Making a website easy for your visitors to use is essential for a terrific website experience. Great content is often crippled by poor usability. Understanding usability principles can inform your design and content decisions to make websites more user friendly and successful. No more guessing how people use websites! Based on publicly available usability research, we’ll discuss what we know about users in terms of both big-picture concepts and nitty-gritty details. For example, how do users engage with photography on websites? We’ll also discuss items to keep in mind for visitors on mobile devices.
We will look at website examples to see common problems that non-profits make that cause their websites to be user-UNfriendly. We’ll also talk about potential solutions. You’ll walk out with practical tips that you can immediately use to better your website. Resources will be suggested for further learning.
Speaker: Melissa Eggleston
Speaker Bio: As a content strategist with a UX focus, Melissa Eggleston aims to help organizations create memorable website experiences so they can connect to their “tribe.” In 1996, she wrote her first online stories about soccer and violated all the rules we now know about writing for the web. Now as a freelancer, she consults and creates content for all types of organizations – from dentists in California to an e-commerce design firm in New York to a religious non-profit in Kentucky. Previously she worked for Duke University and Bloomberg News. Melissa gained her multimedia skills and love of usability at UNC-Chapel Hill where she got her Master’s degree. When not working, you’ll likely find Melissa on her yoga mat or trying to convince her 3-year-old daughter that their cat Luna really doesn’t want another hug.
Session Tags: usability, user experience, content strategy, intermediate, beginner, website design
Leandra Ganko says
There is no “typical user!”
Users want a sense of space:
Logo/tagline should be obvious;
Consistency – all your pages should look related;
Navigation bar indicator – what page am I on?!?;
Breadcrumb trails for deep content sites;
No “click here” links – use your words.
Users Act as if Something is on Fire:
sufficing + satisfying = satisficing (decisions that are good enough, not necessarily optimal)
Most Important Things First – plan for glancing and scanning;
No Time for Walls of Words – quick points and pull-quotes;
Response Time Limits for Webpages – design for a speedy site.
Meeting User Expectations:
Navigation – do they need to go straight to the search box? (Shedd Aquarium – good example);
Layout – proven conventions / best practices are that way for a reason;
Visual Hierarchy – Distinct heading sizes based on importance of text;
Realistic vs Flat Design – is it a button or not?
Users Want Information-Rich Visuals:
Users will ignore decorative “filler” photos + makes mobile users sad;
Real images are scrutinized – if you have a hero image, it better be awesome;
“I know it when I see it.” Not good enough! Focal point, lighting… learn how to take better photos (lynda.com, Ben Long);
Use faces to direct site users to important content;
Rotating carousels/sliders – people get banner blindness, prioritize your message, http://www.shouldiuseacarousel.com/;