“Users pay close attention to photos and other images that contain relevant information, but ignore (…) “jazz up” webpages.” Jakob Nielsen @NNgroup – @christianvasile


How to Use Images Successfully – Web Design Usability Guide
VIa 1stwebdesigner.com

Web Design Usability Guide – Dealing with Images

Indeed, users want to see photos on websites, but they want them to be relevant. They would prefer a webpage that doesn’t have visual images rather than a webpage that has lots of photos that just make it heavy and cluttered. The key in using images on websites, according to the study, is based on a few basic ideas:

  • Image fundamentals – size, composition, quality and exposure are four important things to look for in a good image. People actually look for quality in images, even the contrast makes a huge difference.
  • Effectiveness – if the picture creates excitement or interest, then it works. It is down to three characteristics:
    • Emotional appeal – does the product in the picture look good and make the user want it?
    • Rational appeal – does the image show the benefits of the product?
    • and Brand appeal – does the picture fit your brand?
  • Transmitted message – this is about the image sending the right message to the website readers.
  • Anticipated user response – this is a bit more difficult to put into practice, but the basic idea behind it is that the picture should help decision-making and create a desire for the product. We will talk about this a bit later.

Purely decorative images tend to be ignored unconsciously by our brain. Like a radar, if the images are there only as a filler, the brain will ignore them. The study concluded that pictures and images of real people or real products are automatically categorized as important and are to be studied in detail by the human brain. If you have a personal blog, people would rather see your face than a drawing or a caricature. They want to see the face of the person communicating with them, it is a matter of trust and bonding.

If you own a company, it is a very good idea to take some time talking about the people behind it – using images. It gives a personal touch to an otherwise faceless company and people dig that. People actually want to know (or at least see) who the people are behind a company. If you can afford it, invest in a good photographer and try to stay away from stock pictures (especially from stock pictures that aren’t relevant to your content). It might cost a few bucks, but it will add a lot of value to your company website.

Several eye-tracking study show that the more detail your product images have, the better the results you will have. Yes, studio pictures of a big flat screen TV work just fine, but is just fine good enough for you? People want to see details, show them!

Full article 🙂 !

Quality and relevance

Below I will show you some results of different studies. You will see several websites marked with heat zones. The red areas indicate where the users’ eyes were mostly focused, while the blue areas show the exact opposite, indicating what is ignored or a turn-off for visitors.

%tutke

Eye-tracking study on Adelphia’s website

Besides the fact that it is an incredibly outdated design, you can clearly see that none of the heat zones are on images. It is because all the images embedded in their webpage are purely fillers. Had they been using relevant pictures, the heat zones might have been a bit different, but for now it shows how much of a waste of space images are on their site.

Full article 🙂 !

Another good example can be seen below. New York Magazine’s restaurant section has also been part of the eye-tracking study and it shows that even if worldwide known chefs are featured in images, the quality is still important. So even if the pictures are somewhat relevant, low-contrast and small size images are simply ignored. Image quality is as important is the relevance of the image being used. There has to be a balance, where quality and relevance are the two guiding principles.

NYMag, retaurant section

Eye-tracking on NY Mag’s website

Jakob Nielsen and Kara Pernice wrote an article entitled “Images as Obstacles” some years ago. The images above are courtesy of Peachpit and the amazing heads who published the study. Thank you for your tremendous work!

Guiding the user
Full article 🙂 !

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Seven Tips for Creating Killer Product Pages

Abercrombie & Fitch – “Abercrombie & Fitch has a great minimalistic and clean product browsing experience. Only the essential browsing elements (such as search bar, navigation, and product color variations) are visible. Even the color theme is simple and optimal for easy browsing.” ~ Jessica
Tip Two: Clear Calls-to-Action

At this stage of the game confusion can kill. Make the “Add to Cart” and “Proceed to Checkout” buttons clear, consistent and highly visible. And please, these calls to action (CTA’s) should be a button. Online shoppers have been conditioned to look for a button – text links and other non-standard UI will create confusion at exactly the wrong time. Dan from digital-telepathy likes Zappos for their clear calls-to-action, that stand out from the other page elements.


http://blog.kissmetrics.com
If you run an e-commerce site, your product pages are the moment of truth for your business. Either they convert your visitor into a customer or they don’t. This is not new information. Everyone knows that successful product pages are important to a successful e-commerce website; so why are there so many bad ones out there?Each visitor that makes it to a product page represents the heavy lifting and money spent to get them there. The product page is not the time to squander that hard work.

