Nonprofit web design tips and more from CEDC

Posts tagged usability

3 notes & is a one-stop source for government web designers to learn how to make websites more usable, useful, and accessible. The site addresses a broad range of factors that go into web design and development. The site will help you to:

  • Plan and design usable sites by collecting data on what users need
  • Develop prototypes
  • Conduct usability tests and write up results
  • Measure trends and demographics

Filed under usability web design WEB webdesign web site accessibility webdev

238 notes &

Chosen - a javascript select thingy

Chosen is a javsacript plug-in makes long, unwieldy select boxes much more user-friendly. It is currently available in both jQuery and Prototype flavors…

Why use Chosen?

  • User Friendly

    Instead of forcing your users to scroll through a giant list of items, they can just start typing the name of the item they were looking for. Non-matching entries are removed from view and choices can be selected using enter or mouse click.

  • Progressive Enhancement

    Because chosen replaces normal html select fields, you don’t need to do anything special to make it work for browsers without javascript. You don’t need to do anything special on the back end to handle the data either — the form field still gets submitted as normal.

  • Painless Setup

    Add Chosen’s files to your app and then add the class chzn-select to your select box. Chosen automatically respects optgroups, selected state, the multiple attribute and browser tab order. You don’t need to do anything else except customize the style as you see fit.

Filed under select javascript git jquery ui usability progressive enhancement

4 notes &

Optimizing Error Pages: Creating Opportunities Out Of Mistakes

In this article, we’ll review a few techniques that will help Web designers and UI professionals improve their error pages in order to engage visitors and improve the experience. As C.S. Lewis said, “Failures are finger posts on the road to achievement.” Website designers should take this to heart.

We’ll focus on error and maintenance pages, from both a tracking and usability perspective. You’ll find examples on how to use analytics and defensive design in order to optimize the user experience on those pages.

Filed under error pages 404 usability ui ux WEB analytics

7 notes &

Hover menus and usability

Some interesting comments on hover menus and usability vs. click menus. With the explosion of mobile devices (which don’t have hover states) this may all be one level more relevant, too. The comments have an interesting discussion with a variety of points of view so be sure to read through them as well.

Many design­ers seem to believe that when their menus open on hover, they’re faster and eas­ier for most users to use. It cer­tainly might seem this way at first, but when you look deeper you’ll notice that the oppo­site is true. Hover menus are actu­ally slower and harder for most users to use. Menus that open on hover do save users a click, but that first click is nec­es­sary in let­ting the web­site know that the user wants a menu to open and is ready for it. It also con­firms to the user that some­thing is hap­pening as a result of their click. This behav­ior matches the user’s men­tal model of how most web­sites work. Click­ing for some­thing you want has never been an issue for users. What’s an issue for users is get­ting some­thing you don’t want or don’t expect sim­ply on hover…

Filed under hover click menu user interface design usability UX navigation