Designing Large Information Spaces  Marc Resnick, Ph.D. Institute for Technology Innovation Florida International Universi...
Usability Solutions <ul><li>Usability Engineering is about crafting technology so that it is easy to learn for beginners, ...
Usability Solutions <ul><li>We work with clients to perform customized assessments that result in effective and successful...
Large Information Spaces <ul><li>There are many web-based information spaces that easily grow beyond simple information ar...
Large Information Spaces <ul><li>To make these spaces usable, it is important to consider how users navigate through them ...
Today’s Talk <ul><li>We did an extensive study looking at: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>blogs </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>pers...
Examples <ul><li>CNN Money has short page with simple truncation. </li></ul><ul><li>Irving Wladawsky-Berger’s blog uses lo...
Method <ul><li>Created four versions of four different blogs that were controlled for length and visual design. </li></ul>...
General Findings <ul><li>Women remembered more of what they read than men. </li></ul><ul><li>The total amount of informati...
Some Interesting Findings <ul><li>Users read more content they were interested in. </li></ul><ul><li>Users read more conte...
Some More Interesting Findings <ul><li>Users rarely read an entire post, except in personal blogs. </li></ul><ul><li>Longe...
Titles Is that what I am looking for?  Too risky!!
Even more interesting findings <ul><li>As expected, people like to skim.  News style headline teasers did not encourage cl...
So how can you use this???? <ul><li>What content are you showing? </li></ul><ul><ul><li>make technical content very task-s...
Quick Takeaway <ul><li>Think about your users goals, not just yours. </li></ul><ul><li>If the customer is there for a quic...
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Designing Large Information Spaces

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This is a presentation given at Refresh Miami in January 2009. It describes how to design large information spaces like extensive blogs, news archives, product inventories and others so that they are useful and effective.

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Designing Large Information Spaces

  1. 1. Designing Large Information Spaces Marc Resnick, Ph.D. Institute for Technology Innovation Florida International University (305) 348-3537 [email_address]
  2. 2. Usability Solutions <ul><li>Usability Engineering is about crafting technology so that it is easy to learn for beginners, easy to use for experts, and creates satisfied customers. </li></ul><ul><li>We help companies develop strategies to: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>modify products and services to better meet customers needs </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>design sales systems that delight and persuade customers and create long term relationships </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>create web strategies that attract more than your customers’ eyeballs, but their hearts and minds as well. </li></ul></ul>
  3. 3. Usability Solutions <ul><li>We work with clients to perform customized assessments that result in effective and successful designs. </li></ul><ul><li>We conduct broader studies that look at design tradeoffs in general and generate industry-wide guidelines. </li></ul>
  4. 4. Large Information Spaces <ul><li>There are many web-based information spaces that easily grow beyond simple information architectures </li></ul><ul><ul><li>blogs </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>wikis </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>product inventories </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>article corpuses </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>customer reviews </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>press releases and other corporate information </li></ul></ul>
  5. 5. Large Information Spaces <ul><li>To make these spaces usable, it is important to consider how users navigate through them to find what they are looking for </li></ul><ul><ul><li>navigation architecture </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>page length </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>unit truncation </li></ul></ul>
  6. 6. Today’s Talk <ul><li>We did an extensive study looking at: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>blogs </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>personal </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>technical </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>entertainment </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>news </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>design of the space </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>page length </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>unit truncation </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>user context </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>time pressure </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>user interest </li></ul></ul></ul>
  7. 7. Examples <ul><li>CNN Money has short page with simple truncation. </li></ul><ul><li>Irving Wladawsky-Berger’s blog uses long page with full post. </li></ul><ul><li>Science blog has longer descriptions and links to additional pages. </li></ul><ul><li>5-Minute Herald uses a long page with truncated and tabbed units. </li></ul>
  8. 8. Method <ul><li>Created four versions of four different blogs that were controlled for length and visual design. </li></ul><ul><li>Observed users completing naturalistic tasks. </li></ul><ul><li>Conducted an immediate recall quiz to evaluate how much they remembered about what they read. </li></ul>
  9. 9. General Findings <ul><li>Women remembered more of what they read than men. </li></ul><ul><li>The total amount of information read was not very high, especially when interest was low. </li></ul><ul><li>Even when material was read, it was not always remembered - even minutes later. </li></ul><ul><li>Your content must engage users, or it is wasted. </li></ul>
  10. 10. Some Interesting Findings <ul><li>Users read more content they were interested in. </li></ul><ul><li>Users read more content directly related to a task. </li></ul><ul><li>Users read more content that was easy to read. </li></ul><ul><li>When content was technical, users stuck to what was task-related. </li></ul><ul><li>When content was personal, users were more likely to read non task-related content. But this also decreased task performance. </li></ul><ul><li>We are lazy – we only read what we have to. </li></ul>
  11. 11. Some More Interesting Findings <ul><li>Users rarely read an entire post, except in personal blogs. </li></ul><ul><li>Longer posts slowed users down, but did not increase recall – so keep pieces short. </li></ul><ul><li>Even when visual quality is high, users don’t read well online. Preference ratings were lowest for long posts. </li></ul><ul><li>Users read more on longer pages. They don’t click on <more> unless they know the additional content is useful. Truncation only works if the summary is descriptive. </li></ul>
  12. 12. Titles Is that what I am looking for? Too risky!!
  13. 13. Even more interesting findings <ul><li>As expected, people like to skim. News style headline teasers did not encourage clicking to additional content. </li></ul><ul><li>Time pressure does not decrease the amount read; it increases the speed of reading. And the faster reading did not reduce comprehension unless the content is technical. We can speed read most casual content. </li></ul>
  14. 14. So how can you use this???? <ul><li>What content are you showing? </li></ul><ul><ul><li>make technical content very task-specific and short </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>support browsing with personal content and go long if you want </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Clearly define summaries and headlines. Teasers don’t work. </li></ul><ul><li>If users may be time constrained, support quick skimming. </li></ul><ul><li>Use longer pages. Don’t expect users to navigate to additional pages without a clear reason. </li></ul>
  15. 15. Quick Takeaway <ul><li>Think about your users goals, not just yours. </li></ul><ul><li>If the customer is there for a quick bite of information, don’t try to sucker them into a 7-course meal. Even if it means losing ad views. </li></ul><ul><li>Make stuff easy to find. If they click on the wrong thing, you may get an extra ad-view but you may lose a customer. </li></ul><ul><li>Its better to have loyal customers that consider you a reliable resource than to get short term clicks who never come back. </li></ul>

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