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

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) 
 

51

Turn off ads for regular visitors

Matthew Haughey has noticed that the people who click on ads are usually one-time visitors who are lost and will never return to the site again. Regular visitors come for the content and quickly learn to visually filter out the ads.

So why not turn of ads for signed up members and regular visitors? Matthew Haughey gave it a try and found that he lost virtually nothing.

Links:

  • How Ads Really Work: Superfans and Noobs Open link in new window

Henrik Olsen - June 07, 2007 - via Signal vs. Noise

Permanent link Comments (0)

See also: Ads (9) 


 

52

Jared Spool on how bad usability and aggressive advertising can hurt brands

Google has published a 45 minute video with Jared Spool talking about online branding:

"What's the most effective way to strengthen a brand on the internet? Recent research shows that it isn't using traditional branding techniques. In fact, those tried-and-true methods can actually hurt your brand, if implemented poorly.

In this presentation, Jared Spool will discuss how User Interface Engineering's recent usability research has uncovered some fascinating truths about how people perceive brands on the internet."

Links:

  • Strike Up The Brand: How to Design for Branding (Google video) Open link in new window

Henrik Olsen - May 31, 2007 - via Usability In the News

Permanent link Comments (2)

See also: Audio and video (48)  Ads (9)  Talks and presentations (18) 


 

53

How to display comprehensive helps texts in forms

Sometimes forms are so complex that it's necessary to provide extensive help. In such cases, the text needed to explain how to fill it out can become overwhelming.

Luke Wroblewski has looked around the web to find ways to design dynamic contextual help. In his article, he shows examples of both user-activated and automatically triggered help.

Links:

  • Dynamic Help in Web Forms Open link in new window

Henrik Olsen - May 24, 2007

Permanent link Comments (0)

See also: Help (3)  Forms (30) 


 

54

Guidelines for using links vs. buttons

According to Jakob Nielsen, links and buttons have different uses:

- Links are for navigation. They are used to move between pages in an information space.
- Buttons are for actions that cause some chance (e.g. adding a product to shopping cart).

But there are exceptions to the rules:

- Buttons can be used to move from page to page in a workflow process (e.g. "continue shopping" and "proceed to checkout")
- Links can be used for secondary actions with minor consequences.

The so called "command links" have the benefit that we can write longer command names and thus make them more descriptive. To reduce confusion, the link text should explicitly state that it leads to an action by making the first word of the link an imperative verb.

Another benefit to command links is that we can add explanatory text below the link. The text can be presented in a smaller typeface to emphasize its secondary nature.

Links:

  • Command Links Open link in new window

Henrik Olsen - May 16, 2007

Permanent link Comments (2)

See also: Guidelines and Standards (15)  Links (19)  Forms (30)  Navigation (63) 


 

55

How to validate the success of navigation

Card sorting is excellent for finding patterns in how people categorize information. Iain Barker offers a simple and low-cost method for validating proposed classifications schemes.

Links:

  • Measuring the Success of a Classification System Open link in new window

Henrik Olsen - April 25, 2007

Permanent link Comments (0)

See also: Card sorting (13)  Navigation (63) 


 

56

Breadcrumbs don't hurt

Despite the fact that breadcrumb trails are often overlooked, Jakob Nielsen recommends their use. Why? Because more people use them and because they don't get in the way of the ones who don't.

Breadcrumbs are unobtrusive and useful:

- They show users their current location in the site hierarchy
- They allow users to backtrack to higher levels
- Though they are often overlooked, they never cause problems in usability tests
- They take up very little space

Jakob Nielsen predicts that people will use breadcrumbs even more in the near future because they're an important navigation tool in Windows Vista.

Links:

  • Breadcrumb Navigation Increasingly Useful Open link in new window

Henrik Olsen - April 10, 2007

Permanent link Comments (0)

See also: Navigation (63) 


 

57

Instructions in form design

According to Mike Hughes, putting instructional text in the beginning of a form doesn't work. People prefer doing over reading. Our attention is easily drawn to action objects, such as text fields and buttons, causing us leapfrog over instructions.

