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Introduction to information scent

This article by Iain Barker introduces the concept of information scent and explains how creating strong information scents enables users to confidently step through a site and find the information they require.

"The principles around how to create stronger information scents are quite simple, providing users with more context makes it easier for them to select the best option."


  • The article Information scent: helping people find the content they want

Henrik Olsen - August 15, 2005 - via Column Two

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See also: Navigation (40) 



What is usability?

Donna Maurer has written a nice overview of what usability is – and what it's not. She outlines the process used during a user-centred development project and defines the qualities of usable systems.

To Maurer, the primary disadvantages of user-hostile systems are:
- If the system is difficult to use, people won't use it
- If people have to use a difficult system, they will do so as little as possible
- People will waste time
- More support is necessary
- A user-hostile system is likely to require changes


  • The article What is usability?

Henrik Olsen - November 03, 2004

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See also: The design process (13)  Cost-justification and ROI (18) 



Usability basics

This article from the magazine IEEE Software is a nice introduction to usability, which covers core usability principles and common design techniques.


Henrik Olsen - April 21, 2004

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See also: The design process (13) 


4 - Executive Resource for User-Centered Design (UCD)

The site is designed for corporate executives interested in developing an understanding of how user-centered development methods can improve the effectiveness of technology-based products and services. User-Centered Design in an Executive-Centered way.

The 4 main section are:
- UCD Executive Primer
- UCD Feature Articles
- UCD Design Data
- UCD Viewpointz


  • TaskZ Home Page (Executive Primer, Articles, Viewpointz)
  • TaskZ Design Data

Pieter-Jan Pruuost - March 17, 2004

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Usability 101

Jakob Nielsen has written a nice primer on usability to give to your clients, boss or co-workers. Explains the basic what, why, how, when, and where of usability.


  • The article Usability 101

Henrik Olsen - August 28, 2003

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Information Architecture for Dummies

Using a lost-in-the-woods analogue, John S. Rhodes explains information architecture in a very simple and clear manner. Print plenty of copies and use them as handouts at family parties.


  • The article Information Architecture for the Rest of Us

Henrik Olsen - February 26, 2003

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See also: Information architecture (10) 



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.


Henrik Olsen - January 28, 2003

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See also: Visual design (11)  Web page design (22) 



User-Centered Design

This month Digital Web Magazine will focus on the theme of User-Centered Design. Kicking things off this week is an interview with Peter Merholz and Nathan Shedroff on User-Centered Design.


  • The interview
  • Peter Merholz
  • Nathan Shedroff
  • Meryl K. Evans

Nick Finck - October 09, 2002

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See also: Interviews (9) 

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