Usability.gov - he one-stop source for user experience best practices and strategies
Usability Geek - created by Justin Mifsud as a means to bridge theory and academic research with practical and personal recommendations on how one can improve website usability.
User Interface Engineering - Founded by Jared Spool, User Interface Engineering is a leading research, training, and consulting firm specializing in web site and product usability.
User Testing - User Testing helps companies eliminate badf user experiences.
Baymard Institute - Baymard conducts original large-scale research studies on e-commerce usability.
Human Factors - UX training and certification
Usability Articles (ordered by date)
- The Top UX Mistakes In Ecommerce Apps (06-26-17)
When it comes to eCommerce apps, it’s important to understand the various UX mistakes that are made. When you know more about the mistakes, you can learn more about what you should be doing to fix them. A set of UX design tips and techniques can be implemented so you have a better app to offer to your target customer. It will help with the sales funnel and ultimately getting customers to stay engaged.
- UX Design Thinking From A Senior Citizen’s Perspective (06-26-17)
Attracting senior citizens as part of your user-base was once deemed as being the last Internet frontier. However, this elusive scenario has since become reality as we have witnessed a constant increase in the number of senior citizen users who are more often logging on, signing up, and subscribing. In the United States alone, Statista recorded that in 2016, 64% of senior citizens (65+ years of age) were online – that is up 4% from 2013.
- How Empathy & Personalized Interfaces Can Help You Build Better UX (06-19-17)
Web design trends can pivot on a dime, but some design concepts have proven their efficacy and timelessness. Two of these concepts, personalization and intuitiveness, are integral parts of modern web design and are vital to crafting amazing user experiences.
- Best Practices for Website Header Design (06-02-17)
Everyone knows: there is not the second chance to make the first impression. In the sphere of digital products, this eternal truth works in terms of high competition and incredible diversity. No doubt, some zones of the webpage or mobile screen are particularly important and effective in this aspect. Today we are going to discuss one of them in deeper focus: the header of the website.
- Design principle: Error & Forgiveness (05-27-17)
Making errors is an integral part of the way we humans live. We trip over when we are learning to walk and we press the wrong buttons when we use new UI. This fact is very unlikely to change soon.
- Just Keep Scrolling! How To Design Lengthy, Lengthy Pages (05-25-17)
Websites with long or infinite scrolling are becoming more and more common lately, and it’s no mere trend or coincidence. The technique of long scrolling allows users to traverse chunks of content without any interruption or additional interaction — information simply appear as the user scrolls down the page.
- Big Pictures on Small Screens: Remove, Resize or Reorganize (05-21-17)
When using large-screen images on smaller screens, remove images that don’t add information. Then, pay close attention to cropping, scaling and placement.
- The Ultimate UX Design of: the Sign-Up Form (05-18-17)
A typical sign-up form contains a couple of form fields (it seems like the most popular number nowadays is 3: e-mail, password and a peculiar “repeat password”) and a button. Is there anything to design in this minimalistic structure? Isn’t it too simple to focus on?
- The Real Effects Of Bad Web Design (05-03-17)
Web designers often talk about the importance of a good, user-friendly web presence, yet businesses still struggle to justify the expense of a web redesign and optimisation.
- Long Term Memory: Touchscreen Interaction (04-20-17)
As we have new experiences and learn new things, we store away information for recall at a later date. Information is first stored in our short-term memory for easy access and is then consolidated and stored in our long-term memory. It is used to store our knowledge, compare new information with old information, and keep track of the order in which things happen. Because of this, when a new product is introduced on the market, if it is designed in such a way that allows people to relate it to the way we use another product, it has a greater chance of being accepted.
- The eCommerce UX Mistakes That Drive Us Nuts (04-17-17)
You’ve spent countless hours tweaking your CSS, testing your responsive breakpoints, and checking site speed. You know the site like the back of your hand. Your eCommerce site is beautifully designed, but is it user-friendly?
- Color Theory for Web Designers – How to Choose the Right Color Scheme for Your Website (03-30-17)
You have decided to create a website. One of the first questions that you will face sounds like “What colors should I choose to make it professional and at the same time visually appealing?” This is not surprising because color is the first things that attract your visitors’ attention, that’s why a color scheme is considered to be the foremost thing every designer should know.
- How to Apply Design Thinking to Elevate Your Everyday Life (03-24-17)
Everybody has ideas for how they want to live their life. But our dreams, goals, and aspirations can get overshadowed by day-to-day tasks and meetings, and we find ourselves doing whatever pops up next in our inboxes. Time can pass by pretty quickly, and if we don’t take a step back to make sure we are living a life with meaning and intention, we could look back one day realizing that we haven’t been living our lives the way we had imagined.
- User Research. Empathy Is the Best UX Policy. (03-23-17)
Starting any project, which is not their personal presentation but a product for users, designers should be deeply aware: they work primarily not for self-expression, not for showing their creativity to the world, not for creating something revolutionary new that will make the world go round in opposite direction. They work to solve users’ problems, satisfy their wishes and achieve business goals.
- A Deep Dive into the Psychology of Text (03-21-17)
The written word. The primary source through which we share our knowledge. From ancient religious texts and history books, to learning of our friend’s relationship status on Facebook. It’s the marvelous medium that allows us to express emotions, share thoughts, and tell stories. It has done for centuries.
