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Forewords by: Michael O. Leavitt Ben Shneiderman
Secretary of Health and Human Services Professor of Computer Science, University of Maryland
U.S. GOVERNMENT OFFICIAL EDITION NOTICE Use of ISBN This is the Official U.S. Government edition of this publication and is herein identified to certify its authenticity. Use of the 0-16 ISBN prefix (if agency uses own block of ISBN, list full ISBN in this space) is for U.S. Government Printing Office Official Editions only. The Superintendent of Documents of the U.S. Government Printing Office requests that any reprinted edition clearly be labeled as a copy of the authentic work with a new ISBN. Legal Status and Use of Seals and Logos The seal and logo of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) and the U.S. General Services Administration (GSA) authenticates the Research-Based Web Design & Usability Guidelines as the official codification of Federal regulations established under the Federal Register Act. The HHS seal and logo displayed in this book are protected under the provisions of 42 U.S.C. 1320b-10. The GSA seal and logo displayed in this book are protected under the provisions of 18 U.S.C 506. The unauthorized use of these seals and logos in a publication is prohibited and subject to a civil penalty of up to $5,000 for each unauthorized copy of it that is reprinted or distributed. It is prohibited to use the HHS or GSA seal or logo displayed in this book without the express, written permission. To request permission to use the HHS seal or logo, please submit a request to: The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services 200 Independence Avenue, S.W. Washington, DC 20201 To request permission to use the GSA seal or logo, please submit a request to: U.S. General Services Administration 1800 F Street, N.W. Washington, DC 20405 ____________________________________________________ For sale by the Superintendent of Documents, U.S. Government Printing Office, Internet: bookstore.gpo.gov Phone: toll free (866) 512-1800; DC area (202) 512-1800; Fax: (202) 512-2250 Mail: Stop IDCC, Washington, DC 20402-0001 ISBN 0-16-076270-7
Headings, Titles, and Labels Foreword Links
Foreword—Secretary Michael O. Leavitt I am pleased to announce this new edition of the
U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’ (HHS) Research-Based Web Design and Usability Guidelines. These Guidelines reflect HHS’ commitment to identifying innovative, research-based approaches that result in highly responsive and easy-to-use Web sites for the public. The Federal government is the largest single producer, collector, consumer, and disseminator of information in the United States. The Internet provides the most efficient and effective way of making this information available to the widest possible audience. Record numbers of citizens are accessing government sites 24 hours a day to find information and services that will improve their daily lives. This makes it all the more essential that the Federal government deliver Web technologies that enable and empower citizens. These Guidelines help move us in that direction by providing practical, yet authoritative, guidance on a broad range of Web design and communication issues. Having access to the best available research helps to ensure we make the right decisions the first time around and reduces the possibility of errors and costly mistakes. Since their introduction in 2003, the Guidelines have been widely used by government agencies and the private sector, implemented in academic curriculum, and translated into several foreign languages. I encourage all government agencies to use these Guidelines to harness the Web in support of the President’s vision of a Federal government that is citizen-centered and results-oriented. – Michael O. Leavitt Secretary of Health and Human Services
Research-Ba s e d We b D e s i g n & U s a b i l i t y G u i d e l i n e s
Foreword—Dr. Ben Shneiderman
Headings, Titles, and Labels Links Headings, Titles, and Labels Headings, Titles, and Labels Links Headings, Titles, and Labels Foreword Introduction
These new HHS Web usability Guidelines carry
forward one of the most enduring success stories in user interface design. They continue the noble tradition of thoughtful practitioners who have hacked their way through the unruly design landscape and then distilled their experience into compact and generalizable aphorisms or patterns. Compilations of such guidelines offer newcomers a clearer roadmap to follow, helping them to avoid some of the swamps and potholes. Guidelines serve experienced experts and busy managers by giving them an overview and reminding them of the wide range of issues. Most importantly, guidelines provoke discussions among designers and researchers about which guidelines are relevant and whether a refined or new guideline should be added. Guidelines should be more than one person’s lightly-considered opinion, but they are not rigid standards that can form the basis of a contract or a lawsuit. Guidelines are not a comprehensive academic theory that has strong predictive value, rather they should be prescriptive, in the sense that they prescribe practice with useful sets of DOs and DON’Ts. Guidelines should be presented with justifications and examples. Like early mapmakers, the pioneering developers of user interface guidelines labored diligently. Working for IBM in the mid-1970s, Stephen Engel and Richard Granda recorded their insights in an influential document. Similarly, Sid Smith and Jane Mosier in the early 1980s, collected 944 guidelines in a 500-page volume (available online at http://hcibib.org/sam/contents.html). The design context in those days included aircraft cockpits, industrial control rooms, and airline reservation systems and the user community emphasized regular professional users. These admirable efforts influenced many designers and contributed to the 1980s corporate design guidelines from Apple, Microsoft, and others covering personal computers, desktop environments, and public access kiosks. Then, the emergence of the World Wide Web changed everything. The underlying principles were similar, but the specific decisions that designers had to make required new guidelines. The enormously growing community of designers eagerly consulted useful guidelines from sources as diverse as Yale University, Sun Microsystems, the Library of Congress, and Ameritech. Many of these designers had little experience and were desperate for any guidance about screen features and usability processes. Sometimes they misinterpreted or misapplied the guidelines, but at least they could get an overview of the issues that were important.
R e s e a r c h - B a s e d We b D e s i g n & U s a b i l i t y G u i d e l i n e s
and providing sources for further reading. but in studying a Web page. the remarkable growth of the professional community of Web designers was matched by a healthy expansion of the academic community in psychology. His work dealt with short-term memory capacity. sometimes falling back to mention George Miller’s famous notion of seven plus or minus two. thereby clarifying the message. navigation. many early Web guidelines documents were vague about appropriate numbers of links per page. Enthusiasms and Cautions My enthusiasms for this HHS guidelines project and its product are great. Another impact will be on epistemologists and philosophers of science who argue about the relevance of research to practice. and many more. response time. The educational benefits for those who read the guidelines will be enormous. Researchers will also benefit by this impressive compilation that will help them understand the current state of the art and see what problems are unresolved. Research-Ba s e d We b D e s i g n & U s a b i l i t y G u i d e l i n e s . resolving inconsistencies. but they are tempered by several cautions. As controversy grew. screen layout. Titles. This newest set of guidelines from the prestigious team assembled by the Department of Health and Human Services makes important contributions that will benefit practitioners and researchers. information systems.iv Headings. the greatest benefits from these research-based guidelines will accrue to those who create effective processes for their implementation. and related disciplines. The research community went to work on the problems of menu design. computer science. enforcement. Managers will appreciate the complexity of the design issues and gain respect for those who produce effective websites. Not every experiment is perfect. They have done the meticulous job of scouring the research literature to find support for design guidelines. Experienced designers will find subtle distinctions and important insights. It is hard to recall a project that has generated as clear a demonstration of the payoff of research for practice. and enhancement. For example. My advice is to recognize the Guidelines as a ‘living document’ and then apply the four Es: education. Students and newcomers to the field will profit from the good survey of issues that reminds them of the many facets of Web design. discrepancies and contradictions became subjects of lively discussion at usability conferences and human-computer interaction research seminars. exemption. this factor has little bearing. but the weight of validated results from multiple studies provides crucial evidence that can be gainfully applied in design. Fortunately. To put it more positively. researchers collected dramatic empirical evidence that broader shallow trees were superior in information presentation websites. and Labels Foreword Links As Web usability guidelines became more widely used and consulted.
This has to be done by a knowledgeable person and time has to be built into the schedule to handle deviations or questions. Finally. employee names. and Labels Links Headings. it is important to remember that as helpful as these research-based guidelines are. and even complain about it. informed about the user community. First. etc. and aware of the technology implications of design decisions. they will be more diligent if there is a clear process of interface review that verifies that the guidelines have been applied. University of Maryland R e s e a r c h . Ph. titles. This principle has two implications.B a s e d We b D e s i g n & U s a b i l i t y G u i d e l i n e s . it means that HHS or another organization should produce an annual revision that improves the Guidelines and extends them to cover novel topics.D. in touch with the organizational goals. Headings. Individual designers make thousands of decisions in crafting websites. and Labels Foreword Introduction – Ben Shneiderman. privacy policies. They have to be knowledgeable about the content. Other common additions are style guides for terminology. Design is difficult. Enhancement: No document is perfect or complete. Enforcement: While many designers may be willing to consider and apply the guidelines. it means that adopting organizations should consider adding local guidelines keyed to the needs of their community. but these new research-based guidelines are an important step forward in providing assistance to those who are dedicated to quality. Titles. Titles. contact information.v Education: Delivering a document is only the first stage in making an organization’s guidelines process effective. Titles. Exemption: Creative designers may produce innovative compelling Web page designs that were not anticipated by the Guidelines writers. universal usability requirements. think about it. are presented. Second. and Labels Links Headings. This typically includes guidelines for how the organization logo. that they do not guarantee that every website will be effective. To support creative work. and Labels Headings. managers should balance the enforcement process with an exemption process that is simple and rapid. Often a live presentation followed by a discussion can be effective in motivating use of guidelines. especially a guidelines document in a fast changing field like information technology. discuss it. colors. templates for information. Titles. Recipients will have to be motivated to read it. and legal guidance.
Ph. Southern Polytechnic State University John Bosley.vi Headings. and Labels Contributors Links Contributors The following experts assigned ‘Strength of Evidence’ ratings for these guidelines and provided many sources listed in this book. Carol Barnum. Ph. Ph. Department of Health and Human Services Research-Ba s e d We b D e s i g n & U s a b i l i t y G u i d e l i n e s . Bailey. Managing Director. Human Factors International Sanjay J. Bentley College Melody Y. Professor of Technical Communication. Computer Psychology. Inc. Cognitive Psychologist.D. Assistant Professor. President.S. Ivory.D. Ph. Koyani Senior Usability Specialist. Carnegie Mellow University Hal Miller-Jacobs.D. Ph. U. Titles.D.D. The Design and Usability Center. University of Washington Bonnie John. Ph.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (U.D. Senior Human Factors Specialist. Robert W. Director of the Software Usability Research Laboratory.D. Bureau of Census) Barbara Chaparro. Wichita State University Joseph Dumas.D. Ph. Ph. Associate Professor and Director of the Masters Program for Human Computer Interaction.
D. and Labels Links Headings. Titles. Ph. Colorado State University R e s e a r c h . Inc. Senior Human Factors Engineer. Focus on U! Larry E.D. Wolfson President. Professor of Journalism and Technical Communications.vii Headings. Professor & Department Chair. Titles. Parallax. LC Don Zimmerman. Jean Scholtz. Ph. Computer Science Researcher. Wood.D. Ph. National Institute of Standards and Technology Steve Wigginton Architecture Manager. Ph. The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints Judith Ramey. Ph.D. Redish & Associates. User Experience Consultant and Managing Partner. Amdocs Cari A.D. President.B a s e d We b D e s i g n & U s a b i l i t y G u i d e l i n e s .D. Ph. University of Washington Janice (Ginny) Redish. Lewis. IBM Stanley Page Usability Manager. and Labels Contributors James R.
Introduction xvii. How to Use this Book and the Guidelines xx. Titles.viii Headings. 1 2 2 3 4 4 5 5 6 7 7 8 Background and Methodology Chapter 1—Design Process and Evaluation 1:1 1:2 1:3 1:4 1:5 1:6 1:7 1:8 1:9 1:10 1:11 Provide Useful Content Establish User Requirements Understand and Meet User’s Expectations Involve Users in Establishing User Requirements Set and State Goals Focus on Performance Before Preference Consider Many User Interface Issues Be Easily Found in the Top 30 Set Usability Goals Use Parallel Design Use Personas 9 10 10 11 12 13 13 14 15 16 16 17 18 19 19 20 21 Chapter 2—Optimizing the User Experience 2:1 2:2 2:3 2:4 2:5 2:6 2:7 2:8 2:9 2:10 2:11 2:12 2:13 2:14 2:15 2:16 Do Not Display Unsolicited Windows or Graphics Increase Web Site Credibility Standardize Task Sequences Reduce the User’s Workload Design for Working Memory Limitations Minimize Page Download Time Warn of ‘Time Outs’ Display Information in a Directly Usable Format Format information for Reading and Printing Provide Feedback When Users Must Wait Inform Users of Long Download Times Develop Pages that Will Print Properly Do Not Require Users to Multitask While Reading Use Users’ Terminology in Help Documentation Provide Printing Options Provide Assistance to Users Research-Ba s e d We b D e s i g n & U s a b i l i t y G u i d e l i n e s . of Contents TableContributors and Labels Links xv.
Links of Contentsand Labels Headings. and Labels Table Contributors 29 30 31 32 33 33 Chapter 4—Hardware and Software 4:1 4:2 4:3 4:4 4:5 Design for Common Browsers Account for Browser Differences Design for Popular Operating Systems Design for User’s Typical Connection Speed Design for Commonly Used Screen Resolutions 34 35 36 37 38 39 40 41 42 43 Chapter 5—The Homepage 5:1 5:2 5:3 5:4 5:5 5:6 5:7 5:8 5:9 Enable Access to the Homepage Show All Major Options on the Homepage Create a Positive First Impression of Your Site Communicate the Web Site’s Value and Purpose Limit Prose Text on the Homepage Ensure the Homepage Looks like a Homepage Limit Homepage Length Announce Changes to a Web Site Attend to Homepage Panel Width 44 45 46 47 Chapter 6—Page Layout 6:1 6:2 6:3 Avoid Cluttered Displays Place Important Items Consistently Place Important Items at Top Center R e s e a r c h .B a s e d We b D e s i g n & U s a b i l i t y G u i d e l i n e s . Titles. Titles.ix 22 23 23 24 24 25 26 26 26 27 27 27 28 28 Chapter 3—Accessibility 3:1 3:2 3:3 3:4 3:5 3:6 3:7 3:8 3:9 3:10 3:11 3:12 3:13 Comply with Section 508 Design Forms for Users Using Assistive Technologies Do Not Use Color Alone to Convey Information Enable Users to Skip Repetitive Navigation Links Provide Text Equivalents for Non-Text Elements Test Plug-Ins and Applets for Accessibility Ensure that Scripts Allow Accessibility Provide Equivalent Pages Provide Client-Side Image Maps Synchronize Multimedia Elements Do Not Require Style Sheets Provide Frame Titles Avoid Screen Flicker Headings.
of Contents TableContributors and Labels Links 48 49 50 51 52 53 54 55 56 57 6:4 6:5 6:6 6:7 6:8 6:9 6:10 6:11 6:12 6:13 Structure for Easy Comparison Establish Level of Importance Optimize Display Density Align Items on a Page Use Fluid Layouts Avoid Scroll Stoppers Set Appropriate Page Lengths Use Moderate White Space Choose Appropriate Line Lengths Use Frames when Functions Must Remain Accessible 58 59 60 61 62 63 64 65 66 67 68 69 70 Chapter 7—Navigation 7:1 7:2 7:3 7:4 7:5 7:6 7:7 7:8 7:9 7:10 7:11 7:12 Provide Navigational Options Differentiate and Group Navigation Elements Use a Clickable ‘List of Contents’ on Long Pages Provide Feedback on User’s Location Place Primary Navigation Menus in the Left Panel Use Descriptive Tab Labels Present Tabs Effectively Keep Navigation-Only Pages Short Use Appropriate Menu Types Use Site Maps Use ‘Glosses’ to Assist Navigation Breadcrumb Navigation 71 72 73 74 74 75 Chapter 8—Scrolling and Paging 8:1 8:2 8:3 8:4 8:5 Eliminate Horizontal Scrolling Facilitate Rapid Scrolling While Reading Use Scrolling Pages for Reading Comprehension Use Paging Rather Than Scrolling Scroll Fewer Screenfuls 76 77 78 79 80 81 82 83 84 Chapter 9—Headings. Titles. and Labels 9:1 9:2 9:3 9:4 9:5 9:6 9:7 9:8 Use Clear Category Labels Provide Descriptive Page Titles Use Descriptive Headings Liberally Use Unique and Descriptive Headings Highlight Critical Data Use Descriptive Row and Column Headings Use Headings in the Appropriate HTML Order Provide Users with Good Ways to Reduce Options Research-Ba s e d We b D e s i g n & U s a b i l i t y G u i d e l i n e s .x Headings. Titles.
Titles.xi 85 86 87 88 89 90 91 92 93 94 95 96 97 98 99 Chapter 10—Links 10:1 10:2 10:3 10:4 10:5 10:6 10:7 10:8 10:9 10:10 10:11 10:12 10:13 10:14 Use Meaningful Link Labels Link to Related Content Match Link Names with Their Destination Pages Avoid Misleading Cues to Click Repeat Important Links Use Text for Links Designate Used Links Provide Consistent Clickability Cues Ensure that Embedded Links are Descriptive Use ‘Pointing-and-Clicking’ Use Appropriate Text Link Lengths Indicate Internal vs. External Links Clarify Clickable Regions of Images Link to Supportive Information Headings. High-Contrast Backgrounds Format Common Items Consistently Use Mixed-Case for Prose Text Ensure Visual Consistency Use Bold Text Sparingly Use Attention-Attracting Features when Appropriate Use Familiar Fonts Use at Least 12-Point Font Color-Coding and Instructions Emphasize Importance Highlighting Information 111 Chapter 12—Lists 112 113 114 115 116 117 117 118 119 12:1 12:2 12:3 12:4 12:5 12:6 12:7 12:8 12:9 Order Elements to Maximize User Performance Place Important Items at Top of the List Format Lists to Ease Scanning Display Related Items in Lists Introduce Each List Use Static Menus Start Numbered Items at One Use Appropriate List Style Capitalize First Letter of First Word in Lists R e s e a r c h . Links of Contentsand Labels Headings.B a s e d We b D e s i g n & U s a b i l i t y G u i d e l i n e s . and Labels Table Contributors 100 Chapter 11—Text Appearance 101 102 102 103 104 105 106 107 108 109 110 11:1 11:2 11:3 11:4 11:5 11:6 11:7 11:8 11:9 11:10 11:11 Use Black Text on Plain. Titles.
xvi xii Table of Contents 120 Chapter 13—Screen-Based Controls (Widgets) 121 122 123 123 124 125 126 127 128 129 130 131 132 133 134 135 136 137 138 138 139 140 140 141 141 13:1 13:2 13:3 13:4 13:5 13:6 13:7 13:8 13:9 13:10 13:11 13:12 13:13 13:14 13:15 13:16 13:17 13:18 13:19 13:20 13:21 13:22 13:23 13:24 13:25 Distinguish Required and Optional Data Entry Fields Label Pushbuttons Clearly Label Data Entry Fields Consistently Do Not Make User-Entered Codes Case Sensitive Label Data Entry Fields Clearly Minimize User Data Entry Put Labels Close to Data Entry Fields Allow Users to See Their Entered Data Use Radio Buttons for Mutually Exclusive Selections Use Familiar Widgets Anticipate Typical User Errors Partition Long Data Items Use a Single Data Entry Method Prioritize Pushbuttons Use Check Boxes to Enable Multiple Selections Label Units of Measurement Do Not Limit Viewable List Box Options Display Default Values Place Cursor in First Data Entry Field Ensure that Double-Clicking Will Not Cause Problems Use Open Lists to Select One from Many Use Data Entry Fields to Speed Performance Use a Minimum of Two Radio Buttons Provide Auto-Tabbing Functionality Minimize Use of the Shift Key Headings. Images. Animation. of Contents TableContributors and Labels Links 142 Chapter 14—Graphics. Titles. and Audio Meaningfully Include Logos Graphics Should Not Look like Banner Ads Limit Large Images Above the Fold Ensure Web Site Images Convey Intended Messages Limit the Use of Images Include Actual Data with Data Graphics Display Monitoring Information Graphically Introduce Animation Research-Ba s e d We b D e s i g n & U s a b i l i t y G u i d e l i n e s . and Multimedia 143 144 145 146 146 147 148 149 150 151 152 153 14:1 14:2 14:3 14:4 14:5 14:6 14:7 14:8 14:9 14:10 14:11 14:12 Use Simple Background Images Label Clickable Images Ensure that Images Do Not Slow Downloads Use Video.
Table of Contents 154 155 156 157 14:13 14:14 14:15 14:16 Emulate Real-World Objects Use Thumbnail Images to Preview Larger Images Use Images to Facilitate Learning Using Photographs of People xiii Headings. Titles. Links of Contentsand Labels Headings.and Lowercase Search Terms Equivalent Provide a Search Option on Each Page Design Search Around Users’ Terms Allow Simple Searches Notify Users when Multiple Search Options Exist Include Hints to Improve Search Performance Provide Search Templates R e s e a r c h . Titles.B a s e d We b D e s i g n & U s a b i l i t y G u i d e l i n e s . and Labels Table Contributors 158 Chapter 15—Writing Web Content 159 160 161 162 163 164 165 166 167 167 168 15:1 15:2 15:3 15:4 15:5 15:6 15:7 15:8 15:9 15:10 15:11 Make Action Sequences Clear Avoid Jargon Use Familiar Words Define Acronyms and Abbreviations Use Abbreviations Sparingly Use Mixed Case with Prose Limit the Number of Words and Sentences Limit Prose Text on Navigation Pages Use Active Voice Write Instructions in the Affirmative Make First Sentences Descriptive 169 Chapter 16—Content Organization 170 171 172 173 174 175 176 177 178 16:1 16:2 16:3 16:4 16:5 16:6 16:7 16:8 16:9 Organize Information Clearly Facilitate Scanning Ensure that Necessary Information is Displayed Group Related Elements Minimize the Number of Clicks or Pages Design Quantitative Content for Quick Understanding Display Only Necessary Information Format Information for Multiple Audiences Use Color for Grouping 179 Chapter 17—Search 180 181 181 182 183 184 185 186 187 17:1 17:2 17:3 17:4 17:5 17:6 17:7 17:8 17:9 Ensure Usable Search Results Design Search Engines to Search the Entire Site Make Upper.
Titles. of Contents TableContributors and Labels Links 188 Chapter 18—Usability Testing 189 190 190 190 191 192 193 194 195 195 196 196 197 18:1 18:2 18:3 18:4 18:5 18:6 18:7 18:8 18:9 18:10 18:11 18:12 18:13 Use an Iterative Design Approach Solicit Test Participants’ Comments Evaluate Web Sites Before and After Making Changes Prioritize Tasks Distinguish Between Frequency and Severity Select the Right Number of Participants Use the Appropriate Prototyping Technology Use Inspection Evaluation Results Cautiously Recognize the ‘Evaluator Effect’ Apply Automatic Evaluation Methods Use Cognitive Walkthroughs Cautiously Choosing Laboratory vs. Remote Testing Use Severity Ratings Cautiously 198 Glossary 205 Appendices 215 Sources 244 Author Index 254 Index Research-Ba s e d We b D e s i g n & U s a b i l i t y G u i d e l i n e s .xiv Headings.
and adds 22 new ones. HHS is mandated to provide clear information in an efficient and effective manner to patients. This resource does not exist anywhere else. non-replicated study. For example. but can be applied across the wide spectrum of Web sites. The Guidelines were developed to assist those involved in the creation of Web sites to base their decisions on the most current and best available evidence. or if it has been derived from a one-time. Translating the latest Web design research into a practical. researchers. Introduction R e s e a r c h . Why Were the Guidelines Created? HHS created this set of guidelines for several reasons: 1) To create better and more usable health and human service Web sites. and where little or no research exists. in partnership with the U. and distributing information in a usable format to those who need it. General Services Administration. and • Do not give any information about the relative importance of individual guidelines. health professionals. and the public. 2) To provide quantified. Who Are the Guidelines for? The primary audiences for the Guidelines are Web site managers. peer-reviewed Web site design guidelines. many guideline sets: • Are based on the personal opinions of a few experts. designers. and others involved in the creation or maintenance of Web sites. The approach taken to produce the Guidelines is consistent with HHS’ overall health information dissemination model that involves rapidly collecting.S. and numerous new references have been added. There are now 209 guidelines. organizing. This new edition of the Guidelines updates the original set of 187 guidelines. • Do not provide references to support them.xv Introduction The Research-Based Web Design & Usability Guidelines (Guidelines) were developed by the U. The Guidelines are particularly relevant to the design of information-oriented sites. A secondary audience is researchers who investigate Web design issues.B a s e d We b D e s i g n & U s a b i l i t y G u i d e l i n e s . This resource will help researchers determine what research has been conducted. Many of the guidelines were edited. • Do not provide any indication as to whether a particular guideline represents a consensus of researchers. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS).S. Most Web design guidelines are lacking key information needed to be effective. easy-to-use format is essential to the effective design of HHS’ numerous Web sites.
and Labels Links By addressing these issues. The online version provides users with the opportunity to search for specific topics. publication date. Each guideline in this book shows a rating of its ’Relative Importance’ to the success of a Web site. title. if available. and some applicable references may have been missed. and academic researchers contributed to these ratings. The ’Relative Importance’ and ’Strength of Evidence’ ratings are unique to this set of guidelines. the Guidelines will help enable organizations to make more effective design decisions. How to Contribute Additional References? The authors of the Guidelines attempted to locate as many references and source documents as possible.gov. Is There an Online Version of these Guidelines? HHS has created an online version that can be found at www. should submit an email to: info@usability. etc. Please include the following information in your email: • Reference information—author. some important Guidelines may not have been created. Professional Web designers. or who have a suggestion for a new research-based guideline.usability. Titles. HHS hopes to highlight issues for which the research is conclusive and attract researchers’ attention to the issues most in need of answers. source.). This information will help the authors maintain the Guidelines as a current and accurate resource. and • A copy of the source (or a link to it). While there are typically more than 1. books are usually not original references. and to determine the nature and quality of the supporting evidence. a draft of the guideline. • If suggesting a new guideline. By providing an extensive list of sources and ’Strength of Evidence’ ratings in the Guidelines. Readers who are aware of an original reference pertaining to an existing guideline. (Remember. usability specialists.000 papers published each year related to Web design and usability. • The guideline to which the reference applies. Research-Ba s e d We b D e s i g n & U s a b i l i t y G u i d e l i n e s .xvi xx Introduction Headings. and a rating of the ’Strength of Evidence’ supporting the guideline. However. much of this research is not based on the most important (or most common) questions being asked by Web designers. There are numerous Web design questions for which a research-based answer cannot be given. 3) To stimulate research into areas that will have the greatest influence on the creation of usable Web sites.gov. The ratings allow the user to quickly ascertain which guidelines have the greatest impact on the success of a Web site.
and Labels Linksto Use the Guidelines Headings. Researchers can use the sources of evidence provided for each guideline to assess the research that has been Headings. during timeframes that require rapid design. and Labels How R e s e a r c h . Titles. Titles. • Usability Specialists The Guidelines will help usability specialists evaluate the designs of Web sites. Titles. For example. • Managers The Guidelines will provide managers with a good overview and deep understanding of the wide range of usability and Web design issues that designers may encounter when creating Web sites. Simply providing the Guidelines to designers and managers may not be enough to spur the adoption and use of these guidelines. They also can create customized checklists that focus on the ’Relative Importance’ and ’Strength of Evidence’ scales associated with each guideline. The Guidelines offer benefits to four key audiences: • Designers The Guidelines provide a clear sense of the range of issues that designers—especially those new to the field—need to consider when planning and designing a Web site. a usability specialist can create a checklist that only focuses on the top 25 most important issues related to the success of a Web site. For example. usability specialists can use the Guidelines as a checklist to aid them during their review of Web sites. The Guidelines also provide managers with a ’standard of usability’ for their designers. and Labels Links Headings. For example.B a s e d We b D e s i g n & U s a b i l i t y G u i d e l i n e s . • Researchers Researchers involved in evaluating Web design and Web process issues can use this set of Guidelines to determine where new research is needed. and referring to evidence-based guidance can reduce the clashes resulting from differences of opinion between design team members. Titles.xvii How to Use the Guidelines Successful use of the Guidelines depends on how they are disseminated and used within an organization. Managers can request that designers follow relevant portions of the Guidelines and can use the Guidelines to set priorities. managers can identify guidelines deemed most important to the success of a Web site—as defined by the ’Relative Importance’ score associated with each guideline—and require designers to focus on implementing those selected guidelines. Applying the Guidelines will help to reduce the negative impacts of ’opinion-driven’ design. and Labels Headings.
• Finally. Users can read the book from beginning to end to become familiar with all of the guidelines. researchers also can use the Guidelines and their sources to formulate new and important research questions. the ’Strength of Evidence’ ratings on page 210 can be used to determine the guidelines in which a designer can place the greatest confidence. designers can focus on implementing the 25 or 50 most important guidelines. on page 205 of this book. Using this list. Therefore. suggests four ways to enhance the application of the Guidelines: education. The book also can be used as a reference to answer specific Web site design questions.xviii How to Use the Guidelines conducted. Research-Ba s e d We b D e s i g n & U s a b i l i t y G u i d e l i n e s . For example. • Selected guidelines can be merged with existing standards and guidelines currently used within an organization. or to challenge these findings. Please read his foreword to consider other ways to successfully implement the Guidelines. exemption. and enhancement. and improve the adoption and use of existing standards and the Guidelines. the guidelines with the lowest ’Strength of Evidence’ ratings could indicate where more time should be devoted during usability testing. enforcement. In turn. an organization may be developing portal Web sites that focus exclusively on linking to other Web sites (as opposed to linking to content within its own Web site). Conversely.. the guidelines are listed in order of relative importance. an electronic copy of the Guidelines is posted at http://usability. The customization process can be approached in several ways: • Encourage key stakeholders and/or decision makers to review the full set of guidelines and identify key guidelines that meet their Web design needs. Perhaps more importantly. Ph. The Guidelines can be customized to fit most organizations’ needs.D. This may reduce the number of documents or online tools that designers must reference.gov/. Options for Implementing the Guidelines There are a variety of ways to use the Guidelines in Web site development efforts. and to determine the need for additional research to increase the validity of the previous findings. Ben Shneiderman. it may focus more on selecting guidelines from the ’designing links’ and ’navigation’ chapters and less from the content-related chapters. For example. To help readers customize these guidelines to meet their organization’s needs. • The ’Relative Importance’ and ’Strength of Evidence’ scales can be used to prioritize which guidelines to implement.
• Some ’Strength of Evidence’ ratings are low because there is a lack of research for that particular issue. The ’Strength of Evidence’ scale used to rate each guideline was designed to put a high value on research-based evidence. computer science. • The guidelines may not reflect all evidence from all disciplines related to Web design and usability. other disciplines may have valuable research that is not reflected in the guidelines. • The guidelines may not be applicable to all audiences and contexts. These guidelines are adaptable and are not fixed rules. Considerable effort has been made to include research from a variety of fields including human factors. That is. Low ’Strength of Evidence’ ratings should encourage the research of issues that are not currently investigated. However. However. For example. the guidelines are ordered according to their ’Relative Importance’ ratings. • Readers may have a tendency to think that guidelines with one or two bullets on the ’Relative Importance’ scale are not important. otherwise they would not have been selected for inclusion in the book. For example. When using the guidelines. usability. the most important guidelines are toward the beginning of a chapter and the less important ones are toward the end. but also can be applied across the wide spectrum of Web sites.xix Considerations Before Using the Guidelines The guidelines are intended to improve the design and usability of information-based Web sites. cognitive psychology. it is crucial to note that all guidelines in this book were rated as at least ’somewhat important’ by the review team. these guidelines apply to English language Web sites designed for adults who are between 18 and 75 years of age. it is helpful to remember that: • Within each chapter of this book. • The guidelines may not adequately consider the experience of the designer.B a s e d We b D e s i g n & U s a b i l i t y G u i d e l i n e s . a guideline with one or two bullets is still important. they may not apply to Web sites used by audiences with low literacy skills that have special terminology and layout needs. In general. and technical communication. Therefore. just relatively less so than a guideline with four or five bullets. but also to acknowledge experience-based evidence including expert opinions. a designer may have specialized knowledge about designing for a particular audience or context. How to Use the Guidelines R e s e a r c h .
Since that time. which was used as the ’Strength of Evidence’ scale. These reviewers were all published researchers with doctoral degrees. • identify and resolve guidelines that conflicted with each other. and lessons learned from in-house usability tests. Half of these reviewers were Web site designers and half were usability specialists. ’How important is this guideline to the success of a Web site?’ Those guidelines that were rated as having little importance to the success of a Web site were eliminated. and • reword unclear guidelines. computer programming and/or human-computer interaction. Each reviewer evaluated each guideline and assigned a rating based on the question. 16 external reviewers were recruited. research summaries. technical communication. To do this. a group of eight usability researchers. practitioners and authors were recruited.S. publicly available usability test reports.xx Background and Methodology Background and Methodology The U. These reviewers constructed a set of criteria for judging the strength of the evidence for each guideline. experienced peer reviewers. This effort resulted in more than 500 guidelines. Research-B a s e d We b D e s i g n & U s a b i l i t y G u i d e l i n e s . Step 2: Reviewing the Initial Set of Guidelines The initial seat of 500 guidelines was far too many for Web site designers to use effectively. Step 4: Determining the ’Strength of Evidence’ for Each Guideline The next step was to generate a ’Strength of Evidence’ rating for each guideline. usability engineering. An internal review process was conducted to: • identify and combine duplicate guidelines. The process used to create the Guidelines is presented here. Step 3: Determining the ’Relative Importance’ of Each Guideline To determine the ’Relative importance’ of each guideline. each guideline presented in this book has undergone an extensive internal and external review. software design. and knowledgeable of experimental design. The set of guidelines now was reduced to 287. This internal review reduced the initial set of guidelines to 398. Step 1: Creating the Initial Set of Guidelines HHS wanted to develop a set of guidelines that could help designers build Web sites that are based on the best available research. published research articles. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) ResearchBased Web Design & Usability Guidelines (Guidelines) project began in March of 2000. Each of the reviewers had experience in Web site design. The initial set of guidelines were drawn from existing Web design guideline and style guides.
independent groups of computer professionals. a group of 20 Web site designers were asked to participate in a formal ’grouping’ of the guidelines by participating in a card-sorting exercise. After editing. R e s e a r c h . The ’Relative Importance’ ratings were revised based on a new survey in which 36 Web site professionals responded to an online survey. the final number of guidelines was 209. The project team identified and reviewed several possible examples for each guideline. Organizing. The final set that was published in 2004 contained 187 guidelines. the research literature has been continually searched for new and useful research-based information. the number of guidelines was further reduced. 13 usability professionals rated each of the new and revised guidelines. and there was a high level of agreement in their ratings (Cronbach’s alpha = . In this case. and to add 22 new guidelines. as well as readers’ preferences. The criteria used for making the ’Strength of Evidence’ estimates is shown on the next page. Each of these people reviewed each of the existing 209 guidelines and rated each one on a Likert-like importance scale with the anchors set at ’Important’ to ’Very Important.B a s e d We b D e s i g n & U s a b i l i t y G u i d e l i n e s Background and Methodology Introduction . and selected the best examples. and Usability Testing the Guidelines To ensure that the information about specific Web design issues is easy to find. These findings. and then provided a name for each group. Several draft page layouts in print format were developed for this book.xxi Step 5: Finding Graphic Examples for the Guidelines Most of the guidelines required a graphic example to ensure that users clearly understand the meaning of the guideline. Step 7: Updating the Set of Guidelines Since publishing the 2004 edition of the Research-Based Web Design and Usability Guidelines. served as the basis for the final page layout. and assigned ’Strength of Evidence’ ratings. all had conducted their own studies. The new and revised guidelines were edited by three different. We identified new relevant research that enabled us to substantially revise (update) 21 existing guidelines.92). Each of the twenty individuals put the guidelines into groups that reflected how they think about Web design issues. Step 6: Grouping. These drafts were usability tested to determine how best to facilitate readers’ ability to locate and understand information on a page. Minor editing changes were made to a few other guidelines. During this activity.’ The ’Strength of Evidence’ ratings were revised for those guidelines where new research was reported. The raters all were very familiar the research literature. Data from this exercise was analyzed with specially developed software and formed the chapters of this book.
In this case.and/or • There is mixed agreement of expert opinions 2 – Strong Expert Opinion Support • No research-based evidence • Experts tend to agree. supporting research-based evidence • At least one formal. rigorous study with contextual validity • No known conflicting research-based findings • Expert opinion agrees with the research 4 – Moderate Research Support • Cumulative research-based evidence • There may or may not be conflicting research-based findings • Expert opinion • Tends to agree with the research. although there may not be a consensus • Multiple supporting expert opinions in textbooks. style guides. and there was a high level of agreement in their ratings (Cronbach’s alpha = . The raters all were very familiar the research literature. The criteria used for making the ’Strength of Evidence’ estimates is shown below: 5 – Strong Research Support • Cumulative and compelling. and assigned ’Strength of Evidence’ ratings. • Generally accepted as a ’best practice’ or reflects ’state of practice’ 1 – Weak Expert Opinion Support • No research-based evidence • Limited or conflicting expert opinion Research-B a s e d We b D e s i g n & U s a b i l i t y G u i d e l i n e s . and • A consensus seems to be building 3 – Weak Research Support • Limited research-based evidence • Conflicting research-based findings may exist . all had conducted their own studies. 13 usability professionals rated each of the new and revised guidelines.xxii Background and Methodology The ’Strength of Evidence’ ratings were revised for those guidelines where new research was reported. etc.92).
and providing useful content. To ensure the best possible outcome.. ensuring that the Web site meets user’s expectations.e. setting usability goals. This requires conducting the appropriate usability tests and using the findings to make changes to the Web site.Design Process and Evaluation There are several usability-related issues. The most important of these are presented in this chapter. methods. parallel design). including ’up-front’ issues such as setting clear and concise goals for a Web site. 1 Design Process and Evaluation R e s e a r c h .B a s e d We b D e s i g n & U s a b i l i t y G u i d e l i n e s . The current research suggests that the best way to begin the construction of a Web site is to have many different people propose design solutions (i. determining a correct and exhaustive set of user requirements. and then to follow up using an iterative design approach. and work to create a Web site that enables the best possible human performance. designers should consider a full range of user-interface issues. and procedures that require careful consideration when designing and developing Web sites.
Osborn and Elliott. 2001. These could include customer support lines. 1996. et al. Sources: Asher.’ Use cases describe the things that users want and need the Web site to be able to do. Strength of Evidence: Comments: Content is the information provided on a Web site. 1980. Other studies have reported that content is more important than navigation. Keil and Carmel. Levine.. Sources: Adkisson. Sinha. Coble. Do not waste resources providing easy access and good usability to the wrong content. functionality. 1995. 2002.. Do not rely too heavily on user intermediaries. One study found that content is the most critical element of a Web site.2 1:1 Provide Useful Content and appropriate to the audience. etc. Badre. use cases provided a specification that produced better user performance and higher user preferences. user groups. 2002. Nielsen. Zimmerman. Celsi and Olson. Relative Importance: Strength of Evidence: Comments: The greater the number of exchanges of information with potential users. Sano. Successful projects require at least four (and average five) different sources of information. Karat and Kahn. 1980. Buller. 1:2 Establish User Requirements Guideline: Use all available resources to better understand users’ requirements. the better the developers’ understanding of the users’ requirements. et al. 1996.. Research-Ba s e d We b D e s i g n & U s a b i l i t y G u i d e l i n e s See page xxii for detailed descriptions of the rating scales . Gergle and Wood. 1998. and interactivity. 2002. 1985. Nielsen. Baldwin. Rajani and Rosenberg. Spyridakis. Norman. Brinck. Evans. Stevens. Peleg-Bruckner and McClintock. 2000. 2002. Vora. In one study. 2002. visual design. Ramey. focus groups. Nielsen and Tahir. 2000. relevant. 2001. sales people. the higher the probability of having a successful Web site. 2003. 1998. when compared with traditional functionoriented analyses. Li and Henning. 1997b. 1993. et al. trade show experiences. 1988. bulletin boards. customer surveys and interviews. The more information that can be exchanged between developers and users. 1997. Relative Importance: Design Process and Evaluation Guideline: Provide content that is engaging. The information gathered from exchanges with users can be used to build ’use cases. 2000. 2002. 1999.
It is important for designers to develop an understanding of their users’ expectations through task analyses and other research. 1996. Comments: One study found that users define Sources: Carroll.B a s e d We b D e s i g n & U s a b i l i t y G u i d e l i n e s . intuitive. Example: The Copyright Office Web site meets user expectations—links to the most likely user activities or queries (searching records. 2002. One study found that users acted on their own expectations even when there were indications on the screen to counter those expectations. especially related to navigation. 1997. etc. R e s e a r c h . and straightforward it is to accomplish tasks within a system.) are prominently displayed and logically ordered. 1990. efficient. Lynch and Horton. The use of familiar formatting and navigation schemes makes it easier for users to learn and remember the layout of a site. Wilson.1:3 Understand and Meet User’s Expectations Guideline: Ensure that the Web site format meets user expectations. easy to use. Users can have expectations based on their prior knowledge and past experience. Rich and Dumas. and there are very few distractions on the page. and organization. McGee. Spool. productive. Therefore. content. Relative Importance: Strength of Evidence: 3 Design Process and Evaluation 'usability' as their perception of how consistent. organized. 2004. It’s best to assume that a certain percentage of users will not use a Web site frequently enough to learn to use it efficiently. Detweiler and Omanson. 2000. using familiar conventions works best. et al. licensing and registering works..
et al. management and those working on the Web site. Relative Importance: Strength of Evidence: Comments: Before starting design work. 2000. Olson and Ives. 1999. 2003. 1996. Research-Ba s e d We b D e s i g n & U s a b i l i t y G u i d e l i n e s . etc. sell. It is also a good idea to communicate the goals to. 1996. inform.4 1:4 Involve Users in Establishing User Requirements Guideline: Involve users to improve the completeness Relative Importance: and accuracy of user requirements. 1986.. function. Sources: Badre. Goals determine the audience. To summarize. Sources: Barki and Hartwick. but not in helping designers determine how best to have the system do it. 1984. McKeen and Guimaraes. Involving users has the most value when trying to improve the completeness and accuracy of user requirements. Detweiler and Omanson. users are most valuable in helping designers know what a system should do. identify the primary goals of the Web site (educate. 1997. Foster and Franz. entertain. There is little or no research suggesting that user involvement leads to more effective and efficient use of the system. Coney and Steehouder. It is also useful in helping to avoid unused or little-used system features. 1:5 Set and State Goals Guideline: Identify and clearly articulate the primary goals of the Web site before beginning the design process. 1991. user involvement has become a widely accepted principle in the development of usable systems. Heinbokel. and develop consensus for the site goals from. Kujala. For this reason. Design Process and Evaluation Comments: One of the basic principles of userStrength of Evidence: centered design is the early and continual focus on users. Baroudi. although the research is not yet clear that it does in all cases.). 2002. User involvement may improve the level of user acceptance. Finally. Ives and Olson. and the site’s unique look and feel. content. the research suggests that users are not good at helping make design decisions.
