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Principles in Web Design Accommodating the User


Principles in Web Design Accommodating the User ... Suggestion: Design for the intermediate user if an adaptive Web interface is not ... – PowerPoint PPT presentation

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Title: Principles in Web Design Accommodating the User

Principles in Web Design Accommodating the User
  • Adapted from Web Design The Complete Reference,
    by Thomas Powell

Take-away Value
  • While looks matter at first, users will probably
    come to focus less on the site's visuals as they
    continue to use the site. When a user exits a
    site, they leave with what might be called a
    take-away value, a basic feeling of how
    successful the site visit was.
  • Rule The site's take-away value is influenced by
    visuals, content, technology, usability, and goal
  • While the take-away value includes more than just
    a user's opinion of a site's look, never
    underestimate the importance of visuals on the

Utility / Usability
  • A good website should provide both utility and
  • Utility performs functions that the user wants
    to accomplish
  • Usability allows the user to perform these
    functions quickly and easily

Looks Matter
  • While navigability and utility/usability matter,
    the first impression a user will receive will be
  • Visuals heavily influence a users initial
    perception of a sites value
  • A sites execution should be nearly flawless no
    broken links, no dysfunctional images, no typos
    (insofar as this is possible)

Figure 1-5.Which site is "better"? Which site is 
more trustworthy?
Usability Alternative Definition
  • Nielsen suggests that the following five ideas
    determine the usability of a site
  • Learnability
  • Rememberability
  • Efficiency of use
  • Reliability in use
  • User satisfaction
  • By this definition, a site is usable if it is
    easy to learn, easy to remember how to use,
    efficient to use (doesn't require a lot of work
    on the part of the user), reliable in that it
    works correctly and helps users perform tasks
    correctly, and the user is generally satisfied
    using the site.
  • Rule Usability and user satisfaction are
    directly related.

The User
  • Suggestion There are no generic people. Always
    try to envision a real person visiting your site.
  • You are NOT the User Accept the fact that many
    users will not necessarily have intimate
    knowledge of the site you have so carefully
    crafted. They may not even have the same
    interests as you.
  • Try to give the user as a great a sense of
    control as possible

Audience Competence
  • Suggestion Aim to create an adaptive Web site
    that meets the requirements of novices,
    intermediates, and advanced users.
  • Suggestion Design for the intermediate user if
    an adaptive Web interface is not possible.

  • Dont rely too heavily on the users memory - a
    user is not going to spend a great deal of time
    to figure something out unless there is a really
    attractive payoff.
  • Users try to maximize gain and minimize work.
  • Do not make visited links the same style or color
    as unvisited ones, as it forces the user to
    memorize where they have been.
  • Since it is easier to remember visuals, make
    pages that should be remembered visually
    different from the rest.
  • Limit groups of similar choices such as links to
    59 items

  • From the W3C guides, you should always consider
    that users may have different operating
  • They may not be able to see, hear, or move
    easily, or may not be able to process some types
    of information easily (or even at all).
  • They may have difficulty reading or
    comprehending text because of language
  • They may not be able to use a keyboard or mouse
    because of access method (e.g., cell phone) or
    physical disability.
  • They may have a less than ideal access
    environment such as a text-only screen, a small
    screen, a screen without color, or a slow
    Internet connection.
  • They may be accessing the site in a nonstandard
    environment where they may be affected by
    environment considerations, like accessing the
    Web in a noisy cybercafe or as they drive a
  • They may have an older browser, a nonstandard
    browser or operating system, or use an
    alternative form of user interface such as voice

User Environment

Web Conventions
Rule Do not stray from the common interface
conventions established by heavily used
Table 3-3. Some Common Web Conventions
Web Conventions in Action
Graphics Tips
  • Suggestion Avoid using text, graphics, and
    backgrounds of similar hue.
  • Suggestion Avoid combining text, graphics, and
    backgrounds of similar saturation.
  • Rule Keep contrast high. Avoid using text,
    graphics, and background of similar lightness.
  • Suggestion Avoid using busy background tiles.
  • Rule Make sure colors that are meant to
    distinguish items like links are significantly
    different in two ways, such as hue and lightness.