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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) 
 

81

Web navigation is about moving forward

According to Gerry McGovern, the primary purpose of web navigaton is to help people move forward. It's not to tell them where they have been, or where they could have gone.

"The Back button helps us to get back if we want to get back. The global navigation allows us to reach major sections, no matter what part of the website we are on. Your job is not to design for all possible directions someone might want to take. That leads to a cluttered website and it will clutter the mind of and overload the attention of your customers."

Links:

  • Web Navigation is About Moving Forward Open link in new window

Henrik Olsen - May 25, 2006

Permanent link Comments (1)

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


 

82

People scan content in an F-shaped pattern

In an eyetracking study, Jakob Nielsen found that users often scan content on web pages in an F-shaped pattern:
- First, people scan in a horizontal movement across the upper part of the content area
- Secondly, in a shorter horizontal movement further down the page
- Finally, in a vertical movement along the content's left side

According to Jakob Nielsen the F-pattern behaviour shows that:
- People don't read text thoroughly
- The most important information should be at the top
- Headings and paragraphs must start with information-carrying words that users will notice when they scan down the left side of the content

Links:

  • F-Shaped Pattern For Reading Web Content Open link in new window

Henrik Olsen - April 19, 2006

Permanent link Comments (2)

See also: Research (129)  Text (24)  Eye-tracking (14) 


 

83

Designing Interfaces: Patterns for Effective Interaction Design

Jenifer Tidwell has published a book stuffed with interface design patterns. Each pattern contains practical design advice and examples from desktop applications, web sites, web applications and mobile devices. The idea behind the book is that there are lots of good ideas out there waiting to be reused.

Each chapter in the book explains key concepts in interaction design and visual design. The topics include:
- Information architecture for applications
- Navigation
- Page layout
- Maps, graphs, and tables
- Forms
- Graphic editors
- Color, typography, and look-and-feel

At the book's companion website you'll find excerpts of some the patterns in her book.

Links:

  • Companion web-site Open link in new window
  • Review of the book by Mario Georgiou Open link in new window
  • The book at Amazon.com Open link in new window
  • The book at Amazon.co.uk Open link in new window

Henrik Olsen - April 05, 2006

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See also: Books (47)  Design patterns (8) 


 

84

How to make users abandon forms

5 ways to make sure that users abandon your forms:
- Ask for information the user doesn't have at their finger tips
- Ask for a lot of information, but don't tell why you need it
- Force users to input data according to how the system wants it
- Provide cryptic error messages that tell users to correct their mistakes, but give no information about what they did wrong
- Split forms up into many segments, but don't give any indication of where users are in the process

I you follow these rules, be sure to overstaff your call center. You're going to need the extra help.

Links:

  • 5 Ways To Make Sure That Users Abandon Your Forms Open link in new window

Henrik Olsen - April 01, 2006

Permanent link Comments (0)

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


 

85

Online video interview with Jakob Nielsen

DevSource has published a nice 8-minute online video interview featuring Dr. Jakob Nielsen.

Nielsen addresses a wide range of topics, such as proper attitude for programmers, the importance of prototyping in design, and the reasons why PDF, Flash, and local search engines can hurt more than they help.

Links:

  • Online video interview with Jakob Nielsen Open link in new window

Henrik Olsen - March 17, 2006 - via WebWord

Permanent link Comments (0)

See also: Interviews (30)  Search (27)  Usability testing (68)  Prototyping and wireframing (119)  Audio and video (48) 


 

86

Avoid links that scroll to sections of pages

According to Jakob Nielsen, we should avoid links that scroll to sections of a page, since users expect that links will take them to a new page.

Studies have shown that within-page links typically waste far more time than they save because users click back and forth multiple times to review the same material.

If you must use within-page links, tell the user that clicking the link will scroll to the page to the relevant section.

Only for very long pages, such as long alphabetized lists and FAQs, will the time saved be worth the confusion that within-page links can cause. Also, linking to a specific section on a different page is not as bad as using within-page links on a single page, since the users are taken to a new page.

Ideally, create separate pages for everything that serves as a link destination.

Links:

  • Avoid Within-Page Links Open link in new window

Henrik Olsen - February 25, 2006

Permanent link Comments (2)

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


 

87

Yahoo! Design Pattern Library

Yahoo! has decided to share their Design Pattern Library with the rest of us. You can find inspiration for common design elements such as breadcrumbs, auto completion, pagination - and more to come.

Links:

  • Yahoo! Design Pattern Library Open link in new window

Henrik Olsen - February 14, 2006 - via IA? EH

Permanent link Comments (0)

See also: Design patterns (8) 


 

88

Alphabetized lists are random lists

"Unless you can be absolutely sure that users will know the exact terms in your list, alphabetical order is just random order."

According to Jared Spool, alphabetized lists work for people's name, states, cities, car models, and teams. But they fall apart for things where users don't know the exact wording. Users must resort to the same behavior they need when links are randomly ordered. They must scan every link to make sure they can see what is relevant and what isn't.

Instead, we should use a divide-and-conquer approach by categorizing the items. Once broken up into small groups, it doesn't matter what the order of the links are.

Links:

  • Alphabetized Links are Random Links Open link in new window

Henrik Olsen - February 12, 2006

Permanent link Comments (0)

See also: Information architecture (15)  Sitemaps (2)  Links (19)  Navigation (63)  Tips and guidelines (95) 


 

89

593 ways of spelling Britney Spears

People often mispel words when using search engines. Google has registered 593 ways of spelling Britney Spears.

Links:

  • 593 ways of spelling Britney Spears Open link in new window

Henrik Olsen - January 26, 2006 - via justaddwater.dk

Permanent link Comments (0)

See also: Misc humor (8)  Search (27) 


 

90

Auto-completion in search interfaces

According to Jesper Ronn-Jensen from justaddwater.dk, live search will gradually replace traditional search on the web. In live search interfaces results are fetched whenever the user stops typing for a brief moment. An example of this is Google Suggest where the most popular results are presented as-you-type.

Jesper sees the following benefits:
- The search user interface is identical to traditional search
- Misspellings can be corrected immediately
- Relevant alternatives are presented as you type
- It's easy to refine your search: Just continue typing
- If the search is too narrow it's easy to press backspace and remove characters

Links:

  • Live search explained Open link in new window

Henrik Olsen - January 26, 2006

Permanent link Comments (0)

See also: Search (27) 


 

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