Sunday, January 30, 2011

Reading Response: Don't Make Me Think

Chapter three, Billboard Design, of Don't Make Me Think gave a list of ive important things to make sure the user can see. (1)Create a clear visual hierarchy on each page. The more important something is, the more prominent it is. Things that are related logically are also related visually. Things that are "nested" visually to show what's part of what. (2) Take advantage of conventions. Even though designers are reluctant to use them, they are helpful because they are familiar to the user. (Ex/ reading the newspaper) (3) Break pages up into clearly defined areas. This allows the viewer to quickly find an area of the page to focus on and which area of the page they can ignore. (4) Make it obvious what's click-able. Use rollover color, underline, symbols or text to the user's advantage. (5) Minimize noise. This includes a crowded web page and background noise that adds complexity and distraction. This hinders the user's capability to understand the information with clarity.

Chapter four, Animal, Vegetable, Mineral, discusses why users like mindless choices. How many times do you have to click before you get what you want? Animal, vegetable, mineral? "...accept the premise that anything that's not a plant or an animal...falls under mineral, it requires no thought at all to answer the question correctly." This is the kind of question a user wants to answer--an easy one.

Chapter six, Street Signs and Breadcrumbs states that, "People won't use your website if they can't find their way around it." This is the process searching and making a decision. (Ex/ Enter the store, look for the right department, look for the right aisle, look for product, find it, look for register, pay, look for exit if all goes as planned--what if it doesn't? Ask someone for help? Try another department, aisle?) It is beneficial for the designer to create a flowchart that, not only designs for the primary and secondary navigation levels, but also beyond that to the tertiary and beyond to all potential levels. This should happen at the preliminary stages of web page design.

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