Friday, 30 January 2009

User Experience: Less is more?

The Argument
The concept of less is more stands true for content but not for images. While providing content and navigational patterns, users like to see less to understand more. But with the case of images, users need to feel it—which means that doing more with it is more effective and appealing it is to users’ eyes.

Have a look at what Alex does with his website: http://www.alextrochut.com/. With representative images and interaction, he proves that the more he showcases, the more his users would want to hang around.

On the other hand, with respect to providing content that is focused, the less you provide, the more you gain. An example of this could be seen at the homepage of Google: http://www.google.com/.

The Judgment
The contexts are completely different. If you want users to hang around and watch you, you give them more interaction elements along with an appealing visual design. On the other hand, if you want your users to handle a focused task at hand, you might want to consider the ‘less is more’ principle.

Friday, 16 January 2009

Uniform Resource Locators (URL’s)

Most of us usually concentrate on the bigger picture that solves usability related issues. Sometimes, we also need to concentrate on the small little details that help in navigation. While designing, 80% of the issues lie in navigation and who would have thought that users can find URL’s confusing.

  1. URL’s are not just clicked, but understood.
  2. Most users need simplicity to know their path ahead.
  3. Trust is built when details are closely monitored.
  4. Abbreviations are not recognized universally. But ironically, not all of us know what “URL” stands for.

Two types of URL’s come to mind:
  1. Shortcuts that you would like people to remember e.g. www.bbc.com/weather or art.ebay.co.uk
  2. URL’s that can be extrapolated e.g. if I know that all usability definitions are stored as http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Usability, I can find Interaction at http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Interaction

The first pointer is much simpler to achieve. It is a simple configuration on the server which tells the server where to go when someone asks for, let’s say, www.url.com/abc. The latter is tricky. The factors that hinder this are:


The Bigger Gain
We might not realize the relevance of simplifying URL’s as it just requires clicking. But most users step into it or click on it only once they know what lies ahead. If users don’t understand URL’s, they are not going to tread into it deeper. This means that we have lost a prospect or even an existing customer. This just goes to say that the 80/20 rule holds true in this case: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pareto_principle.

Here is an article on this topic: http://uxmatters.com/MT/archives/000240.php

Friday, 9 January 2009

Dash to the finish

And the groups are!






Sorting continues

Almost done with the open card sort.














































































Card Sorting at MindTree Bangalore

Danny held a session on Information Architecture for the benefit of the juntaa. This session also had a card sorting exercise. We thought we try our live-reporting skills on the net. So here are the picture. Its just been 5 minutes into the activity! More coming...