Articles

Topic: Human Computer Interaction

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  • Animation for Attention and Comprehension

    September 21, 2014

    Moving elements are a powerful tool to attract users’ attention. When designing an animation consider its goal, its frequency of occurrence, and its mechanics.

    Interaction Cost

    August 31, 2013

    The interaction cost is the sum of efforts — mental and physical — that the users must deploy in interacting with a site in order to reach their goals.

    The Human Body as Touchscreen Replacement

    July 22, 2013

    When you touch your own body, you feel exactly what you touch — better feedback than any external device. And you never forget to bring your body.

    When the UI Is Too Fast

    July 8, 2013

    Users might overlook things that change too fast—and even when they do notice, changeable screen elements are harder to understand in a limited timeframe.

    How Long Do Users Stay on Web Pages?

    September 12, 2011

    Users often leave Web pages in 10-20 seconds, but pages with a clear value proposition can hold people's attention for much longer because visit-durations follow a negative Weibull distribution.

    Test-Taking Enhances Learning

    January 31, 2011

    People remember much more after reading if they retrieve information about the text from memory. Quizzes are one way websites can help users remember more.

    Mental Models

    October 18, 2010

    What users believe they know about a UI strongly impacts how they use it. Mismatched mental models are common, especially with designs that try something new.

    Short-Term Memory and Web Usability

    December 7, 2009

    The human brain is not optimized for the abstract thinking and data memorization that websites often demand. Many usability guidelines are dictated by cognitive limitations.

    Macintosh: 25 Years

    February 2, 2009

    Although its individual features weren't new, the Mac offered integration, the expectation of a GUI, and interface consistency. Is the iPhone the Mac of mobile?

    Productivity and Screen Size

    October 23, 2006

    A study of the benefits of big monitors fails on two accounts: it didn't test realistic tasks, and it didn't test realistic use. Productivity is a key argument for workplace usability, but you must measure it carefully.

    Open New Windows for PDF and other Non-Web Documents

    August 29, 2005

    When using PC-native file formats such as PDF or spreadsheets, users feel like they're interacting with a PC application. Because users are no longer browsing a website, they shouldn't be given a browser UI.

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