10 Usability Tips for Web Designers

Simply put, usability is making your website easy for your visitors to find the information they need when they need it.

A common misconception about usability amongst web companies is that usability is expensive. Yes, there are multi-national companies that spend thousands of dollars on usability tests and research, but for an everyday company usability is achievable without the knowledge of usability experts or without expensive equipment for testing.

Web designers have an even easier job to do, just by reading usability articles they can accumulate a fairly good knowledge about usability basics and how to implement them on a website.

 

1. Include a Tagline

A tagline is a statement or a motto that represents a company’s, or in our case a website’s, philosophy and mission. It should be the most obvious element on a website’s front page and it should clearly describe the website in one phrase.

Statistics show that a website has just 8 seconds to capture a visitor’s attention for them to browse the site further. Without a clear tagline a website would have a hard time keeping visitors long enough to browse the inner pages.

 

2. Implement Site Search

As with taglines, site search is a very important element on a website. When users are looking for something they typically look for a text field where they can enter their search term.

According to Jacob Nielsen’s web usability tips, make this search box 27 characters wide in order for the text to be clearly visible and easy to use. Place the search text field on the top of your web page, because users tend to search a website according to the F pattern, meaning from the top left to the bottom right.

Include a search button and clearly specify the search text, don’t use text such as Go or Submit, because these expressions tend to mislead your website’s visitors.

 

3. Don’t Use Extensive Graphics

Abusive use of design elements and graphics are always bad for a website, they just mislead the site’s visitors. Only design to improve the web page not just to decorate it. From a usability point of view, less is always more.

 

4. Use Site maps

Site maps are a relatively new website feature that improves web page navigation and also search engine optimization (SEO). Site maps in essence are a structural representation of a website’s pages and architecture. It can be a document in any form, or a web page that lists the pages on a web site, typically organized in hierarchical fashion.

Recently, search engines like Google, Yahoo and MSN have started offering a Sitemap protocol which is similar to a website’s site map page, but the data is organized in XML format. There are Sitemap XML generators that create these documents for a specific URL.

 

5. Don’t Break the Workflow

By workflow we mean every operation that a user is doing on a website. For example filling out a form, registering on a website, browsing categories, archives, etc. Don’t break these workflows, let the user cancel any operation. By not letting the user cancel an operation, we’re forcing them to finish it even if they don’t want to.

Not every operation on a website is obvious for users, guide them through the specific workflow by using descriptive tips. (e.g. when filling out a form). Javascript links usually break the workflow, so it’s not recommended to use them on your website.

Another mistake is not changing the color of visited links, this results in breaking the navigational design. Let users know where they’ve been and where they are on a website.

 

6. Create Easily Scannable Web Pages

Easy to read web pages plays an important role in maintaining visitors’ loyalty, keeping them on your site and reading your content. Usability tests show that the majority of users don’t read web pages, they scan them, looking for titles, bold, emphasized text or lists.

Eye tracking studies conducted by Jakob Nielsen show that users read content that resembles an F shape, meaning that the reading starts from the upper left of the web page, next it moves down a little starting from the left again.

Nielsen also states the implications of this reading pattern:

  • Users won’t read a web page content word by word, they will extract important paragraphs, bold text, etc.
  • The first two paragraphs are essential on a web page. These must contain the most important information that your visitors are looking for.
  • Sub headings and lists stands out from the regular paragraphs. Use these elements to notify users on important information.

One important method that we can learn from traditional printed newspapers is that the journalists thought of a catchy headline and a catchy first paragraph to make readers read the whole article. They organize the content in an inverted pyramid format, just picture an upside down pyramid. The broad base represents the most important information in the whole article and the narrow tip represents the least important information.

We can use this format to organize web content by putting the most important pieces on top and the least important ones on the bottom, but how do we know which information is important and which is not? With the help of news values.

 

7. Don’t Design Misleading UI Controls

By user interface (UI) controls we mean web page elements, components and widgets that a user can interact with (e.g. a button, drop-down list).

Don’t design graphic elements that looks like a button, but is not. We often see text that is underlined and looks like links, but are not clickable.

By not having the action that the users were expecting, they would think that the site is broken and eventually leave. One other important usability tip regarding UI controls is consistency: Make sure that your UI controls are consistent.

