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Usability : User interface design


Resources





  
Date
  
Title
  
Developer
  


  
07/23/07
  
Defeated By a Dialog Box
  
Jakob Nielsen
  
Articles and White Papers
  
Interaction techniques that deviate from common GUI standards can create usability catastrophes that make applications impossible to use.

  
05/29/07
  
The Myth of the Genius Designer
  
Jakob Nielsen
  
Articles and White Papers
  
Having a good designer doesn't eliminate the need for a systematic usability process. Risk reduction and quality improvement both require user testing and other usability methods.

  
05/14/07
  
Web 2.0 'distracts good design'
  
BBC News
  
Articles and White Papers
  
Hype about Web 2.0 is making web firms neglect the basics of good design, web usability guru Jakob Nielsen has said.

  
05/04/07
  
Slashing Subjective Time
  
Bruce Tognazzini
  
Articles and White Papers
  
We can greatly reduce a website user's sense of time-to-completion by eliminating "bordom points" and other user-time wasters.

  
04/16/07
  
Show Numbers as Numerals When Writing for Online Readers
  
Jakob Nielsen
  
Articles and White Papers
  
It's better to use "23" than "twenty-three" to catch users' eyes when they scan Web pages for facts, according to eyetracking data.

  
03/27/07
  
The cranky user: Name that thing!
  
Peter Seebach
  
Articles and White Papers
  
A chrysanthemum by any other name would be easier to spell, but probably harder to find in a seed catalog. This month The cranky user asks the question "What's in a name," and explores the virtues of leaving well enough alone.

  
03/26/07
  
Does User Annoyance Matter?
  
Jakob Nielsen
  
Articles and White Papers
  
Making users suffer a drop-down menu to enter state abbreviations is one of many small annoyances that add up to a less efficient, less pleasant user experience. It's worth fixing as many of these usability irritants as you can.

  
02/12/07
  
Do Government Agencies and Non-Profits Get ROI From Usability?
  
Jakob Nielsen
  
Articles and White Papers
  
Although the gains don't fall into traditional profit columns, there are clear arguments for improving usability of non-commercial websites and intranets. In one example, a state agency could get an ROI of 22,000% by fixing a basic usability problem.

  
10/06/06
  
The cranky user: Spare me the help
  
Peter Seebach
  
Articles and White Papers
  
Keep the needs of your users in mind as you decide on defaults or design help and wizards for computer applications.

  
09/25/06
  
6 Ways to Fix a Confused Information Architecture
  
Jakob Nielsen
  
Articles and White Papers
  
When your website's users consistently go to the wrong sections, you have many options for getting users back on track, from better labels to clearer structure.

  
09/25/06
  
Logic Versus Usage: The Case for Activity-Centered Design
  
Don Norman
  
Articles and White Papers
  
Activity-centered design organizes according to usage: traditional human-centered design organizes according to topic, in isolation, outside the context of real, everyday use. Both are needed.

  
08/28/06
  
Refining Data Tables
  
Luke Wroblewski
  
Articles and White Papers
  
What goes in must eventually come out, and the information users provide to Web applications often makes its way back to users in the form of tabular data.

  
07/18/06
  
User Interface Design - Taking the Good with the Bad
  
Mike Padilla
  
Articles and White Papers
  
Johnny Cash might have been writing about the marriage of form and function in his hit Walk the Line. ’Because you’re mine, I walk the line…’. This fine example of successful marriage took the long walk down the aisle ages ago. The child of that union, compromise is the holy grail for designers in real life as we strive to make web sites that please clients and their customers alike. Let Mike Padilla show you how to walk the line.

  
06/06/06
  
The cranky user: Flash and substance
  
Peter Seebach
  
Articles and White Papers
  
Every Web designer wants Web pages to sparkle: users want pages that work. Learn when to add usable, flattering animation flash with Shockwave and Flash.

  
03/20/06
  
Growing a Business Website: Fix the Basics First
  
Jakob Nielsen
  
Articles and White Papers
  
Clear content, simple navigation, and answers to customer questions have the biggest impact on business value. Advanced technology matters much less.

  
02/21/06
  
Avoid Within-Page Links
  
Jakob Nielsen
  
Articles and White Papers
  
On the Web, users have a clear mental model for a hypertext link: it should bring up a new page. Within-page links violate this model and thus cause confusion.

  
02/10/06
  
The Scott Adams Meltdown: Anatomy of a Disaster
  
Bruce Tognazzini
  
Articles and White Papers
  
"Dilbert's" creator, Scott Adams, published 500 comments on his blog, then got rid of his draft. His 500 published comments disappeared with it. Here's what happened and why.

