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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) 
 

171

Interview with Luke Wroblewski about visual design and usability

UIE has published an interview with Luke Wroblewski, author of the book Site-Seeing: A Visual Approach to Web Usability. In the interview, Luke talks about how visual design can improve a site's usability.

"When properly applied, visual design is all about communication. The better at communicating we are, the easier it is for our users to use and appreciate the web sites we design."

Links:

  • Where Visual Design Meets Usability - An Interview with Luke Wroblewski , Part I Open link in new window
  • Where Visual Design Meets Usability - An Interview with Luke Wroblewski , Part II Open link in new window
  • Luke's book at Amazon.com Open link in new window
  • Luke's book at Amazon.co.uk Open link in new window

Henrik Olsen - July 02, 2006

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See also: Interviews (30)  Emotional design (10)  Visual design (19) 


 

172

Hand-crafting prototypes in Visio

The Q3 2006 issue of GUUUI looks at how to hand-draw prototypes in Visio using a tablet computer or a pen tablet. It's a fun, fast, dirty and dynamic technique, which is most useful early in the design process, when we are trying out lots of alternatives.

Links:

Henrik Olsen - July 02, 2006

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See also: Prototyping and wireframing (119)  Tools (106)  GUUUI articles (11) 


 

173

50% of returned electronics work as designed

A study from the Netherlands found that half of all electronic products returned to the store because of malfunctioning are in full working order. Customers just can't figure out how to use them.

Links:

  • Complexity causes 50% of product returns Open link in new window

Henrik Olsen - June 26, 2006

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See also: Research (129)  Bad designs (20) 


 

174

Eight usability problems that haven't changed since 1997

Webmonkey has published an excerpt from Jakob Nielsen and Hoa Loranger's new book Prioritizing Web Usability.

In the excerpt, they discuss eight issues that continue to be critical to usable web design:
- Links that don't change color when visited
- Breaking the back button
- Opening new browser windows
- Pop-up windows
- Design elements that look like advertisements
- Violating Web-wide conventions
- Vaporous content and empty hype
- Dense content and unscannable text

Links:

  • Excerpt from the book Prioritizing Web Usability Open link in new window
  • The book at amazon.com Open link in new window
  • The book at amazon.co.uk Open link in new window

Henrik Olsen - June 20, 2006 - via Usernomics

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See also: Books (47)  Tips and guidelines (95)  Research (129)  Links (19)  Text (24) 


 

175

Users love link-rich home pages

Clients want their home pages to be simple. This is often translated into "has to hold as few links as possible."

Jared Spool from UIE argues that exposing people to the content of a site enhances simplicity. With a good design, the upper limit of links is much higher than one might think. Sites with up to 700 links on the home page have proven to work very well for its audience.

But populating a page with every possible keyword won't do the trick. The secret is clustering:

"Users look at each cluster and quickly decide whether the cluster is likely to contain their content or not. By focusing on just one or two clusters, the user winnows down their choices to just a handful of links."

If we don't make the clusters right, user won't succeed. Learning how users think about the content requires research, iterative design, and testing.

Links:

  • Lifestyles of the Link-Rich Home Pages Open link in new window

Henrik Olsen - June 15, 2006

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See also: Tips and guidelines (95)  Simplicity vs. capability (7)  Home pages (9)  Navigation (63) 


 

176

Usability of newsletters and news feeds

In a study, Jakob Nielsen and NN/g have found that the usability of newsletters has increased since their last study in 2004.

Some of their findings:
- The ease of subscribing and unsubscribing newsletters has increased considerably
- Users are extremely fast at processing their inboxes
- In average the participants used 51 seconds reading a newsletter
- 19% of the newsletters where fully read
- 35% of the time, the participants only skimmed a small part of the newsletter
- 67% of the participants had zero eye fixations within the "introductory blah-blah text"
- Participants subscribed to the wrong newsletter format when they had to choose between "HTML" and "Text"
- 82% of the studied users didn't understand the term RSS (Jakob suggest we call them "news feeds").
- Users scan news feeds even more ruthlessly than newsletters

In Jakob Nielsen's opinion e-mail newsletters are still the best way to maintain customer relationships.

Links:

  • Email Newsletters: Surviving Inbox Congestion Open link in new window

Henrik Olsen - June 13, 2006

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See also: E-mails (3)  Text (24)  Research (129) 


 

177

Review of the book Paper Prototyping

Pabini Gabriel-Petit has published a lengthy review of Carolyn Snyders book Paper Prototyping: The Fast and Easy Way to Design.

Gabriel-Petit concludes:

"This is a valuable book on an important topic by an expert in usability. It demonstrates that paper prototyping is an effective technique that is useful in many contexts and provides a complete reference on how to use paper prototypes in usability studies."

Links:

Henrik Olsen - June 08, 2006 - via Putting People First

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See also: Books (47)  Usability testing (68)  Prototyping and wireframing (119) 


 

178

Video lecture about design thinking by Tim Brown from IDEO

Here's a one hour video starring Tim Brown from the design firm IDEO. He talks about how to fuel innovation by studying people and evolve and validate ideas through rapid prototyping and storytelling.

Links:

  • The video lecture Innovation Through Design Thinking Open link in new window

Henrik Olsen - June 08, 2006 - via LukeW

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See also: Audio and video (48)  User research (23)  Prototyping and wireframing (119)  Talks and presentations (18) 


 

179

Squidoo eyetracked

Seth Godin has published a video of an eyetracking study where you can see how users explore Squidoo.com.

"The biggest lesson wasn't news to me, but it might be to your boss: your prospects are not rational and organized and linear. You can't count on them sitting still and hearing your story from beginning to end. They won't."

"The answer is not to try to change human nature. It's to embrace the hunting skills that people are bringing online (and to their daily offline media consumption) and to make your media match their needs."

Links:

  • The blog post What I learned from eye tracking Open link in new window

Henrik Olsen - May 30, 2006

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See also: Cases and Examples (28)  Eye-tracking (14)  Audio and video (48) 


 

180

B2B sites suck

Business-to-business websites have substantially lower usability than mainstream consumer sites. In a usability test, the B2B sites earned a mere 50% success rate. In contrast, mainstream websites have a success rate of 66%.

According to Jakob Nielsen, the major problems with B2B sites are:
- The fail in supporting customers' decision-making process by preventing them from getting the information they need to research solutions
- They use segmentation that don't match the way customers think of themselves
- They require customers to register to get information, which they are very reluctant to do
- They lack pricing information (the users in the study prioritized prices as the most critical type of information)

Most of the test participants said that when they were thinking of doing business with a company, one of their first actions was to check out its website. By being user-hostile, the B2B sites turn away customers without ever knowing how many sales they've lost.

Links:

  • B2B Usability Open link in new window

Henrik Olsen - May 30, 2006

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See also: Research (129)  Persuasive design (21)  E-commerce (27) 


 

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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) 

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