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Navigation Stress Test

The idea behind Keith Instone's Navigation Stress Test is to ask about some basic concerns users often have upon arriving at web pages:

- Where am I?
- What's here?
- Where can I go?

Randomly pick out low-level pages from the site you want to test, pretend you are entering the site for the first time at this page, and try to answer the questions. In Keith's article you'll find detailed instructions on how to perform the test.


  • The article Navigation Stress Test

Henrik Olsen - November 22, 2003

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How experts evaluate web sites' credibility

In parallel with Stanford Persuasive Technology Lab's study of how average people evaluate web sites' credibility, Sliced Bread Design and Comsumer WebWatch conducted a study of how industry experts rate credibility of the very same sites. The results showed that experts were far less concerned about visual appeal and more about the quality of a site's information.

The comparative studies suggest that while people without deep knowledge and personal interest in a site will judge it by its visual design, people involved in a site's professional domain are more concerned about the quality and accuracy of the content.


Henrik Olsen - March 19, 2003

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See also: Research (85)  Credibility, Trust and Privacy (5) 



How to run a design critique

A very clear and useful breakdown of how to approach and manage a small team critique of a design, both initially and later in the project life cycle. By Scott Berkun of UIweb, January 2003. Below is some other notable content on the UIweb site.


  • #23 - How to run a design critique
  • UIweb
  • INTERACTIONARY - Sports for design training and team building
  • INTERACTIONARY - Sports for design training and team building
  • Column #21: Designing on both sides of your brain

ben hyde - January 22, 2003

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Usability Gurus ranted

Charles L. Mauro rants the "Guru approach" to usability consulting:

"Often the usability Guru approach takes the form of a well-orchestrated exorcism. Beating the bad usability spirits out of the web site by a constant and highly negative critique of the current site and of course by association the development team. The ferocity of such exorcisms is sometimes directly related to the size of the consulting fee: the higher the fee the more aggressive the critique."


Henrik Olsen - January 21, 2003

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See also: Cost-justification and ROI (18) 



Oversimplifying complex problems

Standing in front of clients and colleagues and be expected to provide instant solutions to complex problems is something many in our practice have experienced. But relying on expert's statements is not the way to go. In George Olsen's opinion, too many gurus are promoting oversimplified and absolutist ideas in order to promote themselves as the ones with the answers.

Being a totally relativistic and declare "It depends!" won't work either. "There are no easy answers. But … let me suggest there's at least one easy step: start by saying, "it can depend, but, in this context, here's what I recommend…""


  • The article (Over)simple Answers for Simple Minds

Henrik Olsen - August 07, 2002

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See also: Tips and guidelines (62) 



Usability Toolkit

InfoDesign has a section with a lot of free usability toolkit materials including descriptions of usability techniques and downloadable tools such as guidelines, check lists, examples and software.


  • The toolkit at

Henrik Olsen - April 09, 2002

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See also: Tools (49)  Card sorting (8)  Requirement Analysis (12)  Personas (12)  Usability testing (28)  Wireframing and prototyping (29) 

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