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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) 
 

181

Study of breadcrumb navigation

Angela Colter and colleagues have surveyed 4,775 catalog web sites to find out how many implement breadcrumbs and what connector character is used. They then conducted a study with 14 test participants solving tasks at four web-sites that use breadcrumbs.

Some highlights:
- 17% of the web-sites used breadcrumbs
- 47% of those sites used the greater than symbol
- All but one of the participants used the breadcrumbs
- Four used breadcrumbs as a consistent strategy
- Five incorrectly assumed that breadcrumbs indicated either the path they had taken to arrive at the current page or a record of where else on the site they had been
- The users sometimes described the back button as being "safer" to use, because they know what page they came from

They conclude that breadcrumbs are used if a breadcrumb label happens to match what the users is looking for. This suggests that breadcrumbs were not used for orientation or back-tracking, but rather a means of moving forward.

Links:

  • Exploring User Mental Models of Breadcrumbs in Web Navigation Open link in new window

Henrik Olsen - May 28, 2006

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See also: Research (129)  Navigation (63) 


 

182

Web navigation is about moving forward

According to Gerry McGovern, the primary purpose of web navigaton is to help people move forward. It's not to tell them where they have been, or where they could have gone.

"The Back button helps us to get back if we want to get back. The global navigation allows us to reach major sections, no matter what part of the website we are on. Your job is not to design for all possible directions someone might want to take. That leads to a cluttered website and it will clutter the mind of and overload the attention of your customers."

Links:

  • Web Navigation is About Moving Forward Open link in new window

Henrik Olsen - May 25, 2006

Permanent link Comments (1)

See also: Tips and guidelines (95)  Navigation (63) 


 

183

Usability Book of Knowledge

The Usability Book of Knowledge (BoK) is as site dedicated to creating a living reference that represents the collective knowledge of the usability profession. The of the project is to create a guide that contains core material supplemented by pointers to existing resources, and continues to evolve as the practice of usability evolves.

Links:

  • Usability Book of Knowledge (BoK) Open link in new window

Henrik Olsen - May 19, 2006

Permanent link Comments (1)

See also: Websites (11)  Glossaries (3)  Tools (106)  The design process (24) 


 

184

Five eyetracking cases

Etre has published five examples from an eyetracking study of five UK web-sites, including:

- Dixons.co.uk
- Currys.co.uk
- Amazon.co.uk
- MarksAndSpencer.com
- HMV.co.uk

Each example is commented with analysis of how the users explored the sites' homepages and how the layout of homepages performed.

Links:

  • Five days / five heatmaps Open link in new window

Henrik Olsen - May 17, 2006

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


 

185

The book Paper Prototyping: The Fast and Easy Way to Design and Refine User Interfaces

Being a strong advocate for prototyping, I'm a bit embarrassed that I haven't read Carolyn Snyder's book on paper prototyping until now. And I regret it. Her book has a lot to offer. If you are more into computer-based prototyping, you can still learn a lot from the renowned practitioner.

Carolyn assumes that if you want to build a prototype, it's because you want to test it with users. This has a strong influence on her workflow: Find test participants, create tasks, design the paper prototype, test it, refine it and test it again until you are confident that the design will work.

Something that fascinates me is that the book offers a ready-made step-by-step process for development teams to follow. Just add paper. The workflow seems to be a perfect companion for agile developments methods such as SCRUM.

On the negative side: Clients are almost absent in her book. And that's a pity, because prototypes are great for communicating with clients.

Links:

  • Companion web-site 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 - May 14, 2006

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


 

186

How to run a usability test

Joshua Kaufman has written a short tutorial on how to conduct usability tests. He describes the entire process from screening and recruiting participants, writing test scripts and questionnaires, moderating the test and analyzing results.

Links:

  • Practical Usability Testing Open link in new window

Henrik Olsen - May 07, 2006

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See also: Usability testing (68)  Primers (14) 


 

187

Radio interview with Donald Norman

Here's a one-hour interview featuring Donald Norman talking about his favourite subject: technology and emotional design.

Links:

Henrik Olsen - April 30, 2006

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See also: Interviews (30)  Audio and video (48) 


 

188

People scan content in an F-shaped pattern

In an eyetracking study, Jakob Nielsen found that users often scan content on web pages in an F-shaped pattern:
- First, people scan in a horizontal movement across the upper part of the content area
- Secondly, in a shorter horizontal movement further down the page
- Finally, in a vertical movement along the content's left side

According to Jakob Nielsen the F-pattern behaviour shows that:
- People don't read text thoroughly
- The most important information should be at the top
- Headings and paragraphs must start with information-carrying words that users will notice when they scan down the left side of the content

Links:

  • F-Shaped Pattern For Reading Web Content Open link in new window

Henrik Olsen - April 19, 2006

Permanent link Comments (2)

See also: Research (129)  Text (24)  Eye-tracking (14) 


 

189

Video of the Office 2007 interface

Here's a video of the new Office 2007 interface. It explains how the new interface works and gives insight into the creation process.

Links:

  • Video of the Office 2007 interface Open link in new window

Henrik Olsen - April 19, 2006 - via ICE

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See also: Audio and video (48)  Cases and Examples (28) 


 

190

Designing Interfaces: Patterns for Effective Interaction Design

Jenifer Tidwell has published a book stuffed with interface design patterns. Each pattern contains practical design advice and examples from desktop applications, web sites, web applications and mobile devices. The idea behind the book is that there are lots of good ideas out there waiting to be reused.

Each chapter in the book explains key concepts in interaction design and visual design. The topics include:
- Information architecture for applications
- Navigation
- Page layout
- Maps, graphs, and tables
- Forms
- Graphic editors
- Color, typography, and look-and-feel

At the book's companion website you'll find excerpts of some the patterns in her book.

Links:

  • Companion web-site Open link in new window
  • Review of the book by Mario Georgiou 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 - April 05, 2006

Permanent link Comments (0)

See also: Books (47)  Design patterns (8) 


 

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