1997. if any. 1999. 2000.B a s e d We b D e s i g n & U s a b i l i t y G u i d e l i n e s . Miller and Stimart. make decisions about content. 2001. 1:7 Consider Many User Interface Issues Guideline: Consider as many user interface issues as possible during the design process. the experience levels of the users. Graphics issues tend to have little impact. 2002. et al. Sources: Baca and Cassidy. on users’ success rates or speed of performance. the types of tasks users will perform on the site. Graham. These can include: the context within which users will be visiting a Web site. Grose. Relative Importance: Strength of Evidence: 5 Design Process and Evaluation Comments: Focus on achieving a high rate of user performance before dealing with aesthetics. Kennedy and Benyon. Relative Importance: Strength of Evidence: Comments: Consider numerous usability-related issues during the creation of a Web site. 1992.. the types of computer and connection speeds used when visiting the site. format. Buller. and navigation before deciding on colors and decorative graphics.1:6 Focus on Performance Before Preference Guideline: If user performance is important. Mayhew. Tractinsky... Sources: Bailey. See page xxii for detailed descriptions of the rating scales R e s e a r c h . et al. 1994. 1999. and the results of usability tests. et al. 1996. interaction. evaluation of prototypes. Zimmerman.
J. ensure that a Web site is in the ‘top 30’ references presented from a major search engine. the number of links to the Web site.6 1:8 Be Easily Found in the Top 30 Guideline: In order to have a high probability of being accessed. FBI. F.I. Most Wanted. forensics. et al.. Bateman and Jansen.’ Some of the features required to be in the ‘top 30’ include appropriate meta-content and page titles. jobs. Counterterrorism. Edgar Hoover. Mueller. 1999. The Bureau. Department of Justice. understanding typical users will provide clues as to what keywords should be used. Public Corruption. as well as updated registration with the major search engines. Lynch and Horton. G-man. Sources: Amento. G-men. Fraud. Be Crime Smart. Intelligence. Cyber. 1999. Terrorism. Fingerprints.B. Money Laundering.. Crime. Spink. careers”> Research-Ba s e d We b D e s i g n & U s a b i l i t y G u i d e l i n e s . 2002. Relative Importance: Strength of Evidence: Design Process and Evaluation Comments: One study showed that users usually do not look at Web sites that are not in the ’top 30. Cutrell and Chen. 2001. These keywords are read by search engines and used to categorize Web sites. <meta name=”description” content=”The Official Website of the Federal Bureau of Investigation”> <meta name=”title” content=”Federal Bureau of Investigation”> <meta name=”subject” content=”Federal Bureau of Investigation. Espionage. Submit A Crime Tip. Counterintelligence. E-Scams. Kids Page. Example: The below snippet of html code illustrates one important way of ensuring that a Web site will be found by search engines—embedding keyword metatags. Dumais.
Bradley and Johnk. satisfactory. the better the final product will be. Zimmerman. McGrew. 2001. It can also help make usability testing more effective. 1995. Moroney and Biers. Most designers tend to adopt a strategy that focuses on initial. Sears. where designers independently evaluate the design issues and propose solutions.B a s e d We b D e s i g n & U s a b i l i t y G u i d e l i n e s . 1:10 Use Parallel Design Guideline: Have several developers independently propose designs and use the best elements from each design. 1995. Sources: Baca and Cassidy.1:9 Set Usability Goals Guideline: Set performance goals that include success rates and the time it takes users to find specific information. The best approach is parallel design. 1994. et al. Attempt to ‘saturate the design space’ before selecting the ideal solution. et al. 2002. or preference goals that address satisfaction and acceptance by users. Relative Importance: Strength of Evidence: Comments: Do not have individuals make design decisions by themselves or rely on the ideas of a single designer. Evans and Dennis.. Buller. Macbeth.. Sources: Ball. Relative Importance: Strength of Evidence: 7 Design Process and Evaluation Comments: Setting user performance and/or preference goals helps developers build better Web sites. Group discussions of design issues (brainstorming) do not lead to the best solutions. 2001... 2000. solutions. et al. Ovaska and Raiha. some intranet Web sites have set the goal that information will be found eighty percent of the time and in less than one minute. 1995. For example. 1999. See page xxii for detailed descriptions of the rating scales R e s e a r c h . 1999. The more varied and independent the ideas that are considered. Grose. but less than optimal.
Even though a few observational studies have been reported. 2003. 1999.’ but are discovered as a byproduct of an investigative process with rigor and precision. there are no research studies that clearly demonstrate improved Web site success when personas are used. Interfaces should be constructed to satisfy the needs and goals of personas. Head. For each persona include at least a first name. and work and computer proficiency. Relative Importance: Strength of Evidence: Design Process and Evaluation Comments: Personas are hypothetical ’stand-ins’ for actual users that drive the decision making for interfaces. They are not real people. photo. instead of trying to design for the various needs of many. but they represent real people. age. Goodwin. The design team should develop a believable persona so that everybody will accept the person. Research-Ba s e d We b D e s i g n & U s a b i l i t y G u i d e l i n e s See page xxii for detailed descriptions of the rating scales . Keep the number of personas for each Web site relatively small – use three to five. relevant personal information. Sources: Cooper. and to include one or two fictional details about the persona’s life. Some usability specialists feel that designers will have far more success designing an interface that meets the goals of one specific person. It is usually best to detail two or three technical skills to give an idea of computer competency. 2001. They are not ’made up.8 1:11 Use Personas Guideline: Use personas to keep the design team focused on the same types of users.
Users also benefit from task sequences that are consistent with how they typically do their work. and that do not overload them with information.B a s e d We b D e s i g n & U s a b i l i t y G u i d e l i n e s . 2 Optimizing the User Experience R e s e a r c h . Designers should never ‘push’ unsolicited windows or graphics to users. Users should not be required to wait for more than a few seconds for a page to load. Users will make the best use of Web sites when information is displayed in a directly usable format and content organization is highly intuitive. and while waiting. that do not require them to remember information for more than a few seconds.Optimizing the User Experience Web sites should be designed to facilitate and encourage efficient and effective human-computer interactions. that have terminology that is readily understandable. Designers should make every attempt to reduce the user’s workload by taking advantage of the computer’s capabilities. Users should be easily able to print information. users should be supplied with appropriate feedback.
2003. Sources: Ahmadi. et al. 2000.10 2:1 Do Not Display Unsolicited Windows or Graphics Guideline: Do not have unsolicited windows or graphics ‘pop-up’ to users. Provide an archive of past content (where appropriate). Ensure the site looks professionally designed. Provide articles containing citations and references. Relative Importance: Links Optimizing the User Experience Comments: Users have commented that unsolicited Strength of Evidence: windows or graphics that ‘pop up’ are annoying and distracting when they are focusing on completing their original activity. the most important Web site-related actions that organizations can do to help ensure high Web site credibility are to: • • • • • • • • • Provide a useful set of frequently asked questions (FAQ) and answers. and Ensure the site is frequently linked to by other credible sites. Fogg. Ensure the site is as up-to-date as possible.. Provide links to outside sources and materials. Relative Importance: Strength of Evidence: Comments: Based on the results of two large surveys. Nielsen. Lightner. 2002. Sources: Fogg. 2:2 Increase Web Site Credibility Guideline: Optimize the credibility of informationoriented Web sites. Ensure the Web site is arranged in a logical way. 2003. 2001. Show author’s credentials. Research-Ba s e d We b D e s i g n & U s a b i l i t y G u i d e l i n e s See page xxii for detailed descriptions of the rating scales .
Czaja and Sharit. 1985. 1988. 1997. users become familiar with the steps in a search or checkout process. Foltz. Also. 1999. Bovair and Kieras. This can confuse users. et al. whereas other pages in the site show the calendars. Detweiler and Omanson.B a s e d We b D e s i g n & U s a b i l i t y G u i d e l i n e s . Kieras and Polson. R e s e a r c h . Kieras. 1997. Sources: Bovair. et al.. Bubb-Lewis and Suh. Polson and Kieras.. 1990. For example. Muncher and Engelback. Relative Importance: 11 Guideline: Allow users to perform tasks in the same Strength of Evidence: Comments: Users learn certain sequences of behaviors and perform best when they can be reliably repeated. 1987. 1986. Polson. 1986. Hoppe and Fahnrich. Smith. users become accustomed to looking in either the left or right panels for additional information. but one page places calendars in ‘pop-up’ windows. 2000. Ziegler. Sonderegger. Example: Optimizing the User Experience Drop-down boxes for date selection are consistent across the site. 1996.2:3 Standardize Task Sequences sequence and manner across similar conditions. and should be avoided. Polson.
Sources: Gerhardt-Powals. Moray and Butler. Example: When looking to buy a house. Research-B a s e d We b D e s i g n & U s a b i l i t y G u i d e l i n e s See page xxii for detailed descriptions of the rating scales .12 2:4 Reduce the User’s Workload Guideline: Allocate functions to take advantage of the inherent respective strengths of computers and users. but are incapable of quickly calculating it themselves. loan amount. 1996. Relative Importance: Strength of Evidence: Links Optimizing the User Experience Comments: Let the computer perform as many tasks as possible. For example. etc. Ensure that the activities performed by the human and the computer take full advantage of the strengths of each. 1997. so that users can concentrate on performing tasks that actually require human processing and input. remembering user IDs. 2000. and mortgage payments are best performed by computers.). calculating body mass indexes. Sheridan. users will know the value of variables necessary to calculate a monthly payment (interest rate.
Byrne. 1997. MacGregor. 1999. Raanaas. Nielsen. it is best to have the items being compared side-by-side so that users do not have to remember information—even for a short period of time.2:5 Design for Working Memory Limitations Guideline: Do not require users to remember information from place to place on a Web site. Sources: Ahlstrom and Longo.B a s e d We b D e s i g n & U s a b i l i t y G u i d e l i n e s . 1996. Cockburn and Jones. 1958. 2000. Evans. Sources: Barber and Lucas. 2002. Nordby and Magnussen. 2001. 2000a. McDougall and de Bruijn. et al. R e s e a r c h . LeCompte. 1998. 1992. Relative Importance: Strength of Evidence: Comments: The best way to facilitate fast page loading is to minimize the number of bytes per page. McEneaney. Broadbent. Bailey. Bouch. This ’working memory’ capacity tends to lessen even more as people become older. 2000. Baddeley. Raanaas and Magnussen. 2:6 Minimize Page Download Time Guideline: Minimize the time required to download a Web site’s pages. Curry. 1975. One study compared the working memory performance of age groups 23-44 years and 61-68 years. Brown. 1975. they can only remember about three or four items for a few seconds.. Relative Importance: 13 Optimizing the User Experience Links Comments: Users can remember relatively few Strength of Evidence: items of information for a relatively short period of time. 2002. Evans. LeCompte. The younger group performed reliably better than the older group.. Spyridakis. Lynch and Horton. 1987. 1999. et al. Nordby. Kuchinsky and Bhatti. Spool. If users must make comparisons. 1983. 2001. 1999. When users must remember information on one Web page for use on another page or another location on the same page. 1998. 2002. Kennedy and Wilkes. 1997d. 2000. Tiller and Green. 1998.
Pages that require users to use them within a fixed amount of time can present particular challenges to users who read or make entries slowly.14 2:7 Warn of ‘Time Outs’ Guideline: Let users know if a page is programmed to ’time out. 2001a. Sources: Koyani. Relative Importance: Strength of Evidence: Optimizing the User Experience Comments: Some pages are designed to ’time out’ automatically (usually because of security reasons).’ and warn users before time expires so they can request additional time. Example: Research-Ba s e d We b D e s i g n & U s a b i l i t y G u i d e l i n e s See page xxii for detailed descriptions of the rating scales . 1998. United States Government.
compute.B a s e d We b D e s i g n & U s a b i l i t y G u i d e l i n e s . Example: Displaying time in a 24-hour clock format is not suitable for U. or refer to documentation to determine the meaning of displayed data.g. transpose.g. 2001. information should be provided in multiple formats (e. 2001.2:8 Display Information in a Directly Usable Format Guideline: Display data and information in a format that does not require conversion by the user. 2002.. Data should be presented in the generally-accepted manner of the intended audience—in this case. 1986. Smith and Mosier. 1989. civilian audiences. Comments: Present information to users in the Sources: Ahlstrom and Longo. pounds and ounces.. Gerhardt-Powals. Casner and Larkin. To accommodate a multinational Web audience. Galitz. R e s e a r c h . Do not require users to convert or summarize information in order for it to be immediately useful. interpolate. Relative Importance: Strength of Evidence: 15 Optimizing the User Experience Links most useful and usable format possible. Navai. Recognize that there is a difference between the data units used in science and medicine and those used generally. the 12-hour clock for American audiences and the 24-hour clock for European audiences). centigrade and Fahrenheit for temperatures) or the user should be allowed to select their preferred formats (e. 1996. It is best to display data in a manner that is consistent with the standards and conventions most familiar to users. or translate displayed data into other units. et al.S. Do not require users to convert..
and short documents were read online. or supporting a point.16 2:9 Format Information for Reading and Printing Guideline: Prepare information with the expectation that it will either be read online or printed. Relative Importance: Comments: If processing will take less than 10 Strength of Evidence: seconds. If computer processing will take over one minute. They favored reading it online if for entertainment. In addition. Smith and Mosier. use an hourglass to indicate status. Users were inclined to print (a) if the online document required too much scrolling. Sources: Shaikh and Chaparro. 2004. Meyer. Relative Importance: Links Optimizing the User Experience Comments: Documents should be prepared that are Strength of Evidence: consistent with whether users can be expected to read the document online or printed. Users generally favored reading documents online because they could do it from anywhere at anytime with 24/7 access. (b) if they needed to refer to the document at a later time. or (c) the complexity of the document required them to highlight and write comments. 2:10 Provide Feedback when Users Must Wait Guideline: Provide users with appropriate feedback while they are waiting. presentations. 1990. Long documents (over five pages) were printed. users preferred to print information that was related to research. Users frequently become involved in other activities when they know they must wait for long periods of time for the computer to process information. 2000. completion of processing should be indicated by a nondisruptive sound (beep). Kuchinsky and Bhatti. Example: Research-B a s e d We b D e s i g n & U s a b i l i t y G u i d e l i n e s . 1986. Under these circumstances. One study found that the major reason participants gave for deciding to read a document from print or to read it online was the size of the document. If processing will take up to sixty seconds or longer. Shinar and Leiser. indicate this to the user and provide an auditory signal when the processing is complete. Sources: Bouch. use a process indicator that shows progress toward completion.
B a s e d We b D e s i g n & U s a b i l i t y G u i d e l i n e s . 2000. Detweiler and Omanson. Nielsen. 1999. Comments: Providing the size and download time 1998.2:11 Inform Users of Long Download Times Guideline: Indicate to users the time required to download an image or document at a given connection speed. Relative Importance: Strength of Evidence: 17 Optimizing the User Experience Links of large images or documents gives users sufficient information to choose whether or not they are willing to wait for the file to download. 1996. Example: See page xxii for detailed descriptions of the rating scales R e s e a r c h . One study concluded that supplying users with download times relative to various connection speeds improves their Web site navigation performance. Sources: Campbell and Maglio. Evans.
1996. 2001. develop pages with widths that print properly. Zhang and Seo. Research-B a s e d We b D e s i g n & U s a b i l i t y G u i d e l i n e s . Tullis. Spyridakis.18 2:12 Develop Pages that Will Print Properly Guideline: If users are likely to print one or more pages. Gerhardt-Powals. Lynch and Horton. Relative Importance: Strength of Evidence: Links Optimizing the User Experience wide to print completely on standard 8. 2001.5 x 11 inch paper in portrait orientation. Evans. 2001.5 x 11 paper because of the design of the page. Ensure that margin to margin printing is possible. 2000. 2002. Comments: It is possible to display pages that are too Sources: Ahlstrom and Longo. 1998. Example: Sections of this page are trimmed when printed on standard 8.
2000. and in some cases. Spyridakis.2:13 Do Not Require Users to Multitask While Reading Guideline: If reading speed is important. 2:14 Use Users’ Terminology in Help Documentation Guideline: When giving guidance about using a Web site. Sims and Koonce. See page xxii for detailed descriptions of the rating scales R e s e a r c h . and the search capability.’ changing link colors after they’ve been clicked. This can reliably slow their reading performance. Comments: There is varied understanding among Sources: Bailey. Relative Importance: Strength of Evidence: 19 Optimizing the User Experience Links monitor as fast as they can from paper. Relative Importance: Strength of Evidence: users as to what many Web site features are called. Koyani and Nall.’ explain to what you are referring. how they are used. 1974. If you refer to the ’navigation bar. 1987. users can read from a Sources: Baddeley. 1998. Foley and Wallace. if the term ’breadcrumb’ is used in the help section. 2000. 2000. These features include ’breadcrumbs. unless they are required to perform other tasks that require human ’working memory’ resources while reading. Furnas. the terms they use to describe it may not be the same terms that a designer would use. do not require users to look at the information on one page and remember it while reading the information on a second page. Evans. Mayes. Even if users know how to use an element..B a s e d We b D e s i g n & U s a b i l i t y G u i d e l i n e s . use the users’ terminology to describe elements and features. the left and right panels on the homepage. Scanlon and Schroeder. give enough context so that a user unfamiliar with that term can understand your guidance. Comments: Generally. For example. do not require users to perform other tasks while reading from the monitor. 1986. the tabs at the top of many homepages. For example. et al. 2000.
1996. Sources: Detweiler and Omanson. Levine. Nielsen. or they think they will not be able to find them again. and it allows them to make notes on the paper.20 2:15 Provide Printing Options Guideline: Provide a link to a complete printable or downloadable document if there are Web pages. Lynch and Horton. Users sometimes print pages because they do not trust the Web site to have pages for them at a later date. where users may only be interested in a particular section. documents. or files that users will want to print or save in one operation. Relative Importance: Strength of Evidence: Links Optimizing the User Experience Comments: Many users prefer to read text from a paper copy of a document. Research-B a s e d We b D e s i g n & U s a b i l i t y G u i d e l i n e s . 1997e. 1996. This is particularly useful for long documents. They find this to be more convenient. 2002. resources. Example: Clicking on the ‘Print Friendly’ link will open a new browser window that allows the user to choose the sections of the document they wish to print.
et al. 1997. A special link was prepared that allowed new users to access more information about the content of the site and described the best way to navigate the site. This is particularly important if the site was designed for inexperienced users or has many first time users.. Nall. et al. in one Web site that was designed for repeat users. Morrell. Relative Importance: Strength of Evidence: 21 Optimizing the User Experience Links Comments: Users sometimes require special assistance. Sources: Covi and Ackerman. Koyani and Example: See page xxii for detailed descriptions of the rating scales R e s e a r c h . more than one-third of users (thirtysix percent) were first time visitors. Lafond.2:16 Provide Assistance to Users Guideline: Provide assistance for users who need additional help with the Web site. For example.B a s e d We b D e s i g n & U s a b i l i t y G u i d e l i n e s . 2002. 2001. Plaisant. 1995..
all accessibilityrelated guidelines are found in this chapter. this means ensuring that Web sites facilitate the use of common assistive technologies. Where it is not possible to ensure that all pages of a site are accessible. and making precise movements. The sample of users who organized these guidelines assigned these two guidelines to other chapters. can use them. designers should provide equivalent information to ensure that all users have equal access to all information. • Enable users to skip repetitive navigation links. hearing. including users who have difficulty seeing.) Some of the major accessibility issues to be dealt with include: • Provide text equivalents for non-text elements. • Ensure that plug-ins and applets meet the requirements for accessibility. (See page xxv.Accessibility Accessibility Web sites should be designed to ensure that everyone. For more information on Section 508 and accessibility. Generally. With the exception of Guideline 2:7 and Guideline 9:6. Step 7 for more on how the guidelines were organized. see www.gov 3 Research-Ba s e d We b D e s i g n & U s a b i l i t y G u i d e l i n e s . • Ensure that scripts allow accessibility.section508. • Provide frame titles. and • Synchronize all multimedia elements. All United States Federal Government Web sites must comply with the Section 508 Federal Accessibility Standards.
1998. Georgia Institute of Technology. et al.. ensure that it meets the requirements of Section 508 of the Rehabilitation Act. 2002. All users should be able to access forms and interact with field elements such as radio buttons and text boxes.w3.gov • http://www.3:1 Comply with Section 508 Guideline: If a Web site is being designed for Relative Importance: * 23 Strength of Evidence: the United States government. 1998. Federal Web must adhere to all Section R e s e a r c h . two percent have movement-related issues. U. Morrell. This also enhances the ability of members of the public with disabilities to access information or services from a Federal agency. Relative Importance: * Strength of Evidence: through the Internet is collected using online forms. and less than one percent have learning-related disabilities. Ideally. Accessibility Comments: Section 508 requires Federal agencies to ensure that their procurement of information technology takes into account the needs of all users—including people with disabilities. United States Government. 3:2 Design Forms for Users Using Assistive Technologies Guideline: Ensure that users using assistive technology can complete and submit online forms. one percent have hearing-related disabilities. Comments: Much of the information collected Sources: Covi and Ackerman. For additional information on Section 508 and accessibility: • http://www.org/WAI/ Sources: GVU. * Regardless ofsites ‘Relative Importance’ rating508 guidelines (see Guideline 3:1). About four percent have vision-related disabilities. 1995. About eight percent of the user population has a disability that may make the traditional use of a Web site very difficult or impossible. all Web sites should strive to be accessible and compliant with Section 508. 1998.S.section508. the assigned by the reviewers.B a s e d We b D e s i g n & U s a b i l i t y G u i d e l i n e s . Compliance with Section 508 enables Federal employees with disabilities to have access to and use of information and data that is comparable to that provided to others. United States Government.
3:4 Enable Users to Skip Repetitive Navigation Links Guideline: To aid those using assistive technologies. and • Avoid combining light colors from either end of the spectrum with dark colors from the middle of the spectrum. Chisholm. Sources: Bailey.24 3:3 Do Not Use Color Alone to Convey Information Guideline: Ensure that all information conveyed with Relative Importance: * color is also available without color. it can be a tedious and time-consuming task to wait for all of the repeated links to be read. • Ensure that the lightness contrast between foreground and background colors is high. 1998. 2001. 1985. Users should be able to avoid these links when they desire to do so. 2000. designers should: • Select color combinations that can be discriminated by users with color deficiencies. About eight percent of males and about one-half of one percent of females have difficulty discriminating colors. provide a means for users to skip repetitive navigation links. 1996. Most users with color deficiencies have difficulty seeing colors in the green portion of the spectrum. Murch. 2000. 1998. 1998. 1999c. Tullis.. 1999. Sources: United States Government. To accommodate color-deficient users. Vischeck. Smith and Mosier. Relative Importance: * Strength of Evidence: Comments: Developers frequently place a series of routine navigational links at a standard location— usually across the top. Hess. Vanderheiden and Jacobs. Wolfmaier. Accessibility Comments: Never use color as the only indicator for Strength of Evidence: critical activities. • Use tools to see what Web pages will look like when seen by color deficient users. Evans. 1990. Rigden. • Increase the lightness contrast between colors on either end of the spectrum (e. United States Government. Thorell and Smith. blues and reds). or side of a page. 1999. 2003. See page xxii for detailed descriptions of the rating scales Research-Ba s e d We b D e s i g n & U s a b i l i t y G u i d e l i n e s . Levine. For people using assistive devices.g. bottom. 1986. 1996. Sullivan and Matson.
graphical buttons. scripts. the assigned by the reviewers. applets and programmatic objects. Nielsen. stand-alone audio files. * Regardless ofsites ‘Relative Importance’ rating508 guidelines (see Guideline 3:1).. Federal Web must adhere to all Section R e s e a r c h . Sources: Chisholm. 25 Accessibility Comments: Text equivalents should be used for all Strength of Evidence: non-text elements.Relative Importance: * text element that conveys information. images used as list bullets. animations (e. animated GIFs). Vanderheiden and Jacobs.S. image map regions. frames. 1998. sounds. including images.g. spacers.B a s e d We b D e s i g n & U s a b i l i t y G u i d e l i n e s . United States Government. ASCII art. 1999a.3:5 Provide Text Equivalents for Non-Text Elements Guideline: Provide a text equivalent for every non. and video. audio tracks of video. U. Example: Alt text allows the with visual impairments user to understand the meaning of the picture. 2000. graphical representations of text (including symbols).
and facilitate the use of screen readers and other assistive devices. See page xxii for detailed descriptions of the rating scales . Relative Importance: * Strength of Evidence: Accessibility Comments: Applets. ensure that text-only pages are updated as frequently and contain all of the same information as their non-text counterparts. ensure Relative Importance: * that the information provided on pages that utilize scripting languages to display content or to create interface elements can be read by assistive technology. Sources: United States Government. Relative Importance: * Strength of Evidence: Comments: When no other solution is available. 1998. plug-ins or other applications required to interpret page content to ensure that they can be used by assistive technologies. Vanderheiden and Jacobs. Sources: Chisholm. if ’mouseovers’ are used. 1999e. Strength of Evidence: Comments: Whenever a script changes the content of a page. the change must be indicated in a way that can be detected and read by a screen reader. 1998. test any applets. Sources: United States Government. United States Government. As a rule. 1998. in such a Web site should be readily accessible. 3:8 Provide Equivalent Pages Guideline: Provide text-only pages with equivalent information and functionality if compliance with accessibility provisions cannot be accomplished in any other way. develop. ensure that they can be activated using a keyboard. and should be thoroughly tested for accessibility. Also inform users that textonly pages are exactly equivalent and as current as non-text counterparts. and maintain a parallel Web site that does not contain any graphics. The pages. plug-ins and other software can create problems for people using assistive technologies. Also. 3:7 Ensure that Scripts Allow Accessibility Guideline: When designing for accessibility. one option is to design.26 3:6 Test Plug-Ins and Applets for Accessibility Guideline: To ensure accessibility.
3:9 Provide Client-Side Image Maps side image maps instead of server-side image maps.B a s e d We b D e s i g n & U s a b i l i t y G u i d e l i n e s . 1998.Strength of Evidence: Accessibility Comments: Client-side image maps can be made fully accessible. the assigned by the reviewers. 3:11 Do Not Require Style Sheets Guideline: Organize documents so they are readable without requiring an associated style sheet. Federal Web must adhere to all Section R e s e a r c h . each region within the map should be assigned alt text that can be read by a screen reader or other assistive device. 3:10 Synchronize Multimedia Elements Guideline: To ensure accessibility.g. Chisholm. Sources: United States Government. Galitz. 1998. U. Sources: Ahlstrom and Longo. Relative Importance: * 27 Guideline: To improve accessibility. 2001. provide client. provide equivalent alternatives for multimedia elements that are synchronized.S. 1992.. Relative Importance: * Strength of Evidence: Comments: For multimedia presentations (e. Relative Importance: * Strength of Evidence: Comments: Style sheets are commonly used to control Web page layout and appearance. a movie or animation). Designers must ensure that redundant text links are provided for each active region of a server-side image map. Style sheets should not hamper the ability of assistive devices to read and logically portray information. * Regardless ofsites ‘Relative Importance’ rating508 guidelines (see Guideline 3:1). Vanderheiden and Jacobs. 2002. Sources: United States Government. United States Government. To make client-side image maps accessible. Mayhew. synchronize captions or auditory descriptions of the visual track with the presentation. 1999b. whereas server-side image maps cannot be made accessible without employing a text alternative for each section of the map. 1998.
the assigned by the reviewers. Most current monitors are unlikely to provoke seizures. 3:13 Avoid Screen Flicker Guideline: Design Web pages that do not cause the screen to flicker with a frequency greater than 2 Hz and lower than 55 Hz. For example. Relative Importance: * Accessibility Guideline: To ensure accessibility. Note that the right frame does not contain a title. but usually related. information. provide frame titles Strength of Evidence: Comments: Frames are used to divide the browser screen into separate areas. Vanderheiden and Jacobs. a designer may use a frame to place navigational links in the left page. 1998. 1998. 1999f. with each area presenting different. Example: Providing frame titles like that circled will allow users with visual impairments to understand the purpose of the frame’s content or its function. Sources: Chisholm.28 3:12 Provide Frame Titles that facilitate frame identification and navigation. Sources: United States Government. * Regardless ofsites ‘Relative Importance’ rating508 guidelines (see Guideline 3:1). U. Clear and concise frame titles enable people with disabilities to properly orient themselves when frames are used. and may have seizures triggered by certain screen flicker frequencies. and put the main information in a larger frame on the right side.S. United States Government. Federal Web must adhere to all Section Research-Ba s e d We b D e s i g n & U s a b i l i t y G u i d e l i n e s . This allows users to scroll through the information section without disturbing the navigation section. and thus poses accessibility concerns. Relative Importance: Strength of Evidence: * Comments: Five percent of people with epilepsy are photosensitive.
Within the constraints of available time.B a s e d We b D e s i g n & U s a b i l i t y G u i d e l i n e s . Just as designers consider their users’ needs for specific information. and resources. identify the hardware and software used by your primary and secondary audiences and design to maximize the effectiveness of your Web site. it is usually impossible to design for all users. Similarly. Today. 800x600 or 1280x1024 pixel resolution. a single operating system (Microsoft’s XP) dominates personal computer market. And while most users at work have high-speed Internet access. software.Hardware and Software Designers are rarely free to do whatever comes to mind. money. and speed of connection to the Internet. Therefore. many home users still connect using dial-up. More than ninety percent of users have their monitors set to 1024x768. only two Web site browsers are favored by the vast majority of users. 4 Hardware and Software R e s e a r c h . they must also consider any constraints imposed on them by their users’ hardware.
when rendered on a Macintosh. Jupitermedia Corporation. as it does below when rendered on a PC. Example: This site. 2002.com/press/zeitgeist.thecounter. Relative Importance: Strength of Evidence: Hardware and Software Comments: Designers should attempt to accommodate ninety-five percent of all users. 2003. develop and test for the most common browsers.. 1998. Ensure that all testing of a Web site is done using the most popular browsers. et al. The website should display properly on all platforms.com/stats/ Sources: Evans.html • http://www. 1996b. Nielsen. Sources of information about the most commonly used browsers: • http://www.30 4:1 Design for Common Browsers Guideline: Design.google. Morrell. Research-Ba s e d We b D e s i g n & U s a b i l i t y G u i d e l i n e s See page xxii for detailed descriptions of the rating scales . falls apart (right).
This functionality is not available when using another popular browser. and some users may turn off backgrounds.4:2 Account for Browser Differences Guideline: Do not assume that all users will have the same browser features. and will have set the same defaults. Example: When using one popular browser. use fewer colors. and specify on the Web site exactly what assumptions were made about the browser settings. Levine.’ R e s e a r c h . 1998.B a s e d We b D e s i g n & U s a b i l i t y G u i d e l i n e s . Relative Importance: Strength of Evidence: 31 Hardware and Software Comments: Users with visual impairments tend to select larger fonts. or overrides font. The designer should find out what settings most users are using. moving the mouse over the tabs at the top of the page and left-clicking will reveal a drop-down menu with navigation choices. where a single left click will take you to a new page entitled ‘Air. 1996. Car & Hotel. Sources: Evans.
Relative Importance: Hardware and Software Comments: Designers should attempt to Strength of Evidence: accommodate ninety-five percent of all users. 2006.thecounter.32 4:3 Design for Popular Operating Systems Guideline: Design the Web site so it will work well with the most popular operating systems. Currently. Ensure that all testing of a Web site is done using the most common operating systems. then Windows 98 (five percent)..com. 2003. the most popular operating system is Microsoft’s Windows XP which has over 80 of the market share. Designers should consult one of the several sources that maintain current figures to help ensure that they are designing to accommodate as many users as possible. Example: Windows XP Windows 2000 Windows 98 Macintosh Unknown 81% 8% 5% 3% 1% Most popular operating systems. and the Macintosh (three percent).com. The second is Windows 2000 (eight percent). for June 2006. Research-Ba s e d We b D e s i g n & U s a b i l i t y G u i d e l i n e s See page xxii for detailed descriptions of the rating scales . Sources: www. Jupitermedia Corporation. as reported by the counter.
Forrester Research. Example: R e s e a r c h . Nielsen. 56% of users have their screen resolution set at 1024x768. Evans. 2003. while less than eleven percent are using fifty-six K (or slower) modems. 2006. Sources: Nielsen/NetRatings.. 2001.B a s e d We b D e s i g n & U s a b i l i t y G u i d e l i n e s .thecounter. Relative Importance: Comments: Designers should attempt to Strength of Evidence: accommodate ninety-five percent of all users. These figures are continually changing. 1998. at least eighty-nine percent of users have high speed access. 4:5 Design for Commonly Used Screen Resolutions Guideline: Design for monitors with the screen resolution set at 1024x768 pixels. Relative Importance: 33 Hardware and Software Strength of Evidence: Comments: At work in the United States. Sources: www. more than two-thirds of users have high speed access.4:4 Design for User’s Typical Connection Speed Guideline: Design for the connection speed of most users. 2006. designers will accommodate this most common resolution. 2003. 1999a. By designing for 1024x768. Designers should consult one of the several sources that maintain current figures. Ensure that all testing of Web sites is done using the most common screen resolutions. Jupitermedia Corporation.com. as well as those at any higher resolution. As of June 2006. Web Site Optimization. At home.
It is important to ensure that the homepage has all of the features expected of a homepage and looks like a homepage to users.’ and should contain a limited amount of prose text. A well-constructed homepage will project a good first impression to all who visit the site.The Homepage The Homepage The homepage is different from all other Web site pages. the majority of the homepage should be visible ’above the fold. Generally. A homepage should clearly communicate the site's purpose. and show all major options available on the Web site. 5 Research-Ba s e d We b D e s i g n & U s a b i l i t y G u i d e l i n e s . Designers should provide easy access to the homepage from every page in the site.
2001. These logos and their placement remain constant throughout the Web site. 2000b. Spool. 1997. Detweiler and Omanson. 2002. R e s e a r c h . Therefore. et al. 2002. 1996. 1999. many other users will not realize that it is a link to the homepage. Many sites place the organization’s logo on the top of every page and link it to the homepage. Nielsen and Tahir. Tullis. include a link labeled ‘Home’ near the top of the page to help those users. IBM.B a s e d We b D e s i g n & U s a b i l i t y G u i d e l i n e s . Lynch and Horton. While many users expect that a logo will be clickable. Sources: Bailey. Create an easy and obvious way for users to quickly return to the homepage of the Web site from any point in the site.. Levine. 1996. Relative Importance: Strength of Evidence: 35 The Homepage Comments: Many users return to the homepage to begin a new task or to start a task over again. Example: This Web page provides links to both the main organization homepage (clickable ‘National Cancer Institute’ logo in the upper left corner) as well as the suborganization homepage (‘Cancer Control Home’ link placed in the upper right corner).5:1 Enable Access to the Homepage Guideline: Enable users to access the homepage from any other page on the Web site.
2001b. Research-Ba s e d We b D e s i g n & U s a b i l i t y G u i d e l i n e s See page xxii for detailed descriptions of the rating scales . Be selective about what is placed on the homepage. Example: All major topic areas and categories are presented at the homepage level. Nielsen and Tahir. Sources: Farkas and Farkas. and make sure the options and links presented there are the most important ones on the site. Koyani. 2001a. 2002. Nielsen. Relative Importance: The Homepage Comments: Users should not be required to click Strength of Evidence: down to the second or third level to discover the full breadth of options on a Web site. 2000.36 5:2 Show All Major Options on the Homepage Guideline: Present all major options on the homepage.
2002. the Strength of Evidence: homepage is probably the most important page on a Web site. et al. Mahlke. Example: This homepage creates a positive first impression: • Tag line increases users’ understanding of site. You will not get a second chance to make a good first impression on a user. • Key topic areas are presented in order of importance and are easy to scan.5:3 Create a Positive First Impression of Your Site Guideline: Treat your homepage as the key to conveying the quality of your site. 2000. One study found that when asked to find high quality Web sites. and • Up-to-date news stories are available..B a s e d We b D e s i g n & U s a b i l i t y G u i d e l i n e s . Sources: Amento. Relative Importance: 37 The Homepage Comments: In terms of conveying quality. 1999. about half of the time participants looked only at the homepage. 2002. R e s e a r c h . Nielsen and Tahir. Coney and Steehouder.
38 5:4 Communicate the Web Site’s Value and Purpose Guideline: Clearly and prominently communicate the purpose and value of the Web site on the homepage. Example: Concise taglines help users understand your site’s purpose. it may need to be explicitly stated through the use of brief text or a tagline. In one study. and how the Site differs from key competitors is important because most people will spend little time on each Site. not merely descriptions of project methodology. Research-Ba s e d We b D e s i g n & U s a b i l i t y G u i d e l i n e s . Nielsen. Nall. Indicating what the Site offers that is of value to users. and how the site differs from key competitors. Emphasize what the site offers that is of value to users. Do not expect users to read a lot of text or to click into the Site to determine a Site’s purpose. Comments: Most people browsing or searching 2003. 2001. Koyani and Lafond. In some cases the purpose of a Web site is easily inferred. Many users waste time because they misunderstand the purpose of a Web site. Sources: Coney and Steehouder. In other cases. 2000. Relative Importance: Strength of Evidence: The Homepage the Web will spend very little time on each site. most users expected that a site would show the results of research projects.
Requiring users to read large amounts of prose text can slow them considerably. prose-free design allows users to quickly discern the primary headings and sub-headings without the distraction of paragraphs of text.B a s e d We b D e s i g n & U s a b i l i t y G u i d e l i n e s . 2000. Example: Clean. 2000. Koyani and Nall. Relative Importance: 39 The Homepage Comments: The first action of most users is to scan Strength of Evidence: the homepage for link titles and major headings. 1998. or they may avoid reading it altogether. See page xxii for detailed descriptions of the rating scales R e s e a r c h . Sources: Bailey.5:5 Limit Prose Text on the Homepage Guideline: Limit the amount of prose text on the homepage. Morkes and Nielsen. Farkas and Farkas.
Sinha and Hearst. 2002. and conducting a search. Lynch and Horton. 2001. 2001. Users have come to expect that certain actions are possible from the homepage. Nielsen and Tahir. and • All major content categories are available. 2002. 2002. These actions include.40 5:6 Ensure the Homepage Looks like a Homepage Guideline: Ensure that the homepage has the necessary characteristics to be easily perceived as a homepage. Koyani and Lafond. • Distinct and weighted category links listed in order of priority. finding important links. among others. Ivory. 2000. Tullis. Relative Importance: Strength of Evidence: The Homepage are not confused with the homepage. Ivory and Hearst. Research-Ba s e d We b D e s i g n & U s a b i l i t y G u i d e l i n e s . accessing a site map or index. 2000. Comments: It is important that pages ’lower’ in a site Sources: Farkas and Farkas. The second and third tier pages use a less visually imposing masthead and specific content. Nall. Example: This homepage has characteristics that help ensure that it is distinct from second and third tier pages: • Masthead with tagline.
’ Information that cannot be seen in the first screenful may be missed altogether—this can negatively impact the effectiveness of the Web site. 2002.’ indicating a reluctance to move from the first screenful to subsequent information.5:7 Limit Homepage Length Guideline: Limit the homepage to one screenful of information. Relative Importance: Strength of Evidence: 41 The Homepage Comments: Any element on the homepage that must immediately attract the attention of users should be placed ’above the fold. If users conclude that what they see on the visible portion of the page is not of interest.B a s e d We b D e s i g n & U s a b i l i t y G u i d e l i n e s . 2000. if at all possible. Spyridakis. Some users take a long time to scroll down ’below the fold. Nielsen and Tahir. 1999. IBM. Example: Users can view all of the information on this homepage without scrolling. Sources: Badre. 2002. 2002. Older users and novices are more likely to miss information that is placed below the fold. See page xxii for detailed descriptions of the rating scales R e s e a r c h . they may not bother scrolling to see the rest of the page. Lynch and Horton.
Relative Importance: Strength of Evidence: The Homepage Comments: Introducing users to a redesigned Web site can require some preparation of expectations. Research-Ba s e d We b D e s i g n & U s a b i l i t y G u i d e l i n e s . Therefore. 1996. For example. a notification of such on the order page should be provided. Sources: Levine. if shipping policies have changed.42 5:8 Announce Changes to a Web Site Guideline: Announce major changes to a Web site on the homepage—do not surprise users. Nall. Assure users that all previously available information will continue to be on the site. Users may not know what to do when they are suddenly confronted with a new look or navigation structure. Koyani and Lafond. Example: Creating Web pages that introduce a new look or changes in the navigation structure is one way of re-orienting users after a site redesign. It may also be helpful to users if you inform them of site changes at other relevant places on the Web site. 2001. tell users exactly what has changed and when the changes were made. you should communicate any planned changes to users ahead of time. Following completion of changes.
Koyani and Lafond. The newly designed left panel was used more. the panel was made narrower. users rarely selected the information in the left panel because they did not understand that it was intended to be a left panel. Farkas and Farkas.5:9 Attend to Homepage Panel Width Guideline: Ensure that homepage panels are of a width that will cause them to be recognized as panels. 2001. Relative Importance: Strength of Evidence: 43 The Homepage Comments: The width of panels seems to be critical for helping users understand the overall layout of a Web site. 1998. Sources: Evans. which was more consistent with other left panels experienced by users. See page xxii for detailed descriptions of the rating scales R e s e a r c h . Example: The width of these panels (wide enough to clearly present links and navigation information. Nall. In a subsequent study.B a s e d We b D e s i g n & U s a b i l i t y G u i d e l i n e s . but narrow enough so that they do not dominate the page) allow the user to recognize them as navigation and content panels. 2000. In one study.
