Wednesday, February 15, 2006

Rich Web Interactions: Discoverability

How do you let your users know about your features?

"Many implementations of rich Web interaction designs encounter issues of discoverability. As I pointed out in Bringing Desktop Interactions Online, the awareness of actions like drag and drop and multi-select within Web applications is often low because people don’t expect these behaviors to be possible. As a result, designers often include messaging to educate users on what’s possible. Persistent messaging can be seen in these examples from Netflix & Basecamp (below).

Another common approach to addressing discoverability is “just in time messaging”. These messages reveal themselves only when a user performs an action that indicates they may be looking for specific functionality. A subtle but quite effective form of just in time messaging is a simple cursor change as shown in the example from My Yahoo! below. A stronger form of just in time messaging could be bubble help that lets users know what’s possible. Overuse of bubble help, however, can frustrate more than inform. Once someone learns the behavior (i.e. successfully drags and drops a window), the need for bubble help may be gone."   continued ...   (Via LukeW)

How to you promote discoverability? - User Interface Design, Human Computer Interaction (HCI), Ergonomics

How to you promote discoverability?


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