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It was as if older cats didn't even care.

Mobile Usability for Cats: Essential Design Principles for Felines. "Even the simplest video of a cat using an iPad app easily gathers millions of viewers. Bowing to this takeover, our clients are increasingly asking us, 'How can we improve our site or app for cats?' With their lack of opposable thumbs and ever-shifting focus, cats are certainly a challenging target audience." [more inside]
posted by evilmomlady on Apr 1, 2013 - 17 comments

TermKit

Steven Wittens uses WebKit to rethink the UNIX terminal [via]
posted by Blazecock Pileon on May 19, 2011 - 208 comments

"I WANT TO TAKE GOOGLES OFF OF MY HOME PAGE"

Yesterday, ReadWriteWeb, which "provides analysis of Web products and trends to an intelligent audience of engaged technology decision makers, Web enthusiasts and innovators" posted an article titled "Facebook Wants to Be Your One True Login." What happened in the post's comments taught them a lesson about users who aren't in their target demographic: internet users browse by search, because they think browsers are search engines. [more inside]
posted by ocherdraco on Feb 11, 2010 - 190 comments

The State of the Web 2008

The State of the Web 2008 is a report from Web Directions that includes details and analysis of all the responses to over 50 questions covering technologies, techniques, philosophies and practices that today’s web professionals employ. The survey was open for just under 3 weeks, from December 1st to 20th 2008. In total, over 1200 designers and developers from around the world responded to the survey. Respondents were likely to be self-educating, “early adopters” who keep abreast of developments in their field. Here are the tabular results. [more inside]
posted by netbros on Jan 12, 2009 - 7 comments

How usable is your world?

Happy World Usability Day. Download the poster. Take the global transport challenge. Get involved in a local event. Not sure what usability is? These guys can tell you. Usability principals are being applied not only to websites, but to increase the level of accessibility in all facets of life including voting, product development, and how we talk to one another. You're on your own to improve your own usability, though.
posted by angry jonny on Nov 13, 2008 - 21 comments

The Employable Web Designer

The Employable Web Designer ― Andy Rutledge at Design View constructs a list of suggestions to help aspiring designers better craft their own preparedness and, if necessary, adjust their degree plans toward a more effective and responsive result in the web design field. (previously) [more inside]
posted by netbros on Jun 28, 2008 - 39 comments

"If you can't make it good, at least make it look good."

Bill Gates files a bug report: "There's not a day that I don't send a piece of e-mail ... like that piece of e-mail. That's my job."
posted by Blazecock Pileon on Jun 26, 2008 - 66 comments

Usability issues and principles

30 Usability Issues to be aware of In this article we present 30 important usability issues, terms, rules and principles which are usually forgotten, ignored or misunderstood. What is the difference between readability and legibility? What exactly does 80/20 or Pareto principle mean? What is the law of proximity? What is meant with minesweeping and satisficing? And what is Progressive Enhancement and Graceful Degradation? What is banner blindness? How can you measure eye-tracking? Why fold area isn't that important. OK, it’s time to dive in.
posted by psmealey on Oct 8, 2007 - 15 comments

Rethinking Software Look&Feel

Magic Ink - Information Software and the Graphical Interface
posted by Gyan on Apr 7, 2007 - 29 comments

Usability frogs

Frog Review - Talking frogs review websites.
posted by carter on Apr 15, 2006 - 18 comments

Ye Olde Graphics Shoppe.

Ye Olde Graphics Shoppe. We hope you will find something here to your liking. You will notice some changes and additions and a new look. We have decided to simplify things rather than have nonsense pages.....too many really :-)) We have a NEW Graphics Assistant Lady Belle ho has added some terrific new dusting graphics and page sets for you to enjoy.
posted by Count Ziggurat on Nov 6, 2005 - 46 comments

Bin Ladin Determined to Strike In US - The Memo From A Design Perspective

Bin Ladin Determined to Strike In US - The Memo From A Design Perspective A desginer looks at the original memo and re-designs it for usability.
posted by turbanhead on Apr 12, 2004 - 17 comments

Really Stimpy?! You think we can do that?

Ren & Stimpy create a home page for the web, perform usability analysis on it, and analyze the results using multiple regression. "With the help of three hardworking, good looking, talented, and underpaid graduate students, we'll find a better way to make a home page!"
posted by ewagoner on Aug 15, 2003 - 27 comments

Usability in Open Source

Usability Bazaar sounds like a crazy idea: getting together a group of people that will create usability guidelines for open source projects. Do you think that can work? Do OSS projects actually have usability problems? And can this actually work? Generally, usability people don't seem to get involved in open source. Why? (via webword.com)
posted by Adman on Jun 17, 2003 - 24 comments

K is for Kookie. And Kompressor.

