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Turn your ideas into reality Christy Carpino President, Multi-Option Systems, Inc.

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Presentation on theme: "Turn your ideas into reality Christy Carpino President, Multi-Option Systems, Inc."— Presentation transcript:

1 turn your ideas into reality Christy Carpino President, Multi-Option Systems, Inc.

2 infotec 2004 Web Site Usability for Business Developers Or The Dos and Donts of Web Design and Planning

3 Agenda What is usability? Planning and managing usability The Ten Top Web Mistakes The Good, The Bad, & The Ugly Tips and Tricks Questions

4 Some Initial Observations Web is still in its infancy Web will become much more than PC browsers and database servers Augmentation rather than replacement will be the rule Technology fundamentals and business fundamentals drive innovations

5 What is Usability? System acceptability Social acceptability Utility Usefulness Practical acceptability Usability Easy to learn Efficient to use Easy to remember Few errors Subjectively pleasing Cost Compatibility Reliability Etc. (performance, manageability…)

6 Usability Dimensions Learnability – useful on first site visit Efficiency – enhance user productivity Memorability – easy to remember Errors – eliminate user errors Satisfying – users like it Fitness – to user profile and task load

7 What Usability is Not Usability is not a beauty contest Satisfying – users like it Not annoying or distracting At best, pleasing Conforms to principles of good graphical design (layout) Layout is one aspect of usability Dont be misled by artistic focus while developing sites

8 Usability Issues for Web Bug-free interactions Finding what the user is looking for Navigation Search Clear feedback on user interactions Response time differences Web application session management Usernames and passwords

9 Finding What I Need Who are users; what do they know Web expertise, locale Offline props (e.g., catalogs, etc.) What they are trying to do Browsing or window-shopping Searching for specific information Buying a particular product Reflect how users organize information in the sites organization Promote organization to user

10 Clear Feedback Response time issues Build for slow speed connections Scripting and special tools can subvert the hourglass cues Confirm, confirm, confirm Handle jumping into the middle of a site gracefully Use standard cues Avoid confusion

11 Usernames and Passwords Need memorable, guaranteed unique names Do not rely on cookies Use address as user name Passwords represent a unique security issue Marry policy and community sensibly B2B and B2C sites will probably differ Or avoid requirement to use names and passwords

12 Personalization and Privacy Personalization is extension of usability principles Personalization is not a substitute for usability Requires knowledge of user Take time to understand basic privacy issues involved Amazons approach to personalization is a good example



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41 Planning a Usable Site Plan a useful site Utility is crucial What are you offering that is worth my time? (let alone my money…) Scenario-based design Who will be doing what? Focus on value to the user Design from the outside in Dont worry about internal system constraints Compromise only after the initial vision

42 Planning a Usable Site Do some simple prototypes Prototype flow as well as layout Validate navigation and information architecture with simple tests What do users select when asked to do a specific task? Focus on those tasks you want users to perform On most e-commerce sites, that means buy something No point in optimizing peripheral areas of site

43 Planning a Usable Site Test and test again Many books/literature available on usability testing Dont fall into the touchy-feely trap Aesthetic preference is unarguable Do users accomplish tasks? Make errors? Meet objectives? Is the experience frustrating or not?

44 Managing a Usable Site Essential to have a feedback loop How do users perform? Can they do what they want? Do they do what you want? Best feedback is combination of voluntary and involuntary Ask for feedback and make it easy to provide Track user behavior

45 Managing a Usable Site Every change has the potential to introduce usability problems Simply by changing the interface causes a problem User is always right (at least has a point) TV Guide search Users also always have their own way of doing things…


47 Top Ten Web Design Mistakes (2003) Unclear Statement of Purpose New URLs for Archived Content Undated Content Small Thumbnail Images of Big, Detailed Photos Overly detailed ALT Text

48 Top Ten Web Design Mistakes (continued) No What-If Support Long Lists that Cannot Be Winnowed by Attributes Products Sorted Only By Brand Overly Restrictive Form Entry Pages That Link to Themselves

49 Five Criteria for Evaluating Web Sites Accuracy Authority Objectivity Currency Coverage

50 Web Sites That Work Rule One: Bigger is Better Rule Two: Color Your World Rule Three: Faster beats Fancier Rule Four: Small bytes go down easier Rule Five: Have a purpose

51 Graphic Design Tutorials Yale C/AIM Web Style Guide: Graphic Design 100 ual/pages/page_design.html ual/pages/page_design.html Creating Graphics for the Web.designer

52 Graphic Design Tutorials Web Home Improvement by Patrick McElhaney esources.html esources.html Web Page Design for Designers by Joe Gillespie ome.htm ome.htm

53 Graphic Design Tutorial Dimitry's Design Lab on Graphic's Den x.htm x.htm

54 Summary Web requires good usability No leverage with users Principles of usability have not changed Focus on users What do they want? How do they work? Approach perfection by inches Learn, refine, test and repeat

55 References Black, R. (1997) Web sites that work. Retrieved April 18, 2004, from tml Chisholm, W., Vanderheiden,G. and Jacobs,I eds Web content accessibility guidelines pageauth.html (17 January 2001). Nielsen, Jakob. (2003) Top ten web design mistakes of Retrieved April 18,2004,from Nielsen, Jakob. (1993) Usability engineering. San Francisco: Morgan Kaufmann.

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