Mike Hughes gives the following recommendations:
- Divide dense instructions up for individual action objects
- Put the appropriate instructions in close proximity to their respective action objects
- Place the instructional text next to the corresponding action object-preferably, in the downstream direction, to the right or just below it
- If the instructional text is too long, provide a link that dynamically displays a pop-up or pane when a user clicks it.

Links:

  • Instructional Text in the User Interface: Some Counterintuitive Implications of User Behaviors Open link in new window

Henrik Olsen - March 12, 2007

Permanent link Comments (3)

See also: Forms (30)  Text (24) 


 

58

How to design selection-dependent forms

In web applications, we sometimes need selection-dependent forms, where users need to provide additional information after having made a selection. There is a myriad of ways to solve this design challenge. Luke Wroblewski provides an overview and discusses their pros and cons.

Links:

  • Selection-Dependent Inputs Open link in new window

Henrik Olsen - March 06, 2007

Permanent link Comments (1)

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


 

59

How to you turn scanners into readers

Jessica Neuman Beck has written a nice little piece on how turn scanners into readers by making copy easy to process.

Here's her advice:
- Give your words some breathing room by increasing your margins and choosing short, concise paragraphs
- Organize information into sections with headlines to make it easy to decide which section to read and which can be skipped
- Break up your pages using relevant images and illustrations
- Use pull quotes to highlight important lines of text
- Include descriptive blurbs below headlines to explain what the text is about
- Use icons to denote certain site elements and break up text-heavy pages
- Style links in such a way that they're easy to recognize even to the people who aren't reading the copy
- Use lists that distill information to its essence

Links:

  • Does Your Copy Hold Up To A Quick Glance? Open link in new window

Henrik Olsen - February 28, 2007

Permanent link Comments (0)

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


 

60

28% of internet users have tagged or categorized content online

Folksonomies are spreading. A survey from December 2006 has found that 28% of internet users in the US have tagged or categorized content online, such as photos, news stories or blog posts. On a typical day, 7% of the users say they tag or categorize online content.

Taggers are classic early adopters. They are likely to be under 40 and have higher levels of education and income.

The survey was carried out by the Pew Internet & American Life Project.

Links:

  • Report on the tagging survey Open link in new window

Henrik Olsen - January 31, 2007

Permanent link Comments (0)

See also: Navigation (63)  Information architecture (15)  Research (129) 


 

Browse GUUUI postings

Methods and the design process

Prototyping and wireframing (119)  Usability testing (68)  Cost-justification and ROI (27)  User research (23)  Personas (19)  The design process (24)  Eye-tracking (14)  Card sorting (13)  Web traffic analysis (12)  Expert reviews (11)  Implementing user-centred design (9)  Site and flow diagramming (6)  Envisionments (4)  Use Cases (3) 

Design elements

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) 

General aspects

E-commerce (27)  Persuasive design (21)  Visual design (19)  Information architecture (15)  Accessibility (13)  Search engines (7)  Credibility, Trust and Privacy (6)  Emotional design (10)  Simplicity vs. capability (7)  Web applications (6)  Intranets (3) 

Technology

Flash (6)  Download time (5)  Javascript (3)  URLs (3)  Browsers (3)  Web standards (2) 

Humour

Bad designs (20)  Cartoons (14)  Fun music and videos (13)  Funny tools and games (12)  Misc humor (8)  Fun with Jakob Nielsen (9)  Designs with humor (3)  Fun posters (5)  Funny 404 pages (2) 

Resource types

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) 

Information sources

Blogs (12)  Websites (11)  Discussion lists (4)  News (3)  Newsletters (3)  Online magazines (3)  Wikis (1) 

 
     
  To the front pageSign inTo the frontpageSearch in GUUUI postingsAbout GUUUI