It’s up to you to create a user experience that gives the visitor what they need to become a customer.So what’s the definition of a good product page user experience (UX)? Simple: one that provides the information, assurances and motivation the visitor needs to become your customer.

This definition will vary from site to site and industry to industry, so it’s up to you to test and find the mix that works best for your business.To help you get started, we asked the UX pros at digital-telepathy, a user experience design company, to identify things you can do right now to improve the user experience of your product pages. Below are seven ways to get more from your product pages, with examples from some of their favorite e-commerce product pages and insight into what makes them work so well.Note: What works for these sites might not work for yours. It’s up to you to test features and functionalityagainst your existing product pages to determine what works best for your business.

Tip One: Cut the Clutter… Leer más “Seven Tips for Creating Killer Product Pages”

5 Signs of a Great User Experience

If you’ve used the mobile social network Path recently, it’s likely that you enjoyed the experience. Path has a sophisticated design, yet it’s easy to use. It sports an attractive red color scheme and the navigation is smooth as silk. It’s a social app and finding friends is easy thanks to Path’s suggestions and its connection to Facebook.

In short, Path has a great user experience. That isn’t the deciding factor on whether a tech product takes off. Ultimately it comes down to how many people use it and that’s particularly important for a social app like Path. Indeed it’s where Path may yet fail, but the point is they have given themselves a chance by creating a great user experience. In this post, we outline 5 signs that the tech product or app you’re using has a great UX – and therefore has a shot at being the Next Big Thing.


By http://www.readwriteweb.com
 ________________________________________

If you’ve used the mobile social network Path recently, it’s likely that you enjoyed the experience. Path has a sophisticated design, yet it’s easy to use. It sports an attractive red color scheme and the navigation is smooth as silk. It’s a social app and finding friends is easy thanks to Path’s suggestions and its connection to Facebook.

In short, Path has a great user experience. That isn’t the deciding factor on whether a tech product takes off. Ultimately it comes down to how many people use it and that’s particularly important for a social app like Path. Indeed it’s where Path may yet fail, but the point is they have given themselves a chance by creating a great user experience. In this post, we outline 5 signs that the tech product or app you’re using has a great UX – and therefore has a shot at being the Next Big Thing. Leer más “5 Signs of a Great User Experience”

Your website and the user experience

This world has now turned into a global village. Internet is being used all over the world and this is exactly why each and every brand wants to have their own website in order to promote their business and brand. Websites are considered to be a true representation of any company so one should provide special attention to all the major and minor details of a website. If you have manages to create a website which is user friendly, you have made a great website.

After all, the websites are developed for the users and they are not interested in knowing how and when it was developed. They just want a smooth running throughout the website. If your website is a combination of good branding, usability, functionality and a great content, you will have a happy user on the other side of computer. If not, you have lost yet another visitor who will never visit your website again because for him the navigation is not as simple as it should have been.

The user’s experience of your website will help a user perceive things about your brand as well. If your site if sufficient enough to provide them with the necessary information, they will have a good impression of your website. If not, you will just end up with a frustrating user. Since a lot depends on user’s mood as well, the thoughts of the users can be subjective but while designing a website, you should keep in mind a few basic points which can help user with an easy navigation. If you follow some set trends and best practices, you can definitely avoid having frustrated customers. Since call-to-action websites have become way too important, all designers and developers pay special attention while designing and developing a website.


http://www.smashingbuzz.com/2011/01/your-website-and-the-user-experience/

This world has now turned into a global village. Internet is being used all over the world and this is exactly why each and every brand wants to have their own website in order to promote their business and brand. Websites are considered to be a true representation of any company so one should provide special attention to all the major and minor details of a website. If you have manages to create a website which is user friendly, you have made a great website.

