Monday, May 14, 2007

Usability Makes the Web Click

"In an interview, Nielsen offered Fast Company some easy-to-implement ideas for improving Web design."
...from the interview...

What's wrong with Web design?

Too many Web designers substitute a marketing agenda for a focus on what customers want. Users want speed, utility, and credibility - not portals, banners, or even community. And speed is the overriding criterion: Minimalist design rules.

One phrase sums up the dominant mentality of the Web user: "I'm driving." People don't spend lots of time on any one page, because in order to feel that they're accomplishing something, they have to keep moving. The best kind of site shows users what each page is about and then quickly gets them to the next page.

Why don't more sites work that way?

Most developers fail to treat the Web as a new medium with new rules. The dominant metaphor is TV - think "channel," "show," and "eyeballs." But the Web is an interactive, one-to-one medium in which everyone can be a producer or a publisher.

It isn't like newspapers or magazines either. At IBM and at Sun, we studied how people read on the Web. What we discovered is - they don't! They scan. Only 16% of Web users actually read word by word. So, on any given topic, people should write about half as many words for the Web as they would for the printed page.

Go to the site, read all»

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