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MED102 Week 2
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MED102 Week 2



A short guide to web usability

A short guide to web usability



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MED102 Week 2 MED102 Week 2 Presentation Transcript

  • MED102 Week 2: Usability and the Web Neil Perryman, October 6-7th, 2010
  • Usability (noun) the usability of something is how easy it is to use Macmillan Online Dictionary
  • Usability & the Web The broad goal of web usability: To present information to the user in a clear and concise way To give the correct choices to user, in a very obvious way To remove any ambiguity regarding consequence of an action To put the most important thing in the right place
  • Usability & the Web Research shows that Internet users will not return to a website if it takes too long to find information or if they have to work too hard to get it.
  • Usability & the Web Good examples of Usability: Navigation Easy-to-use sites enable visitors to move smoothly through the site by providing clear navigation bars, menus of options and links. They ensure that users do not get lost and alway know how to return to a certain point. If visitors have to keep using the BackB Button then something is probably wrong...
  • Usability & the Web Good examples of Usability: Readability Factors that impact the readability of a site include: the font size and style; the degree to which the font and background colours contrast, the absence of distracting animations and text; the length and structure of sentences and paragraphs; and the degree to which text can be scanned rather than read
  • Usability & the Web Good examples of Usability: Consistency Usable sites will have consistent layouts, designs, formats and menu bars on every page. This ensures visitors can use the site without having to figure out something new on every page. Each page should follow the same pattern: for example, navigation bar always on the left or the right
  • Usability & the Web Good examples of Usability: Load Time If a site takes more than 10 secs to load, research shows they will leave. Despite the growing availability of broadband connections, a large amount of users still have slower connections. Web sites that do not factor this in risk loing a lot of their visitors and/or customers
  • The Trunk Test Try this test devised by Steve Krug on any webpage except a homepage. You should be able to answer the following questions with the minimum of fuss: Where am I? (the site’s ID) Which page am I on? (the site’s page name) What are the main sections of the site? (sections) What are my options? (navigation) Where am I in the scheme of things? (you are here)
  • Testing Usability Task Orientated Testing: The standard usability test is a task-orientated test of a working site.Volunteers are given specific task to accomplish while an observer records their interactions and results This can sometimes be a over-the-shoulder observation where volunteers are tested in their natural environment or a cubicle, rather than a lab
  • Testing Usability Eye Tracking: Eye Tracking tests can give an extraordinarily detailed picture of how users scan web sites and where their eyes fall. Using special cameras pointed at a user’s eye, researchers can follow where users actualy look, rather than where their cursor is reting or what they are saying they are looking at
  • Testing Usability Paper Prototypes: Very early in the design process it can be helpful to put simple paper prototypes in front of users. Early tests ca help uncover reactions to the site’s name and basic layout. Do people understand what the site is for? Do they understand intuitively what they can do there, and how?
  • Usability Experts Jakob Nielsen leading web usability consultant Alertbox column on useit.com
  • Usability Experts Vincent Flanders Learn good design by looking at bad design Web Pages That Suck
  • Usability Experts Steve Krug Web Usability Consultant Advanced Common Sense