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"If something is hard to use, I just don't use it very much." --Steve Krug

Feedback Surveys

Site maps (or directory trees)

Storyboards

Usability

    What BC asked the Habitat guy:

  1. What do you want the site to do?
  2. What do you want the site NOT to do?
  3. What timeframe are you working with? deadlines?
  4. Who will host the site?
  5. What art do you have? What art do you want to use? logos, photos, charts
  6. What content do you have? Are you planning to have?
  7. Of this, what will be frequently and/or routinely updated?
  8. Which parts of the site will be temporary (event of the month) and which permanent?
  9. What are your expectations for this site? Our involvement?
  10. How complex does the site need to be? Functionality? (donate online, volunteer online, etc.)
  11. What tone, mood or attitude should the site project?
  12. Do you have examples of sites you like, sites similar in approach or philosophy to what you want?
  13. What are your plans for usability testing?

Don't make the visitor think. Your web pages should be self-evident. Obvious. Self-explanatory. Visitors should be able to "get it" without having to think about it. They shouldn't have to ask, "Where do I start?" or "Is that thing navigation?" or "Why are these two links the same?" or "Can I click on that?"

Get rid of all the question marks.

Visitors shouldn't have to spend time thinking about:
--where am I?
--where should I begin?
--where did they put ______?
--what's most important here?
--why did they call it that? (job-o-rama)

What users do: Glance. Scan. Click. They do not choose the BEST option; they choose the first reasonable option.

So:

What users see -- the appearance of things on the page -- should accurately portray the relationships. The more important the content or item, the more PROMINENT it should be. Just like newspaper front pages.

Conventions:

Navigation: Navigation isn't a feature of your Web site, it IS the Web site.

Clear. Consistent. Simple.

2 types of users: search-dominant (where's the search box?) and browsers (where are the links?)

Remember: users have no sense of scale (how big the site really is). Back buttons account for 30% to 40% of all clicks.

Help them get from one place to another. Help them figure out and always know where they are (orientation). Tell them what is available. Reveal the content.

Think: how do sites do this?

Think of good street signs: They are in the right place. They are in the same place. They are big enough to read. They can be quickly read so you can do more important things like, WATCH OUT FOR THAT CAR!

Think of good maps. YOU ARE HERE. This is how big this place is. This is where everything is situated.

Home >> Sports >> Major League Baseball >> Yankees v. Orioles >> Box Score

C|Net.com and about.com

Why TABS are good:

They are self-evident (we all know what they do).

They are hard to miss. They are obvious at a glance.

They suggest physical space. (up front, way in the back)

They can be good-looking and easy to make (color-coded)

example: amazon.com

Home Page

At a glance:

Taglines can quickly establish identity and mission.

example: alibris.com


Resource: Web Style Guide, 2d edition


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©2008 CarrollinaWorks
Last Updated: January 2008
Send comments and questions to bc at berry.edu