- A Conversational Interface In A Contact Form … Why? (03-15-17)
As time goes by, everyone is trying to make their web experience as meaningful, compelling, and human as possible. Conversational interfaces allow the user to transcend the traditional UI by talking to the system in much the same way as they would with a real person, giving it a human touch.
- Your Users Might Not be as Tech-Savvy as You Think (02-16-17)
Thanks to their specialist skillsets and proximity to a given project, UX Designers are set apart from the majority of their target audience. As Jakob Nielsen explains, “one of usability’s most hard-earned lessons is that you are not the user. This is why it’s a disaster to guess at the users’ needs.” However, there’s another fundamental ability that can be damaging to assume of your user: Computer literacy.
- To Use Or Not To Use: Touch Gesture Controls For Mobile Interfaces (02-13-17)
Many criticize gestural controls as being unintuitive and unnecessary. Despite this, widespread adoption is underway already, and the UI design world is burning the candle at both ends to develop solutions that are instinctively tactile. The challenges here are those of novelty.
- Boost your UX with text chunking (02-06-17)
The majority of the content that website visitors come across on the web is written content, copy or text that either informs or sells something. Other parts of content include images, videos and graphics. How web designers arrange all of this content has a massive impact on how visitors read and retain all of this information.
- Sidebar vs. No Sidebar: The Pros & Cons For Different Layouts (01-18-17)
Websites have featured sidebars dating back to the mid 90s. Early websites were primitive but usable, and here we are over two decades later with many tremendous advancements in web design. Yet sidebars are still a common staple on every site, from blogs to small businesses and ecommerce shops.
- More Than Just Pretty: How Imagery Drives User Experience (01-18-17)
As the saying goes, “A picture is worth a thousand words.” Human beings are highly visual creatures who are able to process visual information almost instantly; 90 percent of all information that we perceive and that gets transmitted to our brains is visual.
- Improve UX by Understanding What Compels Human Behavior (01-16-17)
When assessing the effectiveness of a website’s design, we often look at numbers. After all, numbers don’t lie. We track bounce rates, engagement rates, or spikes or dips in organic traffic, and then derive conclusions based on observable trends.
- Let the Action Buttons in the Dialog Box Scream its Outcome (01-07-17)
We use Dialog boxes in our apps to inform the user about a situation and require acknowledgment. The naive action button pairs to use in the dialogs would be OK/Cancel and Yes/No. But can we do it better?
- Improving The UX Of Names With Vocalizer.js (12-30-16)
- The Mobile Design Elements That You Have to A/B Test (12-23-16)
UX is at the intersection of product and design. If UI designers are fixated on the look and feel of an app, while product managers are focused on its functionality and usability, then UX designers fall somewhere in between.
- Forms Need Validation (12-18-16)
Inline validation is a method to check the validity of an input and give feedback before submission. It significantly enhances the usability and user experience of forms. This article explains inline form validation and error handling design techniques.
- The Different Ways That Visual Design Can Impact UX (12-8-16)
When custom label printer Consolidated Labels redesigned its website, their end goal was to increase customer conversions. Yet they liked their site, and didn’t see the need to make many changes. In the end, they changed only one thing on their homepage: adding call-to-action with a bright-green button.
- Scrolling in Web Design: How Much Is Too Much? (11-23-16)
Scrolling may seem like a very basic feature of a website, and essentially, it is. However, despite its basic functionality, the scrolling on your website can either work to users’ benefit or drive them bonkers, pushing them to your competitors’ sites.
- The Wireframe Perfectionist’s Guide (11-22-16)
When I was a developer, I often had a hundred questions when building websites from wireframes that I had received. Some of those questions were, "How will this design scale when I shrink the browser window?" and, "What happens when this shape is filled out incorrectly?" and even, "What are the options in this sorting filter, and what do they do?"
- I totally forgot about print style sheets (11-15-16)
Aaron Gustafson recently sent a tweet to Indiegogo in which he pointed out that their order details pages aren’t usable when printed. When I saw this tweet it struck me, because I realized that it has been a long time since I have optimized a page for print or even spared a thought on checking.
- Mobile Design Best Practices (11-14-16)
Apps are now a mainstream, trusted way to deliver content and services. But in a crowded market, how does a mobile app become useful, relevant, and valued so it delights and retains users?
- The Golden Rules Of Bottom Navigation Design (11-02-16)
Design is more than just good looks – something all designers should know. Design also covers how users engage with a product. Whether it’s a site or app, it’s more like a conversation. Navigation is a conversation. It doesn’t matter how good your site or app is if users can’t find their way around.
- The Hamburger Menu: a Tasty or Bland Design Trend? (11-01-16)
The UI design landscape is always changing with new trends and technologies. In a past article we covered responsive navigation trends but in this post I want to focus specifically on one controversial trend: the hamburger menu.
- How To Design Text To Keep Visitors Engaged On Your Website (10-27-16)
Digital typography is made for content consumption. The color, size, placement, and space surrounding text usually correlates with the content style. But in web design you have to consider how these text elements fit into the page so that they’re also easy to consume. In the past we’ve shared awesome font resources to help design pristine typographic layouts.
