Full day training course offered at The UX Conference Toronto

Top Web UX Design Guidelines

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

Course Date: June 05, 2013

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

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

Participant Comments

Participant Comments

"The video clips of people using sites really highlights the points being made. Great instructor!"

Amy Donahue, Verizon

"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."


"Excellent course with real world applicability. Best course yet! Would consider taking again!"

Dustin Hollingsworth, Northrop Grumman

"Great course. The lecturer was very good. I found it very informative and it definitely gave me a few treats."

Fernando Santo, Fairfx plc

"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."


"Very informative and useful. Good balance of interaction with the personal and team exercises, engaging. Genuinely interesting content."

Liana Schilsaro, Santander

"Although I was familiar with this topic, I had a chance to gain new insights. It's good to keep updated with current techniques which works for web design."

Saulius Kirklys, Cocorium, Lithuania

"Instructor did a fantastic job of presenting her material, which was well organized. Throughout the day, I always where she was with respect to her outline. The info itself was very useful — my company wants to redesign our corporate website, so the examples of what to do or not to do were highly recommened to my business needs. Execellent class."

Leo Kohyama, Hamamatsu Corporate

"Lots of great info — so many ideas for projects now!"

Cas Williams, USC/ISI



Kara Pernice

Kara Pernice (@KaraAnn) is Senior Vice President at Nielsen Norman Group. Pernice uniquely combines her 20-plus years of business, research, and design knowledge and experience to help organizations increase their UX maturity and derive interfaces which are usable, useful, and surpass business goals. Pernice is accomplished at evaluating and managing design situations, and crafting with a team the most fitting design and research methods, and converting this analysis into outstanding design. Pernice has led teams running hundreds of intercontinental research studies, and is expert in many usability methods. Read more about Kara.

Course Date: June 05, 2013

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