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

 

21

Prototyping for user testing

There are several important factors to consider when you are planning to do prototyping for user testing. In this article from July 2002, Chris Farnum explains how to make the right choice about fidelity, level of interactivity and the medium for your test.

"In theory, low-fidelity sketches are also a time-saver, but this really depends on your point of view. Personally, I like to draw diagrams and wireframes in Visio where I can revise and move things around without erasing and redrawing."

"In the grand tradition of Goldilocks, I find myself drawn to the middle approach. A medium-fidelity approach tends to include some visual design and a level of detail somewhere between high and low fidelity."

"You can mix these three variables (fidelity, interactivity and medium) in many different combinations. The exact combination you choose should match the goals you determine for your testing."

Links:

  • The article What an IA Should Know About Prototypes for User-Testing

Henrik Olsen - May 08, 2005

Permanent link Comments (0)

See also: Usability testing (30)  Prototyping and wireframing (32) 


 

22

Formal vs. informal usability reports

Formal reports are the most common way of documenting usability studies, but according to Jakob Nielsen informal reports are faster to produce and are often a better choice.

"You can maximize user interface quality by conducting many rounds of testing as part of an iterative design process. To move rapidly and conduct the most tests within a given time frame and budget, informal reports are the best option."

Links:

  • The article Formal Usability Reports vs. Quick Findings

Henrik Olsen - April 25, 2005

Permanent link Comments (0)

See also: Usability testing (30) 


 

23

How to represent sample data in interaction designs

Dan Brown has made a poster that describes techniques for representing sample data in interaction designs. The techniques discussed are:

- Using actual data
- Using dummy data invented by the designer
- Replacing data with variable names
- Illustrating data through repeated characters (such as 9 or X)
- Replacing data with Latin or Greek text

The poster outlines the pros and cons of each technique, how stakeholder might respond to them, and best practices.

Links:

Henrik Olsen - April 05, 2005 - via UXCentric

Permanent link Comments (0)

See also: Posters (5)  Prototyping and wireframing (32) 


 

24

How to use eye-tracking for website redesigns

This case study by Eyetools demonstrates how eye-tracking analysis can be used for guiding a redesign of a website. The before and after heat maps reveal significant improvements to users attention to content and navigation on a home page.

Links:

Henrik Olsen - March 24, 2005

Permanent link Comments (0)

See also: Eye-tracking (7)  Cases and Examples (12) 


 

25

Introduction to Use Case diagramming

Norm Carr and Tim Meehan have written two nice articles on Use Case diagramming. According to the two authors, Use Cases provide a simple and fast means to decide, specify, and communicate the purpose of a project. Use cases are visual maps of all agreed-upon functionality and can be a powerful tool for controlling the scope of the project.

Links:

  • The article Use Cases Part II: Taming Scope
  • The article What's the Problem?

Henrik Olsen - March 08, 2005 - via UI Designer

Permanent link Comments (0)

See also: Use Cases (3) 


 

26

Eye-tracking study of e-commerce sites

Eyetools Inc and MarketingSherpa have published the report "The Landing Page Handbook". The report describes the results of an eye-tracking study of typical e-commerce sites and has design guidelines for improving web page layout.

Some highlights from the report:
- The upper-left corner is always seen
- Most web pages are scanned, not read
- Any text that is underlined or blue get high readership and many people will read only the emphasized text before deciding to read on
- Material underneath images is viewed quite often
- People experience such a strong pull to look at images that they can trump left-to-right reading
- Navigational links or bottoms usually distract visitors from the main purpose of the page

Links:

  • The article Are Your Visitors Seeing What You Think?
  • The book The Landing Page Handbook

Henrik Olsen - March 03, 2005 - via UI Designer

Permanent link Comments (0)

See also: Eye-tracking (7)  E-commerce (21)  Research (93)  Books (32) 


 

27

Personas and decision-making scenarios

To Shannon Ford, personas are employed to better understand what users want to accomplish and to develop design solutions that help meet the goals and needs of the group they portray. They help avoid the common practice of trying to design for all users.

Personas have their foundation in real people, but are never based on any on individual. They are created to represent a set of characteristics found across many individuals, and are derived from qualitative research with actual users.