Yahoo, as the above image shows too, is a good example of consistent UI control design. Every tab on the page looks and behaves the same, every link is underlined on mouse over, every button looks the same, etc.

 

8. Give Meaningful Feedback

Meaningful feedback is essential for a website. This is the communication channel between the site and the users, with the help of feedback we let the users know what’s going on on the site. In case of an error on your web page, don’t just print Error occurred, instead write meaningful error messages which tell the user what went wrong and what actions they can perform from there.

Feedback works in both ways. When a user fills in a form they are essentially giving you feedback. Don’t make the users have to fill in the same information twice. For example if a user has registered on a website and needs to fill in a form at some point, don’t ask for their name or any other information that they have already supplied, because these details already exist somewhere in a file or database. By simply getting these details automatically we are simplifying the whole process.

 

9. Do Not Overuse Javascript

With the advent of Javascript and the AJAX technique, web designers and developers can create responsive, transparent websites, but as with all new technologies there is a cost. In our case the cost is browser inconsistency. Not every user has an up-to-date web browser. They also might not have Javascript enabled by default.

By using Javascript on a website extensively we block out these users. Instead use unobtrusive Javascript and graceful degradation.

 

10. Avoid CAPTCHAs

CAPTCHA stands for Completely Automated Public Turing test to tell Computers and Humans Apart. Even the name sounds complex. The most general form of CAPTCHA is text embedded in an image and by testing visitors we can separate human users from spam bots.

The problem with CAPTCHAs are that each form of human verification method triggers a complex process in the users’ brains (e.g. figuring out the distorted text, adding two numbers, etc).

Another problem with CAPTCHAs are the inconsistencies regarding different cultures. For example Chinese symbols, numerals are different from most western letters and Arabic numerals. Chinese people have a much harder time using CAPTCHA ‘enabled’ online forms.

 

Summary

  • Always include a tagline which should be the most obvious element on a web page.
  • Implement a 27 characters wide site search and place it on top of your website.
  • Don’t use extensive graphics and design elements.
  • Include a site map page and register a sitemap XML document in search engines.
  • Don’t break a user’s workflow. Allow every action to be canceled if necessary.
  • Create easily scannable web content and place the most important information on top of your web page.
  • Don’t design graphic elements that looks like a button, but is not.
  • Present meaningful feedback and don’t forget that feedback works both ways.
  • Use unobtrusive Javascript and graceful degradation.
  • Avoid CAPTCHAs, use more usable methods instead.


Do you follow these principles?  Please add your feedback and extra tips below.

  • http://www.egracecreative.com Brandon Cox

    Thanks for pointing these out – I especially appreciate the graphic illustration of how people scan a web page. Good stuff!

  • http://www.buildinternet.com Zach Dunn

    I can appreciate the logic with saying no to CAPTCHA from a usability standpoint, but is it worth the onslaught of spam?

    It’s sort of like airport security. It’s a nuisance to go through it, but it serves a purpose.

    • http://www.webdesignerdepot.com Walter

      You can get Akismet to stop spam, it does a pretty good job at it: http://akismet.com/

      • http://www.buildinternet.com Zach Dunn

        I do use (and love) Askimet for comments, but I’m considering things like Digg and Mixx. Each submission has to be verified with a CAPTCHA equivalent.

      • http://www.whywaitwebs.com Jt Hollister

        I just have to point out that your comparison is perfect. It IS just like airport security — in that it is a HUGE nuisance and yet it does very little to prevent what it’s trying to prevent. ;)

    • http://www.Scorpiono.com Scorpiono

      I’ve seen too many sites with too many captchas, I think this is the overall point.

    • http://elizawhat.com Elizabeth Kaylene

      I’ve seen some CAPTCHAs that are actually not too bad. It’s sites with complex, headache-rendering CAPTCHAs that chase visitors away. To me, as long as I can actually read the CAPTCHA and get it right on the first shot, I’m okay with it.

  • http://www.onlinesynergy.net/ Web Design

    While website usability is important it is so often neglected to the detriment of the website owner as its visitors may click away from it without realizing the its actual value.

  • http://www.styleignite.com Adrian Matair

    Ahh, have to say that this post is very low quality.

    I’m also generating content and know very well that using images in a post doesn’t make it good.

    This is like telling “anything” to the reader. Everything that already “even novice users” know.

