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121

Make sure that you focus on goals. Don't ask what your users want or need in terms of functionality or form. Find out what they need (or want) to achieve .. that way the parameters you use to define and solve the problem will be much clearer and focused. Questions to ask your users might run along the lines of; what they need to achieve. how they ...


75

Don Norman's "Why we Love (or Hate) Everyday Things" opens with an account of a famous study on this, conducted by N. Tractinsky in 1999. He tested four different designs of an ATM machine, where each could have either good or bad usability, and good or bad aesthetics (a 2x2 research design). He reported that the degree of system's aesthetics affected ...


62

Yes, visual design affects user experience Here's a common meal with only one visual difference. It's enough to drive a dramatically different user experience: There is more formal literature on this topic, but since others have already provided citations, I will add one more a simple illustration. The following two forms are almost identical except for ...


54

broken? "If not even the spelling is correct, how can I trust this works correctly?" This is especially troublesome for web sites that want to hold private data. I might not even want to give you my e-mail. dead? When obvious errors remain online for a long time, this suggests that you don't care to fix them (lack of respect) you are technically ...


40

A checkmark represents something positive - usually 'good' or 'correct', so you shouldn't use it to represent something negative like 'serious violation'. I would focus on using either a X or a warning sign, with a preference for the warning sign. Icon aside, I don't see any good reason to have columns for both 'serious violation' and 'Overall alert'. The ...


40

You read as you approach. Theoretically. In reality, levels of visual acuity mean that some people (like you and I) can read the whole block at once. Another reason that painting information on the pavement isn't always ideal. Here's a good visual for how this is designed to function in practice: The trick is (as the image above shows) the spacing of ...


33

I had a customer a few years back who had gone through several stages of improvements to the way their system worked. Initially they managed everything in Excel and it kind of worked, but it started getting a bit bloated and rather out of hand - well you can imagine the problems! Then they got a team of developers in-house to improve the situation. How? ...


31

The nicest one that I've seen so far was hello@myname.com. It came across as friendly and human.


31

Remember that irrespective of the domain, it's the bit before the @ that is the reference by which you addressing the person, so you can detach the username from the domain name. js@johnsmith.com keeps things nice and simple, but rather anonymous - who is js exactly john@johnsmith.com has redundancy, yes, but keeps it on a personal level which is nice and ...


23

Yes this will leave a bad impression. And remember, first impressions are very important. I would get this corrected as soon as possible. Not only will it make the site/company look unprofessional, but it will be difficult to understand. No offense intended, but I actually had to read this question a couple times to fully understand what you were saying ...


22

Spelling mistakes can have quite a large impact on your site's visitors. A quote from the Stanford Guidelines for Web Credibility Typographical errors and broken links hurt a site's credibility more than most people imagine. It's also important to keep your site up and running. Typos make your site look amateurish, just like broken links or unavailable ...


22

Which is more important depends on what you are designing. My general guidelines would be: Intuitive matters mast when you're designing an app that people aren't going to invest time into learning. It's important that they get a win as soon as possible, and that means that they need to be able to use the product with little or no time learning it. Think of ...


22

I've come across this before and the following image illustrates just part of the problem: I've found that one way to find out what a user actually needs is to really understand the user's requirements, to the point where you can put yourself in their shoes and ask yourself "What would I need in this position?"* The other thing I've found that helps is ...


22

You could start by reading interaction-design.org's entry, by Noam Tractinsky, on visual aesthetics. Remember also to read Jeffrey Bardzell's comments on the entry. Then you could check out Tractinsky's seminal What is beautiful is usable: A multivariate analysis of covariance revealed that the degree of system's aesthetics affected the post-use ...


21

One isn't better than the other. They are simply different. There is a lot of evidence that your eye will pick out objects styled to look like they are 3D faster than perfectly flat objects. In addition seeing an object that looks sort of 3D will give it some level of affordance that wouldn't be there otherwise. The problems that the Windows Metro ...


