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Tag: usability study

Simple Types of Usability Tests for Creating Happier Users and Better Websites

Even though you might associate usability with website design, it’s been an important factor in our everyday life for at least a century. Frederick Taylor’s Principles of Scientific Management, published in 1911, is the first instance where the world started paying attention to how people use things, and how we can help them be more efficient. In 1936, Frigidaire cited “usability” as a key feature of their new refrigerator. In 1943, Alphonse Chapanis made the case for redesigning airplane cockpits in order to reduce errors.

But it wasn’t until 1985 that Computer Usability Testing & Evaluation was published by Richard Spencer. Of course, by this point, usability wasn’t anything new, so designing computers that were most usable was a given. In fact, the war of operating systems, mainly between Microsoft and Apple, has been centered on usability since the beginning.

When home-accessible Internet arrived and websites became the next usability feat, Steve Krug published Don’t Make Me Think in 2000. I think we can all agree that web designers everywhere desperately needed this book back in 2000 and the web has become better for it.

Website Taxonomy Mistakes That Publishers Make Too Often

Your website taxonomy is how you speak to those who are looking at your website. Publishers live in the visual world and have a habit of going for over-designed websites that overwhelm users more often than they inform them. If your readers are running in the opposite direction of your sales pages, then this could be the problem.

The Process of Building Subscription Websites

And why it’s more important than ever to do so

Traditional print publishers are realizing the power and potential behind the Internet. As they saw their print subscriptions and profits fall, publishers began looking for alternative methods for delivering their content. Thankfully for them, the iPad emerged on the scene and brought a media-rich experience with it.

Then, some publishers began to realize that the Internet, smartphones and tablets could be utilized to offer subscriptions to content-filled websites and apps. This allows users to access the content on the go.

10 Steps to Better Shopping Cart Usability

How to keep smart shoppers happy and provide them with a thorough, yet user-friendly online shopping experience. Normally, we don’t recommend shopping carts to our users, because we see the highest conversion rate on sales letter landing pages. However, we realize that many publishers have too large of an inventory and feel that shopping carts work for them. That’s why today we’re talking about shopping cart optimization.

Website Usability Tip: Does Less Hype Equal More Comprehension?

Looking back on an expert’s claim that website usability testing proved promotional language imposes a cognitive burden

It’s nearly a decade now since website usability expert Dr. Jakob Nielsen proclaimed that “that 79 percent of our test users always scanned any new page they came across; only 16 percent read word-by-word.”

“Users detested ‘marketese’—the promotional writing style with boastful subjective claims,” said Dr. Nielsen in 1997.

Eight Website Usability Terms you Should Become Familiar With

Having just conducted a mini-usability test this week with a very confused customer, I have website usability on the brain. We have some tests scheduled for the end of September that I just cannot wait another second for!

As many of you know, website usability is a hot issue in Web development, most likely because, over the past decade, so many websites were launched without any user testing at all, leaving the Web littered with confusing and unusable interfaces.

How to Launch a Successful Membership Website

What should you consider when starting a subscription-driven or membership website?

The answers are not always obvious, even to a seasoned print or electronic publisher. Starting a new website is very different from running an existing property. Over the past 10 years, my partners and I have worked on over 100 successful website startups, as well as several that were not successful.