Page Layout All Web pages should be structured for ease of
comprehension. This includes putting items on the page in an order that reflects their relative importance. Designers should place important items consistently, usually toward the top and center of the page. All items should be appropriately aligned on the pages. It is usually a good idea to ensure that the pages show a moderate amount of white space—too much can require considerable scrolling, while too little may provide a display that looks too ‘busy.’ It is also important to ensure that page layout does not falsely convey the top or bottom of the page, such that users stop scrolling prematurely. When a Web page contains prose text, choose appropriate line lengths. Longer line lengths usually will elicit faster reading speed, but users tend to prefer shorter line lengths. There are also important decisions that need to be made regarding page length. Pages should be long enough to adequately convey the information, but not so long that excessive scrolling becomes a problem. If page content or length dictates scrolling, but the page's table of contents needs to be accessible, then it is usually a good idea to use frames to keep the table of contents readily accessible and visible in the left panel.
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6:1 Avoid Cluttered Displays
Guideline: Create pages that are not considered
cluttered by users.
Relative Importance: Strength of Evidence:
Comments: Clutter is when excess items on a page lead to a degradation of performance when trying to find certain information. On an uncluttered display, all important search targets are highly salient, i.e., clearly available. One study found that test participants tended to agree on which displays were least cluttered and those that were most cluttered. Sources: Rosenholtz, et al., 2005. Example:
Cluttered pages lead to poorlyperforming sites.
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6:2 Place Important Items Consistently
Guideline: Put important, clickable items in the same locations, and closer to the top of the page, where their location can be better estimated.
Relative Importance: Strength of Evidence:
Comments: Users will try to anticipate where items will appear on their screen. They will start ’searching’ a page before the layout appears on their screen. When screen items remain constant, users learn their location on a page, and use this knowledge to improve task performance. Experienced users will begin moving their mouse to the area of the target before the eye detects the item. Users can anticipate the location of items near the top much better than those farther down the page. Sources: Badre, 2002; Bernard, 2001; Bernard, 2002; Byrne, et al., 1999; Ehret, 2002; Hornof and Halverson, 2003. Example:
Important items—in this case, primary navigation tabs— are consistently placed at the top of each page.
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See page xxii for detailed descriptions of the rating scales
6:3 Place Important Items at Top Center
Guideline: Put the most important items at the top Relative Importance:
center of the Web page to facilitate users’ finding the information. Strength of Evidence:
of a page first, then look left, then right, and finally begin systematically moving down the total Web page. All critical content and navigation options should be toward the top of the page. Particularly on navigation pages, most major choices should be visible with no, or a minimum of, scrolling.
Comments: Users generally look at the top center
Sources: Byrne, et al., 1999; Detweiler and Omanson, 1996; Faraday, 2000; Faraday, 2001; Lewenstein, et al., 2000; Mahajan and Shneiderman, 1997; Nielsen, 1996a; Nielsen, 1999b; Nielsen, 1999c; Spyridakis, 2000. Example:
Eye-tracking studies indicate this is the area of the screen where most new users first look when a Web site page loads.
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6:4 Structure for Easy Comparison
Guideline: Structure pages so that items can be easily compared when users must analyze those items to discern similarities, differences, trends, and relationships.
Relative Importance: Strength of Evidence:
Comments: Users should be able to compare two or more items without having to remember one while going to another page or another place on the same page to view a different item. Sources: Spool, et al., 1997; Tullis, 1981; Williams, 2000. Example:
This page layout is structured to allow users to quickly scan and compare data.
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See page xxii for detailed descriptions of the rating scales
Information should be presented in the order that is most useful to users. 1998.6:5 Establish Level of Importance Guideline: Establish a high-to-low level of importance for information and infuse this approach throughout each page on the Web site. The order was determined by surveys. Nall. log analyses. 2000. Evans. Koyani and Lafond 2001. Spyridakis. Hornof and Halverson. Example: Priority information and links appear in order based on users’ needs. Nielsen and Tahir. Marshall. 1996. People prefer hierarchies.B a s e d We b D e s i g n & U s a b i l i t y G u i d e l i n e s . This enables them to adopt a more systematic strategy when scanning a page. Relative Importance: Strength of Evidence: 49 Page Layout Comments: The page layout should help users find and use the most important information. 1996. and tend to focus their attention on one level of the hierarchy at a time. 2000. The least used information should appear toward the bottom of the page. 2001. Nygren and Allard. 2003. 2002. Sources: Detweiler and Omanson. and interviews. Kim and Yoo. which results in fewer revisits. R e s e a r c h . Drapeau and DiSciullo. Important information should appear higher on the page so users can locate it quickly.
but their fixations were much longer when viewing items in the crowded areas. Participants used fewer fixations per word in the crowded areas. participants searched and found items in the sparse areas faster than those in the crowded areas. This density either can be crowded with many items. Sources: Halverson and Hornof. 2004. Comments: Density can be defined as the number of items per degree of visual angle within a visually distinct group. gives the user’s eyes a rest with areas of white space. To summarize. Finally. This page doesn’t allow for quick scanning because of it’s density. create pages that are not too crowded with items of information.50 6:6 Optimize Display Density Relative Importance: Page Layout Guideline: To facilitate finding target information on Strength of Evidence: a page. or sparse with few items. Example: This homepage. though quite dense with information. One study found that locating a target in a crowded area took longer than when the target was in a sparse area. Research-Ba s e d We b D e s i g n & U s a b i l i t y G u i d e l i n e s See page xxii for detailed descriptions of the rating scales . participants tended to visit sparse areas before dense groups. Also. targets in sparse areas of the display (versus crowded areas) tended to be searched earlier and found faster.
1984. Dyck and Cook. Lawless and Kulikowich. Use consistent alignments across all Web pages. Mayer. Marcus. data entry fields. allowing the information to fall easily to the eye. 1986. These columns are horizontally aligned. 1996. radio buttons. Parush. Fowler. 2000.6:7 Align Items on a Page Guideline: Visually align page elements. Sources: Ausubel. either vertically or horizontally. etc. Smilonich and Thompson 1995. Williams. checkboxes. 1996. 1998. R e s e a r c h . Spyridakis. 1996. Nadir and Shtub. Trollip and Sales. Example: The design of these list columns makes them extremely difficult to scan. 2000. Esperet. 1994. Voss. et al. Relative Importance: Strength of Evidence: 51 Page Layout Comments: Users prefer consistent alignments for items such as text blocks.. 1986. and thus will slow users’ attempts to find information. Williams. Bailey. 1968. columns. rows.B a s e d We b D e s i g n & U s a b i l i t y G u i d e l i n e s . 1998.
or liquid. One 2003 study reported a compliance rate for this guideline of twenty-eight percent. However. It is best to take advantage of as much of the screen space as possible because this will help move more information above the fold. most users prefer the fluid layout. Research-Ba s e d We b D e s i g n & U s a b i l i t y G u i d e l i n e s See page xxii for detailed descriptions of the rating scales . Relative Importance: Strength of Evidence: Page Layout Comments: When web page layouts are fixed either to the left or centered. layouts allow users to adjust Web pages to fit their screen space. much of the available screen space is not used. Nielsen. Keep in mind that large monitors and higher pixel resolutions allow viewing of more than one window at a time. 2003.52 6:8 Use Fluid Layouts Guideline: Use a fluid layout that automatically adjusts the page size to monitor resolution settings that are 1024x768 pixels or higher. Example: Flexible. There has been no degradation in user performance when using the non-fluid layouts. 2001. and a 2001 study found that only twenty-three percent of top Web sites used a fluid layout. Sources: Bernard and Larsen.
thinking the headings indicated the top of the page. Koyani and Nall. Spool. the design of this header (bold. Klee and Schroeder. Drapeau and DiSciullo. Ivory. R e s e a r c h . 2001. 2000. users have been found to not scroll to the true bottom of a page to find a link because they encountered a block of text in a very small font size. shadowed. Nygren and Allard. 2000. they tended to stop. 1997. 2000. Marshall. Similarly. The design and location of this block of graphics might suggest to a new user that this is the bottom of the page. Spool.. three headings were positioned in the center of a page below a section of introductory text—the headings were located about one inch below the navigation tabs. Comments: In one study. Page Layout Sources: Bailey. et al. inappropriate placement of ’widgets. when the scroll bar indicates that it is not. when a quick look at the scroll bar will indicate that much of the page exists above this section. Example: When scrolling up the page.B a s e d We b D e s i g n & U s a b i l i t y G u i d e l i n e s . This small type led users to believe that they were at the true bottom of the page. Other elements that may stop users’ scrolling include horizontal lines. Sinha and Hearst. When users scrolled up the page from the bottom and encountered these headings. and bordered by bars) might suggest that the user has reached the top of the page.6:9 Avoid Scroll Stoppers Relative Importance: 53 Guideline: Ensure that the location of headings Strength of Evidence: and other page elements does not create the illusion that users have reached the top or bottom of a page when they have not.’ and cessation of background color. 1996.
(4) make pages more convenient to download and print. (3) simplify page maintenance (fewer Web page files to maintain). and. 2002. especially on content pages. Example: A shorter page is used for this homepage so that most content is visible without scrolling. Relative Importance: Strength of Evidence: Page Layout Comments: In general. (2) match the structure of a paper counterpart. use shorter pages for homepages and navigation pages. Sources: Bernard. 1998. Evans.54 6:10 Set Appropriate Page Lengths Guideline: Make page-length decisions that support the primary use of the Web page. and pages that need to be quickly browsed and/or read online. Use longer pages to (1) facilitate uninterrupted reading. 2002.’ Research-Ba s e d We b D e s i g n & U s a b i l i t y G u i d e l i n e s See page xxii for detailed descriptions of the rating scales . Baker and Fernandez. Lynch and Horton. The scroll bar on each page is an indication of the amount of information hidden ‘below the fold.
. Example: This page facilitates users’ ability to scan for information by limiting the amount of white space. Parush. On content (i. Another study found that users prefer moderate amounts of white space. Too much separation of items on Web pages may require users to scroll unnecessarily. but the amount of white space has no impact on their searching performance. Sources: Chaparro and Bernard. graphics. and has no impact on user accuracy or preference.B a s e d We b D e s i g n & U s a b i l i t y G u i d e l i n e s . 1997. Comments: ’Density’ is the percentage of the screen filled with text and graphics.) on pages that are used for scanning and searching. Nadir and Shtub. One study found that higher density is related to faster scanning.. Page Layout R e s e a r c h . text) pages. 1984.e. 2001. Staggers. Tullis. Spool. et al.6:11 Use Moderate White Space Relative Importance: 55 Guideline: Limit the amount of white space (areas Strength of Evidence: without text. 1998. use some white space to separate paragraphs. 1993. etc.
6:12 Choose Appropriate Line Lengths
Guideline: If reading speed is most important, use longer line lengths (75-100 characters per line). If acceptance of the Web site is most important, use shorter line lengths (fifty characters per line).
Relative Importance: Strength of Evidence:
Comments: When designing, first determine if performance or preference is most important. Users read faster when line lengths are long. However, they tend to prefer shorter line lengths, even though reading shorter lines generally slows overall reading speed. One study found that line lengths of about twenty characters reliably slowed reading speed.
When space for text display is limited, display a few longer lines of text rather than many shorter lines of text. Always display continuous text in columns containing at least fifty characters per line. Research done using a paper-based document found that medium line length was read fastest.
Sources: Bailey, 2002; Duchnicky and Kolers, 1983; Dyson and Haselgrove, 2000; Dyson and Haselgrove, 2001; Dyson and Kipping, 1998; Evans, 1998; Paterson and Tinker, 1940b; Rehe, 1979; Smith and Mosier, 1986; Tinker and Paterson, 1929; Tullis, 1988; Youngman and Scharff, 1999. Example:
Formatting text into narrow columns with very short line lengths will slow users’ reading speeds.
Formatting text like this— roughly 100 characters per line—elicits faster reading speeds.
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6:13 Use Frames when Functions Must Remain Accessible
Guideline: Use frames when certain functions must remain visible on the screen as the user accesses other information on the site. Comments: It works well to have the functional
Relative Importance: Strength of Evidence:
items in one frame and the items that are being acted upon in another frame. This is sometimes referred to as a ’simultaneous menu’ because making changes in one frame causes the information to change in another frame. Side-by-side frames seem to work best, with the functions on the left and the information viewing area on the right. Keep in mind that frames can be confusing to some users. More than three frames on a page can be especially confusing to infrequent and occasional users. Frames also pose problems when users attempt to print, and when they search pages.
Sources: Ashworth and Hamilton, 1997; Bernard and Hull, 2002; Bernard, Hull and Drake, 2001; Detweiler and Omanson, 1996; Kosslyn, 1994; Koyani, 2001a; Lynch and Horton, 2002; Nielsen, 1996a; Nielsen, 1999b; Powers, et al., 1961; Spool, et al., 1997. Example:
Multi-variable charting applications are one example of an acceptable use of frames. The map of the United States in the right frame is controlled by the menu selections in the left frame. As such, the left frame remains fixed while the right frame regenerates based upon the userdefined selections in the left frame. Such use of frames allows users to continually view the menu selections, avoiding use of the Back button when changing selections and eliminating the need for users to maintain this information in their working memory.
See page xxii for detailed descriptions of the rating scales
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Navigation Navigation refers to the method used to find
information within a Web site. A navigation page is used primarily to help users locate and link to destination pages. A Web site’s navigation scheme and features should allow users to find and access information effectively and efficiently. When possible, this means designers should keep navigation-only pages short. Designers should include site maps, and provide effective feedback on the user’s location within the site. To facilitate navigation, designers should differentiate and group navigation elements and use appropriate menu types. It is also important to use descriptive tab labels, provide a clickable list of page contents on long pages, and add ‘glosses’ where they will help users select the correct link. In well-designed sites, users do not get trapped in dead-end pages.
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7:1 Provide Navigational Options
that have no navigational options.
Guideline: Do not create or direct users into pages Strength of Evidence: Comments: Many Web pages contain links that open new browser windows. When these browser windows open, the Back button is disabled (in essence, the new browser window knows nothing of the user’s past navigation, and thus is disabled). If the new window opens full-screen, users may not realize that they have been redirected to another window, and may become frustrated because they cannot press Back to return to the previous page. If such links are incorporated into a Web site, the newly-opened window should contain a prominent action control that will close the window and return the user to the original browser window.
In addition, designers should not create Web pages that disable the browser’s Back button. Disabling the Back button can result in confusion and frustration for users, and drastically inhibits their navigation.
al., 1997; Tullis, 2001; Zimmerman, Slater and Kendall, 2001.
Sources: Detweiler and Omanson, 1996; Lynch and Horton, 2002; Spool, et
The link for this document opens a new browser window that presents the user with a disabled Back button. This can confuse users.
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7:2 Differentiate and Group Navigation Elements
Guideline: Clearly differentiate navigation elements
from one another, but group and place them in a consistent and easy to find place on each page. Relative Importance: Strength of Evidence:
navigational scheme to help users learn and understand the structure of your Web site. Use the same navigation scheme on all pages by consistently locating tabs, headings, lists, search, site map, etc. Locate critical navigation elements in places that will suggest clickability (e.g., lists of words in the left or right panels are generally assumed to be links). Make navigational elements different enough from one another so that users will be able to understand the difference in their meaning and destination. Grouping reduces the amount of time that users need to locate and identify navigation elements. Do not make users infer the label by studying a few items in the group. Finally, make it easy for users to move from label to label (link to link) with a single eye movement. This best can be done by positioning relevant options close together and to using vertical lists.
Comments: Create a common, Web site-wide
Sources: Bailey, 2000b; Detweiler and Omanson, 1996; Evans, 1998; Farkas and Farkas, 2000; Hornof and Halverson, 2003; Koyani and Nall, 1999; Lynch and Horton, 2002; Nielsen and Tahir, 2002; Niemela and Saarinen, 2000. Example:
Navigation elements are grouped (high-level topic areas across the top of the page) and consistently placed across the Web site.
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Nall. 1997. clickable list of the sections (sometimes called ’anchor’ or ’within-page’ links) at the top of the page.B a s e d We b D e s i g n & U s a b i l i t y G u i d e l i n e s . they are also useful for getting users to specific information quickly when they arrive from a completely different page.7:3 Use a Clickable ‘List of Contents’ on Long Pages Guideline: On long pages. Comments: For long pages with several distinct Sources: Bieber. 1996. add a short. Slater and Kendall. ’Anchor links’ can serve two purposes: they provide an outline of the page so users can quickly determine if it contains the desired information. Spool. Koyani and Lafond. 1998. 1997. 2000. 2000. Example: See page xxii for detailed descriptions of the rating scales R e s e a r c h . Williams. Zimmerman. 2001. Relative Importance: Strength of Evidence: 61 Navigation sections that are not visible from the first screenful. Since ’anchor links’ enable a direct link to content below the first screenful. 2000. Levine.. and they allow users to quickly navigate to specific information. 2001. Haas and Grams. et al. Farkas and Farkas. provide a ’list of contents’ with links that take users to the corresponding content farther down the page. Spyridakis.
and creating URLs that relate to the user’s location on the site. Sources: Evans. 1998. et al.62 7:4 Provide Feedback on Users’ Location Guideline: Provide feedback to let users know where Relative Importance: they are in the Web site. Research-Ba s e d We b D e s i g n & U s a b i l i t y G u i d e l i n e s See page xxii for detailed descriptions of the rating scales . Examples of feedback include providing path and hierarchy information (i. Marchionini. IBM. and for proceeding to the next activity.e. matching link text to the destination page’s heading. Spool. 1997. Nielsen and Tahir. and using other visual cues to indicate the active portion of the screen. Lynch and Horton. 1999. 2002. Other forms of feedback include changing the color of a link that has been clicked (suggesting that destination has been visited). 1995. 2000. ’breadcrumbs’).. Color coding the pages and navigation menus provides effective feedback to the user about their location in the Web site. Farkas and Farkas. Example: This box is used to designate the section of the Web site that is currently being viewed. 2002.. Navigation Comments: Feedback provides users with the Strength of Evidence: information they need to understand where they are within the Web site.
2004. Relative Importance: Strength of Evidence: 63 Navigation times were faster when the primary menu was located in the left panel. or grouping all three menu levels together. Kingsburg and Andre.7:5 Place Primary Navigation Menus in the Left Panel Guideline: Place the primary navigation menus in the left panel. Users preferred having the primary menu in the left panel. The best performance and preference was achieved when all three menus were placed in the left panel (placing them all in the right panel achieved close to the same performance level). R e s e a r c h . and grouping secondary and tertiary menus together. Comments: One study found that navigation Sources: Kalbach and Bosenick. Placing a navigation menu in the right panel was supported as a viable design option by both performance and preference measures. 2003. navigation performance was best when the secondary and tertiary menus were placed together. Example: Primary and secondary navigation is placed consistently throughout the site. Also. and the secondary and tertiary menus together.B a s e d We b D e s i g n & U s a b i l i t y G u i d e l i n e s .
do not use tabs. 1999. Badre.64 7:6 Use Descriptive Tab Labels Guideline: Ensure that tab labels are clearly descriptive of their function or destination. 2001b. Relative Importance: Strength of Evidence: Navigation Comments: Users like tabs when they have labels that are descriptive enough to allow error-free selections. Sources: Allinson and Hammond. Koyani. These tab labels are not as descriptive which leaves the user in doubt about the type of information available on the destination pages. 2002. When tab labels cannot be made clear because of the lack of space. Research-Ba s e d We b D e s i g n & U s a b i l i t y G u i d e l i n e s See page xxii for detailed descriptions of the rating scales . Example: These tab labels clearly describe the types of information a user can expect to find on the destination pages.
R e s e a r c h . Koyani and Nall. One study showed that users are more likely to find and click appropriately on tabs that look like real-world tabs. Example: These clickable tabs look just like tabs found in office filing cabinets. and look like clickable versions of real-world tabs. The design of these navigation tabs provides few clues to suggest that they are clickable until a user mouses-over them. Relative Importance: 65 Guideline: Ensure that navigation tabs are located Strength of Evidence: Navigation Comments: Users can be confused about the use of tabs when they do not look like real-world tabs. 1998. 2000. Mousing-over is a slow and inefficient way for users to discover navigation elements. Sources: Bailey.B a s e d We b D e s i g n & U s a b i l i t y G u i d e l i n e s . Kim.7:7 Present Tabs Effectively at the top of the page. Real-world tabs are those that resemble the ones found in a file drawer.
Sources: Piolat. even a small distance. 2000. 1983. and they did not scroll further to find additional navigational options. 1998. Roussey and Thunin. One study showed that users considered the bottom of one screenful as the end of a page. Zaphiris.66 7:8 Keep Navigation-Only Pages Short Guideline: Do not require users to scroll purely navigational pages. Beldie and Pastoor. Example: Users can view all of the information on these navigation pages without scrolling. Schwarz. Users should not need to scroll the page. Research-Ba s e d We b D e s i g n & U s a b i l i t y G u i d e l i n e s See page xxii for detailed descriptions of the rating scales . navigation-only pages should contain no more than one screenful of information. Relative Importance: Strength of Evidence: Navigation Comments: Ideally.
7:9 Use Appropriate Menu Types Guideline: Use ’sequential’ menus for simple forward-moving tasks. another menu opens. providing users with the ability to make choices from the menu in any order. and are best employed in situations where users would have to make extensive use of the Back button if presented with a sequential menu. The final choice is constrained by the sum total of all previous choices. The user can repetitively manipulate the many variables shown in the left panel and view the results on the map in the right panel without having to use the Back button. In this case. After each selection is made. Sources: Card. Moran and Newell.B a s e d We b D e s i g n & U s a b i l i t y G u i d e l i n e s . Example: This is an example of a ‘sequential’ menu. 2000. Relative Importance: Strength of Evidence: 67 Navigation Comments: Most Web sites use familiar ’sequential’ menus that require items to be selected from a series of menus in some predetermined order. mousing-over ‘Deputates’ invokes the circled sub-menu. Hochheiser and Shneiderman. Simultaneous menus display choices from multiple levels in the menu hierarchy. and use ’simultaneous’ menus for tasks that would otherwise require numerous uses of the Back button. R e s e a r c h . This is a good example of when to use ‘simultaneous’ menus. 1980a. Simultaneous menus are often presented in frames.
They may display the hierarchy of the Web site. Farris. Detweiler and Omanson. Sources: Ashworth and Hamilton. 1997. Some studies suggest that site maps do not necessarily improve users’ mental representations of a Web site. Tullis. Nielsen. 1997. 2001. Jones and Elgin. 1997a. Also. Farkas and Farkas. McDonald and Stevenson. 1999b. 1996. Stanton. 1989. 1998. 1995. Nielsen. one study reported that if a site map does not reflect users’ (or the domain’s) conceptual structure. or may be a simple index. subcategories. 1992. and alphabetization make this site map easy to scan. McEneaney. may be designed to resemble a traditional table of contents. Nielsen. Example: This site map effectively presents the site’s information hierarchy. Billingsley. Utting and Yankelovich. Kandogan and Shneiderman.68 7:10 Use Site Maps Guideline: Use site maps for Web sites that have many pages. Nielsen. Relative Importance: Strength of Evidence: Navigation Comments: Site maps provide an overview of the Web site. 2001. Dias and Sousa. 1999d. 1996a. Research-Ba s e d We b D e s i g n & U s a b i l i t y G u i d e l i n e s . 1982. Nielsen. then the utility of the map is lessened. 2000. Taylor and Tweedie. The use of headers. Kim and Hirtle. 2001. 1997. 1999c.
Zellweger. Relative Importance: 69 Navigation Comments: ’Glosses’ are short phrases of Strength of Evidence: information that popup when a user places his or her mouse pointer close to a link. the circled text appears. Example: When a user places his or her mouse pointer over one of these links (‘News’. However. See page xxii for detailed descriptions of the rating scales R e s e a r c h . Farkas and Farkas. designers should not rely on the ’gloss’ to compensate for poorly labeled links. 1998. etc. ‘Information’.7:11 Use ‘Glosses’ to Assist Navigation Guideline: Provide ’glosses’ to help users select correct links. It provides a preview to information behind a link.). a ’gloss’ appears to the right that provides information about the content contained under that particular link. 2000. 2000. Regli and Mackinlay. but not placed such that it disturbs the primary text. Users prefer the preview information to be located close to the link. Sources: Evans.B a s e d We b D e s i g n & U s a b i l i t y G u i d e l i n e s . When a user mousesover the ‘Office of Trust Records (OTR)’ link.
Hull. when used. One study found that test participants who received instruction on the use of breadcrumbs completed tasks much faster than those who did not. Sources: Rogers and Chaparro. Relative Importance: Strength of Evidence: Navigation Comments: One study reported no difference in task completion times and total pages visited between groups that had breadcrumbs and those that did not. or to understand the site’s hierarchy. 2004. either to navigate the site.70 7:12 Breadcrumb Navigation Guideline: Do not expect users to use breadcrumbs effectively. allow users to quickly navigate your site. Example: Breadcrumbs. 2003. It is probably not worth the effort to include breadcrumbs unless you can show that your Web site’s users use them frequently. Research-Ba s e d We b D e s i g n & U s a b i l i t y G u i d e l i n e s See page xxii for detailed descriptions of the rating scales . This time savings could result in increased productivity for users that search Web sites on a daily basis. but only did so six percent of the time. Participants could have used breadcrumbs thirty-two percent of the time.
Scrolling and Paging Designers must decide. while many reading tasks benefit from scrolling. some tasks that require users to remember where information is located on a page may benefit from paging. therefore. long scrolling pages may slow them down considerably. and not lengthy pages. This decision will be based on considerations of the primary users and the type of tasks being performed. When scrolling is used. Users only should have to scroll through a few screenfuls. As another example. If designers are unable to decide between paging and scrolling.B a s e d We b D e s i g n & U s a b i l i t y G u i d e l i n e s . early in the design process. For example. Designers should never require users to scroll horizontally. whether to create long pages that require extensive scrolling or shorter pages that will require users to move frequently from page to page (an activity referred to as paging). older users tend to scroll more slowly than younger users. The findings of usability testing should help confirm or negate that decision. designers should ensure that users can move from page to page as efficiently as possible. a Web site should be designed to allow the fastest possible scrolling. Generally. it is usually better to provide several shorter pages rather than one or two longer pages. 8 Scrolling and Paging R e s e a r c h .
Nielsen and Tahir. Sources: Bernard and Larsen. Strength of Evidence: Comments: Horizontal scrolling is a slow and tedious way to view an entire screen. 2000. 2002. 2000. Research-Ba s e d We b D e s i g n & U s a b i l i t y G u i d e l i n e s . Note the scroll bar These Web pages require users to scroll horizontally. Williams. Example: 640 x 480. Common page layouts including fluid and leftjustified may require some users to scroll horizontally if their monitor resolution or size is smaller than that used by designers. 2001. Lynch and Horton. 2002. Spyridakis. Note the scroll bar 800 x 600.72 Relative Importance: 8:1 Eliminate Horizontal Scrolling 8:2 Use Scrolling Pages For Reading Comprehension Scrolling and Paging Guideline: Use an appropriate page layout to eliminate the need for users to scroll horizontally.
. Comments: Web pages will move quickly or slowly Strength of Evidence: 2002. Relative Importance: 73 Scrolling and Paging depending on how users elect to scroll. Sources: Bailey. See page xxii for detailed descriptions of the rating scales R e s e a r c h . 2005. which can be slow but does allow most information to be read during the scrolling process.8:2 Facilitate Rapid Scrolling 8:4 Scroll Fewer Screenfuls While Reading Guideline: Facilitate fast scrolling by highlighting major items. Keep in mind that older users (70 and over) will scroll much more slowly than younger users (39 and younger). Some users click on the arrows at the ends of the scroll bar. large text and an accompanying graphic are effectively used to draw the user’s attention during fast scrolling. Example: Bold. Koyani and Nall.B a s e d We b D e s i g n & U s a b i l i t y G u i d e l i n e s . Koyani and Bailey. Other users drag the scroll box. the information may move too fast on the screen for users to read prose text. et al. Koyani. 2000. which tends to be much faster. but they can read major headings that are well-designed and clearly placed. When the scroll box is dragged.
one study showed that paging participants construct better mental representations of the text as a whole. Research-Ba s e d We b D e s i g n & U s a b i l i t y G u i d e l i n e s See page xxii for detailed descriptions of the rating scales .. 1998. et al. Relative Importance: Scrolling and Paging Comments: Make the trade-off between paging and Strength of Evidence: scrolling by taking into consideration that retrieving new linked pages introduces a delay that can interrupt users’ thought processes.. Sources: Nielsen. Spyridakis. However. 1999. paging was preferred by inexperienced users. et al. and are better at remembering the main ideas and later locating relevant information on a page. 1999. Campbell and Maglio. 1997e. Beldie and Pastoor. Beldie and Pastoor. Schwarz. there is no reliable difference between scrolling and paging when people are reading for comprehension.74 8:3 8:2 Use Scrolling Pages For Reading Comprehension Guideline: Use longer. 8:4 Use Paging Rather Than Scrolling Guideline: If users’ system response times are reasonably fast. Sources: Byrne. 1997. 1998. Spool. 1983. Scrolling allows readers to advance in the text without losing the context of the message as may occur when they are required to follow links. 2000. In one study. Roosey and Thunin. Relative Importance: Strength of Evidence: Comments: Users should be able to move from page to page by selecting links and without having to scroll to find important information. use paging rather than scrolling. Schwarz. Piolat. Roussey and Thunin. scrolling pages when users are reading for comprehension. Piolat. 1983. For example. with pages that have fast loading times.
Lynch and Horton. et al.. 1997. well-organized pages of information rather than lengthy pages because scrolling can take a lot of time. resulting in each page being no longer than four screenfuls.8:5 Scroll Fewer Screenfuls Guideline: If users are looking for specific information. Spyridakis. Nielsen. 2000. Example: Good design of a long. 1996. Older users tend to scroll much more slowly than younger users.B a s e d We b D e s i g n & U s a b i l i t y G u i d e l i n e s . users deal best with smaller. break up the information into smaller portions (shorter pages). One study found that Internet users spend about thirteen percent of their time scrolling within pages. Sources: Detweiler and Omanson. Even though each event takes little time. 1996a. R e s e a r c h . 2002. Spool. The singlepage design of this document requires users to scroll more than twentyseven screenfuls. This single document is divided into numerous sections. Relative Importance: Strength of Evidence: 75 Scrolling and Paging Comments: For many Web sites. content-rich document. cumulative scrolling adds significant time.
and Labels Most users spend a considerable amount of time scanning rather than reading information on Web sites. and it is generally a good idea not to skip heading levels. and to use as many headings as necessary to enable users to find what they are looking for—it is usually better to use more rather than fewer headings. Designers should strive to use unique and descriptive headings. 9 Research-Ba s e d We b D e s i g n & U s a b i l i t y G u i d e l i n e s . designers should make sure that descriptive row and column headings are included that enable users to clearly understand the information in the table. Titles. Headings should be used in their appropriate HTML order. and Labels Headings. Well-designed headings help to facilitate both scanning and reading written material. Titles.Headings. When tables are used. It is occasionally important to highlight certain critical information. Designers should ensure that each page has a unique and descriptive page title.
Drapeau and DiSciullo. Zimmerman. and Lafond. Mahajan and Shneiderman. Relative Importance: Strength of Evidence: 77 Headings. 1998. Example: These labels are clear and distinct. Landesman and Schroeder. Users will likely have difficulty understanding vague. and descriptors easier to use. 1997.B a s e d We b D e s i g n & U s a b i l i t y G u i d e l i n e s . et al. 2001. R e s e a r c h . Titles.9:1 Use Clear Category Labels Guideline: Ensure that category labels. 2001. allowing users to distinguish paths quickly. Nall.. Spyridakis. but will find specific. 2002. Marshall. generalized link labels. including links. 2000. clearly reflect the information and items contained within the category. Sources: Evans. Koyani. and Labels Comments: Category titles must be understood by typical users. detailed links. 2000.
2000. They can also help others as they compile links to your pages. concise. Titles are used by search engines to identify pages. Williams. Remember that some search engines only list the titles in their search results page. 2000. they should not have to edit the title to meet the characteristics mentioned above. Example: These titles are unique. 1998.78 9:2 Provide Descriptive Page Titles Guideline: Put a descriptive. If two or more pages have the same title. make the title that appears in the heading of the browser consistent with the title in the content area of the pages. Levine. and consistent with the titles in the content area. Using concise and meaningful titles on all pages can help orient users as they browse a page or scan hot lists and history lists for particular URLs. If users bookmark a page. 2002. they cannot be differentiated by users or the Favorites capability of the browser. Sources: Evans. Relative Importance: Strength of Evidence: Headings. To avoid confusing users. Spyridakis. Nielsen and Tahir. unique. Titles. concise. and Labels Comments: Title refers to the text that is in the browser title bar (this is the bar found at the very top of the browser screen). Research-Ba s e d We b D e s i g n & U s a b i l i t y G u i d e l i n e s . 1996. and meaningfully different title on each Web page.
Hayes and Swarts. 1984. Schultz and Spyridakis. Lorch and Lorch. 1999c. Headings should provide strong cues that orient users and inform them about page organization and structure. Spyridakis.B a s e d We b D e s i g n & U s a b i l i t y G u i d e l i n e s . 1998. 1983. 2000. Evans. and Labels Comments: Well-written headings are an important Strength of Evidence: tool for helping users scan quickly. Meyer. Zimmerman and Prickett. Relative Importance: 79 Headings. Ivory and Hearst. Murphy and Mitchell. et al. 2000. Ivory. 2000. Koyani and Nall. the user may start reading in places that do not offer the information they are seeking. 1989. 2002. 1984. 2000. 1996. Morkes and Nielsen. Headings should conceptually relate to the information or functions that follow them.. 1986. The ability to scan quickly is particularly important for older adults because they tend to stop scanning and start reading more frequently. Titles. 2002.9:3 Use Descriptive Headings Liberally Guideline: Use descriptive headings liberally throughout a Web site. If headings are not descriptive or plentiful enough. 1995. 1998. 1983. Nielsen. Gerhardt-Powals. See page xxii for detailed descriptions of the rating scales R e s e a r c h . Example: Spending time during the design process to ensure that the site contains many carefully written headings and sub-headings will save users time as they rapidly locate the information for which they are searching. Hartley and Trueman. Headings also help classify information on a page. Spyridakis. 1999d. Sources: Bailey. Sinha and Hearst. Mayer. thereby slowing them down unnecessarily. Each heading should be helpful in finding the desired target. Flower. 2002. Nielsen. Dyck and Cook. Morrell.
2000. Williams. 1996. Example: These headings are well-designed—they are unique from one another and descriptive of the information to which they link. users may have to hesitate and reread to decipher the difference. 2000. Ensure that headings are descriptive and relate to the content they introduce. Koyani and Nall. 1998. If headings are too similar to one another. and Labels between what users were expecting and what they find) is a common problem with Web sites. Morkes and Nielsen. Research-Ba s e d We b D e s i g n & U s a b i l i t y G u i d e l i n e s See page xxii for detailed descriptions of the rating scales . Gerhardt-Powals.80 9:4 Use Unique and Descriptive Headings Guideline: Use headings that are unique from one another and conceptually related to the content they describe. Identifying the best headings may require extensive usability testing and other methods. Comments: Using poor headings (mismatches Sources: Bailey. Relative Importance: Strength of Evidence: Headings. Titles.
meaning to emphasize or make prominent.B a s e d We b D e s i g n & U s a b i l i t y G u i d e l i n e s .. 1975.. and red draws attention to the most pressing deadline and instructions. i. highlight) important page items that require user attention. bold. 1985. 1996. highlighting just a few items on a page that is otherwise relatively uniform in appearance. Myers. Sources: Ahlstrom and Longo.9:5 Highlight Critical Data Guideline: Visually distinguish (i. 2001. Engel and Granda. particularly when those items are displayed infrequently.e. R e s e a r c h . Example: Formatting this text in underline. or data failing to meet some other defined criteria. Highlight is used here in its general sense. data exceeding acceptable limits.e. and Labels Comments: Items to highlight might include recently changed data. Relative Importance: Strength of Evidence: 81 Headings. Highlighting is most effective when used sparingly. Levine. Titles.
Headings. so the user can understand the significance of the cell in the overall scheme of the table. An example of poor table heading design. ‘J. Vanderheiden and Jacobs.82 9:6 Use Descriptive Row and Column Headings Guideline: Ensure that data tables have clear.’. 2002. Chisholm. Relative Importance: and accurate row and column headings. 1996. 1998. Sources: Bransford and Johnson. Detweiler and Omanson. 1980. 1972. The non-expert user will have no problem understanding these descriptive row and column headers. Titles. United States Government.’ Unless space constraints dictate otherwise. Research-Ba s e d We b D e s i g n & U s a b i l i t y G u i d e l i n e s . Example: An example of good table heading design. Lynch and Horton. always use row and column headers that are descriptive enough to be understood by non-expert users. Users require clear and concise table headings in order to make efficient and effective use of table information. concise. 1999d. Row and column headings will indicate to screen readers how data points should be labeled or identified. The non-expert user will have little idea what is meant by ‘R’. and ‘Pt. and Labels Comments: Use row and column headings to indicate Strength of Evidence: unique cell contents. Wright.
9:7 Use Headings in the Appropriate HTML Order
Guideline: Use headings in the appropriate HTML
order. Relative Importance:
Headings, Titles, and Labels
Comments: Using the appropriate HTML heading Strength of Evidence: order helps users get a sense of the hierarchy of information on the page. The appropriate use of H1-H3 heading tags also allows users of assistive technologies to understand the hierarchy of information. Sources: Detweiler and Omanson, 1996; Spool, et al., 1997. Example:
See page xxii for detailed descriptions of the rating scales
R e s e a r c h - B a s e d We b D e s i g n & U s a b i l i t y G u i d e l i n e s
9:8 Provide Users with Good Ways to Reduce Options
Guideline: Provide users with good ways to reduce
their available options as efficiently as possible. Relative Importance: Strength of Evidence:
Headings, Titles, and Labels
Comments: Users seem willing to reduce their options quickly. Provide all options clearly so that users can focus first on selecting what they consider to be the most important option. Sources: Bailey, Koyani, and Nall, 2000. Example:
By providing three different options for selecting desired information, users can select the one most important to them.
Research-Ba s e d We b D e s i g n & U s a b i l i t y G u i d e l i n e s
See page xxii for detailed descriptions of the rating scales
Linking means that users will select and click on
a hypertext link on a starting page (usually the homepage), which then causes a new page to load. Users continue toward their goal by finding and clicking on subsequent links. To ensure that links are effectively used, designers should use meaningful link labels (making sure that link names are consistent with their targets), provide consistent clickability cues (avoiding misleading cues), and designate when links have been clicked. Whenever possible, designers should use text for links rather than graphics. Text links usually provide much better information about the target than do graphics.
R e s e a r c h - B a s e d We b D e s i g n & U s a b i l i t y G u i d e l i n e s
10:1 Use Meaningful Link Labels
Guideline: Use link labels and concepts that are
meaningful, understandable, and easily differentiated by users rather than designers.
Relative Importance: Strength of Evidence:
Comments: To avoid user confusion, use link labels that clearly differentiate one link from another. Users should be able to look at each link and learn something about the link’s destination. Using terms like ’Click Here’ can be counterproductive.
Clear labeling is especially important as users navigate down through the available links. The more decisions that users are required to make concerning links, the more opportunities they have to make a wrong decision.
Sources: Bailey, Koyani and Nall, 2000; Coney and Steehouder, 2000; Evans, 1998; Farkas and Farkas, 2000; IEEE; Larson and Czerwinski, 1998; Miller and Remington, 2000; Mobrand and Spyridakis, 2002; Nielsen and Tahir, 2002; Spool, et al., 1997; Spyridakis, 2000. Example:
‘COOL’ refers to an application that allows users to search for all jobs within the Department of Commerce (not just the Census Bureau.) This link does a poor job in explaining itself. The other circled links aren’t as descriptive as they could be.
Research-Ba s e d We b D e s i g n & U s a b i l i t y G u i d e l i n e s
10:2 Link to Related Content
site with related content.
Guideline: Provide links to other pages in the Web Strength of Evidence: Comments: Users expect designers to know their Web sites well enough to provide a full list of options to related content. Sources: Koyani and Nall, 1999. Example:
See page xxii for detailed descriptions of the rating scales
R e s e a r c h - B a s e d We b D e s i g n & U s a b i l i t y G u i d e l i n e s
Research-Ba s e d We b D e s i g n & U s a b i l i t y G u i d e l i n e s See page xxii for detailed descriptions of the rating scales . Strength of Evidence: If users will have to click more than once to get to a specific target destination. Mobrand and Spyridakis.’ 2002. 1996.’ The two ’First Aid’ links went to different places. target) page. Levine. Links Comments: Closely matched links and destination targets help provide the necessary feedback to users that they have reached the intended page.88 10:3 Match Link Names with Their Destination Pages Guideline: Make the link text consistent with the title Relative Importance: or headings on the destination (i.. 2000. Koyani and Nall. Example: Link text in the left navigation panel is identical to the headings found on the destination page.’ the next page had three options. One of them was again titled ’First Aid. avoid repeating the exact same link wording over and over because users can be confused if the links at each level are identical or even very similar. Users tended to click on another option on the second page because they thought that they had already reached ’First Aid. after users clicked on a link entitled ’First Aid. Sources: Bailey. In one study.e.