Just in: Jakob Nielsen Declares the Letter “C” Unusable.
posted by Su on Apr 29, 2003 - 28 comments

Emotion and design: Atrractive things work better.
Of note here is that Don Norman works with Jakob Nielsen. In this essay he addresses the accusation that usability people want ugly design.
posted by Su on Jul 13, 2002 - 11 comments

30 days to a more accessible website

30 days to a more accessible website This series is entitled "30 days to a more accessible weblog", and it will answer two questions. The first question is "Why should I make my weblog more accessible?" If you do not have a weblog, this series is not for you. The second question is "How can I make my weblog more accessible?" If you are not convinced by the first answer, you will not be interested in the second.
posted by mikewas on Jun 25, 2002 - 10 comments

Guimp.com

Guimp.com claims to be the world's smallest web site. And it probably is.
Jakob must be spinning in his crypt.
You don't have to scroll, though.
posted by Su on May 27, 2002 - 17 comments

This orthopaedic surgery site

This orthopaedic surgery site seems more like a design exercise than an actual attempt at an informative site. Imagine that someone told you to make the site using poor technology choices, couple it with non-professional content not conducive to trusting the doctors, and add a map to the office that does more to enable chuckles than get people to into the business. It's so bad, it's good, and most definitely do not skip intro on this one.
posted by mathowie on Apr 13, 2002 - 32 comments

happy birthday jakob

happy birthday jakob Though we all like to scream about his pronouncements or catch him when he makes an error in his own rules, it's time everyone who has a job relating to human factors to acknowledge that Jakob Nielsen's tireless promoting of usability is very likely the reason our bosses or our clients are willing to consider allowing usability testing. Thanks guy! Wish I could afford to buy you that rogers and hamerstein collection...
posted by christina on Aug 20, 2001 - 7 comments

Driving Over Jakob Nielsen:

Driving Over Jakob Nielsen: use left arrow to move left, right arrow to move right (which is quite useable really!)
posted by justgary on Jul 18, 2001 - 6 comments

Usability Analysis of UseIt.com

Usability Analysis of UseIt.com How well does usability guru Jacob Nielsen fare when his site is analysed in terms of his own usability guidelines?
posted by waterfrog on Jun 25, 2001 - 14 comments

Jakob Nielsen on Bill Gates' Micropayment Strategy

Jakob Nielsen on Bill Gates' Micropayment Strategy (news section on right) Jakob Nielsen has acknowledged that Bill Gates might be smarter than him (no sh*t, Sherlock!). Gates would rather integrate micropayment systems into their server apps than IE to make Linux a non-issue for businesses wanting to use their micropayment system. Yet more monopoly nonsense or a smart business plan?
posted by wackybrit on May 18, 2001 - 6 comments

Something is coming...something wonderful!

Something is coming...something wonderful! It's not a monolith but it is black and full of stars. It's iaslash, a new and remarkable slash-site that focuses on information architecture and all the sub-categories that fall nicely underneath. This comes as close to a one-stop-shop for IAs as any other resource available. Visit often and make your comments heard.
posted by Brilliantcrank on May 16, 2001 - 14 comments

A Flash usability white paper

A Flash usability white paper that says Flash can improve the usability of a web site.
Can Flash be saved if developers start thinking about usability? Is this going to impact Jakob Nielsen's 99% figure?
posted by Dugout on Apr 9, 2001 - 8 comments

Palm Beach Butterfly Ballot Reportedly Cost Gore

Palm Beach Butterfly Ballot Reportedly Cost Gore "The newspaper said the ballot confusion also hurt President George W. Bush; 1,631 people voted for both Bush and Buchanan, whose hole was directly under that of Bush"
posted by owillis on Mar 11, 2001 - 34 comments

According to an Alexa Research report,

According to an Alexa Research report, Web users are morons (entering URLs into search engines to get to sites) and perverts (most popular search term is "sex"). I, for one, am shocked.
posted by tregoweth on Feb 16, 2001 - 37 comments

Invasion of the Usability Experts!

Invasion of the Usability Experts! It's about time someone said this, and I'm glad it was Dale. [ via kottke, where another conversation is going on ]
posted by fraying on Jan 12, 2001 - 11 comments

WAP usability report

WAP usability report - Cheap! only 18 bucks, Jakob cares about you, otherwise he would have charged you 80k.
Quick run-down : 70% of the users answered no when asked whether they would like to have a WAP phone within one year; even the simplest tasks take much too much time to provide any satisfaction to users; even after spending a week using a WAP phone, user performance remained appallingly low;
posted by tiaka on Dec 8, 2000 - 6 comments

When you're an aiga member they send you e-mail, I usualy don't read them, because they're accouncements of conferences and such, but this one was about Chicago enlisting the help of AIGA to design new election ballots. 'Some possibilities for making Chicago ballots more user-friendly include enlarging candidates' names, changing the font size, altering the color of pages, making wider ballot booklets.' Since I couldn't find the article on-line, I'll just cut-n-paste the e-mail inside. :)
posted by tiaka on Dec 2, 2000 - 8 comments

Chicago to enlist graphic designers for friendlier ballots.

