Wednesday, June 14, 2006

Eight Problems That Haven't Changed

A preview from Jakob Nielson's boook, Prioritizing Web Usability...

"We conducted our first user studies of web sites and intranets in 1994. Even the first study, which tested only five sites with three users, identified a number of usability problems. For example, it was clear that users didn't want to read very much; detested long pages with dense, unstructured text; and preferred scannable content. In 1997 we conducted more thorough research into how people read online. It confirmed our early findings and resulted in refined analysis of design flaws and more detailed guidelines for avoiding them. This research was confirmed in yet another project in 2004 and led to even more detailed guidelines for specialized web writing.

In this chapter, we review the most prevalent usability issues and our guidelines for addressing them, developed during our initial period of user research, from 1994 to 1999. First, we discuss eight issues that continue to be as critical as ever to usable web design. We have assigned each of the problem areas a skull rating, with up to three skulls indicating how important it continues to be.

The rating scheme is as follows: "   continued ...   (Via webmonkey)

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