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1 User Interface Design for the Web Lawrence Najjar Senior Usability Specialist, iXL Presentation available at:

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1 1 User Interface Design for the Web Lawrence Najjar Senior Usability Specialist, iXL Presentation available at:

2 2 Lawrence’s Background MS Engineering Psychology, 1983, Georgia Tech 10 years in industry (SRL, IBM) PhD Engineering Psychology, 1998, Georgia Tech Worked at Georgia Tech Research Institute as student 1.5 years at iXL in Atlanta

3 3 What is a “User Interface?”

4 4 Way that people interact with a computer –Hardware: Keyboard, mouse, monitor –Software: Graphical user interface, Web browser

5 5 Why Worry about the Web User Interface? Biggest problem with Web is download time 1 2nd biggest reason people don’t buy from Web site is navigation difficulties 2 28% of Web shoppers surveyed had trouble finding the product they wanted 3

6 6 Why Worry about the Web User Interface (continued) 62% of Web shoppers surveyed gave up looking for a product online 4 Dissatisfied customers tell about 10 others 5 Web usability not getting better 6

7 7 Challenges for Designing Web- Based User Interfaces Short download times Limited interaction options (e.g., drag and drop item into shopping cart) Broad user population Diverse interaction hardware and software Impatient users (e.g., abandon bad sites) Many application choices

8 8 Web User Interface Design Process 1. Perform needs analysis 2. Design draft site structure 3. Review with customer 4. Design individual screens 5. Review with customer 6. Evaluate usability 7. Iterate (38% better usability each time) 7

9 9 Deliverables Site structure diagrams Conceptual user interface (CUI) Screen design specifications Usability evaluation reports

10 10 Site Structure Diagram

11 11 Conceptual User Interface (CUI) 7

12 12 Screen Design Specifications Global buttons – top navigation bar  GE Home - links to the GE Home page at  Customer Center Home - links to the Power Systems customer center at  Sales and Service Home - links to the GE Power Systems Sales and Service home page

13 13 Working Prototype

14 14 Usability Evaluation Reports Sample Usability Problems Users were required to know three-letter airport codes  Users should enter the month then the date, rather than vice versa.  The terms “Help,” “Info,” and “Tips” are too similar. Be more descriptive by using options such as “Travel tips.”

15 15 Web User Interface Design Suggestions Keep it simple Minimize animation and blinking Don’t use frames Make navigation consistent and obvious Show users where they are and how they got there Minimize scrolling

16 16 Web User Interface Design Suggestions (continued) Use standard link and visited link colors Underline only links Use contrast to make text legible Minimize long text paragraphs Match navigation labels with screen titles Others?

17 17 Conclusions User interface for the Web is different Above all, keep it simple!

18 18 References 1 Graphics, Visualization, and Usability Center (1998). GVU’s 9th WWW User Survey. Atlanta: Georgia Institute of Technology, College of Computing, Graphics, Visualization, and Usability Center. Available: 2 Kadison, M. L., Weisman, D. E., Modahl, M., Lieu, K. C., and Levin, K. (1998, April). On-line Research Strategies: The Look to Buy Imperative. Forrester Report, vol. 1(1). Available: forrester.com 3, 4 Seminerio, M. (1998, September 10). Study: One In Three Experienced Surfers Find Online Shopping Difficult. Week. Available: b.html 5 Albrecht, K. and Zembre, R. E. (1985). Service America. New York: Warner.

19 19 References (continued) 6 Thompson, M. J. (1999, October 11). Site usability isn’t improving. The Standard. Available: articles/0,4413, ,00.html 7 Nielsen, J. Users first! Web usability: Why and how. How to get a usable website. Available: articles/0,4413, ,00.html 8 Najjar, L. J. (2000). Conceptual User Interface: A new tool for designing e-commerce user interfaces. Manuscript submitted for publication. Available: papers/cui.html

20 20 Suggested Readings Christopher Wickens’ “Engineering psychology and human performance” book Jakob Nielsen’s site Mayhew’s “Principles and guidelines for user interface design” book Najjar, L. J. (1998). Principles of educational multimedia user interface design. Human Factors, 40(2), Available: gatech.edu/papers/larry.html Najjar, L. J. (1999, June). Beyond Web usability. Internetworking [On- line], 2.2. Available: beyond_web_usability.html

21 21 User Interface Design for the Web Lawrence Najjar Senior Usability Specialist, iXL Presentation available at:


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