usability research update darlene fichter university of saskatchewan november 15, 2004

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  • Usability Research Update Darlene Fichter University of Saskatchewan November 15, 2004
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  • Overview Usability recap Research methods Research findings Usability Credibility Library jargon Library subject pages
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  • Usability Research Ever growing body of knowledge Used to develop design guidelines, but these should not be construed as rules Design guidelines should be specific Measurable and testable Know how and why the guidelines were created Is it the same task-design context as yours?
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  • Ease of use Ease of learning Fitness for purpose What is Usability? Effective Product Dorothy Kushner
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  • 3 More Factors Memorability Minimize errors Pleasing - subjective satisfaction Jakob Neilsen
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  • Strive to Be Ordinary Unexceptional Invisible Door knob is a door knob (exit) On the Web, follow conventions.
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  • What is Ordinary? Users expect to find: Help/Assistance Home
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  • Users Expect To Find Home Help/Assistance
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  • Usability Research Methods Focus groups are: a)Useful for gathering user ideas and opinions about a web site b)An effective usability research method c)A useful technique for finding out what people do on a web site
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  • Techniques and Tests Expert review or heuristic evaluation and task based usability testing do NOT uncover the same sets of problems Heuristic review tends to uncover usability issues related to presentation Usability testing tends to uncover issues related to domain-specific knowledge or interaction
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  • Usability is Becoming Institutionalized User-centered design and development - a routine practice within an enterprise Slowly becoming true, too, of librarys Stages of institutionalization are defined in Eric Schaffers new book, Institutionalization of Usability: A Step-by-Step Guide
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  • Some Research Findings Poynter Eyetrack III study Preliminary 43 people on news sites
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  • Encouraging Reading Smaller type encourages focused viewing behaviour Larger type promotes scanning If a headline was the same size as the blurb, bold and positioned on the same line the whole enchilada was more likely read
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  • Where Do People Look? Studies have shown that people start scanning in the main area of a Web page and initially ignore the logo, tabs, and left-hand navigation [Schroeder 1998] and that people's eyes are drawn first to areas that have saturated colors (pure bright colors), darker areas, and areas of visual complexity [Najjar 1990]. Eric Schaffer. Institutionalization of Usability. 2004
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  • Poynter Eyetrack III Study Participants tended to focus on the dominant headline of a homepage first, not the main photograph or image Move in a S like pattern down the page
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  • First Words are Critical Participants' eyes tended to fix more often and longer on the first word or two of headline links.
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  • What Helps Recall? White space directs attention and enhances recall Animation captures attention, but does not increase recall Increases perceived workload and frustration of users
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  • Use Multimedia Graphics for Unfamiliar Concepts People were more likely to recall facts, names, and places correctly from text format Unfamiliar conceptual information was recalled more accurately when participants viewed in multimedia format
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  • Users Attend to ONLY TWO Forms of Media at the Same Time When users had audio, still media and written captions, they only attended to two: audio and images. Captions were not read by many.
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  • Text First, But Images are Viewed People look at people People are more likely to look at bigger images
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  • Poynter study showed:* Eyetrack III participants noticed and fixated on top nav menus more often than other placements. And they checked right nav menus more often than left. Sounds better. Higher clicks are do to its placement next to the scroll bar. Is this what we want people staring at the nav menu bar? Is this a good thing or is an effective nav menu quick to peruse? Having users spend more time on a task is not an indication of a better design, it's an indication of a worse design Jakob Neilsen Great at Gathering Data Be Cautious in our Interpretations
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  • Web Site's Credibility How Do People Evaluate a Web Site's Credibility? Results from a Large Study B.J. Fogg, Cathy Soohoo, David Danielson, Leslie Marable, Julianne Stanford and Ellen R. Tauber
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  • Branding and Credibility Users do not evaluate credibility by checking site author or credentials Users who do not have in-depth domain knowledge evaluate credibility based on Design look Information design and structure Information focus Domain experts use domain specific criteria
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  • Prominence-Interpretation Theory P-I Theory posits that two things happen when people assess credibility: 1.A person first notices something: Prominence; and next, 2.Then, makes a judgment about it: Interpretation If one or the other does not happen, then there is no credibility assessment Fogg et all. Web Credibility
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  • 10 Categories of Web Sites E-Commerce Entertainment Finance Health News Nonprofit Opinion or Review Search Engines Sports Travel
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  • Demographic Who participated? 2,684 people completed the study Demographic information was optional, but 60.1% of the participants provided it Female: 58.1%; Male: 41.9% Average age: 39.9 Average use of Web: 19.6 hours/week
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  • The Design Look and perceived credibility suggests that creating Web sites with quality information alone is not enough to win credibility in users' minds Sites must have a "a polished, professional look" But not be too slick! It looks like it's designed by a marketing team, and not by people who want to get you the information that you need."
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  • Why is Design Important? Cockburn and McKenzie, 2001 describe typical Web-navigation behavior as "rapidly interactive," meaning that Web users typically spend small amounts of time at any given page
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  • Overall Are people really so influenced by design look and not by more substantial issues? The answer appears to be yes at least in this setting According to Elaboration Likelihood Model ELM (Petty & Cacioppo, 1986), without deep motivation, people will rely on peripheral cues, such as appearance, for making assessments
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  • Navigation
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  • Navigation Deep sites are more challenging to navigate There is a tradeoff between depth and breadth in speed of finding 3 click rule is a myth Sites with multiple levels should concentrate on the first level and the level closest to the ultimate content
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  • Navigation - Menus Expandable menus are slower to navigate Sequential menus help users develop a better sense of orientation Vertical menus are preferred over horizontal menus Indexed menus are preferred over vertical menus Users scan group labels within indexed content Cascading versus Indexed Menu Design by Michael Bernard & Chris Hamblin. Usability News.
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  • Index Menu Layout
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  • Horizontal Menu Layout
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  • Vertical Menu Layout
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  • 3 Click Rule is Dead Xerox Park's work on designing for scent has clearly demonstrated that 3 click rule is not valid. Users will happily click through several screens as long as the navigational path has strong scent and is becoming increasing specific. Spool, Perfetti and Brittan. Designing the Scent of Information, User Interface Engineering : 2004
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  • Scent Works When Designs communicate "scent" via links Links need to have a strong scent by containing "trigger words" that relate to the content that lies beyond Links between 7-12 produce the best results Users go to search when they don't find their trigger words on the page Spool, Perfetti and Brittan. Designing the Scent of Information, 2004
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  • Scent Blocking Actions Iceberg syndrome Camouflaged links Banner blindness Missing words Information masking Spool, Perfetti and Brittan. Designing the Scent of Information, 2004
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  • Iceberg Syndrome You can place


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