.1%)
2. Information Design/Structure (28.5%)
3. Information Focus (25.1%)
4. Company Motive (15.5%)
5. Information Usefulness (14.8%)
6. Information Accuracy (14.3%)
7. Name Recognition and Reputation (14.1%)
8. Advertising (13.8%)
9. Information Bias (11.6%)
10. Writing Tone (9.0%)

Links:

  • The research report How Do People Evaluate a Web Site's Credibility? Open link in new window
  • Discussion on why visual design is so prominent in the study Open link in new window

Henrik Olsen - March 04, 2003

Permanent link Comments (3)

See also: Credibility, Trust and Privacy (6)  Research (129) 


 

13

Perceived usability and aesthetics

Usability News has tested the correlation between perceived usability and aesthetics.

The results showed that when the test participant where asked to predict the usability of a site, they ranked the site with balanced colours and layout highest.

However, user satisfaction reported after the sessions were related to successful navigation more than aesthetic appearance.

Links:

  • The article Aesthetics and Usability: A Look at Color and Balance Open link in new window

Henrik Olsen - February 12, 2003

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See also: Emotional design (10)  Research (129) 


 

14

form and function interview

Craig Saila interviews web designer and author of Designing CSS Web Pages (New Riders), Christopher Schmitt. The topic is form and function. This can and often does apply to usability on the functional level.

Links:

  • An interview with Christopher Schmitt Open link in new window

Nick Finck - January 30, 2003 - via Digital Web Magazine

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See also: Interviews (30) 


 

15

Primer on visual design

Luke Wroblewski has written a nice primer on visual design of web pages, which condenses the core principles of functional aesthetics.

There is too little talk about visual design among interaction designers and information architects though it's an important aspect of usability. If you want to learn more, read Kevin Mullet and Darrel Sano's book Designing Visual Interfaces.

Links:

Henrik Olsen - January 28, 2003

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See also: Primers (14)  Web page design (40) 


 

16

Emotion and design:

ATTRACTIVE THINGS WORK BETTER by Don Norman

provides examples of how emotion impacts on our experience (percieved or otherwise) - but of course this does need to be ballanced with usability ;-)

Links:

  • the article Open link in new window
  • Interview with Don Norman about emotion and affect Open link in new window
  • Time Pressure and Creativity: Why Time is Not on Your Side Open link in new window
  • Article in Interactions Magazine, ix (4), 36-42 Open link in new window

ben hyde - August 28, 2002

Permanent link Comments (1)

See also: Emotional design (10) 


 

17

Usability vs. beauty, pleasure, and fun

First Donald Norman started talking about beauty and pleasure in design. Now Jakob Nielsen starts talking about fun. What on earth is happening to the two good old usability gurus?

For years a war has been going on between usability engineers and graphic designers, which no one has described better than Curt Cloninger: "In the usability corner, wearing the blue and purple underlined trunks, weighing in at just under 25K per gig... J-a-a-a-a-a-kob Nie-e-e-e-e-lsen." "And in the graphic design corner, wearing the greyscale trunks, weighing in at 500K per site (that's dollars, not bytes)... Kioken(oken-oken-oken)."

So is this war over? I don't think so

Links:

  • Jakob Nielsen's article User Empowerment and the Fun Factor Open link in new window
  • An interview with Don Norman about the value of beauty, fun and pleasure in design Open link in new window
  • Curt Cloninger's article Usability Experts are from Mars, Graphic Designers are from Venus Open link in new window

Henrik Olsen - July 08, 2002

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18

Don't underestimate the power of Graphic Design

In the book, Fresh Styles for Web Designers, Curt Cloninger gives the usability community a telling-up for dismissing front-end design as mere "icing". "Yes, visitors have to be able to use your sites. But visitors should also be able to feel your sites. The web is not a database. The web is a communication medium."

I fully agree with him. If mankind didn't care about colours, pictures and layout, the world would look a bit different. Done right, Graphic Design and Interaction Design work together to enhance each other.

Links:

  • Curt Cloninger's personal Web site Open link in new window
  • Read reviews and buy the book at Amazon.com Open link in new window
  • Read reviews and buy the book at Amazon.co.uk Open link in new window

Henrik Olsen - January 15, 2002

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