User behaviour.

Tim Fidgeon
1 August 2011

Web content should be written with signposts that clearly communicate what issue is being covered. Signposts must be visually noticeable, make sense out of context and communicate their message as clearly and directly as possible. User behaviour – effect on web writing The most important thing to realise when writing for the web is that most people don’t read web pages, they scan them. Heart-breaking as it might be for people who write for the web, research has repeatedly shown that users typically glance at a page to quickly ‘get the gist’ of it and then (if you are lucky) concentrate…

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Tim Fidgeon
7 February 2011

Meeting user expectations throughout a site normally delivers good usability. Ways to make sure you meet expectations: user research, reviewing competitor sites and following usability guidelines. Meeting expectations improves usability A key principle within usability is that people carry around a ‘mental model’ of how we expect the world to behave1. These models are based on past experiences and can be a very powerful factor in influencing how people behave in certain situations. In our experience of usability testing, usability suffers when a site does not match users’ expectations. Indeed, our usability testing sessions have repeatedly shown that breaking expectations makes…

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Tim Fidgeon
10 January 2011

Users are impatient, so sites should load quickly. Most users only scan web pages, so they should be specifically written for the web. User behaviour drives usability Over the past 12 years of working on usability projects, we’ve had lots of opportunity to observe user behaviour (from activities such as usability testing, paper prototyping and web analytics). This has shown us lots of examples of a basic usability principle:users are impatient and don’t pay attention. Most of us know this intuitively from the silly mistakes we’ve made ourselves (“How could I not have seen that?!”). At its heart, the field…

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Ben Logan
18 February 2009

A badly organised Intranet can cost your business a lot of money in time wasted by employees trying to achieve certain tasks. We look at some of the ways this can be improved in this article. Built from the inside Intranets are typically organised by departmental names and it is important to put yourself in the mindset of a new starter at the company. Would you be able to navigate to a particular site or complete a task if you did not know the company structure or naming conventions used? What are some of the characteristics of Intranet users? We…

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Ben Logan
6 February 2009

There are currently millions of children already using the Internet, and millions more are coming online each year. Children are brought up with computers, using games and educational software from a very early age, and virtually all will have acquired basic computer skills by the time they leave primary school. We look at some usability issues to keep in mind for young users.

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