Usability (89 entries)

Exploring Navigation Conventions Across Federal Reserve Bank Websites
October 26, 2014 | 2 Comments
An exploration of the primary navigation of the 12 Federal Reserve district bank websites in order to uncover navigation conventions and inconsistencies.
Online Shopping Cart Usability Tips
June 28, 2014
Two articles on ecommerce usability include tips to help users in the shopping cart and ecommerce design trends to follow and avoid. Mobile App Redesign
May 24, 2014 | 1 Comment
The redesigned app looks very nice but has some usability issues which impact how easy it is to understand the weather quickly.
Great Introduction to the Essentials of User Experience Design
February 16, 2014 | 1 Comment
The UX Crash Course is an excellent introduction to the principles of user experience design and is worth sharing with designers and non-designers who want to learn more about this field.
One Simple Tip to Increase Ecommerce Conversions from Your 404 Error Page
February 08, 2014
Add product recommendations to your online store 404 error page to increase conversions, page views and more.
Image Carousel Click-through Rate Analysis
November 17, 2013
Click-through data for an image carousel shows that it rapidly drops off after the first banner, with the last banners getting almost no clicks.
Why You Should Not Use Image Carousels on Your Website
November 10, 2013 | 1 Comment
A look at how auto-rotating image carousels reduce usability and why they should be used with caution (if at all) on your website.
Get Buy-in Faster with this One-page Usability Test Plan Dashboard
September 02, 2013
This handy dashboard organizes all the tasks involved in a running a usability test into a single page for easy reading.
Improving Ecommerce Site Search with Redirects
April 28, 2013 | 2 Comments
User redirects as part of your site search to send users directly to your most relevant content for general searches.
Forbes Doesn't Care About the User Experience
March 30, 2013
Forbes slideshows are so peppered with ads that they have forgotten why they created them in the first place
Pagination Design Showcase
February 23, 2013
Looking for design inspiration? Try my collection of over 45 examples of well designed pagination.
12 Landing Page A/B Testing Results That Will Surprise You
September 25, 2012 | 1 Comment
Do not miss this collection of 12 A/B tests where the results will surprise you and provide valuable insight for your own landing page testing.
Are Error Messages Getting Too Cute For Their Own Good
January 19, 2012
A look at how error messages are increasingly more cute than useful in helping the user to determine what has gone wrong.
When Features are Commoditized its the User Experience that Counts
November 20, 2011
When you are offering a similar set of services as your competitors, user interface design becomes a key way to differentiate yourself and attract customers.
Reduce Bounce Rate by Making a Landing Page More Like a Landing Page
April 26, 2011 | 4 Comments
How visually presenting product sub-categories on a category landing page substantially reduced the bounce rate for the page.
Elegant Advanced Search Implementation
April 08, 2011 | 2 Comments
Good example of incorporating advanced search functionality into a search box.
IBM's Smarter Planet Icons are More Cute than Useful
March 15, 2011 | 2 Comments
The icons used in IBM's Smarter Planet website section are artistic but do not help users by following recommended icon design conventions.
Mega-Menus Can Reduce as well as Enhance Usability
November 20, 2010 | 1 Comment
Although mega-menus are a useful navigation tool, in order for them to enhance website usability they must be designed correctly.
Icon Design Patterns for Website Navigation
September 06, 2010
A look at how design conventions or patterns have developed in the design of icons for website navigation menus.
Mystery Meat Navigation
August 22, 2010
An modern example of a mystery meat navigation menu.
What's the Best Search Box Size?
July 20, 2010
A review of the search boxes of 30 of the largest online retailers in order to determine the ideal search box size.
To Click or Not to Click
July 07, 2010
Websites should differentiate between internal and external links so that readers can quickly decide which ones they want to click.
Round Up of Low Cost Usability Tools
December 30, 2009
A very useful guide to more than 20 web-based usability tools.
Popular Home Page Designs Deconstructed
November 23, 2009
Interesting feedback on sites like TechCrunch and CNN done via the Notable visual feedback tool.
Using Web Analytics to Assess CAPTCHA Usability
September 26, 2009
The analytics for a CAPTCHA on a signup form show that almost 1 in 10 users are having difficulty reading it.
Redesigning the Bugeting Screen
September 12, 2009
Some suggestions for changes to the Mint budget page in order to make it easier to use.
