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Contest - Usability Best Practices


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147 replies to this topic

#1 HorseCove

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Posted 24 July 2003 - 05:01 PM

Okay all you Usability Gurus - Listen Up!

It's time you shared your knowledge with the world. The fact is the more people that start considering usability with their web pages, the better for all.

I throw out a challenge to all that dare. Come forward with your Usability Best Practices. Let’s put together a joint list of all the best usability ideas we know.

In return, I'll assemble the list into an article and then we'll use peer pressure to get Jill to publish it in her newsletter. (Are you listening Jill??)

The person who submits the Most and Best tips will get a "Special Super Secret Award" (meaning I haven't figured out what they'll get yet...I'll take suggestions).

Of course, I'll list your name and URL so you'll get credit for your super ideas. Yes, guys - free links!

Okay...I'll prime the pump.

1. Use consistent intuitive navigation. Users are impatient. They hate having to learn new site navigation. Make your navigation obvious and consistent throughout your site.

Come on, there are a zillion usability tips – who’s got some they’re willing to share?



Added after contest was on for awhile - 2 Aug: You can see the latest list of tips at this temporary page:
http://www.keyreleva...bility-tips.htm

Edited by HorseCove, 02 August 2003 - 05:50 PM.


#2 qwerty

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Posted 24 July 2003 - 05:09 PM

Ok, I'll bite...

2. Keep everything close. No matter how complex your directory structure may be, there's no reason any page should be more than three clicks away from the home page.

#3 robwatts

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Posted 24 July 2003 - 05:13 PM

n. Keep a consistant look and feel throughout, don't confuse users with a lot of wacky pages that look completely different.

#4 HorseCove

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Posted 24 July 2003 - 05:14 PM

Excellent tip Bob. That's one we easily forget as a site grows in size.

I like it!

#5 HorseCove

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Posted 24 July 2003 - 05:18 PM

Oh robwatts, I'm glad that was brought out early.

An inconsistent look and feel is one of my major pet peeves. Few things confuse a user faster...

Thanks!

#6 Bernard

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Posted 24 July 2003 - 05:23 PM

Keep the page simple. Direct the readers eyes to the important parts of the page. Overloading the page headlines and links in confuses people.

Be careful with animations & marquees. They distract a reader from reading your content.

#7 Bernard

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Posted 24 July 2003 - 05:26 PM

Make links obvious. Don't use the same font settings and color to make links visible only on a mouse-over.

#8 HorseCove

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Posted 24 July 2003 - 05:28 PM

Bless you Bernard. Jakob would be proud of you!

Good tips!

#9 Matt B

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Posted 24 July 2003 - 05:29 PM

Make it easy to buy (of course it's easier said . . . .)

The three link or three purchase opportunity rule; graphic, text link, club over the head

#10 HorseCove

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Posted 24 July 2003 - 05:39 PM

You are right SEO Guy. Sometimes sites use "funny" terminology or have too many steps in the buying process. These things can totally derail consumer buying.

Case in point - I've seen testers in usability tests leave the site becasue they didn't realize the "Subscribe" or "Download" button in plain view meant "Click here to buy product!"

So, like SEO Guy said - make the buying process easy!

#11 qwerty

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Posted 24 July 2003 - 05:40 PM

Use proper document structure. Use heading tags for logical topic headings so that users can easily scan the page, and don't format them so much that they no longer look like headings.

#12 Jill

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Posted 24 July 2003 - 05:52 PM

Here's one that drives me crazy...

Make sure your forms have cookies or whatever it is you need to do to keep your data intact if you have to click away for a minute while you're filling it out.

Ever be filling out a form...like say a hotel reservation at the DoubleTree Hotel in San Jose...and need more info, so you click the link at the form for more info...and you go back, and ALL the stuff you filled out was GONE GONE GONE!

That should never, ever happen.

Jill

#13 qwerty

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Posted 24 July 2003 - 05:55 PM

Make sure your forms have cookies or whatever it is you need to do to keep your data intact if you have to click away for a minute while you're filling it out.

Uh-oh... I think I need to take a look at some of my forms. :o

#14 HorseCove

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Posted 24 July 2003 - 06:01 PM

Ahh, Jill. You fell into my shrewd trap. You entered the contest...

Now you'll have to publish the article....hee hee hee :)

#15 Jill

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Posted 24 July 2003 - 06:05 PM

Yeah, I'd sure hate to have to publish a guest article in my newsletter! :)




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