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  • Gradual Engagement | In usability we trust
    Luke Wroblewski is also using Geni among a few other sites as an example of this concept The Geni example In the Geni example it s an almost transparent sign up process since you immediately start to build your family tree naturally starting with yourself thereby entering your name and email address You re instantly engaged in building your tree and are investing time and effort in the web site An email is sent to you with a temporary password and a link back to the site where you can set a permanent password Making it easy for you to get back to the site and continue where you left off Conclusions This is still the best example I seen so far in getting the user to interact with the product right away They sure have nailed the concept of Gradual Engagement but also manages to clearly communicate what the site is all about in a single page It s probably not a coincident that they ve managed to get over 20 million profiles Trying to remove as many barriers as possible in getting the user engaged is crucial for the success of web applications I think this is something

    Original URL path: http://www.svennerberg.com/2008/09/gradual-engagement/ (2016-04-28)
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  • Easiest sign up ever | In usability we trust
    you family tree and signed up for the web application at the same time In all web application requiring users to sign up before they can use it One big barrier is to get the user to actually sign up in the first place By instantly giving her some kind of gratification like in the Geni example you significantly lower that barrier The user only have to enter a minimum and in this case very relevant amount of information before they can reap their rewards No bloated forms to fill out You just get started right away All other information you need from the user can be added later when the user s already up and running After having invested time and effort in the application she is much more likely to give away more information about herself Do you have other examples of web applications who has managed to make the sign up process almost invisible External links www geni com Articles Usability Webb apps Next post When software ruins great products 0 Comments 1 Pingback Gradual Engagement In usability we trust Leave a Reply Cancel reply Your email address will not be published Author Email Website You may

    Original URL path: http://www.svennerberg.com/2007/04/easiest-sign-up-ever/ (2016-04-28)
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  • 5 essential books on usability | In usability we trust
    0 321 34475 8 ISBN 13 978 0 321 34475 5 3 The Design of Everyday Things by Donald Norman Donald Norman is a true giant in the field of usability This book is a classic and an essential read for anyone working with user interface design The Design of Everyday Things is not so much a book about software design but a book about how people perceives the world and interacts with it He talks about everyday objects like doors and water taps and what makes them easy or hard to use It s a lot about how the human brain works and how we interpret different objects according to how they look and feel I promise that you ll never look at a door the same way after reading this book At least I didn t The Design of Everyday Things Author Donald A Norman Publisher Basic Books 2002 ISBN 10 0 465 06710 7 ISBN 13 978 0 465 06710 7 4 About Face 3 by Alan Cooper Robert Reimann and David Cronin About Face 3 with the subtitle The Essentials of Interaction Design is sort of the sequel to The Inmates are Running the Asylum Where the latter book have more of a business perspective on usability this book is about how to actually put those ideas into action Alan Cooper is a strong advocate for User Centered Design UCD and was the one coming up with the concept of personas Which as a side note was first introduced in The Inmates are Running the Asylum The book is divided in three parts where the first part Understanding Goal Directed Design deals with how to research the needs of the users and how to use this information to create usable designs The second part is about Designing behavior and form and the third part is about Designing Interaction Details I think that the first part of the book is the most valuable one It provides you with the tools to perform effective user research and how to analyze the gathered data It also provides fundamental insights into what kind of different users there are and what different needs they have The two other parts is more of best practices when it comes to the actual design of interactions One thing that s really useful is the lists of Design Principles that is compiled in a single list at the end of the book About Face 3 Author Alan Cooper Robert Reimann and David Cronin Publisher Wiley 2007 ISBN 10 0 470 08411 1 ISBN 13 978 0 470 08411 3 5 Designing the Obvious by Robert Hoekman Jr The dominant usability method right now is User Centered Design UCD Lately there s been an intense debate over at IxDA wether it s a good practice or not Robert Hoekman Jr is one among others that believes that it s not such a good approach He has introduced his own concept which he calls Activity and Behavior

    Original URL path: http://www.svennerberg.com/2008/07/5-essential-books-on-usability/ (2016-04-28)
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  • No undo? Redo! | In usability we trust
    s already too late Document modal alerts Document modal alerts has gained popularity on the web but are little better than application modal dialogs It s the kind of alert that looks like lightbox showing an image Click one of the images below to see what I mean The only difference from application modal alerts is that they don t lock up the whole browser but only the page you currently at They do however share the same problems Examples Here are some examples of web sites that have implemented different variations of an undo function Flickr Flickr has a nice way of showing important messages The message is a link that takes you to the important information and in the right part of the message box there s a close button When you click the close button the content of the message box changes into a short note that the message will disappear the next time the page loads But there s also an undo link that gives the user the opportunity to change his mind This design pattern encourages the user to click things and explore the interface The ignorant user is not punished for clicking the x not knowing what it will do If it didn t have the desired effect he can very easily recover from his mistake and still be able to read the important message If it did what he thought it would he can just carry going about his business Gmail I think Gmail was the first web app that I seen using this design pattern Their implementation gives the user the chance to undo the latest performed action Google Docs In Google Docs there s a similar solution Whenever you perform an action such as moving or deleting a document You have the opportunity to undo it until you perform another action Writeboard 37Signals Writeboard facilitates a different kind of undo When a Writeboard is deleted the following message appears enabling the user to for a pretty long time undo the deletion Mixx Mixx takes on a different approach with a time limited undo When you submit a new story you have 15 minutes to edit or delete it After that you can no longer do anything with it Final thoughts Although some web apps implements an undo function it s still very simple ones enabling the user to undo only the last action performed The next logical step should be to implement a multi step undo giving the user real confidence in exploring the application Aza Raskin has in his blogpost Undo made easy with Ajax Part 1 and Part 2 made an attempt to implement an undo function He have with the help of jQuery made a simple one It s not without flaws but is still a good example of one way to implement it He has also written an article on the subject published on A list apart called Never Use a Warning When you Mean Undo Paul

