1,659 reputation
311
bio website nz.linkedin.com/in/nathanwall
location Wellington, New Zealand
age 40
visits member for 3 years, 7 months
seen Oct 29 '10 at 21:06

Over 12 years experience designing and implementing websites, information portals and transactional services for government agencies in both Australia and New Zealand.

Since 2004, have collaborated with representatives of other government agencies to redevelop the the NZ Government web publishing standards.

My specialties: HTML, javascript, CSS, UXD, user centred design, information mapping, information architecture, IA, SEO, enterprise content management, web standards, accessibility, customer testing.


Nov
6
comment friendly format for Phone Numbers
Also don't forget that some of us dont have 10 digit phone numbers. Here in little ol' New Zealand landlines only have 9 digits :)
Oct
9
comment Should every page in a site have a totally unique H1?
Since the steps are mere pages, move all the complexity, use the page name part of your title as the H1. The concept of "steps" doesn't apply here, it's not a process, just a series of related topics or concepts.
Oct
9
comment Should every page in a site have a totally unique H1?
@MarcusT if the pages are just pages and not part of a linear app ten your page title and the h1 for the first page should be "pregnancy planner" for step 1 it should just be "trying for a baby". You don't need all the extra guff and streamlined headings and titles will help your SEO :)
Oct
2
comment Should every page in a site have a totally unique H1?
Meta and page descriptions describe the page you are on. H1 headings should introduce the most important part of each "chunk" of information on a screen, in the case of a portal with multi portlets on a page, multiple H1s would be entirely appropriate.
Sep
15
comment What we should write inside “Search box”?
Amen. a-men. Simple is always better.
Sep
15
comment What we should write inside “Search box”?
Separate button gets +1 filling the field with 'search' gets -100, using last query string gets +1
Sep
15
comment What we should write inside “Search box”?
If you are coding your site correctly you ill have a label associated with all form input fields. It's part of the HTML standard and required for w3c accessibility compliance. If you really ,jst include a pre filled string of "search" use JavaScript to populate the value as well as remove it. If users have js blocked or turned off, the field is not cluttered.
Aug
29
comment Adding USA at the top of dropdown list of countries. OK practice or not?
IP detection might work in most cases but its not 100% accurate. When I said "most likely" I meant in the context of what you know about yur users, such as historical evidence from acutal orders placed etc. The same evidence-based approach can be applied to other elements where there is no equivalent to "IP detection", most popular size, colour, shipping option etc...
Aug
23
comment How do you track new feature/product adoption?
Usage or adoption, in itself it not necessarily the right measure. What business problem is your product trying to solve? What is the reason the product exists in the first place? eg. A co. I work for has goal of reducing errors on customer applications. They redesigned a form and 50,000 per month switched from paper. The error rate didnt really go down though, customers were still not providing all the information needed. Usage is not a problem here, the design of the form is.
Aug
9
comment Differences between websites and their mobile counterparts
Its a shame that many organisations dont have the same 'focus on the main things users will want and use'. I agree its a perception about what's possible with a small screen, it may also be that for many organisations their mobile interface is actually secondary. For several of the companies I have worked for, their mobile site barely got worked on, had the simplest possible css etc.
Aug
9
comment Differences between websites and their mobile counterparts
@Charles, Michael has already asked 3 specific questions in his post to get the conversation started.... I don't see what the problem is.
Jul
21
comment How do you improve the IA of an existing site without throwing away existing content?
Always gets my vote :)
Jul
9
comment Should form labels be placed inside of input boxes and slide out of the way?
Was anyone in your test group using a screen reader? Was there anyone who didn't speak English (Im assuming) as a first language? Might have changes your results a little bit... What if javascript is turned off? (The javascript issue alone could impact as much as 5% of your users)
Jul
9
comment Bilingual website usability
Id actually be interested in any research that says best practice is to develop multi lingual sites as a single site. Going through this very process now, and looking for ideas on how best to do it.
Jul
8
comment Font sizes for WCAG2.0 AAA
@DA I agree with you, in principle, unfortunately working on a large number of public sector (government) websites means for me, font size and WCAG is always being talked about. Im supposed to comply with WCAG 2.0 AA across every aspect of the site. Doing fonts the WCAG way is an easy win :)
Jul
8
comment Font sizes for WCAG2.0 AAA
I always thought the std was actually pretty clear, and I relied on the 'expertise' of the creators of the stds to say what was considered acceptable. See my other answer as it wouldnt fit here...
Jul
7
comment How do you improve the IA of an existing site without throwing away existing content?
I did use a CMS a few years ago that was capable of storing any content object, file, script, image etc and then you could convert bits at a time to the new templating engine and migrate the content. It didnt actually allow for a new IA though, you just migrated the entire content into a new repository. We did that for 29 websites and then progressively converted everything. As more CMS applications adopt open standards like CMIS repurposing content will become easier, but only a few system support this feature at the moment, and its still a draft standard? (I think)
Jul
7
comment How do you improve the IA of an existing site without throwing away existing content?
It always scares me just a little to find these sorts of gems hiding in intranets. A billing system? Would have thought that was migrated if it was a critical system....
Jul
7
comment How do you improve the IA of an existing site without throwing away existing content?
Ok so if you are dealing with genuine ROT the best technique I have ever used is to archive all the old content and remove all access to it by redirecting users to a form, an email address or a phone number where they can contact the central publishing team and get the old content 'unlocked' at this point you work out if its something that should have been migrated, or you could remove the redirection, temporarily or for a limited time. Natural selection at its finest.
Jul
6
comment Should form labels be placed inside of input boxes and slide out of the way?
This is an example of overkill. Users need to see the labels when they are filling in the form, so hiding the label on focus isnt feasible, and moving the label removes any space saving. It would be a nightmare to design, and create all sorts of usability and accessibility issues. Just. Dont. Do. It.