Articles

Topic: Web Usability

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  • 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.

    Web 2.0 Can Be Dangerous...

    December 17, 2007

    AJAX, rich Internet UIs, mashups, communities, and user-generated content often add more complexity than they're worth. They divert design resources and prove that what's hyped is rarely what's most profitable.

    Banner Blindness: Old and New Findings

    August 20, 2007

    Users rarely look at display advertisements on websites. Of the 4 design elements that do attract a few ad fixations, one is unethical and reduces the value of advertising networks.

    Does User Annoyance Matter?

    March 26, 2007

    Making users suffer a drop-down menu to enter state abbreviations is one of many small annoyances that add up to a less efficient, less pleasant user experience. It's worth fixing as many of these usability irritants as you can.

    10 High-Profit Redesign Priorities

    March 12, 2007

    Several usability findings lead directly to higher sales and increased customer loyalty. These design tactics should be your first priority when updating your website.

    Do Government Agencies and Non-Profits Get ROI From Usability?

    February 12, 2007

    Although the gains don't fall into traditional profit columns, there are clear arguments for improving usability of non-commercial websites and intranets. In one example, a state agency could get an ROI of 22,000% by fixing a basic usability problem.

    Recommended Books on Web Design

    January 1, 2007

    Selective list of recommended books on Web design, user interface design, usability engineering, hypertext, future user interfaces.

    100 Million Websites

    November 6, 2006

    The early Web's explosive growth rate has slowed, but even the mature Web is still expanding and recently crossed the 100 M websites mark.

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