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Thread: Usability (6.0)

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    New Lounger
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    Usability (6.0)

    Hi guys,
    I used to go to this site under the name quiddy, but now I'm back under a new profile. So, hi again!

    Anyway, here is my situation:
    I am currently running a usubility lab testing based on this prototype of a health care member portal that I created. I was wondering if any of you are usability experts or have studied Human Computer Interraction because I have 2 questions about usability:

    1) Should buttons be located right-justified or left-justified at the bottom of a page?
    2) When using a tab-folder-like navigation at the top of each page, what should the color be of the selected tab and the space containing links underneath it? Is it lighter than the unselected tabs or darker?

    Also, any of you guys know of web usability or HCI references out there?

    Thanks,
    Chris

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    Uranium Lounger
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    Re: Usability (6.0)

    Welcome back, Quiddy. <img src=/S/smile.gif border=0 alt=smile width=15 height=15>

    The best reference I can give you is Jakob Nielsen's website, UseIt.com. Much of what I practice in site design I learned from reading his material.
    -Mark

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    Super Moderator WebGenii's Avatar
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    Re: Usability (6.0)

    I second the reference to Useit.
    But whatever you decide - there is one word to keep in mind, consistency. If you do it one way - do it the same way everywhere! Don't make your users learn new rules for different sections of the website.
    Look at the big software manufacturers software design, what do they do? (cause I bet they have more money to spend on this than you do).

    MS typically centers buttons in dialogue boxes. Web pages are typically left-aligned (in case the screen is cut-off) Nothing worse than an instruction to click a button you can't see!
    Tab folder colours, often depend on the whole colour scheme, in order that the contrast is visible.

    <font color=blue>And please, for the love of God - don't get cute with standard elements...like the client I had, who wanted radio buttons to behave like check boxes ('because it looks better').</font color=blue>. No of course, you won't do something like that, because you're asking the question in the first place!
    [b]Catharine Richardson (WebGenii)
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    Moderator: Spreadsheets, Other MS Apps, Presentation Apps, Visual Basic for Apps, Windows Mobile

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    Re: Usability (6.0)

    <hr>wanted radio buttons to behave like check boxes<hr>
    You had a client ask for something like this? <img src=/S/woops.gif border=0 alt=woops width=58 height=36> It's hard enough to get people used to the proper operation of things, let alone to go changing them like that!!
    -Mark

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    Super Moderator WebGenii's Avatar
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    Re: Usability (6.0)

    I wasn't the developer... or I would have stopped it then. Unfortunately I was just the trainer who had to explain to people why these radio buttons behaved differently than every other one in their experience.
    Oddly enough, the product never got off the ground <img src=/S/evilgrin.gif border=0 alt=evilgrin width=15 height=15> - probably because it was totally hamstrung by stupid design choices. But I did learn a lot, mostly about what NOT to do.
    [b]Catharine Richardson (WebGenii)
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    Moderator: Spreadsheets, Other MS Apps, Presentation Apps, Visual Basic for Apps, Windows Mobile

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    Re: Usability (6.0)

    Thanks, guys, for all your help! This will help me a lot with making design choices after the first run of usability lab testing.

    Chris

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