Tag Archives: usability

ATTW: Usability Testing and the Templated Web

Good things about the CFP for ATTW 2011, and my proposal, “Usability Testing and the Templated Web.” Continue reading

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Nielsen on kids (and summarized too)

In “Children’s Websites: Usability Issues in Designing for Kids,” Jakob Nielsen compares web usability for children and adults, finding some interesting differences, particularly in repeated tasks and revealing personal info. Bonus: the report is also a quick summary of Nielsen’s work as a whole. Continue reading

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New WIU website

An xkcd strip about university web sites provides an opportunity for me to consider Western’s redesign. The new WIU web site is much improved, but still needs work. In particular, adoption of conventions radically different from the norm raises questions about usability. Continue reading

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Madelyn’s computer time

Madelyn’s computer time is increasing, in part because she’s about to get her own computer. We’re using the parental controls in Mac OS X to keep her from using the computer too much. Continue reading

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Thanks for the tip

I recently made an Expedia account. One hiccup: Um… so, make it match the drivers license… as long as it’s 2-25 characters! In that case, tough tiddlywinks, I guess.

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Using the readymade web

My CCCC presentation is short enough to share here in slightly edited form; it’s a written-out-talk intended to precede a roundtable, so it may read a little breezily. Here’s a summary:

Readymades have re-emerged on the web, displacing the “web site” with the “web presence,” in the templates and skins of much web-based software, and also in the workaday of social networks. Three patterns dominate use: collection, juxtaposition, and combination. For theories of use and usability, there are four implications:

1. Finding a single, clearly defined, easily anticipated use, as suggested by many usability practicioners, becomes more challenging;
2. We can’t always assume users are interested and motivated;
3. The nuts and bolts of use need even more attention;
4. Readymades themselves are rare; the new readymade is designed for customization and individualized use (whether or not that is realized). Continue reading

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I hate long URLs

Great idea, awful URL: http://www.nyc.gov/portal/site/nycgov/menuitem.c0935b9a57bb4ef3daf2f1c701c789a0/index.jsp?pageID=mayor_press_release&catID=1194&doc_name=http://www.nyc.gov/html/om/html/2008a/pr229-08.html&cc=unused1978&rc=1194&ndi=1 216 characters. And I thought C|Net was bad. A redundant alphabetic processional: portal/site/: in case the server forgets it’s a web site? nycgov/: isn’t the nyc.gov domain enough to indicate that? c0935b9a57bb4ef3daf2f1c701c789a0: sessions should not … Continue reading

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Nielsen & Loranger, Prioritizing Web Usability

Jakob Nielsen and Hoa Loranger Prioritizing Web Usability New Riders, 2006 Jakob Nielsen is the 800lb gorilla of usability, at least where the web is concerned. Why? Academics like him because of publications like Usability Engineering (1993), which uses a … Continue reading

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