The day begins with a practical introduction to typical user behaviour online and how to design for it. From this practical starting point, we introduce the more academic principles of usability.
Detailed usability guidelines for various page elements and types of pages are presented (see below for more details). Again, these practical guidelines (and their accompanying exercises) are not only valuable in themselves, but will also help to reinforce participants’ understanding of usability principles.
The final session of the day will present a ‘How to’ guide for each of the main usability techniques covering evaluation and research. Participants will be able to engage in exercises designed to build their confidence in using these techniques, as well as being provide with a series of templates and scripts to support future activity.
How people behave online – The day begins with a practical look at the most common ways that people behave online. These can be summarised as:
- Being impatient
- Going by first impressions
- Looking at a page’s content and hardly anything else
- Relying on the ‘Back’-button
- Ignoring anything that looks like an advert
- Hating pop-ups
- Not reading pages, but scanning them
- Clicking on the first thing that looks relevant to their needs
- Giving up and leaving sites very easily
- Letting Google do the work of ‘finding information’
Guidelines for these common behaviours – We also present and discuss best practice guidelines addressing these common behaviours. This section includes exercises based on the practical application of these guidelines.
Principles – This part of the day will introduce the high-level concepts that underpin usability. Appreciating these principles will allow you to think meaningfully about usability, rather than just follow guidelines. There will be discussion and exercises around:
- Meeting expectations
- Being consistent
- Providing feedback
- Helping people when they make mistakes
- Making things visible
- Putting people in control
- Streamlining everything
Detailed guidelines – A look at a wide range of guidelines. This section not only presents guidelines for page elements and page types, but also involves detailed discussion of their basis and rationale. The goal here is to not only present guidelines but also to reinforce the principles and allow participants to practice applying their knowledge through exercises. Guidelines for the following are presented (with accompanying exercises):
- About Us
- Office Locator / Contact Us
- Registration & Login
- Search Results
Usability techniques – An opportunity for participants to learn about – and engage in exercises involving – the main usability techniques used today. This session will cover:
- Heuristic evaluation
- Usability testing
- Paper prototyping
- Web analytics
- Focus groups
- Card sorting
By the end of this session, participants will be able to design (and have exercise-based experience of designing) all these page elements and types according to best practice.
Participants will appreciate not only when each method should be used, but also receive guidelines on how to use it – including detailed templates and scripts, where appropriate.