What is conversion

A user is said to convert any time they take a measurable action you’ve defned as a goal of the site.

Erika Hall: Just enough Research

 

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7 principles of universal design

https://www.bitovi.com/blog/embrace-7-principles-of-universal-design-for-better-website-design

  1. Equitable Use
    • “The design is useful and marketable to people with diverse abilities.” For example:
    • High Contrast: Having high contrast helps both users with weak vision, and users simply standing in the sunlight.
    • Alt Texts: Screen readers need alt texts, of course, but they also help users on slow or unstable connections, and act as a fallback if the image path is broken.
    • Mouse-Only Interactions: Hiding information behind a mouse-only interaction (like hover or double-click) makes it impossible to access for many users. Devices without pointers are in the majority, which changes the interaction ‘abilities’ of your users regardless of their personal physical state.
  2. Flexibility in Use
    • “The design accommodates a wide range of individual preferences and abilities.” For example:
    • Scroll-Jacking: The arguments against scroll-jacking are often in line with this principle. If you take away the user’s ability to navigate your website at their own speed, they may not have time to take everything in. This can get frustrating, causing them to leave.
    • Text Resizing: Allow for the sizing up and down of text in your layouts. A simple browser or OS text adjustment shouldn’t ruin your beautifully crafted application.
  3. Simple and Intuitive Use
    • “Use of the design is easy to understand, regardless of the user’s experience, knowledge, language skills, or current concentration level.”
  4. Perceptible Information
    • “The design communicates necessary information effectively to the user, regardless of ambient conditions or the user’s sensory abilities.” For example:
    • Information Organization: Besides having adequate text contrast and sizing, breaking your information down into easily digestible pieces will make your content more accessible. Specifically, things like using subheadings in a long text post will make speed reading and skimming more effective.
    • Graphics: A graphic to emphasize a point you’re making in text helps more visual users (and can convince a skimmer to slow down and read more closely).
    • Charts and Graphs: Supplying both graph and table views of data allows users not only the flexibility to choose how to get information (#2 Flexibility in Use), but also can help make patterns in the data more discernible. Who doesn’t want that?
  5. Tolerance for Error
    • “The design minimizes hazards and the adverse consequences of accidental or unintended actions.” For example:
    • Avoiding Accidents: Account for these inevitabilities by putting permanent functions inside menus and/or behind “are you sure?” confirmation prompts. This makes them harder (practically impossible) to accidentally execute.
    • Allow for Undo: An alternative to prompting users all the time is to give them an “undo” option, or a way to dig into archives to retrieve old items.
  6. Low Physical Effort
    • “The design can be used efficiently and comfortably and with a minimum of fatigue.” For example:
    • Action Grouping: Group actions together in specific areas of the screen. This minimizes the amount of mouse dragging or thumb stretching needed, which is helpful for anyone. It is especially helpful for users with either very large screens, or for users who have super-zoomed into their operating system and have to scroll through interfaces that would normally fit on a “default” screen.
    • Minimize Requests: Don’t require users to fill out lengthy forms or jump through multiple ‘hoops’ to gain access to their goal (account creation, a trial period of your application, a sample of a new book etc.). The less effort you require, the more involvement you’ll get.
  7. Size and Space for Approach and Use
    • “Appropriate size and space is provided for approach, reach, manipulation, and use regardless of user’s body size, posture, or mobility.” For example:
    • Action Targets: Take into account varying hand size and dexterity, especially for one-handed mobile device use. Make action targets large enough to click or tap easily, and put your primary actions within easy reach.
    • Posture: Some users are walking down the street, laying in bed, or doing other things that may make their reach a challenge. We can’t assume all users are sitting in a chair, at a desk, with a keyboard and mouse.
    • Dynamic Spaces: Virtual keyboards (and other accessibility tools) cover part of the screen. Keep dynamic space usage in mind through all states of onscreen keyboards, dropdown menus, etc. to avoid causing the user to block their own actions forward.

MVP issues

The fundamental challenge we are up against is that doing the right thing well is generally more expensive and time-consuming than doing the least you can get away with and figuring out how to defend it. For example, the Lean methodology and the Minimum Viable Product technique are supposed to help reduce waste and increase the timely flow of useful feedback. In practice, they are used as cover for rushing to a less thoughtful solution without considering the context or the long-term implications.

Designers have found themselves having to fit their work into these popular methods without an opportunity to critique their place in the surrounding system. And critiquing the elements of a system is a fundamental tool of design.

The concept (value centered design) I’d like us all to agree on is that we need to design products and services that make their users better off, make money, and don’t fuck up society or the planet.

Erika Hall: Thinking in Triplicate

The Effect of Aesthetics on Web Credibility

Experiments have shown that users can judge a web site’s credibility in as little as 3.42 seconds merely on the basis of its aesthetic appeal.

Recent studies have shown that judgments on web site credibility are 75% based on a web site’s overall aesthetics. [citing Fogg, B.J., Soohoo, C., and Danielson, D. 2002. How Do People Evaluate a Web Site’s Credibility?: Results from a Large Study. Consumer Reports Webwatch. DOI= http://www.consumerwebwatch.org/dynamic/webcredibility-reports-evaluate-abstract.cfm%5D

Farah Alsudani and Matthew Casey: The Effect of Aesthetics on Web Credibility  (PDF)