- Hyperlink Usability: Guidelines For Usable Links (10-10-16)
Hyperlinks. Interacting with them is perhaps the most frequent action done by users every time they go online. A 2010 Nielsen report estimated that the average user visits 2,646 different web pages per day, each of which may have up to 100 hyperlinks on them. That is 88 webpages a day, and almost 900 links seen, if not clicked.
- How to Practice Mindfulness in UX (10-03-16)
UX professionals balance on the edge of art and science, blending analytical skills and knowledge of user behavior with the ability to generate fresh concepts and translate them into original design solutions. When a designer takes on a new project, there can be loads of data to sift through, politics between end-user needs and client expectations to navigate, and draining meetings to attend. This process can be challenging and stressful, which is actually counterproductive to maintaining our creative powers. When we find ourselves creatively depleted, or worse, doubting our competence and the value of our work, no one wins.
- Why the Footer Is the New Site Map (09-27-16)
Years ago it was common practice to place a link to your sitemap in the footer navigation. Those days are over because the footer itself has become the new site map.
- How to stop designing things that won’t get built (09-27-16)
After sitting down and whiteboarding things out with your product manager and a few engineers, you can’t wait to start cranking away on a new design. You spend hours designing and tweaking and wholeheartedly believing “Users will love this!” And then your designs never make it anywhere.
- Why User Feedback and A/B Testing Need Each Other (09-22-16)
Optimization is nothing new. It can come in many forms but simply put, it’s the process needed to satisfy the growing demands of today’s tech-savvy digital users. Having optimized digital products can be the difference between happy, loyal brand advocates and unhappy users who don’t come back.
- Mobile Form Usability (09-15-16)
Mobile users who use your app or site have a particular goal. Often the one thing that is standing between the user and his goal is a form. In fact, forms are often considered to be the final step of the journey to the completion of goals. That’s why it’s so important that users complete forms as quick as possible and without any confusion.
- Developers “Own” The Code, So Shouldn’t Designers “Own” The Experience? (08-09-16)
We’ve all been there. You spent months gathering business requirements, working out complex user journeys, crafting precision interface elements and testing them on a representative sample of users, only to see a final product that bears little resemblance to the desired experience.
- UX Strategy – It Is All About The Experience (08-04-16)
“Battle” is too strong a word. “Distraction”, may be better. I am referring to Customer Experience (CX) vs. User Experience (UX). And now that upstart, Customer Success has to come along.
- Considerations for Styling a Modal (07-18-16)
A modal. A small box that pops up to tell you something important. How hard can it be? Wellllll. Medium hard, I'd say. There's quite a few considerations and a few tricky things to get just right. Let us count the ways.
- Amazon vs Walmart : Whose search UX is more usable? (07-17-16)
At its most basic, the role of the search engine results is to present items matching a given query. However, behind this simple brief, resides a layer of depth and complexity. There are lot more thinking and experimenting involved in making the search process worthy and engaging for the users. And all the more when we are talking about an industry such as the e-commerce industry.
- Don't You Just Hate When... (07-15-16)
“Life’s not fair.” Your mother told you this. Actually, everyone’s mother told them this. And, as usual, Mom was right. Sometimes, despite our best efforts and intentions, things just go wrong. The key to succeeding is hidden in the corollary to this lesson: after each inevitable fall, pick yourself up, figure out why you tripped, and keep moving forward.
- Ten Requirements For Making Home Page Carousels Work For End Users (If Needed) (07-06-16)
Are home page carousels actually helpful to users? Or are they simply popular because they are an easy tool for solving internal discussions in large organizations about who gets to put their banner on the home page?
- A Guide to Color and Conversion Rates (07-05-16)
Color is one of the most powerful tools in the designer’s toolkit. It should be no surprise that different colors evoke different emotions and draw users attention. But if you ever tried to design a new project, you know how difficult is to decide on a color scheme that works well for it.
- Mobile eCommerce: How to Design UX Search (06-28-16)
You can’t sell a product that your customers can’t find. Search is a fundamental mobile activity and a critical element of building a profitable app or site. Users expect smooth in-app experiences when finding and learning about products and they typically make very quick judgments about app’s value based on the quality of one or two sets of search results.
- Why a Clock Widget Is Easier for Picking Time (06-28-16)
Scheduling events and meetings are tasks that require time input on a form. But picking a time isn’t an easy task. Users have to scroll through a long list in a select menu. Research has shown that users often abandon forms with select menus.
- Improving UX For Color-Blind Users (06-21-16)
According to Colour Blind Awareness 4.5% of the population are color-blind. If your audience is mostly male this increases to 8%. Designing for color-blind people can be easily forgotten because most designers aren’t color-blind. In this article I provide 13 tips to improve the experience for color-blind people – something which can often benefit people with normal vision too.
- Accessibility is everyone’s job: a role-based model for teams (06-16-16)
In order for projects to be truly accessible, the whole team needs to collaborate. But, who does what? In this post, Mark helps us unpack how each role can contribute to making something that works for everyone.
- Why Users Abandon Forms with Select Menus (06-06-16)
Form abandonment is like someone agreeing to meet up with you but then canceling last minute. Users who are interested in what a site offers have no trouble starting a form. But when it comes to completing it, they’ll have many reasons not to.
- Vagueness in Design (06-06-16)
Within UX, successful communication of content through a navigation scheme is a proverbial challenge for designers. The words we choose, despite our best intentions, may fail for a variety of reasons, what philosophers call infelicities.