2000. R e s e a r c h . This slows users as they debate whether the items are links. Relative Importance: 89 Guideline: Ensure that items that are not clickable Strength of Evidence: Links Comments: Symbols usually must be combined with at least one other cue that suggests clickability. even when they contain no other clickability cues (underlining. 1998. to some users bullets and arrows may suggest clickability.. If one graphic is clickable. and thus attract the users’ attention. but the heading was not actually a link. Koyani and Nall. but are not. However. they are likely to think that they are all not clickable. In one study. Evans. users were observed to click on a major heading with some link characteristics. 1997. blue coloration.). etc.10:4 Avoid Misleading Cues to Click do not have characteristics that suggest that they are clickable. This is a good example of misleading the user—blue text and underlined text placed at the top center of the page. Two of these graphics are not clickable—if a user mouses over one of them. Example: These items appear clickable. et al. they should all be clickable. Sources: Bailey. and yet none of these are clickable. This design may confuse users because the items are underlined and are demonstratively different.B a s e d We b D e s i g n & U s a b i l i t y G u i d e l i n e s . Spool.
Different users may try different ways to find information. Spool. Detweiler and Omanson. depending on their own interpretations of a problem and the layout of a page. Koyani and Lafond. Nall. Sources: Bernard. Example: Multiple links provide users with alternative routes for finding the same information. Hull and Drake. When certain information is critical to the success of the Web site. If the user misses the ‘Hours’ link in the left panel.90 10:5 Repeat Important Links Guideline: Ensure that important content can be accessed from more than one link. 2001. Levine. 1996. 1999. Ivory. Relative Importance: Strength of Evidence: Links Comments: Establishing more than one way to access the same information can help some users find what they need. provide more than one link to the information. 2002. Research-Ba s e d We b D e s i g n & U s a b i l i t y G u i d e l i n e s See page xxii for detailed descriptions of the rating scales . Sinha and Hearst. 2001. Ivory. Nielsen and Tahir. while others may recognize the link best with an alternative name. 2000. Sinha and Hearst. they still have a chance to find the header in the content panel. Spain. 2001. Klee and Schroeder. 2000. 1996. Some users find important links easily when they have a certain label.
R e s e a r c h . Requiring users to ’minesweep’ to determine what is clickable slows them down. The meanings of these two image links are not obvious at first glance.10:6 Use Text for Links Guideline: Use text links rather than image links. text links are more easily recognized as clickable.. Zimmerman. Example: The meaning of these three images are fairly clear. Users could not tell if the images were clickable without placing their cursor over them (’minesweeping’). 2000. 1999.B a s e d We b D e s i g n & U s a b i l i t y G u i d e l i n e s . 1996. 2002. In one study. rather than with the use of an image. et al. Text links usually download faster. Another benefit to using text links is that users with text-only and deactivated graphical browsers can see the navigation options. This was true even for images that contained words. It is usually easier to convey a link’s destination in text. 2000. 1997. Farkas and Farkas. Relative Importance: Strength of Evidence: 91 Links Comments: In general. Sources: Detweiler and Omanson. Koyani and Nall.. are preferred by users. even if the accompanying text was not present. users showed considerable confusion regarding whether or not certain images were clickable. et al. Spool. 2002. and should change colors after being selected. Nielsen. Mobrand and Spyridakis.
whereas visited links are in blue—users expect blue to denote an unvisited link. it is best to use the default text link colors (blue as an unvisited location/link and purple as a visited location/ link). Nielsen. If a user selects one link. Sources: Evans. Tullis 2001. 1999c. Research-Ba s e d We b D e s i g n & U s a b i l i t y G u i d e l i n e s .. Relative Importance: Strength of Evidence: Links Comments: Generally. Nielsen and Tahir. In one study. providing this type of feedback was the only variable found to improve the user’s speed of finding information. One 2003 study indicated a compliance rate of only thirty-three percent for this guideline. Nielsen. 1998. Nielsen. Unvisited links are in green. A good design choice—unvisited links are shown in blue. 2003. and visited links are shown in purple. Link colors help users understand which parts of a Web site they have visited. 2002. make sure all links to that target change color. Example: A poor design choice. 2001. Nielsen.92 10:7 Designate Used Links Guideline: Use color changes to indicate to users when a link has been visited. 1996a. a 2002 study showed a compliance rate of thirty-five percent. et al. 1999b. and there are other links to the same target. Note the conventional use of colors for visited and unvisited links. Spool.
10:8 Provide Consistent Clickability Cues Guideline: Provide sufficient cues to clearly indicate to users that an item is clickable. or left and right panels have a high probability of being considered links. 2001. Farkas and Farkas. Items that are in the top center of the page. Sources: Bailey. Nielsen. Bailey. With at least seven non-traditional colors for links. This is particularly true if the linked element looks like a real-world tab or push button. and slow all users as they are uncertain about which items are links. Relative Importance: 93 Links Comments: Users should not be expected to move Strength of Evidence: the cursor around a Web site (’minesweeping’) to determine what is clickable. underlined text. using images as both links and as decoration slows users as it forces them to study the image to discern its clickability. 1990. relying on mouseovers to designate links can confuse newer users.B a s e d We b D e s i g n & U s a b i l i t y G u i d e l i n e s . the clickability cues for users might lead to confusion as to which links have been visited or not. Example: A bulleted list of blue. Koyani and Nall. Be consistent in your use of underlining. 2002. See page xxii for detailed descriptions of the rating scales R e s e a r c h . 2000. 2000b. Tullis. Using the eyes to quickly survey the options is much faster than ’minesweeping. bullets. These are very strong clickability cues for users. 2000. and other symbols such that they always indicate clickability or never suggest clickability. Lynch and Horton. arrows. For example.’ Similarly.
Example: These embedded links are well designed—because the entire organization name is a link. Evans.94 10:9 Ensure that Embedded Links are Descriptive Guideline: When using embedded links. 2001. do not create embedded links that use the surrounding text to add clues about the link’s destination. 2000. 2002. and Labels Links Comments: Users tend to ignore the text that Strength of Evidence: surrounds each embedded link. Bernard and Hull. Chi.. Sources: Bailey. Research-Ba s e d We b D e s i g n & U s a b i l i t y G u i d e l i n e s . Mobrand and Spyridakis. et al. 1998. the link text should accurately describe the link’s destination. Relative Importance: Headings.. 2000. In this example. 2000. Spool. Card. Farkas and Farkas. Titles. 2002. therefore. the user does not have to read the surrounding text to understand the destination of the embedded link. Sawyer and Schroeder. 1997. users will not read that text. 2000. Koyani and Nall. In many cases. et al. Pirolli and Pitkow. the user must read the surrounding text to gain clues as to the link’s destination.
The use of these mouseover methods is slower than ‘pointing-andclicking. Titles.’ rather than mousing over. Minnaert and Phipps.10:10 Use ‘Pointing-and-Clicking’ Guideline: ’Pointing-and-clicking. and Labels Comments: One study found that when compared with the mouseover method. Example: The below site relies on users to mouse over the main links to reveal the sub-menu links (shown extending to the right in purple and black). Relative Importance: Strength of Evidence: 95 Links Headings.B a s e d We b D e s i g n & U s a b i l i t y G u i d e l i n e s . is preferred when selecting menu items from a cascading menu structure. 2000. elicits fewer errors.’ See page xxii for detailed descriptions of the rating scales R e s e a r c h . Sources: Chaparro. the ’point-and-click’ method takes eighteen percent less time. and is preferred by users.
However. 2000. They should be used to highlight a particular word or short phrase in a sentence. Chi. 2000. 2000. Keep in mind that it is not always possible to control how links will look to all users because browser settings and screen resolutions can vary. it is best if text links do not extend more than one line. 1996. et al..96 10:11 Use Appropriate Text Link Lengths Guideline: Make text links long enough to be understood. not an entire sentence. Whenever possible. Nielsen. Research-Ba s e d We b D e s i g n & U s a b i l i t y G u i d e l i n e s See page xxii for detailed descriptions of the rating scales . et al. particularly if it wraps to another line. Generally. Example: Text links should not wrap to a second line. one study found that when users scan prose text. A link that is several words may be difficult to read quickly. 2001. text links should only cover one line. Comments: A single word text link may not give Sources: Card.. Nielsen and Tahir. Spool. 1998. Relative Importance: Strength of Evidence: Links enough information about the link’s destination. Sawyer and Schroeder. 1997. 2002. but short enough to minimize wrapping. Pirolli and Pitkow. Evans. links of nine to ten words elicit better performance than shorter or longer links. Levine.
Comments: One study showed that users tend 1997.. By seeing . users can become confused. 2001.10:12 Indicate Internal vs. When this assumption is not true. Example: Add URL addresses below links to help users determine where they are going. Designers should try to notify users when they are simply moving down a page. 2002.B a s e d We b D e s i g n & U s a b i l i t y G u i d e l i n e s .gov and . R e s e a r c h . Clicking an outside link leads to this ‘interim’ page that warns users of their imminent transfer to a non-whitehouse.com the user is also alerted to the type of site they will visit. Sources: Nall. Strength of Evidence: 97 Links to assume that links will take them to another page within the same Web site. et al.gov Web site. Spool. Nielsen and Tahir. Koyani and Lafond. or leaving the site altogether. External Links Guideline: Indicate to users when a link will move Relative Importance: them to a different location on the same page or to a new page on a different Web site. ‘Exit disclaimer’ graphic informs user that the link will take them to a new Web site.
in a map of the United States. Example: Dramatically different colors delineate clickable regions. Sources: Detweiler and Omanson. Research-Ba s e d We b D e s i g n & U s a b i l i t y G u i d e l i n e s See page xxii for detailed descriptions of the rating scales . ensure that the entire image is clickable or that the clickable sections are obvious. Comments: Users should not be required to use Relative Importance: Strength of Evidence: Links the mouse pointer to discover clickable areas of images.98 10:13 Clarify Clickable Regions of Images Guideline: If any part of an image is clickable. Lim and Wogalter. The use of white space between clickable regions in this image map define the boundaries of each individual ‘hot’ area. 1996. Levine. 2000. sufficient cues should be given to indicate the clickable states. if individual states are clickable. 1996. For example.
B a s e d We b D e s i g n & U s a b i l i t y G u i d e l i n e s . Clicking on a highlighted word brings up a ‘pop-up’ box which provides the user with the definition of the selected word. 1996. so that less knowledgeable users can successfully use the Web site. R e s e a r c h . 2000.. 2002. and sections dedicated to providing more information. et al. For example.10:14 Link to Supportive Information Relative Importance: 99 Guideline: Provide links to supportive information. 2000. The highlighted links below direct the user to a page with a definition of the word. Morrell. glossary definitions. Example: Links Zimmerman and Prickett. Strength of Evidence: Comments: Use links to provide definitions and descriptions to clarify technical concepts or jargon. Sources: Farkas and Farkas. provide links to a dictionary. Levine.
high-contrast backgrounds.Text Appearance 11 Text Appearance There are several issues related to text characteristics that can help ensure a Web site communicates effectively with users: • Use familiar fonts that are at least 12-points. such as animation. should only be used when appropriate. steps should be taken to emphasize important text. and attention-attracting features. Even though it is important to ensure visual consistency. Research-Ba s e d We b D e s i g n & U s a b i l i t y G u i d e l i n e s . and • Use background colors to help users understand the grouping of related information. Commonly used headings should be formatted consistently. • Use black text on plain.
1990. 1987a. 1956.11:1 Use Black Text on Plain. Scharff. 1994.. When compared to reading light text on a dark background. 1998. Relative Importance: Strength of Evidence: 101 Text Appearance elicited reliably faster reading performance than on a medium-textured background. Comments: Black text on a plain background Sources: Boyntoin and Bush..B a s e d We b D e s i g n & U s a b i l i t y G u i d e l i n e s . Kosslyn. use black text on a plain. 1996.. Gould. non-patterned background. Evans. 1999. Williams. Cole and Jenkins. Jenkins and Cole. Bruce and Green. 1990. 1977b. Reynolds and Coe. In general. Treisman. Example: R e s e a r c h . Snyder. high-contrast. 1990. 2000. 1987b. et al. Muter. 1991. people read black text on a white background up to thirty-two percent faster. High-Contrast Backgrounds Guideline: When users are expected to rapidly read and understand prose text. et al. Spencer. Spencer. the greater the contrast between the text and background. et al. Ahumada and Hill. 1987. the easier the text is to read. Gould. Goldsmith. 1982. 1984. Reynolds and Coe. Muter and Maurutto. 1977a.
use lower-case fonts and appropriate capitalization to ensure the fastest possible reading speed. Relative Importance: Strength of Evidence: Comments: Using ’mixed-case’ fonts for reading prose text means that most letters will be lowercase. IT’S MORE DIFFICULT TO READ. Example: This block of text is an example of displaying continuous (prose) text using mixed upper. Sources: Larson. THIS BLOCK OF TEXT IS AN EXAMPLE OF DISPLAYING CONTINUOUS (PROSE) TEXT USING ALL UPPERCASE LETTERS. and time records might be consistently punctuated with colons (HH:MM:SS).and lowercase letters.102 11:2 Format Common Items Consistently Guideline: Ensure that the format of common items is consistent from one page to another. telephone numbers should be consistently punctuated (800555-1212). Mayhew. 1983. 11:3 Use Mixed-Case for Prose Text Guideline: When users must read a lot of information. Tufte. This is called sentence case. Most users have had considerable experience reading lowercase letters and are therefore very proficient at it. THIS IS NOT CALLED SENTENCE CASE. 2001. 1986. It’s not difficult to read. 2004. Engel and Granda. 1975. Relative Importance: Strength of Evidence: Text Appearance Comments: The formatting convention chosen should be familiar to users. 1992. Research-Ba s e d We b D e s i g n & U s a b i l i t y G u i d e l i n e s See page xxii for detailed descriptions of the rating scales . Smith and Mosier. For example. with all letters that should be capitalized being in uppercase. Sources: Ahlstrom and Longo.
Relative Importance: Strength of Evidence: 103 Text Headings. 1989.11:4 Ensure Visual Consistency Guideline: Ensure visual consistency of Web site elements within and between Web pages. title bar. Parush. 2001. 1985. text and pictures. Badre. 2002. Example: An example of good visual consistency: Location and size of pictures. Sources: Adamson and Wallace. Schneider and Shiffrin. Tullis. 1999d. 1996. 1997. Cockburn and Jones. For example. R e s e a r c h . LinksAppearance and Labels Headings. Adkisson. and Labels Comments: Two studies found that the number of errors made using visually inconsistent displays is reliably higher than when using visually consistent displays. Ehret. (2) a reduction in errors. However. Schneider. one study found that the use of different-sized widgets (such as pushbuttons. Titles. fonts and backgrounds. and (4) a reduction in learning time. Eberts and Schneider. Titles. Dumais and Shiffrin. and the locations of labels. Visual consistency includes the size and spacing of characters. 2002. Ozok and Salvendy. and font all contribute to visual consistency. Moran and Newell. Osborn and Elliott. 1977. 1983. users tend to rapidly overcome some types of inconsistencies.B a s e d We b D e s i g n & U s a b i l i t y G u i d e l i n e s . 2002. 1998. Earlier studies found that tasks performed on more consistent interfaces resulted in (1) a reduction in task completion times. 2002. Nadir and Shtub. Grudin. 1984. Card. or list boxes) does not negatively impact users’ performance or preferences. Nielsen. entry fields. the colors used for labels. 2000. (3) an increase in user satisfaction.
98 $4.51 Field Identifiers Previous Bill Previous Payment Balance Current Charges Total Billed Penalty Amount Due Field Values $33. 2002.89 $19.104 11:5 Use Bold Text Sparingly Guideline: Use bold text only when it is important to draw the user’s attention to a specific piece of information. Sources: Joseph.09 $18. In general.75 $1.89 $19. Relative Importance: Strength of Evidence: Headings.75 $1. Titles. Knott and Grier. the non-bold Field Values elicited better search accuracy rates than did the bold Field Values. participants spent more time looking at the bolded Field Values.09 $18. Example: The bottom example proves easier to read than either of the top two examples. In addition.84 $32.09 $18.53 $24.53 $24.75 $1. In situations like this example. users spent about four times as long looking at the bold Field Identifiers than the non-bold Field Values.84 $32. In the example on the right.51 Field Identifiers Previous Bill Previous Payment Balance Current Charges Total Billed Penalty Amount Due Field Values $33.84 $32. it is probably best to not use bold for either field identifiers or field values. bold text should be used sparingly.98 $4. Field Identifiers Previous Bill Previous Payment Balance Current Charges Total Billed Penalty Amount Due Field Values $33.Appearance Text and Labels Comments: In the following example with the Field Identifiers bolded on the left.53 $24.89 $19.98 $4.51 Research-Ba s e d We b D e s i g n & U s a b i l i t y G u i d e l i n e s See page xxii for detailed descriptions of the rating scales .
and for longer periods of time. McConkie and Zola. animation or ’reveals’) is the most effective attentiongetting item. • Larger objects. Having some text and graphic items in brighter colors. size differential between items. and Labels Strength of Evidence: Comments: Draw attention to specific parts of a Web page with the appropriate (but limited) use of moving or animated objects. Parts of images or text that have brighter colors seem to gain focus first. 1994. Hillstrom and Yantis. and increased font size. Nygren and Allard. Sources: Campbell and Maglio. 2002. 1998. In many situations. Williams. 2001. 1989. Important attention-attracting font characteristics can include all uppercase. Lewis and Walker. helps users determine the relative importance of elements. However. • Users look at images for one or two seconds.B a s e d We b D e s i g n & U s a b i l i t y G u i d e l i n e s . If movement continues after attracting attention. However. Evans. Faraday. 2000. bolding. and varying font characteristics. Faraday and Sutcliffe. 2000. 1997.. and then look at the associated text caption. it may annoy the user. it may distract from the information on the Web site. 1988. if the movement is not relevant or useful. 1982. Example: R e s e a r c h . underlining. Galitz. Relative Importance: 105 Text Appearance Headings. particularly images.11:6 Use Attention-Attracting Features when Appropriate Guideline: Use attention-attracting features with caution and only when they are highly relevant. and others in darker colors. Not all features of a Web site will attract a user’s attention equally. users will tend to skip certain kinds of images that they believe to be ads or decoration. reading a text caption to understand the meaning of an image is a last resort. images. will draw users’ attention before smaller ones.g. italics. Treisman. Titles. Research suggests that people cannot stop themselves from initially looking at moving items on a page. brightly-colored items. 1999. Users fixate on larger items first. The following features are presented in order of the impact they have on users: • Movement (e. 1996. Faraday.
2002. Relative Importance: Strength of Evidence: Headings. 1995. et al.. Helvetica. Liao and Mills. or Verdana (sans serif fonts). Titles.. Sources: Bernard and Mills. et al. Example: Using unfamiliar fonts may slow reading speeds. Bernard. 2001a. Williams. Boynton and Hersh. Tullis.106 11:7 Use Familiar Fonts Guideline: Use a familiar font to achieve the best possible reading speed. or Arial. Evans. 2001. Bernard. Research-Ba s e d We b D e s i g n & U s a b i l i t y G u i d e l i n e s See page xxii for detailed descriptions of the rating scales . 2000. et al. Boyarski. Bernard..Appearance Text and Labels Comments: Research shows no reliable differences in reading speed or user preferences for twelve point Times New Roman or Georgia (serif fonts). 1998. 2000. 1998.
et al. 2000.. R e s e a r c h . Liao and Mills. 2002. Galitz. Tullis. 1963. For users over age 65. Defining text size using pixels will result in differently-sized characters depending upon the physical size of the monitor’s pixels and its set resolution. Example: Examples of cross-platform text-size differences generated on a variety of browsers and platforms by using HTML text in a one-cell table with a width of 100 pixels. Never use less than nine-point font on a Web site. 2001. Bernard. Titles.g. 2002. User-defined browser settings may enlarge or shrink designer-defined font sizes. and presents accessibility issues to those individuals who must specify large font settings. For instance. Traditional paper-based font sizes do not translate well to Web site design.11:8 Use at Least 12-Point Font Guideline: Use at least a 12-point font (e.B a s e d We b D e s i g n & U s a b i l i t y G u i d e l i n e s .. Tullis. typeface) on all Web pages. Bernard and Mills. Ivory and Hearst. Liao and Mills. and Labels Comments: Research has shown that fonts smaller than 12 points elicit slower reading performance from users. Tinker. 2001a. Bernard. Boynton and Hersh. 2001. Bernard. Ellis and Kurniawan. 2002. 2001b. 2000. 1995. Relative Importance: Strength of Evidence: 107 Text Appearance Headings. Windows Web browsers display type two to three points larger than the same font displayed on a Macintosh. it may be better to use at least fourteen-point fonts. Sources: Bailey.
Appearance Text and Labels Comments: One study found that participants were able to answer questions significantly faster when the interface was color-coded. Titles. Research-Ba s e d We b D e s i g n & U s a b i l i t y G u i d e l i n e s See page xxii for detailed descriptions of the rating scales . 2003. be sure that the coding scheme can be quickly and easily understood. Wu and Yuan. Be sure that the information provided does not require the user to read and comprehend a lot of text to understand it. Sources: Resnick and Fares. but only when information about the color-coding was provided. Example: The key in the bottom left brings clarification to the highlighted sizes in this Men’s General Sizing Guidelines. user performance improved by forty percent. Relative Importance: Strength of Evidence: Headings. When both color-coding and information about how to interpret the colors were provided.108 11:9 Color-Coding and Instructions Guideline: When using color-coding on your Web site. 2004.
Titles. 1940a. Example: Limited use of bolding effectively emphasizes important topic categories. Poulton and Brown. Tinker. Rehe. 1980. 1944. The use of differing font characteristics has negative consequences as well–reading speed can decrease by almost twenty percent. 1928. Relative Importance: Strength of Evidence: 109 Text Appearance Headings. 1992. et al. 2000.. DeRouvray and Couper. and case (upper vs. Do not use underlining for emphasis because underlined words on the Web are generally considered to be links. 1979. font style (serif vs. Lichty. text style can draw attention to important words. 1997. italics. 1977. Important font characteristics include bolding. Spool. Marcus. Paterson and Tinker. Tinker and Paterson. 1955. Sources: Bouma. Foster and Coles. Do not use differing font characteristics to show emphasis for more than one or two words or a short phrase. Breland and Breland. and Labels Comments: Font characteristics that are different from the surrounding text will dominate those that are routine. When used well.11:10 Emphasize Importance Guideline: Change the font characteristics to emphasize the importance of a word or short phrase. Faraday. 1971. 1989. 1998. lower). Vartabedian. Williams. 2000. font size (larger is better to gain attention). and thus should be used sparingly in large blocks of prose. Tinker. 1963. 2002. Evans. sans serif).B a s e d We b D e s i g n & U s a b i l i t y G u i d e l i n e s . R e s e a r c h . 1968.
2004. Titles. but not both. The presence of both seemed to present too much information. Relative Importance: Strength of Evidence: Headings. but not both.Appearance Text and Labels Comments: One study found that participants were able to complete tasks faster when the interface contained either color-coding or a form of ranking. and reduced the performance advantage by about half.110 11:11 Highlighting Information Guideline: Do not use two (or more) different ways to highlight the same information on one page. Research-Ba s e d We b D e s i g n & U s a b i l i t y G u i d e l i n e s See page xxii for detailed descriptions of the rating scales . It seems that the presence of both identifiers presented too much information and users had trouble indentifying the information they needed. Example: “Which model has the smallest trunk?” Users were able to complete the focused tasks faster when the diagram contained either color-coding or ranking. 2004. Resnick and Fares. Sources: Bandos and Resnick.
R e s e a r c h .B a s e d We b D e s i g n & U s a b i l i t y G u i d e l i n e s . or 12 Lists restaurants. for example. which usually means that the most important items are placed toward the top of the list. Each list should be clearly introduced and have a descriptive title. drugs. These may be lists of. The order of items in the list should be done to maximize user performance. start the numbering at ‘one.’ not ‘zero.Lists Lists are commonly found on Web sites. If a numbered list is used.’ Generally only the first letter of the first word is capitalized. theaters. people. A list should be formatted so that it can be easily scanned. unless a word that is usually capitalized is shown in the list.
sets of links. organize lists alphabetically or numerically. ensure that the site is formatted to support that order. Spyridakis. Research-Ba s e d We b D e s i g n & U s a b i l i t y G u i d e l i n e s . 2000. Detweiler and Omanson. 1996. Flower. Felker and Rose. 2000. This list should be ordered to read down columns. Keep in mind that it is the user’s logic that should prevail rather than the designer’s logic. 1975. 1993. Evans. Ozok and Salvendy. If there is. Comments: Designers should determine if there is an Sources: Bransford and Johnson. Morkes and Nielsen. and a series of tabs are in a meaningful order. 1998. 1986. 1983.112 12:1 Order Elements to Maximize User Performance Guideline: Arrange lists and tasks in an order that best facilitates efficient and successful user performance. Halgren and Cooke. Where no obvious order applies. not across rows. Nygren and Allard. 1996. and that all pages follow the same order. 1998. For example. ensure that lists of items. Engel and Granda. If most of your users will be looking for the same item. Hayes and Swarts. Example: Ordering list by region and then alphabetically by country allows users to rapidly find desired information. Smith and Mosier. Redish. Relative Importance: Strength of Evidence: Lists order for items that will facilitate use of the Web site. 1972. then place it at the top of your list. 1981.
2000. and almost always look at one of the top three items before looking at those farther down the list. 1999c. 1996a. 1999. Nielsen. Isakson and Spyridakis. 2001. This tactic can save users time when searching for popular items or topics. Sources: Byrne.. Relative Importance: 113 Lists Lists Comments: Experienced users usually look first at Strength of Evidence: the top item in a menu or list. 1998. thus illustrating the reason to place important items at the beginning of lists. 1990. et al.12:2 Place Important Items at Top of the List Guideline: Place a list’s most important items at the top. Spyridakis. This extensive list of titles contains the most commonly used titles at the top of the list and also in their alphabetically-correct position further down the list. 2000. 1999.B a s e d We b D e s i g n & U s a b i l i t y G u i d e l i n e s . Example: This listing assists users by breaking out the top ten requests in a separate link. Nielsen.’ See page xxii for detailed descriptions of the rating scales R e s e a r c h .. Faraday. Carroll. Evans. Research indicates that users tend to stop scanning a list as soon as they see something relevant. 1999b. Lewenstein. This avoids the need for users to scroll through titles such as ‘His Highness. et al. Nielsen. The entire collection is then listed next.
Treisman. 1996. Detweiler and Omanson. Example: These Web sites use background colors and thin white lines between information groups to make these lists easy to scan. 1996. effective background colors. and white space allow users to identify a set of items as a discrete list. Nygren and Allard. Relative Importance: Strength of Evidence: Lists Sources: Chaparro and Bernard. Spyridakis. 1982. 2001. 1996. borders.114 12:3 Format Lists to Ease Scanning Guideline: Make lists easy to scan and understand. 2000. Nielsen and Tahir. Comments: The use of meaningful labels. 2002. Levine. Research-Ba s e d We b D e s i g n & U s a b i l i t y G u i d e l i n e s .
One study indicated that users scan vertical lists more rapidly than horizontal lists. Weekly Production Statistics. Nygren and Allard.B a s e d We b D e s i g n & U s a b i l i t y G u i d e l i n e s .12:4 Display Related Items in Lists Guideline: Display a series of related items in a vertical list rather than as continuous text. Example: The Office of Data makes available for download: • Annual Production Statistics • Monthly Production Statistics • Weekly Production Statistics • Quarterly Consumption Projections Bulleted lists are easier to scan and understand. and Quarterly Consumption Projections. Tullis. 1977. Relative Importance: Strength of Evidence: 115 Lists Comments: A well-organized list format tends to facilitate rapid and accurate scanning. 1986. Horizontal lists are more difficult to scan and understand. Scanning a horizontal list takes users twenty percent longer than scanning a vertical list. See page xxii for detailed descriptions of the rating scales R e s e a r c h . 1984. 1992. Monthly Production Statistics. Sources: Mayhew. Smith and Mosier. The Office of Data makes available for download Annual Production Statistics. Wright. 1996.
1993.. Redish. Levine. Detweiler and Omanson. word or phrase) at the top of each list. 1996. 1973. The heading helps to inform users how items are categorized. Smith and Mosier. Example: Research-Ba s e d We b D e s i g n & U s a b i l i t y G u i d e l i n e s . Engel and Granda.e.116 12:5 Introduce Each List Guideline: Provide an introductory heading (i. Relative Importance: Strength of Evidence: Lists Comments: Providing a descriptive heading allows users to readily understand the reason for having a list of items. 1975. 1996. Smith and Goodman. or any prevailing principle or theme. 1986. Sources: Bransford and Johnson. 1984. Bransford and Johnson. Users are able to use lists better when they include headings. and how the items relate to each other. 1972.
is used. Sources: Findlater and McGrenere.B a s e d We b D e s i g n & U s a b i l i t y G u i d e l i n e s .’ Sources: Engel and Granda. The slowest performance is achieved when an adaptive menu. 1975. McGrenere. people start with ‘one. where users are allowed to change the order of menu items. designers should put the most frequently used menus times in the first few positions of a menu. elicits reasonably fast performance as well. rather than adaptive menus.’ When counting. One study found that users prefer having static menus. Example: Moving “Times” up into the split menu of fonts is one version of an adaptive menu. Adaptable menus. start the numbering sequence at ‘one’ rather than ‘zero. 12:7 Start Numbered Items at One Guideline: When items are numbered. where the computer automatically changes the position of menu items. Baecker and Booth. 2002. 2004. See page xxii for detailed descriptions of the rating scales R e s e a r c h .’ Relative Importance: Strength of Evidence: Comments: Do not start the numbering with a ‘zero. Smith and Mosier. 1986.’ not ‘zero. Designers should determine the location of items within a menu based on the frequency of use of each item.12:6 Use Static Menus Guideline: Use static menus to elicit the fastest possible speed when accessing menu items. Relative Importance: Strength of Evidence: 117 Lists Comments: To elicit the fastest possible human performance.
Numbered lists assign each item in the list an ascending number. such as this list of ‘Top 10’ searches. 2001. 2000. Detweiler and Omanson. or if they have no discernable order. 2000. making the numerical order readily apparent. Using numbered lists is appropriate when items are in a proscribed order. Spyridakis. Narveson. Sources: Coney and Steehouder. or rank. and numbered lists if a particular order to the items is warranted.118 12:8 Use Appropriate List Style Guideline: Use bullet lists to present items of equal status or value. Numbered lists are especially important when giving instructions. Relative Importance: Strength of Evidence: Lists Comments: Bullet lists work best when the items do not contain an inherent sequence. Research-Ba s e d We b D e s i g n & U s a b i l i t y G u i d e l i n e s . Example: Use bullets if your list items are of equal value. 1996. 1986. Lorch and Chen. order.
B a s e d We b D e s i g n & U s a b i l i t y G u i d e l i n e s . Marcus. Smilonich and Thompson. 1998. Example: See page xxii for detailed descriptions of the rating scales R e s e a r c h . Fowler. 1995. Relative Importance: Strength of Evidence: 119 Lists should be capitalized unless the item contains another word that would normally be capitalized. Microsoft. Comments: Only the first letter of the first word Sources: Bailey. check box labels. a list box item. 1996.12:9 Capitalize First Letter of First Word in Lists Guideline: Capitalize the first letter of only the first word of a list item. 1992. and radio button labels.
g. Research-Ba s e d We b D e s i g n & U s a b i l i t y G u i d e l i n e s . In order to increase accuracy of data entry.. drop-down lists and entry fields. To speed user performance. To facilitate fast entry of information. and do not require case-sensitive data entries. partition long data items into smaller units. pounds. Radio buttons are used to select from among two or more mutuallyexclusive selections. and provide auto-tabbing functionality. and attempt to minimize the use of the Shift key. Check boxes should be used to make binary choices. provide labels for each field (e. the pushbuttons will need to be prioritized to facilitate their proper use. When pushbuttons are used. Designers should also clearly distinguish between ‘required’ and ‘optional’ data entry fields.. radio buttons.Screen-Based Controls (Widgets) 13 Screen-Based Controls (Widgets) In order to interact with a Web site. miles. Showing users their data entries can increase accuracy.g. designers should automatically place the cursor in the first data entry field.’ Drop-down lists are generally used to select one item from among many. commonly used screen-based controls include pushbuttons. Besides the pervasive link. ensure that they look like pushbuttons and that they are clearly labeled. Designers should try to minimize the amount of information entered by users. Designers should ensure that they use familiar widgets in a conventional or commonly-used manner. For experienced users. In some cases. Entry fields are used when completing forms and entering text into search boxes. check boxes. etc. e. show default values when appropriate. the fastest possible entry of information will come from allowing users to use entry fields instead of selecting from list boxes. and do not limit the number of viewable list box options. Each entry field should be clearly and consistently labeled. users usually require the use of screen-based controls (sometimes known as ’widgets’). with the labels placed close to the entry fields. enable the software to automatically detect errors.). ’yes’ or ’no.
1998. and Labels Links Headings. Relative Importance: 121 Headings. 1996.B a s e d We b D e s i g n & U s a b i l i t y G u i d e l i n e s . 1997. Other sites are adding the word ’required’ near the label. 2002. Sources: Bailey. Morrell.13:1 Distinguish Required and Optional Data Entry Fields Guideline: Distinguish clearly and consistently between required and optional data entry fields. et al. and Labels Screen-Based Controls (Widgets) Comments: Users should be able to easily Strength of Evidence: determine which data entry fields are required and which are optional. Example: Asterisks (*) and labeling data entry field names with 'required' are two popular and effective methods of distinguishing between optional and required data entry fields. Fowler. Titles. Titles. Tullis and Pons.. Many Web sites are currently using an asterisk in front of the label for required fields. or color to indicate required fields. R e s e a r c h . checkmarks. One study found that bolded text is preferred when compared to the use of chevrons (>>>).
Research-Ba s e d We b D e s i g n & U s a b i l i t y G u i d e l i n e s See page xxii for detailed descriptions of the rating scales . Titles. Relative Importance: Strength of Evidence: Screen-Based Controlsand Labels Headings.’ and ’Previous.’ ’Go.’ Sources: Bailey. 1996. Example: Effective use of short phrases leaves no doubt in the user’s mind as to what will happen when the pushbutton is clicked. Fowler.’ ’Cancel. 1995.’ ’Home.122 13:2 Label Pushbuttons Clearly Guideline: Ensure that a pushbutton’s label clearly indicates its action. Marcus. Common pushbutton labels include ’Update. (Widgets) Comments: The label of a pushbutton should clearly indicate the action that will be applied when the pushbutton is clicked. 1998.’ ’Next.’ ’Submit.’ ’Enter. Smilonich and Thompson.
B a s e d We b D e s i g n & U s a b i l i t y G u i d e l i n e s . 1998. Strength of Evidence: 123 Screen-Based Controls (Widgets) Headings. so that the same data item is given the same label if it appears on different pages. 1986. 1986. do not use single words or phrases for some labels and short sentences for others.13:3 Label Data Entry Fields Consistently Guideline: Ensure that data entry labels are worded Relative Importance: consistently. Comments: If possible. For example. 13:4 Do Not Make User-Entered Codes Case Sensitive Guideline: Treat upper. Relative Importance: Comments: Do not make user-entered codes case Strength of Evidence: sensitive unless there is a valid reason for doing so (such as increased security of passwords). 2001. or use verbs for some and nouns for others. R e s e a r c h . If required.and lowercase letters as equivalent when users are entering codes. clearly inform users if they must enter codes in a case specific manner. Sources: Ahlstrom and Longo. employ consistent labeling Sources: Evans. Example: A capital “H” is all that keeps a user from finding this Help page. show the data as it was entered by the user. Mahajan and Shneiderman. Smith and Mosier. Smith and Mosier. 1997. When retaining data entered by users. and Labels conventions. Titles.
This can be done by bolding the labels or providing other visual cues. Research-Ba s e d We b D e s i g n & U s a b i l i t y G u i d e l i n e s See page xxii for detailed descriptions of the rating scales . 1986. Use common terms (e. female) rather than arbitrary labels (e. Group 1.. Sources: Pew and Rollins. 1975. such as an asterisk. Make labels distinct enough so that readers do not confuse them with the data entries themselves. and unambiguously define the required entry.g. concisely.g. Relative Importance: Strength of Evidence: Screen-Based Controlsand Labels Headings. Smith and Mosier. Do not create new jargon when labeling data entry fields. conduct usability testing with an appropriate sample of qualified users. Titles. (Widgets) Comments: Employ descriptive labels that clearly. male. Group 2). Example: A good design: Each data entry field has an associated descriptive label. If the meaning of a proposed label is in doubt..124 13:5 Label Data Entry Fields Clearly Guideline: Display an associated label for each data entry field to help users understand what entries are desired.
and Labels Comments: Requiring re-entry of data imposes an additional task on users. rather than requiring re-entry of the same information. thus eliminating the need for users to re-input the data (if it is the same)..B a s e d We b D e s i g n & U s a b i l i t y G u i d e l i n e s . Sources: Czaja and Sharit. and increases the possibility of entry errors. This Web site minimizes user data entry by remembering IDs. R e s e a r c h . et al. the computer should retrieve the original entries. require users to make as few entries as possible. 1997. 2002. 1986. When entries made by users on one page are required on another page.13:6 Minimize User Data Entry Guideline: Do not require users to enter the same information more than once. Titles. Smith and Mosier. Example: Clicking this button will prompt the server to copy information from the ‘Billing Address’ column to the ‘Shipping Address’ column. Zimmerman. In general. Relative Importance: Strength of Evidence: 125 Screen-Based Controls (Widgets) Headings.
1998. Relative Importance: Strength of Evidence: Screen-Based Controlsand Labels Headings. Smith and Mosier. (Widgets) be close to the data entry field to enable users to easily relate the label and entries required. Galitz. 1975. 2002. Placing labels away from the data entry field slows users’ entry rates. Sources: Engel and Granda. Evans. Titles.126 13:7 Put Labels Close to Data Entry Fields Guideline: Ensure that labels are close enough to their associated data entry fields so that users will recognize the label as describing the data entry field. Research-Ba s e d We b D e s i g n & U s a b i l i t y G u i d e l i n e s . Comments: All labels and related information should 1986. Example: Placing labels very close to the data entry fields allows users to rapidly relate the label and the required entries.
Comments: Users should be able to see their Sources: Bailey. Relative Importance: Strength of Evidence: 127 Headings.13:8 Allow Users to See Their Entered Data Guideline: Create data entry fields that are large enough to show all of the entered data without scrolling. and Labels Screen-Based Controls (Widgets) entire entry at one time. Data entry fields should be wide enough so that the user can see their entire entry without scrolling. try to minimize the need to scroll or move the cursor to see all the data for that field. Titles. Czaja and Sharit. however. 1996. One study found that this entry field should be at least 35-40 characters long to accommodate ninety-five percent of search terms being used. state that near the entry field. 1998. Designers should be particularly aware of the length of data entry fields used for entering search terms. Bailey and Wolfson. If there is a character limit for a particular field. 1997. See page xxii for detailed descriptions of the rating scales R e s e a r c h . Fowler. 2005.B a s e d We b D e s i g n & U s a b i l i t y G u i d e l i n e s . Example: The text expands vertically so that a user can see even very long entries without having to scroll horizontally. There always will be some users who will enter more data than can be seen without scrolling.
128 13:9 Use Radio Buttons for Mutually Exclusive Selections Guideline: Provide radio buttons when users need to Relative Importance: choose one response from a list of mutually exclusive options. 1998. Titles. 1995. Example: If a user must be constrained to selecting one item in a list. Assign one of the radio button choices as the default when appropriate. et al. 1996. Strength of Evidence: Screen-Based Controlsand Labels Headings. 2002. Galitz. Fowler. Research-Ba s e d We b D e s i g n & U s a b i l i t y G u i d e l i n e s See page xxii for detailed descriptions of the rating scales . (Widgets) is a need to select from among mutually exclusive items. Tullis and Kodimer. Bailey. Johnsgard. radio buttons elicit reliably better performance than dropdown lists.. Users should be able to click on the button or its text label to make their selection. Comments: Radio buttons should be used when there Sources: Bailey. 1992. 1983. Radio buttons are also preferred over both open lists and dropdown lists. 1995. Only one option is clickable for each individual task below. Smilonich and Thompson. employ radio buttons rather than check boxes. Marcus. One study reported that for making mutually exclusive selections.
and Labels Comments: Do not assume that all users are familiar with all available widgets. Unfamiliar widgets will slow some users. and cause others not to use the widget because they do not know how to make it work properly. one study showed that some users. it invokes the linked text in the box at left from which the user must select the car type.13:10 Use Familiar Widgets Guideline: Use widgets that are familiar to your users. R e s e a r c h . In choosing widgets. A dropdown box would be a more suitable widget. Koyani and Lafond. and whether the user will be choosing one from among many items. do not know how to use a drop-down list. designers typically consider such issues as the amount of available screen ’real estate.B a s e d We b D e s i g n & U s a b i l i t y G u i d e l i n e s . 2001. Titles. Sources: Bailey. Koyani and Nall. Users do not expect radio buttons to be used in this manner. and employ them in their commonly used manner. However. For instance. or several items at once. particularly older users. when a user places their cursor in the entry area.’ reducing the number of user clicks. Relative Importance: Strength of Evidence: 129 Screen-Based Controls (Widgets) Headings. Nall. Usability test the performance and acceptability of widgets to ensure they do not confuse or slow users. 2000. Example: The circled widget is used in an unconventional manner. Users might expect this widget to be a text entry box.
1986.130 13:11 Anticipate Typical User Errors Guideline: Use the computer to detect errors made by users.’ the computer should generate an error message asking for a revised entry. Pew and Rollins. if a date is entered as ’February 31. Anticipate possible user errors. Bailey. For example. 1975. 2004. Example: Research-Ba s e d We b D e s i g n & U s a b i l i t y G u i d e l i n e s See page xxii for detailed descriptions of the rating scales . Relative Importance: Strength of Evidence: Screen-Based Controlsand Labels Headings. Sources: Bailey and Koyani. (Widgets) Comments: Do not expect that users always will make correct entries. Smith and Mosier. Design the site’s search engine (and other places where users enter data) to accommodate common misspellings and certain other errors. 1983. Titles. allocate responsibility to the computer to identify these mistakes and suggest corrections. and when possible.
the first and last names. Titles. For example. it is easier to enter and verify a ten digit telephone number when entered as three groups. along with the social security number. separated by a hyphen). Sources: Mayhew. Relative Importance: Strength of Evidence: 131 Screen-Based Controls (Widgets) Headings. should be partitioned. Smith and Mosier. Similarly. the ‘ZIP+4’ field should be broken out into two fields (one five digits long. and one four digits long. and Labels Comments: Partitioning long data items can aid users in detecting entry errors. R e s e a r c h . However. Example: The ‘Phone Number’ entry field is partitioned correctly. and can reduce erroneous entries. NNN-NNN-NNNN. 1986. 1992. ZIP+4 codes and Social Security numbers are best partitioned.B a s e d We b D e s i g n & U s a b i l i t y G u i d e l i n e s . In this example.13:12 Partition Long Data Items Guideline: Partition long data items into shorter sections for both data entry and data display.