After all, the websites are developed for the users and they are not interested in knowing how and when it was developed. They just want a smooth running throughout the website. If your website is a combination of good branding, usability, functionality and a great content, you will have a happy user on the other side of computer. If not, you have lost yet another visitor who will never visit your website again because for him the navigation is not as simple as it should have been.

The user’s experience of your website will help a user perceive things about your brand as well. If your site if sufficient enough to provide them with the necessary information, they will have a good impression of your website. If not, you will just end up with a frustrating user. Since a lot depends on user’s mood as well, the thoughts of the users can be subjective but while designing a website, you should keep in mind a few basic points which can help user with an easy navigation. If you follow some set trends and best practices, you can definitely avoid having frustrated customers. Since call-to-action websites have become way too important, all designers and developers pay special attention while designing and developing a website.

Following are a few things that designers and developers should keep in mind while developing a website so that they can save customers from useless frustrations…: Leer más “Your website and the user experience”

Making user testing happen

We all know we should be doing more usability testing than we are. Fortunately there are some great tools available to make the job easier.

Every time I see Steve Krug’s book “rocket surgery made easy” I feel guilty. I know I should do more usability testing than I do, but somehow it never quite works out that way.

Steve is right when he says we should all be doing usability testing every month. He even makes it incredibly easy by reducing the number of participants to only three people per month. Yet even this we struggle to do.

However I have learnt one valuable lesson from my disastrous DIY experiments. If you have the right tools the job it is a lot easier. In my experience this applies as much to usability testing as to DIY. Fortunately these days there are some amazing tools available and I’ve listed my favourites below. Be sure to check them out.


by Paul Boag | http://boagworld.com/usability/testing-tools

We all know we should be doing more usability testing than we are. Fortunately there are some great tools available to make the job easier.

Every time I see Steve Krug’s book “rocket surgery made easy” I feel guilty. I know I should do more than I do, but somehow it never quite works out that way.

Steve is right when he says we should all be doing usability testing every month. He even makes it incredibly easy by reducing the number of participants to only three people per month. Yet even this we struggle to do.

However I have learnt one valuable lesson from my disastrous DIY experiments. If you have the right tools the job it is a lot easier. In my experience this applies as much to usability testing as to DIY. Fortunately these days there are some amazing tools available and I’ve listed my favourites below. Be sure to check them out. Leer más “Making user testing happen”

Usability Resources to Win Arguments

Today’s post is a big one and it’s most definitely one for your bookmarks menu, because from time to time when speaking with clients it becomes necessary to have material to backup the statements which you are making.

Sometimes clients will suggest things such as forcing all users to register with a six page long form before they can even access the site. They aren’t web professionals, it’s not their fault for not knowing that this isn’t a good idea from a usability perspective.

If you’re going to convince them that this is a bad idea, however, then you’re going to need some rock solid material to back that up. While an element of trust is always important to a working relationship, you have to respect that sometimes clients will just need to see the facts in front of them to fully understand that what you’re saying is correct.

So, what we’ve done for you today is compiled a list of some of the biggest, most compelling usability articles which address common issues. Hopefully this should help you during tough conversations about what does and doesn’t work on a a website.

Bookmark this post, come back to it, use it in meetings and educate your clients on the things which work for other websites, so that they might also work for them.


thumb

http://www.webdesignerdepot.com/2010/10/usability-resources-to-win-arguments/

This post was authored exclusively for WDD by John O’Nolan, a core contributor to the WordPress UI Team, writer and entrepreneur based in Surrey in the United Kingdom. John loves to talk to people, so why not follow @JohnONolan on twitter too?
Today’s post is a big one and it’s most definitely one for your bookmarks menu, because from time to time when speaking with clients it becomes necessary to have material to backup the statements which you are making.