- The Current State Of Authentication: We Have A Password Problem (06-06-16)
We have a lot of passwords to remember, and it’s becoming a problem. Authentication is clearly important, but there are many ways to reliably authenticate users – not just passwords. Passwords are written off as inconvenient and unavoidable, but even if true a few years ago, that’s not true today. Due to a combination of sensors, encryption and seasoned technology users, authentication is taking on new (and exciting) forms.
- Infinite Scrolling Best Practices (06-05-16)
Infinite scrolling, sometimes called endless scrolling, is a technique that allowing users to scroll through a massive chunk of content with no finishing-line in sight. This technique simply keeps refreshing a page when you scroll down it.
- Hearing Voices: Utilizing Voice of the Customer Techniques to Create a Better Digital Product (05-31-16)
What if companies sat down and had a conversation with their customers? What if companies actually listened and acted upon what they heard?
- Don’t Always Follow the Hype: Steer Clear of These Web Design Pitfalls (05-30-16)
Like most cultural products, web design has its own zeitgeist. Every year sees a new crop of popular design components and features. Attitudes and trends change rapidly, especially with the fast pace of new technological developments. To stay relevant, web designers need to tune into innovations in web design, especially those that connect with current cultural and commercial moments. Some successes can’t be predicted, so it’s interesting to see how content discovery has evolved.
- Should all content be responsive? (05-26-16)
In this screencast, Derek walks us through a couple of examples where traditional approaches to responsive content may actually hamper people from achieving their goals online. He proposes some alternative approaches that keep user experience top of mind.
- How to Turn User Research into Usable Data (05-24-16)
Why do some sites captivate us in ways others can’t? The technology used to develop a site plays a role in the experience, but it takes a back seat to content and design.
- Designing A Dementia-Friendly Website (05-17-16)
Some well-established web design basics: minimize the number of choices that someone has to make; create self-explanatory navigation tools; help people get to what they’re looking for as quickly as possible.
- Web Design Checklist: Common Problems and How To Solve Them (05-13-16)
Regardless of what type of website you’re developing (a blog, a portfolio site, an e-commerce site, etc.), the success of the site will hinge on being able to communicate effectively with visitors and readers. On the subject of communication, there are a number of potential website communication issues that need to be considered with this web design checklist.
- Never Show A Design You Haven’t Tested On Users (05-10-16)
It isn’t hard to find a UX designer to nag you about testing your designs with actual users. The problem is, we’re not very good at explaining why you should do user testing (or how to find the time). We say it like it’s some accepted, self-explanatory truth that deep down, any decent human knows is the right thing to do. Like “be a good person” or “be kind to animals.” Of course, if it was that self-evident, there would be a lot more user testing in this world.
- Website Forms Usability: Top 10 Recommendations (05-01-16)
Follow these well-established — but frequently ignored — guidelines to ensure users can successfully complete your website forms.
- Ramps gone wrong: the problem of putting accessibility guidelines ahead of user experience (04-27-16)
Mark shares a cringe-worthy but illuminating example of how compliance and guidelines can get in the way of good user experience.
- Analyzing the Effectiveness of Hamburger Menus in Web Design (04-25-16)
Odds are you’ve seen the “hamburger menu” in the top corner of many of today’s mobile websites. It’s three lines stacked together to roughly form the shape of a hamburger. It was created as a website design feature to incorporate a site menu without taking up too much room.
- 5 Registration Form Usability Guidelines (04-25-16)
As a business owner, one familiar mistake you may have made on your web page is to have too many fields within a registration form. In many situations, websites and applications will overburden their form field in an attempt to obtain the most data about their users, especially for the benefit of future marketing campaigns. This commonly results in a frustrated and irritated user.
- Best Practices for Accordion Menu in Web Design (04-19-16)
- How Letterspacing Can Make All Caps Easier to Read (04-19-16)
All caps text is like a spice, you don’t want to overuse it. A little can go a long way when you use it on content and menu headings to show contrast from regular body text. But when your headings contain more than a few words, users need to make an effort to read them. This is because all caps text is easy to spot, but hard to read.
- Embracing the Evolution Toward the Experience of Things (04-15-16)
In the Experience of Things, everything that we use and interact with in our daily lives is starting to build a computing mesh around us.
- A Stronger Visual Cue for Text Fields (04-12-16)
All clickable user interface elements need visual cues that signify clickability. Without cues, users won’t know to interact with them. Most buttons and links use color, location, and shape for a strong visual cue. But the only visual cue most text fields have is a 1-pixel border.
- 9 Golden Rules that Every Web Designer Must Follow (04-04-16)
The first rule is to not confuse your users. They are the most important part in your process. You should try to keep your call to actions and words similar from one page to the next. Users don’t have to wonder if some words, actions or situations mean what they should mean.
- 10 Type Rules for an Excellent User Experience (03-31-16)
When it comes to websites and apps, good typography is more than just a pretty typeface. Letting has to be highly readable – and scannable – while providing a solid visual connection to the content.
- When Online Behavior Becomes Second Nature (03-30-16)
LinkedIn’s messaging center recently shook up the function of the return key, causing users to make errors and feel apprehensive about future usage of the chat feature.
