Web Interface Concepts
Tips on Web Site Usability
The following is a summarized list of tips for making web sites usable. They come from the legendary book about web design usability, “Don’t Make Me Think” by Steve Krug.
- Don’t make your visitors have to think. A web page should be self-evident, obvious, self-explanatory.
- Recognize that visitors don’t read pages. They scan them, and they muddle through.
- Create a clear visual hierarchy.
- Use conventional methods of organizing content (predictability is your friend).
- Break up pages into clearly defined areas.
- Make it obvious what’s clickable.
- Keep visual noise to a minimum.
- Omit needless words.
- Create street signs and breadcrumbs in your navigation. On any page, a visitor should be able to answer these questions:
- What site is this?
- What page am I on?
- What are the major sections of the site?
- What are my options at this level?
- Where am I in the scheme of things?
- How can I search?
- Your home page must convey “the big picture” for your visitors:
- What is this?
- What do they have here?
- What can I do here?
- Why should I be here-and not somewhere else?
- Where do I start?
- Nothing beats a good tagline.
- Don’t design for a mythical “average user.” Test your site with real, ordinary people.
- Everything should align with something else along at least one edge
- Avoid center alignment
- Don’t mix alignments (use a grid)
- Margins and padding add white space
- White space is your friend
- Things that go with each other should be closer to each other than things that don’t go together
- Spacing has meaning; it implies relationships
- Reinforce those connections with ALIGNMENT for a double-whammy
- Provide WHITE SPACE to give the eye some rest
- Repeat some aspect(s) of the design
- Creates UNITY (the sense that all the parts create a unified whole)
- Helps identify navigation, heading levels, and overall organization
- Aids usability (visitors don’t need to learn new structure from page to page)
- Requires design guidelines and discipline
- If two things are different, make them VERY different
- Contrast can be created with color, size, scale, texture, value, motion, dimension
- Creates a focal point – helps define what is most important
- If you emphasize everything, you emphasize nothing
Spelling and Grammar
Bad spelling and grammar can destroy all you’ve achieved with good design.