Friday, 18 December 2009

Usability for web sites - where?

This is the last posting for this year and we'll be having a 2 week break then leaving Yahoo and moving exclusively onto this blog site in 2010.

Don't forget to set up your RSS feed so that you can get the postings automatically just like the Yahoo Group. We're moving because it allows us more flexibility for archiving the posts under relevant headings which makes for a better resource for searching for information when you want it.

So, usability guidelines. How have these changed ? Yes, there are more resources now and they are more extensive. As the web has grown, and the number and range of sites expanded, the intelligence on what helps people view information - and make sales - has grown too. You can drill down under about 20 sub-headings about various usability aspects at: www.usability.gov

This is a US government site that offers advice to web designers about how to design sites. But they do have a caveat:
Although considerable effort has been made to base the guidelines on research from a variety of fields, including cognitive psychology, computer science, human factors, technical communication, and usability; other disciplines may have valuable research that is not reflected in these guidelines.
That's a nice heads-up and shows the tenor of their guidelines.

Some people love him and some hate him, but whatever your view, Jakob Nielsen is a leading light in Usability. See his site for the latest at www.useit.com.

Finally, for a more recent and UK centric view, and one with online Christmas shopping at its centre, have a look at the article from Imprezz. A staggering 42% of people abandon their online shopping because of a perceived or actual slowing of the site.


Merry Christmas and a fantastic 2010 from us.

Elaine and Andy

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