Elsewhere on the 'Net - Usability

Usability elsewhere on the 'Net.

23 July 2009

Mobile Usability

Jakob Nielsen has done a study into mobile usability. Basically, my translation of his conclusions is that the biggest hurdle to mobile usability is the mobile device itself.

Mobile, Usability | Permalink

21 June 2007

“Maybe” is one option too many

Zeldman thinks the "Maybe" option should be removed from Yes/No questions.

In addition, he feels we should be starting to use a four-star rating system instead of the ubiquitous five-star one. I've never experienced such a rapid conversion in my life. It took me exactly three seconds to go from "Why does he say that?" to "Of course we should!", and from now on I'm going to recommend a four-star system to everybody who's willing to listen.

Usability | Permalink

17 May 2007

Keeping your home page clean

Paul Boag on the importance of homepages.

I think it would be fair to say that we are going to see a continued decline in the traffic going to home pages over the coming years.

More in general, clients are aware of usability research from the mid nineties ("users don't scroll"), but not of more recent advances.

I like Paul's 10 point system: you can divide 10 "user attention" points among the home page features, with every feature taking at least 1 point. That forces the client to focus on important things instead of trivia or internal-politics points.

Usability | Permalink

8 April 2007

InteractionDesign.org Encyclopedia

Definitions of some interaction design terminology. Quite useful, since it feels as if new terms and definitions are invented every year.

(Via Naar Voren.)

Reference, Theory, Usability | Permalink

23 January 2007

In Which I Think About Java Again, But Only For A Moment

Intriguing piece. Officially it's about why Java applet interfaces "look like a Soviet tractor built on a Monday." Be this true or not (I tend to agree), the real treat is in the three point approach to creating UIs that is mentioned later:

  1. You need to lay out the user interface components visually, by hand, with total control over where they go. [...]
  2. You need to be able to change the UI around really easily during development [...] even after you’ve attached a lot of code to it. That means no [...] tools that write code for you, because once their code mingles with your code, it gets hard to disentangle.
  3. Changing the UI around also requires being able to change your own UI code easily. As the Ruby and Agile Programming zealots always point out, strict type checking can really get in the way of this. [...]

Isn't this a perfect description of how we create websites? We must be doing something right.

(Via Simon.)

Server side, Usability | Permalink

11 October 2006

Ajax loading screens

Stuart points out an important usability requirement of Ajax sites: no discernible load time.

There is no point in using Ajax if you have to pop up a “Loading” screen and wait ten seconds when a link is clicked.

Spot on.

Data Retrieval, Usability | Permalink

23 February 2006

Usability for Rich Internet Applications

'Regular folks who have been using the Internet for a number of years are comfortable with the existing page-based model and limited interactivity, as clumsy as it may appear to designers and developers.'

Usability | Permalink

17 February 2006

Graded Browser Support

A methodology for deciding on browser support.

Accessibility, Browsers, Usability | Permalink

15 February 2006

Yahoo! User Interface Blog

Yahoo! goes community, too. It has released a user interface library and a design pattern library. Since I'm not terribly interested in JavaScript libraries, I'll spend most of my attention on the second one, which looks very promising and ties in with John Allsopp's ideas along the same line.

JavaScript, Society, Usability | Permalink

28 January 2006

DOM Abuse Part 1: Drag and drop

'Drag and drop on the web is rubbish.' Agreed, mostly.

JavaScript, Usability | Permalink

26 January 2006

Developing Ajax Applications That Preserve Standard Browser Functionality

How to enable the Back button in Ajax applications.

Data Retrieval, Usability | Permalink

Sensible Forms: A Form Usability Checklist

2000 words of useful advice.

Usability | Permalink

4 January 2006

Fixing the back button that AJAX broke

Ajax breaks the Back button. Some observations and possible solutions from Isolani.

JavaScript, Usability | Permalink

5 December 2005

10 Places You Must Use Ajax

Alex Bosworth about when to use Ajax and when not to. Useful overview.

JavaScript, Usability | Permalink

3 December 2005

Accessibility and usability for interactive television

Roger Johansson gives a few guidelines for creating sites for interactive TV.

Accessibility, Browsers, Usability | Permalink

10 November 2005

Improving Tabbed Browsing

Results of usability tests of tabbed browsing. Interesting. Again, the Back button is one of the most serious problems.

Usability | Permalink

27 August 2005

The Back Button is not an Undo Button

Davaid Flanagan doubts whether the lack of Back and Forward functionality within an AJAX application will make a difference to users.

Usability | Permalink

26 July 2005

Footnotes and sidenotes with JavaScript and CSS

A subject that interests me highly. I recently considered a sidenote system like the one presented here, but with one slight difference. Maybe I'm still going to write that article, but I first have to study the examples mentioned here.

CSS, JavaScript, Usability | Permalink

12 July 2005

Screen-reader usability at a standards-compliant E-commerce site

As it says. By Joe Clark.

Accessibility, Screen readers, Usability | Permalink

7 July 2005

Ajax Mistakes

Must-read about the usability of AJAX applications.

Data Retrieval, Usability | Permalink

This is the linklog of Peter-Paul Koch, mobile platform strategist, consultant, and trainer. You can also visit his QuirksBlog, or you can follow him on Twitter.

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