Prioritizing Web Usability Notes

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Here are my most important extracts from Jakob Nielsen’s “Prioritizing Web Usability”. I have all my notes typed up. Just drop me a line if you want them all.

Users spend 25-35s on a homepage. Even with an avarage reading speed of 200-300 WPM, this only leaves enough time for about twenty words to be read.

Five biggest causes of user failure:
1. Searching
2. Information Architecture
3. Content
4. Production Information
5. Workflow.

Page design is more of an annoyance then a direct cause of failure for sites.

Don’t defend your interface, fix it!

Before adding design elements, ask yourself:
1. Does this element simplify the user’s task?
2. Does this element add value to the user?

Design for your users. Not for what you or your manager likes. The key to creating a good experience for your user is creating something with them in mind.


  1. Early and repeated user experience testing of websites has a huge positive impact. Following is a description of a new service ( that allows an easy and very affordable way of conducting these tests in a rapid manner:

    The service can be used for any type of online property (websites, website prototypes, online adverts, search processes, etc).

    It has a very attractive delivery speed and price point (24-48 hours from order, 299$ for a 5 person test). The features are as follows:

    Clients define a target url (their own or that of their competition or best practice)
    Clients define a goal for the testers to perform (e.g.; “find product x and take it through the checkout process..”)
    Clients define the demographics of the kind of testers they would like
    Clients define survey questions

    Within 24-48 hours clients receive a report that includes, for a minimum of 5 testers:

    Web cam recordings of the testers conducting their assigned goal/task
    A synchronized recording of the entire screen session during the test
    ClickFlow Analysis
    Contextual written “bubble” commentary on screenshots
    Survey results
    Other quantitative data

    Visitors to the site,, may order a free sample test.

    • Thanks for the link! And actually great timing as we were talking in the office earlier about looking for a service like this. Sounds perfect for what we need over the coming months.

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