All posts about
Usability

Usability is the ease of use and learnability of a human-made object. (source: Wikipedia)

Homepage real estate allocation

It’s not anecdotal anymore. Content has been low on homepages.

“Websites spend too little homepage screen space on content of interest to users and fail to utilize modern monitor sizes. And? It’s worse now than it was 12 years ago.”

(Jakob Nielsen)

Cross-channel usability: Creating a consistent user experience

Experience happens between the channels.

“A consistent user experience, regardless of channel, is one of the 4 key elements of a usable cross-channel experience. Consistency across channels helps build trust with customers. (…) As companies and organizations design for the larger user experience, it’s important to consider consistency across all channels. Consistent experiences help users build trust with the organization. Each interaction is part of the overall user experience with a company. If the user experience isn’t consistent across channels, users will question the organization’s credibility.”

(Janelle Estes ~ NNGroup)

Four myths about UX and how to bust them

Brian has always been a great myth buster.

“While the concept of user experience and the term UX have become seemingly ubiquitous in the workplace, most non-UX people still have the wrong idea about what it is. Here are four common UX myths and how we can bust them.”

(Brian Pagán a.k.a. @brianpagan ~ UX magazine)

Four dangerous navigation approaches that can increase cognitive strain

Don’t forget, humans are cognitive animals too.

“Some navigation implementations risk pushing users into a state of cognitive strain which lessens the likelihood of them taking desirable actions.”

(Jen Cardello ~ NNGroup)

Flexible usability testing: Ten tips to make your sessions adapt to your clients’ needs

A tip here, a tip there. They can bring you anywhere or nowhere.

“For testing assignments where client teams are ready, willing and able to take immediate action, being flexible with tasks within and between participants can offer better bang for your buck.”

(Jakob Nielsen‘s Alertbox)

When the UI is too fast

Speed and attention, two challenges for UX.

“Users might overlook things that change too fast – and even when they do notice, changeable screen elements are harder to understand in a limited timeframe.”

(Jakob Nielsen ~ Alertbox)

Website reading: It (sometimes) does happen

Thin versus deep reading and understanding: online versus offline.

“When web content helps users focus on sections of interest, users switch from scanning to actually reading the copy.”

(Jakob Nielsen ~ Alertbox)

Seniors as web users

Many things can be stopped or changed, except age. So change the web.

“Users aged 65 and older are 43% slower at using websites than users aged 21-55. This is an improvement over previous studies, but designs must change to better accommodate aging users.”

(Jakob Nielsen ~ Alertbox)

Users’ pagination preferences and ‘view all’

Pages as dividers are old school from the atom world.

“Long listings might need pagination by default, but if users customize the display to ‘View All’ list items, respect that preference.”

(Jakob Nielsen ~ Alertbox)

Bridging the CEO credibility gap

So, grow-up you UX community.

“Unfortunately, boardroom UX literacy does not develop by itself. It is the role of UX leaders to create an environment in which it can develop within their companies’ leadership teams and to provide meaningful data to which it can be applied. (…) I would suggest that the root cause leading to CEOs remaining underserved by the typical usability data available to them is a continued lack of business leadership focus and practice understanding among the UX community.”

(Daniel Rosenberg ~ Interactions March-April 2013)

The past 100 years of the future: Human-computer interaction in science-fiction movies and television (.pdf)

HCI in films, TV shows and SciFi is really getting a genre.

“During the past hundred years, science-fiction (sci-fi) films and, later, videos, have, of necessity, had to depict detailed views of human-computer interaction (HCI) of the future, or alternate pasts/presents, in order to convey a compelling scene and, sometimes, in order move forward the plot. This publication explores some of the themes that emerge from examining this body of work. The basic premise is simple: HCI professionals can learn something from sci-fi media, and sci-fi media-producers can learn more from HCI professionals in order to show smarter views of the future.”

(Aaron Marcus a.k.a. @amandaberkeley ~ Amanda)

Auto-forwarding carousels and accordions annoy users and reduce visibility

Carousels and accordions are for fairs, children parties and other festivities, not for web design.

“The user’s target was at the top of the page in 98-point font. But she failed to find it because the panel auto-forwarded instead of staying still.”

(Jakob Nielsen)

Intranet Users Stuck at Low Productivity

A voice from the distant past: the intranet.

“Although intranet design is improving, it hasn’t kept pace with increased complexity in enterprise requirements, so measured usability is down slightly.”

(Jakob Nielsen ~ Alertbox)

The Design for Usability book

A Dutch delight.

“The Design for Usability project published a book that provides the product development community with a comprehensive and coherent overview of the results of the project, in such a way that they can be applied in practice. The book outlines the studies conducted in the project, and indicates how the individual research projects are related and which of them can be applied in a coherent mode.”

(Edited by @jaspervankuijk ~ Design for Usability)

Revealing unawareness in usability related decision-making

Usability, (still) a vibrant concept.

“Nowadays, many users experience usability issues with their electronic products. It does not work as they expect or otherwise irritates the user, so he becomes dissatisfied about the product and may even complain about it. These numbers of complaints to companies and usability issues are high and rising. Reasons for these increasing numbers are the highly complex electronic products that are being developed, the global economy in which they are created and produced, and the wide variety of users that uses the product.”

(Christelle Harkema and Ilse Luyk-de Visser ~ Design for Usability) ~ courtesy of annekevandelangkruis