Web Design Usability Issues For Non-Technical Users
Seven Tricks That Web Users Don't Know
by Carolyn Snyder -
President, Snyder Consulting - June 2001
= interesting, promising
Though the seven points list here below may seem obvious to you, less-technical users are frequently surprised, frustrated or altogether unprepared to effectively handle issues like these.
"Web developers have all sorts of browsing tricks that they have gained from years of experience, to the point where they can't even imagine not knowing them -- right-clicking to open a new browser window, for instance, or using the arrow keys to navigate a list.
To Web veterans, these things are so familiar that they seem obvious. The fact that many people don't know these tricks -- and can get completely stuck as a result -- comes as a shock.
This article describes seven Web site features that typical non-technical users aren't familiar with, based on data collected from the author's own usability studies."
"Most of the tricks described here are conventions used on many Web sites, while a couple relate to the specific browser or operating system."
"What these things have in common is that people usually only need to see them once, think "Oh, that's useful," and then use them forever afterward.
But until they've seen them once, they have no way of knowing about them."
The key seven usability issues that are included in this well written article are:
1. Logos that link to the home page
2. Concepts of security vs. privacy
3. Rollover menus
4. Arrow keys and drop-down lists
5. Navigation by hacking URLs
6. Knowledge of browser controls
7. Second browser windows
I think this is an absolutely valuable reading for any web site manager wishing to improve her true understanding of what users, think, prefer, act and do when confronted with the above seven issues.
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