  
11/07/05
  
Usability doesn't have to be ugly
  
Gerry McGovern
  
Articles and White Papers
  
There is a balance that needs to be struck between a website that is truly functional and one that is elegant and stylish.

  
10/03/05
  
The cranky user: Watchen das blinkenlichten
  
Peter Seebach
  
Articles and White Papers
  
If software makes a flashy first impression at the cost of usability, remember that simpler interfaces often support daily use better.

  
09/19/05
  
Forms vs. Applications
  
Jakob Nielsen
  
Articles and White Papers
  
Once an online form goes beyond two screenfulls, it's often a sign that the underlying functionality is better supported by an application, which offers a more interactive user experience.

  
07/02/05
  
The Effects of Line Length on Reading Online News
  
A. Dawn Shaikh
  
Case Studies and reports
  
This study examined the effects of line length on reading speed, comprehension, and user satisfaction of online news articles. Twenty college-age students read news articles displayed in 35, 55, 75, or 95 characters per line (cpl) from a computer monitor. Results showed that passages formatted with 95 cpl resulted in faster reading speed. No effects of line length were found for comprehension or satisfaction, however, users indicated a strong preference for either the short or long line lengths.

  
05/09/05
  
Eight UI tips for better Web forms
  
Jim Kukral
  
Articles and White Papers
  
How do you keep a user interested in completing a Web form? The following tips are a sure-fire way to help you get the most out of your Web forms.

  
04/11/05
  
Medical Usability: How to Kill Patients Through Bad Design
  
Jakob Nielsen
  
Articles and White Papers
  
A field study identified twenty-two ways that automated hospital systems can result in the wrong medication being dispensed to patients. Most of these flaws are classic usability problems that have been understood for decades.

  
04/07/05
  
Caroline's Corner - Long Forms: Scroll or Tab?
  
Caroline Jarrett
  
Articles and White Papers
  
Caroline Jarrett of Effortmark has this month pulled together her thoughts on the best way of dealing with the complexities of long forms.

  
01/13/05
  
The cranky user: Everything's automated!
  
Peter Seebach
  
Articles and White Papers
  
Today's user interfaces are so eager to please that sometimes they're downright pushy. In this month's The cranky user, Peter calls for a little more tough love in UI design, and a little less overcompensation for user ignorance, confusion, and error.

  
11/19/04
  
Preventing Usability Problems from the Get-go
  
Jared M. Spool
  
Articles and White Papers
  
We've studied the development practices of hundreds of organizations over the years, trying to identify how usability problems get introduced into designs. After all, it's not just enough to know how to spot a usability problem and remove it. What if we could've prevented it in the first place?

  
10/11/04
  
Newsletter Usability: Can a Professional Publisher Do Better?
  
Jakob Nielsen
  
Articles and White Papers
  
The Washington Post's email newsletter earns a high usability score. It's particularly good at setting users' expectations before they subscribe, though the unsubscribe interface has some problems.

  
09/29/04
  
Making Your Content Management System Work for You: An Interview with Jeffrey Veen
  
Christine Perfetti
  
Quotes, Interviews and Expert Advice
  
Adaptive Path's Jeffrey Veen is a recognized expert in the area of Web Design and Content Management Systems.

  
09/27/04
  
Checkboxes vs. Radio Buttons
  
Jakob Nielsen
  
Articles and White Papers
  
Even prominent websites make elementary errors in the use of basic user interface controls. The main guidelines are clear, but there are ten other things you should consider when using checkboxes and radio buttons.

  
09/06/04
  
Preparing for the Holiday Shopping Season
  
Jakob Nielsen
  
Articles and White Papers
  
Reduce the bounce rate for organic landing pages, collect data to manage PPC for maximum ROI, and take five other steps to maximize your site's holiday sales potential before it's too late.

  
09/01/04
  
Forging a partnership between designer and user
  
Sarah Horton
  
Articles and White Papers
  
The task of the designer in a fixed medium is to anticipate the needs and expectations of users. It is an impossible task, since all needs and expectations cannot be addressed in a single instantiation, but it’s possible to come close.

  
08/30/04
  
Mastery, Mystery, and Misery: The Ideologies of Web Design
  
Jakob Nielsen
  
Articles and White Papers
  
Simple, unobtrusive designs that support users are successful because they abide by the Web's nature - and they make people feel good.

  
08/25/04
  
Better Than a Human
  
David Wertheimer
  
Articles and White Papers
  
I attended Ad:Tech Chicago in July to explore usability from a marketer’s point of view. What, I wondered, does the ad-sales side of the industry think of user experience and how functionality can turn into dollars?

  
07/14/04
  
Brand Value and the User Experience
  
Kelly Goto
  
Articles and White Papers
  
Kelly Goto defines four guiding principles that should be a part of any usability or user experience specialist's toolkit.

