Usability / Accessibility Archives
August 22, 2008
Website usability: optimise the experience - don't ask users again for data you've already got
Clicking an online advertising banner for Nike ID recently, I noted something interesting: Nike already knew where I was and my language preference (supplied by either Google AdWords page context or Geolocation), yet they required me to take the time to give them the same information again in order to progress to their site. [...]
March 28, 2006
Microsoft's Digital Pen technology
Featured here 2 years ago was Microsoft's invention which was supposed to use 'regular ink, work with regular paper, and let users combine handwritten text and diagrams with digital content from reports, magazines, and Web pages.' Where is it?
May 11, 2005
Bring your outboard brain with you
Sometimes things can be deceptively simple yet amazingly powerful. The captivating Tetris-game comes to mind, and today I had another life-changing revelation: the GTD TiddlyWiki is a Wiki, a GettingThingsDone (GTD) tool, and an open source, multiplatform, HTML-based 'The Brain' you can carry with you on a USB stick.
March 08, 2005
Testing applications 'for real'
'Why take a shortcut and not feel the pain of filling out a long form? If you just enter garbage in rapid fire fashion how will you ever know what it really feels like to fill out that form?'
January 21, 2005
Too advanced Captchas?
I got served the below Captcha when registering for a Yahoo! Group the other day. [...] is that a 6? a non-capital b? Is that an e, ẹ or an ę? [...] When captchas get so funky that humans with 20/20 vision start struggling; accessibility is far away...
January 11, 2005
How to redirect after changing your domain name
For people arriving searching for how to redirect after changing their domain name, my advice is largely unchanged since last time I discussed this (in August 2002): Use a proper HTTP redirect where possible for website visitors (humans AND robots). Forward your employee's mail for a long
time (imagine a potential customer digging out an old business card with emails in the old domain on it - you want these emails to arrive!) [...]
November 08, 2004
How to allow apostrophes in email addresses?
Surprise surprise: apostrophes *are* allowed in email addresses, although not recommended as they may not be treated correctly along the way by mail servers or e.g. SQL-based customer databases etc.
August 09, 2004
Architecting an ID card
As part of the discussion ensuing the announcement of new Estonian ID cards on Slashdot, member 0x0d0a posted an insightful yet basic list of requirements for ''the ideal ID card'':
July 17, 2004
Athens 2004 info kiosks usability
Surprisingly, whereas most such kiosks traditionally serve a custom, finger-pointing-friendly GUI or a font-sized-up version of a limited 'intranet' website, the Athens 2004 booth displayed only the Athens 2004 Olympic games main website. Visit the site and notice how very little of the site is 'clickable'. To expand most page items, you can not click on the associated images or the introductory text, only a little blue arrow. [... (images and references included)]
June 25, 2004
Free beer user testing
''Café testing'' as a budget version of traditional user experience testing
February 04, 2004
Sometimes it's faster to walk
The London Underground is famous for it's beautiful, sylistic map, which incidentally is utterly disconnected from real geography. I'm currently reading Bill Bryson's ''Notes From a Small Island'' where he notes some examples: [..]
February 03, 2004
Orkut usability (or not)
The below crop (click to see full screenshot) show how useless orkut.com's graphical navigation becomes as no IMG ALT tags are applied to the images. [...] Is Mr X my friend? The options I have to answer are [LINK] and [LINK]. Neat.
January 14, 2004
iPod, therefore I am
I now am too... A sleek 40 gig iPod has found its way to me as a wonderful post Christmas gift. May this Christmas never end ;-)
December 03, 2003
Usability just won my business
Orange's usability (and fairly competitive web-offers) just won my business and a Nokia 7250i is on it's way to its new parent (me!) within the next few days.
July 17, 2003
According to Wired, Friendster is the hottest thing online since weblogs and sliced bread. If someone makes a similar service that on top of having all the features even is accesible and usable; I'd consider it.
July 03, 2003
What's more rude?
Blogger Steve Hatch's spamfilter blocked my email to him, and now I'm questioning my own spam-filtering strategies. What do YOU think should be done to block spam but ALLOW personal emails?
June 03, 2003
ISO 8601: The standard date format
I would like to chip in an argument in favour of ISO 8601 - the International Standard Date and Time Notation. It survives cross-cultural translation some websites seem to think that everyone in the world naturally enter MM/DD/YY, others default DD/MM/YYYY etc...
May 20, 2003
Internal (and external) mailing list usability
''[...]provide an easy way to unsubscribe and explain how in the footer of every single email message[...]''
February 25, 2003
I have so many voicemailbox interfaces to interact with that I'm fed up. Someone get me the ''Wildfire'' interface please!
December 12, 2002
Man vs Machine in website registration forms
A topic related to registrations is avoiding machine-automated registrations (preventing spammers from registering thousands of ''garbage'' yahoo.com and hotmail accounts, for example).
September 10, 2002
Usability and patterns for creating searches on a website
Bobulate.com has posted a review and classification of different types of searches a website can offer its users.
September 04, 2002
Usability of mailinglist signups
Kalsey Consulting Group has an interesting article about customers' frustrations trying to subscribe to the digital version of magazines. I completely agree.
August 29, 2002
Usability of registration forms online
WinWrites.com tries to practice what they preach: Usability of Online Help. Absolutely readworthy material for anyone setting up a website involving (complex) user registration forms/processes.
August 24, 2002
Email addresses with a "+" are VALID
There's a common design flaw on many many websites that require an email address to register; most recently I came across this bug on CNet's download.com site: for some reason they don't accept me when I try to register an email address containing a ''+'', and they then send me back saying my address is invalid. It isn't!
August 17, 2002
Website strategies when changing company name
There are lots of cost associated with changing company names. This article addresses a much ignored but important aspect of name changes: the Internet presence (domain names, website and email).