User interfaces

WWW design issues

First question in design: who are the users? What are their needs?

Opening page design tips

Design effective menus

Accommodate different levels of technology


Let visitors choose what to download

from BYTE (03/14/01) :

User friendly - Improving site usability

By Lynn Ginsburg and Josef Pusedu, WebTools

Usability is the practice of designing and architecting websites to focus on the user's experience. The International Standards Organization (ISO) official definition, usability is "The effectiveness, efficiency, and satisfaction with which users can achieve tasks in a particular environment of a product. High usability means a system is easy to learn and remember; efficient, visually pleasing and fun to use; and quick to recover from errors."

Online shops: Online shoppers have little brand loyalty. So when a user encounters an obstacle on your site whether that be slow performance, confusing layout, or dead-end links they're likely to bail straight into the arms of competitors.
Zona Research 5/01: about half of purchases were interrupted by the client because of slow site.

Make a formal usability study, with a usability engineer

Process of evaluating your site's usability:

Hierarchical organization
Linear navigation

A simple, yet effective way to map out a site's architecture is using paper mockups:
sticky notes, white boards

Analyze the logic of your site's organization:

Go With The User Flow:

It can also help you to identify and prioritize the most important tasks that a site visitor should be able to accomplish easily (like successfully finding and buying a product) feedback from real live users.

Make a script to test specific usability issues on your site:

users run through the script - users discover problems you may not be able to see because you're too close to your own site.

Different audience types pose different challenges for usability.


Created by: Jaana Holvikivi
Updated: 5.11.2008