May 12, 2002
A company's homepage is its face to the world and the starting point for most user visits. Improving your homepage multiplies the entire website's business value, so following key guidelines for homepage usability is well worth the investment.
January 6, 2002
Most site maps fail to convey multiple levels of the site's information architecture. In usability tests, users often overlook site maps or can't find them. Complexity is also a problem: a map should be a map, not a navigational challenge of its own.
November 11, 2001
With current Web design practices, users without disabilities experience three times higher usability than users who are blind or have low vision. Usability guidelines can substantially improve the matter by making websites and intranets support task performance for users with disabilities.
October 31, 2001
These design guidelines are excerpted from our book Homepage Usability: 50 Websites Deconstructed which contains more details, including copiously annotated screenshots of 50 homepages.
July 22, 2001
A website's tagline must explain what the company does and what makes it unique among competitors. Two questions can help you assess your own tagline: Would it work just as well for competitors? Would any company ever claim the opposite?
July 8, 2001
When we asked users to find a nearby store, office, dealership, or other outlet based on information provided at a parent company's website, users succeeded only 63% of the time. On average, the 10 sites we studied complied with less than half of our 21 usability guidelines for locator design.
June 10, 2001
Forcing users to browse PDF files makes usability approximately 300% worse compared to HTML pages. Only use PDF for documents that users are likely to print. In those cases, following six basic guidelines will minimize usability problems.
October 29, 2000
Flash reduces usability for three reasons: it makes bad design more likely, it breaks the Web's fundamental interaction style, and it consumes resources that would be better spent enhancing a site's core value.
July 23, 2000
Websites have to reduce their differences and allow advanced features to either become standard across sites or be extracted from the sites altogether and placed in the browser. Focus on services and content; use a standard design.
May 28, 2000
Since 1995, the readership of the Alertbox has grown by 4,800%. Most of the 105 old usability columns remain valid to this day since people change more slowly than the technology. But the Alertbox has encountered some setbacks as well.
April 30, 2000
Napster, IE 5 for the Mac, and Yahoo FinanceVision introduce specialized Internet UIs beyond the standard page viewing that had been unchanged since Mosaic.
April 16, 2000
Most Web forms would have improved usability if the Reset button was removed. Cancel buttons are also often of little value on the Web.
December 26, 1999
Micropayments will start with value-added content; mobile access; advice and sales become unbundled and physical experience environments may launch.
October 3, 1999
Ten design elements that would increase the usability of virtually all websites if only they were employed more widely.
September 19, 1999
The basic ideology of the Internet is bit transport; we need a utility-focused human-centered ideology for its fundamental architecture and protocols.
August 22, 1999
Standards ensure a consistent vocabulary, but don't limit designers' freedom (and responsibility) in deeper design issues. Also: Guidelines for writing design standards.
July 25, 1999
Partitioning the Web into N unlinked or otherwise isolated parts will reduce its overall value by a
factor of N. A proprietary AOL instant messaging system will be worth only 4% of the full potential, and 1/3 will be completely lost.
May 30, 1999
New technology and conventions have led to several new classes of usability problems in Web design.
May 16, 1999
Major websites violate 16% of the top
ten mistakes in Web design on the average; huge corporate sites have many
more design mistakes than the most popular sites.
May 2, 1999
Nine of ten mistakes in Web design identified in May 1996 still cause severe usability problems and should be avoided in modern websites.
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.
August 5, 2001
For good UX, pay attention to what users do, not what they say. Self-reported claims are unreliable, as are user speculations about future behavior.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
April 5, 1998
Users' bandwidth grows by 50% per year (10% less than Moore's Law for computer speed). The new law fits data from 1983 to 2014.