    And, information given is not right. “Avoid captchas”? What is the next security option for a spammer sending 1000s of “non-spam-looking” messages?

    Don’t you agree?

  • http://www.honourchick.com Honour Chick

    awesome advice… thxs :)

  • http://james.padolsey.com James

    “Graceful degradation” and “unobtrusive JavaScript” are not alternatives to “JavaScript”; they are both methodologies under which one designs and implements a JavaScript solution. “Graceful Degradation”, to me, seems a little backward – it sounds like you’re meant to create an amazing website with all the bells and whistles and then degrade it… I like the term “progressive enhancement” more because it insinuates starting from a clearly defined foundation and then working up inline with browser capabilities…

    Saying “Don’t overuse JavaScript” is like saying “don’t overuse CSS” – the reasons which your presented could also be true for even a minimal amount of JS! I think the main point which you may have been trying to put across is not to use JavaScript where it’s not needed. Only use it when it enhances the user experience. This normally means cutting down on pointless effects and those fancy bells and whistles that were previously popular pre-2000! (fading, blinding etc.)

    I totally agree with your last point, about CAPTCHAs! Why should users have to pay the price for below-par technology? Why don’t we have a better way of detecting spam!? Instead of CAPTCHAs we could implement some advanced profiling of users which will attempt to identify a human or bot based on movement around the site. I heard of another good way of stopping spam: include a hidden field within your form. Humans won’t fill it out (because it’s hidden) but bots will, because bots try to fill out everything!

    Thanks for the post! There were a few grammatical errors though.

    • http://www.webdesignerdepot.com Walter

      Thanks for your insights James. I’ve also corrected the grammar mistakes that you pointed out :)

      Walter

  • http://www.r1designs.net Michael Risser

    I agree with Zach, its just not worth the onslaught of spam. I recently had to install a captcha on a clients web site, because they were just getting bombarded with spam.

    Website usability is great, and its necessary, however it is not the be all and end all of web design and development. It must be balanced with design, ease of maintenance and security.

    “Not every user browse the Web with modern web browsers, or they doesn’t even use a web browser and not every visitor have Javascript enabled by default.”

    This is a nice thought, but it is also a bit dangerous. There are reasons why browsers have advanced, among them is security. To continue to cater to the older browsers is, in my humble opinion, irresponsible. My rule of thumb is, when the browser maker no longer supports a particular version, neither do I.

    I agree that JavaScript used in a site should degrade nicely. That should be the goal of every Designer/Developer out there. But there also comes a point where you have to ask yourself, and your client, is it worth the time and effort to cater to a handful of users? Usually the answer is no.

  • http://www.webdesignerdepot.com Walter

    I’ve been using Akismet and it’s been very successful at catching all spam (a couple of exceptions only).

    I originally launched the blog with CAPTCHA enabled. I know for sure that users would prefer not to have a CAPTCHA so I’m going to continue the Akismet route unless the spam starts coming through and the blog comments become unmanageable. Akismet has been doing a truly remarkable job so far, and I highly recommend it to everyone. It will indeed enhance the user experience a lot.

    • http://elizawhat.com Elizabeth Kaylene

      I love Akismet. I also love reCAPTCHA for non-WordPress sites, which is actually not too hard to read, as it’s words directly from hard copy materials such as books. You should add reCAPTCHA to the article! (:

  • http://www.brenelz.com Brenelz Web Solutions

    I agree with Walter. I prefer to stay away from CAPTCHA when I can as it is an annoyance to visitors.

    I use Akismet and it does very well in catching spam, and only have had a few good comments go into the spam queue.

    Great article though!

  • http://james.padolsey.com James

    @Michael, in regard to your last point, I think it depends on how many a “handful of users” is… How many users are you (or your client) willing to let slide?

  • http://www.webdesignerdepot.com Walter

    @James and everyone here – you can now also reply if you wish to individual posts – simply click on the link at the bottom right corner of a comment.

    Thanks!

    • http://www.southmakers.com Alvaro

      cool feature :D

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  • http://www.thecreativeoutfit.com Kent

    Great list! I agree completely with the CAPTCHA thing, didn’t realize it was such a problem until I did work for a church that wanted a blog. It seemed simple to me, but they got tons of complaints about having to put “silly words” in to submit a comment.

    Use of good validation, cookies, and a bit of trickery cut the spam down to almost nothing.

