Web Usability in the Enterprise with Ajax


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How has a richer web changed attitudes toward usability? What are the quick wins and potential savings for enterprises pursuing usable software? The fact that improving usability and user experience is good for business should be common sense, but it’s not!

Andre Charland will discuss some ways of measuring ROI with usability. Why should business users care about AJAX and how can rich web applications translate to dollars and cents? The session will demonstrate ways to create a financial argument for building richer web applications, and how that can be used to advocate for AJAX-based development. These benefits can come from cost savings, creation of a competitive advantage through user-experience, and improved workflow through more ergonomic software. Then we’ll discuss 3 areas of concern with respect to AJAX, including a cross-browser solution to the back-button problem, techniques for ensuring high-performance on slow connections, and how to conduct low-cost and high-value usability testing of web applications.

The session will conclude with a discussion about how to use user interface patterns to organize and communicate to other stakeholders in the organization. The goal of this presentation is to arm managers and developers alike with tools and techniques to design and gauge the success of their AJAX development project.

Published in: Business, Technology
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  • Good summary of web usability and factors that affects an usable web design
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  • Web Usability in the Enterprise with Ajax

    1. 1. Web Usability in the Enterprise Andre Charland Co-Founder and CEO Nitobi
    2. 2. First Off.. <ul><li>The user interface is the application stupid! </li></ul>
    3. 3. Usability is <ul><li>Learnability </li></ul><ul><li>Efficiency </li></ul><ul><li>Memorability </li></ul><ul><li>Errors </li></ul><ul><li>Satisfaction </li></ul>
    4. 4. I’m talking about <ul><li>Practices </li></ul><ul><li>Pitfalls and Myths </li></ul><ul><li>Tools </li></ul><ul><li>Show and Tell </li></ul>
    5. 5. User Goals <ul><li>Achievement </li></ul><ul><li>Task Completion </li></ul><ul><li>Empathize with your users </li></ul><ul><li>Define tasks and personas </li></ul><ul><li>They shouldn’t notice your app </li></ul>
    6. 6. Design <ul><li>User interface patterns </li></ul><ul><li>Mock Ups </li></ul><ul><li>Paper Prototypes </li></ul><ul><li>Keep it simple, but not too simple </li></ul><ul><li>Familiar vs. intuitive </li></ul>
    7. 7. Benefits? <ul><li>Higher rates of task success </li></ul><ul><li>Happier users </li></ul><ul><li>More efficient users </li></ul><ul><li>Saving time for users </li></ul><ul><li>ROI </li></ul>
    8. 8. ROI? <ul><li>Hourly (Loaded) </li></ul><ul><li>Labor Rate </li></ul><ul><li>X </li></ul><ul><li>Time Saved per Transaction </li></ul><ul><li>X </li></ul><ul><li>Number of Transactions per year </li></ul>
    9. 9. Calculate it <ul><li>Assumptions: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Hourly Labor Rate: $20 </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Seconds Saved per Transaction: 36 Seconds </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Number of Transactions per year: 50,000 </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Savings: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>$10,000 </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>500 Person Hours </li></ul></ul>
    10. 10. Usability Testing <ul><li>Doesn’t have to expensive </li></ul><ul><li>Has to be done </li></ul><ul><li>What to test: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Time for task completion </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Accuracy (# of mistakes </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Recall </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>User satisfaction </li></ul></ul>
    11. 11. How to do it: <ul><li>Recruit users </li></ul><ul><li>Design scenarios </li></ul><ul><li>Participant Narration </li></ul><ul><li>No egos </li></ul><ul><li>Record the session </li></ul><ul><li>Test small, test often </li></ul>
    12. 12. Pitfalls and Myths <ul><li>Broken back button? </li></ul><ul><li>Bookmarking </li></ul><ul><li>Performance </li></ul>
    13. 13. Broken Back Button
    14. 14. What Users Expect
    15. 15. FIX <ul><li># </li></ul>For sourced download get Chapter 8 or Enterprise Ajax @ blogs.nitobi.com/dave
    16. 16. Performance <ul><li>Perceived vs Real </li></ul><ul><li>Main Factors: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Task complexity </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Jitter (variability of latency ) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Wait time </li></ul></ul>
    17. 17. Technical Performance Tips <ul><li>Take advantage of Caching </li></ul><ul><li>Reduce File Count </li></ul><ul><li>Optimize JavaScript </li></ul><ul><li>gZIP JavaScript and CSS </li></ul>
    18. 18. Tools <ul><li>Patterns </li></ul><ul><li>Design Tools </li></ul><ul><li>Analysis </li></ul>
    19. 19. Patterns <ul><li>Yahoo Pattern Library </li></ul><ul><li>AjaxPatterns.org </li></ul>
    20. 20. Mock Ups and Wireframes
    21. 21. Analysis <ul><li>Robot Replay Demo </li></ul>
    22. 22. Data Analysis Anecdote <ul><li>Microsoft designed the new office UI, the ribbon, based on lots of data </li></ul><ul><li>1.2 billion data sessions collected </li></ul><ul><li>~1.8 million sessions per day </li></ul><ul><li>In 90 days, they tracked 352 million command bar clicks in Word </li></ul><ul><li>Tracked 6000 individual datapoints </li></ul>
    23. 23. Show and Tell
    24. 24. Copy and Paste
    25. 25. eCommerce <ul><li>Single Page Check Out </li></ul>
    26. 26. Searching
    27. 27. In Context <ul><li>Soca inline editing </li></ul>
    28. 28. Action Plan <ul><li>Recognize the need for usability </li></ul><ul><li>Get management support </li></ul><ul><li>Devote specific resources </li></ul><ul><li>Integrate systematic practices </li></ul><ul><li>Test all interfaces for usability </li></ul>