a technique used to evaluate a product by testing it on users. This can be seen as an irreplaceable usability practice, since it gives direct input on how real users use the system.

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89
votes
17answers
21k views

What is best practice for designing form error messages?

I've seen quite a lot of research on form design, but so far, I haven't come across any studies on error message design best practices. The only piece of advice seems to be that each error should ...
25
votes
4answers
4k views

Studies showing that the more form fields there are the less conversions you will get

Same old story really; another client is requesting that they need x number of fields on their Contact Us form, and no amount of explaining that less=more will suffice without providing objective ...
120
votes
16answers
7k views

How to discover what users NEED and not what they WANT?

I have been thinking a lot about my favorite quote from Henry Ford: If I asked people what they wanted, they would have said 'Faster Horses'. -Henry Ford The trouble I have been having is that ...
23
votes
7answers
3k views

Why does the golden ratio work? Or does it?

This is just one example of an article promoting use of the golden ratio in design. Over the past few years I've seen quite a few similar articles, but none of them really seem to go into depth beyond ...
15
votes
5answers
807 views

SUS Scores and Doubts

My team just started using the SUS to baseline our applications against each other. There are some doubts regarding the relation of the questions to web applications and web sites. At times study ...
8
votes
4answers
402 views

While establishing Heuristics for usability testing,do you advise using your own heuristics or pre defined ones

I am conducting a usability study of medical content delivery systems and I was planning to use some heuristics present in a CHI paper for my Heuristic evaluation.However since the area of focus is ...
6
votes
4answers
676 views

Software to record a user completing a task

We are building a survey/testing website and one feature we would like to include is asking a user to research something on the internet. Give them a "fake" address bar to put the first URL they want ...
43
votes
7answers
3k views

How do you prevent scope creep in agile projects when usability testing?

I have a client who recently asked me about this problem. I was wondering how you'd handle it? They are new to UX and to Agile methods, so they are struggling in interesting ways. As part of a ...
41
votes
6answers
6k views

Why does the space bar do page down in browsers

Why is the space bar doing a page down in some viewer apps, especially browsers and PDF readers? For me this seems to be a bit counter-intuitive, and also this behaviour affects games and other ...
5
votes
3answers
1k views

How to get stakeholder buy-in for proposed UX research initiatives?

Undertaking usability studies often requires selling them first. What methods have you found effective for getting your plans approved? One example: I've used short project overview plans in the ...
15
votes
6answers
842 views

UX impact of standard stock photos

It's pretty clear to me that standard stock images (examples 1 / examples 2) don't help to build a brand or identity. Are there any studies about the impact of stock images? Any other thoughts? In ...
6
votes
2answers
1k views

Conducting a competitive analysis

What are the questions you need to ask or the methods you perform when you're doing a competitive web site analysis from a UX perspective? How do you gather the facts? When in the project process do ...
8
votes
3answers
11k views

What should be maximum and minimum length of persons User Name & Password? [closed]

I am wondering because I am trying to make sure that person have right amount of spaces for their user name. User Name and Password are security measures and should not be easy to guess. I have fixed ...
39
votes
21answers
3k views

Do I really need a login button?

We've been having a discussion in the office surrounding a login page we're developing for a new web application. The web application is in intranet-based application, and is mainly used by users who ...
18
votes
5answers
4k views

Do we really need a “Remember me” option on a Login page?

I'm wondering why do we need to ask user to make a decision, for how long he want to be authenticated? This is done by having "keep me signed in" option login page: Why can't we simply "predict" ...
7
votes
6answers
743 views

How do approaches for UX differ between intranets and normal websites?

I have been asked to offer advice for the development of an intranet for a large international company. The client will be developing the intranet in Sharepoint and is keen to use a user-centric ...
18
votes
4answers
718 views

Dark screens in cars

I am a designer just preparing an app for the "in car" area. Normally we have a bunch of colors to use and we usually use dark colors on a light background. Now our client came up with some question ...
13
votes
5answers
222 views

How to rescue a usability test whose participant is lacking confidence?

Last night, I was conducting a usability test with a participant who was very uncertain of his actions. Before the test, I said all of the usual stuff about it being a test of the software and not ...
12
votes
6answers
1k views

full-color icons vs. greyed-out icons in menus

Icons in menus are often full-color. Even though the page an icon/menu item controls is not active, the icon still appears in its normal hues. To distinguish the icon which is active, a designer will ...
9
votes
3answers
154 views

How can I structure a usability study to produce findings that relate to the long-term use of a tool by an expert user?

I am building a tool that will be used in a call center. The users range from part-time temps to 5 year veterans. I have personas that reflect these. I have two (quite different) prototypes of a ...
13
votes
7answers
618 views

Which makes for a better UX: using copy that is short and simple or copy that is casual, yet possibly more wordy?

In the context of a web app, which makes for a better User Experience: using copy that states the facts as simply as possible or copy that speaks in casual language, yet could end up being more wordy? ...
3
votes
2answers
735 views

Where can I find existing System Usability Scale (SUS) results to compare against?

I'm looking for a resource of existing System Usability Scale (SUS) study results to compare against. I've read in a few papers/webpages that plenty of such data is available, unfortunately I can't ...
3
votes
2answers
1k views

Framework or plugin for tracking user actions on a web application

I've been working for a while on various proof-of-concept applications for social network privacy, which I've evaluated for publication with various user studies. Is there a useful, free, framework ...
1
vote
1answer
368 views

Looking for best practice, articles, tests or studies on video placement on websites.

We are a publisher of many special interest (that doesn't mean x-rated! ;) news websites (tech, music, sport etc). The majority of our content is editorial but we obviously have a growing amount of ...
13
votes
2answers
656 views

Have usability studies been conducted on the use of alphanumeric characters as labels for controller buttons?

Controller Question Over the years there have been a wide variety of home consoles each with their own (mostly) unique controller designs1. One thing that most consoles have in common is their use of ...
5
votes
1answer
281 views

Usability of Popup sharing / search toolbars on websites

I've been noticing an increase in sites that are using a dropdown / popup sharing and search panel (The main site of note being http://www.uxmatters.com/) Is there any research into whether this ...
3
votes
3answers
723 views

Is white text on dark background better for usability on smartphone / tablet keyboards than the reverse?

Which is a better and usable Smart Phone or Tablet keyboard? White / light characters on Black / Dark keys on the keyboard layout. Black / Dark Grey text on the white / light grey colour keys ...