To the front pageThe Interaction Designer's Coffee Break - Weekly postings and quarterly articles about interaction design  
  To the front pageSign inTo the frontpageSearch in GUUUI postingsAbout GUUUI  




Intranet usability saves millions

According to Jakob Nielsen, intranet usability has improved 44% over the last few years. But there is still room for improvement. A company with poor intranet usability can save $3 million per year. A company with average usability $2.4 million. If you have 10,000 employees, that is.


  • Intranet Usability Shows Huge Advances Open link in new window

Henrik Olsen - October 11, 2007

Permanent link Comments (0)

See also: Intranets (3)  Cost-justification and ROI (27)  Tips and guidelines (95) 



How to optimize landing page performance

Marketing Experiments Journal has made a number of A/B tests of landing pages (the pages people land on clicking ads or search result links).

They found that landing page performance can be improved by:
- Focusing on one objective for each page and driving everything on the page to that one objective
- Using a vertical flow through the centre of the page
- Eliminating elements that may distract eye path from the flow toward the objective
- Using visual elements to draw attention toward the call to action
- Avoiding use of off-page links


  • Landing Page Confusion-How Does Having More Than One Objective to a Page Affect its Performance? Open link in new window

Henrik Olsen - October 08, 2007 - via Copyblogger

Permanent link Comments (0)

See also: Persuasive design (21)  E-commerce (27)  Landing pages (5)  Web page design (40) 



How to render primary and secondary buttons in forms

In an eye-tracking study, Luke Wroblewski has looked at how users experience primary and secondary buttons (e.g. Submit and Cancel) in forms.

He found that creating visual distinction between primary and secondary buttons help people make good choices. An effective way to do this is to present secondary buttons as links. He also found that positioning the buttons to the left, in alignment with the input fields, increases completion times.


  • Primary & Secondary Actions in Web Forms Open link in new window

Henrik Olsen - September 07, 2007

Permanent link Comments (2)

See also: Forms (30) 



How to make useful and usable usability recommendations

In order to evaluate the quality of recommendations in usability reports, the CUE-4 study analysed reports from 17 usability teams who independently evaluated the usability of a hotel's website.

The study showed that only 17% of the recommendations were both useful and communicated in a comprehensible way.

In the light of their findings, the authors give the following recommendations:

- Communicate each recommendation clearly at the conceptual level
- Ensure that the recommendation improves the overall usability of the application
- Be aware of the business or technical constraints
- Show respect for the product team's constraints
- Solve the whole problem, not just a special case
- Make recommendations specific and clear
- Avoid vagueness by including specific examples in your recommendations


  • Making Usability Recommendations Useful and Usable Open link in new window

Henrik Olsen - August 27, 2007

Permanent link Comments (0)

See also: Usability testing (68) 



How to cure banner blindness

According to Jakob Nielsen, these are the four most effective ways to attract peoples' eyeballs to ads:

- Making ads look like dialog boxes
- Making ads look like native content
- Using plain text
- Including faces
- Including cleavage and other "private" body parts

While Jakob finds that the last three present no ethical dilemmas, the first two do: Making an ad look like native content violates publishing's principle of separating editorial content and paid advertisement. Making it look like a dialog box is just plain deceptive.

In the article, Jakob also discusses how banner blindness is still real: Users don't look at anything that resembles ads, even if they aren't. If they glance at them, they typically don't engage with them. Often, they don't even see the advertiser's logo or name.


  • Banner Blindness: Old and New Findings Open link in new window

Henrik Olsen - August 20, 2007

Permanent link Comments (0)

See also: Ads (9) 



Common shopping cart mistakes

In this article, SURL revisits a study from 2002 of common e-commerce problems. They found that all of the following 2002 issues remain in 2007:

- Calling a shopping cart anything but a shopping cart or whatever is appropriate for the target users of the site's location
- Requiring users to click "Buy" instead of "Add to shopping cart"
- Giving little to no visual feedback that an item has been added to the cart
- Forcing the user to view the shopping cart every time an item is placed there
- Asking the user to buy other related items before adding an item to the cart
- Requiring a user to register before adding an item to the cart
- Requiring a user to change the quantity to zero to remove an item from the cart
- Not making it evident how to update the items in the shopping cart
- Requiring a user to scroll to find an update cart button
- Requiring a user to check out before showing the final costs including shipping and tax


  • Top Ten Mistakes of Shopping Cart Design Revisited Open link in new window

Henrik Olsen - August 12, 2007

Permanent link Comments (0)

See also: E-commerce (27)  Shopping Carts (9) 



28% of internet users have tagged or categorized content online

Folksonomies are spreading. A survey from December 2006 has found that 28% of internet users in the US have tagged or categorized content online, such as photos, news stories or blog posts. On a typical day, 7% of the users say they tag or categorize online content.

