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Topic: Web Usability

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  • The Most Hated Advertising Techniques

    December 6, 2004

    Studies of how people react to online advertisements have identified several design techniques that impact the user experience very negatively.

    Checkboxes vs. Radio Buttons

    September 27, 2004

    User interface guidelines for when to use a checkbox control and when to use a radio button control. Ten other usability issues for checkboxes and radio buttons.

    The Need for Web Design Standards

    September 13, 2004

    Users expect 77% of the simpler Web design elements to behave in a certain way. Unfortunately, confusion reigns for many higher-level design issues.

    8 Steps to Prepare for the Holiday Shopping Season

    September 6, 2004

    Reduce the bounce rate for organic landing pages, collect data to manage PPC for maximum ROI, and take 6 other steps to maximize your site's holiday sales potential before it's too late.

    Informational Articles Must Ask For the Order

    August 23, 2004

    Unless you have explicit links to product pages from article content, users who visit articles directly from search engines might never realize that you sell related products.

    B2B: Help Your Fans Convince Their Bosses

    April 26, 2004

    B2B websites must support a more complex buying process than B2C sites. Three key goals are to make a buyer's shortlist, offer a downloadable advocacy kit, and build a reputation for great service.

    Top 10 Web Design Mistakes of 2003

    December 22, 2003

    Sites are getting better at using minimalist design, maintaining archives, and offering comprehensive services. However, these advances entail their own usability problems, as several prominent mistakes from 2003 show.

    The Ten Most Violated Homepage Design Guidelines

    November 10, 2003

    Ten usability mistakes are made by about two-thirds of corporate websites. The prevalence of these errors alone warrants attention, especially since they appear on sites with significant investment in usable design.

    Alertbox #200

    September 29, 2003

    I've published 200 Alertbox columns on the Web since 1995; in addition to achieving key victories over multi-million-dollar special interests and enemies of usability, the column's readership statistics validate the practice of archiving content.

    Misconceptions About Usability

    September 8, 2003

    Misconceptions about usability's expense, the time it involves, and its creative impact prevent companies from getting crucial user data, as does the erroneous belief that existing customer-feedback methods are a valid driver for interface design.

    PDF: Unfit for Human Consumption

    July 14, 2003

    Users get lost inside PDF files, which are typically big, linear text blobs that are optimized for print and unpleasant to read and navigate online. PDF is good for printing, but that's it. Don't use it for online presentation.

    Making Web Advertisements Work

    May 5, 2003

    Web users are highly goal-driven, and ads that interfere with their goals will be ignored. To succeed, ads must work with the medium, as well as with the user's aims and mindset.

    Will Plain-Text Ads Continue to Rule?

    April 28, 2003

    Text-only advertisements work far better than banners, but is this only due to their novelty? Search engine text ads will retain their superiority over time, but text ads on other sites will work only if they focus on directly meeting users' needs.

    Recommended Other Websites

    January 1, 2003

    Jakob Nielsen's recommended hotlist of links to online columns, articles, and other websites about Web design, usability, and user interfaces.

    Top 10 Web Design Mistakes of 2002

    December 23, 2002

    Every year brings new mistakes. In 2002, several of the worst mistakes in Web design related to poor email integration. The number one mistake, however, was lack of pricing information, followed by overly literal search engines.

    Ephemeral Web-Based Applications

    November 25, 2002

    Usability tests of 46 Flash applications identified basic issues related to the ephemeral nature of Web-embedded apps. Some findings restate old truths about GUIs; others reflect the Net's new status as nexus of the user experience.

    Making Flash Usable for Users With Disabilities

    October 14, 2002

    Flash designs are easier for users with disabilities to use when designers combine visual and textual presentations, minimize incessant movement, decrease spacing between related objects, and simplify features.

    Let Users Control Font Size

    August 19, 2002

    Tiny text tyrannizes users by dramatically reducing task throughput. IE4 had a great UI that let users easily change font sizes; let's get this design back in the next generation of browsers.

    Improving Usability Guideline Compliance

    June 24, 2002

    Over the last 1.5 years, the average compliance with established usability guidelines increased by 4%. If we can sustain this level of improvement, we'll reach the ideal of 90% guideline compliance in 2017.

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