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Usability is Important (Even for Flash Designers)


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Presented 03 September, 2010 at Flash Camp St. Louis.

Published in: Technology
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Usability is Important (Even for Flash Designers)

  1. 1. Usability is Important(Even for Flash Designers)<br />Danielle Gobert Cooley<br />#FLashCampSTL @DGCooley @4ORCEDigital<br />1<br />
  2. 2. About this talk<br />Make your Flash more usable, accessible and searchable. In this session, I will discuss the “whys” and “hows” of usability and how it relates to Flash in the browser.<br />#FLashCampSTL @DGCooley @4ORCEDigital<br />2<br />
  3. 3. Always start with a joke!<br />#FLashCampSTL @DGCooley @4ORCEDigital<br />3<br />
  4. 4. People love kids<br />Paul Trani said so!<br />#FLashCampSTL @DGCooley @4ORCEDigital<br />4<br />
  5. 5. Bio<br />12 years as user researcher/usability specialist<br />BE, Biomedical & Electrical Engineering<br />MS, Human Factors in Information Design<br />Selected Employers & Clients<br />#FLashCampSTL @DGCooley @4ORCEDigital<br />5<br /><br />@dgcooley<br />
  6. 6. Making Flash more usable<br />#FLashCampSTL @DGCooley @4ORCEDigital<br />6<br />Still true?<br />
  7. 7. The good<br />Real time validation!<br />Conditionally enabling fields!<br />Keyboard support!<br />The bad<br />Encourages gratuitous graphics<br />Breaks web fundamentals<br />Distracts from a site’s core values<br />#FLashCampSTL @DGCooley @4ORCEDigital<br />7<br />Most research is O L D<br />Really? Wow.<br />
  8. 8. Bad Flash: Huggies<br />#FLashCampSTL @DGCooley @4ORCEDigital<br />8<br />
  9. 9. Really bad Flash<br />#FLashCampSTL @DGCooley @4ORCEDigital<br />9<br /><br />
  10. 10. Good Flash: Garnier<br />#FLashCampSTL @DGCooley @4ORCEDigital<br />10<br />
  11. 11. 10 Usability Heuristics<br />Visibility of system status <br />Match between system and the real world <br />User control and freedom <br />Consistency and standards <br />Error prevention <br />Recognition rather than recall <br />Flexibility and efficiency of use <br />Aesthetic and minimalist design <br /> Help users recognize, diagnose, and recover from errors <br />Help and documentation <br />#FLashCampSTL @DGCooley @4ORCEDigital<br />11<br />
  12. 12. Visibility of system status<br />Let the user know what’s going on<br />#FLashCampSTL @DGCooley @4ORCEDigital<br />12<br />
  13. 13. Visibility of system status<br />#FLashCampSTL @DGCooley @4ORCEDigital<br />13<br />20 seconds<br />
  14. 14. Match between system and the real world<br />Speak the user’s language<br />#FLashCampSTL @DGCooley @4ORCEDigital<br />14<br />
  15. 15. User control and freedom<br />“emergency exit”<br />Support undo/redo<br />For the love of god, don’t resize their browser<br />#FLashCampSTL @DGCooley @4ORCEDigital<br />15<br />
  16. 16. Consistency and standards<br />Be consistent within your own site(s)<br />Follow platform conventions<br />Where do your users spend most of their time online?<br />#FLashCampSTL @DGCooley @4ORCEDigital<br />16<br />
  17. 17. Error prevention<br />Error prevention > good error messages<br />Confirm delete<br />Conditional field show/hide enable/disable<br />Dropdown vs. text field<br />Data entry format <br />(555) 314-1212 vs. 555.314.1212<br />#FLashCampSTL @DGCooley @4ORCEDigital<br />17<br />
  18. 18. Recognition rather than recall<br />Minimize memory load<br />“After you click this link, go to “view,” then “presentation views,” then “slide master.” ( don’t do this)<br />Account numbers are particularly ridiculous.<br />#FLashCampSTL @DGCooley @4ORCEDigital<br />18<br />
  19. 19. Flexibility and efficiency of use<br />Include accelerators for expert users<br />SUPPORT KEYBOARD USE<br />#FLashCampSTL @DGCooley @4ORCEDigital<br />19<br />
  20. 20. Aesthetic and minimalist design<br />Avoid unnecessary things.<br />Always consider signal:noise ratio<br />#FLashCampSTL @DGCooley @4ORCEDigital<br />20<br />
  21. 21. Error recovery<br />Use plain language<br />Tell the user what happened<br />Be specific<br />ALSO TELL THEM HOW TO FIX IT<br />#FLashCampSTL @DGCooley @4ORCEDigital<br />21<br />
  22. 22. Help and documentation<br />Searchable<br />List concrete steps for each task<br />Should run in parallel with your tool/app/site<br />#FLashCampSTL @DGCooley @4ORCEDigital<br />22<br />
  23. 23. Content strategy<br />Needs to stay current – flash tends to be developed once and then ignored. <br />Who’s going to update it?<br />How often?<br />Proofreading workflow?<br />Do we archive it?<br />How far back? <br />#FLashCampSTL @DGCooley @4ORCEDigital<br />23<br />
  24. 24. Design Patterns<br />#FLashCampSTL @DGCooley @4ORCEDigital<br />24<br /><br /><br /><br /><br />
  25. 25. Making Flash more accessible<br />Consider assistive technologies<br />Screen reader:<br />Click Here<br />Skip stuff<br />Navigation<br /><a class=offscreenhref=>Screen reader users: click here for plain HTML</a><input type=hidden id=csi /><br />#FLashCampSTL @DGCooley @4ORCEDigital<br />25<br /><br /><br />
  26. 26. Replacement Content<br />#FLashCampSTL @DGCooley @4ORCEDigital<br />26<br />
  27. 27. Making Flash more searchable<br />SWF Object 2.0<br />“It offers one solution for everybody and promotes the use of Web standards and alternative content.” (Google)<br />Write for keywords<br />Language > images, use video transcripts<br />Include links in replacement content<br />Don’t be spammy<br />They’re on to you!<br />Remember download time<br />#FLashCampSTL @DGCooley @4ORCEDigital<br />27<br /><br />
  28. 28. Additional resources<br />#FLashCampSTL @DGCooley @4ORCEDigital<br />28<br />
  29. 29. Questions<br />#FLashCampSTL @DGCooley @4ORCEDigital<br />29<br />