  • http://www.jwurster.us Jim

    I agree with others in that CAPTCHA is unfortunately necessary. You suggest using other methods. Can you please point me to these methods? Even on my blog which is not highly publicized, I get a lot of spam registrations unless I add a CAPTCHA to the registration form. So, I am really interested in learning about these other methods.

    • http://www.bioplusrx.com steve

      use browser user agent sniffing and http header analysis to detect ‘real’ users vs spammers.
      Use javascript which runs on the page and sets a certain variable (or the target of the form)
      The automated spammers are not processing clientside javascript for the most part so if they submit (auto posting with libCurl for example) the javascript data will not have been stored and you can fail the form and discard the data.

      Your response and treatment efforts will have to depend on how much time its taking to keep out the crap vs the customers you may piss off with CAPTHA

      Simple math requests (like this site has) are very good – easy to read

  • http://www.cdiabu.com/ Boston Digital Imaging

    Some really great tips for any web designer who may be looking for solutions when making their websites more user friendly.

    Also, I agree that you should limit the amount of CAPTCHA, because most of the time I can’t even figure out all the weird letters and I swear I’m human!

    -Timothy

  • Gunner

    Most hypocritical web-design article. Ever.

    “Include a Tagline”

    This blog has no tagline

    “Don’t Use Extensive Graphics”

    This blog has a pretty but mindblowingly busy graphic design, and some well-designed icons on the right where the menu should be, which actually turn out to be sponsor ads.

    “Use Site maps”

    If there’s a site map on this blog, I can’t find it.

    “Create easily scannable web content and place the most important information on top of your web page”

    And yet you’ve placed your navigation menu on the right hand side, under the ads, a full screen-and-a-half distance down from the top so it doesn’t even show up on the page when you first load it.

    Also, I’m not sure if it goes against the javascript rule, but I found it to be jarring and annoying that rolling over your menu tabs changes the content without any clicks involved, so a little stray mouse movement hides the content I was perusing.

    I also found the graphical tooltip on the main logo to be amusing, especially when you’re on the home page and the tooltip that comes up says “Webdesigner Depot Homepage.”

  • http://www.webdesignerdepot.com Walter

    @ Gunner: These tips are guidelines only, not a mathematical formula to follow. Blog guidelines can be slightly different from regular websites, and WDD’s own goals and purposes can make us deviate from some of these.

    Other things we change and update based on user feedback, such as yours, so thanks for voicing your opinion, it will be considered. :)

  • http://dezinerfolio.com Navdeep

    Very nice list.

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  • http://www.1klang.de frank katzer | 1klang.de internetagentur

    thanks for the article.
    the tagline-thing and the user-workflow are the most important features of a good website.

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  • Kenneth

    Amazing tips and my favorite is “6.Create Easily Scannable Web Pages”

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  • http://www.pushingbuttons.net Timothy

    “Site maps are a relatively new website feature”

    That is not true, at all. Site maps have been around for a long time. The difference now, as compared to a number of years ago, is that people don’t use sitemaps. The only real reason why sites include these is for SEO (as you mentioned). Google and other crawlers will use these maps to quickly jump through the entirety of your site. It’s just a way to improve your exposure to search engines.

    And, CAPTCHAs are fine to use. The problem is that people implement CAPTCHAs that even other people can’t decipher. The key to a good CAPTCHA is when the letters are easily decipherable by a human, but are too close to each other for a computer to slice them apart and analyze. But, nowadays there are actually companies that pay employees to manually enter CAPTCHAs for spam-based clients.

    I have noticed, however, an interesting twist on CAPTCHAs on a number of blogs. Instead of a garbled series of letters some sites are putting something like “89 plus 1 = ” and then an input. This is a very interesting trend. It is much simpler are quicker for the user.

    Oh, the “don’t overuse JavaScript” thing is arguable. I agree you shouldn’t overload a person with heavy scripts. If someone, God forbid, is using IE(6) then they will be royally screwed. But, if you do use a lot of scripting you can bubble up events and only execute blocks as needed. This, along with compression (YUI Compression), will take much of the burden off the user.

    And as for the image thing, use sprites as much as possible. Google it for more info.

    And, HAPPY NEW YEAR! Yehaw!

  • http://www.cockeyed.com Rob Cockerham

    I disagree with about half of the points in this article.
    I think the author had one sort of website in mind when it was written.

