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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) 
 

191

How to make users abandon forms

5 ways to make sure that users abandon your forms:
- Ask for information the user doesn't have at their finger tips
- Ask for a lot of information, but don't tell why you need it
- Force users to input data according to how the system wants it
- Provide cryptic error messages that tell users to correct their mistakes, but give no information about what they did wrong
- Split forms up into many segments, but don't give any indication of where users are in the process

I you follow these rules, be sure to overstaff your call center. You're going to need the extra help.

Links:

  • 5 Ways To Make Sure That Users Abandon Your Forms Open link in new window

Henrik Olsen - April 01, 2006

Permanent link Comments (0)

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


 

192

Review of Axure RP Pro

The Q2 2006 issue of GUUUI is a review of the prototyping tool Axure RP Pro.

The good:
- Drag and drop widgets onto a grid (as you might know it from Visio)
- Generate prototypes in a format that behaves like real web pages (i.e. you can interact with forms and pages can scroll)
- Save time on repetitive changes by using custom widgets and templates
- Simulate rich interactivity by showing and hiding layers
- Automatically generate user interface specifications

The bad:
- You can't navigate your pages inside Axure by clicking links and buttons
- Somewhat expensive

Links:

Henrik Olsen - April 01, 2006

Permanent link Comments (10)

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


 

193

Axure RP Pro

Axure have released a version 4 of their dedicated prototyping tool Axure RP Pro. The tool is a very strong competitor to Visio.

Some great features:
- It has a adopted the basic concept from Visio, where you drag and drop widgets onto a grid
- The interactive prototypes are generated in real HTML, meaning that they behave like real web pages (i.e. forms are interactive and pages can scroll)
- It can automatically generate specifications in Word format
- With its Masters you can create custom widgets and templates to reuse in your pages
- With its Dynamic Panels you can simulate rich interactions by showing and hiding layers in response to users' actions

I can't tell if Axure is better than Visio, since I haven't used it for a project yet. But it sure looks promising. Download the demo to decide for yourself.

Links:

  • The prototyping tool Axure RP Pro Open link in new window

Henrik Olsen - March 21, 2006

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See also: Tools (106)  Prototyping and wireframing (119) 


 

194

Online video interview with Jakob Nielsen

DevSource has published a nice 8-minute online video interview featuring Dr. Jakob Nielsen.

Nielsen addresses a wide range of topics, such as proper attitude for programmers, the importance of prototyping in design, and the reasons why PDF, Flash, and local search engines can hurt more than they help.

Links:

  • Online video interview with Jakob Nielsen Open link in new window

Henrik Olsen - March 17, 2006 - via WebWord

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See also: Interviews (30)  Search (27)  Usability testing (68)  Prototyping and wireframing (119)  Audio and video (48) 


 

195

Why don't I like Microsoft's paperclip?

Help, when you don't need it (video clip).

Links:

  • Why don't I like Microsoft's paperclip? Open link in new window

Henrik Olsen - March 16, 2006 - via Creating Passionate Users

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See also: Fun music and videos (13)  Audio and video (48) 


 

196

How to use PowerPoint for prototyping

Jensen Harris from Microsoft has posted a small practical tutorial on how to use PowerPoint for prototyping. Paste screenshots of the different interaction states into PowerPoint, use transparent shapes as link areas and put a static frame into the master background, so that you only need to put the interface elements which changes on each slide.

In Harris' opinion, the technique has several advantages compared to paper prototypes. Prototypes build in PowerPoint feel somewhat interactive, they can be modified more easily, and computer enabled prototypes feel more natural to usability test participants.

Of course, this method is rather primitive compared to prototyping with Visio.

Links:

  • Prototyping With PowerPoint Open link in new window

Henrik Olsen - February 27, 2006

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See also: Tools (106)  Prototyping and wireframing (119) 


 

197

Avoid links that scroll to sections of pages

According to Jakob Nielsen, we should avoid links that scroll to sections of a page, since users expect that links will take them to a new page.

Studies have shown that within-page links typically waste far more time than they save because users click back and forth multiple times to review the same material.

If you must use within-page links, tell the user that clicking the link will scroll to the page to the relevant section.

Only for very long pages, such as long alphabetized lists and FAQs, will the time saved be worth the confusion that within-page links can cause. Also, linking to a specific section on a different page is not as bad as using within-page links on a single page, since the users are taken to a new page.

Ideally, create separate pages for everything that serves as a link destination.

Links:

  • Avoid Within-Page Links Open link in new window

Henrik Olsen - February 25, 2006

Permanent link Comments (2)

See also: Navigation (63)  Links (19)  Tips and guidelines (95) 


 

198

The surfers are back

A report by the Pew Internet & American Life Project shows that surfing for fun is now one of the most popular activities on the web.

"More Americans are turning to the internet as a place to hang out. Nearly a third of internet users go online on a typical day for no particular reason, just for fun or to pass the time."

The number of people reporting that they go online on a typical day to surf for fun is up from 25 million people in November 2004 to 40 million in December 2005.

The act of surfing for fun stands only behind using e-mail (52%), using search engines (38%), and is almost as popular as reading news (31%).

Links:

  • The press release Web Surfing for Fun Becomes a Staple of Internet Life Open link in new window

Henrik Olsen - February 16, 2006 - via Putting people first

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See also: Research (129) 


 

199

Alphabetized lists are random lists

"Unless you can be absolutely sure that users will know the exact terms in your list, alphabetical order is just random order."

According to Jared Spool, alphabetized lists work for people's name, states, cities, car models, and teams. But they fall apart for things where users don't know the exact wording. Users must resort to the same behavior they need when links are randomly ordered. They must scan every link to make sure they can see what is relevant and what isn't.

Instead, we should use a divide-and-conquer approach by categorizing the items. Once broken up into small groups, it doesn't matter what the order of the links are.

Links:

  • Alphabetized Links are Random Links Open link in new window

Henrik Olsen - February 12, 2006

Permanent link Comments (0)

See also: Information architecture (15)  Sitemaps (2)  Links (19)  Navigation (63)  Tips and guidelines (95) 


 

200

A study of older web users

Webcredible have conducted a usability test comparing eight older and eight younger users complete the same tasks on the web.

Some interesting results:
- The older users were more likely to blame themselves for any difficulties they encountered
- A majority of the older users missed critical information that required scrolling
- The older users were less likely to understand technical language
- The older users were more likely to click on elements which weren't links
- Many of the older users expressed a strong aversion to downloading from the internet
- The older users where more likely to use the available search functionality
- The older participants required over double the average time to complete a task
- The older users displayed a tendency to read all of the text appearing on a page before being willing to decide on their next course of action
- Most of the older participants reported anything less than 12-point type as being too small to read comfortably.

Links:

  • Improve Usability for Older Users Open link in new window

Henrik Olsen - February 05, 2006 - via UsabilityNews

Permanent link Comments (0)

See also: Research (129) 


 

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