- UI/UX Design Glossary: Steps to Usability (03-29-16)
Practice shows that structured data is a great way to work optimization and that is one of the reasons why old good stuff like phone directories, dictionaries, vocabularies and glossaries, databases and sets of formulas are still applicable and convenient for everyday use. Order and organization make it easy and fast to find everything needed. So, today we decided to make a step to this sort of optimization providing the first set of definitions for some basic terms in the field of UI/UX design.
- 7 Errors to Avoid when Building a Landing Page (03-29-16)
The landing page is the first things that users see. It is the path that allows further contact between the site owner and the visitor. In the best case scenario, it will allows marketers to collect the potential customers’ personal data.
- Design for Real Life (03-29-16)
You’ve seen the fallout when digital products aren’t designed for real people. You understand the importance of compassion. And you’ve learned how to talk with users to uncover their deepest feelings and needs. But even with the best intentions, it’s still easy for thoughtful design teams to get lost along the way.
- How payment structure affects user behavior (aka timing is everything) (03-28-16)
Carefully designing for how and when your customers pay for your product yields enormous benefits to their conversion and retention. That sounds useful, right?
- Privacy Guidelines For Designing Personalization (03-25-16)
For interaction designers, it’s becoming common to encounter privacy concerns as part of the design process. Rich online experiences often require the personalization of services, involving the use of people’s information.
- The Ultimate Guide To Creating User-centered Content (03-21-16)
After Google rolled out its Panda update, Hummingbird, and most recently the RankBrain AI learning machine, it became obvious to content creators and SEOs that Google is driving towards user-centered content.
- Usability Testing Of Mobile Applications: A Step-By-Step Guide (03-21-16)
The mobile market is huge and growing at a very fast rate. With an estimated 4.5 billion subscribers worldwide, it is forecasted that the number of mobile phones will surpass the world population.
- Getting Users to a Specific Feature in a Usability Test (03-06-16)
User testing works best if you don’t direct participants too much, but sometimes you need users to go straight to a target page. How to get them there?
- Identifying Usability Problems with a Heuristic Evaluation (03-04-16)
The word “heuristic” simply describes a process where someone can learn something for themselves. In this case heuristic techniques take on a slightly different meaning by defining practical approaches to problem solving.
- Infinite Scrolling, Pagination Or “Load More” Buttons? Usability Findings In eCommerce (03-01-16)
What is the best UX pattern to display products on an e-commerce website: pagination, a “Load more” button or infinite scrolling? At Baymard Institute, we’ve conducted several year-long large-scale usability studies of more than 50+ leading e-commerce websites. We tested (among other things) these three design patterns for loading products, both on desktop and mobile.
- Four Things Great Designers Care About (02-29-16)
Whether you’re a seasoned professional or a new graduate, all great designers care about four main things.
- 10 Most Common Web Design Mistakes Small Businesses Make (02-24-16)
A unique and compelling website isn’t an option anymore. Having a poor site causes businesses to lose customers, and that is money out the door. Unfortunately, this occurs with an alarming frequency. Many small business owners design their own websites to save money and have more control over the project.
- How to Increase Website Engagement With a Story (02-18-16)
What every website will have in common is the broad mission – website engagement. You want people to click the links, expand all the menus, and look through the tabs. At the same time, every website is different: the organization might be a commercial business or a non-profit organization. It might be intended for processing customer transactions or attracting new leads.
- 5 Simple Questions to Ask When Looking for User Feedback (02-17-16)
You can’t make the first impression twice, right? Of course, and that’s one of the reasons why you put so much time and effort working on a website’s design. You want people to like the website and stay on it as long as possible. But design is a complicated issue, and many goals must be aligned to result in what you would call a successful website.
- Supporting the keyboard for mobile (02-11-16)
Keyboard support means you have the freedom to use your hardware in the way that is most efficient and effective for you, which is really the whole point of inclusive design. But how do we get to keyboard accessibility for touch interfaces?
- Delight Your Users – A Definitive Guide to User Testing (02-10-16)
Uncover the value of usability tests, learn how to perform one and how to create a usability workshop with your own team—Enjoy!
- Usability Testing of Icons (02-07-16)
To ensure that people understand the meaning and purpose of icons, conduct multiple types of tests at various stages of the product-development cycle.
- eCommerce UX Mistakes That Drive Us Nuts and Crush Customer Confidence (02-04-16)
You’ve spent countless hours tweaking your CSS, testing your responsive breakpoints, and checking site speed. You know the site like the back of your hand. Your eCommerce site is beautifully designed, but is it user-friendly?
- Usability Of Beacon Technology At Conferences (01-27-16)
Beacon technology is a unique and modern tool in the world of marketing. A beacon is a small device that connects with a mobile app, determines a user’s location on a micro¬-local scale, and delivers content to the user, based on this location. Delivering content using beacons is still in the very early stages, as it has not yet hit the mainstream media.
- Guidelines For Designing And Building A Multilingual Website (01-25-16)
In an increasingly connected world, multilingual websites are becoming more common. In fact, savvy companies are finding they can distinguish themselves quite a bit by appealing to a diverse group of readers. However, there’s currently no easy way to create multilingual sites.
- Combining UX Design And Psychology To Change User Behavior (01-25-16)
Have you ever wondered why your users do not interact with your product the way you hope? Persuading people to perform a particular action, like signing up or buying a product, is a challenge in most industries, especially when you want that action to be performed repeatedly.
