Everyday Usability

Tuesday, April 18, 2006

F-shape pattern in website reading

According to the lastest news on Jacob Nielsen's alertbox, we 'read' websites in what he calls an F-shape. 232 users (yeah that's A WHOLE LOT!) were used in his research using a gaze tracker. In the images below you see three pages that are used in the study, first an 'about us' section of a corporate website, second a product page of an e-commerce website and finally a search engine result.

So, usability-wise Nielsen again stresses out that we should follow his guidelines concerning website design and just let go of the guidelines that have always been used in print. These days' users just don't read anymore :D

And of course something to think about: Although above research seems to be clear in investigating where people are looking on a website, is it also clear in what people remember of your site? I am sure that moving images or fancy rollover menus get attention (and appear in bright red dots in the above image), but are they also registered in the users' mind?

Wednesday, April 12, 2006

Knee operated tap

Look what a lunch talk can come up with. The entertaining value of the verbal account (and stunning mimicry) of an encounter with one of these (thanks A.), was an inspiration to find some visuals. Wouldn't everybody who has never seen this before frantically look for knobs, infrared sensors or anything to touch... above knee level!?

Saturday, April 08, 2006

Never hope to find the quick installation guide quickly

When I tried to install a VoIP telephone from Philips I visited their website, as the instructions in the box told me to, to search the most up to date installation manual. My search was very rewarding... not only did I find the installation guide, I found the search to be a good contribution to this weblog. Why? The search took me through three menus and came up with three different names for what I was looking for.

The search went something like this: now where do I find the installation guide... o look a FAQ on how to install the VoIP, right on the main page, this is easy... o, the answer to the FAQ is a link to the main site, isn't it where I just came from?!... well, I'll try the menu on the left.. let's see, Getting Started, that sounds right... o they have a quick start guide, I suppose that is the same as the quick installation guide, so I'll give it a go... ah, it is a pdf file, but it's titled installation guide... are they acknowledging that there is nothing 'quick' about it already?!

Tuesday, April 04, 2006

an interface for washing your hands...

This is possibly the weirdest interface I have ever seen for washing your hands! It was built in a public toilet somewhere in Scotland.

The way it works is that you put your hands into the hole in the bottom part, press soap, and then water, and when your finished press air, so it'll blow dry your hands. Very weird experience, since once both hands are in the hole (assuming that one wants to wash both of them), there are no hands left to push any buttons....