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Top Usability Tips

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Things to do and avoid when designing user friendly applications

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Top Usability Tips

  1. 1. Top 10 Usability Tips<br />
  2. 2. Usability Tip #10<br />“<br />“<br />Keep me informed, not guessing.<br /><ul><li>Always let me know where I am, how I got here, and how to leave.
  3. 3. Be explicit. Let me know “What can I do on this page?”
  4. 4. Provide instructions. I'm not going to read the manual, and I’m not going to click “Help”</li></li></ul><li>Usability Tip #9<br />“<br />“<br />Don&apos;t frustrate me!<br /><ul><li>Don’t disable the “Back” button
  5. 5. Avoid unnecessary page reloads – use AJAX or other techniques
  6. 6. Always give me a way out - suggest what I might do next, even if it’s “go back to the list you just saw a minute ago”</li></li></ul><li>Usability Tip #8<br />“<br />“<br />Respect my time and patience<br /><ul><li>Remember where I was – and bring me back if we get interrupted.
  7. 7. Remember my data. Learn and remember user settings.
  8. 8. For wizards, let me know how long I will be here – show steps and progress</li></li></ul><li>Usability Tip #7<br />“<br />“<br />Use consistent, intuitive navigation<br /><ul><li>Don’t mix and match top and side navigation throughout the site</li></ul>X<br />
  9. 9. Usability Tip #6<br />“<br />“<br />Maintain an aesthetically pleasing design.<br /><ul><li>Hire a visual designer and ensure that fonts, color schemes and graphics elements are pleasing.</li></ul>X<br />
  10. 10. Usability Tip #5<br />“<br />“<br />Provide an easy way to search<br /><ul><li>Let me search for anything with one box, interpret my entry, and present the results in a meaningful way.
  11. 11. Make the software work hard, not me.</li></li></ul><li>Usability Tip #4<br />“<br />“<br />Anticipate that things will go wrong.<br /><ul><li>Provide helpful error messages
  12. 12. Look for potential problems early and often – as soon as I leave a field, or when I’m done with the section or the first page.
  13. 13. Tell me all at once about the 3 adjustments that I need to make, and clearly mark them in red.</li></li></ul><li>Usability Tip #3<br />“<br />“<br />Follow the 80/20 rule.<br /><ul><li>Keep it simple, limit the options – less is more
  14. 14. Deliver the functionality that 80% of us want, and maybe a bit more.
  15. 15. Give me the option for an “Advanced Mode” if you have to offer complex features, and hide them from the beginners.</li></ul>X<br />
  16. 16. Usability Tip #2<br />“<br />“<br />Go with the flow<br /><ul><li>A good user experience is one that meets users expectations.
  17. 17. See how other software does it, and model your experience after that.
  18. 18. Don't reinvent the wheel with a paradigm that goes against the grain of a well-established model. Unless your model tests better with users.</li></ul>And that brings us to tip #1 …<br />
  19. 19. Usability Tip #1<br />“<br />“<br />Test! Test! Test!<br /><ul><li>Get your software in front of real users orpotential customers as early and often as possible.
  20. 20. This is especially important for electronics or software that will be used by a wide user base.
  21. 21. If you don’t have the expertise, hire a professional to conduct your testing. The feedback is priceless.
  22. 22. Testing is FAR cheaper than shipping a subpar product. Worst case, you’ll know that your UI will be well-received, and you’ll get terrific ideas for future releases.</li></li></ul><li>

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