21

On closer inspection of your question, I am revising my answer. What you're trying to convey is "Does this company have a failure (i.e. non-compliance to some standard)? Yes or No". In which case, color is irrelevant, it's not a failure, and a check mark is somewhat standard. Consider a table where multiple types of the same thing, like a tablet computer, ...


20

In complete agreement with the other answers, but to provide an alternate viewpoint: If you were driving at night, your headlights will reveal the beginning of the sentence before the end.


19

I can think of four broad techniques for tackling this issue. Firstly, it looks to me that you could probably get away with increasing the size of your UI components and copy. Text really needs to be 14px or above to be well-readable anyway, so there are practical benefits to doing this beyond just aesthetics. Secondly, if you feel a page seems 'orphaned', ...


19

Here's the thing about downvotes; almost no one downvotes. And another thing: some people downvote anything. Don't believe me? Check out this chart from when Youtube stopped using 5 star ratings: For the most part people are much, much more willing to note what they like, not what they dislike, at least in simple rating systems (fully written reviews tend ...


17

While some internet marketeers have stated that the appearance of being more secure can have a measurable effect on sale completions, I doubt that this would matter for sites that aren't directly selling something. You also have to keep in mind that HTTPS connections are slower than HTTP, and so people will likely find your site slower. Amazon found that ...


17

I believe the cause is that handwriting generally has a higher x-height than printed type. That makes all-caps handwriting look more like printed small-caps, which are generally not considered rude, and actually end up looking formal. It's also true that all-caps used on the web now carries the connotation of screaming by convention (as mentioned by Juan ...


16

I would use a red exclamation point as the Icon in the column (similar to the Icon JohnGB used. My first thought was to rename the column so you could use a red X. For example if you renamed it to 'Conforming', 'In Good Standing', 'No Violations', or 'Playing By the Rules', then you could use a red X to indicate that the company is NOT conforming, or has a ...


15

I find just using the colors as the demarkation a bit harder to understand. You can use a vertical rule to act as a placeholder for the goal, YTD or annual, depending on the day. Your focus should be the goal and how much over or under you are. What I mean is there is not enough value of showing the actual numbers when you are just bother to about the ...


15

There were scientific studies in aviation, that show, that visual aesthetics of control dashboards in plane's cockpit affects effectiveness of flight operations. So visually appealing design affects usability. But what was interesting, that when the system was too beautiful for operators, they perceived it as too intelligent and ideal, so the effectiveness ...


15

I agree with most of the points that have been made so far, so I'll just add one that hasn't been touched on yet. One of the things often overlooked about visual design is the impact that it has on the user's trust. If you've ever gone to a small-business website that has been constructed using one of the many. template-based, cheap, hosting websites, ...


13

Time is only one of the factors that affect whether an app feels responsive. However there are decent guidelines that give you a rough idea of how people perceive response. Jakob Nielsen has written a good article on Response times that I use as a rough guide. It states that: 0.1 second is about the limit for having the user feel that the system is ...


13

I would argue that the shape itself has no (or at least very little) meaning. It is the color and the secondary symbol (exclamation mark vs. question mark) that provide the context. Any of the icons in your question are an equally reasonable choice for conveying "warning" or "caution". Even Microsoft's Standard Icons reuse the same shapes for both the most ...


12

There is of course an awful lot of research on color and color perception. Most relevant to your purpose is perhaps the work Cynthia Brewer did on ColorBrewer. You can find the resulting tool at http://colorbrewer2.org/ It was originally designed to help choose color for maps but it can also be used for statistical graphs (it's built in Hadley Wickham's ...


12

All capital handwriting is easier to read because it takes more time to write and forces the author to slow down. This increases legibility by requiring the writer to compose each individual letter one at a time. The variations for capital letters are less compared to lower case or cursive characters. Architects and engineers developed their particular ...


11

A lock is the most commonly used that I have seen, as privacy generally is about locking away or hiding information. Some usable examples are: The recent MEGA logo (copyrighted I'm sure) is a great example, but not one that you can easily use. It does however show a growing understanding of a lock representing privacy.



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