Sunday, December 17, 2006

Visualize your mistakes

The use of instructive text to increase usability - what not to do ...

"Here’s a little exercise for you to keep in mind the next time you design a web page. Bear with me here - I do have a point.

For this exercise, first take a moment to remember why instructive text exists. If you’ve read my article over on Vitamin on instructive design, you know that instructive text can be a great way to help get users oriented and communicate to them how to use an interaction (provided, of course, you keep it extremely short and make it stand out from other design elements).

Remember how the instructive text you’ve seen before looks. Remember that when users see text that stands out, positioned in close proximity to an input field, they’re likely to associate the two things and think the text is somehow going to be helpful. You do this yourself every single day.

Here’s an example of instructive text, in case you need help visualizing something. (In this example, a default value has been created for the email address input field to tell users what to enter.)"    (Continued via rhjr.net)    [Usability Resources]

Instructive Text - Usability, User Interface Design

Instructive Text

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