Requiring users to make numerous shifts from keyboard to mouse to keyboard can substantially slow their entry speed. Sources: Czaja and Sharit. Example: In this example. 1986. Titles. data entry methods are used consistently so that users do not have to shift back and forth between mouse entry and keyboard entry. 1975. and will slow the user’s data entry task. Smith and Mosier. Research-Ba s e d We b D e s i g n & U s a b i l i t y G u i d e l i n e s See page xxii for detailed descriptions of the rating scales . Foley and Wallace. Engel and Granda. This design forces users to switch between keyboard entry and mouse entry methods. 1997. 1974. (Widgets) Comments: Do not have users shift back and forth between data entry methods. Relative Importance: Strength of Evidence: Screen-Based Controlsand Labels Headings.132 13:13 Use a Single Data Entry Method Guideline: Design data entry transactions so that users can stay with one entry method as long as possible.
Some users look at the left and then right button before making a selection. Titles. 2004. put that button in the first position. This button arrangement allows the user to read the first button label. Fowler. 1998. Walker and Stanley. Relative Importance: Strength of Evidence: 133 Screen-Based Controls (Widgets) Headings. and Labels Comments: If one pushbutton in a group of pushbuttons is used more frequently than the others. 1995. i. and since it is the most likely selection. 1996.. R e s e a r c h . preferring to be fully informed before submitting a response. Also make the most frequently used button the default action.e. Sources: Bailey. click on that button immediately. that which is activated when users press the Enter key. One study reported that designers should place the button most likely to be clicked on the left side of a two-button set of buttons.B a s e d We b D e s i g n & U s a b i l i t y G u i d e l i n e s . Smilonich and Thompson.13:14 Prioritize Pushbuttons Guideline: Use location and highlighting to prioritize pushbuttons. Marcus. Example: The ‘Search’ button is placed in the first position.
Galitz. Comments: Each check box should be able to be Sources: Bailey. Users should be able to click on either the box or the text label. Research-Ba s e d We b D e s i g n & U s a b i l i t y G u i d e l i n e s . Johnsgard. One study showed that for making multiple selections from a list of non-mutually exclusive items. Relative Importance: Strength of Evidence: Screen-Based Controlsand Labels Headings. Convention dictates that check boxes be used when more than one item in a list may be selected. 1996. Smilonich and Thompson. 2002. et al. check boxes elicit the fastest performance and are preferred over all other widgets. Example: Check boxes are most appropriately used in these examples because users may wish to order more than one product or select more than one file format. Titles. 1995. (Widgets) selected independently of all other check boxes.134 13:15 Use Check Boxes to Enable Multiple Selections Guideline: Use a check box control to allow users to select one or more items from a list of possible choices. 1995.. Fowler. Marcus. 1998.
etc. and reduce the chance of errors. This will reduce the number of keystrokes required of users (speeding the data entry process). Relative Importance: Strength of Evidence: 135 Headings. ounces. Titles. or centimeters. 1986. Example: See page xxii for detailed descriptions of the rating scales R e s e a r c h . 1975. specify the desired measurement units with the field labels rather than requiring users to enter them. as part of the data entry field label.13:16 Label Units of Measurement Guideline: When using data entry fields. Sources: Pew and Rollins. Smith and Mosier.B a s e d We b D e s i g n & U s a b i l i t y G u i d e l i n e s . and Labels Screen-Based Controls (Widgets) Comments: Designers should include units such as minutes.
To see the hidden two items. Sources: Bailey. Despite plenty of screen real estate. This could be potentially confusing to users.S. 2002.136 13:17 Do Not Limit Viewable List Box Options Guideline: When using open lists. 2000. Koyani and Nall. lists all 50. an open list that showed only three (of five) options was used. Virgin Islands. Only those four states provide counties. even though the product is available in only four states. et al. including the U. only four of the six items in this list box are visible.. (Widgets) Comments: Scrolling to find an item in a list box Strength of Evidence: can take extra time. users had to scroll. Research-Ba s e d We b D e s i g n & U s a b i l i t y G u i d e l i n e s . show as many options as possible. and slowed down those that did know to scroll. The need to scroll was not obvious to users who were not familiar with list boxes. Titles. Zimmerman. In one study. which are necessary before the “Submit” button can be chosen. Relative Importance: Screen-Based Controlsand Labels Headings. This site. Example: This open list shows as many options as possible given the amount of available screen real estate.
In general. Smilonich and Thompson.13:18 Display Default Values likely default choice can be defined. Bailey. Marcus. The initial or default item could be the most frequently selected item or the last item selected by that user. Fowler. 1998. Example: See page xxii for detailed descriptions of the rating scales R e s e a r c h . 1996. Relative Importance: Strength of Evidence: 137 Guideline: Display default values whenever a Screen-Based Controls (Widgets) Headings. Titles. do not use the default position to display a heading or label for that widget. and Labels Comments: When likely default values can be defined. Sources: Ahlstrom and Longo.B a s e d We b D e s i g n & U s a b i l i t y G u i d e l i n e s . 1986. Smith and Mosier. offer those values to speed data entry. 2001. 1995.
2002. Relative Importance: Comments: Many users double-click on a link when Strength of Evidence: only one click is needed. Relative Importance: Strength of Evidence: Screen-Based Controlsand Labels Headings. Sources: Bailey. when both clicks are detected by the computer. Titles. 2000. but they should try to reduce the negative consequences of this behavior. 1986. however. Koyani and Nall. Developers cannot stop users from double-clicking.138 13:19 Place Cursor in First Data Entry Field Guideline: Place (automatically) a blinking cursor at the beginning of the first data entry field when a data entry form is displayed on a page.e. Comments: Users should not be required to move the Sources: Ahlstrom and Longo. causing unexpected (i. Example: These two Web sites automatically place the cursor in the first data entry field. Designers should consider. the first click selects one link and the second click selects a second link. 2001. Smith and Mosier. Usability testing has indicated that if users start with quick double-clicks. that programming this automatic cursor placement might negatively impact the performance of screen reader software. Research-Ba s e d We b D e s i g n & U s a b i l i t y G u i d e l i n e s . (Widgets) Links mouse pointer to the first data entry field and click on the mouse button to activate the field. they tend to continue to do this for most of the test. 13:20 Ensure that Double-Clicking Will Not Cause Problems Guideline: Ensure that double-clicking on a link will not cause undesirable or confusing results. Sometimes. puzzling) results. Fakun and Greenough..
Ideally. and the fewer omission errors they will make. Titles. as a drop-down list will slow users when compared with an open list. Smilonich and Thompson. and Labels Links Headings. however. The available research does not indicate the upper number limit of items that should be displayed in a list. a drop-down list may be better. However. When compared with drop-down lists.B a s e d We b D e s i g n & U s a b i l i t y G u i d e l i n e s . the designers opted to use a drop-down list to conserve screen real estate. Marcus. users should be able to see all available items without scrolling. 1998. 1996. the more items users can Strength of Evidence: see in a list (without scrolling).13:21 Use Open Lists to Select One from Many Guideline: Use open lists rather than drop-down lists to select one from many. 1995. if a list is extremely long. This is a trade-off. open lists tend to elicit faster performance primarily because drop-down lists require an extra click to open. See page xxii for detailed descriptions of the rating scales R e s e a r c h . Titles. Fowler. the faster their responses will be. and Labels Comments: Generally. Sources: Bailey. Example: In this example. Relative Importance: 139 Screen-Based Controls (Widgets) Headings.
. 1996. Tullis and Kodimer. Marcus. 1992. Smilonich and Thompson. Gould. Fowler. Both studies found text entry methods were faster and preferred over all other methods. 1989. Marcus.. Smilonich and Thompson. Comments: Use at least two radio buttons together. et al. 1995. 1988. Be aware that alternating between these two entry methods will slow the user. et al. However. 1997. their street address or a particular search term). if entries can be defined and errors reduced (state or country of residence) use list boxes. Relative Importance: Strength of Evidence: Research-Ba s e d We b D e s i g n & U s a b i l i t y G u i d e l i n e s . Relative Importance: Strength of Evidence: Screen-Based Controlsand Labels Headings. Greene. 1995. Fowler. 1998. (Widgets) effectiveness of text entry versus selection (list boxes) for entering dates and making airline reservations. 1996. Example: If users’ entries cannot be easily defined or constrained (for example. However. et al... 1988.’ Sources: Bailey. use of text entry fields tends to elicit more errors. 1998. If users can choose not to activate any of the radio button choices. Greene. provide a choice labeled ’None. 13:23 Use a Minimum of Two Radio Buttons Guideline: Never use one radio button alone. 1992. Titles.140 13:22 Use Data Entry Fields to Speed Performance Guideline: Require users to enter information using data entry fields (instead of selecting from list boxes) if you are designing to speed human performance. use entry fields. Czaja and Sharit. Comments: At least two studies have compared the Sources: Bailey. et al. Gould.
designers should not require users to enter characters that require the use the Shift key. Moran and Newell. Smith and Mosier. Relative Importance: Strength of Evidence: Comments: If possible. the designer can include symbols such as the dollar or percent sign near data entry fields rather than requiring users to enter those characters. See page xxii for detailed descriptions of the rating scales R e s e a r c h . 1996.13:24 Provide Auto-Tabbing Functionality Guideline: Provide auto-tabbing functionality for frequent users with advanced Web interaction skills. Pew and Rollins. 1986. 1975.B a s e d We b D e s i g n & U s a b i l i t y G u i d e l i n e s . 2001. Smith and Mosier. Designers also can treat upper. 1986. Titles. Relative Importance: 141 Screen-Based Controls (Widgets) Headings.and lowercases as equivalent when entered by users. 13:25 Minimize Use of the Shift Key Guideline: Design data entry transactions to minimize use of the Shift key. John. and Labels Comments: Auto-tabbing can significantly reduce Strength of Evidence: data entry times for frequent users by not requiring them to manually tab from field to field. Sources: Card. Using the Shift key imposes a demand for extra user attention and time. 1980b. Sources: Ahlstrom and Longo. For example.
graphics can facilitate learning. Images. especially at slower connection speeds. Thumbnail versions of larger images allow users to preview images without having to download them. When used appropriately. Designers should ensure that they do not create images that look like banner ads. Also. When used appropriately. Many images require a large number of bytes that can take a long time to download.Graphics. Web pages. and Multimedia Graphics are used on many. Usability testing should be used to help ensure that Web site images convey the intended message. video. images. When animation is used appropriately. Images. An important image to show on most pages of a site is the organization’s logo. When images must be used. they should be careful about placing images in locations that are generally used for advertisements. In many cases. Experienced users tend to ignore graphics that they consider to be advertising. designers should ensure that the graphics do not substantially slow page download times. and audio can add tremendous value to a Web site. It is usually not a good idea to use images as the entire background of a page. Complex background images tend to slow down page loading. if not most. it is a good idea to introduce the animation before it begins. Research-Ba s e d We b D e s i g n & U s a b i l i t y G u i d e l i n e s . Sometimes it is necessary to label images to help users understand them. and Multimedia 14 Graphics. animation. and can interfere with reading the foreground text. the actual data should be included with charts and graphs to facilitate fast and accurate understanding.
Relative Importance: Strength of Evidence: 143 Headings. 1996. Jenkins and Cole. Sources: Boyntoin and Bush. use small. 1977a. Titles. Reynolds and Coe. 1956. 1996. Images. Reynolds and Coe. Cole and Jenkins. Spencer. 1963.14:1 Use Simple Background Images Guideline: Use background images sparingly and make sure they are simple. 1984. 1982. Tinker. complex background image (including a picture) can substantially slow page download rates. Hackman and Tinker. If background images must be employed.. 1996. Example: Complex graphics can obscure text. large. Tinker and Paterson. 1957. and Multimedia Graphics. et al. simple images with ’tiling. R e s e a r c h . 1977b. and Labels Comments: Background images can make it difficult for users to read foreground text. Spencer. Levine. Levy. making it very difficult for users to read the site’s content. especially if they are used behind text. A single. Detweiler and Omanson. 1931.B a s e d We b D e s i g n & U s a b i l i t y G u i d e l i n e s .’ and/or keep the image resolution as low as possible.
and Labels Comments: Occasional or infrequent users may not use an image enough to understand or remember its meaning. Relative Importance: Strength of Evidence: Graphics. 1998. 1997. Additionally. 1998. Hackman and Tinker. Tinker and Paterson. Ensure that images and their associated text are close together so that users can integrate and effectively use them together. 1957. Williams. Evans. Sources: Booher. 2000. Spool. et al. Titles. and Multimedia Headings. Example: The addition of labels is essential for a user to understand the clickable image links. 1975. Vaughan. Research-Ba s e d We b D e s i g n & U s a b i l i t y G u i d e l i n e s See page xxii for detailed descriptions of the rating scales . Images. alt text should accompany every clickable image.144 14:2 Label Clickable Images Guideline: Ensure that all clickable images are either labeled or readily understood by typical users.. 1931.
One study reported that users rated latencies of up to five seconds as ’good. 1986. Martin and Corl. 2000. Farkas and Farkas.the background. R e s e a r c h . use interlacing or progressive images. Comments: User frustration increases as the Sources: Bouch. Users tolerate less delay if they believe the task should be easy for the computer. limit page size to less than 30. 2000. and Multimedia Graphics. Marchionini.’ Users rate pages with long delays as being less interesting and more difficult to scan. 2000. 1997. and Labels length of time spent interacting with a system increases. Designers should also minimize the number of different colors used in an image and put HEIGHT and WIDTH pixel dimension tags in an image reference.B a s e d We b D e s i g n & U s a b i l i t y G u i d e l i n e s . 2001. Schroeder. One study reported no relationship between slow page download times and users giving up. Chaparro and Bender. To achieve faster response time for users with dial-up modems. and use several of the same images. Nielsen. To speed download times. 2003. 1998. Titles. Kuchinsky and Bhatti. 1997a. Jacko and Borella.’ Delays over ten seconds were rated as ’poor.000 bytes. Barbesi and Preece. 1999c. 1995. 1996a. 2001. Nielsen. text and photo is one large image. Nielsen. Perfetti. Sears. use several small images rather than a single large image on a page. The page would load much quicker if normal html had been used here. Relative Importance: Strength of Evidence: 145 Headings. Ramsay. Tullis. 1984. Nielsen. Example: The entire main content area . 2001.14:3 Ensure that Images Do Not Slow Downloads Guideline: Take steps to ensure that images on the Web site do not slow page download times unnecessarily. Shneiderman. Images. Selvidge.
Relative Importance: Strength of Evidence: Comments: Users are frequently unaware when they click through to a different Web site. Park and Hannafin. 2002. 2000. Spinillo and Dyson. and Labels Links animation. 1999d. Harrison. Koyani and Lafond.146 14:4 Use Video. the logo should be in the same location on each page: many designers place the logo in the top left corner. et al. or are supportive of. Some multimedia elements may take a long time to download. Nall. 2001. Sundar. so it is important that they be worth the wait. and Multimedia Headings. Sources: Adkisson. multimedia can add great value to a site’s content and help direct users’ attention to the most important information and in the order that it is most useful. therefore. 2001. et al. Used productively. 1998. 1997. Faraday and Sutcliffe. Animation. 2000/2001. Reeves and Rickenberg. the Web site’s message or other content. 2001. 2000.. and audio only when they help to convey. Ideally. Having a logo on each page provides a frame of reference throughout a Web site so that users can easily confirm that they have not left the site. Farkas and Farkas. 2000. Sources: Campbell and Maglio. Nielsen. animation. Edgar and Mayer. Marchionini. Faraday. Spool. Omanson. 2000. 1995. Example: Research-Ba s e d We b D e s i g n & U s a b i l i t y G u i d e l i n e s . Chen and Yu. 2002. 2000.. 2000. Nielsen. 14:5 Include Logos Guideline: Place your organization’s logo in a consistent place on every page. Faraday. Omanson. Images. 1999. 1997. Comments: Multimedia elements (such as video. 1995. and Audio Meaningfully Guideline: Use video. Titles. it is important to have clear and useful reasons for using multimedia to avoid unnecessarily distracting users. and audio) can easily capture the attention of users. Relative Importance: Strength of Evidence: Graphics. Osborn and Elliott. 1993. Cline and Nordhielm.
14:6 Graphics Should Not Look like Banner Ads Guideline: Do not make important images look like banner advertisements or gratuitous decorations. and Multimedia Graphics. 2000. and Labels Links Headings. 2002. Consequently. Bayles. Images. thus missing the headers. some users missed the item completely because the graphic looked too much like a decoration or a banner advertisement. Even though the graphic was larger than most other graphics on the page. 2002. Titles. which contains three major. Benway. 1998. See page xxii for detailed descriptions of the rating scales R e s e a r c h . Badre. looks like a banner advertisement. and Labels developed to inform users about access to live help was not clicked because many users thought it was an advertisement. Titles. users may skip over this design element. a graphic Kurniawan. Relative Importance: Strength of Evidence: 147 Headings. linked headers. Sources: Ahmadi. Ellis and Example: This graphic. 2000. Comments: In a recent study.B a s e d We b D e s i g n & U s a b i l i t y G u i d e l i n e s .
148 14:7 Limit Large Images Above the Fold Guideline: Do not fill the entire first screenful with one image if there are screensful of text information below the fold. because a graphic filled the screen. and Multimedia Headings. Sources: Bailey. thus missing that information. Relative Importance: Strength of Evidence: Graphics. and Chignell. there are several additional screenfuls of information below this large navigation graphic. Images. Koyani and Nall. 2002. Golovchinsky Example: As the scroll bar shows. In fact. some users did not even suspect that more information might be located below the fold. 1993. In one study. 2000. and Labels Comments: Large graphics that cover most of the screen at the top of the page suggest to users that there is no more information below the graphic. Users may not look at the scroll bar. Titles. 2000. Research-Ba s e d We b D e s i g n & U s a b i l i t y G u i d e l i n e s . Chen and Yu. Nielsen and Tahir. some users did not use the scrollbar to scroll down to more content.
et al. 1998. Images. users tend to select those that most other users would have selected (i. Spool. One study found that seventy-five percent of users are able to find information on a content and link-rich site. 2002. 1997. and Labels Comments: Users and designers tend to differ Strength of Evidence: in what they think is appropriate to convey a message. Evans. 149 Headings. those that look familiar).e. Titles.. 2000. Example: The new IRS site (left) is content and link-rich.. When attempting to select the best graphic from a set of graphics. Nielsen and Tahir.14:8 Ensure Web Site Images Convey Intended Messages Guideline: Ensure that Web site images convey the Relative Importance: intended message to users. See page xxii for detailed descriptions of the rating scales R e s e a r c h . Sources: Ahmadi. allowing users to find information much faster than the old.B a s e d We b D e s i g n & U s a b i l i t y G u i d e l i n e s . graphic-heavy IRS site (right). not just to designers. while most developers favor graphics that look more artistic. and Multimedia Graphics. whereas only seventeen percent could find the same information on a graphic-intensive site.
Research-Ba s e d We b D e s i g n & U s a b i l i t y G u i d e l i n e s See page xxii for detailed descriptions of the rating scales . Relative Importance: Strength of Evidence: Graphics. and users may be willing to wait a few extra seconds for them to load. Nielsen. Nielsen. and Labels Comments: Ensure that a Web site’s graphics add value and increase the clarity of the information on the site. and Multimedia Headings. Spool. Titles. 2000. 1997e. This image is unrelated to the accompanying content. 1999b. and then find that the image does not add any value. Users tend to be most frustrated if they wait several seconds for a graphic to download. Williams. Nielsen. Some decorative graphics are acceptable when they do not distract the user. 1998. Evans. Certain graphics can make some Web sites much more interesting for users. Wen and Beaton. drawing the user’s attention from the site’s content.. 1996. Images. 1997. 2002. et al. Nielsen. Sources: Badre. Example: The placement of this image disrupts the left justification of the other page elements and it is visually distracting. 2000. 2003.150 14:9 Limit the Use of Images Guideline: Use images only when they are critical to the success of a Web site.
Titles. Tufte. Sources: Pagulayan and Stoffregen. and Labels be added to the ends of displayed bars on a bar graph. 1961. Some displays may require complete data annotation while others may require annotation only for selected data elements. and Multimedia Graphics. 2000. 1983. R e s e a r c h . Smith and Example: Placing the mouse pointer over a data point invokes this box with detailed information. 1986.. 1997. Relative Importance: Strength of Evidence: 151 Headings. Spool. et al. Comments: Adjacent numeric annotation might Mosier. et al. or to mark the points of a plotted curve.14:10 Include Actual Data with Data Graphics Guideline: Include actual data values with graphical displays of data when precise reading of the data is required.. Powers. Images.B a s e d We b D e s i g n & U s a b i l i t y G u i d e l i n e s .
152 14:11 Display Monitoring Information Graphically Guideline: Use a graphic format to display data when users must monitor changing data. et al. Smith and Mosier. 1981. et al. Powers. When that is not possible. Sources: Hanson. Kosslyn. and Labels Strength of Evidence: Comments: Whenever possible. Example: Research-Ba s e d We b D e s i g n & U s a b i l i t y G u i d e l i n e s See page xxii for detailed descriptions of the rating scales . and a user must monitor data changes. Images. 1994. 1981. graphic displays will make it easier for users to detect critical changes and/or values outside the normal range. 1986. Relative Importance: Graphics. Titles. the computer should handle data monitoring and should call abnormalities to the users’ attention. Tullis. and Multimedia Headings.. 1961..
In other words. this Web site allows the user to control when to start the video clip. briefly explain to users what they are about to see before they see it. Relative Importance: 153 Guideline: Provide an introductory explanation for Strength of Evidence: Comments: Providing an explanation of animation before it begins will help users better integrate the animation and associated content. Also. and Labels R e s e a r c h .14:12 Introduce Animation animation prior to it being viewed. Example: Each video clip is accompanied by text that explains to the user what they are about to view. Sources: Evans. stop. In addition. 1998. Titles. or ignore animation or other multimedia elements. Headings.B a s e d We b D e s i g n & U s a b i l i t y G u i d e l i n e s . replay. Faraday and Sutcliffe. Images. and Multimedia Graphics. allow animation to be user-controlled. The user should be able to pause. 1999.
14:13 Emulate Real-World Objects
Guideline: Use images that look like real-world items
Relative Importance: Strength of Evidence:
Graphics, Images, and Multimedia Headings, Titles, and Labels
Comments: Images (e.g., pushbuttons and navigation tabs) are likely to be considered as links when they are designed to emulate their real-world analogues. If a designer cannot make such images emulate realworld objects, the image may require at least one additional clickability cue, such as a descriptive label (like ’Home’ or ’Next’) or placement on the page. A text label can help inform users about a link’s destination, but in one study some users missed this type of image link, even those that contained words, because the words were not underlined. Sources: Ahmadi, 2000; Bailey, 2000b; Galitz, 2002; Nolan, 1989. Example:
These control items are designed to look like real-world items. The buttons below, for example, look like the buttons you might find on an Automated Teller Machine. The control item image to the right controls video on a Web site, and thus is designed to look like a control on a VCR or DVD player.
Research-Ba s e d We b D e s i g n & U s a b i l i t y G u i d e l i n e s
14:14 Use Thumbnail Images to Preview Larger Images
Guideline: When viewing full-size images is not
critical, first provide a thumbnail of the image. Relative Importance:
Headings, Images, and Multimedia Graphics, Titles, and Labels
Comments: By providing thumbnails of larger Strength of Evidence: images, users can decide whether they want to wait for the full image to load. By using thumbnails, those who do not need or want to see the full image are not slowed down by large image downloads. Link the thumbnail image to the full-size copy. Sources: Levine, 1996; Nielsen and Tahir, 2002. Example:
When one of the thumbnail images is clicked on the left, a new window pops up with a larger image and a brief description. This also offers a high resolution jpg file of the same image.
See page xxii for detailed descriptions of the rating scales
R e s e a r c h - B a s e d We b D e s i g n & U s a b i l i t y G u i d e l i n e s
14:15 Use Images to Facilitate Learning
Guideline: To facilitate learning, use images rather
than text whenever possible.
Relative Importance: Strength of Evidence:
Graphics, Images, and Multimedia Headings, Titles, and Labels
Comments: The superiority of pictures over text in a learning situation appears to be strong. For example, pictures of common objects are recognized and recalled better than their textual names. Exceptions seem to occur when the items are conceptually very similar (e.g., all animals or tools), or when items are presented so quickly that learners cannot create verbal labels. Sources: Golovchinsky and Chignell, 1993; Krull and Watson, 2002; Levy, et al., 1996; Lieberman and Culpepper, 1965; Nelson, Reed and Walling, 1976; Paivio and Csapo, 1969; Paivio, Rogers and Smythe, 1968; Rodden, et al., 2001; Williams, 1993. Example:
These illustrations facilitate faster learning of key concepts.
Research-Ba s e d We b D e s i g n & U s a b i l i t y G u i d e l i n e s
See page xxii for detailed descriptions of the rating scales
14:16 Using Photographs of People
Guideline: Photographs of people may or may
not help build trust in Web sites.
Relative Importance: Strength of Evidence:
Headings, Images, and Multimedia Graphics, Titles, and Labels
Comments: In one e-commerce study, having a labeled photograph on the Web site was perceived as more trustworthy than having a photograph with no label. Further, having a photograph with no label was perceived as more trustworthy than having no photograph at all. Highly experienced users showed the same degree of trust as users that were moderately experienced or inexperienced.
However, another study recommended that photos not be used to increase the trustworthiness of a Web site. They found that the presence of a photo did not affect the trust of a site, or user preferences for a site.
Sources: Riegelsberger, Sasse and McCarthy, 2003; Steinbrück, et al., 2002. Example:
Photographs of people are used widely and very differently throughout the Federal government.
R e s e a r c h - B a s e d We b D e s i g n & U s a b i l i t y G u i d e l i n e s
Writing Web Content
Writing Web Content
“Vigorous writing is concise. A sentence should contain no unnecessary words, a paragraph no unnecessary sentences, for the same reason that a drawing should have no unnecessary lines and a machine no unnecessary parts.”– William Strunk Jr., in Elements of Style
Content is the most important part of a Web site.
If the content does not provide the information needed by users, the Web site will provide little value no matter how easy it is to use the site. When preparing prose content for a Web site, use familiar words and avoid the use of jargon. If acronyms and abbreviations must be used, ensure that they are clearly understood by typical users and defined on the page. Minimize the number of words in a sentence and sentences in a paragraph. Make the first sentence (the topic sentence) of each paragraph descriptive of the remainder of the paragraph. Clearly state the temporal sequence of instructions. Also, use upper- and lowercase letters appropriately, write in an affirmative, active voice, and limit prose text on navigation pages.
Research-Ba s e d We b D e s i g n & U s a b i l i t y G u i d e l i n e s
Farkas. and Labels Writing Web Content Comments: Time-based sequences are easily understood by users. structure the content so that the sequence is obvious and consistent. 1999. 1977.15:1 Make Action Sequences Clear Guideline: When describing an action or task that has a natural order or sequence (assembly instructions. Morkes and Nielsen. Wright. Sources: Czaja and Sharit. troubleshooting. 1986. Example: R e s e a r c h . Krull and Watson. Smith and Mosier. 2000.B a s e d We b D e s i g n & U s a b i l i t y G u i d e l i n e s .). 1998. Nielsen. Do not force users to perform or learn tasks in a sequence that is unusual or awkward. 1997. etc. Relative Importance: Strength of Evidence: 159 Headings. Titles. 2002.
1992.160 15:2 Avoid Jargon Guideline: Do not use words that typical users may not understand. 2002. Zimmerman. and Labels Writing Web Content Comments: Terminology plays a large role in the user’s ability to find and understand information. 2001. et al. 2000.. Koyani and Lafond. Mayhew. 2000. Nall. Morkes and Nielsen.’ Changing the text to ’testing for cancer’ substantially improved users’ understanding. Many terms are familiar to designers and content writers. Sources: Cockburn and Jones. some users did not understand the term ’cancer screening. 1998. often visited by the public. 1998. 1973. Research-Ba s e d We b D e s i g n & U s a b i l i t y G u i d e l i n e s See page xxii for detailed descriptions of the rating scales . Schramm. Titles. Evans. In one study. To improve understanding among users who are accustomed to using the jargon term. it may be helpful to put that term in parentheses. but not to users. but should not be considered a license to frequently use terms typical users do not understand. A dictionary or glossary may be helpful to users who are new to a topic. Horton. Tullis. 1996. Spyridakis. 1997. Relative Importance: Strength of Evidence: Headings. 1990. Zimmerman and Prickett. 2001. Example: These Web pages. do not use language that is accessible and free of jargon. Morkes and Nielsen.
Rayson and Wilson. typical users. Familiar words can be collected using open-ended surveys. 1967.. Sources: Furnas. R e s e a r c h . Example: Studies have shown that using “Dictionary” instead of “Glossary” provides much more positive feedback for your typical user. There are several sources of commonly used words (see Kucera and Francis. Whissell. and Labels Comments: Use words that are familiar to. Titles. and through other forms of market research. 2001. 1998. Kucera and Francis.15:3 Use Familiar Words Guideline: Use words that are frequently seen and heard.B a s e d We b D e s i g n & U s a b i l i t y G u i d e l i n e s .. 2000. Words that are more frequently seen and heard are better and more quickly recognized. 1967 and Leech et al. 1987. by viewing search terms entered by users on your site or related sites. et al. Leech. Relative Importance: Strength of Evidence: 161 Writing Web Content Headings. 2001 in the Sources section). Spyridakis. and used frequently by.
However. highly-technical content page is designed for experts and not novice users. Koyani and Lafond. Morrell. This detailed. Example: Undefined acronyms on a homepage may leave users confused regarding the site’s contents or purpose. 2002. Nall. 2001. Nielsen and Tahir. 2001.162 15:4 Define Acronyms and Abbreviations Guideline: Do not use unfamiliar or undefined acronyms or abbreviations on Web sites. 1998. the designer has still defined each acronym and abbreviation on the page. 2002. Sources: Ahlstrom and Longo. 2001. et al. Relative Importance: Headings. Titles.. Acronyms and abbreviations are typically defined on first mention. and Labels Writing Web Content Comments: Acronyms and abbreviations should Strength of Evidence: be used sparingly and must be defined in order to be understood by all users. It is important to remember that users who are new to a topic are likely to be unfamiliar with the topic’s related acronyms and abbreviations. but remember that users may easily miss the definition if they scroll past it or enter the page below where the acronym or abbreviation is defined. Research-Ba s e d We b D e s i g n & U s a b i l i t y G u i d e l i n e s . Use the following format when defining acronyms or abbreviations: Physician Data Query (PDQ). Evans. Tullis.
See page xxii for detailed descriptions of the rating scales R e s e a r c h .15:5 Use Abbreviations Sparingly Guideline: Show complete words rather than abbreviations whenever possible. the complete title should be used. 1986. If users must read abbreviations. Example: If abbreviations are in common usage (DoD) then it is acceptable to use them. Evans. and Labels Comments: The only times to use abbreviations are when they are significantly shorter. 2001. Smith and Mosier. save needed space. Titles. Engel and Granda. DFARS. Relative Importance: Strength of Evidence: 163 Writing Web Content Headings. and will be readily understood by typical users.B a s e d We b D e s i g n & U s a b i l i t y G u i d e l i n e s . AKSS). Sources: Ahlstrom and Longo. if an abbreviation is not in common usage (DARS. 1975. choose only common abbreviations. However. 1998.
If an item is intended to attract the user’s attention. display the item in all UPPERCASE. DISPLAY THE ITEM IN ALL UPPERCASE. Do not use these methods for showing emphasis for more than one or two words or a short phrase because they slow reading performance when used for extended prose. IF AN ITEM IS INTENDED TO ATTRACT THE USER’S ATTENTION. 1955. 1977. Wright. and Labels Writing Web Content Comments: Reading text is easier when capitalization is used conventionally to start sentences and to indicate proper nouns and acronyms. Relative Importance: Strength of Evidence: Headings. OR ITALICS. 1984. DO NOT USE THESE METHODS FOR SHOWING EMPHASIS FOR MORE THAN ONE OR TWO WORDS OR A SHORT PHRASE BECAUSE THEY SLOW READING PERFORMANCE WHEN USED FOR EXTENDED PROSE. Engel and Granda. Poulton and Brown. 1971. 1986. bold. bold. Titles. Mills and Weldon. Sources: Breland and Breland. Do not use these methods for showing emphasis for more than one or two words or a short phrase because they slow reading performance when used for extended prose. READING TEXT IS EASIER WHEN CAPITALIZATION IS USED CONVENTIONALLY TO START SENTENCES AND TO INDICATE PROPER NOUNS AND ACRONYMS. 1987. Example: Reading text is easier when capitalization is used conventionally to start sentences and to indicate proper nouns and acronyms. Smith and Mosier. 1975.and lowercase letters. Tinker. Vartabedian. or italics. Moskel. Tinker. display the item in all uppercase. Research-Ba s e d We b D e s i g n & U s a b i l i t y G u i d e l i n e s See page xxii for detailed descriptions of the rating scales . If an item is intended to attract the user’s attention. BOLD. Tinker and Paterson. 1963. or italics. Erno and Shneiderman. 1968. 1928. Spyridakis. 1944. 2000.164 15:6 Use Mixed Case with Prose Guideline: Display continuous (prose) text using mixed upper.
minimize the number of words in sentences. Relative Importance: Strength of Evidence: 165 Writing Web Content Headings. Nielsen. 1997c. Bouma. 1999. Titles. and Labels text. Comments: To enhance the readability of prose Sources: Bailey. 1996. Koyani and Nall. Mills and Caldwell. 1990. Evans. et al. 2000. Example: This example shows how to optimize reading comprehension. Marcus. 1987. Spyridakis. Bailey. 1997. Chervak. Palmquist and Zimmerman. R e s e a r c h .. 2000. 1998. Zimmerman and Clark.B a s e d We b D e s i g n & U s a b i l i t y G u i d e l i n e s . and there are few sentences in each paragraph. The number of words in a sentence is minimized.15:7 Limit the Number of Words and Sentences Guideline: To optimize reading comprehension. a sentence should not contain more than twenty words. Kincaid. A paragraph should not contain more than six sentences. 1979. 1992. Rehe. Drury and Ouellette. 1980. and the number of sentences in paragraphs. 1996.
2000. Titles. 1998. users tend to rapidly scan for specific words or begin clicking on many different links. Research-Ba s e d We b D e s i g n & U s a b i l i t y G u i d e l i n e s See page xxii for detailed descriptions of the rating scales . Morkes and Nielsen. rather than reading the text associated with the links. Sources: Bailey. Koyani and Nall. and Labels Writing Web Content Links Comments: When there are many words on navigation pages. Nielsen. Spyridakis. 2000. Relative Importance: Strength of Evidence: Headings. Evans. The large volume of prose text forces navigation links (the primary purpose of the page) into the left panel. 1998. Example: The lack of prose text allows navigation elements to take center stage on this navigation page. 2000.166 15:8 Limit Prose Text on Navigation Pages Guideline: Do not put a lot of prose text on navigation pages.
Horton. R e s e a r c h . Palermo and Bourne.B a s e d We b D e s i g n & U s a b i l i t y G u i d e l i n e s . 2000/2001. Sources: Flower. If the likelihood of making a wrong step is high or the consequences are dire. Spinillo and Dyson. 1986. 1999. negative voice may be clearer to the user. Redish. direct language. rather than what to avoid doing (avoid skipping your dentist appointment if you have a toothache). Spyridakis. Relative Importance: Strength of Evidence: 167 Writing Headings. In one study. Strong verbs help the user know who is acting and what is being acted upon. Example: Active voice example Passive voice example John hit the baseball. 1977. 1978.15:9 Use Active Voice Guideline: Compose sentences in active rather than passive voice. 1986. Zimmerman and Clark. 1970. Example: An example of negative voice pointing out consequences to the user. Titles. 2002. 1999. Sentences in active voice are typically more concise than sentences in passive voice. Smith and Mosier. Wright. The baseball was hit by John. 1972. people who had to interpret federal regulation language spontaneously translated passive sentences into active sentences in order to form an understanding of the passages. Comments: When giving instructions. Relative Importance: Strength of Evidence: tell users what to do (see a dentist if you have a toothache). Herriot. 2000. Zimmerman and Clark. 1987. Hayes and Swarts. Wright. strive to Sources: Greene. Palmquist and Zimmerman. 1983. Felker and Rose. Titles. Palmquist and Zimmerman. 1981. write instructions in affirmative statements rather than negative statements. 1977. 1990. 15:10 Write Instructions in the Affirmative Labels Labels Guideline: As a general rule. and Comments: Users benefit from simple. and Links Web Content Headings. 1987. Smith and Mosier. Krull and Watson.
Comments: Users tend to skim the first one or two Sources: Bailey. 1997. 2000. Example: Descriptive first sentences set the tone for each of these paragraphs. Research-Ba s e d We b D e s i g n & U s a b i l i t y G u i d e l i n e s See page xxii for detailed descriptions of the rating scales . Lynch and Horton. and the scope of what it covers.168 15:11 Make First Sentences Descriptive Guideline: Include the primary theme of a paragraph. Morkes and Nielsen. 2000. Relative Importance: Strength of Evidence: Headings. Spyridakis. Morkes and Nielsen. 2002. Titles. 1998. in the first sentence of each paragraph. and Labels Writing Web Content Links sentences of each paragraph when scanning text. Koyani and Nall. and provide users with an understanding of the topic of each section of text.
R e s e a r c h . and in a format that is suitable for the Web. well-written. and to enable quick understanding. grouping related elements. the content on a site can be organized in multiple ways to accommodate multiple audiences.Content Organization 16 Content Organization After ensuring that content is useful. Content should be formatted to facilitate scanning. and ensuring that all necessary information is available without slowing the user with unneeded information. it is important to ensure that the information is clearly organized. Organizing content includes putting critical information near the top of the site. In some cases.B a s e d We b D e s i g n & U s a b i l i t y G u i d e l i n e s .
Wright. Zimmerman. et al. 1987. Spyridakis. 2002. 2002. Redish. Schroeder. or frustrated Sources: Benson. Lynch and Horton. 1981. 1975. Redish. Evans. Zimmerman and Akerelrea. Clark and Haviland. Keyes. Detweiler and Omanson. 1993. 1985. disinterested. The structure is built on the user’s needs—namely. Felker and Rose. Farkas and Farkas. 1998. 2000. Relative Importance: Strength of Evidence: Headings. and paragraph or list level. completing a form in ten steps. 2002. Good Web site and page design enables users to understand the nature of the site’s organizational relationships and will support users in locating information efficiently. Example: This design clearly illustrates to the user the logical structure of the Web site.. 1996. Dixon. 1988. Sykes and Lewis. 1999. and Labels Content Organization Comments: Designers should present information in a structure that reflects user needs and the site’s goals. Keyes. Titles. A clear. 2002.170 16:1 Organize Information Clearly Guideline: Organize information at each level of the Web site so that it shows a clear and logical structure to typical users. logical structure will reduce the chances of users becoming bored. Nielsen and Tahir. 1999. 2000. 1987. 1993. Tiller and Green. Research-Ba s e d We b D e s i g n & U s a b i l i t y G u i d e l i n e s See page xxii for detailed descriptions of the rating scales . Information should be well-organized at the Web site level. page level.
Sticht. Zimmerman. Titles. 2000. 1997. 1996. et al. et al. Koyani and Bailey. 2000. Sources: Bailey. Only sixteen percent read each word. 2000. et al. Studies report that about eighty percent of users scan any new page. Users that scan generally read headings. Nielsen. 1999. Example: This page facilitates scanning. Spyridakis. and small readable paragraphs. 2005. Schriver. Nielsen. Morkes and Nielsen.B a s e d We b D e s i g n & U s a b i l i t y G u i d e l i n e s . and Labels Comments: Web sites that are optimized for scanning can help users find desired information. Users tend to scan until they find something interesting and then they read.. Byrne. Relative Importance: Strength of Evidence: 171 Content Organization Headings. place important headings high in the center section of a page. 1998. Sullivan and Flower. 2000. 1998. 1985. Keep in mind that older users (70 and over) will tend to scan much more slowly through a web page than will younger users (ages 39 and younger). R e s e a r c h . but do not read full text prose–this results in users missing information when a page contains dense text. Koyani.. To facilitate the finding of information. Koyani and Nall. 2002. Toms. 1986.. 1997. Spool. Morkes and Nielsen. Users spend about twelve percent of their time trying to locate desired information on a page.. well-located headings. 1997. Designers should help users ignore large chunks of the page in a single glance. short phrases and sentences.16:2 Facilitate Scanning Guideline: Structure each content page to facilitate scanning: use clear. Evans. 1997e. et al.
Research-Ba s e d We b D e s i g n & U s a b i l i t y G u i d e l i n e s See page xxii for detailed descriptions of the rating scales . Comments: Users should not have to remember data Stewart. 2000. 1975. Titles. Tullis. This can negatively effect users’ performance on the site by exceeding their ‘working memory’ capacity. Example: This header row disappears as users scroll down the table. Relative Importance: Strength of Evidence: Headings.172 16:3 Ensure that Necessary Information is Displayed Guideline: Ensure that all needed information is available and displayed on the page where and when it is needed. Spyridakis. Smith and Mosier. 1983. 1980. or repeated often enough so that header information can be seen on each screenful. Sources: Engel and Granda. 1986. and Labels Content Organization from one page to the next or when scrolling from one screenful to the next. Heading information should be retained when users scroll data tables.
