May 25, 2015
Poorly implemented overlays and lightboxes are not only frustrating for users, but can also be disastrous for conversion and task completion. Use the five W’s – Who, What, When, Where, and Why – to determine whether an overlay is truly the most appropriate design solution, and how you should implement it.
April 26, 2015
By making password requirements visible upfront, allowing users to unmask the password, and showing a strength meter, designers can improve the frustrating user experience of creating a password.
April 12, 2015
Misleading links and omitted information force users to bounce back and forth in a hub-and-spoke pattern between a routing page and subpages linked from it, increasing the interaction cost and decreasing engagement over time. Use web analytics tools to identify and monitor pogo-stick behavior on your site.
March 15, 2015
Presenting adaptive help in a small overlay can make it faster to find answers to simple questions, but the tradeoffs of obscuring the page and failing to predict user needs may not be worthwhile.
March 8, 2015
Whether you adopt a flat-design style or not, interactive components must retain sufficient cues to suggest clickability. Signaling clickability with cues such as borders, color, size, consistency, placement, and adherence to web standards can give interactive components the proper look.
February 8, 2015
Before you throw out the old and bring in the new, make sure you have solid evidence that doing so is necessary to achieve user-centered goals.
February 1, 2015
What appears at the top of the page vs. what’s hidden will always influence the user experience—regardless of screen size.
January 25, 2015
Good FAQ pages use legible typography, chunking, appropriate spacing, easy navigation to individual questions, and reflect the current questions of the site users.
January 18, 2015
Restricting search to a specific area of a website can provide better results, faster. But users overlook, misunderstand, and forget about the search scope.
January 11, 2015
Events triggered via hover or click require distinct timing to avoid accidental activations and ensure that the user feels in control of the interface.
December 21, 2014
A usable website FAQ can improve products, services, information, and user experience as part of your knowledge management process.
November 16, 2014
Video content is helpful only if users have control over it, understand what’s contained within it, and have an alternate way to access it.
November 2, 2014
The experience of researching and purchasing a mobile plan online is marred by hard-to-access cost information, site-specific jargon, and disruptive pop-ups.
October 26, 2014
Wait animations, such as percent-done bars and spinners, inform users of the current working state and make the process more tolerable to the user by reducing uncertainty. Users experience higher satisfaction with a site and are willing to wait longer when the site uses a dynamic progress indicator.
September 28, 2014
Large images are visually appealing, but they can harm the overall user experience if they aren't appropriately prioritized.
August 3, 2014
On a large screen, hiding the chrome significantly affects discoverability and interaction cost, with virtually no improvement to the content-to-chrome ratio.
July 20, 2014
Bucknell University caused a stir with its unconventional responsive redesign, but at a high cost to usability, as shown in tests with students and parents.
July 13, 2014
In interface design favor direct access to the user’s preferred item instead of forcing users to go through your content in a serial order.
May 11, 2014
Labels or sample text inside a form field makes it difficult for people to remember what information belongs in that field once they start data entry.
May 4, 2014
Responsive design teams create a single site to support many devices, but need to consider content, design and performance across devices to ensure usability.
January 4, 2012
What is usability? How, when, and where to improve it? Why should you care? Overview answers basic questions + how to run fast user tests.
August 5, 2001
For good UX, pay attention to what users do, not what they say. Self-reported claims are unreliable, as are user speculations about future behavior.
January 1, 1995
Jakob Nielsen's 10 general principles for interaction design. They are called "heuristics" because they are broad rules of thumb and not specific usability guidelines.
September 8, 2003
Misconceptions about usability's expense, the time it involves, and its creative impact prevent companies from getting crucial user data, as does the erroneous belief that existing customer-feedback methods are a valid driver for interface design.
September 13, 2004
Users expect 77% of the simpler Web design elements to behave in a certain way. Unfortunately, confusion reigns for many higher-level design issues.
January 1, 2011
The ten most egregious offenses against users. Web design disasters and HTML horrors are legion, though many usability atrocities are less common than they used to be.
October 24, 2011
Sites have improved, and we now know much more about e-tailing usability. Today, poor content is the main cause of user failure.
April 5, 1998
Users' bandwidth grows by 50% per year (10% less than Moore's Law for computer speed). The new law fits data from 1983 to 2014.