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User Interface Design for the Web. Lawrence Najjar Senior Usability Specialist, iXL [email protected] Presentation available at: http://mime1.gtri.gatech.edu/ui/index.htm. Lawrence’s Background. MS Engineering Psychology, 1983, Georgia Tech 10 years in industry (SRL, IBM)

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user interface design for the web
User Interface Design for the Web

Lawrence Najjar

Senior Usability Specialist, iXL

[email protected]

Presentation available at: http://mime1.gtri.gatech.edu/ui/index.htm

lawrence s background
Lawrence’s Background
  • MS Engineering Psychology, 1983, Georgia Tech
  • 10 years in industry (SRL, IBM)
  • PhD Engineering Psychology, 1998, Georgia Tech
  • Worked at Georgia Tech Research Institute as student
  • 1.5 years at iXL in Atlanta
what is a user interface1
What is a “User Interface?”
  • Way that people interact with a computer
    • Hardware: Keyboard, mouse, monitor
    • Software: Graphical user interface, Web browser
why worry about the web user interface
Why Worry about the Web User Interface?
  • Biggest problem with Web is download time1
  • 2nd biggest reason people don’t buy from Web site is navigation difficulties2
  • 28% of Web shoppers surveyed had trouble finding the product they wanted3
why worry about the web user interface continued
Why Worry about the Web User Interface (continued)
  • 62% of Web shoppers surveyed gave up looking for a product online4
  • Dissatisfied customers tell about 10 others5
  • Web usability not getting better6
challenges for designing web based user interfaces
Challenges for Designing Web-Based User Interfaces
  • Short download times
  • Limited interaction options (e.g., drag and drop item into shopping cart)
  • Broad user population
  • Diverse interaction hardware and software
  • Impatient users (e.g., abandon bad sites)
  • Many application choices
web user interface design process
Web User Interface Design Process

1. Perform needs analysis

2. Design draft site structure

3. Review with customer

4. Design individual screens

5. Review with customer

6. Evaluate usability

7. Iterate (38% better usability each time)7

deliverables
Deliverables
  • Site structure diagrams
  • Conceptual user interface (CUI)
  • Screen design specifications
  • Usability evaluation reports
screen design specifications
Screen Design Specifications

Global buttons – top navigation bar

  • GE Home - links to the GE Home page at http://www.ge.com
  • Customer Center Home - links to the Power Systems customer center at http://schexnweb.sch.ge.com/cgi-bin/xnetmainmenu.exe
  • Sales and Service Home - links to the GE Power Systems Sales and Service home page
usability evaluation reports
Usability Evaluation Reports

Sample Usability Problems

  • Users were required to know three-letter airport codes
  • Users should enter the month then the date, rather than vice versa.
  • The terms “Help,” “Info,” and “Tips” are too similar. Be more descriptive by using options such as “Travel tips.”
web user interface design suggestions
Web User Interface Design Suggestions
  • Keep it simple
  • Minimize animation and blinking
  • Don’t use frames
  • Make navigation consistent and obvious
  • Show users where they are and how they got there
  • Minimize scrolling
web user interface design suggestions continued
Web User Interface Design Suggestions (continued)
  • Use standard link and visited link colors
  • Underline only links
  • Use contrast to make text legible
  • Minimize long text paragraphs
  • Match navigation labels with screen titles
  • Others?
conclusions
Conclusions
  • User interface for the Web is different
  • Above all, keep it simple!
references
References
  • 1 Graphics, Visualization, and Usability Center (1998). GVU’s 9th WWW User Survey. Atlanta: Georgia Institute of Technology, College of Computing, Graphics, Visualization, and Usability Center. Available: http://www.gvu.gatech.edu/user_surveys/survey-1998-04
  • 2 Kadison, M. L., Weisman, D. E., Modahl, M., Lieu, K. C., and Levin, K. (1998, April). On-line Research Strategies: The Look to Buy Imperative. Forrester Report, vol. 1(1). Available: http://www. forrester.com
  • 3, 4 Seminerio, M. (1998, September 10). Study: One In Three Experienced Surfers Find Online Shopping Difficult. [email protected] Week. Available: http://www.zdnet.com/intweek/quickpoll/981007/ 981007b.html
  • 5 Albrecht, K. and Zembre, R. E. (1985). Service America. New York: Warner.
references continued
References (continued)
  • 6 Thompson, M. J. (1999, October 11). Site usability isn’t improving. The Standard. Available: http://www.zdnet.com/devhead/stories/ articles/0,4413,2137664,00.html
  • 7 Nielsen, J. Users first! Web usability: Why and how. How to get a usable website. Available: http://www.zdnet.com/devhead/stories/ articles/0,4413,2137664,00.html
  • 8 Najjar, L. J. (2000). Conceptual User Interface: A new tool for designing e-commerce user interfaces. Manuscript submitted for publication. Available: http://mime1.gtri.gatech.edu/tim/imb/ papers/cui.html
suggested readings
Suggested Readings
  • Christopher Wickens’ “Engineering psychology and human performance” book
  • Jakob Nielsen’s www.useit.com site
  • Mayhew’s “Principles and guidelines for user interface design” book
  • Najjar, L. J. (1998). Principles of educational multimedia user interface design. Human Factors, 40(2), 311-323. Available: http://wearables. gatech.edu/papers/larry.html
  • Najjar, L. J. (1999, June). Beyond Web usability. Internetworking [On-line], 2.2. Available: http://www.sandia.gov/itg/newsletter/jun99/ beyond_web_usability.html
user interface design for the web1
User Interface Design for the Web

Lawrence Najjar

Senior Usability Specialist, iXL

[email protected]

Presentation available at: http://mime1.gtri.gatech.edu/ui/index.htm

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