Posts Tagged ‘Nielsen’

Nielsen’s usability principles and heuristics

June 5, 2008
  1. Visibility of system status – always keep users informed about
    what is going l, through providing appropriate feedback within
    reasonable time
  2. Match between system and the real world – speak the users’
    language, using words, phrases and concepts familiar to the user,
    rather than systemoriented terms
  3. User control and freedom – provide ways of allowing users to
    easily escape from places they unexpectedly find themselves, by
    using clearly marked ’emergency exits’
  4. Consistency and standards – avoid making users wonder whether different words, situations, or actions mean the same thing
  5. Help users recognize, diagnose, and recover from errors – use plain language to describe the nature of the problem and suggest a way of solving it
  6. Error prevention – where possible prevent errors occurring in
    the first place
  7. Recognition rather than recall – make objects, actions, and
    options visible 8. Flexibility and efficiency of use-provide
    accelerators that are invisible to lovice users, but allow more
    experienced users to carry out tasks more quickly 9. Aesthetic
    and minimalist design-avoid using information that is irrelevant
    or rarely needed
  8. Help and documentation – provide information that can be easily
    searched and provides help in a set of concrete steps that can
    easily be followed

From: Preece, J., Rogers, Y., Sharp, H. (2002), Interaction Design: Beyond Human-Computer Interaction, New York: Wiley, p.27

Nielsen’s usability principles and heuristics

June 5, 2008
  1. Visibility of system status – always keep users informed about
    what is going l, through providing appropriate feedback within
    reasonable time
  2. Match between system and the real world – speak the users’
    language, using words, phrases and concepts familiar to the user,
    rather than systemoriented terms
  3. User control and freedom – provide ways of allowing users to
    easily escape from places they unexpectedly find themselves, by
    using clearly marked ’emergency exits’
  4. Consistency and standards – avoid making users wonder whether different words, situations, or actions mean the same thing
  5. Help users recognize, diagnose, and recover from errors – use plain language to describe the nature of the problem and suggest a way of solving it
  6. Error prevention – where possible prevent errors occurring in
    the first place
  7. Recognition rather than recall – make objects, actions, and
    options visible 8. Flexibility and efficiency of use-provide
    accelerators that are invisible to lovice users, but allow more
    experienced users to carry out tasks more quickly 9. Aesthetic
    and minimalist design-avoid using information that is irrelevant
    or rarely needed
  8. Help and documentation – provide information that can be easily
    searched and provides help in a set of concrete steps that can
    easily be followed

From: Preece, J., Rogers, Y., Sharp, H. (2002), Interaction Design: Beyond Human-Computer Interaction, New York: Wiley, p.27

Direct links from homepage

June 5, 2008

“One of the most successful design strategies we encountered in our testing is the placement of direct links on the homepage to a very small number of high-priority operations. No matter how well you structure your information architecture or how transparently you represent it in your navigation system, users may get lost or impatient if they must navigate through multiple levels. Direct links shortcut and simplify this”

From: Nielsen, J. and Loranger, H. (2006), Prioritizing Web Usability, Berkeley, CA.: New Riders, p.210

SERP (design of search results page)

June 5, 2008
  1. #1-guideline: mimic SERPs on major Web search engimnes
  2. no need to number results
  3. start wth a clickable headline
  4. you might want to add URL or identification of destination (?) at the
    end of the entry
  5. date of up-date

From: Nielsen, J. and Loranger, H. (2006), Prioritizing Web Usability, Berkeley, CA.: New Riders

site-search vs. web-search

June 5, 2008
    Why should site-search perform better than web-search

  1. smaller set of pages
  2. better handle on user’s intent
  3. prioritizing of documents is possible
  4. older documents can get a lower priority
  5. access to meta-data
  6. controlled vocabulary
  7. you can write summaries in your own words
  8. no spammers

From: Nielsen, J. and Loranger, H. (2006), Prioritizing Web Usability, Berkeley, CA.: New Riders, p.139-140

Ongoing Usability problems

June 5, 2008
    Still a usability problem:

  1. Links that don’t change color when visited
  2. Breaking the BACK button: Fitt’s law of click times: “The speed of clicking onscreen
    elements is determined by Fitts’ Law, which states that the
    time it takes for a pointing device to reach a get is
    proportional to the logarithm of the distance to the target
    divided by the size of the target” – means that it although
    the time increases the further away the object is, it
    increases fairky slowly, and depends on the target size!
  3. Opening new browser windows
    1. it disrupts the expected user experience
    2. it pollutes the user’s screen with unwanted objects
    3. it hampers the user’s ability to return to visited pages
    4. it obscures the window the user is currently working on
    5. it can make users believe that links are inactive because
      they appear to have no effect, when in fact the information
      is rendered in an obscure window
  4. Pop-Up windows
  5. Design elements that look like advertisements
  6. Violating Web-wide conventions
  7. Vaporos content and empty hype
  8. Dense content and unscannable text
    Less problematic today, but still an issue

  1. Slow download times
  2. Flash (fashion and fads vs. conventions)
  3. Low relevancy search listings
  4. multimedia and videos
  5. frozen layouts
  6. cross platform incompatibility

    Potential Usability problems that have been improved by designers

  1. Plug Ins and bleeding-edge technology
  2. 3D user interface
  3. Bloated design
  4. splash pages
  5. moving graphics and scrolling text
  6. custom gui widgets
  7. not disclosing who’s behind information
  8. made-up words
  9. outdated content
  10. inconsistency within a website
  11. premature requests for personal information
  12. multiple sites
  13. orphan pages

From: Nielsen, J. and Loranger, H. (2006), Prioritizing Web Usability, Berkeley, CA.: New Riders

Sticky sites

June 5, 2008

STICKY SITES are sites that make it difficult to leave (because they are relevant/interesting/…), p.54
From: Nielsen, J. and Loranger, H. (2006), Prioritizing Web Usability, Berkeley, CA.: New Riders

Enhancing information scent

June 5, 2008
    Three ways to enhance information scent (i.e. giving the user the idea that they are on the right track):

  1. Ensure that links and category descriptions explicitly describe
    what users will find at the destination. Faced with several
    navigation options, it’s best if users can clearly identify the
    trail to the prey and see that other trails are devoid of
    anything edible.
  2. Don’t use mase-up words or your own slogans as navigation
    options, since they don’t have the scent of the sought-after item
  3. Remind users that they’re still on the path to the food as they
    drill down the site, In other words, provide feedback about their
    location and how it relates to their tasks

From: Nielsen, J. and Loranger, H. (2006), Prioritizing Web Usability, Berkeley, CA.: New Riders, p.53

Information foraging

June 5, 2008

“In any case, people like to get maximum benefit for minimum effort. That’s what makes imformation foraging a useful tool for analyzing online media.”

From: Nielsen, J. and Loranger, H. (2006), Prioritizing Web Usability, Berkeley, CA.: New Riders, p.52

Homepage goals

June 5, 2008
    Four goals to communicate on Home page (translates to ‘where am I’, ‘why am I here’, ‘Is
    the site uptodate?’ and ‘where can I go from here’?)

  1. What site have they arrived
  2. What benefits the organization offers
  3. What are latest products/developments
  4. various choices and how to get to the most relevant section

From: Nielsen, J. and Loranger, H. (2006), Prioritizing Web Usability, Berkeley, CA.: New Riders, p.30