10 Web Form Design Guidelines Based on Eyetracking
August 26, 2009
A useful collection of common-sense guidelines on designing usable forms.
Two Schools of Thought to 404 Error Page Designs
August 22, 2009
There are two schools of thought when it comes to designing 404 error pages. Is one better than the other, or are they both equally valid?
Contrasting Design Conventions
July 11, 2009
Why do audio and video controls function differently?
The Value of Paper Prototyping
May 10, 2009
Paper prototypes provide benefits in many areas during the wireframe stage of a web site design.
Indicating Required Form Fields: A Recap
October 21, 2008
The results of my survey on how best to indicate that a form field is required.
What You Need to Know About Improving the User Experience
September 03, 2008
IDEA has produced a useful report on 8 factors that improve users' online experiences. Designers take note.
The Worst Home Page of 2007?
December 22, 2007
GM's home page disregards many basic usability conventions in favor of looking pretty.
Nielsen Norman Group Report on Accessibility Available for Free
December 18, 2007
The report outlines 75 best practices for the design of web sites and intranets, based on usability studies with people who use assistive technology.
Enterprise Software Still Suffers From Basic Usability Problems
December 16, 2007
Enterprise software misses the mark when it comes to simplifying common user tasks.
Hacking Netflix's Navigation
December 03, 2007 | 1 Comment
One user's attempt at redesigning the primary navigation of the Netflix web site.
Cheap Alternative for Web Site Usability Testing
November 21, 2007 | 1 Comment is a service that conducts remote usability testing at very affordable prices.
Best Buy Doesn't Want My Money
November 06, 2007
Despite having a credit card burning a hole in my pocket, BestBuy didn't want me to buy from its web site.
10 Reasons Why Your Web Site Sucks
October 21, 2007 | 4 Comments
A list of 10 common issues that make web sites hard to use and frustrate users (with a couple extra thrown in).
ALT+TAB is Less Usable in Windows Vista than in XP
July 29, 2007 | 6 Comments
Thanks to the use of small thumbnail previews in Windows Vista, ALT+TAB is harder to use than in Windows XP.
5 Sites, 1 Task: Explain How It Works
June 22, 2007 | 1 Comment
A look at different approaches - some good, some bad - to how it works pages by swapping web sites.
Farewell 'Home', We Hardly Knew You
June 10, 2007 | 4 Comments
The 'Home' link is becoming less used in web site navigation. Why is that?
Great Podcast on Successful User Experience Design Practices
May 19, 2007
The podcast of Jared Spool's speech from the User Interface 11 Conference is well worth listening to for anyone interested in user experience design.
Online Job Application Tools Lack Usability
March 24, 2007 | 2 Comments
The job application sections of most company web sites are difficult to use and are not designed with the candidate in mind.
The Myth of the 3-click Rule
February 28, 2007 | 3 Comments
A useful article that discounts the myth that pages must be reachable within three clicks.
Using Icons for Web Site Navigation — a Waste of Time?
February 14, 2007 | 9 Comments
Most icons used in web site navigation provide no meaning to the user and serve only to clutter up the interface.
Playstation Portable and the Art of Writing Good Error Messages
January 05, 2007 | 1 Comment
The error messages on my Sony PSP are not especially user-friendly.
UIE Podcast on Experience Design is Worth a Listen
January 02, 2007
UIE now offers a podcast on experience design.
Report: The Designer's Guide to Web Applications
November 13, 2006
UIE has published a report about designing web applications with a free first chapter.
2007 Bad Usability Calendar — Call For Entries
November 11, 2006
The people who created the Bad Usability Calendar are looking for ideas for the 2007 edition.
Yahoo! Movie Rating Widget — Interesting Design Decision
November 07, 2006
Yahoo! Movies rating widget has an unexpected interface.
Fly Out Menus: Can They Drop Up as Well as Drop Down?
October 18, 2006
The Weather Channel's web site takes an unusual approach to fly out menus with navigation that scrolls up rather than down.
Bad Usability Calendar
October 16, 2006
The 'bad usability' calendar is a humorous approach to usability posters.
New Brown University Home Page: Breaking Too Many Rules?
September 18, 2006 | 2 Comments
The new Brown University home page is interesting and unconventional, but breaks some core usability rules.
Analyze Usability Test Results with Excel
September 04, 2006
Use this free Excel spreadsheet to analyze the results of your usability tests. Perfect for small web teams.
