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10 Usability Tips Based on Research

Image of a URL being typed into an Internet browser windowCameron Chapman of Six Revisions: Useful Information for Web Developers & Designers recently posted 10 Usability Tips Based on Research Studies which demonstrate how current research is actually providing useful data which can be used to improve website design and usability. Research data is providing support for some long-standing design principles while proving others to be myths.

According to research studies, common design ideas once thought to be crucial to usability and user interactions are actually not as important as once thought. Research proves that design tips such as pushing all content above the “fold” to reduce scrolling and the “three-click rule” are not as important as once thought. More important to users is the ability to access a page quickly and to understand the content while also having clear navigation features which are not overwhelming.
Tips include:

  1. Forget the “three-click rule”
  2. Use an F-shaped patten to enable skimming
  3. Speed up your website
  4. Make content easily readable
  5. Don’t worry about “the fold” and vertical scrolling
  6. Place important content on the left of the web page
  7. Use white space appropriately
  8. Small details are important
  9. Don’t rely on site search – Do improve navigation
  10. Your Home page isn’t as important as you think

Being familiar with new research and findings in the area of web design and usability may be helpful for anyone looking to redesign or improve their current website. Additionally, becoming familiar with user trends and expectations can help web designers and their co-workers have an informed discussion about the direction of website redesign projects.

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