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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) 
 

51

Prototyping a level sensing drinking glass for Microsoft Surface

In this video, Johnny Chung Lee, the guy behind the do-it-yourself interactive Wii based whiteboard, shows how he prototyped a drinking glass that, when placed on the Microsoft Surface table, can alert a waiter to offer a refill.

Links:

  • Video of Johnny Chung Lee's level sensing drinking glass Open link in new window
  • Article about Johnny Chung Lee Open link in new window

Henrik Olsen - November 23, 2008

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See also: Prototyping and wireframing (119)  Cases and Examples (28) 


 

52

Google Chrome comic book

The cartoonist Scott McCloud has made a comic for Google explaining the story behind their browser, Chrome. It's a pretty nerdy look behind the scenes, but a quite engaging way to communicate tech stuff.

It was originally designed as a printed comic to create hype about the new browser among journalists and bloggers.

If you don't know Scott McCloud, I can highly recommend his book Understanding Comics.

Links:

  • The Google Chrome comic book Open link in new window
  • Scott McCloud's book Understanding Comics at amazon.com Open link in new window
  • Scott McCloud's book Understanding Comics at amazon.co.uk Open link in new window

Henrik Olsen - November 17, 2008 - via User Experience and Design

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See also: Books (47)  Envisionments (4) 


 

53

iPhone usability research

Bill Westerman from Create With Context has posted a slide deck covering their research on iPhone usability.

In their research, they found that "take-up of interactions - even when these were consistent across applications - was often quite slow. And even 'expert' users were not aware of the ins-and-outs of every interaction - for example, our 'expert' participants didn't know the two-finger single tap to zoom out on Google Maps."

In the slide deck, Bill Westerman walks through their findings and gives eight rules of thumb for designing better iPhone apps.

Links:

Henrik Olsen - November 12, 2008

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See also: Usability testing (68)  Research (129)  Tips and guidelines (95) 


 

54

How to use arrows together with links

Sometimes an arrow character or icon is used together with a link. According to Dmitry from Usability Post, we can use such arrows to mean two things.

1. An arrow placed after a link, pointing somewhere else, is saying "hey, click here to go there." It can be used to direct users to an article page or the next page of some content.

2. An arrow placed before a link is advertising the link itself saying "hey, click this link." It can be used for other types of links that we need to draw peoples' attention to.

Links:

  • Should Arrows be Placed Before Link Text or After? Open link in new window

Henrik Olsen - October 28, 2008

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


 

55

How to make customers read your emails

Email is a powerful tool for connecting a website with its customers. But according to Jakob Nielsen, transactional email has appallingly low usability.

He gives a few tips on how to avoid your email being mistaken for spam and survive users' hectic approach to reading email:

- The From field should contain a recognizable and descriptive sender name such as "JetBlue Reservations" or "BestBuy Online Store"

- Provide a meaningful subject line that's relevant to the recipient such as "Order has shipped", rather than meaningless subjects such as "Important information"

- In the message, start with the facts that are important to users, rather marketing fluff or other seemingly irrelevant information

- To avoid inbox overload when sending order confirmations, settle for an order and a shipping confirmation

Links:

  • Transactional Email and Confirmation Messages Open link in new window

Henrik Olsen - October 22, 2008

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See also: E-mails (3)  Research (129) 


 

56

About Us sections are getting better

According to Jakob Nielsen, "saying who you are and what you do is basic to good manners." Though there is still room for improvement, companies are learning their online manners.

Compared to a study five years ago:
- The usability of About Us information has increased from 70% to 79%
- The ease of finding contact information has increased from 62% to 91%
- The ease of figuring out what a company does has dropped from 90% to 81%
- User's satisfaction with About Us sections decreased from 5.2 to 4.6 on a 1-7 scale - probably because people's expectations have grown.
- People show higher interest in videos showing products, corporate events, or personality of the CEO or other key staff.

Jakob recommends providing About Us information at four levels of detail:
- A tagline on the home page
- A summary of what the company does on the About Us page
- A fact sheet following the summary
- Subsidiary pages with more depth

Links:

Henrik Olsen - September 29, 2008

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See also: Research (129)  Sections (8) 


 

57

Spell out whether form fields are required or not

In a comparative test, Erin Walsh learned that spelling out that a form field is optional works significant better than indicating it with some visual means.

Links:

  • Erin Walsh's post on the IxDA discussion list Open link in new window

Henrik Olsen - September 06, 2008 - via Luke Wroblewski's Web Form Design blog

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See also: Forms (30)  Research (129)  Tips and guidelines (95) 


 

58

More magnetic interface widgets

Not long ago, GuiMags brought the magnetic interface widgets for whiteboard prototyping back. Now a competitor, GUIMagnets, has entered the marked with magnets that seem to be a bit cheaper (if you can do without the case that comes with GuiMags).

Links:

Henrik Olsen - August 24, 2008

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


 

59

How to moderate usability tests

Jared Spool has published a two-part podcast on moderating usability tests. He covers all the steps from greeting the participants and making them feel comfortable, getting tasks done, keeping observers posted about what happens at the screen, and ending the session.

Links:

  • Usability Tools Podcast: Moderating Usability Tests, Part 1 Open link in new window
  • Usability Tools Podcast: Moderating Usability Tests, Part 2 Open link in new window

Henrik Olsen - August 11, 2008

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See also: Audio and video (48)  Usability testing (68) 


 

60

How to design search result pages

In this two-part article, Jared Spool shares some tips on how to design search results pages:

- Prevent that people have to jump back and forth between the search result page and the individual result pages (pogosticking), by providing the information people need to make qualified choices between the results

- Keep the most relevant results at the top as people will loose momentum as they encounter results that don't seem relevant. Providing sorting and filtering tools can help people find the results that are most relevant to them.

- Eliminate 'wacko' results that are irrelevant as they reduce peoples confidence in the search

- Put more results on each result page. Limiting each page to ten results doesn't seem to be for the benefit of the users as they tend not to look beyond the first page and don't mind search results pages containing many results

- Handle "No Results" gracefully by telling people that you don't have what they are looking for.

Links:

  • Producing Great Search Results: Harder than It Looks, Part 1 Open link in new window
  • Producing Great Search Results: Harder than It Looks, Part 2 Open link in new window

Henrik Olsen - August 04, 2008

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See also: Tips and guidelines (95)  Search (27) 


 

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