    Original URL path: http://www.svennerberg.com/2008/07/no-undo-redo/ (2016-04-28)
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  • Change your focus to locus | In usability we trust
    where the users locus of attention are so that we are able to show crucial information where the user has his or her attention The term was coined by the late Jef Raskin who were one of the pioneers of designing the first Macintosh He is sometimes actually referred to as The father of Macintosh I use the term locus because it means place or site The term focus which is sometimes used in a similar connection can be read as a verb thus it conveys a misimpression of how attention works The Humane Interface Jef Raskin 2000 Real world example One way to implement this concept is to allow input where there is output The edit in place design pattern as for example seen on Flickr where you can edit a heading by just clicking on it is a perfect example of this 1 You want to change the title of a photo so you click where you have your locus of attention The title 2 The title becomes editable and you enter a new title 3 When you click the Save button a message telling you that the title is being saved appears right where your locus of attention are 4 And just like magic the new title appears External links Jef Raskin on Wikipedia The Humane Interface Review of The Humane Interface Articles Definitions Design patterns Usability Previous post Confusing Northface contact form Next post Using Microformats to populate Google Map 1 Comment dani February 20 2009 at 1 31 am I see that point of usability on flickr now But sometimes I just need to view some photos I m a volume based Internet user So I browse the web with disable images Then on flickr I enable only those photos Toolbar and other menus are

    Original URL path: http://www.svennerberg.com/2008/05/locus-of-attention/ (2016-04-28)
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  • Confusing Northface contact form | In usability we trust
    reset the secondary action therefore the send button should be the most prominent one But in this case it s the other way around The use of a reset button is also very questionable In this case it provides very little value because in a form this small it s really no effort to change or delete the the values I ve already entered in the fields if I want to But very annoying to accidentally reset the whole form The risk by far outweighs the benefits of the reset button One thing they did right though is to place the primary action before the secondary That way the user if using the tab key to navigate the form will reach the primary action before the secondary One other good thing about this solution is that they provided the send button with an alt text so even though it s not rendered it can still be understood and clicked To provide these kind of fall backs is crucial when developing web interfaces A person with images turned off can for example still use the functionality of the form And in cases like this when an image is missing the usability of the form decreases but the user can still complete the task at hand Lessons learned Consider using native form elements for buttons etc thereby avoiding this problem altogether If you still decides to use images make sure the link to the image is not broken and also provide an alt text Don t provide a reset button in simple forms the cost of error is simply too high Make the primary action stand out more than the secondary action thus hinting the user of the correct action to take Place the primary action before the secondary action to make

    Original URL path: http://www.svennerberg.com/2007/09/confusing-northface-contact-form/ (2016-04-28)
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  • Google Maps API 3
    example in my blog Google Maps API 3 This is an example of a simple map in Google Maps API 3 Simple map Properties Markers This example is part of the article series Google Maps API v3 which is published

    Original URL path: http://www.svennerberg.com/examples/google_maps_3/ (2016-04-28)
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  • Google Maps | In usability we trust
    2009 Gabriel Svennerberg 17 Comments It s been a while since I last wrote on this blog and I thought I would get you up to speed why that is The reason is that I ve been occupied with writing a book about Google Maps I haven t written a book before so this is new territory for me What I ve noticed so far is that it progresses far slower than I predicted but at least it progresses steadily even if slower than anticipated I ve taken a few weeks off of my regular work to devote to writing this book but this time won t suffice so there will probably be quite a few late nights and weekends of writing as well Continue reading Google Maps API 3 The basics June 5 2009 Gabriel Svennerberg 39 Comments The Google Maps API has evolved to version 3 This version is a complete rewrite and focuses primarily on speed The new API also features new ways of using it This article is the first in a series exploring version 3 of the Google Maps API This first article will take a look on how to create a simple map and explain some differences from the previous version Continue reading Dynamically Toggle Markers in Google Maps June 2 2009 Gabriel Svennerberg 9 Comments This article explains how to dynamically toggle the visibility of markers in Google Maps as well as how to deal with an annoying bug that occurs when trying to do this while using an utility library like the MarkerManager Continue reading Google Maps API version 3 is released May 28 2009 Gabriel Svennerberg 0 Comments Yesterday a new version of the ever so popular Google Maps API was released In the new version the focus has been on improving speed especially on mobile devices I ve been fortunate enough to be part of the beta testing and has been able to provide feeback directly to the developers So far I think they ve done a great job even if there s still more work to be done Continue reading Announcing MapTooltip March 31 2009 Gabriel Svennerberg 20 Comments One of the shortcomings in the Google Maps API is that there s no easy way to add tooltips to polylines and polygons That s why I felt inclined to build an extension to Google Maps that adds that functionality MapTooltip makes it possible to add tooltips to any kind of overlay It s even possible to have HTML inside it and to style it to fit your design needs Continue reading Working with Info Windows in Google Maps February 5 2009 Gabriel Svennerberg 54 Comments Having Info Windows in a Google Maps is a powerful way of displaying information about a specific point or object Did you know that there are several kinds of them In this article I will show you how to add different kinds of Info Windows that appear when you click on a marker Continue

    Original URL path: http://www.svennerberg.com/tag/google-maps/ (2016-04-28)
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