- Designing For Explicit Choice (01-21-16)
Of all the things that have been known to keep me awake at night, one of the repeat offenders is thinking of times when I’ve said the totally wrong thing to a person. That embarrassment of putting my foot in my mouth or just rubbing someone the wrong way tends to linger long past the initial moment.
- How Good UX Can Make Your Users Safer (01-20-16)
Until the safe Web comes, we must be increasingly savvy in how we shape secure experiences—let's dive into the struggle and share insights to make it better.
- Group User Testing: The Power of Focus (01-18-16)
Ever wonder why the navigation (URL) bar on your smartphone’s browser is located at the top of the screen, rather than at the bottom, where your thumb can easily reach it?
- Single Page Websites – Benefits and Drawbacks? (01-14-16)
Websites are changing from year to year and web design now is quite different now. In the past, designers used to create complex websites with a lot of content and pages even for a single product or particular service.
- Labeling Form Elements (01-12-16)
One context in which providing the correct labels for elements can be crucial is in HTML forms. Because users are interacting with forms more directly unlike with some UI elements, it is important that each form widget - input, textarea, select etc. - is correctly labeled.
- Who Moved My (Virtual) Cheese? : The Power of Understanding Mental Models When Designing Websites (01-11-16)
Human beings are creatures of habit, and once we have a model for how a certain space should look in our head, finding that model flipped on its head can disorient us.
- 9 Ways to Gauge Your Visitors’ Experience (01-11-16)
One of the most important factors in the success of a website is the visitors’ opinions and experiences. A site that is liked by visitors will typically be successful, while those that aren’t liked by visitors will struggle. A challenge that all website owners face is determining how visitors feel about their experience on the site. In most cases you won’t have the option to speak directly with visitors to get their opinions.
- Internet of Things (IoT): The UX Challenges (01-11-16)
Do you like fantasy movies? If you don’t, it’s about time to start watching them, because what we have seen in sci-fi and fantasy films in the last decade is getting real with every new technology advancement.
- 10 Reasons Why Web Projects Fail (01-06-16)
Nowadays every project uses some sort of CMS. Instead of painting a canvas in the old days of HTML, the requirement is to build software applications that need to follow more traditional development approaches.
- 4 clues your design neglects the user (01-06-16)
During my first full-time UX design job, I remember a lot of the conversations within our UX team would go something like this: “The user wouldn’t really think this way…”; “The user would probably do this…”; “The user will get confused here…”
- Usability lessons to Improve Self-Service (01-05-16)
Josie shook the television remote furiously—her digital recording device was refusing to record the upcoming episode of The Great British Bake Off. Frustrated, she opened up her laptop and searched the help site for the recorder. Spotting an FAQ entitled “Scheduling Recording” she clicked triumphantly. “This should help me out!” she thought. Josie scanned quickly for her question, but with no luck—the article simply mentioned pushing the record button, which wasn’t working. The next article mentioned a “Subscribe” button, which was nowhere to be found. Finally, she spotted a phone number: “I guess I’ll just have to call… this help desk is not helpful!”
- Remote User Research & Usability Methods (01-04-16)
If you’re working with an audience across the globe, all under budget and time constraints, remote user testing can provide the rich data to help make informed decisions.
- Millennials as Digital Natives: Myths and Realities (01-03-16)
Millennials have high expectations about user interfaces and are confident in their skills, but they’re error prone and their tendency to multitask reduces their task efficiency.
- Common Reasons a Website is Unsuccessful (01-01-16)
If you are planning or building a new website, you are obviously hoping for some type of success. Of course, success can mean any number of things, and each website’s success should be determined by the needs and desires of its owners and creators. Some websites exist strictly to provide information to visitors. Others aim to sell products. Some exist solely to provide information about the services of a business. As you can see, there is no one equation for success online, but there are a number of common causes for failure with a website. Here is a look at ten possible things that can keep you from achieving anything significant with a website.
- Soft Skills for UX Designers (12-30-15)
Being an effective designer means more than just creating great designs for the user. You need to learn to create the right design for your users and your team. Over time the effective designer learns to evaluate their work not by the quality of their design, but by the impact of what actually ships. That’s what makes the effective designer valuable, because a great design that sits on the shelf doesn’t solve real problems.
- Even The Best User Experience Is A Failure Without Good Customer Experience (12-30-15)
Although user experience and customer experience are absolutely different notions, they have never been closer. The difference between them lies in the fact that customer experience is actually a sum of all the experiences that a person has from interacting with your brand, team, website, app, etc. In other words, user experience is just a part of customer experience and can be illustrated as shown in the image above.
- 5 Common Challenges Faced By UI Designers (12-16-15)
Everyone else can split hair all they want, and they may be right. Perhaps I’m generalizing. But UI design is no different than web design, at least not in the Design-Utopia of my dreams. The UI ‘niche’ (which used to be strictly software/electronic products domain) has extended way beyond those confines. And that is as it should be. To get some focus and limelight, you have to direct it all at the users first.
- Why Passphrases Are More User-Friendly Than Passwords (12-15-15)
A user’s account on a website is like a house. The password is the key, and logging in is like walking through the front door. When a user can’t remember their password, it’s like losing their keys. When a user’s account is hacked, it’s like their house is getting broken into.
