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31

Account sign-in - 8 design mistakes to avoid

Jared Spool has watched users struggle with online accounts and sign-in procedures. From his observations, he has compiled a list of 8 common design mistakes:

1. Requiring users to crate an account when it really isn't necessary (e.g. when buying a product or downloading a white paper)

2. Requiring users to sign in before they are ready to do so (e.g. before they can see the products they can buy)

3. Not stating the benefits to creating an account (such as the option to change flight reservations after they are made)

4. Hiding the sign-in button

5. Not making "Create New Account" or "Forgot Your Password" a button or link

6. Not providing sign-in opportunities when people need them (e.g. at the checkout where it can save people for re-entering their billing information)

7. Asking for too much information when registering

8. Not telling users how their information will be used (e.g. not giving a reason for asking people for their phone number)

Links:

  • Account Sign-in: 8 Design Mistakes to Avoid Open link in new window

Henrik Olsen - January 06, 2008

Permanent link Comments (1)

See also: Shopping Carts (9)  Forms (30)  Tips and guidelines (95) 


 

32

The evil of dropdown, flyout and pop-up menus

I this podcast, Jared Spool and Brian Christiansen discuss how hiding links in slick dropdown, flyout, or pop-up menus hurts the user experience.

The problem with these menus is that if people are looking for something specific, hiding their options isn't very helpful. Also, many of the menus require us to use awkward movements to make our selections.

So what to do instead? According to Jared, we should help users find what they are looking for by creating home pages and sections with visible options.

Links:

  • Usability Tools Podcast: Mouseovers in Navigation Open link in new window

Henrik Olsen - December 25, 2007

Permanent link Comments (0)

See also: Audio and video (48)  Home pages (9)  Sections (8)  Navigation (63) 


 

33

Web 2.0 can be dangerous

According to Jakob Nielsen, the current trends in Web 2.0 are not "inherently bad for users." But for most websites, there is no reason to jump on the 2.0 bandwagon. At best, the features aren't of any use. At worst, they hurt usability "because they were hacked together by geeks drunk on the newest and coolest tech."

Jakob suggest that we make sure that we have all the 1.0 requirements working to perfection before throwing money at 2.0 adventures.

Links:

  • Web 2.0 Can Be Dangerous Open link in new window

Henrik Olsen - December 18, 2007

Permanent link Comments (0)

See also: Site design (14) 


 

34

Current trends in web design

Ellyssa Kroski has compiled a nice overview of current trends in web design. Besides rounded corners, pastel colors, 3D embossed shiny buttons, floor reflections and large text captions, the latest craze is intuitive, legible, usable, social and rich interfaces that are continuously evolving in response to user needs. It's Jakob Nielsen 2.0.

Links:

  • Information Design Principles For Web 2.0 Design: Simple & Social Open link in new window

Henrik Olsen - December 12, 2007 - via Usability In The News

Permanent link Comments (0)

See also: Site design (14)  Visual design (19) 


 

35

100 tips and tools to optimize landing pages

VirtualHosting.com has published a list of no less than 100 articles and tools that can help you optimize your landing pages to get visitors to do what you want them to.

Links:

  • The Landing Page Design Toolbox: 100 Tools, Tips and Resources Open link in new window

Henrik Olsen - December 06, 2007

Permanent link Comments (0)

See also: Landing pages (5)  Persuasive design (21) 


 

36

How to make search engines on website work

Here's another insightful Usability Tools Podcast from UIE, this time about on-site search. Jared Spool and Brian Christiansen discuss:

- Why are your users searching your site?
- What separates the best search experiences from the worst?
- What can be done to improve search results?
- How can you tell search is succeeding on your site?

Links:

  • Usability Tools Podcast: On-Site Search Open link in new window

Henrik Olsen - November 27, 2007

Permanent link Comments (0)

See also: Search (27)  Audio and video (48)  Interviews (30) 


 

37

What does it mean for page design that users have learned to scroll?

Boxes and Arrows has interviewed Milissa Tarquini on her article, Blasting the Myth of the Fold. In the podcast Milissa talks about:

- how user testing and web analytics show that users have learned to scroll
- how we need to rethink how we design web pages
- how the bottom of web pages is the new frontier

Links:

  • Blasting the Myth of the Fold - Podcast with Milissa Tarquini Open link in new window

Henrik Olsen - November 03, 2007

Permanent link Comments (0)

See also: Interviews (30)  Audio and video (48)  Web page design (40) 


 

38

Use passive voice in headings, blurbs, and lead sentences

"Use active voice" is one of the key web-writing guidelines. But according to Jakob Nielsen, passive voice let us front-load important keywords in headings, blurbs, and lead sentences. This enhances scannability and search engine optimization.

Links:

  • Passive Voice Is Redeemed For Web Headings Open link in new window

Henrik Olsen - October 23, 2007

Permanent link Comments (0)

See also: Search engines (7)  Text (24)  Tips and guidelines (95) 


 

39

Tell people to click if you want them to click

Is it archaic to tell people to "click here" in online copy? Brian Clark thinks not.

"...it's been proven time and time again that if you want someone to do something, you'll get better results if you tell them exactly what to do."

A recent experiment by Marketing Sherpa supports his view. They found that the word "click" had a significant influence on the clickthrough rates.

Here are the clickthrough rates of the wordings tested:
- "Click to continue": 8.53%
- "Continue to article": 3.3%
- "Read more": 1.8%

Links:

  • Does Telling Someone to Open link in new window

Henrik Olsen - October 21, 2007

Permanent link Comments (5)

See also: Persuasive design (21)  Links (19) 


 

40

Are users seach dominant?

Are there user who always go right to the search engine when the first visit a web site looking for content? In this episode of the UIE Usability Tools Podcast, Jared Spool and Christine Perfetti discuss one of their studies that showed that users aren't search dominiat.

In the podcast they discuss:

- Why no user always went to the search engine on a site
- How the design of a site's page determines what location strategy users employ
- How the design community reacted to UIE's research on search dominance
- Why your site's navigation may be poorly designed if your users are gravitating to search

Links:

  • Usability Tools Podcast: Are There Users Who Always Search? Open link in new window

Henrik Olsen - October 10, 2007

Permanent link Comments (1)

See also: Interviews (30)  Audio and video (48)  Search (27) 


 

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