Websites That Work - NEHGS website usability presentation

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Information about Websites That Work - NEHGS website usability presentation

Published on March 4, 2014

Author: emilysingley1974



Presentation given at the New England Historic Genealogical Society on March 4, 2014.

websites that work an exploration of user-centered website design Emily Singley Systems Librarian Harvard University

a usable website is…  Understandable  Navigable  Searchable  Browser and device neutral why usability matters  Familiar  Accessible


“Studies report that about 80% of users scan any new page. Only 16% read each word.”

navigable “People won’t use your Web site if they can’t find their way around it.” – Don’t make me think / Steve Krug

The F-shape pattern

Not so good:

searchable users love search boxes is everything on your site searchable?

Not so good:

How Googleable is your website? many users prefer to navigate from a search engine

browser and device neutral test…then test some more….

does your site require more than a browser? avoid using proprietary formats

do you need a separate mobile site? …..or a responsive design?

familiar meet your user’s expectations Top websites in the US by usage: Google Facebook YouTube Yahoo Wikipedia Twitter Blogspot Amazon does your site follow these standards?

accessible can all your patrons use your site? “Access problems often occur because website designers mistakenly assume that everyone sees and accesses a webpage in the same way. ” – ADA best practices toolkit

5 steps to a user-centered website

1 – identify site goal(s)

2 – know your audience(s)

3 - test “All you really need is a room with a desk, a computer, and two chairs.” – Don’t make me think / Steve Krug

You only need 5 users for valid results: “Why you only need to test with 5 users“ Jakob Nielsen, March 19, 2000

4 – organize content with the help of your users!

5 – create the site

go back to step 1 goals create content audience test “Websites are like living organisms… if they stop changing, they die.” -- Heather Shaw, graphic designer

Resources Usability Guidelines: Krug, Steve. (2005). Don’t make me think: A commonsense approach to web usability. 2nd ed. Indianapolis: New Riders. Steve Krug’s website: Jakob Nielsen’s website: “Top 10 mistakes in website design” by Jakob Nielsen: Mobile Usability from Jakob Nielsen: W3C Mobile Checker – check to see if your site is mobile compatible:

Some good websites:

Accessibility ADA best practices toolkit: Accessibility basics from Section 508 guidelines: United States Access Board: a federal agency committed to accessible design Good blog post comparing screen readers: Demo version of JAWS: Free screen readers:

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