- How to Effectively Address the Usability Debt Within Your Product (12-14-15)
A structure for getting your organization aligned on making usability improvements that matter
- 7 Factors that Separate Good Websites from Bad Websites (12-06-15)
We all naturally form opinions about the websites we visit. Some of them we love so much that we come back several times a week, and others leave us with a bad experience that causes us to never return. But what is it that determines whether a website is good or bad? As individuals we each have our own opinions and we’ll never completely agree on which websites are good and which ones are bad, but most of us will base our feelings on similar factors. Here is a look at 7 factors that I feel are influential in this determination.
- What Makes Someone Leave Your Website? (12-06-15)
Part of having a successful website is attracting visitors. Keeping those visitors on your site, however, is another topic altogether. Of course, once you have the visitor on your site you’ll want to keep them around for a while rather than seeing them quickly leaving to go somewhere else.
- How to Do a UX Review (12-03-15)
A UX review is where an expert goes through a website looking for usability and experience problems and makes recommendations on how to fix them.
- A Guide To Simple And Painless Mobile User Testing (12-01-15)
The incredible growth of mobile and the proliferation of mobile devices has made the UX designer’s job more challenging and interesting. It also means that user-testing mobile apps and websites is an essential component of the UX toolkit.
- 5 Steps to a More Engaging Website (12-01-15)
The internet has become a very interactive environment for users. Websites need to be specifically built in a way that captures the attention of visitors and keeps them coming back, or they will quickly leave to go somewhere else. Here are 5 steps to creating a website that will effectively engage your visitors.
- 10 UX Tips For Your Next Website Redesign (11-30-15)
You know a user experience (UX) design is successful when you can’t tell there’s a user experience. When a website’s design is so fluid and intuitive that visitors can easily find the information they need without frustration, it’s a success. UX is everything to a website redesign or refresh. The quality of your content, the beauty of your graphic design, and the reputation of a company matters little if a website is clunky and hard to navigate.
- UX Design: Task Analysis (11-30-15)
In this video Mike describes what “Task Analysis” is as it relates to UX Design. It's an important step in UX Design not many people talk about.
- 21 Factors that Influence the First Impression of Your Website’s Visitors (11-29-15)
When a new visitor comes to your website for the first time an initial impression will be formed pretty quickly. A good first impression will drastically increase the chances of that visitor returning again, and a bad first impression will be difficult to overcome.
- User Research With Small Business Owners: Best Practices and Considerations (11-24-15)
The majority of our work at Google has involved conducting user research with small business owners: the small guys that are typically defined by governmental organizations as having 100 or fewer employees, and that make up the majority of businesses worldwide.
- Seven Things Your Business Website Must Have (11-16-15)
Some free website hosting services, such as geocities and tripod, will provide you with a free domain name that is an extension of their domain. Any business that hopes to have a professional internet presence should purchase its own domain name. They can be purchased from GoDaddy.com for less than $20 per year.
- Legibility, Readability, and Comprehension: Making Users Read Your Words (11-15-15)
Users won’t read web content unless the text is clear, the words and sentences are simple, and the information is easy to understand. You can test all of this.
- Importance & Value of Prototyping in UI/UX Design (11-13-15)
In this video Mike talks about the importance and value of prototyping and why you should list it as a skill on your resume.
- How We Hold Our Gadgets (11-03-15)
Where do hands and fingers fall on the device? This question is the linchpin for every form factor this book examines, and the answer tells you how to design your layout for comfort and efficiency. Since we hold phones, phablets, tablets, and laptops very differently, it’s no surprise that each of these touchscreen variations has its own UI needs.
- 9 responsive design mistakes you don’t want to make (10-28-15)
As explained in UX Design Trends 2015 & 2016, responsive Web design has become the industry’s recommend approach for supporting multiple screen sizes and devices. But not all responsive sites are created equally.
- 5 Ways UX Matters in Everyday Life (10-25-15)
While user experience sometimes takes a backseat to other concerns when it comes to getting a product to market, it should be at the forefront if you want to give your customers a great brand experience. Researchers estimate that by 2020, user experience will overtake price and product as the determining factor in purchasing decisions.
- Interaction Design Mistakes That Drive Us Nuts (10-14-15)
Interaction design can separate the quality sites from the rest of the crowd – if done well. If, however, there are glaring errors in the designs, it will only serve to irritate and frustrate the very people you’re trying to impress.
- How to determine when customer feedback is actionable (10-13-15)
One of the riskiest assumptions for any new product or feature is that customers actually want it. Although product leaders can propose numerous ‘lean’ methodologies to experiment inexpensively with new concepts before fully engineering them, anything short of launching a product or feature and monitoring its performance over time in the market is, by definition, not 100% accurate. That leaves us with a dangerously wide spectrum of user research strategies, and an even wider range of opinions for determining when customer feedback is actionable.
- Psychology Of Color To Improve Site Conversion (10-05-15)
Studying the psychology of color is crucial for maximizing your site’s web design. Using the right colors can help put your customers in the frame of mind that compels them to take action. Color has the power to improve conversions by grabbing customers’ attention and triggering the right emotions for sales.
- Hello, My Name is <Error> (09-08-15)
Whenever I had to take standardized tests in high school, I would get anxious over the easiest part: filling out my name.
