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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) 
 

211

Left navigation vs. right navigation

While redesigning Audi's main websites, Razorfish did an extensive test of left navigation vs. right navigation. The results showed that:
- There was no significant difference in completion times between the two navigation types for any task.
- People tended to focus more on the content with a right navigation than with a left navigation.
- Users were apathetic towards the navigation position.

In the light of the study James Kalbach from Razorfish concludes that "Don Norman's concept of affordance - the perceived properties of a thing that determine how it is to be used - seems to be a better predictor of usability than conforming to standards or matching patterns to user expectations. With the Audi site, it is clear what is navigation and what is not. Users can build a pattern of interaction with the site immediately."

Links:

  • The article Challenging the Status Quo: Audi Redesigned Open link in new window

Henrik Olsen - June 17, 2002

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See also: Research (129)  Navigation (63) 


 

212

The Dotcom Survival Guide

The Dotcom Survival Guide from Creative Good was published in 2000 but is still relevant and revealing. The 103 pages report shows how dotcom's can survive by focusing on the customer experience, make it easy for customers to find and buy products, merchandise more effectively, and measure and improve the conversion rate.

The report includes reviews of thirty-one dotcom features, teaching by example the good and bad ways of creating the customer experience. Here you'll find good and bad examples of registration, merchandising, navigation, labeling, product comparison, size charts, search, shopping charts, checkouts, and fulfillment.

It also has a case study describing how Creative Good doubled a client's revenue by improving the customer experience.

Links:

Henrik Olsen - June 13, 2002

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


 

213

Reduce Redundancy

According to Jakob Nielsen "User interface complexity increases when a single feature or hypertext link is presented in multiple ways. Users rarely understand duplicates as such, and often waste time repeating efforts or visiting the same page twice by mistake."

Links:

  • The article Reduce Redundancy: Decrease Duplicated Design Decisions Open link in new window

Henrik Olsen - June 11, 2002

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


 

214

Where should you put common web elements?

Michael Bernard has conducted two studies, which sought to better understand users' expectations concerning the location of common objects on web sites and e-commerce sites.

Some of the findings show that people expect:
- Links back to the front page to be located top-left of a page
- Internal links to be placed along the left side and external links along the right
- Shopping cart, account and help to be located along the top-right side
- Login to be placed top-left

Links:

  • The article Developing Schemas for the Location of Common Web Objects Open link in new window
  • The article Examining User Expectations for the Location of Common E-Commerce Web Objects Open link in new window

Henrik Olsen - June 10, 2002

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See also: Search (27)  Navigation (63)  Web page design (40)  Links (19)  Shopping Carts (9)  Research (129) 


 

215

Where Should You Put the Links?

Michael Bernard & Spring Hull have made two interesting studies on where to place associated links to an online document.

Their findings show that in terms of search accuracy, time and efficiency, there is no significant difference between placing links at the top-left of a document, to the left at the same height as the related content, in the bottom or embedded in the document. However, 50% of the test participants preferred embedded links.

Bernard and Hull have also observed that repeating embedded links in the left side of a document at the same height as the associated content makes searching faster (though not significantly) and is ranked significantly higher by the users than a layout with just embedded links.

Bernard and Hull also examined users' perceptions of frames, and found that the participants ranked a layout with associated links placed in a left frame significantly higher than a non-framed layout.

Links:

  • The article Where Should You Put the Links? A Comparison of Four Locations Open link in new window
  • The article Where Should You Put the Links? Comparing Embedded and Framed/Non-Framed Links Open link in new window

Henrik Olsen - June 07, 2002

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See also: Links (19)  Research (129) 


 

216

Why Primary Navigation Must Die

According to Kristoffer Bohmann mainstream users focus their attention on content, while ignoring primary navigation, because the information featured is less relevant to their tasks at hand.

He argues that primary navigation bars should be removed completely for three reasons:

1. Primary navigation is rarely needed
2. They are often hard to interpret for users
3. They take up valuable space

Users are better off if they only see a You are Here-indicator (e.g., Home > Articles > Why Primary Navigation Must Die) to better understand how each page on the site is structured relative to the homepage.

Links:

  • The article Why Primary Navigation Must Die Open link in new window

Henrik Olsen - May 06, 2002

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


 

217

Get rid of the 90's bloated content

Something that really annoys me is arrogant and egocentric corporate content on web sites, such as bloated talk telling you "We are the best", ridiculous mission statements and flashy stock photography.

According to Susan Solomon from ClickZ this is a left over from the 90's. Today customers don't fall for boast like "We're powerful, we're Magnificent, we're Omnipotent." They want to know how they can benefit, and they want facts, figures and testimonials to feel confident that a company will get the job done.

I'm just afraid that this isn't just a 90's phenomenon, but rather a widespread CEO defect.

Links:

  • The article Tuning Out 'That 90's Show' Open link in new window

Henrik Olsen - April 23, 2002

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See also: Tips and guidelines (95)  Text (24) 


 

218

Users have difficulties with drop-down, fly out and rollover menus

Drop-down, fly out and rollover menus are getting more and more common on websites. But a study from UIE shows that users have difficulties using these menus:

- The menus doesn't help users decide where to click because critical information is hidden
- Users expect to be taken to a new page when they click a menu item, and stops to re-evaluate the screen, when more information is suddenly available
- Most of these menus require users to use awkward movements to make simple choices

Some of these difficulties are due to the fact that users decide what they are going to click before they move their mouse. They don't "browse" the menus first.

Their studies also showed that sites with visible sub categories did a better job of getting users to the content they sought and to content they didn't previously know existed.

UIE's advice is that if you are going to use these kinds of menus, do some testing to ensure they are helping your users.

Links:

  • The article Users Decide First; Move Second Open link in new window

Henrik Olsen - April 21, 2002

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See also: Research (129)  Navigation (63) 


 

219

A survey of personalized sites

Jack Aaronson form ClickZ has done a little survey of the best and worst 'My' sites (personalized sites that allow people to manage their personal information). The article lists the most popular and unpopular sites.

The responses show that people are very passionate about personalized sites, and speak of them as if they were best friends or worst enemies.

My favourite "my" site is definitely Backflip - a service for storing your favourite URL's - though it's a bit slow and could be more functional.

Links:

  • The article 'My' Sites: And the Winners Are... Open link in new window
  • The site Backflip Open link in new window

Henrik Olsen - April 19, 2002

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See also: Research (129) 


 

220

Shoppers hate advertisements and can't find products

According to a survey carried out by Retail Forward,
- 64% of online shoppers report being satisfied with their shopping experience
- 2% report their online shopping experience to be 'frustation-free'

According to the same survey, the top five online shopping frustrations are:
- Pop-up boxes when shopping a site (52%)
- Banner advertisements (50%)
- Congested Web pages (35%)
- Slow load times (26%)
- Difficult to find a specific product (20%)

Links:

  • Press release from Retail Forward Open link in new window

Henrik Olsen - March 21, 2002

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See also: Ads (9)  E-commerce (27)  Research (129) 


 

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