Monday, June 11, 2007

Little or No Changes in Web Usability Guidelines

Jakob Nielsen has posted his latest article entitled Change vs. Stability in Web Usability Guidelines.

It's a fascinating article, especially when you consider that 80% of the findings from web usability studies done in the 1990's are still valid today.

Usability takes into account human factors and human psychology - two things that hardly change, if ever. If there have been any changes to web usability it's due to three things:

  1. Technological improvements - better browsers, increased bandwidth, etc.
  2. Behavioral adaptations - people growing accustom to certain interaction techniques and design conventions. One example I can think of is hyperlinks. Today, most folks accept a word or phrase underlined as a hyperlink. It doesn't have to be blue and underlined.
  3. Designers exhibiting constraint - design elements that were thought of as cool and hip are being less abused.

All I have to say is I'm thankful the splash-screen or splash-page fad is out.

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