Taggers are classic early adopters. They are likely to be under 40 and have higher levels of education and income.

The survey was carried out by the Pew Internet & American Life Project.


  • Report on the tagging survey Open link in new window

Henrik Olsen - January 31, 2007

Permanent link Comments (0)

See also: Navigation (63)  Information architecture (15) 



Do we read web pages in an F-shaped pattern?

SURL has done an eyetracking study to investigate whether users follow the F-shaped pattern suggested by Jakob Nielsen when reading and scanning web pages.

Findings from the study:

- When reading or scanning text, users appear to follow by the F-pattern
- When scanning a page with a grid of product pictures, the F-pattern doesn't seem to hold true
- On the product picture pages, the area above the fold received significant more attention than the area below

The authors suggest that we should structure web pages so that important content falls in the F-pattern and that important or featured products on picture pages should be positioned above the fold.


  • Eye Gaze Patterns while Searching vs. Browsing a Website Open link in new window

Henrik Olsen - January 30, 2007

Permanent link Comments (1)

See also: Web page design (40)  Eye-tracking (14) 



Research on scroll behaviour

ClickTale has researched how people use scroll on websites. Their results show that:

- 76% of the pages were scrolled to some extend
- 22% of the pages were scrolled all the way to the bottom
- The length of the pages had no significant influence on whether people scrolled to the bottom or not
- The location of the page fold (the bottom border of a web page visible in the browser at load time) is located about 430, 600 and 860 pixels from the top of the page depending on peoples screen size
- The most common location of the fold is around 600 to 610 pixels from the top, but only accounts for about 10% of the folds.


  • Unfolding the Fold Open link in new window

Henrik Olsen - December 29, 2006 - via Usability in the News

Permanent link Comments (4)

See also: Web page design (40) 



People buy the products with most features

Luke Wroblewski has looked at the dilemma of capability vs. usability. According to a Harvard Business Review article, people judge the quality of a product based on the number of features, if they have never used it before. After having used these products however, usability will start to matter more than features.

This puts product developers in a dilemma. In order to maximize initial sales, they need to add many features to their products. But in order to maximize repeat sales, they need to prioritize ease-of-use.


  • The Sweet Spot for Buying Open link in new window

Henrik Olsen - November 22, 2006

Permanent link Comments (1)

See also: Simplicity vs. capability (7) 


Browse GUUUI postings

Methods and the design process

Prototyping and wireframing (119)  Usability testing (68)  Cost-justification and ROI (27)  User research (23)  Personas (19)  The design process (24)  Eye-tracking (14)  Card sorting (13)  Web traffic analysis (12)  Expert reviews (11)  Implementing user-centred design (9)  Site and flow diagramming (6)  Envisionments (4)  Use Cases (3) 

Design elements

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) 

General aspects

E-commerce (27)  Persuasive design (21)  Visual design (19)  Information architecture (15)  Accessibility (13)  Search engines (7)  Credibility, Trust and Privacy (6)  Emotional design (10)  Simplicity vs. capability (7)  Web applications (6)  Intranets (3) 


Flash (6)  Download time (5)  Javascript (3)  URLs (3)  Browsers (3)  Web standards (2) 


Bad designs (20)  Cartoons (14)  Fun music and videos (13)  Funny tools and games (12)  Misc humor (8)  Fun with Jakob Nielsen (9)  Designs with humor (3)  Fun posters (5)  Funny 404 pages (2) 

Resource types

Research (129)  Tips and guidelines (95)  Tools (106)  Books (47)  Audio and video (48)  Interviews (30)  Cases and Examples (28)  Talks and presentations (18)  GUUUI articles (11)  Primers (14)  Online books (5)  Posters (5)  Glossaries (3)  People and organisations (3) 

Information sources

Blogs (12)  Websites (11)  Discussion lists (4)  News (3)  Newsletters (3)  Online magazines (3)  Wikis (1) 

  To the front pageSign inTo the frontpageSearch in GUUUI postingsAbout GUUUI