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The State of Web Site Usability for June 2006. Janice James Simply Usable Through Design, LLC Steve Krug Advanced Common Sense Dave Mitropoulos-Rundus Compuware Corporation Jakob Nielsen Nielsen Norman Group Susan Weinschenk Human Factors International. Objectives for Today.

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The state of web site usability for june 2006

The State of Web Site Usability for June 2006

Janice James

Simply Usable Through Design, LLC

Steve Krug

Advanced Common Sense

Dave Mitropoulos-Rundus

Compuware Corporation

Jakob Nielsen

Nielsen Norman Group

Susan Weinschenk

Human Factors International


Objectives for today
Objectives for Today

  • Most prevalent web site usability issues today

  • Highest impact options for improvement

DaveMR


Objectives for today1
Objectives for Today

  • Panelists will

    • Categorize web site issues

      • new issues

      • persistent issues

      • issues caused by design

      • issues caused by current technology limitations

    • Explain how satisfied or dissatisfied they are with the state of web site usability

DaveMR


Objectives for today2
Objectives for Today

  • Attendees will walk away with a sense of purpose and focus on the highest impact improvements for today and the future.

DaveMR


The state of web site usability for june 20061
The State of Web Site Usability for June 2006

Previous sessions at UPA

  • 2003

  • 2001

DaveMR


Combined sessions and papers
Combined Sessions and Papers

Track evolution and changes in

  • Business

  • Development

  • Usability engineering focus

DaveMR


Panel session rules
Panel Session Rules

  • Short panelist presentations

  • Write down your questions

  • Panel debate kick-off

  • Draw questions from audience

  • Audience questions

DaveMR



History of the usable internet
History of the Usable Internet

  • In the beginning, there was the internet

    …but it was text-based

    …and not everyone could use it

DaveMR



Importance of the mosaic browser
Importance of the Mosaic Browser

  • Improved internet access for many

    • Worked on many different Operating Systems

  • “Adequately usable”

  • Enough desirable features…

    • Images

    • Sound

      …to provide a platform for expanded use

DaveMR


Early retail on the internet
Early retail on the internet

  • In 1994

    • Pizza

    • Shopping malls

    • Online banking

DaveMR


Ok nobody said it was pretty
OK, nobody said it was pretty…

<Pizza web site images>

DaveMR


From 1994 to 2006
From 1994 to 2006

  • Usability engineering has been an integral part of the development and success of web sites and other uses of the internet

  • The usability has improved, but has it improved enough?

  • Do we adequately provide for

    • All people?

    • All ages?

    • All locations?

    • All cultures?

    • All abilities?

DaveMR


Steve Krug

Advanced Common Sense

[email protected]


Quo vadis the state of web site usability circa 2006

Quo Vadis?The State of Web Site Usability circa 2006

Steve Krug


Where are those rocket cars
Where are those rocket cars?

  • As Jakob says...

  • It’s mostly about people, and human nature doesn’t change much

Steve Krug


People come and go so quickly here
People come and go so quickly here

  • More experienced/comfortable, on average, so they move even faster, see even less

  • Even more task-oriented and shark-like

Steve Krug


Everything starts with a google search
“Everything starts with a Google search”™

  • Proof of concept: If it works—and provides value—they will come

  • But the death of the Home page is greatly exaggerated

Steve Krug


Irrational exuberance revisited
Irrational exuberance, revisited

  • Yes, highly dynamic pages introduce a host of “new” usability issues

  • No, they’re not the solution for everything...or much

Steve Krug


Sites are even more usable on average
Sites are even more usable, on average

  • My mini-reviews tell me so

  • But you still usually can’t go more than a few feet without running into a tragic flaw

  • Original sin or entropy?

  • Built by people, for people

    • People who build them

      • My “Sixth Sense” feeling

    • People who maintain them

      • Managing the estate (Caroline Jarrett)

Steve Krug


Still not a required line item though
Still not a required line item, though

  • ...and I’m not convinced it necessarily ever will be

  • But it does spread virally/grassroots

  • More people have been exposed to usability

  • Designers get it more often than not

  • Stakeholders are slower on the uptake

    • “Just don’t get this big brain thing”

    • Not entirely sure why

Steve Krug


Janice James

Simply Usable Through Design, LLC

[email protected]


The state of web usability for 2006

The State of Web Usability for 2006

Janice James

Simply Usable through Design

[email protected]


The state of web usability
The State of Web Usability

  • On the Upward Swing

    • Continued increase of number of users who use the Web

      • 73% of respondents (about 147 million adults) are internet users, up from 66% (about 133 million adults) in a January 2005 survey (Pew/Internet)

      • ~36 % of European population uses the Internet (Harris Interactive)

    • Experience levels of users have evolved

      • Affects recruiting efforts of more novice types

Janice James


On the upward swing
On the Upward Swing

  • Marked increase in consulting work

    • Greater willingness and commitment of companies to invest the resources to achieve more usable products and services

  • More evidence of internal corporate usability and user experience groups over last couple of years

    • Higher expectations of skills and experience

      • Development skills (HTML, JavaScript, Flash)

      • Tool experience (Dreamweaver, Photoshop, Director, Viseo, Illustrator

      • Teaching and mentoring experience

      • Information design skills

      • Project leadership skills

      • Etc.

    • Larger group sizes vs. just one-person teams

Janice James


On the upward swing1
On the Upward Swing

  • Increased focus on better identifying and understanding targeted users

    • Still some resistance of companies just beginning UCD to spend resources on research such as user & task analysis, contextual inquiry, ethnographic studies

  • Greater attention paid to international users of U.S. sponsored web sites

    • Companies are focusing on the impact that cultural differences have on web usage

    • More international usability studies compared to 3-5 years ago

Janice James


On the upward swing2
On the Upward Swing

  • In an effort to reduce expenses, wider acceptance of remote usability studies as complementary methods to more traditional usability research

    • Keynote/Vividence

    • Web IQ

    • Web Sort

    • Etc.

Janice James


The state of web usability1
The State of Web Usability

  • Always room for improvement

    • Many Intranets’ search tools do not meet users’ expectations and are still a source of frustration

      • Broken links

      • Outdated information

    • Poor information architecture

      • Users can’t find what they need easily and quickly

        • Sites are organized based on internal models vs. users’ mental model

          • Need to conduct more user research to fully understand users and their mental models

Janice James


Always room for improvement
Always Room for Improvement

  • Some companies are persistent about finding ways to steer users to registering on the site before it’s necessary

    • Leave the site when asked to register

    • Forget passwords

  • Small fonts and page overload

    • Users miss critical or desired information

    • Users abandon the site and go elsewhere

Janice James


Always room for improvement1

Heavy focus on younger site users with less attention or concern about older users

As Internet users in their 50s get older and retire, they are unlikely to give up their wired ways and therefore will transform the wired senior stereotype.

Why NOT pay attention to the needs and buying power of older users??

Always Room for Improvement

Janice James


Susan Weinschenk concern about older users

Human Factors International

[email protected]


Jakob Nielsen concern about older users

Nielsen Norman Group

[email protected]


Debate and discuss
Debate and discuss concern about older users


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