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Contest - Usability Best Practices


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147 replies to this topic

#91 Jodi

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Posted 02 August 2003 - 05:10 PM

Hi Christine. Thanks for the welcome! I actually did contribute - the "Redundancy is a GOOD thing" comment (#84, I think?) was from me. :D But had I started earlier in this, there are several that have already been contributed by others that I might have mentioned myself. :thumbup: Everyone beat me to it! ( :upsidedown: )

It's VERY cool to see all this in one place!

--Jodi

#92 Jodi

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Posted 02 August 2003 - 05:19 PM

Oh! I just remembered this and I'm not sure if others have mentioned it?

Make a custom 404 Not Found Page

Large sites in particular, have a need for this. In the life of a website, some pages will disappear, be moved, etc. And in case visitors drop by a page of yours that was somehow removed, or they typed in the filename wrong (this happens frequently and often takes visitors a while to figure out what the problem was), a custom 404 page will give them an indication of where else they may find the page they were looking for - might present a search option, or give links to the most popular parts of the site - or even a link to the site map.

Custom 404 Not Found pages are not an excuse to put everything and the kitchen sink on to one page though! They should be short and to the point, directing the visitor to possibilities with a quick-loading, helpful bit of information right when visitors need it.

This is a particularly useful idea for sites that are commercial and/or "professional". It really doesn't look professional when your web hosting company's 404 Not Found page pops up in the middle of a user's experience with your site! Ick!

--Jodi

#93 HorseCove

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Posted 02 August 2003 - 05:25 PM

Jodi, your redundancy tip was great. It always amazes me how different people will navigate a page so differently. Like you said some look for graphics, others text links. Redundancy is an easy way to accomodate many users.

Great tip. :manybounce:

#94 Jill

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Posted 02 August 2003 - 05:34 PM

Nice job, Chris, thanks!

I think the winner of the contest has to write the actual article. :manybounce: That will teach 'em!

Jill

#95 HorseCove

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Posted 02 August 2003 - 05:41 PM

Oh Jill,

Did I mention You were the winner!? hee hee :manybounce:


Chris

Edited by HorseCove, 02 August 2003 - 05:46 PM.


#96 Jodi

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Posted 02 August 2003 - 05:43 PM

Hi again, Christine. Actually, I think the redundancy thing was also mentioned re: navigation towards the beginning of your tips - so I wasn't the only one to come up with it. :) But I do find that the more ways there are to get to a point, the more people get there!

Jill - :hehe: . That would certainly be a lesson learned, yes. :manybounce:

--Jodi

#97 HorseCove

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Posted 02 August 2003 - 05:44 PM

Jodi,

There was a short mention of a Custom 404 page (number 43), but I'm goiing to include your tip too. You give a very nice concise description - I like it.

Thanks for contributing!

Chris

#98 Jodi

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Posted 02 August 2003 - 05:49 PM

Oops! That's what I get for skimming. :manybounce: Glad it was mentioned - and thanks for adding my note!

--Jodi

#99 Jill

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Posted 02 August 2003 - 06:33 PM

Oh Jill,

Did I mention You were the winner!?  hee hee  :manybounce:


Chris

I'd like to thank the academy... :)

#100 Bill Slawski

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Posted 02 August 2003 - 06:35 PM

Christine,

Awesome job! I think you should win for putting that list together. :manybounce:

#101 HorseCove

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Posted 02 August 2003 - 06:52 PM

Thanks bragadocchio! Actually you have already written most of the article with your fantastic tips. Thank you!

Thank you also for challenging us to think critically about the use of the guidelines rather than just follow like sheep. We need to remember that a guideline can easily turn into a arbitrary rule if we're not careful.

Christine

#102 Bill Slawski

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Posted 02 August 2003 - 09:20 PM

Thank you, Christine

Collaborative efforts in forums like this allow us to share ideas, and to challenge one another to learn from each other. When we all get involved, like we have in this thread, we all end up as the winners.

#103 Jodi

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Posted 04 August 2003 - 09:00 AM

Hi guys. I actually have one more to add that I've come across...

If your site's reach is meant to be global, write your copy so that visitors who may not be native English speakers, can understand it.

This means that you need to stay away from slang and ambiguous phrasing. Keep your sentences fairly short and to the point. Make it easy on your international audience who may not understand the nuances of the English language quite so well as you.

Actually, your *English* speaking audience may appreciate this. ;)

--Jodi

#104 deborah2002

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Posted 04 August 2003 - 01:05 PM

Jody, I think that's an excellent point. To push it a little further, using slang and incomplete verbage gives me the impression that the site is handled by a 16 year old out of his dad's garage or something.
There's nothing wrong with "relating" to your target audience, but there is a line you can't cross--when it becomes more personal than professional.
I've actually seen this on several e-commerce sites and it makes me cringe every time. Would someone actually give those people their credit card info--I DONT THINK SO! :cheers:

#105 Jodi

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Posted 04 August 2003 - 02:21 PM

Like yours too, Deborah! Good point. There is definitely a place for slang - and a corporate site, or a site that sells a product (depending on the product, of course) is NOT it. Get too familiar with your audience and you alienate them rather than "reach" them!

--Jodi




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