spokane web designers - north idaho web designers

Learn Stuff

Website Usability References

Note: Clicking on most of the links below will display them in a new Web browser window. (The Web browser window that's displaying this page will remain open in the background.)



Summary & Excerpts

When Good Flash Goes BadFlash Vincent Flanders, author of the Web Pages That Suck book series.

"... there's something about Flash that causes otherwise normal people to use other bad design techniques ... like:
  • Use Splash pages
  • Use "Mystery Meat Navigation" — especially the animated kind.
  • Making text really, really small.
  • Putting background music on the page ... 
Flash 99% BadFlash Jakob Nielsen "Alertbox" article.
  • Although there are rare occurrences of good Flash design (it even adds value on occasion), the use of Flash typically lowers usability
  • Splash pages were an early sin of abusive Web design... However, we're now seeing the rise of Flash intros that have the same obnoxious effect: They delay users' ability to get what they came for. 
  • ... flash encourages gratuitous animation...
  • ... force users to sit through sequences with nothing to do will be boring and pacifying, regardless of how cool they look
  • The "Find in page" feature does not work. In general, Flash integrates poorly with search
  • ... consumes resources that would be better spent enhancing the website's core value... 
Attention Macromedia: I Will not be Your ScapegoatFlashArticle from Flazoom.com, a website for Flash developers, talking about the problems that have become prevalent because of the way Flash is typically misused. 
  • Corporate firewalls block Flash content due to the impression that there is no good Flash online.
  • The 'Skip Intro' button has become the second most frequently used button on the web (right after the back button).
Flash: Easy Target for Gaudy GraphicsFlashArticle from Ziff-Davis (publisher of PC Magazine). 
  • "Flash is mainly viewed as being an annoyance that gets in the way of what you really want to do on the Web, which is get information."
  • ... one of the main uses of Flash used to be for an "intro movie" to a Web page, but "those are definitely dinosaurs now," ...
When Nielsen Speaks . . . Flash & General UsabilityWeb Techniques magazine interview with Jakob Nielsen
  • 98 percent of all Flash on the Web should be pulled. Companies are spending lots of money on flashy intros when visitors almost always push the skip button. 
  • You can't search it, you can't bookmark Flash pages...
  • When Flash is in a page, it's no longer integrated with the browser. If you press the back button, you're not going to go back in the Flash sequence. 
  • You can spend incredible amounts of money developing a site, but if the site is not usable, it won't improve your business
Frames Suck Most of the TimeFramesJakob Nielsen "Alertbox" article. 
Top Ten Mistakes in Web DesignFrames, Animation, and Response TimeJakob Nielsen "Alertbox" article. 
  • Splitting a page into frames is very confusing for users... cannot bookmark the current page and return to it (the bookmark points to another version of the frameset), URLs stop working, and printouts become difficult
  • Never include page elements that move incessantly. Moving images have an overpowering effect on the human peripheral vision. 
  • ... 10 seconds as the maximum response time...  
Multimedia GuidelinesAnimationJakob Nielsen "Alertbox" article, which lists the 7 specific times that it's appropriate to use animation. 
  • Moving images have an overpowering effect on the human peripheral vision... it is very hard to, say, concentrate on reading text in the middle of the a page if there is a spinning logo up in the corner. Never include a permanently moving animation on a web page since it will make it very hard for your users to concentrate on reading the text. 
The Church of UsabilityGeneral UsabilityShort interviews with six usability experts on Cnet.com's Web builder site.
  • ... three tenets of good design are fast page loads, intuitive navigation, and minimalist design
  • ... Don't impose your graphics, flash, and methodology. Let them do it their way. Don't design for your portfolio, design for what the customer needs." 
  • Thou shalt not:... Make users sit through your groovy Flash intro
Alertbox: Jakob Nielsen's Column on Web Usability Series of articles about Web usabilityFrom the Jakob Nielsen Biography
  • "the world's leading expert on Web usability" (U.S. News & World Report)
  • "one of the world's foremost experts in Web usability" (Business Week) 
  • "knows more about what makes Web sites work than anyone else on the planet" (Chicago Tribune) 
Register  |  Login