- How To Use The System Usability Scale (SUS) To Evaluate The Usability Of Your Website (07-13-15)
Is your website usable? If your job depends on getting a definite answer to this question, then you should start using the System Usability Scale. The System Usability Scale (SUS) was invented by John Brooke who, in 1986, created this ‘quick and dirty’ usability scale to evaluate practically any kind of system.
- Designing For Explicit Choice (05-25-15)
If you’re a UX designer, you’ve probably designed a lot of forms and web (or app) pages in which the user needs to choose between options. And as a designer, you’re likely familiar with best practices for designing forms. Certainly, much has been written and discussed about this topic. So, you probably know all about how best to label and position form fields and so on for optimal usability.
- The 10 Commandments of Good Form Design on the Web (05-22-15)
From font sizes to information clarity, Johan takes us through 10 Do’s and Dont’s that every designer should take note of when creating an input form.
- Ten Guidelines to Improve the Usability and Accessibility of Your Site (03-16-15)
Despite their differences, usability and accessibility sometimes go hand-in-hand. The World Wide Web Consortium defines accessibility as an “equivalent user experience for people with disabilities, including people with age-related impairments”, while usability is defined as the “design of products to be effective, efficient and satisfying” for end users.
- ‘View Full Site’ Must Die (03-11-15)
Three words. Three harmless words. Sitting there at the bottom of the mobile site’s page. “View Full Site” When these words first started appearing, they made perfect sense. It was a great CYA design maneuver. If our mobile-optimized design missed something our user needed, these three words came to the rescue. But now, it could be doing more harm than good.
- Mystical guidelines for creating great user experiences (03-03-15)
The Jewish Torah teaches that the Creator created our world through ten utterances–for example, “let there be light.” The Jewish mystical tradition explains that these utterances correspond with ten stages in the process of creation. Every creative process in the world ultimately follows this progression, because it is really a part of the continual unfolding of the world itself, in which we are co-creators.
- 5 Design Tips to Prevent Shopping Cart Abandonment (02-03-15)
Every eCommerce website experiences users who add products to their cart without making a purchase. UX designers need to work with web developers to prevent shopping cart abandonment. Here are a few design tips that’ll help lead users all the way through the checkout process.
- Showing Passwords on Log-In Screens (01-22-15)
In 2012 I outlined why we should let people see their password when logging in to an application -especially on mobile devices. Now two years later with many large scale implementations released, here’s a compendium of why and how to show passwords and what’s coming next.
- How Button Color Contrast Guides Users to Action (12-23-14)
Have you ever clicked a wrong button by accident? Users make wrong decisions on modal windows when they’re not guided in the right direction. Many modals prompt users to act without making the different actions clear.
- Form Usability: Getting 'Address Line 2' Right (11-04-14)
While ‘Address Line 2’ may seem like an insignificant aspect of an e-commerce design or overall form design, we have observed this form field to be the cause of bewilderment and uncertainty for users during both our checkout usability and mobile e-commerce research studies.
- 6 principles of visual hierarchy for designers (06-09-14)
First there were stone tablets, papyrus scrolls and paper. Then came computer screens and electronic tablets. As the technology to display a page evolves, it remains the designer’s job to arrange the content clearly. But what’s the best way?
- Placeholders in Form Fields Are Harmful (05-11-14)
Placeholder text within a form field makes it difficult for people to remember what information belongs in a field, and to check for and fix errors. It also poses additional burdens for users with visual and cognitive impairments.
- Why Users Aren’t Clicking Your Home Page Carousel (04-29-14)
A website study found that out of 3 million home page visits only about 1% clicked a carousel slide. How could a large, graphical element on the home page get such few clicks? The reason most carousels do poorly might surprise you.
- 6 Mobile Checkout Usability Considerations (10-01-13)
Here’s a simple test: pick up a standard business card. Judge its size. What you’re seeing is roughly the same size as the frame your mobile users have available to view your entire mobile site.
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What does Usability mean?
Usability is the ease of use and learnability of a human-made object. The object of use can be a software application, website, book, tool, machine, process, or anything a human interacts with. (Source: Wikipedia)
Usability is about:
- Effectiveness - can users complete tasks, achieve goals with the product, i.e. do what they want to do?
- Efficiency - how much effort do users require to do this? (Often measured in time)
- Satisfaction – what do users think about the products ease of use?
… which are affected by:
- The users - who is using the product? e.g. are they highly trained and experienced users, or novices?
- Their goals - what are the users trying to do with the product - does it support what they want to do with it?
- The usage situation (or 'context of use') - where and how is the product being used?
Usability should not be confused with 'functionality', however, as this is purely concerned with the functions and features of the product and has no bearing on whether users are able to use them or not. Increased functionality does not mean improved usability!
As more results of usability research become available, this leads to the development of methodologies for enhancing web usability. There are a number of usability testing tools available in the market.
In the context of e-commerce websites, the meaning of web-usability is narrowed down to efficiency: triggering sales and/or performing other transactions valuable to the business.
Web usability received renewed attention as many early e-commerce websites started failing in 2000. Whereas fancy graphical design had been regarded as indispensable for a successful e-business application during the emergence of internet in the 1990s, web-usability protagonists said quite the reverse was true. They advocated the KISS principle (keep it simple, stupid), which had proven to be effective in focusing end-user attention.