Grazia a dio, sono libera finalmente

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Krug 9-11

"people often test to decide which color drapes are best, only to learn they forgot to put windows in the room" 132

The great thing about usability testing is that you often get more useful feedback than you expected. While testing one section, the user may discover an entirely different problem with the site. for instance, I had no trouble theoretically booking a Greyhound ticket last November (when I had forgotten to buy my train ticket). I did not expect my test user to be told they had to physically go down to the station to obtain their ticket. -This is a serious convenience issue.

"after you've worked on a site for even a few weeks, you can't see it freshly anymore. You know too much...you realize that a lot of things that you take for granted aren't obvious to everybody" 133-4

"it's usually not a good idea to design a site so that only your target audience can use it" 140

We have others proof-read our papers because we see our work through a different lense. Sometimes, we think that what we wanted to say is clear. Your brain might think that a point or concept is in the paper, clear to you because the connection is already in your mind. But, others cannot look inside your head, so they may not understand what you were trying to accomplish. Our minds can blind us, which is why we had that feedback session two weeks ago. You are not the only one who will be using your website, so you'd better find out what other people need clarification on.

"use it yourself, then watch one or two other people use them and see what works and what doesn't" 144

I chose for my usability test two website that I had used before and continually had problems on. Essentially, I was comparing my own usability experience with that of my two test users. I wanted to see if they had the same issues with the websites as I did. If we all had the same kinds of problems, then maybe the webmasters  need to do a re-evaluation/design.

"some sites hide pricing information in hopes of getting users so far into the process that they'll feel vested in it by the time they experience the "sticker shock" " 164

Like oh-so-many used book sites. Sometimes, the relief that I found the right addition makes up for the fact that the book turns out to only be $5 dollars cheaper, and will arrive later than the book if purchased from amazon. The shipping costs are hidden until the end. The customer is already invested in the product if they've made it to the last step. What's one more? With a sigh, we click the "purchase item" button.

"Be upfront about anything you'd rather not be upfront about...you'll gain enough points for candor and for making it easy for me to make up the difference" 166

Especially if I am comparing prices. I want to have an easier time backtracking. I'd rather visit a price page than go through the entire pruchasing process and stop at the fianl step to review. Like buying a car, customers are not likely to buy the first one they see. There are many sites on the internet offering the same product. We browse before buying. A site that makes the experience easier for the customer will spread in popularity. It doesn't matter if another site has the product for cheaper-it also may be more of a hassle. Convienience is a cornerstone of e-shopping. The Amtrak ticket may be more expensive, but at least all you have to do is click a few buttons to get the ticket instead of getting in your car and burning up gas to physically purchase one at the bus station.

"If your site's not clear to begin with, making it Bobby compliant is like [insert your favorite putting-lipstick-on-a-pig metaphor here]" 175

BOBBY compliance isn't that hard -- it basically means "no flash navigation, please make your site with good contrast between letters and backgrounds, and please add tags to your images.

"Bobby" ,to me, means no extra, unnecessary additions, like Flash slideshows that do nothing to inform the users. Make the site clearer by adding helpful aids like tags and spacking/coloring text effectively. But, if the site is unclear to begin with (format/content wise), you are just tweaking, and putting window dressing on top. The appearance of clarity is misleading. The user shouldn't be surprised when they click on a link and are bombared with a millions different articles and additional links that are ambiguous.

"a single change in the style sheet can change the appearance of an entire site" 178

Well if that isn't the comment of the year, I don't know what it. Often, the entire time I was trying to figure out why an HTML commnad wasn't working, the problem was in the stylesheet. Many times, the issue of an extra space caused the text to format incorrectly. A missing quotation mark voids an entire command. One simple backspace or addition can magically turn the site into what you intended it to be.

Stylesheets kind of infuriate me.

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1 Comments

Alex Hull said:

You make tons and tons and tons of points in your blog. A bit confusing to read from point to point but really interesting!

1. The designer is not the only user of the site. After seeing it so many times, it is near impossible to pick out flaws because the designer is so close to the site. Usability testing comes into use here to point out what the designer will continually miss.

2. Sometimes we do get caught in the process of purchasing something online that we hate to see our time go to waste. So we purchase the item, whether it is the best value or not. I have faced this problem, and frankly, I don't like it.

3. Convenience! Make the site convenient! Even if it is a bit more expensive, the less time or the car gasoline used, the more likely the user will be to use that site.

4. Stylesheets are a bit of a pain, but entirely essential. They can make or break a site with just a single misplaced quotation mark.

Wow. Intense blog.

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