Sunday, September 27, 2009

Web site usability mistakes

Jakob Nielsen has been documenting the “10 worst web design errors” since 1996. Sadly some of the problems are still unresolved.

This is Nielsen's latest list – all of which are bad news for the 50-plus:
  • Bad Search
  • PDF Files for Online Reading
  • Not Changing the Color of Visited Links
  • Non-Scannable Text
  • Fixed Font Size
  • Page Titles With Low Search Engine Visibility
  • Anything That Looks Like an Advertisement
  • Violating Design Conventions
  • Opening New Browser Windows
  • Not Answering Users' Questions
This is another of the great man’s newsletters about the importance of the first 11 characters of Web links. On the basis that people scan rather than read, we are probably only going to see the first 11 characters. These initial characters should contain the important information about the link. For instance Barclays Bank scored well for the link "New custome" whilst Directgov "Working whil” failed. I dare to think how my Web links stack-up if this rule is applied.

I am very fond of the term – the devil is in the detail – it certainly is when trying to get the best out of Web sites. Dick Stroud

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