Usability is based on principles such as "Less is more" and "Keep it simple, stupid". But there is more to simplicity than meets the eye. By reducing visual complexity at the cost of structural simplicity, you will give your users a hard time understanding and navigating the content of a web site.
Read the article:
ISSUE 07 - July 2003
Personas and the customer decision-making
ISSUE 06 - April 2003
Supporting customers' decision-making
ISSUE 05 - January 2003
Business-centred design - Designing
web sites that sell
ISSUE 04 - October
InfoRomanticism on the Internet
- Romantic sensibility in the design of online content
ISSUE 03 - July 2002
Results from a Survey Of Web
Visio - the Interaction Designers
ISSUE 02 - April 2002
The Bottom-line of Prototyping
and Usability Testing - How user-centred design techniques
can make a cost effective workflow
ISSUE 01 - January 2002
Competitive Usability - How usability
will be the key differentiator of tomorrow's Internet
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Introducing a user-centred design approach in an organisation can sometimes be difficult. According to Jesse James Garrett, some of the most common objections are:
|I'm sorry to announce that the ability to add postings
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of the site - Henrik Olsen
- We know our users - they're just like us.
- We know our users - we've done all this market research.
- All we have to do is follow this list of guidelines.
- The interface is trivial compared to the technical work we need to do.
- It takes experts to understand user behavior. We don't have that kind of money.
- It doesn't take experts to understand user behavior. We'll figure it out as we go.
- We'll fix it in QA.
- We can't make room for it in the schedule.
As a result, "Most Web sites are not designed. They are, at best, contrived - roughly patched together using a mix of half-understood guidelines, imitations of approaches taken by other sites, and personal preferences masquerading as "common sense""
|The article All Those Opposed - Making the case for user experience in a budget-conscious climate|
Henrik Olsen | July 28, 2003
"…information foraging uses the analogy of wild animals gathering food to analyze how humans collect information online."
"The two main strategies are to make your content look like a nutritious meal and signal that it's an easy catch. These strategies must be used in combination: users will leave if the content is good but hard to find, or if it's easy to find but offers only empty calories."
|Information Foraging: Why Google Makes People Leave Your Site Faster|
Henrik Olsen | July 03, 2003
The Q3 2003 issue of GUUUI features a case study showing how the use of personas can help us capture the nature of online customers and design for their needs and concerns, as they progress through the customer decision-making process.
Henrik Olsen | July 01, 2003
According to Kath Straub and Susan Weinschenk, research shows that users generally find information faster in broad and shallow structured sites than the narrow and deep ones – as long as they are not extremely broad.
"Research comparing navigation efficiency through sites of varying depths and breadths broadly converges on the findings that users find roughly 16 (ungrouped) top-level links leading into 2-3 subsequent menus the most efficient, learnable and least error prone."
But several other factors are also thought to influence ease of navigation, such as clear and distinct labels, and effective sub-grouping of categories.
|The article Breadth vs. Depth|
Henrik Olsen | June 27, 2003
Periodically, we hear about the rule of 7 +/- 2 from inexperienced interaction designers: Users can't handle more than 7 bullets on a page, seven items in a form list, or more than seven links in a menu. According to James Kalback, this has no evidence in reality – on the contrary. The psychologist George Miller's conclusions apply to what we can memorize – not what we can perceive.
Current research strongly supports that broad structures perform better than deep structures. Users can more easily cope with broad structures, they have a greater chance of getting lost in deep hierarchical structures, and new visitors are able to get a better overview of sites offerings from a broader structure.
|The Myth of Seven, Plus or Minus 2|
Henrik Olsen | June 24, 2003