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) 
 

161

How people experience About Us sections

Web sites should have a strong About Us section, since users often wonder who's behind it, and whether it's credible.

The Nielsen Norman Group conducted a usability study of fifteen organisations to find out how users find and interpret information about companies on websites.

Some major findings:
- The overall success rate of finding information was 70%
- Users had particular difficulty finding basic company facts, such as the organisation's top executive or officials (59%), contact information (62%), the organization's philosophy (59%), and company history (58%)
- Users had trouble locating the company information when the link had a nonstandard name or was placed near graphical elements that looked like advertisements
- Users were fairly successful at answering what the companies does (90%)
- Government agencies was often the worst offenders

Links:

  • The article Open link in new window

Henrik Olsen - October 27, 2003

Permanent link Comments (0)

See also: Research (129)  Sections (8) 


 

162

How people scan web pages

The usability consultancy UIE conducted an eyetracking study to find out how people scan a typical three column web page layout.

Some major findings:
- The users usually scanned in the centre area first, then the left area and then the right column
- The users would only investigate the left and right column when looking for additional information
- The users quickly learned to look where they would expect to find relevant content and avoid areas which was unimportant to their current task, such as banner ads
- The users would only re-evaluate their scan strategies when they detected changes in the layout of pages
- The users where able to determine if surrounding content was relevant before looking directly at it, suggesting that peripheral vision plays a central role in the interaction with the web pages
- Ads attracted users only when they related to the current task

Links:

  • The article Testing Web Sites with Eye-Tracking Open link in new window

Henrik Olsen - October 21, 2003

Permanent link Comments (2)

See also: Research (129)  Web page design (40)  Eye-tracking (14) 


 

163

Common web design practices

At the site Web Design Practices by Heidi P. Adkisson you'll find statically research on common design practices currently in use on the Web, covering items such as global and local navigation, breadcrumbs, search and links.

The site can be useful as a guide for making design decisions, but as Adkisson says:

"The data presented are intended to inform design decisions, not dictate them. Common practice does not necessarily equate with best practice - and the relationship between consistency and usability on the Web is remains a lightly researched area."

The site is an outgrowth of Adkisson's Master's thesis.

Links:

  • The site Common Design Practices Open link in new window

Henrik Olsen - October 13, 2003

Permanent link Comments (0)

See also: Links (19)  Search (27)  Web page design (40)  Navigation (63)  Research (129) 


 

164

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

Permanent link Comments (0)

See also: Visual design (19)  Web page design (40)  Simplicity vs. capability (7) 


 

165

Product lists' impact on sales

A study conducted by the usability consultancy UIE has show that the design of product lists at e-commerce sites can have great impact on sales.

UIE found that when product lists provided enough information for the test participants to make informed product selections they where five times more likely to add items to their shopping carts, than when they had to click back and forth between product lists and product description pages - a behaviour named pogo-sticking by UIE. Also, the participants who didn't find enough information in the product lists where one-third more likely to quit shopping and had lower opinions of the site.

They study was conducted with 30 people who were given money to spend on products they wanted to buy.

Links:

  • The article Are the Product Lists on Your Site Reducing Sales? (registration required) Open link in new window

Henrik Olsen - September 27, 2003

Permanent link Comments (0)

See also: E-commerce (27)  Navigation (63)  Research (129) 


 

166

Fluid vs. fixed-sized web page layouts

In a study from 2001 SURL examined differences between fluid and fixed-sized left-justified and centred layouts of multi-column web pages. They found no significant differences between the layouts in terms of search accuracy, task completion time, or search efficiency.

But significant subjective differences were found that favoured the fluid layout. Participants stated that they perceived the fluid layout as being best suited for reading and finding information and that the fluid layout looked the most professional. The left-justified layout was the least preferred.

The layouts where tested with viewable screen widths of both 770 and 1006 pixels.

Links:

  • The article What is the Best Layout for Multiple-Column Web Pages? Open link in new window

Henrik Olsen - September 22, 2003

Permanent link Comments (0)

See also: Research (129)  Web page design (40) 


 

167

On-site search engines are worse that nothing

According to usability consultancy UIE on-site search engines often reduce the chances of finding information on web sites. In a study they discovered that when users searched for information using links the success rate was 53%, while the success rate of using on-site search engines was only 30%.

Some of the problems that UIE found were:
- Users didn't understand that some search engines distinguish between partial and entire words.
- Users didn't understand when typos and misspellings returned no search results.
- Users had trouble determining why a search returned a particular item and how it was relevant to their search.
- Users got irrelevant and often amusing results from full-text searches.

UIE concludes that on-site search engines are "significantly worse" than nothing, and suggest that "designers seriously consider not including a search engine on their sites until the technology is equal to the challenge."

Links:

Henrik Olsen - September 10, 2003

Permanent link Comments (0)

See also: Research (129)  Search (27) 


 

168

Breadcrumb Navigation: Further Investigation of Usage

SURL have completed second study of breadcrumb usage:

Some major findings:
- 40% of the participants used the breadcrumb trail
- Only 6% of the page clicks where accounted for by the breadcrumb

Links:

Henrik Olsen - August 24, 2003

Permanent link Comments (0)

See also: Research (129)  Navigation (63) 


 

169

20 Tips to Minimize Shopping Cart Abandonment

Bryan Eisenberg from clickz.com lists 20 different ways to reduce shopping cart abandonment.

Here's a few of his guidelines:
- Include a progress indicator on each checkout page
- Provide a link back to the product
- Add pictures inside the basket
- Provide shipping costs early in the process
- Make editing the shopping cart easy
- Provide meaningful error messages and don't blame the customer
- Make the checkout process easy for new visitors

"Some of these tips will result in dramatic improvements, others may not do much at all. Test each one that's appropriate. Improve conversion rate one step at a time."

Links:

  • Part 1 of 20 Tips to Minimize Shopping Cart Abandonment Open link in new window
  • Part 2 of 20 Tips to Minimize Shopping Cart Abandonment Open link in new window

Henrik Olsen - August 24, 2003

Permanent link Comments (0)

See also: Shopping Carts (9)  E-commerce (27) 


 

170

Jakob Nielsen on information foraging

"

Links:

  • Information Foraging: Why Google Makes People Leave Your Site Faster Open link in new window

Henrik Olsen - July 02, 2003

Permanent link Comments (0)

See also: Search (27)  Navigation (63) 


 

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