August 6, 2000
Changing to a new fulfillment provider caused a website to lose all sales. Reason: lower usability. In the future, reputation managers and web wallets will even the playing field and remove Amazon's temporary advantage as the fulfillment provider of choice.
December 29, 1999
Jakob Nielsen's 1999 list of the ten most important thinkers of the 20th century.
December 13, 1998
The Mac interface and its clones must die and be replaced by an Internet Desktop based on explicit quality ratings, micropayments, non-linear authoring, and a scriptable Web.
November 15, 1998
People are not frogs, making it difficult to navigate 3D computer spaces: stick to 2D for most navigation designs. Shun virtual reality gimmicks that distract from users' goals
September 20, 1998
Advanced functionality requires Internet-enabled client-server software with optimized user interfaces that cannot be delivered in a Web browser. Reserve the Web for hypertext and
March 1, 1998
The Java Ring, a piece of jewelry with 6 kilobytes of RAM, represented an early step towards computers that integrate into our physical environment.
March 1, 1997
All usability studies show that fast response times are essential for Web usability: let's believe the data for once! Advice for speeding up sites despite the fact that bandwidth is going down, not up.
February 15, 1997
Comparing the nature of the Web as a medium when accessed through television sets and when accessed through computers, concluding that the level of user engagement is a main differentiator
February 1, 1997
Analysis of the usability of WebTV, including user interface guidelines for designing cross-platform Web pages that are considerate of WebTV users
August 1, 1996
We reverse all of the core design principles behind the Macintosh human interface guidelines to arrive at the characteristics of the Internet desktop.
March 1, 1996
February 1, 1996
The file system has been a trusted part of most computers for many years, and will likely continue as such in operating systems for many more. However, several emerging trends in user interfaces indicate that the basic file-system model is inadequate to fully satisfy the needs of new users, despite the flexibility of the underlying code and data structures.
Originally published as: 145. Nielsen, J. (1996). The impending demise of file systems. IEEE Software 13, 2 (March).
December 1, 1995
Multimedia is gaining popularity on the Web with several technologies to support use of animation, video, and audio to supplement the traditional media of text and images. These new media provide more design options but also require design discipline. Unconstrained use of multimedia results in user interfaces that confuse users and make it harder for them to understand the information. Not every webpage needs to bombard the user with the equivalent of Times Square in impressions and movement.
November 1, 1995
In the long term we will need about a million times more bandwidth than a T1, as shown by the following list of requirements for the perfect user interface.
June 1, 1995
Many users of the World Wide Web are unaware of the rich history of the hypertext field, and those who do not understand history are often doomed to repeat it. Case in point, the release of the Java language and the HotJava browser will probably mimic the events that followed the introduction of Hypercard in 1987.
February 1, 1995
Chapter 8 from Jakob Nielsen's book, Multimedia and Hypertext: The Internet and Beyond, explores a variety of information retrieval strategies for dealing with the ever-increasing volume of information on the internet.
February 1, 1995
Chapter 3 from Jakob Nielsen's book, Multimedia and Hypertext, describes the major milestones for hypertext, the internet, and the world wide web, including Vannevar Bush's Memex and Doug Engelbart's landmark demo of the online system (NLS.)
January 1, 1995
Usability inspection is the generic name for a set of methods that are all based on having evaluators inspect a user interface. Typically, usability inspection is aimed at finding usability problems in the design, though some methods also address issues like the severity of the usability problems and the overall usability of an entire system.
January 1, 1995
Jakob Nielsen's 10 general principles for interaction design. They are called "heuristics" because they are broad rules of thumb and not specific usability guidelines.
December 31, 1994
Jakob Nielsen's trip report overview of the Computer Human Interaction (CHI) Conferences from 1983 to 1994.
July 8, 2013
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.
November 3, 2013
Improve the layout of your online forms by placing form labels near the associated text field and by grouping similar fields.
August 31, 2013
The interaction cost is the sum of efforts — mental and physical — that the users must deploy in
interacting with a site in order to reach their goals.
December 22, 2013
The total cognitive load, or amount of mental processing power needed to use your site, affects how easily users find content and complete tasks.
October 23, 2006
A study of the benefits of big monitors fails on two accounts: it didn't test realistic tasks, and it didn't test realistic use. Productivity is a key argument for workplace usability, but you must measure it carefully.
November 26, 2000
A big lie of computer security is that security improves as password complexity increases. In reality, users simply write down difficult passwords, leaving the system vulnerable. Security is better increased by designing for how people actually behave.
January 4, 2012
What is usability? How, when, and where to improve it? Why should you care? Overview answers basic questions + how to run fast user tests.
January 1, 1994
This essay describes a technique for extending a task analysis based on the principle of goal composition. Basically, goal composition starts by considering each primary goal that the user may have when using the system. A list of possible additional features is then generated by combining each of these goals with a set of general meta-goals that extend the primary goals.