Chicago to enlist graphic designers for friendlier ballots. [free reg may be req'd] There's been a bunch of discussion about the usability problems with various voting systems, notably punch-card ballots. Chicago didn't have anything as dramatic as a "butterfly" prexy ballot or two pages' worth of candidates, but we still had close to 120,000 discards from 2.1 million votes -- and when compared with jurisdictions using other systems, there's little evidence to suggest that voters are skipping the presidential ballot. That's just how bad manual punch card technology is. Even if we can't get rid of them just yet, at least we can make sure they aren't confusing. Did I just post the twenty-sixth link on Metafilter today? GO AWAY. METAFILTER IS FULL. :)
posted by dhartung on Nov 29, 2000 - 24 comments

Greenspun on Neilsen.

Greenspun on Neilsen. Damn if that don't sound like the Thrilla in Manila. I just stumbled over this piece on ArsDigita's Systems Journal site, formerly Web Tools Review. If you enjoy watching one so-called expert pick apart the opinions of another, you'll probably enjoy this. If you're sick unto death of both of them... skip it.
posted by baylink on Nov 29, 2000 - 1 comment

Overpaid, anal-retentive web usability expert

Overpaid, anal-retentive web usability expert puts himself out of a job? Or perhaps engages in second-round of funding to maintain astonishing levels of frankly unfathomable self-publicity? You might think so, but I couldn't possibly comment.
posted by barbelith on Nov 23, 2000 - 26 comments

Usability is dead?

Usability is dead? Frogdesign's creative director says: "There's no merit to focusing entirely on usability". Anyone who says that shouldn't be designing websites, IMHO. [from kottke]
posted by owillis on Nov 22, 2000 - 17 comments

ELECTION: Dan Bricklin thinks the ballots sucked, too.

ELECTION: Dan Bricklin thinks the ballots sucked, too. Remember him? He helped write VisiCalc, and now runs Trellix? I'm still wondering why no one's agitating to invalidate that election in PBC.
posted by baylink on Nov 20, 2000 - 6 comments

Gore good, pull down menus bad.

Gore good, pull down menus bad. Jakob no likey drop down menus. I searched and could find no reference to the newest Alertbox. It may not necessarily be a hot topic but I have to agree with Mr. Nielsen. Pull down menus suck especially the ones created by CSS. Web design should not try to function like an operating system interface or a republican political campaign.

Did I include enough politics for this post?
posted by Brilliantcrank on Nov 17, 2000 - 18 comments


Ok, here comes the firestorm. Joel on Software has some very good things to say -- though, like most user-interface-design mavens, I think about 50% of the time that he hasn't comprehended what the problem really is... but in this piece, he's wrong.
posted by baylink on Aug 7, 2000 - 17 comments

Happy birthday, theobvious.com!

Happy birthday, theobvious.com! Five years on the web is a hell of a long time. A round of applause for Michael!
posted by fraying on Aug 1, 2000 - 3 comments

Making Sure Usability 'Fitts' Flash

Making Sure Usability 'Fitts' Flash Another thought provoking article about making better Flash sites on the web. I have to admit, I consider myself a designer, but I had never heard of Fitt's Law until I read this piece. Oh, I thought this was a nice quote:
Chris' First Law of Usability: Usability makes everything easier except for the job of the Designer.
Amen to that!
posted by DragonBoy on Jul 10, 2000 - 7 comments

Let web designers have Jakob Nielsen for usability guidance, we Flash designers have our own budding guru of usable Flash on the web at Flazoom.com. The guy behind Flazoom follows up his Cancer piece with some good guidelines for Flash on the web. The best link in the article goes here, where he asks you to find both uses of Flash on the page. I totally missed the first one, even when I knew what to look for. His use of Flash that just blew me away - hardly any animation, just usefullness. I'll stop cheering now...
posted by DragonBoy on Jun 20, 2000 - 2 comments

Why tab based interfaces suck

Why tab based interfaces suck This site finally fell into interface hell. Originally they used tabs as navigation and still are now... BUT it doesn't work... Watch... every ecommerce company that copied its interface will also fall into the same interface hell... The others include ebags.com, urbanfetch and more....
posted by efader on Apr 8, 2000 - 8 comments

Here's a gross mis-use of the web: 800-357-7766.com. This mail order company is spamming the airwaves with commercials for their goofy 'tap lights,' and at the end of each commerical, they advertise their website with this unwieldy address. For less than $50, the company could have bought 'taplights.com' and directed customers there, but instead they force people to write down an address that goes against all the reasons why we have the domain registry in the first place. Why don't they just give our their IP address instead? It's about as useful as their phone number domain name.
posted by mathowie on Dec 25, 1999 - 0 comments

The BBC, working with the Royal National Institute for the Blind, has created a perl script that reparses a page, stripping out the text from tables and reorganizing it on the fly. It creates a pretty good visually impaired-friendly version of your pages instantly. I don't know how well it does on complex page layouts, but compare the BBC News site in its typical state to the parsed 'text-only' version, and you can see they are pretty close in terms of content.
posted by mathowie on Nov 4, 1999 - 0 comments

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