  
06/21/04
  
User Experience Design
  
Peter Morville
  
Articles and White Papers
  
The author's explanation of each facet or quality of the user.

  
05/17/04
  
What they didn't teach me in Design & Usability school (Part 2)
  
Scott Berkun
  
Articles and White Papers
  
This is the dramatic and stunning conclusion to the last month's essay about what I think they should have taught me in college about design and usability.

  
05/03/04
  
Change the Color of Visited Links
  
Jakob Nielsen
  
Articles and White Papers
  
People get lost and move in circles when websites use the same link color for visited and new destinations. To reduce navigational confusion, select different colors for the two types of links.

  
04/30/04
  
What they didn't teach me in Design & Usability school
  
Scott Berkun
  
Articles and White Papers
  
A few weeks ago I gave a guest lecture at the University of Washington on what I wished they’d taught me in college about HCI, design and usability (I studied these and other things at CMU). Here's an essay based in part on what I told the kind audience that showed up to listen.

  
04/14/04
  
The Designer Is Dead, Long Live The Designer!
  
Didier P. Hilhorst
  
Articles and White Papers
  
There are many respected advocates in the field who maintain that minimal use of graphics, large text and high contrast are of key significance. The question remains: is following such recommendations the key to a usable, successful Web site?

  
03/15/04
  
Why Consumer Products Have Inferior User Experience
  
Jakob Nielsen
  
Articles and White Papers
  
Physical products, from consumer electronics to cars, are needlessly complex because they're developed by insular companies that continue to ignore the growing usability trend.

  
03/01/04
  
Integrated Web Design -- Usability: Drawing Outside the Lines
  
Molly Holzschlag
  
Articles and White Papers
  
Although one-size-fits-all usability concepts provide a good foundation for designers interested in creating usable sites, a great user experience has far more to do with what you know about your users than what the books tell you.

  
02/16/04
  
Andrew's Usability in the Real World: A Mars Bar among Light Bulbs
  
Andrew Swartz
  
Articles and White Papers
  
Anyone who has observed other people using websites has probably noticed that people often fail to notice what's right in front of their face.

  
11/12/03
  
User Interface Design for Web Applications
  
Jean Tillman
  
Articles and White Papers
  
It’s a Different World from Web Site Design.

  
10/01/03
  
Fitt's UI Law Applied to the Web
  
Scott Berkun
  
Articles and White Papers
  
A simple intro to Fitt's UI Law and how it applies to designing apps and web pages.

  
07/28/03
  
Gateway Pages Prevent PDF Shock
  
Jakob Nielsen
  
Articles and White Papers
  
Spare your users the misery of being dumped into PDF files without warning. Create special gateway pages that summarize the contents of big documents and guide users gently into the PDF morass.

  
03/08/03
  
Design Research: Why you need it
  
Steve Calde
  
Articles and White Papers

  
02/18/03
  
Investor Relations Website Design
  
Jakob Nielsen
  
Articles and White Papers

  
02/11/03
  
Homepage Real Estate Allocation
  
Jakob Nielsen
  
Articles and White Papers

  
01/27/03
  
Voice Interfaces: Assessing the Potential
  
useit.com: Jakob Nielsen’s Website 
  
Articles and White Papers

  
11/13/02
  
What shall we do with the W3C DOM?
  
Peter-Paul Koch
  
Articles and White Papers

  
06/25/02
  
Glamour obscures basics of net use
  
Adam Gifford
  
Articles and White Papers

  
01/01/02
  
Design Guidelines
  
Usability Net
  
Steps and Presentations

  
01/01/02
  
Style guides
  
Usability Net
  
Steps and Presentations

  
12/09/01
  
DVD Menu Design: The Failures of Web Design Recreated Yet Again
  
useit.com: Jakob Nielsen’s Website
  
Articles and White Papers

  
01/01/01
  
Documenting a User Interface
  
Information & Design
  
Downloadable File

  
01/01/01
  
First Principles
  
asktog.com: Bruce Tognazzini’s Website
  
Articles and White Papers

  
10/26/00
  
User Interface Design Tips
  
Scott W. Ambler
  
Downloadable File

  
02/26/99
  
Future Lines of User Interface Decision Support
  
Gerd Herzog
  
Articles and White Papers

  
03/08/98
  
Better Than Reality: A Fundamental Internet Principle
  
useit.com: Jakob Nielsen’s Website
  
Articles and White Papers

  
05/01/97
  
The Difference Between Web Design and GUI Design
  
useit.com: Jakob Nielsen’s Website
  
Articles and White Papers

  
08/01/96
  
The Anti-Mac Interface
  
Don Gentner and Jakob Nielsen
  
Articles and White Papers
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