Tag: usability

  • PlentyofFish and Unusability

    In an early 2009 profile of Markus Frind–the founder┬áand CEO of the online dating website PlentyofFish—Inc. briefly touched on the topic of the site’s famously bad user interface, with Frind explaining why he┬ábelieves┬áthat, sometimes, user experience should take a back seat as a better experience isn’t always linked to greater profits. ´╗┐Plenty of Fish is…

  • The Three Design Principles and The Simplicity Myth

    We are confusing usability with simplicity and capability with features. This is faulty logic, says usability and ‘cognitive design’ expert Don Norman, and our interpretation of our needs is mistaken: the goal is not simplicity; it is appropriateness, usability and enjoyability. Suggesting that what consumers really want are frustration-free, capable devices that tame our complexity-rich…

  • User Experience Design Tips

    Inspired by Matthew Frederick’s enlightening book┬á101 Things I Learned in Architecture School, Shane Morris and Matt Morphett started┬á101 Things I Learned in Interaction Design School. After a promising start the site halted prematurely with a┬ámeasly nineteen entries to it’s name. Those that do exist are not all fantastic, but there are some gems that are…

  • Text-Only Ads are the Most Effective

    Advertisers are “often wrong about what attracts our attention” is the conclusion of a usability study looking at how users interact with online advertising. The study, published in the report Eyetracking Web Usability by the Nielsen Norman Group (a usability consultancy firm from Jakob Nielsen and Kara Pernice), suggests that text-only advertising is the most…

  • Information Foraging and The Fold

    Even though users are now accustomed to scrolling down web pages, we know that┬áthe fold still exists and is important–and how we can design to take advantage of it. In light of this, Jakob Nielsen has conducted research to see what prompts users use to decide whether to scroll or not (the answer: the information…

  • Persuasive Design Patterns

    The Design with Intent toolkit is a guide to help you design systems to influence a user’s behaviour. The author, Dan Lockton, has subtitled the toolkit 101 Patterns for Influencing Behaviour Through Design. Categorised into the following eight ‘lenses’ (ways to look at design and behaviour) the toolkit proves to be a fantastic resource for…

  • Web Design Research Results

    Some of the more enlightening/worthwhile results from a number of studies on design and usability conducted by Smashing Magazine,┬áfound via their otherwise-ordinary┬á10 Useful Usability Findings and Guidelines article: General design decisions taken by the top 50 blogs (part two): 92% use a fixed width layout with 56%┬ávarying the width between 951 and 1000px. For body…

  • The New Rules of The Fold

    In 1996, while discussing the importance of the inverted pyramid style of writing, usability expert Jakob Nielsen wrote that “users don’t scroll”. From there the idea of The Fold as an integral part of web design came into being. But, as Nielsen himself has said, the Internet has evolved and “as users got more experience…

  • Text as UI (On Twitter)

    Putting me in mind of Dustin Curtis’ multivariate ‘split’ testing to increase┬áclick-through rates to his Twitter profile (previously), Jakob Nielsen discusses his iterative design process for a Twitter message advertising his latest usability conference. The message went from, Announcing LAS VEGAS and BERLIN as the venues for our biggest usability conference of the year http://bit.ly/UsabilityWeek…

  • Apple’s Strategy: The Good and Bad

    The four major issues with Apple’s current product line and strategy that are “stifling the industry, consumer choice and pricing”, according to Jason Calacanis: Destroying MP3 player innovation through anti-competitive practices. Monopolistic practices in telecommunications. Draconian App Store policies. Wanting to own almost every extension of the iPhone platform. It’s tough to disagree with these…