“Going all the way to the edge is the only way to joltthe user into noticing what you’ve done. If they noticeyou, they’re one step closer to talking about you.” — SETH GODIN
UsabilityUsability is about the ease of use of human-made objects.This includes door knobs, spoons, washing machines,and websites too.
Web Usability• Web usability is about making a website easy to use § reducing unpleasantry as much as possible § It’s not about fancy designs and shiny buttons, but about practical & eﬃcient design.• A good web design should allow the users to get to what they want from the website as quickly and painlessly as possible. Steve Krug, author of "Dont Make Me Think", the most highly recommended book on Web usability, outlines his ﬁrst law of Web usability: "Dont Make Me Think"
The less a user hasto think aboutmaking a decision,the easier it is forthem to use awebsite.
Coming next in the slides… Some guiding principles w.r.tWeb Usability as outlined by Krug in his book
The rule basically boils down tomaking things self-evident Examples: if its a button make it look like onedoesnt look like a button this maybe a button this looks like a button If its a title, make it short, eloquent and to-the-point. Instead of naming a link Gallery of Photographic Items, call it Photos. Requires less thinking from your user
AﬀordancesTo help emphasize the “Dont Make Me Think” rule, try to always thinkabout aﬀordances, which is a quality of an object that gives the user a clueon how it functions or should be used.If something looks like… …a knob – you could probably turn it …a glass – you could probably break it …and if it looks like a search box – you can type something in it!
We don’t read. We scan. § Our attention spans are not that great § Were always in a hurry § Were selective about what we want § We know whats important to us
We satisﬁceWhen given options we choose theﬁrst immediately reasonable optionwithout giving much thought. Wedont consider all available options.
We muddle through§ We dont ﬁgure out how things work§ We dont usually read all instructions§ We make assumptions – click around, and ﬁll out boxes without really considering implications or accuracy of our actions or how things really workExample:Yahoos search box – a survey revealed that people used to typeWeb addresses into Yahoos search box and it took them to theirdesired location. They never considered that it was wrong orchanged how they accessed website because it simply worked.To them, Yahoo was the Internet!
Designing pages for scanning, not readingBILLBOARD DESIGN 101
Since we have established that people dont read but merelyscan pages, click around, and make assumptions, here are someguidelines on designing for usability:Create a clear visual hierarchy § Examples: Prominence. Grouping (visual-logical connection). § Nesting.Take advantage of conventions § Dont be too smartBreak pages up into clearly deﬁned areasMake it obvious whats clickableMinimize noise (busy-ness and background noise)
It doesnt matter how many times I have to click, aslong as each click is a mindless, unambiguous choice.• Number of clicks VS click diﬃculty• Three easy clicks equal one diﬃcult click• Users should not have to read endless instructions in order to ﬁnd what they are looking for:
Omit needless words• Get rid of half of the words on each page, then get rid of half of whats left.• Cut down Happy Talk & Instructions!• Beneﬁts: – easier to get to important content – saves time – makes the website more organized – makes the website more approachable
Designing Navigation• Navigation should be consistent• Inform the user of where they are• Inform the user of how they got to where they are• Deﬁne the bounds and whats available on the website in terms of content.
Designing the homepage Deﬁne the identity and purpose of your website • have a logo • have a tag line What the website is about should be immediately obvious to the user. Important content should always be placed in the home page in a concise manner. The homepage should provide easy access to all other parts of the website.
No. 8THE FARMER AND THE COWMANSHOULD BE FRIENDS
Common Web design team arguments...Were all web users, ergo personal preferences.• We tend to think that all Web users are like us.• Every person on the team has a diﬀerent opinion on what makes a good design good, according to their own professional inclinations.• Hype culture VS craft culture – Upper management, business development, etc. VS programmers and designers. The burden of executing promises provided by the hyper culture falls down to the craft culture.• Myth of the average user – Every person is unique in their behavior.• Antidote to debates: testing. – Asking whether most people like something is not the right approach to the solution. The question needs to be more contextual and relevant to the problem at hand and the intended target audience.
Focus groups VS usability tests § Testing with outsiders is important § Focus groups are good for getting initial feedback on abstract notions such as concept and feasibility of the website § Little testing is better than no testing § Testing early is better than testing late § Testing early & often is more important than the type of users § Testing is about getting informed insight § Testing is iterativeHow to do testing the aﬀordable way§ All that is needed is a PC, a person to conduct the test, a consenting test subject and some timeMeasuring results§ Implement feedback (taken in the form of notes and actual logged usage) from the users and then perform more tests
The reservoir of goodwillEvery person has a reservoir of goodwill towards a brand - Making sure thisreservoir is full is important.Decreasing goodwillHiding information, forcing users to your ways, asking for too muchinformation, fake niceties, making the user wait through splashes or intros,looking sloppy and unprofessional.Increasing goodwillMake the things people want to do on your site obvious, be honest andgenerous with information, make my life easier, put eﬀort, have a FAQsection, make errors recoverable, inform and apologize to the user if youcant help them.
Types of usability testing• Heuristic Evaluation (inspection)• Prototype Testing (testing)• Card Sorting (testing)• Usability Testing (testing)• Logging Actual Use (inquiry)• Focus Groups (inquiry) ...and many more!