Gerhardt-Powals. 2000. Text items that share the same background color typically will be seen as being related to each other. Nall. Koyani and Lafond. 2001.16:4 Group Related Elements Guideline: Group all related information and functions in order to decrease time spent searching or scanning. Users will consider items that are placed in close spatial proximity to belong together conceptually. and Labels Comments: All information related to one topic should be grouped together. Kim and Yoo.B a s e d We b D e s i g n & U s a b i l i t y G u i d e l i n e s . Tan and Beaton. Kahn. Sources: Ahlstrom and Longo. 1996. Faraday. This minimizes the need for users to search or scan the site for related information. Titles. 1996. 2000. Cakir. Spyridakis. Niemela and Saarinen. 1990. 2001. R e s e a r c h . 2000. 1980. Relative Importance: Strength of Evidence: 173 Content Organization Headings. These features allow users to search and scan for information faster. 2000. Hart and Stewart. Example: This site organizes information well by grouping core navigation elements and key topic areas. Nygren and Allard.
et al. Spyridakis. Sources: Evans. One study found that the time to complete a task was closely related to the number of clicks made by users. Research-Ba s e d We b D e s i g n & U s a b i l i t y G u i d e l i n e s See page xxii for detailed descriptions of the rating scales . Titles. Levine. and Labels Content Organization Comments: Critical information should be provided as close to the homepage as possible. Nielsen and Tahir. 2001. one of the most common cancer types. design so that the most common tasks can be successfully completed in the fewest number of clicks. 1998. they were no more likely to quit after three clicks than after 12 clicks.. Example: A topic such as Lung Cancer.. Strength of Evidence: Headings. It appears that users will keep clicking as long as they feel like they are getting closer to their goal. Zimmerman. 2002. Porter. Important information should be available within two or three clicks of the homepage. This reduces the need for users to click deep into the site and make additional decisions on intervening pages. Zimmerman. Koyani and Lafond. the greater the likelihood they will make an incorrect choice. et al. Nall. 1996. 2000. 1996. is one click off of the homepage of this cancer site. 2002. Another study showed that when users were trying to find a target. 2003. The more steps (or clicks) users must take to find the desired information.174 16:5 Minimize the Number of Clicks or Pages Guideline: To allow users to efficiently find what they Relative Importance: want.
Meyer. 1996. Relative Importance: 175 Content Organization Headings. 1997. and Labels Comments: Make appropriate use of tables. Strength of Evidence: graphics. Sources: Chen and Yu. 2000. Galitz. Titles. Presenting numerical data as bar charts may speed up the user’s understanding of data. tables.B a s e d We b D e s i g n & U s a b i l i t y G u i d e l i n e s . however.16:6 Design Quantitative Content for Quick Understanding Guideline: Design quantitative information to reduce the time required to understand it. 1999. Shinar and Leiser. or visualizations. Tufte. Kosslyn. there are situations where visualizations will elicit even better performance. 2002. 1997. graphics. R e s e a r c h . Shamo and Gopher. 1994. 1983. Usability testing can help to determine when users will benefit from using tabular data. Gerhardt-Powals. Meyer. Example: This is a case where displaying information using graphs and bars allows users to discern the importance of data much more quickly than when it is presented in a table format. and visualization techniques to hasten the understanding of information. Meyer. Presenting quantitative information in a table (rather than a graph) generally elicits the best performance.
Powers. the user is looking for a weather forecast for Manchester. Displaying too much information may confuse users and hinder assimilation of needed information. Tullis. Stewart. Mayhew. Allow users to remain focused on the desired task by excluding information that task analysis and usability testing indicates is not relevant to their current task. 1981. 2001. 1975. 1986. 1992.. Smith and Mosier. 2001. Spyridakis. but also indicates tonight’s vacation weather for Prague—this information is extraneous to the user’s original task. Example: An example of extraneous information. In this case. Titles. The site provides this information. allow users to tailor displays online. Sources: Ahlstrom and Longo.176 16:7 Display Only Necessary Information Guideline: Limit page information only to that which Relative Importance: is needed by users while on that page. 1998. Headings. 2001. GerhardtPowals. Morkes and Nielsen. Zhang and Seo. et al. and Labels Content Organization Comments: Do not overload pages or interactions Strength of Evidence: with extraneous information. Tullis. 2000. 1980. When user information requirements cannot be precisely anticipated by the designer. 1996. United Kingdom. 1961. Research-Ba s e d We b D e s i g n & U s a b i l i t y G u i d e l i n e s . Engel and Granda.
When segmenting content for two or more distinct groups of users. allow users from each audience to easily access information intended for other audiences. 2001.. a patient.. Williams. as well as for a patient or consumer audience. information about cancer can be presented in differing ways for physicians and patients.e. Users want access to all versions of the information without first having to declare themselves as a health professional. and Labels varying formats and at different levels of detail on the same site. 1998. Example: These are examples of ways to provide different audiences access to information. Zimmerman and Prickett.B a s e d We b D e s i g n & U s a b i l i t y G u i d e l i n e s . 2000. Gerhardt-Powals.16:8 Format Information for Multiple Audiences Guideline: Provide information in multiple formats if the Web site has distinct audiences who will be interested in the same information. One study showed that users want to see information that is intended for a health professional audience. Zimmerman. technical. audiences were not segmented until they reached a page where links to multiple versions of a document (i. Relative Importance: Strength of Evidence: 177 Content Organization Headings. Koyani and Lafond. Comments: Information can be provided in Sources: Evans. See page xxii for detailed descriptions of the rating scales R e s e a r c h . Titles. 2002. 1996. et al. a caregiver. 2000. Nall. non-technical) were provided. etc. For example. To accommodate these users.
1982. 1975. but it may be safer to use no more than five different colors for category coding. 1963. Smith. Engel and Granda. 1962. Christ. Do not use color alone to convey information. while items with prominent color differences will seem to be different. People can distinguish up to ten different colors that are assigned to different categories. Murch. Haubner and Neumann. Smith. Smith. 1975. 1965. 1986. Sources: Carter.178 16:9 Use Color for Grouping Guideline: Use color to help users understand what does and does not go together. Titles. Relative Importance: Strength of Evidence: Headings. If more than ten different colors are used. the effects of any particular relationship will be lost. Farquhar and Thomas. Example: Research-Ba s e d We b D e s i g n & U s a b i l i t y G u i d e l i n e s See page xxii for detailed descriptions of the rating scales . and Labels Content Organization Links Comments: Color coding permits users to rapidly scan and quickly perceive patterns and relationships among items. 1996. 1985. Nygren and Allard. Items that share the same color will be considered as being related to each other.
B a s e d We b D e s i g n & U s a b i l i t y G u i d e l i n e s . Each page of a Web site should allow users to conduct a search. sometimes it works best to provide search templates. The site’s search capability should be designed to respond to terms typically entered by users.and lowercase letters will be considered as equivalent when searching.’ When there are words in the Web site that match the words entered by users. Users should be able to assume that both upper. The results presented to users as a result of searching should be useful and usable. users are shown where in the Web site those words can be found. Users access the search capability 17 Search by entering one or more keywords into an entry field—usually termed a ’search box. Where many users tend to conduct similar searches. Users tend to assume that any search they conduct will cover the entire site and not a subsite. Users should be notified when multiple search capabilities exist. R e s e a r c h . Usually it is adequate to allow simple searches without providing for the use of more advanced features.Search Many Web sites allow users to search for information contained in the site.
1999. et al. size. Nielsen. Nielsen. 2004.. These search results are difficult to use. Spool. or do not immediately find what they are searching for. 2001.g. Relative Importance: Strength of Evidence: Search Comments: Users want to be able to use the results of a search to continue solving their problem. There is no discernable order and no ability to sort results by characteristics (e. Pollock and Hockley. 2001a. 2002. Example: Returned search results in the main panel contain snippets of the searched page with the user’s search terms highlighted (allowing the user to gain a sense of the context in which the terms are used) and a clustered list of related search terms is contained in the left panel. Rosenfeld and Morville. Dumais. price. Sources: Amento. Cutrell and Chen. 1997. 1996.180 17:1 Ensure Usable Search Results Guideline: Ensure that the results of user searches provide the precise information being sought. et al. etc. 2000.) Research-Ba s e d We b D e s i g n & U s a b i l i t y G u i d e l i n e s See page xxii for detailed descriptions of the rating scales . and in a format that matches users’ expectations.. they become frustrated.. When users are confused by the search results. Bailey and Koyani. et al..
many large sites have various subsections that are maintained by different designers.and Lowercase Search Terms Equivalent Guideline: Treat user-entered upper. Sources: Bailey and Koyani. so the user may think of a site as something that designers think of as several sites. R e s e a r c h .’ ’String. In situations when case actually is important.. Make sure it is clear to users what part(s) of the Web site are being searched. Spool. users will generally be indifferent to any distinction between upper. 17:3 Make Upper. et al. Provide a means for users to narrow the scope of searches on large Web sites by providing easy access to specific subsites when searching.B a s e d We b D e s i g n & U s a b i l i t y G u i d e l i n e s . allow users to specify case as a selectable option in the string search. Relative Importance: Strength of Evidence: 181 Search Comments: Designers may want to allow users to control the range of their searches. Relative Importance: Strength of Evidence: and ’string’ should be recognized and accepted equally by the Web site. or to run an unbounded search by selecting the ‘All of SSA’ menu choice. For example.’ Sources: Smith and Mosier.17:6 Design Simple Engines to Search the Entire Site 17:2 Allow Search Searches Guideline: Design search engines to search the entire site. ’STRING. or that the user may find difficult to make. 1986. users tend to believe that a search engine will search the entire Web site. Do not have search engines search only a portion of the site without clearly informing users which parts of the site are being searched. However. 2004. 1997.and lowercase letters as equivalent when entered as search terms. or clearly communicate which part of the site will be searched. Keep in mind that what a designer may consider to be the entirety of a site may not be the same as what the user thinks is the ’whole’ site.and lowercase. When searching. The site should not compel a distinction that users do not care or know about. Example: This design allows users to easily bound their search to a selected subsection of the Web site. Comments: For example.
Designers should be careful not to rely too heavily on search engines. Search engines can be helpful on content-rich Web sites. Example: As users delve deeper into the site’s content. Spool. 1996. Designers should carefully consider the advantages and disadvantages of including a search engine.. 2000. but do not add value on other types of sites. Sources: Detweiler and Omanson. and whether their Web site lends itself to automated searches. Research-Ba s e d We b D e s i g n & U s a b i l i t y G u i d e l i n e s See page xxii for detailed descriptions of the rating scales . 1999d. Relative Importance: Search Comments: A search option should be provided on Strength of Evidence: all pages where it may be useful–users should not have to return to the homepage to conduct a search.182 17:4 Provide a Search Option on Each Page 17:4 Provide a Search Option on Each Page Guideline: Provide a search option on each page of a content-rich Web site. Farkas and Farkas. Nielsen. and do not always improve users’ search performance. Nielsen. Nielsen. et al. 1996. Levine. 1997e. the search capability remains immediately available. 1996a. They are not a substitute for good content organization. 1997.
2004. Sources: Bailey and Koyani. In addition to responding to users’ keywords. try to design the site’s search engine to accommodate common misspellings.17:5 DesignSimple SearchesUsers’ Terms 17:6 Allow Search Around Guideline: Construct a Web site’s search engine to respond to users’ terminology.B a s e d We b D e s i g n & U s a b i l i t y G u i d e l i n e s . Determining the keywords users are using may require considerable data collection. Spyridakis.. Keep in mind that designers’ preferred keywords may not match users’ preferred keywords. 2001. Hooke. and other common user search errors. Example: A search for “tongue cancer” also returns results on Oral Cancer. alternative punctuation. surveys. For the most common searches. Head and Neck Cancer. and make information relevant to those terms easy to find through the site’s search engine. Cutrell and Chen. Dumais. provide a ’best bets’ set of results. and content writers may overestimate the specialized vocabulary of their audience. and other techniques to determine the preferred search words for their site. and Lip and Oral Cavity Cancer. 1979. R e s e a r c h . it is important that users succeed on their first try. 1989. DeLeo and Slaughter. Schiano. misused plurals. et al. Designers should make use of search engine logs. Therefore. Koyani and Nall. 2001. Ensure that the ’best bets’ do not appear as advertising or paid links. 2000. Relative Importance: 183 Search Comments: Users seem to rely on certain Strength of Evidence: preferred keywords when searching. 1999. extra spaces. They will generally conduct one or two searches before trying another site or search engine (or abandoning the search altogether). Stone and Bectarte. Egan. Evans. 1998.
Pollock and Hockley. 1999. Koyani and Nall. Provide a box (entry field) for entering search terms that is at least 35 to 40 characters wide. 2004. This search page is far too complex for the average user. Bayles and Bernard. Example: Simple search engines will accommodate most users’ search strategies. Schroeder and Ojakaar. Bateman and Jansen. Relative Importance: Strength of Evidence: Search Comments: The search function should be easy to use and allow for users to be successful when searching. They rarely use advanced search features (such as Boolean operators). Nielsen. Research-Ba s e d We b D e s i g n & U s a b i l i t y G u i d e l i n e s . provide simple instructions and examples to help guide users’ searching and use of the search results. Spink. Such advanced search capabilities are best presented on a page dedicated to advanced searches. so it is important not to rely on those to improve the effectiveness of the site’s search engine. 2001a. et al. Nielsen. 1996.184 17:6 Allow Simple Searches 17:1 Ensure Usable Search Results Guideline: Structure the search engine to accommodate users who enter a small number of words. If most of the site’s users are inexperienced Web searchers. 1999. Most users tend to employ simple search strategies. Spool. Sources: Bailey and Koyani. 1999. 2000. 2001.. Users will self-detect more errors when they see what they have entered.
Relative Importance: Strength of Evidence: 185 Search Comments: Most users assume that a Web site has only one type of search. users tended to miss some of the search capabilities. when there were multiple search types available. Sources: Bailey. In one study. 2000. 1996..17:7 Notify Users when Multiple Search Options Exist 17:6 Allow Simple Searches Guideline: If more than one type of search option is provided. et al. See page xxii for detailed descriptions of the rating scales R e s e a r c h . Example: These sites all offer multiple ways of searching. ensure that users are aware of all the different types of search options and how each is best used.B a s e d We b D e s i g n & U s a b i l i t y G u i d e l i n e s . Koyani and Nall. Levy.
participants achieved significantly greater syntactic performance. In addition. (2004). When syntactic information was included in the search hint. semantic. Example: This site provides search hints to assist the user. When semantic information was included in the search hint. Sources: Bandos and Resnick. while keeping in mind the reluctance of users to read instructions. participants achieved significantly greater semantic performance. but had no effect on syntactic performance. One study found a direct link between the content of search hints and task effectiveness. Research-Ba s e d We b D e s i g n & U s a b i l i t y G u i d e l i n e s See page xxii for detailed descriptions of the rating scales . or examples). Also. Relative Importance: Search Comments: A major tradeoff that must be Strength of Evidence: considered in the design of a search input interface is related to the need to provide sufficient instructions for users to take advantage of the power of the search engine. participants were able to complete the search tasks faster when only one hint was presented. participants’ confidence that their queries would retrieve the correct answer was reliably enhanced by the presence of semantic search hints (but not syntactic hints). performance was generally lower than when only one hint type was presented.186 17:8 Ensure Hints Search Results 17:1 IncludeUsableto Improve Search Performance Guideline: Include specific hints to improve search performance. The presence of examples improved semantic performance. When hints contained more than one type of information (syntactic.
1999. Each template should be organized as a hierarchy of predefined keywords that could help to restrict the users’ initial search sets. Relative Importance: Strength of Evidence: 187 Search Comments: Search templates assist users in formulating better search queries. A template consists of predefined keywords that help users select their search terms. and improve the relevance of the returned ’hits. or can help users formulate their own queries.’ One study reported that people using templates find seventy percent more target Web sites than those not using templates. Example: Some ‘search template’ examples include: To find information on ’human error’ use errors fault miscalculation slips blunder slip-up mistakes inaccuracy To find information on user interface testing performance testing heuristics evaluations ’usability testing’ use cognitive walkthroughs automatic tests remote testing R e s e a r c h . Sources: Fang and Salvendy. The keywords can be used directly.17:9 Allow Simple Searches 17:6 Provide Search Templates Guideline: Provide templates to facilitate the use of search engines.B a s e d We b D e s i g n & U s a b i l i t y G u i d e l i n e s .
such as heuristic evaluations or expert reviews. speed of performance. Using ’inspection evaluations. Research-Ba s e d We b D e s i g n & U s a b i l i t y G u i d e l i n e s .Usability Testing 18 Usability Testing There are two major considerations when conducting usability testing. The findings. they should make changes and then have the Web site tested again. including both quantitative data and qualitative observations information. the more iterations. After the first test results are provided to designers. tend to generate large numbers of potential usability ’problems’ that never turn out to be actual usability problems. The tester collects data on the participant’s success. The first is to ensure that the best possible method for testing is used. Generally. and satisfaction. Generally. the best method is to conduct a test where representative participants interact with representative scenarios. must be done with caution. Inspection methods. are provided to designers in a test report.’ in place of well-controlled usability tests. The second major consideration is to ensure that an iterative approach is used. the better the Web site.
.18:1 Use an Iterative 18:3 Prioritize Tasks Design Approach Guideline: Develop and test prototypes through an iterative design approach to create the most useful and usable Web site. Egan. 2005. Bailey.. A second study reported that eight of ten tasks were performed faster on the Web site that had been iteratively designed. One recent study found that the improvements made between the original Web site and the redesigned Web site resulted in thirty percent more task completions. Bradley and Johnk. testing the prototypes. The iterative design process helps to substantially improve the usability of Web sites. and sixty-seven percent greater user satisfaction. and then making changes based on the test results. 1992. twenty-five percent less time to complete the tasks. Bailey and Wolfson. 2001. Jeffries. Tan. 1993. the iterative process ends. Connor and Tullis. Karat. et al. 1995. See page xxii for detailed descriptions of the rating scales R e s e a r c h . Norman and Murphy. 1993. Comments: Iterative design consists of creating Sources: Badre. et al. Redish and Dumas. Relative Importance: Strength of Evidence: 189 Usability Testing paper or computer prototypes. When these goals are met.B a s e d We b D e s i g n & U s a b i l i t y G u i d e l i n e s . 2001. 1991. Hong. and Fiegel. 1989.. Finally. LeDoux. 2004. a third study found that forty-six percent of the original set of issues were resolved by making design changes to the interface. The ’test and make changes’ process is repeated until the Web site meets performance benchmarks (usability goals). Campbell. et al.. et al. 2005. 2002.
1990. participants perform all tasks uninterrupted. Ramey. In one study. 2000. One study reported that only twenty-two percent of users were able to buy items on an original Web site. After a major redesign effort. 2002. Williams. Van Den Haak. However. Rehman. the reports (with both approaches) tended to be positively biased and ’think aloud’ participants may complete fewer tasks. Relative Importance: Strength of Evidence: and after a redesign will help designers determine if changes actually made a difference in the usability of the site. De Jong. users tended to read text on the screen and verbalize more of what they were doing rather than what they were thinking. 2000. when using the ’think aloud’ approach. Comments: Participants may be asked to give their Sources: Bailey. 2003.190 18:2 Solicit Test Participants’ Comments Guideline: Solicit usability testing participants’ comments either during or after the performance of tasks. 18:3 Evaluate Web Sites Before and After Making Changes Guideline: Conduct ’before and after’ studies when revising a Web site to determine changes in usability. 1997. Karat. Wixon and Jones. 1994a. 2000. When using the ’think aloud’ method. Participants tend not to voice negative reports. participants report on incidents as soon as they happen. Wright and Converse. 2003. 1992. 1993. Comments: Conducting usability studies prior to Sources: John and Marks. Research-Ba s e d We b D e s i g n & U s a b i l i t y G u i d e l i n e s . Studies have reported no significant difference between the ’think aloud’ versus retrospective approaches in terms of the number of useful incident reports given by participants. 1995. Page and Rahimi. Ohnemus and Biers. and Schellens. and then watch their session video and report any observations (critical incidents). Relative Importance: Strength of Evidence: Usability Testing comments either while performing each task (’think aloud’) or after finishing all tasks (retrospectively). Bowers and Snyder. When using the retrospective approach. Capra. 1983. eighty-eight percent of users successfully purchased products on that site. Hoc and Leplat. 1996.
Both frequency and severity data can be used to prioritize usability issues that need to be changed. 2001. • Tasks that were expected to be easy and were actually easy. address the tasks that users believe to be easy but are actually difficult. the severity of a problem should be defined by analyzing difficulties encountered by individual users. Relative Importance: Strength of Evidence: determines the frequency of a problem. • Tasks that were expected to be difficult. Participants judge how difficult or easy a task will be before trying to do it. The Usability Magnitude Estimation (UME) is a measure that can be used to assess user expectations of the difficulty of each task. 2004. 18:5 Distinguish Between Frequency and Severity Guideline: Distinguish between frequency and severity when reporting on usability issues and problems. and • Tasks that were expected to be difficult and were difficult to complete. Sources: Rich and McGee. Comments: The number of users affected Sources: Woolrych and Cockton. but were actually difficult.’ should be given much less priority. but had a severity rating of ‘nuisance. but were actually easy. For example. To be most useful. and then make a second judgment after trying to complete the task. designers should focus first on fixing those usability issues that were shown to be most severe. Relative Importance: Strength of Evidence: 191 Usability Testing Comments: When deciding which usability issues to fix first. Those usability issues that were encountered by many participants.B a s e d We b D e s i g n & U s a b i l i t y G u i d e l i n e s . Each task is eventually put into one of four categories based on these expected versus actual ratings: • Tasks that were expected to be easy.18:3 Prioritize Tasks 18:4 Guideline: Give high priority to usability issues preventing ‘easy’ tasks from being easy. See page xxii for detailed descriptions of the rating scales R e s e a r c h .
quantitative performance testing (measuring times. using too many wastes valuable resources.192 18:6 Solicit Test Participants’ Comments 18:2 Select the Right Number of Participants Guideline: Select the right number of participants when using different usability techniques. • Performance usability testing with users: – Early in the design process. an original site and a revised site). quantitative usability testing should be employed. Depending on how confident the usability specialist wants to be in the results. but is also increases the number of false positives..) can be conducted to ensure that usability objectives are being met. failure to find content. basic content. Generally. it is important to test with six or more of each type of user. – The research shows that as more experts are involved in evaluating the usability of the product. – When the performance of two sites is compared (i. usability testing with a small number of users (approximately six) is sufficient to identify problems with the information architecture (navigation) and overall design issues. the greater the number of usability issues will be identified. such as ninety-five percent. – Once the navigation. and display features are in place. This is usually done with two to five people. the more useful the results.. there will be at least one usability issue that is not a real problem. Another critical factor in this preliminary testing is having trained usability specialists as the usability test facilitator and primary observers.e. for every true usability problem identified. Research-Ba s e d We b D e s i g n & U s a b i l i t y G u i d e l i n e s . wrong pathways. Relative Importance: Strength of Evidence: Usability Testing Comments: Selecting the number of participants to use when conducting usability evaluations depends on the method being used: • Inspection evaluation by usability specialists: – The typical goal of an inspection evaluation is to have usability experts separately inspect a user interface by applying a set of broad usability guidelines. the tests could require a larger number of participants. the more expert the usability specialists. Using too few may reduce the usability of a Web site. However. Having more evaluators does decrease the number of misses. etc. To measure each usability objective to a particular confidence level. novices and experts). requires a larger number of users in the usability tests.g. If the Web site has very different types of users (e.
Several studies have shown that there was no reliable difference in the number of usability issues detected between computer and paper prototypes. 2002. Bailey. the required fidelity of the prototype. Bailey. Walker.18:3 Prioritize Tasks – It is best to perform iterative cycles of usability testing over the course of the Web site’s development. including other HTML base tools. 2003.B a s e d We b D e s i g n & U s a b i l i t y G u i d e l i n e s . Gray and Salzman. or when all members of the design team need to be included–even those that do not know how to create computer-based prototypes. 1992. These prototypes can be both interactive and dynamic. Sources: Sefelin. 1994. 2000d. Lewis. Chin. 1996. 2002. Visio. 1990. PowerPoint can be used to create medium fidelity prototypes. Paper prototypes can be used when it is necessary to view and evaluate many different (usually early) design ideas. Virzi. 193 Usability Testing Sources: Bailey. Strength of Evidence: Comments: Designers can use either paper-based or computer-based prototypes. 1993. Silvers. Perfetti and Landesman. Tscheligi and Giller. Virzi. 1993. This enables usability specialists and designers to observe and listen to many users. Paper-based prototyping appears to be as effective as computer-based prototyping when trying to identify most usability issues. and skill of the person creating the prototype. or when computer-based prototyping does not support the ideas the designer wants to implement. 2004. 2001. and are useful when the design requires more than a ’pencil-and-paper’ prototype. Voorheis and Anders. 2001. 18:7 Use the Appropriate Prototyping Technology Guideline: Create prototypes using the most Relative Importance: appropriate technology for the phase of the design. Nielsen and Landauer. However. Lewis. See page xxii for detailed descriptions of the rating scales R e s e a r c h . Takayama and Landay. Brinck and Hofer. 2001. 1998. Dumas. Software tools that are available to assist in the rapid development of prototypes include PowerPoint. 2000c. usability test participants usually prefer interacting with computer-based prototypes.
Wang and Caldwell. Stanton and Stevenage. 1992.194 18:8 Use Inspection Evaluation Results Cautiously 18:2 Solicit Test Participants’ Comments Guideline: Use inspection evaluation results with caution. 1993. Nielsen and Mack. Research-Ba s e d We b D e s i g n & U s a b i l i t y G u i d e l i n e s See page xxii for detailed descriptions of the rating scales . Another recent study concluded that the low effectiveness of heuristic evaluations as a whole was worrisome because of the low problem detection rate (p=. Fu. Hartson and Williges. expert reviews.. and the least success finding issues that require users to take several steps (clicks) to a target. 2002. It is a common practice to conduct an inspection evaluation to try to detect and resolve obvious problems before conducting usability tests. Green and Kanis. 1993. Allen and Raiello. 2003. 1998. for every hit there will be about 1. Another difficulty when conducting heuristic evaluations is that evaluators frequently apply the wrong heuristic. and they also tend to miss some real problems. evaluators can use the ’usability problem inspector’ (UPI) method or the ’Discovery and Analysis Resource’ (DARe) method.3 false positives and . Inspection evaluations should be used cautiously because several studies have shown that they appear to detect far more potential problems than actually exist. Rooden. Salvendy and Turley. and cognitive walkthroughs. Relative Importance: Usability Testing Comments: Inspection evaluations include heuristic Strength of Evidence: evaluations. Sources: Andre. Heuristic evaluations and expert reviews may best be used to identify potential usability issues to evaluate during usability testing. To improve somewhat on the performance of heuristic evaluations. 1998. Evaluators seem to have the most success identifying usability issues that can be seen by merely looking at the display. Nielsen and Landauer. 2002.5 misses. Cockton and Woolrych. 1998. which can mislead designers that are trying to fix the problem. et al. 2004. 2002. 2003. Cockton. 2002.09). Law and Hvannberg. Virzi. Law and Hvannberg. and the large number of evaluators required (16) to uncover seventy-five percent of the potential usability issues. 1999. 1994. Salvendy and Turley. Fu. Catani and Biers. Sorce and Herbert. One study reported that only thirty-nine percent of the heuristics were appropriately applied. Bailey. Cockton and Woolrych 2001. On average.
. when using multiple evaluators.. Molich. The main cause of the ’evaluator effect’ seems to be that usability evaluation is a complex cognitive activity that requires evaluators to exercise difficult judgments. 2002. 1998. use of jargon. 1998. 2000. R e s e a r c h . 2001. Redish and Dumas. Nielsen. Relative Importance: Strength of Evidence: 195 Usability Testing Comments: The ’evaluator effect’ occurs when multiple evaluators evaluating the same interface detect markedly different sets of problems. potential accessibility problems. 1991. Selvidge. et al. 1963. Ramey. 1998. Jacobsen. 1998. 1993. Ivory and Hearst. Sources: Brajnik. The evaluators may be doing an expert review. 1999. Nielsen and Molich. The evaluator effect exists for evaluators who are novice or experienced. and when evaluating simple or complex Web sites. any one evaluator is unlikely to detect the majority of the ’severe’ problems that will be detected collectively by all evaluators. Nielsen. There are many commercially available automatic evaluation methods available for checking on a variety of Web site parameters. Relative Importance: Comments: An automatic evaluation method is Strength of Evidence: one where software is used to evaluate a Web site. Evaluators also tend to perceive the problems they detected as more severe than the problems detected by others. Scholtz. such as pages that will load slowly. Sources: Hertzum and Jacobsen. etc. 2001. In fact. heuristic evaluation. 1992. or cognitive walkthrough. An automatic evaluation tool can help find certain types of design difficulties. 1993. missing links. World Wide Web Consortium. 2000. 18:10 Apply Automatic Evaluation Methods Guideline: Use appropriate automatic evaluation methods to conduct initial evaluations on Web sites. Gray and Salzman. they should not be used as a substitute for evaluations or usability testing with typical users. 1990. While automatic evaluation methods are useful. 2000. et al. while detecting cosmetic and severe problems.B a s e d We b D e s i g n & U s a b i l i t y G u i d e l i n e s . Hertzum and John.18:9 Prioritize Tasks 18:3 Recognize the ‘Evaluator Effect’ Guideline: Beware of the ’evaluator effect’ when conducting inspection evaluations. Holleran. Molich. Campbell and Stanley.
Campbell and Fiegel. In remote testing. Kondziela and Atwood. et al. time to complete the tasks.. Hartson. they report no reliable differences in task completion rate.196 18:2 Solicit Test Participants’ Comments 18:11 Use Cognitive Walkthroughs Cautiously Guideline: Use cognitive walkthroughs with caution. 1992. Ames and Davis. Desurvire. Research-Ba s e d We b D e s i g n & U s a b i l i t y G u i d e l i n e s . Karat. Also. lab-based testing. 1994b. Remote Testing Guideline: Testers can use either laboratory or remote usability testing because they both elicit similar results. et al. The cognitive walkthrough appears to detect far more potential problems than actually exist. Spencer. Karat. Relative Importance: Usability Testing Comments: Cognitive walkthroughs are often conducted to resolve obvious problems before Strength of Evidence: conducting performance tests. 2000.. when compared with performance usability testing results. 2002. 1992. or satisfaction scores. the Sources: Brush. 2000. Sources: Blackmon. 2004. It is convenient for participants because it requires no travel to a test facility. they have found no reliable differences between lab-based and remote testing in terms of the number of types of usability issues identified. Rozanski and Rochester. Tullis. About thirteen percent of actual problems in the performance test were missed altogether in the cognitive walkthrough. et al. Jeffries and Desurvire. Thompson. Relative Importance: Strength of Evidence: participant and the tester are in the same physical location. Studies have evaluated whether remote testing is as effective as traditional. 1997. Cognitive walkthroughs may best be used to identify potential usability issues to evaluate during usability testing. Jacobsen and John.. 2004. Several studies have shown that only about twenty-five percent of the potential problems predicted by the cognitive walkthrough were found to be actual problems in a performance test. Hassenzahl. 1996. 1992. 18:12 Choosing Laboratory vs. John and Mashyna. 2002. Remote testing provides the opportunity for participants to take a test in their home or office. the tester and the participant are in different physical locations. To date. 2000. Comments: In laboratory-based testing.
Dumas. serious or critical. One study had 17 expert review and usability test teams evaluate and test the same Web page. and underestimated severity seventy-eight percent of the time when compared with usability testing results. 1998. So that they can decide which issues to fix first. 1998. 2004. Law and Hvannberg. 2005. serious problem. 2004. 2001. Sources: Bailey. Hertzum and John. Catani and Biers. 2005. or two weeks to do a usability test. Each team classified each usability issue as a minor problem. The research literature is fairly clear that even highly experienced usability specialists cannot agree on which usability issues will have the greatest impact on usability. Cockton and Woolrych. Relative Importance: 197 Usability Testing Comments: Most designers would like usability specialists to prioritize design problems that they Strength of Evidence: found either by inspection evaluations or expert reviews. 2001. or critical problem. Hertzum and Jacobsen. Another study reported that heuristic evaluators overestimated severity twenty-two percent of the time. designers would like the list of potential usability problems ranked by each one’s ‘severity level’. Molich. Molich and Jeffries. Jacobsen. See page xxii for detailed descriptions of the rating scales R e s e a r c h . and there was little agreement on which were the ’top five problems’.18:3 Use Severity Ratings Cautiously 18:13Prioritize Tasks Guideline: Use severity ratings with caution. There was considerable disagreement in which problems the teams judged as minor.B a s e d We b D e s i g n & U s a b i l i t y G u i d e l i n e s . The teams had one week to do an expert review.
This also can be done using many different software systems. Anchor links allow users to skip through textual information. The goal of card sorting is to understand how a typical user views a given set of items. Card sorting A method used to identify categories that are inherent in a set of items. Assistive technologies Technologies (software or hardware) that increase. and are used as attention-grabbing links to other sites. For example. Titles. Auto-tabbing A Web site feature whereby the data entry cursor automatically moves from one entry field to the next as a user enters a pre-determined number of characters. Breadcrumbs should be designed so that users can click on any of the words in the breadcrumb string to jump to that section of the Web site. three digits. maintain. or efficiently move to one of the intermediate pages. or improve the functional capabilities of individuals with disabilities when interacting with computers or computer-based systems. Banner Banners are graphic images that commonly function as Web-based billboards. Card sorting can be done manually by writing items on individual paper cards.’ Applet A mini-software program that a Java. in ‘Jill selected the link. and then asking users to group together similar cards. The area above the fold will vary according to a user’s monitor size and their resolution settings. the data entry cursor would auto-tab from the first field to the second field once the user has entered three digits.or Active X-enabled browser downloads and uses automatically. For example. Banner ads generally appear toward the top-center of the screen.’ the verb ‘selected’ is in the active voice. Anchor links are best arranged as a table of contents for the page. Cascading menu A menu structure where submenus open when the user selects a choice from a Research-Ba s e d We b D e s i g n & U s a b i l i t y G u i d e l i n e s . For instance. Breadcrumbs are usually placed near the top of the page (generally immediately beneath the browser’s address bar). and again from the second field to the third field once the user has entered another three digits. if users are reading about the features and benefits of ‘widget x. resulting in a more efficient information-finding process. Anchor links Anchor links can be used on content pages that contain several (usually three or more) screenfuls of information.198 Headings. when entering phone number data in three separate entry fields of three digits. and Labels Glossary Links Glossary Above the fold The region of a Web page that is visible without scrolling. The grouping information from all card sorters is then combined and analyzed using cluster analysis software. four digits. The region above the fold is called a screenful. Breadcrumbs Breadcrumbs are a navigation element that allows users to orient themselves within a Web site. See also ‘Within-page links.’ breadcrumbs might show the following information: Home > Products > Widget x > Features/Benefits Breadcrumbs allow users to find their way to the homepage and ensure that they won’t easily become lost. Active voice Active voice makes subjects do something (to something).
The information that is visible when a Web page first loads is considered to be ‘above the fold. Regions of the graphic are designed to be clickable. or menus opening. cursors/pointers changing shape. Open list An open list is a screen-based control where either all of the list items are Research-Ba s e d We b D e s i g n & U s a b i l i t y G u i d e l i n e s . Index link Index links function as a table of contents—they provide users a quick glance at the Web site organization. Titles. Where on a Web page the fold falls is a function of the monitor size. and Labels Glossary Links Expert evaluation or Expert review See ‘Heuristic evaluation. Image map A graphic designed to assist users’ navigation of a Web site. Minesweeping involves the user rapidly moving the cursor or pointer over a page.200 Headings. Gloss An automated action that provides summary information on where a link will take a user prior to the user clicking on the link. The masthead typically contains the name of the organization and site (if different) and an organizational logo.’ Those regions of the same Web page that are visible only by scrolling are considered to be ‘below the fold. See also ‘Minesweeping. watching to see where the cursor or pointer changes to indicate the presence of a link. The gloss appears as the user moves the mouse over the link that is programmed with the gloss. glosses appear as a small ‘pop-up’ text box adjacent to a link. etc. or topic that stands at the top or beginning of a paragraph or section of text.). Heuristic evaluation An inspection method for finding certain types of usability problems in a user interface design. Keyword A word that is used as a reference point for finding other words or information using a search capability in a Web site. Examples of visually-apparent change includes links highlighting (words. Masthead The (usually) graphical banner at the top of a Web page that identifies the organization or group that hosts the Web site. site overviews. These usability principles are the ‘heuristics’ from which the method takes its name. The contents of each frame behave like different Web pages. Minesweeping An action designed to identify where on a page links are located. site maps.’ Fold The fold is defined as the lowest point where a Web page is no longer visible on a computer monitor or screen. Heuristic evaluation involves having one or more usability specialists individually examine the interface and judge its compliance with recognized usability principles.’ Navigation page A Web page that contains no content and that is designed solely to direct or redirect users. Navigation pages may be designed as homepages. the screen resolution. images. See also ‘Mouseover. Heading The title. etc. Often. allows users to quickly ascertain where they want to go. and to navigate there directly from the homepage. subtitle.’ Mouseover A Web interaction wherein some visuallyapparent change occurs to an item when the user’s cursor/pointer is placed over the item. and the font size selection.’ Frame A feature supported by most browsers that enables the designer to divide the display area into two or more sections (frames).
and the remaining list items can be viewed by scrolling the list. Passive voice permits subjects to have something done to them (by someone or something).B a s e d We b D e s i g n & U s a b i l i t y G u i d e l i n e s . accuracy and success are closely monitored and measured.’ Pop-under/Pop-up A pop-under or pop-up is a window that is automatically invoked when a user loads a Web page. etc. Path The route taken by a user as they move through a Web site. Moving from page-to-page is an alternative to scrolling through long pages. ‘The link was clicked by John. Passive voice Voice is a grammatical feature of English verbs. they place their mouse pointer over the link (point) and depress the appropriate button on the mouse (click). For example. the overall accuracy of selecting links. headers. Panels are frequently placed in the left and right margins of pages. Pop-under appears ‘below’ the active browser window. The path can be shown by breadcrumbs. Panels often contain navigation aids. Headings. Plug-in A software module that adds a specific feature or service to a larger system. the average time to select a target page. and Labels Links Headings. including related links. These objectives usually are stated in terms of the time to correctly select a link. whereas pop-ups appear ‘above’ the active window and can obscure screen contents. and Labels Links Headings. Paging A Web site design methodology that requires users to follow a series of ‘Next page’ links to read an entire article. For example.’ Some argue that passive voice is more indirect and wordier than active voice. Performance test A usability test that is characterized by having typical users perform a series of tasks where their speed. Titles. When a user visually identifies a link they wish to follow. Preference objectives The goals set for user attitudes toward individual Web pages or an entire Web site. Titles. and Labels Introduction Glossary Glossary R e s e a r c h . Content is not usually placed in left or right panels. or where several list items are immediately visible to the user. Titles. Panels Visually and thematically-defined sections of a Web page. Titles. The objectives are usually set and measured using questionnaires.201 immediately visible on the screen. Performance objectives The goals set for user behaviors on an individual Web page or a series of Web pages. The pages also will use the same fonts and graphic elements across all pages in the site. See also ‘Mouseover. there is a number of plug-ins for common browsers that enable them to display different types of audio and video. and Labels Headings. Physically consistent Web pages will have logos. Physical consistency Physical consistency refers to the ‘look and feel’ of a Web site. and navigation elements all located in the same place. Point-and-click A term used to describe conventional Web surfing behavior. Page title Page titles refer to the text located in the browser title bar (this is the bar found at the very top of the screen of common browsers). These objectives include information concerning user acceptance and user satisfaction.
e. Reveals Information that automatically appears on the screen during a Web-based slideshow presentation.). provide semantic hints. or sections of text in very small fonts may act as scroll stoppers. Semantics Semantics is a term used to distinguish the meaning of an instruction from its format. and to encourage development of technologies that will help achieve these goals. Screenful A screenful is defined as that portion of a Web page that is visible on any given user’s monitor or screen at any given point in time. Pushbuttons are used to provide quick and convenient access to frequently-used actions. Clicking on pushbuttons should cause the indicated action to take place. To reduce error. use radio buttons when only one item in a list of several items can be selected). agencies must give disabled employees and members of the public access to information that is comparable to the access available to others.’ Pushbutton Pushbuttons are screen-based controls that contain a text label or an image (or both). maintain. The pushbutton control is always activated with a single click of a mouse button.’ Do not use pushbuttons to move from one location to another in a Web site. and Labels Glossary Links Prose text Ordinary writing. to make available new opportunities for people with disabilities. It is defined by a movable box that runs on a vertical or horizontal axis. Used primarily by people who have difficulty seeing. prose text comprises sentences and paragraphs. Screen reader A software program used to allow reading of content and navigation of the screen using speech or Braille output.e.C. i. Scroll stopper A graphic or other page element that may visually impede a user from scrolling to the true top or bottom of a page. See also ‘Continuous Text. Titles. or use electronic and information technology.. or manually move the scroll bar located on the right side of their browser’s screen. Use Research-Ba s e d We b D e s i g n & U s a b i l i t y G u i d e l i n e s . in a Web context. procure. Radio button A screen-based control used to select one item from a list of mutually-exclusive items (i. Scroll bar The scroll bar is visible along the right edge of common browsers. etc. or while viewing a multimedia Web page. Under Section 508 (29 U. The size of the screenful is determined by the user’s monitor size.S. Scanning An information-retrieval method whereby users look quickly through a Web page looking for target information (headers. § 794d). Example of a semantic hint: ‘Use AND to retrieve a smaller set of records in which both of the search terms are present.. A semantic error occurs when you enter a legal command that does not make sense in the current context. ‘search. screen resolution settings.202 Headings. Misplaced headers. The law applies to all Federal agencies when they develop. horizontal lines. and the user’s selected font size. Section 508 Section 508 of the Rehabilitation Act was enacted to eliminate barriers in information technology. Scrolling A method of traversing a Web page wherein users either roll the scroll wheel on their mouse. keywords. Scanning can be a quick and efficient information-retrieval method if Web pages are designed to accommodate scanning.