The best personas will also go the extra step to describe key behaviors such as a decision making process, an information browsing approach, or a shopping mode - the drivers that affect how people approach a given solution. In her article you'll find a few samples of home improvement customers and their decision-making process.

Links:

Henrik Olsen - March 01, 2005

Permanent link Comments (0)

See also: Personas (13) 


 

28

Blog on eye-tracking research

Greg Edwards had dedicated a blog to eye-tracking analysis. He will publish interesting viewing data and rules-of-thumb from measuring what people read, look at, skip, and ignore on web pages.

Links:

  • The blog Eyetools Research Blog

Henrik Olsen - February 23, 2005

Permanent link Comments (0)

See also: Eye-tracking (7)  Blogs (11)  Research (93) 


 

29

Projects should start with interaction design

Traditional system development starts with abstract system specifications and ends with interface design. To Jason Fried, this is backwards.

"Functional specifications documents lead to an illusion of agreement. A bunch of people agreeing on paragraphs of text is not real agreement. Everyone is reading the same thing, but they're often thinking something different. This inevitably comes out in the future when it's too late."

Instead we should start from the user interface and build out from there.

"...the interface is the functional spec. First with some quick and simple paper sketches, then directly into HTML. Unlike paragraphs of text that are open to alternate interpretations, interface designs are common ground."

Links:

  • The article Getting Real, Step 1: No Functional Spec

Henrik Olsen - February 15, 2005 - via UI Designer

Permanent link Comments (0)

See also: The design process (14)  Prototyping and wireframing (32) 


 

30

Test review of Morae

NetworkWorldFusion has tested Morae, a software tool for usability analysis from TechSmith that records video and audio of the users along with system data (e.g. mouse clicks, keystrokes, web page changes). Their overall rating is "very good".

Pros:
- Affordable
- Annotates collected data indicating web page changes, mouse clicks, keystrokes, text data appearing on screen, and window events such as opening and closing applications

Cons:
- Remote monitoring and management capabilities could be improved
- Captured data can get quite large (in the gigabyte range)
- Only supports Windows and prefers Internet Explorer

Links:

  • More about Morae at TechSmith.com
  • Review of Morae Recorder

Henrik Olsen - February 09, 2005

Permanent link Comments (0)

See also: Usability testing (30)  Tools (51) 


<< Back More >>

Browse GUUUI postings

Methods and the design process

Usability testing (30)  Prototyping and wireframing (32)  Cost-justification and ROI (19)  The design process (14)  Personas (13)  Requirement Analysis (12)  Card sorting (8)  Implementing user-centred design (7)  Expert reviews (6)  Web log analysis (7)  Eye-tracking (7)  Site and flow diagramming (4)  Use Cases (3) 

Design elements

Navigation (46)  Web page design (23)  Search (24)  Guidelines and Standards (10)  Links (12)  Text (13)  Forms (11)  Ads (6)  Site design (8)  Shopping Charts (5)  Error handling (5)  Sections (5)  Home pages (2)  Design patterns (4)  E-mails (1)  Personalization (1)  Sitemaps (1)  Print-freindly (1)  Help (2) 

General aspects

E-commerce (21)  Accessibility (11)  Information architecture (12)  Persuasive design (13)  Visual design (14)  Search engines (7)  Credibility, Trust and Privacy (6)  Web applications (2)  Intranets (1) 

Technology

Flash (6)  URLs (3)  Download time (2)  Javascript (3)  Web standards (2)  Browsers (2) 

Humor

Cartoons (8)  Funny tools and games (10)  Bad designs (7)  Fun with Jakob Nielsen (6)  Designs with humor (3)  Fun music and videos (4)  Fun posters (2)  Funny 404 pages (2)  Misc humor (3) 

Ressource types

Research (93)  Tips and guidelines (65)  Tools (51)  Books (32)  Cases and Examples (12)  Interviews (10)  Primers (9)  GUUUI articles (8)  Posters (5)  Online books (5)  Glossaries (2)  People and organisations (2) 

Information sources

Blogs (11)  Websites (9)  Discussion lists (4)  News (3)  Newsletters (3)  Online magazines (3)  Wikis (1) 

 

 
     
  To the front pageSign inTo the frontpageSearch in GUUUI postingsAbout GUUUI