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  • Mega-Menus Gone Wrong

    November 16, 2010

    Big 2-D drop-downs can facilitate site navigation - if they're properly designed. Two examples illustrate some mega-menu usability pitfalls.

    Photos as Web Content

    November 1, 2010

    Users pay close attention to photos and other images that contain relevant information but ignore fluffy pictures used to 'jazz up' Web pages.

    Mental Models

    October 18, 2010

    What users believe they know about a UI strongly impacts how they use it. Mismatched mental models are common, especially with designs that try something new.

    Alphabetical Sorting Must (Mostly) Die

    October 4, 2010

    Ordinal sequences, logical structuring, time lines, or prioritization by importance or frequency are usually better than A-Z listings for presenting options to users.

    Children's Websites: Usability Issues in Designing for Kids

    September 13, 2010

    New research with users aged 3-12 shows that older kids have gained substantial Web proficiency since our last studies, while younger kids still face many problems. Designing for children requires distinct usability approaches, including targeting content narrowly for different ages of kids.

    Inclusive Design: Part 2 (at

    September 10, 2010

    In Part One, I argued that accessibility should not focus just on the needs of the profoundly disabled, that well-crafted solutions can be of service to all. This new approach is called, “inclusive design” and it starts with organization.

    Should You Copy a Famous Site's Design?

    August 23, 2010

    Although successful websites typically have high usability, average sites can hurt their business by copying design elements that don't work well in other contexts.

    Corporate Blogs: Front Page Structure

    August 9, 2010

    Showing summaries of many articles is more likely to draw in users than providing full articles, which can quickly exhaust reader interest.

    Interviewing Users

    July 26, 2010

    Despite many weaknesses, interviews are a valuable method for exploratory user research.

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