Tuesday, 22 February 2011

User test instructions affect behaviour

If you've conducted usability tests and reflected on how the sessions went, you'll already know that the instructions you give affect the behaviour of the test participants. Particularly when you accidentally pose leading questions. This eyetracking study confirms what we already knew with some fascinating examples.

Better ALT text - context matters

An excellent article on how and when to tag your images with alternate (ALT) text. Examples of good and bad practice help us understand how this image substitute text should be used. A must read for every web publisher.

Combine usability test techniques for maximum benefit

Nielsen reviews 3 basic usability testing techniques - Competitive testing, parallel design and iterative design - and concludes the greatest benefit comes from combining them together.

Content strategy - university case study

An interview with the Director of Strategic Digital Communications at the School of Medicine and Biomedical Sciences at the University at Buffalo who outlines how and why they undertook a full content review in the process of overhauling their web presence.

Non-profit website research - Nielsen

Jakob Nielsen summarises his recent usablity studies on not-for-profit websites, focusing on users trying to donate their money, time or things they no longer need. Some interesting, and not so surprising findings.

Public sector collaboration - technical innovation

I watched an interesting webinar last week by Dave Briggs. He was talking about how collaboration in the public sector can be enhanced through the use of social media. While his focus was on local government and intranets, the parallels with our university website project were hard to miss.

Customer focused council website

Gerry McGovern talks about his work with Liverpool City Council; identifying the top tasks locals want to do online and delivering them on the homepage.

Wednesday, 16 February 2011

Irrational website user behaviour

A great article from uxmyths.com which lists a range of irrational website user behaviours backed up by research evidence. The good news though is that our irrationality is predictable.

Marketing images' negative effect

Gerry McGovern writes about growing evidence that traditional marketing imagery reduces the credibility and trustworthiness of a website.

Sunday, 6 February 2011

Paper prototyping myths

David Travis talks through 7 points around prototyping myths. Not sure that I agree with each one 100%, but all the points are good prompts to think more about how and why we prototype. Plus there are some great links to resources and further reading.

Saturday, 5 February 2011

Prior experience affects usability scores

Jeff Sauro digs into his back catalogue of usability testing data to analyse whether participants with prior experience of a website or application respond differently to those with no experience.

Wednesday, 2 February 2011

Dyslexic university student blog

An interesting insight into the problems a university student with dyslexia encounters in their day to day life and with their studies.