Articles

Topic: Web Usability

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  • Homepage Design Changes

    September 24, 2012

    Web design is stabilizing; the average homepage is only about 40% different than it was a year before, corresponding to 3 years between complete redesigns.

    Tunnel Vision and Selective Attention

    August 27, 2012

    Users don't see stuff that's right on the screen. Selective attention makes people overlook things outside their focus of interest.

    Why Country Sites Are So Bad

    June 18, 2012

    When a multinational company produces a localized country site, usability is often lost. Local advertising agencies design good-looking sites that don't communicate.

    Computer Screens Getting Bigger

    May 7, 2012

    Reasonably big monitors have finally become the most common class of desktop computer screen, dethroning the 1024x768 resolution that was long the target for web design.

    Disruptive Workflow Design

    March 12, 2012

    Smooth-flow task performance makes application use pleasurable. But disruptions are all too common due to crinkly design or creaking implementation.

    Browser and GUI Chrome

    January 30, 2012

    'Chrome' is the user interface overhead that surrounds user data and web page content. Although chrome obesity can eat half of the available pixels, a reasonable amount enhances usability.

    Ecommerce Usability Improvements

    October 24, 2011

    Sites have improved, and we now know much more about e-tailing usability. Today, poor content is the main cause of user failure.

    How Long Do Users Stay on Web Pages?

    September 12, 2011

    Users often leave Web pages in 10-20 seconds, but pages with a clear value proposition can hold people's attention for much longer because visit-durations follow a negative Weibull distribution.

    Can Hated Design Elements Be Made to Work?

    March 14, 2011

    Once users reject a design technique due to repeated bad experiences it's almost impossible to use it for good because people will avoid it every time.

    Top 10 Mistakes in Web Design

    January 1, 2011

    The ten most egregious offenses against users. Web design disasters and HTML horrors are legion, though many usability atrocities are less common than they used to be.

    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.

    Website Response Times

    June 21, 2010

    Slow page rendering today is typically caused by server delays or overly fancy page widgets, not by big images. Users still hate slow sites and don't hesitate telling us.

    Progress in Usability: Fast or Slow?

    February 22, 2010

    Over the past decade, usability improved by 6% per year. This is a faster rate than most other fields, but much slower than technology advances might have predicted.

    Aspects of Design Quality

    November 3, 2008

    Usability scores for 51 websites show some correlation between navigation, content, and feature quality, but no connections to other usability areas.

    Store Finders and Locators

    September 15, 2008

    Finding addresses and location information on company websites has gotten dramatically easier, but users increasingly turn to search engines first for this task.

    Four Bad Designs

    April 14, 2008

    Bad content, bad links, bad navigation, bad category pages... which is worst for business? In these examples, bad content takes the prize for costing the company the most money.

    User Skills Improving, But Only Slightly

    February 4, 2008

    Users now do basic operations with confidence and perform with skill on sites they use often. But when users try new sites, well-known usability problems still cause failures.

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