Titles. Widgets include pushbuttons.204 Headings.g..’ Research-Ba s e d We b D e s i g n & U s a b i l i t y G u i d e l i n e s . radio buttons. Within-page links allow users to skip through textual information. Within-page links Within-page links are used on content pages that contain several (e. selection lists. See also ‘Anchor links. etc. resulting in a more efficient information-finding process. Withinpage links are best arranged as a table of contents for the page. sliders. three or more) screenfuls of information. and Labels Glossary Links Widget Screen-based controls that are used to interact with a Web site and other systems.
B a s e d We b D e s i g n & U s a b i l i t y G u i d e l i n e s .205 Appendices Guidelines Ranked by Relative Importance Chapter: Guideline # Guideline Heading Relative Importance Appendices Appendices 1:1 1:2 1:3 1:4 2:1 3:1 3:2 3:3 5:1 5:2 5:3 6:1 6:2 6:3 8:1 9:1 10:1 13:1 13:2 15:1 16:1 16:2 16:3 17:1 17:2 1:5 1:6 1:7 1:8 2:2 2:3 2:4 2:5 2:6 2:7 2:8 2:9 2:10 2:11 2:12 3:4 3:5 Provide Useful Content Establish User Requirements Understand and Meet User’s Expectations Involve Users in Establishing User Requirements Do Not Display Unsolicited Windows or Graphics Comply with Section 508 Design Forms for Users Using Assistive Technology Do Not Use Color Alone to Convey Information Enable Access to the Homepage Show All Major Options on the Homepage Create a Positive First Impression of Your Site Avoid Cluttered Displays Place Important Items Consistently Place Important Items at Top Center Eliminate Horizontal Scrolling Use Clear Category Labels Use Meaningful Link Labels Distinguish Required and Optional Data Entry Fields Label Pushbuttons Clearly Make Action Sequences Clear Organize Information Clearly Facilitate Scanning Ensure that Necessary Information is Displayed Ensure Usable Search Results Design Search Engines to Search the Entire Site Set and State Goals Focus on Performance Before Preference Consider Many User Interface Issues Be Easily Found in the Top 30 Increase Web Site Credibility Standardize Task Sequences Reduce the User’s Workload Design For Working Memory Limitations Minimize Page Download Time Warn of ’Time Outs’ Display Information in a Directly Usable Format Format Information for Reading and Printing Provide Feedback when Users Must Wait Inform Users of Long Download Times Develop Pages that Will Print Properly Enable Users to Skip Repetitive Navigation Links Provide Text Equivalents for Non-Text Elements 5 5 5 5 5 5 5 5 5 5 5 5 5 5 5 5 5 5 5 5 5 5 5 5 5 4 4 4 4 4 4 4 4 4 4 4 4 4 4 4 4 4 R e s e a r c h .
206 Appendices Guidelines Ranked by Relative Importance Chapter: Guideline # Guideline Heading Relative Importance 3:6 4:1 4:2 4:3 4:4 5:4 5:5 5:6 6:4 6:5 6:6 6:7 7:1 7:2 7:3 7:4 7:5 9:2 9:3 9:4 9:5 9:6 10:2 10:3 10:4 10:5 10:6 10:7 11:1 11:2 11:3 11:4 12:1 12:2 12:3 12:4 13:3 13:4 13:5 13:6 14:1 14:2 Test Plug-Ins and Applets for Accessibility Design for Common Browsers Account for Browser Differences Design for Popular Operating Systems Design for User’s Typical Connection Speed Communicate the Web Site’s Value and Purpose Limit Prose Text on the Homepage Ensure the Homepage Looks like a Homepage Structure for Easy Comparison Establish Level of Importance Optimize Display Density Align Items on a Page Provide Navigational Options Differentiate and Group Navigation Elements Use a Clickable ’List of Contents’ on Long Pages Provide Feedback on Users’ Location Place Primary Navigation Menus in the Left Panel Provide Descriptive Page Titles Use Descriptive Headings Liberally Use Unique and Descriptive Headings Highlight Critical Data Use Descriptive Row and Column Headings Link to Related Content Match Link Names with Their Destination Pages Avoid Misleading Cues to Click Repeat Important Links Use Text for Links Designate Used Links Use Black Text on Plain. High-Contrast Backgrounds Format Common Items Consistently Use Mixed-Case for Prose Text Ensure Visual Consistency Order Elements to Maximize User Performance Place Important Items at Top of the List Format Lists to Ease Scanning Display Related Items in Lists Label Data Entry Fields Consistently Do Not Make User-Entered Codes Case Sensitive Label Data Entry Fields Clearly Minimize User Data Entry Use Simple Background Images Label Clickable Images 4 4 4 4 4 4 4 4 4 4 4 4 4 4 4 4 4 4 4 4 4 4 4 4 4 4 4 4 4 4 4 4 4 4 4 4 4 4 4 4 4 4 Research-Ba s e d We b D e s i g n & U s a b i l i t y G u i d e l i n e s .
207 Guidelines Ranked by Relative Importance Chapter: Guideline # Guideline Heading Relative Importance Appendices Appendices 14:3 14:4 14:5 14:6 14:7 14:8 15:2 15:3 15:4 15:5 15:6 15:7 16:4 16:5 17:3 17:4 17:5 18:1 1:9 2:13 2:14 2:15 3:7 3:8 3:9 3:10 3:11 4:5 5:7 6:8 6:9 6:10 6:11 7:6 7:7 9:7 10:8 10:9 10:10 10:11 10:12 10:13 Ensure that Images Do Not Slow Downloads Use Video. External Links Clarify Clickable Regions on Images 4 4 4 4 4 4 4 4 4 4 4 4 4 4 4 4 4 4 3 3 3 3 3 3 3 3 3 3 3 3 3 3 3 3 3 3 3 3 3 3 3 3 R e s e a r c h .and Lowercase Search Terms Equivalent Provide a Search Option on Each Page Design Search Around Users’ Terms Use an Iterative Design Approach Set Usability Goals Do Not Require Users to Multitask While Reading Use Users’ Terminology in Help Documentation Provide Printing Options Ensure that Scripts Allow Accessibility Provide Equivalent Pages Provide Client-Side Image Maps Synchronize Multimedia Elements Do Not Require Style Sheets Design for Commonly Used Screen Resolutions Limit Homepage Length Use Fluid Layouts Avoid Scroll Stoppers Set Appropriate Page Lengths Use Moderate White Space Use Descriptive Tab Labels Present Tabs Effectively Use Headings in the Appropriate HTML Order Provide Consistent Clickability Cues Ensure that Embedded Links are Descriptive Use ’Pointing-and-Clicking’ Use Appropriate Text Link Lengths Indicate Internal vs. and Audio Meaningfully Include Logos Graphics Should Not Look like Banner Ads Limit Large Images Above the Fold Ensure Web Site Images Convey Intended Messages Avoid Jargon Use Familiar Words Define Acronyms and Abbreviations Use Abbreviations Sparingly Use Mixed Case with Prose Limit the Number of Words and Sentences Group Related Elements Minimize the Number of Clicks or Pages Make Upper.B a s e d We b D e s i g n & U s a b i l i t y G u i d e l i n e s . Animation.
208 Appendices Guidelines Ranked by Relative Importance Chapter: Guideline # Guideline Heading Relative Importance 10:14 11:5 11:6 11:7 11:8 12:5 12:6 13:7 13:8 13:9 13:10 13:11 13:12 13:13 13:14 13:15 13:16 13:17 13:18 14:9 14:10 14:11 15:8 15:9 15:10 15:11 16:6 16:7 16:8 17:6 17:7 17:8 18:2 18:3 18:4 18:5 18:6 1:10 2:16 3:12 3:13 5:8 Link to Supportive Information Use Bold Text Sparingly Use Attention-Attracting Features when Appropriate Use Familiar Fonts Use at Least a 12-Point Font Introduce Each List Use Static Menus Put Labels Close to Data Entry Fields Allow Users to See Their Entered Data Use Radio Buttons for Mutually Exclusive Selections Use Familiar Widgets Anticipate Typical User Errors Partition Long Data Items Use a Single Data Entry Method Prioritize Pushbuttons Use Check Boxes to Enable Multiple Selections Label Units of Measurement Do Not Limit Viewable List Box Options Display Default Values Limit the Use of Images Include Actual Data with Data Graphics Display Monitoring Information Graphically Limit Prose Text on Navigation pages Use Active Voice Write Instructions in the Affirmative Make First Sentences Descriptive Design Quantitative Content for Quick Understanding Display Only Necessary Information Format Information for Multiple Audiences Allow Simple Searches Notify Users when Multiple Search Options Exist Include Hints to Improve Search Performance Solicit Test Participants’ Comments Evaluate Web Sites Before and After Making Changes Prioritize Tasks Distinguish Between Frequency and Severity Select the Right Number of Participants Use Parallel Design Provide Assistance to Users Provide Frame Titles Avoid Screen Flicker Announce Changes to a Web Site 3 3 3 3 3 3 3 3 3 3 3 3 3 3 3 3 3 3 3 3 3 3 3 3 3 3 3 3 3 3 3 3 3 3 3 3 3 2 2 2 2 2 Research-Ba s e d We b D e s i g n & U s a b i l i t y G u i d e l i n e s .
Remote Testing Use Severity Ratings Cautiously 2 2 2 2 2 2 2 2 2 2 2 2 2 2 2 2 2 2 2 2 2 2 2 2 2 2 2 2 2 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 R e s e a r c h .209 Guidelines Ranked by Relative Importance Chapter: Guideline # Guideline Heading Relative Importance Appendices Appendices 5:9 6:12 7:8 7:9 7:10 8:2 8:3 8:4 8:5 9:8 11:9 11:10 11:11 12:7 12:8 13:19 13:20 13:21 13:22 13:23 13:24 14:12 14:13 14:14 16:9 17:9 18:7 18:8 18:9 1:11 6:13 7:11 7:12 12:9 13:25 14:15 14:16 18:10 18:11 18:12 18:13 Attend to Homepage Panel Width Choose Appropriate Line Lengths Keep Navigation-Only Pages Short Use Appropriate Menu Types Use Site Maps Facilitate Rapid Scrolling While Reading Use Scrolling Pages for Reading Comprehension Use Paging Rather Than Scrolling Scroll Fewer Screenfuls Provide Users with Good Ways to Reduce Options Color-Coding and Instructions Emphasize Importance Highlighting Information Start Numbered Items at One Use Appropriate List Style Place Cursor in First Data Entry Field Ensure that Double-Clicking Will Not Cause Problems Use Open Lists to Select One from Many Use Data Entry Fields to Speed Performance Use a Minimum of Two Radio Buttons Provide Auto-Tabbing Functionality Introduce Animation Emulate Real-World Objects Use Thumbnail Images to Preview Larger Images Use Color for Grouping Provide Search Templates Use the Appropriate Prototyping Technology Use Inspection Evaluation Results Cautiously Recognize the ’Evaluator Effect’ Use Personas Use Frames When Functions Must Remain Accessible Use ’Glosses’ to Assist Navigation Breadcrumb Navigation Capitalize First Letter of First Word in Lists Minimize Use of the Shift Key Use Images to Facilitate Learning Using Photographs of People Apply Automatic Evaluation Methods Use Cognitive Walkthroughs Cautiously Choosing Laboratory vs.B a s e d We b D e s i g n & U s a b i l i t y G u i d e l i n e s .
and Audio Meaningfully Use Images to Facilitate Learning Use Mixed Case with Prose Group Related Elements Use Color for Grouping Use an Iterative Design Approach Establish User Requirements Be Easily Found in the Top 30 Use Parallel Design Minimize Page Download Time Provide Feedback When Users Must Wait Do Not Require Users to Multitask While Reading Do Not Use Color Alone to Convey Information Create a Positive First Impression of Your Site Ensure the Homepage Looks like a Homepage Place Important Items Consistently Place Important Items at Top Center Structure for Easy Comparison Avoid Scroll Stoppers Use Moderate White Space Choose Appropriate Line Lengths Use Frames when Functions Must Remain Accessible Keep Navigation-Only Pages Short Use Appropriate Menu Types Use Site Maps Eliminate Horizontal Scrolling Facilitate Rapid Scrolling While Reading Use Scrolling Pages for Reading Comprehension Use Paging Rather Than Scrolling Use Clear Category Labels 5 5 5 5 5 5 5 5 5 5 5 5 5 5 5 5 5 5 4 4 4 4 4 4 4 4 4 4 4 4 4 4 4 4 4 4 4 4 4 4 4 4 Research-Ba s e d We b D e s i g n & U s a b i l i t y G u i d e l i n e s .210 Appendices Appendices Guidelines Ranked by Strength of Evidence Chapter: Guideline # Guideline Heading Relative Importance 1:1 2:3 2:5 6:7 9:3 11:1 11:6 11:7 11:10 12:1 13:22 14:1 14:4 14:15 15:6 16:4 16:9 18:1 1:2 1:8 1:10 2:6 2:10 2:13 3:3 5:3 5:6 6:2 6:3 6:4 6:9 6:11 6:12 6:13 7:8 7:9 7:10 8:1 8:2 8:3 8:4 9:1 Provide Useful Content Standardize Task Sequences Design for Working Memory Limitations Align Items on a Page Use Descriptive Headings Liberally Use Black Text on Plain. Animation. High-Contrast Backgrounds Use Attention-Attracting Features when Appropriate Use Familiar Fonts Emphasize Importance Order Elements to Maximize User Performance Use Data Entry Fields to Speed Performance Use Simple Background Images Use Video.
B a s e d We b D e s i g n & U s a b i l i t y G u i d e l i n e s . Remote Testing Use Severity Ratings Cautiously Understand and Meet User’s Expectations Involve Users in Establishing User Requirements Focus on Performance Before Preference Consider Many User Interface Issues 4 4 4 4 4 4 4 4 4 4 4 4 4 4 4 4 4 4 4 4 4 4 4 4 4 4 4 4 4 4 4 4 4 4 4 4 4 4 3 3 3 3 R e s e a r c h .211 ⇠ Guidelines Ranked by Strength of Evidence Chapter: Guideline # Guideline Heading Relative Importance 211 ⇠ Appendices Appendices Appendices 10:1 10:3 10:5 10:6 10:9 11:4 11:8 11:9 12:2 12:3 12:4 12:5 12:8 13:9 13:13 13:25 14:2 14:3 14:5 14:6 14:10 14:11 14:13 15:1 15:2 15:7 15:9 15:11 16:1 16:2 16:7 18:2 18:6 18:8 18:9 18:11 18:12 18:13 1:3 1:4 1:6 1:7 Use Meaningful Link Labels Match Link Names with Their Destination Pages Repeat Important Links Use Text for Links Ensure that Embedded Links are Descriptive Ensure Visual Consistency Use at Least 12-Point Font Color-Coding and Instructions Place Important Items at Top of the List Format Lists to Ease Scanning Display Related Items in Lists Introduce Each List Use Appropriate List Style Use Radio Buttons for Mutually Exclusive Selections Use a Single Data Entry Method Minimize Use of the Shift Key Label Clickable Images Ensure that Images Do Not Slow Downloads Include Logos Graphics Should Not Look like Banner Ads Include Actual Data with Data Graphics Display Monitoring Information Graphically Emulate Real-World Objects Make Action Sequences Clear Avoid Jargon Limit the Number of Words and Sentences Use Active Voice Make First Sentences Descriptive Organize Information Clearly Facilitate Scanning Display Only Necessary Information Solicit Test Participants’ Comments Select the Right Number of Participants Use Inspection Evaluation Results Cautiously Recognize the ’Evaluator Effect’ Use Cognitive Walkthroughs Cautiously Choosing Laboratory vs.
212 Appendices Guidelines Ranked by Strength of Evidence Chapter: Guideline # Guideline Heading Relative Importance 1:9 2:1 2:2 2:4 2:7 2:8 2:9 2:11 2:14 2:16 3:9 5:1 5:4 5:5 5:9 6:1 6:5 6:6 6:8 6:10 7:2 7:3 7:5 7:6 7:7 7:12 9:4 9:5 9:6 10:10 10:11 10:13 11:3 11:5 11:11 12:6 13:1 13:3 13:5 13:6 13:8 13:10 Set Usability Goals Do Not Display Unsolicited Windows or Graphics Increase Web Site Credibility Reduce the User’s Workload Warn of ’Time Outs’ Display Information in a Directly Usable Format Format Information for Reading and Printing Inform Users of Long Download Times Use Users’ Terminology in Help Documentation Provide Assistance to Users Provide Client-Side Image Maps Enable Access to the Homepage Communicate the Web Site’s Value and Purpose Limit Prose Text on the Homepage Attend to Homepage Panel Width Avoid Cluttered Displays Establish Level of Importance Optimize Display Density Use Fluid Layouts Set Appropriate Page Lengths Differentiate and Group Navigation Elements Use a Clickable ’List of Contents’ on Long Pages Place Primary Navigation Menus in the Left Panel Use Descriptive Tab Labels Present Tabs Effectively Breadcrumb Navigation Use Unique and Descriptive Headings Highlight Critical Data Use Descriptive Row and Column Headings Use ’Pointing-and-Clicking’ Use Appropriate Text Link Lengths Clarify Clickable Regions of Images Use Mixed-Case for Prose Text Use Bold Text Sparingly Highlighting Information Use Static Menus Distinguish Required and Optional Data Entry Fields Label Data Entry Fields Consistently Label Data Entry Fields Clearly Minimize User Data Entry Allow Users to See Their Entered Data Use Familiar Widgets 3 3 3 3 3 3 3 3 3 3 3 3 3 3 3 3 3 3 3 3 3 3 3 3 3 3 3 3 3 3 3 3 3 3 3 3 3 3 3 3 3 3 Research-Ba s e d We b D e s i g n & U s a b i l i t y G u i d e l i n e s .
213 Guidelines Ranked by Strength of Evidence Chapter: Guideline # Guideline Heading Relative Importance Appendices Appendices Appendices Appendices Appendices 13:14 13:15 13:16 13:17 13:24 14:7 14:8 14:12 15:3 15:8 16:5 16:6 16:8 17:1 17:2 17:5 17:7 17:8 17:9 18:3 18:5 18:7 18:10 1:5 1:11 2:12 2:15 3:1 3:2 3:4 3:5 3:6 3:7 3:8 3:10 3:12 4:1 4:2 4:3 4:4 4:5 5:2 Prioritize Pushbuttons Use Check Boxes to Enable Multiple Selections Label Units of Measurement Do Not Limit Viewable List Box Options Provide Auto-Tabbing Functionality Limit Large Images Above the Fold Ensure Web Site Images Convey Intended Messages Introduce Animation Use Familiar Words Limit Prose Text on Navigation Pages Minimize the Number of Clicks or Pages Design Quantitative Content for Quick Understanding Format Information for Multiple Audiences Ensure Usable Search Results Design Search Engines to Search the Entire Site Design Search Around Users’ Terms Notify Users When Multiple Search Options Exist Include Hints to Improve Search Performance Provide Search Templates Evaluate Web Sites Before and After Making Changes Distinguish Between Frequency and Severity Use the Appropriate Prototyping Technology Apply Automatic Evaluation Methods Set and State Goals Use Personas Develop Pages that Will Print Properly Provide Printing Options Comply with Section 508 Design Forms for Users Using Assistive Technologies Enable Users to Skip Repetitive Navigation Links Provide Text Equivalents for Non-Text Elements Test Plug-Ins and Applets for Accessibility Ensure that Scripts Allow Accessibility Provide Equivalent Pages Synchronize Multimedia Elements Provide Frame Titles Design for Common Browsers Account for Browser Differences Design for Popular Operating Systems Design for User’s Typical Connection Speed Design for Commonly Used Screen Resolutions Show All Major Options on the Homepage 3 3 3 3 3 3 3 3 3 3 3 3 3 3 3 3 3 3 3 3 3 3 3 2 2 2 2 2 2 2 2 2 2 2 2 2 2 2 2 2 2 2 R e s e a r c h .B a s e d We b D e s i g n & U s a b i l i t y G u i d e l i n e s .
and Lowercase Search Terms Equivalent Provide a Search Option on Each Page Allow Simple Searches Prioritize Tasks Do Not Require Style Sheets Avoid Screen Flicker 2 2 2 2 2 2 2 2 2 2 2 2 2 2 2 2 2 2 2 2 2 2 2 2 2 2 2 2 2 2 2 2 2 2 2 2 2 2 2 1 1 Research-Ba s e d We b D e s i g n & U s a b i l i t y G u i d e l i n e s .214 ⇠ Appendices Guidelines Ranked by Strength of Evidence Chapter: Guideline # Guideline Heading Relative Importance 5:7 5:8 7:1 7:4 7:11 8:5 9:2 9:7 9:8 10:2 10:4 10:7 10:8 10:12 10:14 11:2 12:7 12:9 13:2 13:4 13:7 13:11 13:12 13:18 13:19 13:20 13:21 13:23 14:9 14:14 14:16 15:4 15:5 15:10 16:3 17:3 17:4 17:6 18:4 3:11 3:13 Limit Homepage Length Announce Changes to a Web Site Provide Navigational Options Provide Feedback on Users’ Location Use ’Glosses’ to Assist Navigation Scroll Fewer Screenfuls Provide Descriptive Page Titles Use Headings in the Appropriate HTML Order Provide Users with Good Ways to Reduce Options Link to Related Content Avoid Misleading Cues to Click Designate Used Links Provide Consistent Clickability Cues Indicate Internal vs. External Links Link to Supportive Information Format Common Items Consistently Start Numbered Items at One Capitalize First Letter of First Word in Lists Label Pushbuttons Clearly Do Not Make User-Entered Codes Case Sensitive Put Labels Close to Data Entry Fields Anticipate Typical User Errors Partition Long Data Items Display Default Values Place Cursor in First Data Entry Field Ensure that Double-Clicking Will Not Cause Problems Use Open Lists to Select One from Many Use a Minimum of Two Radio Buttons Limit the Use of Images Use Thumbnail Images to Preview Larger Images Using Photographs of People Define Acronyms and Abbreviations Use Abbreviations Sparingly Write Instructions in the Affirmative Ensure that Necessary Information is Displayed Make Upper.
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7. 184. 106. 190. C. 41.A. M. 137. 215 Amento. 23.. 82. 13... 181. M.J.. 66. 224 Booher. 147. 238 Anderson. 221 Adamson.D... 15. 7. 63. 243 Blackmon. 215 Ames. 5. K. 150.E. 101. 140.. 53.. A. D. 218 Brajnik.J. 194. 227 Bouch. 19. 57. 11.. G. 173.. 216 Baroudi. 112. 145.. 218. 39. 150. C. 241 Bradley. S. 144.. 180. 147. 60. 197..W. 51. 141. 139.. 147. 2. 232 Bhatti. 156.. 106. 18. 219.S.A.. 184. 84. P. 57. 6. 189. 86. 193. 136. 230. 194. 102. 105. A. 217. 215 Atwood. 228 Andre.. J. L..P. R. 116. M.. 215 Ashworth.. 235 Bovair.W. 54. J. 13. G. 219. 164. 2.N. 89. 217 Bayles... 129. 224 Bergel. 162.. 156. L. 13. 88.D. 117 Bailey. 134. 56.. 55.. 61. H. 13.. 2. 236 Bateman. M. 128.F. 237 Bosenick. 114... 114. 193. 110. 218 Research-Ba s e d We b D e s i g n & U s a b i l i t y G u i d e l i n e s . 123. 16..S. T. 107. P. 53. 137. 215 Badre. 224 Allard. B.. 237 Bender. 145. 190. N. 218 Bilsing.H. 163.. 117 Borella.J. 196. 47. R.. 173.A. 138. 65. 184.. 52. G. R. 72. 10. 217 Benway. 215 Adkisson. 122. D. 243 Alfaro. 54.H. 80. 103. A. R..P.J.. 196. 165. 216 Barbesi. 218 Bransford. 215 Ahmadi. 138. 215 Baddeley.. 183. 6..L. 194..R.J... H. R. 223 Andre. 184. 180.. T. 64. 216 Ball. 216 Bandos. 228 Baker. 73. 215 Bailey. J. 218 Boyntoin. 237 Beldie. J. 16. L. 127. 189. L. 90.. K. 4. 241 Bernard. 146. 217 Benyon. J. V. 51. S.244 Author Index Author Index Ackerman. 218 Boynton. 176. B. 216 Barber. 4. 234 Billingsley. 133. 215 Baca. 221 Ausubel. H. 218 Boies.. 148. 218 Breland.. 87. 216 Basalaj.J. R. 145. 94. I. 13. 7. 166. 228 Ahumada. J.. 165. 196. 220 Bevan.. 216. 130. 5. R. 94.E. 170. P.. 112. 46.M. 234 Allen. 4.. 235 Bowers.E. 35. 121. 227.. 19. 242 Bectarte. 2. H. 215. M.. 178.. 115. 183.. M. M.. 107. A. J.. 103. 215 Ahlstrom. 5. 7. 194... M. 119. 109. S. 236 Barki. V. R. 186. 218 Boyarski. 194.. D. D. 68. 215. A. 63. 147. 68. 81. 215. A. 218 Bouma. 64. 27. 220. 46. 217 Baldwin. 173.. 37. 106. 143. 21. S. 145.R.A. 149.T. 79. 218.. 215 Baecker. R. W. 167.. 185. 189. 145. 109..P. 218 Bourne.. vi. 237 Akerelrea. 74.. 195..W.D.R. 171. 190. R. 240 Anders. 215 Asher. L.. 218 Bieber. 239 Bayles. N. 13. 216 Allinson. 25.. M. 63. 218 Booth. 218 Biers. M.... 189.. 168. 237 Benson. 107. 217 Beaton. 197. M. 103.E. A. 170. 101.
235 Campbell. 230 Chen.N.K.. T. 170.... 51. T.E. 220 Cassidy.. 225 Catani.. 191. 146. 2.. 82. C. 219 Csapo.C. 238 Buller. 109.P. 229 Converse. 219 Bruce. 164. 196. 221 Curson. 38.. P. 148.. 218. 242 Caldwell.M.K. R. 118. 101.. 165.B. 180. 241 Author Index R e s e a r c h . B. 70. 236 Chaparro. 101.. 178.H. D. 109.B. A.. 132. 223 Coney.. C. 27. 160. J.P. 219 Card. B.. 143.. 105.R.. 232 Dalton. 8... 243 Clark. 237.. M. 67. C. 2. 167. 230 Couper. J. J. 224 Chin. 220 Celsi... 193. 148.M. 15. 145..K.. 16. V. O.. 219 Campbell. 28. 222 Chervak. 235 Brown. 238 De Jong. 74.. E. 225 Brown. 221 Czerwinski. C. 232 Cakir... 219 Campbell. 239 Dailey.. I. 220 Chi.. 219 Bryden. L. 231.B.B a s e d We b D e s i g n & U s a b i l i t y G u i d e l i n e s . 225 Cooper.E. S. 109. 230 Cooke. 13.. J. 220 Cianchette... 194. 165. 232 Cutrell. 227 Coles. 37.G. 229 Curry. 118.G.. D. 140.T.. 241 Clark. B-W. 49. I. M. 17. 219 Caird. 101. 6. 6. 101. 194.. S. 223 Davis. J.. 220 Chang.J.S. 113. 183. 220 Cline. 196. 235 Brush. 243 Changkit. C. 219 DeAngelo.. 103. B. E. 242 Campbell. 232 Byrne.. 218 Butler.M. 228 Bubb-Lewis... A. 170. 2. D. W. 219 Bruns... E.. 183.L.. 242 Cook. 12. 154. R. 220 Chisholm. 218 Brinck. 189.D. 215 Castillo.G. 95. R. 94.. 243 Bush. K. 96.R.. 74. 194.. A. 238 Cole... H.. D. L... 5. 171. L. H.T. W. K.M. 228 Chaparro. 221 Couret.T. B.. 189. 239 de Bruijn.S.. 197.. 13.. 198. J. 94. 228 Covi. 196. H. 24. 26. 238 Chen. 146. 159.. 2. 143. 219 Brodbeck. 236 Carroll. C. 46.B. 165. 13. 4. 221 Cockton.. J. 7. S. 7. 221 Decker. 220 Christ. 234 Coble. A.. 221. G. J. 221 Crow. 165. 235 Culpepper.. 55. 180.. 190.D. 193. S. R.. 143. 222 Czaja. 5..A. 164.. 236..H. M. 232 Butler.E... A. 11.. K.. 190. 2. 219 Casner. 195. M. 178. M. 219 Carmel. 13. D. 11. 3. S.S. 87...J. 227. 12. 219 Carter. 231.. 219 Broadbent.. 114. 13.K. 96.. 190. B.. 220 Chignell. S. 221..245 Breland. 220 Chen. 103. 220. 194. 221.C. 228 Dahai. 195. T. J. 21. 221 Connor. B. J. M. 87. S. 227 Capra.. 23.. 224 Corl..A. M.. 146.J.. 221 Cockburn. 175.. 125. M. 242 Coe. 154. 145. 109. 219 Caldwell. E. 112. N. 215.. L. 197. 25. M. D. M. M. 79. 238 Davies. F.C. 13. 113. 235 Culbertson.. 127.. S. 173. 141.J. A. 219. 154.
46. 94. 232 Ede. 162. 86.. 170.. 229 Egan. 223 Farquhar.. 225 Fu.C. 117. 194. 176. 178. P. 18.. 177. 7. M. 222 Engelbeck. 117. E. 47. 133. S. 3. 107. 119. 134. 160. 172. 223 Feldman. J. 91. 222. 174. 232 Edgar. M. 223 Fowler. 221 Douglass. 234 Ellis.. 221 Desurvire. 53. L. 146. 49. P. R. 99.. 109... 163. R.. 221 Devigal. J. 217 Drapeau. 69. D. 127. 222 Engel. J. 223 Elliott. M. 114. 161. M. 222 Dumais. E. H.. S.. P. 222. 90. 189. 241 Findlater.. 173. G. 170. 128. 123. 236 Farkas.. 182. 60.D. 239 Edwards. 106. 20. 145. 231 Dumas. 103. 168. 96. 168. 223 Fares. 189. 223. 178. T.. 171. 6. 109. 68. 19.. 239 Fogg. 33.. 223 Farkas. 54.C. M.S. 217 Fiegel.S. 222 Fahnrich.J. 132.. 238 Dyson. 110..R. 112.. 122. 77.. 99. 103. 92.D.. S. 150. 62.E. 218. 143. 2. S. 144... K. 54. 56.. 132.. 62. C. 220 Duchnicky. 223 Frese. 170. 138. 13. 43.. C. 3. 167. 112.. 167. 77. G. I. C. 57. K. 68. 183. 165. 183..N. 221 Duda. 51. 53. 86... M. 10.. 4.. 223 Francis. D. 219 Draisin. 61. 228 Franz. 232 Esperet. 108. 230 Dixon. 218 Foster. 230 Dye..L. 222. 221 DiSciullo. 236 Fernandez.B. 237 Dumas. M. 167. C. M. 238 Drake. T.J.. 60.. 182. 140. S. 49.. 164. M... 43.. X.C... 79. 82... 222 Elgin. 153. 39. 17. 195. 146. 90. 36. 4. 232 Felker. A..T. J. 87. 226 Dennis. D. 112. 236 Dunkerton..W. N. 11.L. vi. 94. L. 222 Echt. 83. S.K. 222 Faraday. 68. J.V. 103. 149. 79. 7.G.E. P. 19. P..H. 51. 146. 221. 43. J. 223 Finn. 35.. 2. 78. 59. 183. 112..D. iii. J.. M. 11. 60.246 DeLeo. R. 238 Farrell. 223 Foley. 69.E. 145. 180. 103. S. 62. 87. 223 Forlizzi. 222 Author Index Estes. 91. D. 183. T. 238 Eberhardt. S. 109. J. 105. B. 51. D. E. 112.. 196. 116. 68.. 187.. 87. 89. 223 Fang. 101..B. 170. W.. 47. 223 Furnas. 164. B.. 98. 94. 234 Dyck. 222 Fang. 229 Dewar. 109. 223 Foltz. 47. 30. 197. 235 Flower. 216 Evans. 31.. 4.. 11. 19. R. 182. 222 Ehret. G. 113. 241 Flores.. 243 Evans.. 226 Detweiler. 68. 102. 91. C. 139. 170. J.. 69. 81. 159. 47.. 165. 118. 146. 126. 77. 56. 216 DeRouvray... C.. 230 Drury. 105. 68. 243 Fakun. G. 189. 116.L.W. P. 170. R. 146.E. 40. 153.B. 196.. 75. 121. 60... R. 36. 232 Dias. 57. 113. J. 235 Erno. 223 Research-Ba s e d We b D e s i g n & U s a b i l i t y G u i d e l i n e s . 25.. 227 Fincher-Kiefer... J. 79.. 171. 137.. 56. 224 Fleischman. 17. 161. B. 239 Dumais.. 234 Farris.P. 222.. 222 Eberts. 146. 193. 126. 40. 61. 147. 39. 223.
J. 238 Goldsmith. 221 Hirtle. 219 Green. 225 Granda. 107. 101. 46.. 222 Hassenzahl. 224 Green. 194. 226 Hooke. 225 Halgren. 164. 224 Grams... P. R. 82.E. M.L. 61. T. 144. R. D. 148. 132.. M.. 216. 168. 170.. 79. L. 193..M. 230. L. 15. 224 Gomez.P... A.B. M.R. 56. 230 Horton. R..M.J. A.. 229 Author Index R e s e a r c h . 126. 27. 170. 176. 40. 140. 222 Grier. 156. P. 60..D.. 4. 224 Haviland. 107. 224 Goldman. 176.. 104. 221. 173. 236. 167.. S.. 215 Hartwick. V. 226 Hoppe.. 178. S.L. 103. E. 67. 94.D. 215. D.R. 57. 178.. B... S. 80. 146.. 6. J. 68. P..S. 240 Halverson.247 Galitz. 224 Golovchinsky. N. 4. J. 5. H. 18. 194. 11. 175. J. 41. B. 225 Hart. 225 Hearst. 173.. H. 225. 62.. 180.. 68. 57. H. 50. 3. 59. 224 Giller. 4... 170. 224 Gergle. 79. 7. A.. G. 12.. 53. 193. 216 Haselgrove. iii. 126..J. S. 226 Hockley.. D. 116.. 57.T. 2. 222 Gray.. L. 237 Goff. 101. 60. 231 Gould. J. 225. 237 Hill. 221. 64. 224.R. 2. 236 Greene.. 35.U. 116. 54.S. 112.. 183. 25. 194.. 189. 79. 226 Hull. 226 Horton.... J-M. 15... 224 Greene. 75.. 219 Heinbokel. 172. 193. S.... 194. 138. 224 Graham. 220 Hayes.M. 166. 215.A. 224 Greene. 225 Hartson.W.C. 225 Hackler. J. 217 Hackman. K. 72. 134.R. 223 Head. 241 Grudin.. 184.. 152. R. 86. 227 Grose. 225. 225 Hindmarch.. W. 194. 195.H. E. 128. 195. 60. 177. 196. 140. 226 Hvannberg. 235 Hofer.R. 241 Hertzum. E. 8. T.. 47. 90. 105. 226 Hamilton. 102.A..I. T.. 175.O.. 107. D. 195. J. 143. 215 Hoc.. W. M.B. 90. 218 Holleran. 46. 226 Hochheiser... L. 70. A. 224 Gopher. 167. 195. R. 18. 238 Hearst. 238 Goodwin. 224 Guimaraes. 146.. 101. 190. 240 Green. M. 232 Haas. 225 Hall.. 243 Haubner. 231 Guo. T. E. 217.. 215 Hillstrom..M. 47.. R.. 225 Haupt. H. 225 Hartson.. 235 Hanson. 228 Harrison. 243 Hornof. 225 Harley. M. 225 Hau. 20... 223 Goodman. L. 197. 225 Hersh. 167...L. R.. 40. 241 Greenough. R.. S. 154. 79. J. 197. 226 Hess. W. P. 225 Henning.B a s e d We b D e s i g n & U s a b i l i t y G u i d e l i n e s . 228 Hix. 167.. 215 Hannafin. H.B. 219 Gerhardt-Powals. X.. 196.. 81... 225 Hill.. S. J. R. K.. 13. A. 215 Hammond. 226 Hong. 112.A. 117. 229 Herbert. 160.. 106. 226 Heimendinger..J. W. D. 101. 13. M. 219 Hartley.. W. 8. M.. 175. 222. P. 241 Herriot. 105.. 5.. 196.. J. 112. E. T. S. 50.
A. 47. 113. E. 196. 90.. 196. 61. 241 Landesman. 13. N. C. 231 Leplat. 64. 6. 193. 136. P. M. 90. 236 John. 26. 229 Kurniawan. 229 LeDoux.. L. J. M. 86. 215 Kahn. 36. 228 Kindlund. 175. 13... 227 Jenkins. 229 Law.. P. J. 227 Kodimer. 227 Kandogan.. 160. 104. 53. 218 Johnsgard. 223.. M. 221 Karyukina. 215. B. 77.... 16. 51. 184. 185. L. 234 Kim. R. 79... 227 Jin. 101. 228 Kim. 226 Jacko. B... 225 Kendall. 129. 217 Jean-Pierre.H. 226. 166. J. 227 Johnson.... 79. 129. D. 154. 236 Kantowitz. 77. 160. 65.M. 59. 61. 56. J. 242 Joseph. K. C. 11. 222 Lafond. 228 Kucera.H. 181. 94. J. 227 Kelso. 232 Krüger. 68. 77. 243 Kennedy. 233 Landay.. 171... 152.J. 196. S. 229 Leiser. 173. 146. E. 189. 19. J. 232 Keil. 228. 180.A. 15. 220 Larsen.J. M. 128. 222. 163. 226 Ivory. D. 227 Johnk.. 216. 174. T. 57.. 42. 173.Y. 218 Klee. vi. 56... 229 Lawless. D. 229 Leech. 112. 27... 191.A. 228 Koyani. 228 Kincaid. 73. 2. B.E.. 175.J. 42. 237 Jacobs. 134. 68. 14. 174.. 194. H.. S. 223. 226.. 4..-C. J. 72. 173.. 19.. M. J. 195. O.H...S. 226 Ives.. 140. 91. H. 226 Jansen. L. 195. 197. C-M.. 227 Kalbach. B. 2. vi. 218. 243 LeCompte.. J. 90. 197. 224 Keyes. 226..248 Author Index Isakson. 228. 197. H.J. 84. M. B. 222 Kitajima. 224 Jeffries. 147. vi... 177. 57. 53. 225 Karat. A.. S. 143. 177. 82. 40. 53.. 221 Koonce.. 97. S.M. 228. 194. 21.K. 227 Kanis. C..E. 16. 230 Kosslyn. 218 Kujala..M.. 28. I. L. 146. 60. 43. G. M. 197. 68. 159. B. 194. 189. 40. 145. 227 Karat.. K. 80. 162. 221. 232 Kingsburg... 191. 103..J. 228. 101. R. T. 227 Ju. 5. 102. 161. 223 Larkin. 161. 88.. 221.. 235 Laraki. 4.L. M. 63. 13. 167. 97.. 193. 218 Jones.. 228. K. 228 Kuchinsky.. 191. 128.D. 107.E. L. 221 Komlodi.. 235 Kilpatrick.C. 141.E.. K. T. 90. 51. A. 165. 43. 228 Kulikowich. 138. S. S. 223 Jones. J. 162. 225.. 148. 2... 239 Krull.. 228 Kipping. J.S. 170. 87. J. 189. 219. 65. 130... 24. E. 221 Kahn. 193. J.. 227 Kennedy. 38. 104. 232 Landauer. 229 LeBlanc. 196.. 190. 222. 195. 39. J. 196. 160. 93.. 173..P.A. 116. 145. Z. 227. E... 235 Kondziela. 82. 226 Research-Ba s e d We b D e s i g n & U s a b i l i t y G u i d e l i n e s . 241 Kolers. S. 47. 239 Janzen. 184. 87. 61. 216. 217 Larson. P. G..M. 47.. 183. 165. 52. 239 Knott.. 21.. 107. 38.A. 13. 228 Kieras. 7..E. M. M. K. 63.. 238 Ivory.. 40. 189.G.R. 220 Jacobsen. 89.C. 25.