Practice What You Preach When Selling Usability Products
August 31, 2006 | 1 Comment
If you are in the business of selling usability products and services your own web site should be as easy to use as possible.
What do You Know About Remote Usability Testing?
August 14, 2006
An introductory guide to remote usability testing.
New Conclusions in Usability Testing
July 27, 2006
Recent studies on usability testing have challenged some long-held beliefs as to how tests should be conducted.
Using Eye Tracking to Optimize Label Placement in Forms
July 12, 2006
Eye tracking study shows where to place labels on forms for optimum usability.
How to Calculate When to Add Jump Links to the Top of a Web Page
June 29, 2006 | 1 Comment
Use this calculation to determine when to add within-page links to the top of a web page.
When to Use Jump Links to Navigate Within a Web Page
June 28, 2006 | 2 Comments
When should you use within-page links and when does a web page become a long web page?
Branding and the Online User Experience
June 20, 2006
A presentation by Jared Spool on branding, user experience and online advertising.
Questionable Design Decisions Seen Around the Web
June 16, 2006 | 2 Comments
A round-up of sites that have made some questionable web design and usability decsions.
Online Map Design: Which Way to Zoom In?
June 11, 2006
Thoughts on the design of zoom sliders on map sites. Should zoom in go at the top or bottom?
Form Labels: Better With Colons or Without?
June 07, 2006
Whether it is better in terms of usability and accessibility to include a colon at the end of a form label.
Comparison of Services to Create Online Polls
June 05, 2006 | 3 Comments
A review of several of the leading services to create online polls.
Review of Quimble: Service to Create Online Polls
May 25, 2006
Review of Quimble online poll creation service, including thoughts about the design and usability of its polls.
Children's Museum Web Site is Not Very Usable
May 18, 2006
Thoughts about issues I had using Phoenix Children's Museum's web site.
How to Show Whether Form Fields are Required
April 08, 2006
Good practices to follow in order to indicate whether a form field is required or optional.
Writing Content for Diverse Audiences
March 20, 2006
Writing web content for a divergent group of audiences doesn't necessarily mean you have to write separate content for each audience.
Eight Guidelines for Usability Testing
March 17, 2006 | 1 Comment
Eight guidelines to help you get the most from your usability testing.
Using Eye Tracking to Evaluate the Usability of Search Forms
January 29, 2006
A study using eye tracking to examine the usability of search forms on leading web sites.
Great Introduction to Eye Tracking
December 29, 2005
A comprehensive introduction to the use of eye tracking to analyse the usability of user interfaces.
Good Recap of Recent Usability Research Studies
December 19, 2005 | No comments
A good overview of the best usability research studies from the past few years.
Web Site Usability Testing: Thoughts and Takeaways
December 17, 2005
Some thoughts and ideas about the practical side of web site usability testing.
Don't Make Me Think: Read Chapter on Accessibility Online
November 28, 2005
Chapter 11 of "Don't Make Me Think" - on accessibility - is available to read online. Don't miss it!
Web Site Usability Book Review: "Don't Make Me Think"
October 19, 2005 | 1 Comment
Review of Steve Krug's book on web site usability, "Don't Make Me Think: A Common Sense Approach to Web Usability".
10 Tips to Improve Web Site Usability Testing
September 16, 2005 | 1 Comment
A collection of tips to help you improve your web usability tests and get more information from them.
PDFs Okay To Open in New Windows
August 30, 2005
Usability guru Jacon Nielsen gives us the okay to make PDFs and other non-native web documents open in a new window.
UIE Roadshow 2005: Know Your Users
February 17, 2005
My thoughts on the Seattle stop of the UIE 2005 'Know Your Users' Roadshow. Back Button
January 29, 2005
When is a button not a button? When you click on it and it does nothing. Then it's just an image.
Top Ten Usability Rules for Web Sites
September 17, 2004
Why is the W3C Web Site So Hard To Use?
July 30, 2004
My struggles with trying to navigate around the W3C web site.
Big Name Sites Still Not Considering User Goals
June 13, 2004
How to Write an Unreadable Web Article
June 08, 2004
Microsoft Office Tips & Tricks
June 01, 2004
Real Life Personas
May 08, 2004
Online Press Rooms: "How Not To Do It"
January 05, 2004
Usability Testing
December 07, 2003




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