Sites That Rock -- WAS: Sites with good examples of bad UIs?

26 May 2008 - 9:05am
1417 reads
SemanticWill
2007

Chauncey,

Perhaps this is where we should start a thread on web sites that rock.
Define "rock"? Sites that a reasonable UX person armed with a reasonable set
of heuristics might consider great design...

Not just an opinion, though - apply some rules to your decision, a good
starting point is J. Nielson's list. He did not just pull the list out of
his nether regions, however (ewww!). They come from analyzing more than 200
usability problems and statistically reducing the set to the 10 most
important rules:

1. Visibility of system status (what's going on!)
2. Match between system and the real world (i,e, do labels make sense and
match my language?)
3. User control and freedom (can you easily recover from something?
Undo/Redo/Escape)
4. Consistency and standards (use labels, actions, buttons, etc
consistently)
5. Error prevention (even better than a good error message is preventing
the error in the first place)
6. Recognition rather than recall (Always find ways to reduce cognitive
load on user: UPA ID login?)
7. Flexibility and efficiency of use (accelerators, easy bookmarking,
easy tagging - support standard bookmarking techniques including
del.icio.us)
8. Aesthetic and minimalist design (every extra bit of information on a
page/window/form competes for attention with everything else - remember the
J principal - less is not more, and more is not more, Just Enough Is More)
9. Help users recognize, diagnose, and recover from errors (people mess
up - no system, dialogue, action can perfectly match 100% of user's mental
models or expectations -- give them real, usable, understandable ways to
recover - fast - and move on, otherwise they will bolt!)
10. Help and documentation (Tis better a site that needs none - but when
it is, make it easy to search, focused on the user's task, list concrete
steps to be carried out, and not be too large.)

I'm just kind of riffin' here, of course you may have your own, or some
variation. But we should start a list calling out great designs...

- W

On Mon, May 26, 2008 at 10:14 AM, Chauncey Wilson <chauncey.wilson at gmail.com>
wrote:

> On an opposite note, one thing that I've noticed from several
> discussion groups on design and usability when someone mentions
> something as as good or great user interface, there is an almost
> immediate list of people who argue that it is not good (or great). It
> seems that we have a harder time listing sites or user interface for
> apps where say 90% of us would agree that this is a excellent user
> interface, possibly because there are different dimensions for our
> personal ratings (this relates to a current thread on usability and
> predictability and dimensions of usability.
>
> Chauncey

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