All posts tagged “usability

User’s wont do what you want them to

I spent the day at Infusionsoft’s Customer Tour Conference. It was interesting to see some of the more advanced things that are possible using their product as well as listening to how some people are using it to market and sell their products. One of the things said during the day was in regards to  sequences and moving user’s through a series of steps and goals, but which applies quite heavily to programming, which was:

“Build your process assuming the user won’t do what you want them to do.”

I found this quite a succinct quote and an excellent rule of thumb for when designing pages. Once you reach a certain size, your clout allows you the freedom to get away with less than stellar design choices. For instance, personally I think the Amazon site is a mess, and this was re-affirmed to me recently while trying to show someone how to go about ordering things from it.

When it comes to Amazon their reputation means a user is more likely to jump through hoops to complete their order, but for a never heard of site, any signs of hassle and they’ll be out the window and onto the next (Unless your offering is just so amazing they can’t resist). News and unheard of sites that are successful, “reduced friction” for their users. They seamless move users from one stage of a process to the next without having to make them think or accidentally moving them onto the wrong path. A good site needs to be more than a set of CRUD pages. It needs to be an experience that helps the user achieve what they want, in the clearest way possible.

Prioritizing Web Usability Notes

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.