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91

form and function interview

Craig Saila interviews web designer and author of Designing CSS Web Pages (New Riders), Christopher Schmitt. The topic is form and function. This can and often does apply to usability on the functional level.

Links:

  • An interview with Christopher Schmitt Open link in new window

Nick Finck - January 30, 2003 - via Digital Web Magazine

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See also: Interviews (30)  Visual design (19) 


 

92

Primer on visual design

Luke Wroblewski has written a nice primer on visual design of web pages, which condenses the core principles of functional aesthetics.

There is too little talk about visual design among interaction designers and information architects though it's an important aspect of usability. If you want to learn more, read Kevin Mullet and Darrel Sano's book Designing Visual Interfaces.

Links:

Henrik Olsen - January 28, 2003

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See also: Primers (14)  Visual design (19)  Web page design (40) 


 

93

Optimizing sites and images for colour-blind viewers

With the online tool Vischeck you can test how a site or an image will look for colour-blind viewers. Vischeck even offer a free service, which will optimize images for viewing by colour-blind people. You'll also find a lot of interesting and educational background information there. The site is worth a visit.

Links:

  • The site Vischeck Open link in new window

Henrik Olsen - January 19, 2003

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See also: Accessibility (13)  Tools (106) 


 

94

Making the Web Work

As the web has matured, interaction designers have been faced with the challenge of designing complex web-based applications, which resemble desktop applications in functionality and complexity.

Bob Baxley is a practicing designer specialized in interface design for both web and desktop applications. In his book, he does a great job explaining how the page-based hypertext model of the web, compared to the task and action based model of desktop applications, present a variety of unique challenges for web interface design. In the book, you'll find a great amount of useful tips on how to exploit the limited interactive vocabulary of the web.

Unfortunately, the focus of the book is somewhat blurred. A large part of the book deals with general aspect of web site development, which isn't relevant in the context of web applications. I'm sure that if Baxley had focused more exclusively on web applications, he could have taught us much more in less space.

Links:

  • Sample chapter (PDF) 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
  • A more extensive review from Boxes and Arrows Open link in new window

Henrik Olsen - December 15, 2002

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See also: Books (47)  Web applications (6) 


 

95

An interview with Peter Morville and Lou Rosenfeld

Since reviewing "Information Architecture for the World Wide Web, Second Edition" (AKA the Polar Bear book) we decided it would be of interest to our readers to interview the authors of this book to see how the role of IA has changed since the first edition was released. Meryl K. Evans conducted the interview.

Links:

  • An interview with Peter Morville and Lou Rosenfeld, Information Architects Open link in new window
  • Book Review: Information Architecture for the World Wide Web, Second Edition Open link in new window

Nick Finck - December 12, 2002 - via Digital Web Magazine

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See also: Interviews (30)  Information architecture (15) 


 

96

Merchandising with planograms

In two subsequent articles Martin Lindstrom from Clickz.com discusses the practices of up- and cross-selling used by brick-and-mortar retail stores and the potential in applying their principles to the web. The key is planogramming.

"A planogram is a detailed and thoroughly thought-through map that determines where every product in an establishment should be situated. It illustrates not only in what area every product should be placed but also on which shelf every item should be accommodated. Shelf by shelf, aisle by aisle, the planogram assigns selling potential to every item in a store."

Links:

  • The article Webogram Power, Part 1 Open link in new window
  • The article Webogram Power, Part 2 Open link in new window

Henrik Olsen - December 05, 2002

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See also: Persuasive design (21) 


 

97

The key to Amazon.com's success

According to Maryam Mohit, Amazon.com's V.P. of Site Development, the key to Amazon.com's success is a strong focus on customer experience, which is infused throughout all levels of the company and includes all aspects of the buying process.

"And it's not just the people you'd think, like designers and usability specialists. Our engineers are really strong about thinking about customer experience, and our operations team, the people who run the back-end operations. Are the boxes easy to open, what packing material do we use, how much packing material is in the box, is it recyclable?"

Monitoring the customer experience is also important to Amazon.com.

"Metrics are super important. It's not just measuring, but measuring the right stuff and understanding it."

"

Links:

  • An interview with Maryam Mohit, Amazon.com Open link in new window

Henrik Olsen - November 23, 2002

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See also: E-commerce (27)  Interviews (30) 


 

98

The Death of Meta Keywords

Making a site show up on search engines often becomes a big issue in web development projects. One method which doesn't work is meta keywords. According to Danny Sullivan from Clickz, the only major crawler-based search engine supporting meta keywords is Inktomi

Links:

  • The article Death of a Meta Tag Open link in new window

Henrik Olsen - November 18, 2002

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See also: Search engines (7) 


 

99

The Search For Seducible Moments

UIE takes a look at how to entice users to explore content they aren't necessarily seeking. They compare how Sears and Dell have tried to solve this common problem through the design of their sites.

"It's rare where we get a situation like we have with these two sites. They are basically the same, offering high-priced products with available financing. In this analysis, we can see how two sites handle seducible moments. Sears struggles to convince users to apply for financing, whereas Dell has an easier time. The difference between the sites is not in the content, but in the design."

Links:

  • The article The Search For Seducible Moments Open link in new window

Henrik Olsen - November 10, 2002

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See also: Persuasive design (21) 


 

100

Accessibility and Usability

Anitra Pavka writes a great article that covers the lawsuit over Southwest's website and the "Accountability of Accessibility and Usability." For those who are still wondering why usability is important, you should read this article.

Links:

  • Accountability of Accessibility and Usability Open link in new window

Nick Finck - November 07, 2002

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See also: Cases and Examples (28)  Accessibility (13) 


 

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