Sometimes clients will suggest things such as forcing all users to register with a six page long form before they can even access the site. They aren’t web professionals, it’s not their fault for not knowing that this isn’t a good idea from a usability perspective.

If you’re going to convince them that this is a bad idea, however, then you’re going to need some rock solid material to back that up. While an element of trust is always important to a working relationship, you have to respect that sometimes clients will just need to see the facts in front of them to fully understand that what you’re saying is correct.

So, what we’ve done for you today is compiled a list of some of the biggest, most compelling usability articles which address common issues. Hopefully this should help you during tough conversations about what does and doesn’t work on a a website.

Bookmark this post, come back to it, use it in meetings and educate your clients on the things which work for other websites, so that they might also work for them.

How Not Forcing Users to Register Increased Sales by $300million

1

A truly fascinating article covering how one ecommerce site removed forced user-registration during the checkout process, with a result of a $300million increase in revenue. Very impressive.

 

10 Useful Usability Findings and Guidelines

2

  • Form labels work best above the field
  • Users focus on faces
  • Quality of design is an indicator of credibility
  • Most users do know how to scroll
  • Blue is the best color for links
  • The ideal search box is 27 characters wide
  • White space improves comprehension
  • Effective user testing doesn’t have to be extensive
  • Informative product pages stand out
  • Most users are blind to advertising

Leer más “Usability Resources to Win Arguments”

What Is User Experience Design? Overview, Tools And Resources

Those who work on UX (called UX designers) study and evaluate how users feel about a system, looking at such things as ease of use, perception of the value of the system, utility, efficiency in performing tasks and so forth.

UX designers also look at sub-systems and processes within a system. For example, they might study the checkout process of an e-commerce website to see whether users find the process of buying products from the website easy and pleasant. They could delve deeper by studying components of the sub-system, such as seeing how efficient and pleasant is the experience of users filling out input fields in a Web form.

Compared to many other disciplines, particularly Web-based systems, UX is relatively new. The term “user experience” was coined by Dr. Donald Norman, a cognitive science researcher who was also the first to describe the importance of user-centered design (the notion that design decisions should be based on the needs and wants of users).


Websites and Web applications have become progressively more complex as our industry’s technologies and methodologies advance. What used to be a one-way static medium has evolved into a very rich and interactive experience.

But regardless of how much has changed in the production process, a website’s success still hinges on just one thing: how users perceive it. “Does this website give me value? Is it easy to use? Is it pleasant to use?” These are the questions that run through the minds of visitors as they interact with our products, and they form the basis of their decisions on whether to become regular users.

User experience design is all about striving to make them answer “Yes” to all of those questions. This guide aims to familiarize you with the professional discipline of UX design in the context of Web-based systems such as websites and applications.

[Offtopic: by the way, did you know that we are publishing a Smashing eBook Series? The brand new eBook #3 is Mastering Photoshop For Web Design, written by our Photoshop-expert Thomas Giannattasio.]

What Is User Experience?

User experience (abbreviated as UX) is how a person feels when interfacing with a system. The system could be a website, a web application or desktop software and, in modern contexts, is generally denoted by some form of human-computer interaction (HCI).

01 User Experience Graphic in What Is User Experience Design? Overview, Tools And Resources

Those who work on UX (called UX designers) study and evaluate how users feel about a system, looking at such things as ease of use, perception of the value of the system, utility, efficiency in performing tasks and so forth.

UX designers also look at sub-systems and processes within a system. For example, they might study the checkout process of an e-commerce website to see whether users find the process of buying products from the website easy and pleasant. They could delve deeper by studying components of the sub-system, such as seeing how efficient and pleasant is the experience of users filling out input fields in a Web form.

Compared to many other disciplines, particularly Web-based systems, UX is relatively new. The term “user experience” was coined by Dr. Donald Norman, a cognitive science researcher who was also the first to describe the importance of user-centered design (the notion that design decisions should be based on the needs and wants of users).

Full article here:
http://www.smashingmagazine.com/2010/10/05/what-is-user-experience-design-overview-tools-and-resources/

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