Monday, August 04, 2008

Winning Considerations for Interactive Content

More interaction options than needed ...

"User interface designers have more interactive options than ever for presenting content. So, we can make meaningful strides toward offering users the right content in the right place, at the right time, in the right amount. However, these rich options for interactively presenting content also come with a challenge.

Remember, years ago, when the new world of desktop publishing features opened up to us? People often succumbed to the temptation to use all of those features in one document, resulting in indulgences such as five clashing fonts on a single page. Such excessive formatting made the content harder to read, less usable, and potentially, less credible. Likewise, today, we need to think carefully about when and how we present content. This column offers my thoughts on some winning considerations for interactively presenting content—from both usability and persuasion perspectives.

Usability Considerations

With our expanding palette of options for interactively presenting content, ensuring people can use our content remains critical. When considering the overall usability of your content, think about the impact of hiding and displaying content as well as the content’s offline uses. In describing specific usability considerations, I’ll evaluate a few specific examples of interactivity in content presentation.
Are You Using Too Much Interactivity?

RIAs (Rich Internet Applications) let users access additional content without waiting for an entire page to reload in their Web browsers. For instance, the Yahoo! home page lets me access my horoscope without going to a new page, as Figure 1 shows."    (Continued via UXmatters, Colleen Jones)    [Usability Resources]

Figure 1—Interactivity that works on the Yahoo! home page - Usability, User Interface Design

Figure 1—Interactivity that works on the Yahoo! home page

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