Full day training course offered at Usability Week Atlanta

Top Web UX Design Guidelines

The most important usability findings for improving website ROI, based on thousands of user studies worldwide

Understanding people's online behavior gives you insight into designs that work and don't work. Discover the most important guidelines for making your website easier and more enjoyable to use. Then learn to apply these usability principles to design challenges to create products that benefit the business and users.

This course builds a strong knowledge base for attendees who are newer to usability and Web design. For attendees who already work in the field and have some existing knowledge, this course offers the chance to validate your assumptions and get research data to support them.

"Incredible course with very contextual and tactical feedback when designing for different use cases ... provides real (good and bad) examples of how things should be done."

Andrew Hill
Deloitte Consulting LLP

Topics covered

  • Usability principles to help you prioritize your efforts and spend resources more effectively
  • Recommendations based on empirical research data from Nielsen Norman Group
  • Behavioral characteristics of web users
    • General behavioral patterns and expectations
    • People's reaction to different websites and design elements
    • Considerations for new and existing users
    • Designing for active vs. passive user participation
  • Factors affecting people's decision to stay or leave the site
  • Best practices for designing key pages such as homepages, category pages, and article pages
  • Building loyalty through usability
    • Factors that enhance credibility
    • Fostering a loyal user base
    • Balancing user and business goals
  • Navigation mechanics
    • Creating workflows based on user scenarios
    • Browsing and searching mechanisms to help people find information
    • Presenting interactive components with proper visual cues
  • Layouts and formats
    • Layouts that match scan patterns
    • Scrolling behavior and strategies for encouraging people to scroll
  • Visual presentation
    • Communicating with illustrations and graphics
    • Images people pay attention to
    • Visual elements that people ignore or misinterpret
  • Content usability
    • Online reading patterns and how to plan for it
    • Considerations for reading levels (43% of US population read at low literacy levels)
    • Increasing readability and comprehension
  • Trends and innovation
    • ​When to follow guidelines and standards, and when to break them
    • Creating delightful experiences


This course mainly lecture-based with a few group exercises to reinforce the learned principles and guidelines.

The course also includes:

  • Findings from our own usability studies, including eyetracking
  • Videos from usability testing of people's behavior in response to a design
  • Screenshots of designs that work and don’t work, and why
  • Opportunities to ask questions and get answers

Attendee Feedback

"I really enjoyed this class because it helped to validate issues and topics my team has been working on. Examples and videos clearly illustrated the main points."
"So interesting to see how users look through sites of what grabs their attention or turns them off. Good to see so many real life examples with testing. A very informative and helpful course."
"If somebody is looking to increase conversions or have faithful and happy customers this is the course to take."


Kathryn Whitenton

Kathryn Whitenton is a Senior User Experience Specialist with the Nielsen Norman Group. She works with clients to evaluate the usability and information architecture of websites in a variety of industries including technology, telecommunications, and media, as well as corporate intranets. She has conducted usability research, eyetracking user research, and studies of users on mobile devices in the United States, Europe, Asia, and Australia. Her user studies have included general audiences as well as specific consumer types, business segments, children, and seniors. Read more about Kathryn

Course Date: April 29, 2014

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