Usability for Web Designers


Published on

A presentation on web usability given to students at Cuyahoga Community College.

Published in: Technology, Business
1 Comment
No Downloads
Total views
On SlideShare
From Embeds
Number of Embeds
Embeds 0
No embeds

No notes for slide

Usability for Web Designers

  1. 1. Web Usability for Designers Ben Woods 09.24.2009
  2. 2. Topics • Usability: What is it? • Examples • Selected Guidelines for Usability • Do it yourself Usability Testing • Learning More • QA
  4. 4. User Experience Ensuring your audience can achieve their goals through thoughtful, meaningful design
  5. 5. Usability Usability is the degree to which something - software, hardware or anything else - is easy to use and a good fit for the people who use it. -UPA
  6. 6. Low Usability: Where does it come from? It’s all around us, sometimes more or less obvious. Apathy Ignorance Over-Ambition
  7. 7.
  8. 8.
  9. 9.
  10. 10.
  11. 11.
  12. 12.
  13. 13.
  14. 14.
  15. 15.
  16. 16. Designing Usability • Who is your audience? • What are they trying to do? • How does your design help/hurt them?
  17. 17.
  18. 18.
  19. 19. From can use, to want to use
  20. 20. Usability Pays MSRP=$25.78 MSRP=$28.42
  21. 21. Components of Usability • A design philosophy infused with usability uses different approaches throughout the design project CONVENTIONS USER DESIGN TESTING 1) Blue text for links RESEARCH RESEARCH 1) Guerilla Methods 2) Clear labels 1) User feedback 1) Task analysis 2) Think Alouds Et Cetera 2) Interviews 2) Card Sorts 3) Eye Tracking 3) Surveys 4) Observation Continuous Continuous Early Middle to conclusion
  22. 22. Selected Guidelines for Web Usability ** adapted from Jakob Nielsen’s Ten Usability Heuristics -
  23. 23. Consistency and Standards • Conventions have arisen that users have come to expect as they traverse the web • Links: Blue and underlined. • Navigation: Typically at top and/or left. • Icons: Use standardized icons (you can find these by comparing other sites). In very rare cases use without text (RSS). • Indicate when opening a native file (PDF, PPT, other) • When should new windows pop up? • Search Presentation:
  24. 24. Consistency and Standards • Note search box location, logo, and text formatting
  25. 25. Consistency and Standards • Find the podcasting icon
  26. 26. Error Handling: System Status, Error Prevention and Recovery • People are well adapted to navigating the physical world, and solving problems when encountered. In hypermedia - not so much • Let your users know if it a process is taking a long time • Provide error feedback in plain language • Good systems allow for quick recovery; great systems prevent it altogether
  27. 27. Error Handling: System Status, Error Prevention and Recovery Let’s you know it hasn’t crashed, still working
  28. 28. Error Handling: System Status, Error Prevention and Recovery NO! YES!
  29. 29. Recognition, not Recall • Applications (MS Office, Creative Suite, etc) are used repeatedly, for long durations; thus processes may be taught and learned • The relationship with a website is short-lived. Focus on making things easy to recognize, not necessarily easy to remember.
  30. 30. Signal Vs Noise: • Keep unnecessary content to a minimum • Every piece of information on the screen is competing for the user’s attention • Focus on guiding the user to their goal(s)
  31. 31. DIY Usability Testing
  32. 32. Basic Usability testing can be done by anyone • Keep costs low: test early, test often • Use Guerrilla Methods, Discount testing, etc. • Use paper prototypes • Testing basic interactions • Doesn’t require user recruiting • Lots of good resources for these techniques • Here’s a good technique…
  33. 33. Navigation Stress Test • Process • "Randomly" pick a low-level page, not a home page, from your site • Print the page out in black and white, without the URL listed in the header/footer • Pretend that you are entering this site for the first time at this page and try to answer to questions below • Mark-up the piece of paper with what you think the answers are • Have other members of your team, and people who know nothing about your site, do the stress test too. Then compare notes. Where did you agree? Where did no one agree? • For the "problem" areas, you have several choices for action to take. You may want to re-design some elements of your navigation based on what you discover with the stress test. Or, you may use it to help focus a round of usability testing (to see if it actually matters for your users). Or, you may very well know what you are doing and say "interesting to see the results of this test, but they do not apply in our situation".
  34. 34. Navigation Stress Test Navigation Question Mark Up on the Paper Draw a rectangle around the title of the page or write it on the paper What is this page about? yourself What site is this? Circle the site name, or write it on the paper yourself What are the major sections of this site? Label with X What major section is this page in? Draw a triangle around the X What is "up" 1 level from here? Label with U How do I get to the home page of this site? Label with H How do I get to the top of this section of the site? Label with T Circle the major groups of links and label. • D: More details, sub-pages of this one What does each group of links represent? • N: Nearby pages, within same section as this page • S: Pages on same site, but not as near • O: Off-site pages Write the set of selections as: Choice 1 > Choice 2 > .... Connect the How might you get to this page from the site home page? visual elements on the page that tell you this.
  35. 35. Navigation Stress Test
  36. 36. Learning More
  37. 37. Research Firms • UIE - User Interface Engineering: Headed by Jared Spool • NN/g - Jakob Nielsen and Don Norman
  38. 38. Books • Don’t Make me Think - Steve Krug • Designing Web Usability - Jakob Nielsen • Designing Web Navigation - James Kalbach • Elements of User Experience - Jesse James Garrett
  39. 39. Organizations • NEOUPA - • UXNet -
  40. 40. Q+A
  41. 41. THANK YOU