J. R. J. 77... 7. 230 Marks. 123. R. 221 McEneaney..J. 67. 243 Maglio... 171. 160. 217 Minnaert... K. 146..J. 42. P.C. 231 McGee. L. 2. 229 Lim. 91. 3. 190. 51. 115. C. J. 219 Magnussen. 86. 137. 79. H.C. 53. N. 229 Lewis. R. 230 Mayes. 51. 231. R. 141.. 13. J.. 35. 175. 230 Author Index R e s e a r c h . A.B. 138. 62. J. S. 230 Mack.R. 54.. 232 Miller. 239 Miller. 224. E. 140. S. J. N. 6. 230. C.E. 196.. A. 13.... 4. 60... C.. 139. 68.. 238 Mansfield.S. 229 Li... 59. 230 Martin. 137. 146. 176. E... 87. 223. 166. 49. 160. 27. 74..A. D... 232. 122. 231 Molich.. 232 Mayer.. 193.. 106. 162. 185... 216 McConkie. 223 Marshall. 191.P. 176. P. 194. 27. 105... 116. 90.P. 231 Meyer.. 234. 145.. 78. B.P. 81. 170.E. J. 79.. 166. 2. 230 Mayhew. 13.J.. 217 Lieberman. 231 McKeen. 77.. 79. M. 230 Lorch.L. 7. J. 165. 239 Maurutto. C.. 35..B. 229 Li. S. 5. G.C. 227. 98. 62. 20. 230 Mahlke. 145. 146. 216 Lynch. 102. 102. P.. 230 Mayhorn. F... 155. 94.... 232 Mobrand.. 16. 109. 79. D. R.. 72. C. 96.D. J. 174.. 163. J. 239 Lloyd.. W. 228 Lewis. 231 Mills. 233 Mackinlay. 227. 220 Minuto. vii. A. Q. S. 224 Mitchell. 239 Mayer.B a s e d We b D e s i g n & U s a b i l i t y G u i d e l i n e s . S. 232 Moroney. J.R. 3.N. 7.R. 80.K. 117. 230 Lucas. 141. 87. 106.. 118. 99. T. 18. 20. C.. Y. C. J. J. M.. 154. 231 McNulty. B. 229 Lightner.. 113. 227 Matessa. 235 Marcus. E. 17. 123. K.. 226 Li. 218. 230 Mashyna. 15.D. 107. T. 79. 230 MacGregor. 25... 47. 170. 88. G. 101. 61. R.. 182. 229 Lida. 88. 229 Lewenstein. 222. 236 Liao.D.. 131. 241 Meluson. 229.. 230 Manning. 232 McCarthy.. C.F.A.M. 227 Marshall. 57. J.C. 49. M. 12. 105. 222 Longo. 197. M... 168. M. 232 Morkes. S. 231 Miller. 143. 103. 82. 119. 134. 105. 238 Lewis..M.F. 219 Moray.. 25. 13. 157. 195. 19.L. 95. 40. D..A.A. 37.J. 176. 229 Levy... 227 Miller. 2. 143. 230 Lin.. J.J.. 41. 18. 231. 231 McGrew. 230 McDonald. R. 109. 236 Marchionini. 39. D. 236 McGrenere. 230 Macbeth. G. 128. 5. 75. R. 98... 234 Moran. 226 Liu.. A. G.F. 231 Mills. 13. 79. 10. M. 112. 173. 133. 13. 239 Mayer.. 154. 31. 114. 159. 81. M. 224 Meyer. 236 Mahajan. 219 Matson.. 238 Lochbaum. C. H. 231 Mills. 243 McClintock. 107. S. 69.W. 13. 215 Lorch. 231.249 Levine... K. 165. 236 McClintoch. 230 McDougall... 164.. 68. 217 Lichty.
G. 232. 183. 23.. 96. 90. 47. 234 Muter. M. 11. 171. 141. 11. 114. 47.. 42. 166. J.G. 143. 75. J. 184. 2. 159. 98. 30.. 239 Muraski. 178. 193.. A. C. 234 Ojakaar. 135. 94. 236 Mosier.. 227.C. 56. 237 Paterson. 68.A. A. 90. 184. 49. 232 Myers. 118. 103. 130. 234 Nordby. 11... 21. 174. 164. 220 Ovaska. 116. Z.. 220 Pitkow. 138.N.J... 73.. 178.. R... 162. 189. 234 Paivio. 61. 223. 17.L. 51. R. 233. 101. A. 47. 195. 232 Neale. 235. S. 146. 87. S. 235 Nall. 66.. 225 Neuwirth. 2. 19. 235 Research-Ba s e d We b D e s i g n & U s a b i l i t y G u i d e l i n e s . 112. 234. 185. 235. 182. C.H. 177.W.. 20. B. 124. 180. 221. 103. 166.. E. 156. 39. 141. 160. 219 Nielsen.... 112.. 17. 168.. 59. 239 Olson. 174.. 148.. 163. 82.. 20. 234 Norman. A.C. 2. 131. T.. E. 238 Moskel. 150. 219 Morville. K. 232 Ohnemus. M.. 243 Park. 35. 109. 181. 180. 137. 235. 21. 2. G. 124. 141. 171.. 105. C. 79.V. 144. 242 Pons. 4... 38. 49. 10. M. 57. 235 Parush. 236 Nordhielm. 53. 234 Norman.. 232 Navai. 167. 235 Palmquist. 36. 146. 65. 80.. 242 Payne.R. 234 Osborn. 74. 116. 234 Oel. 52. 102. vii.. A. 146. 112.. 83. 135.. 146. 55. 226 Olson. W. 103. M. 79. R. 235 Palermo. 190. 164.. 103. 78. 86. P. 241 Poulton. 7. 180. 234 Page. 228. 53. 235 Muralidhar. 95. 152. 121. P. 173. 232 Morrison. 235 Phipps. E. 218. 38. 138. A. 114. 86. 39. 240 Paul. 151.250 Morrell. 21..D. E.L. 232 Narveson... K. 115. 96.. 67. 167. J. 25. 154. 225 Nelson.M. 223. 37. 136.. 194. C. 112.P. 91. 60. 174. 57. S. 235 Pirolli. 88. 35. 218 Pew. 232 Murphy. 235 Pollock. 164. 93. 60. 51. 159. 235 Pastoor.. 165.. A.. 84. 129. P. 92. 13. 112. 97. 97. iii. 167... 15. F. 151. 99.. 235 Polson. 40. 80. 243 Murch.. 89.. 223 Ouellette. 163. 56. 62. 4. 109. 193.S. 125. 219. 190.L. 25. 47. 3. 235 Post... 79. J. 118. 68. 103. 232. 149. 234 Niemela. 184. R. 173. 143. 15. 162. 232 Muncher. W.G. 75. 121. 74. D. 33. 87. 220 Olson. 30. 81. C. 173. 91.. E.W. 234 Ozok. 145. M.R. M. R. 220 Plaisant. 170. D. 225 Peleg-Bruckner. 130.A. J. J. 66. S. J. M.. 165.. A. 145. 43..A. 146. K. 170.. 94. 232 Nadir. 94. 189.. 114.. 216. 233 Neumann. 41. 182. D.. 90. J. 117. 184. 176. 148. 60. 126. P.. M. 165. 164. 60. 24.. 155. R. 115.C. 227 Pagulayan. 154. C. A. 235 Peterson. 234 Author Index Nygren. 91.. 216 Omanson. S.. 103. 96. 123. 13. 220 Piolat. 16. I. 162. 241 Porter.. 176. 40. 2. 165. 218 Newell. J. 79. 4. 146. 234 Nolan.. 234 Page... 216 Perfetti. 55. P. 172. 178. 77. 132. 160. 72. 113. D. 234 Osipovich. 74.
. 13.. vii. 146. P.D. 190. 240 Rodden..F. 176. 145. R. 241 Schiano. 237 Sears. P. 235 Preece. 239 Schultz. 101. C. 196. 141. 236 Rose. 130.. 123. iii. 236 Prickett. 235 Rozanski.. 74. R. 108. 223 Rasamny. 94. 217 Rochester. 77. D. 190. J. 235 Rooden. 237 Sarbaugh. 233 Reeder. 231. E.... 7. 229 Redish. 164. H. 230. 66. 237 Scanlon.. 193. K.. 229. 170. 51..L. 236 Rosenberg.M. 171. R.. 7. 228. 143..251 Powers. 234 Rajani. 235 Silvers. 193. 109. 239 Schellens. 194. 116. 87.H. 146. 159. J. 238 Shon.. D.F. 90. 235 Sasse.E. 112. S..J. 183. 74. M. 237 Scanlon.. 237 Shinar.D. 160. 236 Sawyer. 237 Selvidge.. 237. 177. L.V. L.. 145. 175. 238 Shiffrin. 145. 2. 157.. M. 2. 55. 231 Sharit. K. 96. L. 157. 60. 236 Ramey. L. 194. E. 57. P. S. 184..S. 190. 222.. A... 16.. J. 165. 236 Regli. 224 Sales.. 237 Schroeder.A. 127. 49. T. 237 Schriver. 154.. 240 Salvendy. 238 Shamo.B. R. 219 Reeves. P. 237 Schwarz. H. 186. B.M.. 70. 234. 243 Rehe.M. 187. 170.. 19. 237 Sefelin. 235 Rollins. 145. 112..A.R. J. 152. 51.. J.. 238 Author Index R e s e a r c h .A. 195. 2. 195. T..B. 194. A.. 12. 216 Raiha. B.. 218. 236 Reynolds. 237 Schaumburg.. K.. S.. 2. M. 25. 125. L.J. A. 45. R. 195. 180.J. 67. L. 195. vii. P. 236 Rahimi. 175. A. G. 170. 96.. 191. 232 Schneider...... 237 Schmidt. J.. W... A. 3.C. 227. 234. E. R. 239 Rickenberg. A.J. 103. 145... 103.. 219 Schramm... 112. M. D. 167. 236 Rigden.. 236 Rosenfeld... 103.W. 216. J. 236 Remde. 56.B a s e d We b D e s i g n & U s a b i l i t y G u i d e l i n e s .. 237.. 160.. J. 16. 231 Shiveley. 145.. 234 Salaun. 222. 236 Rangnekar. 226. 103. R. 236 Rogers. L. T... 193. 132. 231 Resnick. 151. 196.M. 56. J... 239 Scharff. 191. 228. 195. 232.. W. 236 Riegelsberger.. M. 77. 79.. J. 135. 219 Rogers. 222 Remington. M. A.. T. 124. xviii... 173. 154. R. 236 Reed. 243 Raanaas. 238 Salzman. 236 Ramsay. J. 224 Rayson. 237 Schraedley. 219 Rogers.. 94. 223 Shtub.Y. 154. 66.. vii. R. 225 Shneiderman. 236 Riley.. 99. 11. 161. G.. 237 Seo.. 221 Sheridan. 79. T. 237 Selvidge. 236 Rosenholtz. L.. Y-W. 236 Rogers. R. W. D. V. 224 Sano.. 240 Saarinen. 110. R. M. J. 18. 236.. P. 101.. 167.R. 238 Rich. A.J. 243 Scharff. 69... 236 Roussey... 243 Shaikh. 236 Rehman. 237 Scholtz. 189. 53.. 68. 176. 140. 19.. 223. 234 Raiello. P.
149. 116. 160. 74. 72. 118. 123. 11.. 151. 238 Spink.G. 68. W. 117. M.. J. 170. 240 Tinker.C.E. 114. 239 Stanley. 135. 194. 218 Strain. 90. 238 Spencer.M.. D. A... 238 Sinha. 237 Storrer. 143.S. 225 Sorce. 150. 171..H. M.J. 6. 194. M.. R. 143.. R. 239 Stewart. 239 Snyder. 128.. 13. T. 105.. 219 Stanley. 181. 195. 238 Snyder.. 159. 228 Tahir. K.. 237. T. 15. 148. A. K. H. 51. K..V. 47. 122. 170.. 78. 218.. L. 38.. 19. 176. 144. 118.. 91..W. 241 Sousa. 226 Slater. 115. 173. 61. 238 Spain.. W. 171. T. 13. 172. 239 Sutcliffe. 164.. S. N. 79.. 184. 230 Smith. 239 Terveen. 239 Stimart. M. 238 Smith. H. 178.. 226. 238 Sonnentag. J.. H. 36.A. N. 239 Stevens... S. 219 Sticht.. 68. 101 Sonderegger. 90. 238 Sullivan. 151. N.A. 168. 223 Swarts. 72. 226 Smilonich. 232 Thorell. 172. R. 223 Author Index Research-Ba s e d We b D e s i g n & U s a b i l i t y G u i d e l i n e s . 90. 225 Stone.P. 223 Sykes. 61. 112. 11.. A. P. 139. 146. 53. 239 Steehouder.D. C. 13. 170. 180.. 181. 240 Smythe.J. 170. 239 Stevenage... 68.. 94. C. 35. 239 Sundar. M. 235.L. 113. 238 Smith.E. 183.R. 75.. 122. 87. 163. J. 57. K. 183.. P. 174. N. 96. 77. 230 Sinclair.. O. 79. 240 Tractinsky.. 222 Swani. 2. 48. 49. 234 Takayama. 61.C. 138. 167. 35. 25. 47.I. 184..L. 240 Thompson.G. M. 193. P. 164. 228 Thompson. 182. 40. 140. 79. 5. 137. D.A. 40. L. 241 Tan. 19. 101. 171. E. 137.. 66. 134. 174. 173. 194. U. 2..D. 141. 171. 238 Smith. 4.M. 107. 153. 195. 221 Steinbrück.. 228 Suh. 94. A. 97. 171. 176. 87. E.. 162. 119. 55. 5. 78. 59. 157.. 240 Toms. 56.. 41. 133. 134. D. D. 139.252 Sims.. 167. 97. 238 Spencer. 166. 60. 183. 221 Souza. 146. 89. 227 Tan. R. 239 Spyridakis. 231. 241 Stanton.. 235 Snyder.. 53. iii. 240 Thunin. 112.F. R. 41. 155. 130. P. 219. 62. 56. 2. 137. 151. 238 Spinillo.. 238 Smith. 196. W. 231 Stoffregen.F. L. 144. 172.. 55. 189. 149.. 234 Stolte.. 146. 230 Thomsen.. 167. 190. 68. 176. K. H.. 140. 236 Sinha. 37.. 74. J. 239 Staggers.. 196. 87. 128. J. 146. 59. 234. 25. 112.C. 235 Tiller. 87. 83. R. 173. R. 230 Stewart. S. 74. 51. T. 102. 240 Treinen.. S. 164. 154. 88.. 239 Spool. 75. R. Y.G.G. 92. 225. 152. 51. 131. 133.. 16.. 239 Tatar.. S.. 25.. 2. 90. 165. T. 178.. 116..P. 239 Stevenson. 18. 219 Slaughter.. 218.. 133. 238 Thomas.A. 124. 126. 119. K.. 239 Sullivan.. 109. W-S. 92. 62.. 37.K. 11. M. 114. 109. 167. 3. 161. L. 243 Slater. 132.. 215 Thomas. 125.K. V.. 229 Taylor.L.. 96. M. 91...
219. R. A.L. 225 Tscheligi. 240.E. 154. 194. 2. 105.. C. R.... 56. 174.F. 128. 241 Virzi. 144. J. A.. 191. R. L. 167.. 190. 193. 237 Tufte... 167.. 86. 51. T..R. 51. V.B a s e d We b D e s i g n & U s a b i l i t y G u i d e l i n e s . 229 Tweedie. 230 Wolfmaier. 106.253 Treisman. 154. 227 Whissell. D. 148.. 105.M. 242 Wright. M. 101. 175. 243 Zimmerman.. 219 Woodall. K. 7.. L. 127. 223 Walling. 80. 152.. 196. 223 Vartabedian. 164.. P.. M. 227 Williams. 177. 238 Vora. 219 Varma. 172. 68. K. J. 241 Uyeda.. 91. 241 Walker. 243 Zeno.. E.. 193.D.. L. 242 Wogalter.-T.R. 103. 35. 59. 242 Wilson.R.. 25. 176 Zhang. 132. 151. 77. 66 Zaphiris. vii. P. L. T.. 26.. 243 Yu.. 243 Ziegler. 82.D.J. 231 Wen.G.. 241 Yantis.. 240 Tullis.. 242 Wharton. 164. 193. A. 219. C.R. 227 Zhang. 48. P. 78. J.. 51. 109. 194. 242 Wigginton.. vii. 241 Vanderheiden.. 241 Turley.Y. S. 189. 216 Wood.. 242 Wu. 133. 136. 221..... 101. B. 5. M. M. 2.. 243 Yankelovich. 215 Wilson. 194. 27.. 108.. 28. A. 61. 25. 191.J.J.. 79. 189. C.. 2. E.. 162... 79. 102. 103. 144. S. J.W. 190..S.. 69. 243 Zola. G.. 173. 146. 68.. P. F. 242 Williges. 240 Trueman. 140. 19. B. 242 Watson.A. 171. 109. 105. 61. 229 Wallace. 242 Wright. 230 Author Index R e s e a r c h . 241 Voorheis.M. D. 193. R. 92.S. B. 241 Walker. 108. 55. 191. N. P. 233 Wang. 236 Wood..B.. 25.. M. 125. 239 Utting. 176.. 243 Zellweger. 150. 47. 159. 161. M. 160. T. 150. N. C.A. 219 Weldon. A.G. 3. S.. 177. 229 Wilson. 224 Voss. 197.. A.. 107. 228 Youngman. 241 Vosburgh.. Y. 106. P. J. 18.E. 40. 59. 72. 225 Yoo. 98. 175.. vii Wilkes. 121. 228 Wehrle. W.-T. 242 Wolfson... 115. 229 Zaphiris.. 18.. 13.. 99.. 48. 241 Vaughan. 240 Trollip. 161. C. J. B. 229 Tullis. 194. M. 170. K. vii Wood. 194. 56.... 219 Woolrych. Y. B. 68.. 165. M... 223 Tversky. C.. 215 Wallace. 114... 227 Van Den Haak. S.N. 68. B.M. 11 Ziegler. 24.G.E.. 241 Walker. D. 243 Zacks. T. 145.T. 105. 220 Van Der Wege.S. 235. 154. R. 227 Wixon. 105. J. 220 Yuan. 160.
51. to attract attention. 89. arrows as clickability cues. multiple. 34. 193. 147. attention attracting. 163. error detection. 67. 177. accessibility. accuracy of data entry. 27. 14. 162. xvii. of pushbuttons. 203.254 Index Index A abbreviation. 24. use of on Web sites. 27. audio. or usability specialists. activities performed by users. assistive technology. 152. 120. text equivalents for. 198. possible from a homepage. 83. 133. 25. 202. 198. 105. 25. alt text. alphabetical as an organizational method for lists. evaluation. 27. 162. to search. 142. 124. 104. acronym. 198. 26. 23. 158. of users. 28. 58. 82. 120. 146. 22. xvi. 12. activate radio buttons. multimedia. 122. 202. 26. assistive technology and. action control. 23. above the fold. active voice. 201. 203. 93. 57. 81. 59. 138. 141. of scanning. 200. xv. 167. 142. 197. 27. 203. advertisements. asterisk. 25. 100. 164. 23. 199. 24. 52. 26. 61. the pushbutton. 120. 41. 202. 144. applet. 62. 150. annotation of graphics. 133. B Back button. 153. 23. 198. 198. 59. 8. 198. 198. 128. 195. 177. 115. 162. 201. 105. 39. automatic evaluation tools and. accessibility. animation. 105. 169. accessibility issues and. 40. 26. 151. of headings. 146. as an attention-attracting feature. automatic cursor placement. 89. 22. user. navigation. 107. 179. 131. 41. of selecting links. 28. 113. usability evaluation. 204. 23. 22. 164. 198. aid. 100. tabbing. 49. 121. 73. 195. 201. 81. 89. 146. 73. 203. 203. the default action. 193. 195. 141. Java. 25. Research-Ba s e d We b D e s i g n & U s a b i l i t y G u i d e l i n e s . using a keyboard. 131. 109. 192. 112. 198. access to content or information. anchor link. active portion of the screen. xx. time-out. Section 508. 201. 41. auto-tab. 146. audience for the Guidelines. alignment of page elements.
53. 142. boolean. column alignment. code color. 179. 54. 102. 24. 78. 118.B a s e d We b D e s i g n & U s a b i l i t y G u i d e l i n e s . 195. image. 104. 101.and lower-. width. 89. 173. 201. 202. 178. 179. 143. HTML. 171. 148. 59. 60. 61. 108. 72. 93. 107. title. 166. 51. 120. 56. 19. 89. reducing user. 134. 164. bar address. 173. 19. navigation. 141. 199. bold. bullets clickability. of links. 203. 173. browser. 200. 123. 105. 194. 196. 102. 198. background. 44. 129. 143. browser. 201. 123. scroll. 96. button Back. 86. 103. 45. for grouping. color. 109. 198. 70. 93. 53. 28. check box. radio. which require the use of the Shift key. user-entered. caption. common. 147. 91. color. 114.255 background. upper-. 25. 73. clickability cue. per line. 91. 31. 174. 202. settings. 89. benefit for audiences of the Guidelines. 173. 154. spacing. and methodology for the Guidelines. 53. bookmark. 19. 198. to gain attention. 23. 30. 62. 125. cascading menu. 51. 184. 12. 81. 201. 164. 199. card sorting. 92. 62. banner ad. 128. client-side. 82. clicks double. 201. 51. 76. 190. 164. 24. 118. 105. 127. 101. 158. 91. brainstorming. 181. xxi. 199. 103. upper. lists. 103. 115. 151. 65. 5. clutter. breadcrumbs. 175. 96. 204. 141. 124. 110. 128. 187. 56. 53. 47. 73. 95. 27. 152. 78. 203. 31. 199. 178. 164. 93. 109. ZIP. 53. 93. 59. 199. 62. 89. before and after. 198. case sensitive. 123. bar graph. 53. xv. 57. 102. accessibility issues and. 62. 121. 13. 198. 89. bytes. 103. 181. headings. 199. R e s e a r c h . characters limit for in text field. 31. 119. 129. 6. 202. 123. 145. 114. capitalization. cognitive walkthrough. 67. 138. center of the Web page. 7. 198. 119. 27. 131. 178. 114. 140. 199. xx. computer capabilities/strengths. Index C “click here”. 53. of text links. 158.
structuring to facilitate scanning. 82. 96. 3. 128. of animation. density display. value. 162. of titles. 140. 199. selection. 17. 120. indicating required vs. content. 101. dead-end pages. of important items. 1. Index D data comparison of. reducing errors during. 162. 100. display of. 15. 15. of page layout. writing Web content. default action. 27. (cont. speed/processing time. 121. 121. delay user tolerance for. 199. 90. 131. 44. 125. 182. 135. 123. browser. 55. labels for. 75. 24. Research-Ba s e d We b D e s i g n & U s a b i l i t y G u i d e l i n e s . 81. 126.) error detection by. 29. 103. 125. 168. 44. screen-based. 26. link colors. re-entry of. accessing important. 132. 33. 125. critical. 44. 47. 113. 192. 65. 10. meta-. radio buttons. 183. length of pages for. 171. 6. 153. 125. 150. 177. 176. 140. table of. 137. 125. 13. 131. user. 145. 6. 5. 60. 87. 50. 154. 158. formatting. cue clickability. optional fields. 93. 5. 172. 121. 140. 131. 51. 141. 143. content page. 130. 140. 58. 142. 98. 124. control. 169. highlighting of. 88. connection speed. lightness. 121. 124. 132. 16. See also widgets. 159. 68. credibility. 146. 171.256 computer. 125. See also Anchor link and Within-page links. 31. 158. 50. 138. 201. organization. 148. 138. 19. errors with. 115. 169. of clickability cues. 169. 9. 163. data entry. visual. 137. contrast high-contrast backgrounds. of link wrapping. human-computer interaction. 2. 78. 199. of labels. 199. 61. of link names and targets. speed of. 199. 85. xx. accuracy of. fields. 186. minimize. 133. 132. 47. 61. user-entered codes and. 54. 120. 123. 178. 171. 85. 89. 4. consistency of alignment. 59. 137. of formatting. 160. 145. 100. 74. 55. contents clickable list of page contents. 10. 126. 43. 123. 90. 54. 167. 92. 80. 166. physical. 124. crowding or clutter. 102. 127. 50. 9. 152. tables of. 153. 85. 48. 111.
reducing the number of. Index F feature attention attracting. 41. labels for. 20. 124. 41. 104. form(s) assistive technologies and. designing entry fields for. 109. 139. 194. field data entry. 135. fold. disabilities number of people with. 200. document lengthy. 124. (cont. R e s e a r c h . size and reading speed. 197. required vs. 138. 132. 195. 103. 63. 121. See also heuristic evaluation. 123. 16. sans serif. 131. 1. xix. fluid layout. 131. feedback providing to orient users. serif. style and reading speed. 120. See also Accessibility. 126. above the. evaluator effect. 140. 62. 58. 200. design iterative. 58. 126. 106. 121. 130. xxi. 139. 140. xx. 109. 138. 121. 131. matching link names with. optional. 120. making user friendly. 102. 190. drop-down. 41. below the. 28. double-click. 88. 124. 88. 197. xxii. eye-tracking. widgets and. 91. time for. 189. 121. impact on homepage design. 133. xix. E entry field. 105. 200. expert evaluation. heuristic. 64. 195. Assistive technology. labeling. parallel. 62. 88. 17. 195. xxii. 184. evaluation automatic. 139. xvi. 124. 141. indicating required. 136. 137. 23. 100. 199. 135. 106. See also heuristic evaluation. 125. 195. 64. 188. 188.257 density. 198. limit large images above. 128. data entry. 107. 47. errors automatic detection of. 161. 199. placing cursor in. 131. displaying default values in. 1.B a s e d We b D e s i g n & U s a b i l i t y G u i d e l i n e s . 134. 13. 54. expert opinion. 120. 200. 148. download convenience related to. 140. 55. 143. 131. 126. 138. 138. 179. and Section 508. 52. data entry. 126. 199. 130. 135. xvii. evidence strength of.) page/screen. 127. 148. of Web site designs. 75. xviii. 200. increasing the possibility of. 106. 122. destination page. 23. providing while users wait. emphasizing importance with. 198. 125. font attracting attention with. 95. data entry. iv. 54. 52. partitioning. expert review. 123. 7. 129.
accessibility issues and. 84. 54. help. 175. prose text on. facilitating learning with. xix. 62. 92. 147. 101. appropriate use of. 36. 153. percent of users with. 91. 171. 202. 113. 33. 105. format of. hierarchy. 53. thumbnail. 200. panels. 172. 167. 99. 5. index link. information. 77. 67. full-size. 97. 150. 203. 200. 195. hourglass. 25. 69. 101. Index G gloss. communicating Web site purpose Research-Ba s e d We b D e s i g n & U s a b i l i t y G u i d e l i n e s . 39. 105. 187. 47. 98.258 form(s). headings and. horizontal scrolling. 126. 149. 83. 188. 28. decorative. appropriate use of. 37. 171. 41. 68. background. 200. frame(s). accessibility issues and.) working memory limitations and. 5. 173. 41. 83. frequency. high-contrast backgrounds. 72. graphics. hierarchy information. quantitative. 83. 60. 200. 154. 81. 200. image map. image. 146. labeling of. conveying messages with. user. 76. use of html headers and. information-based Web site. information. 175. length of. 28. H heading. instructions. writing of. html headings and. on. 35. 155. 170. 13. heuristic evaluation. assisting navigation with. 25. 86. use of to indicate waiting times. 147. See also search engine/ function. hits. 116. 144. placing on the page. 25. 93. supportive. 38. 150. 82. (cont. 35. 149. link. 79. characteristics of. 124. 83. 178. 42. 177. 15. 73. 191. enabling access to from all other pages. 198. 105. 43. showing with site maps. 176. 172. attracting attention with. accessibility issues and. title. HTML order. high speed access. conveying quality with. 53. 40. introducing lists with. 150. 16. presenting options on. 143. important items. placement of critical items in. impact on scrolling. 78. 80. 156. clarifying clickable regions of. 155. IEEE. homepage announce changes to Web site on. decorative. placement of. providing feedback with. information facilitating user performance of. 200. 194. I IBM. 144. reading performance and. 49.
appropriate length of. keyword. 33. page. embedded text. detection by automated evaluation methods. line length. 86. 89. 96. case of. to supporting information. testing in. 114. providing links to explain or define. repeating.B a s e d We b D e s i g n & U s a b i l i t y G u i d e l i n e s . use in codes. L label category. uppercase. layout page. text. importance to finding information. 122. 123. 77. to complete printable/ downloadable documents. 90. 195. 72. 30. structuring for data comparison. 105. color for. 40. 132. 63. 86. 43. to information for new users. use of on long pages. 105. visual characteristics of. 88. missing. 99. use in mixed prose. 164. 183. clickability cues for. 99. 180. attracting attention with. 91. 67. image cautions emulate on use. 126. 77. blue. 92. case of. See also left panel. left navigation. use in search terms. 49. 135. 154. 200. laboratory. labeling of. 35. 160. 24. 97. learning. indicating. 32. navigation. navigation. 39. 35. iterative design process. Index J jargon avoiding the use of. 109. 62. data entry field. internal vs. 36. left panel. Limit Homepage Length. page. index. 20. 123. first. 3. entry speed and. placement on the homepage. K keyboard. 77. 89. Jupitermedia Corporation. tab. link label make specific and descriptive. to related content. formatting of. reading speed and. 88. 124. emphasizing text with. 6. 61. importance in site being found by search engines. 92. effects of prose text on. horizontal scrolling and. 119. 196. 93. capitalization of in lists. link text matching to destination page heading. R e s e a r c h . use the user’s term in. placement denoting importance. real-world objects. 144. using images to facilitate. 189. 134. 87. used. 93. 1. assistive technology skipping of. 48. 94. 156. to homepage. definition of. 64. designing. external. 90. letter case of. 6. widget. link anchor. link. 181. 166. 200. link. 56. 140. 49. 229.259 italics attracting attention with. 44. list. 41. importance of labels with.
use compared to open list. 123. use in user-entered codes. See also fluid layout. 95. 136.260 link text. performance compared to radio buttons. 140. use in prose text. 113. showing options in. use of on long pages. 52. mixed case. 33. 146. horizontal scrolling and. 181. placement for differentiation. headings. use of frames with. bulleted. 28. 199. when to use. liquid design. format. 68. Research-Ba s e d We b D e s i g n & U s a b i l i t y G u i d e l i n e s . 114.) reasons for use. minesweeping using to determine clickability. 60. 67. synchronize equivalent alternatives to ensure accessibility. 40. 33. 117. format. multimedia appropriate use of. reading from and multitasking. 146. 27. (cont. ease scanning. 140. numbered. multiple audience. N navigation dead-end pages and. 119. when to use. introductory explanations of. 118. 91. capitalization. 26. use of. 19. place important items at top. 164. 51. 52. 57. 96. logo placing on each page. effects of paging on user’s ability to create. 139. 153. 202. impacts on design. use of to designate homepage. mouseover accessibility issues with. pull-down. formatting to provide user feedback. compared to ‘pointing and clicking’. 59. 27. 72. 91. horizontal. 112. menu cascading. cautions for using. monitor/screen resolution. format. lowercase use in prose text. use as link to homepage. mental representation. 118. drop-down. impacts on font size. 107. 115. 177. 139. list alignment of elements to maximize performance. 93. redundant use with image maps. use compared to open list. vertical. 115. 35. 62. 95. displaying items in. simultaneous. 164. drop-down. 61. 141. when to use. list of contents. use in search terms. list box entry speed compared to data entry box. selection of items from. 200. sequential. monitor flicker frequency and accessibility. Index M masthead. order to facilitate user performance. 67.
67. 74. 53. passive voice. 193. people with disabilities. 33. 36. performance benchmarks. 78. 158. 6. navigation pages design of. 91. titles. appropriate. 201. 54. 166. 54. 74. See also image. showing options in. placement in frames and accessibility issues. 131. 128. 66. 139. 47. 60. personas. and impact on page design. 189. (cont. 74. navigation links allowing assistive technologies to skip. 25. 66. 157. pixel dimension tags. loading and byte size. horizontal scrolling and. 93. 156. 139. 69. width on the homepage. 65. scrolling and reading comprehension. partitioning. 13. 47. 173. number for usability testing. 46. photograph. 74. navigation tab formatting of. titles and role in being found by search engines. level of importance and. 201. pencil and paper prototype. reducing number of. 60. 24. 54. P page length. number. 154. numbers partitioning of for data entry. 72. See also Accessibility. navigation schemes. navigation. 167.) glosses and. picture alt text and. placement of. 60. 26. 47. 128. panel location of links in. 32. 60. placement of. 47. 62. use with frames. 7. 166. 8. options presenting on the homepage. 136. and reading comprehension. Index O open list. scrolling and.261 navigation. paging. designing for different. 192. 145. use compared to drop-down/ pull-down list. participants. importance of in meeting user expectations. text-only and accessibility. loading and scrolling. long data items. See also prototype. path. navigation elements differentiation and grouping of. 201. use and benefits of. performance compared to radio buttons. 166.B a s e d We b D e s i g n & U s a b i l i t y G u i d e l i n e s . 201. 49. 28. page layout designing for data comparison. Assistive technology and Section 508. R e s e a r c h . 84. placement of important items. 48. facilitating learning and. 66. 131. versus scrolling. goal/objective. 3. 136. 145. 43. operating systems.
and tailoring online display of information. 201. 171. Research-Ba s e d We b D e s i g n & U s a b i l i t y G u i d e l i n e s . 56. 119. 101. and font type. 200. 202. xxi. 107. accessibility and. pop-up window. reveals. 73. use of to attract attention. impacts of line length on. xv. 203. assistive technologies and. prioritization.) size. 196. limiting on the homepage. See also right panel. linking to. 52. 122. 10. xvi. right navigation. pushbutton. 69. appropriate use of. 95. 67. preference objectives. user performance. 74. 109. 63. 193. multitasking and. redesign. 189. formatting of. 107. 39. 27. mixed case and. 202. 190. primary navigation. design of. research-based evidence. 60. review. scanning and embedded text link lengths. 20. and impact on font size. 164. xix. 190. 42. 202. 166. 194. scanning issues and. reading speed font type and. 109. Index Q quantitative content. emphasizing importance of. 201. 202. grouping to enhance user performance. glosses. 105. 103. retrospective approach. 197. 19. readability of. remote testing. xviii. scrolling issues and. 26. 106. 107. 165. point-and-click. and. impact on font size. right panel. prototype. requirements user. 175. 87. 203. xx. 63. presentation. 5.262 pixel. 201. 172. 4. screen. and design considerations. 173. prose text. performance and page layout. establishing and understanding. 199. xxii. and. 187. R radio button. related information. relative importance. user. 101. user. impacts on. 54. impact of font line characteristics on. 23. expert. multimedia. reading performance font size and. 195. prototype. 128. 11. 133. 57. 202. use in the design process. resolution design considerations and. 166. 18. plug-in. 201. 154. 16. accessibility and. 93. announce changes before. (cont. 9. xvii. 19. xix. printing. 204. limiting on navigation pages. impact of scanning on. capitalization of labels. 46. 33. user. 203. 106. 72. 165. 96. horizontal scrolling and. impact on homepage. related content. 107. reading comprehension. impacts of multitasking on.
28. Index S scanning. 185. 202. 28. page titles and. scroll stopper. 202. 53. 54. 73. real estate. 75. 27. design and use of. 127. 171. 182. 27. 63. 148. 204. headers and headings. 197. 57. search engine/function advanced. impact of on scanning. placing consistently. 184. 120. 191. 74. reading comprehension and. importance of grouping to. 25. 41. 199. Section 508. 129. 16. during. template. 148. 66. 203. 169. importance of headings. server-side image map. cautions when using. placing on homepage. 67. 75. horizontal. 60. 173. 67. 113. on homepage. 200. 198. 115. site map. standardizing. 166. accuracy. facilitating use of. 46. link to. 181. 167. 11. 203. 202. versus sequential menus. 86. reading comprehension and. 82. 183. 203. 55.B a s e d We b D e s i g n & U s a b i l i t y G u i d e l i n e s . 181. content page design and. 204. homepage length and. sequential menu. Shift key. search errors. use of voice in. 47. auditory. 79. sentence(s). 201. scroll bar. 41. 183. flicker. facilitating. secondary navigation. best bets. scroll stoppers and. navigation pages and. 53. 57. 82. searching for information and. navigation page length and. 138. use of frames with. link to. 66. 26. 199. 198. 26. script. 202. 55. versus paging. 72. 171. 40. 199. screen. 172. accessibility issues and. signal. screen reader. scrolling. browser. 199. data entry fields and. 74. 184. text link lengths and. 114. 33. 183. 178. terms used in. keeping functions available R e s e a r c h . page layout/structure and. 202. 187. screenful. search sequences. 96. resolution. making usable. 139. lists and. 96. impact on homepage design. locating items on. 182. 113. severity. 27. 139. 51. prose text on the homepage and. 28. 203. 141. 115. 202. importance of color. 165. simultaneous menu. functionality of. 202. 136. 25. 203. 202.263 row alignment of. facilitating. 48. 200. 200. 73. 54. page length decisions and. performance. placing on each page. large images and. 200. 40. 23. 72. 184. 6. 198. density. 78. 201. 202. registration with. 136. 51. 180. lists. widget selection and. 39. results. scroll box. 202. 26.
software. text label clickable images and. 105. xix. 91. matching to destination page title. 64. 202. and download times. 199. 83. 203. grouping with color. text box. 112. target page. 195. 198. 68. and design issues. ordering. indicating used. 172. 40. test subjects. 202. establishing user requirements and. xxi. survey customer. 203. ordering/sequencing to maximize user performance. alignment of. connection. website. 27. 5. tag html heading. 199. 63. 115. design and placement. operating systems and. 196. accessibility issues and. xvi. xxii. 154. xvii. 109.264 site map. 82. 199. common browsers and. importance in meeting user expectations. Index T tab. alternatives for image maps and accessibility. 11. scrolling issues and. 161. use of in the design process. 92. 33. 65. 176. 60. 103. 60. use of compared to image links. 112. text link appropriate length of. 23. completion times and visual consistency. 193. strength of evidence. templates. 17. 27. 56. definition of. xvi. table quantitative information and. task(s) appropriate menu types for. 88. 94. 67. 201. 203. xx. 203. 26. 203. 91. 187. task analysis. 138. accessibility issues and. 145. 192. website. row and column headings. 51. source documents. correct number of. 33. 88. 173. accessibility issues and. labels. 25. v. 101. 159. 107. website. 38. Research-Ba s e d We b D e s i g n & U s a b i l i t y G u i d e l i n e s . 96. sound. standardization of. speed connection. 3. continuous. text equivalents. text. benefits of. 127. matching link names with. 62. 30. sequence. vi. tagline. use of. embedded. accessibility issues and.) use of. (cont. formatting for emphasis. 179. 51. 92. connection. 32. formatting for reading performance. 53. blocks of. use in creating lists of user terms. image maps and. common screen resolutions and. testing results. style sheet. 144. 175. accessibility issues and. 2. 199. tertiary navigation. 25. pixel dimension. 102. blue. 27. xviii. 200. 93. 89.
89. 192. 155. inexperienced/new. tool(s). user(s) acceptance of website.265 text only pages. 192. 200. See also UME. expectations. 78. use in prose text. 123. 157. 5. 191. xvi. 81. 25. 201. underlining attracting attention with. automatic evaluation and. role in establishing user requirements.B a s e d We b D e s i g n & U s a b i l i t y G u i d e l i n e s . page. 24. 7. 194. usability. disabilities. importance of clickability cues to. paging and. 194. page. 109. xx. 201. designing for. frame. thumbnail image. 141. use with search engines. 4. interface issues. highlighting critical data and. problem. 26. role in designing headings and labels. role in the design process. role of ‘before and after’ studies in determining. xvii. xxi. performance/preference goals and. inexperienced/new. 62. link. 193. indicating destination of links with. 190. 190. 141. 192. 105. 24. xvi. 203. 56. emphasizing importance with. data entry. 6. 124. uppercase attracting attention with. 71 test subjects and. 28. inexperienced/new. providing assistance to. 162. 197. title(s) abbreviating. 181. 141. 197. xiii. 21. usability goal. study. 74. 23. Index U UME. 190. 184. drawing with highlighting. 3. cognitive walkthroughs and. 196. attention. widgets and. xx. 26. color deficient. experienced/frequent. Usability Magnitude Estimation. providing feedback to users with. 132. xvii. time out. R e s e a r c h . 93. specialist. 193 automatic evaluation. search functions and. 19. 109. 191. heuristic evaluations and. 192. 203. 5. 22. role in the design process. 203. 105. 21. 83. 5. 175. expert evaluations and. transactions. xiii. 129. think aloud. 81. groups. designing to meet. xviii. 8. 191. accessibility issues and. 203. usability test(ing). inexperienced/new. designing for. multitasking. 176. 195. and link text consistency. 199. 164. URL. xix. 195. clickability cues and. 97. 39. 194. designing for. xviii. xxi. 24. 14. reading performance impacts of. text line length and. 2. accessibility issues and. determining user information needs with. role in the design process. 7. 93. 88. 80. role in the design process.
use of and help documentation. format for multiple audiences. Web site. primary use and. importance in design process. 42. 199. 198. 23. 3. 20. 103. purpose. designing search terms around. 15. layout. 38. layout. redesign. format. 111. 120. 22. meeting user expectations for. 114. visualization techniques and quantitative information. appropriate use of. 177. 55. scrolling behavior of. 195. vocabulary. 153. 183. importance of descriptive headings to. visual consistency across. positioning important items on. cognitive. importance of. 28. 167. capitalization of labels. 55. 24. (cont. 79. younger. 6. with. 25. Index W walkthrough. 103. 31. 13. 7. announcing changes to users. 23. 26. 167. 100. 201. importance of. 5. vision-related disabilities. negative.) older. workload. visual consistency of. 105. design considerations and. information. 2. accessibility issues and. Research-Ba s e d We b D e s i g n & U s a b i l i t y G u i d e l i n e s . using in help documentation. 51. visual impairments. visual cues designating required data entry fields. 26. facilitating scrolling. consistent alignment of items on. check box. style sheets and accessibility issues. older. 55. communicating. user control of. performance. 78. requirements. widgets. 57. 199. 73.266 user(s). 129. 62. designing to be found by search engines. 25. visually-impaired users. 175. 31. user. 4. layout. Web page. passive. 103. 19. older. working memory limitations. 105. white space appropriate application of. 28. 167. 73. V video accessibility issues and. 134. use of in lists. 124. 73. designing for. 146. providing user feedback with. length. 196. attention attracting features on. 2. 2. voice active. 119. reducing. design. widgets and. white space and. 47. scrolling behavior of. printing options for. visual consistency. alignment of. meaningful use of. attention attracting features. terminology. 25. layout. 12. 204. 51. 108. goal. 54. 27. 112. 27. 52. titles.
140. 23. 10. appropriate use of. 131. 121. 122. placing cursor in. 57. drop-down list appropriate use of. 133. page.267 widgets. 124. 18. 126. pixel dimension tags for images. 172. 43. 204. window. Index R e s e a r c h . pushbutton. showing options in. 204.B a s e d We b D e s i g n & U s a b i l i t y G u i d e l i n e s . 128.) displaying default values in. list box entry speed compared to data entry box. unsolicited. assistive technologies and. 13. working memory. width homepage panels. 202. 138. prioritizing. 136. 135. partitioning of. 145. labeling. 61. 202. radio button. visual consistency and. labeling of. (cont. entry field distinguishing required and optional. within-page links. 19. 103. 137. 129. 123. printing issues.
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