  • http://www.megastarmedia.com social networking software

    awesome refresher course just in time for our revamp.
    ;)

  • http://designblurb.com/ Eli

    3. Don’t Use Extensive Graphics

    I think maybe you should have followed this a little bit more when you were having the header of your website designed. It is nice, sure, but I think it may be a little overdone.

    Very nice article though, these are some very important points.

  • S. Nisar

    Nice tips!

    thanks a lot.

    Happy New Year 2009

  • http://www.boomfish.com kmullett

    These are some decent general thoughts and tips, but without being placed in context of a given sites target demographic, market segment, particular clients need, etc.. they can be more harm then good. (IMHO)

    Professionals shouldn’t build sites like some kind of one solution fits all checklist. A site search for example is not always and absolutely applicable.

    In regards to the visible site maps (not the XML in site root). Please note that across the over 100 varied sites I watch analytics for, on average less then 1 half of 1 percent of people actually use them. This changes based on the type of site, the content architecture, scope of the site, and if a site search is available, but by and large these are not used by visitors. We do include them in the footer of our solutions as 1-5% may still represent thousands of users, and for SEO cross page linking.

  • Arnold

    This is a great post for novice web designers, but like many other articles on this site it lacks a comprehensiveness that professional web designers and developers desire. This blog has the potential to be a great resource for professionals — so please keep the content at our level if you want us to keep coming back! Thanks

    • http://www.webdesignerdepot.com Walter

      Hey Arnold, thanks for your feedback.

      You will see that some posts target beginners and others are more for medium to advanced users. Our main focus is medium to advanced designers, however, we don’t want to leave anyone out and sometimes we include beginner’s information. I feel that these are good reminders even for more experienced designers, however, your point is taken and we’ll keep focusing on more advanced techniques as we move forward.

      • http://elizawhat.com Elizabeth Kaylene

        Maybe you could add some kind of graphic to each post signifying the level of information that is being covered.

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  • http://mivui.com Pavan K

    Another very useful post. Left me with some food for thought about using Javascript for a concept that hopes to scale. Throws many a mobile browser ‘out the window’… Thanks for this. Any stats. on Javascript enabling, or integration into (which) phones?

  • GlennG

    What about “avoid Flash” or other similar technologies and don’t smother your page with adverts. I know that this is touching on accessibility issues, but Flash shouldn’t be used as the principal content (OK, videos, games and complex visualisation accepted).

    I’d definitely add something about consistent navigation; something that’s all to often missed in these days of no-navigation blogs. I realise that point 7 touches on this, but consistent and usable navigation is vital to usability. Let your visitors know:
    – where am I
    – how did I get here
    – where can I go from here

  • http://www.experienceadvertising.com Evan

    Nice breakdown. Thanks for sharing. I agree that conversion rates are the most important thing.

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  • http://www.rubbersoul.org.uk Rubber Soul

    Following on from Timothy, No. 20 above – I totally agree – Sitemaps are useless for humans – look at many html sitemaps and they’re unintuitive for humans to navigate around (mine included) – you’ll be more likely to find something on a site quicker by looking manually! XML sitemaps are VITAL for submitting to google via their webmasters tools, but I’ve found you only get better indexing results IF you do the submission. Don’t expect google to automatically index a sitemap – but I guess that’s getting a bit off-topic.

    Some other good ideas though, particularly the F-thing – psychologically interesting – thanks!

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  • http://www.vagrantradio.com Jason

    I agree with the no captcha statement, I use akismet and bannage (wp plugins) instead and they work great for defeating spam.

  • http://www.sosmedia.org SOS Media Web Design

    This is a great article with some tips I learned in school and always appreciate hearing again!

  • http://mokshasolutions.com Moksha Solutions

    thanks its a really nice article.

  • http://myows.com myows

    good article – we’re following your advice for the design of our own UI.

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  • http://www.ashhad.com Ash-had

    I really appreciate the points mentioned in above posts…

  • http://www.sdtimes.com Usman Suglatwala

    Nice Article, esp. the grapics scan. The sitemap is also a nice way of having pages indexed on Google. Also,using XML and .NET, you can even display page links to the users.

  • Marmolejo

    Simplemente …. Excelente

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  • http://www.r1designs.net Michael

    @James That number is something that you can usually determine from a good web analytics program, and it is something that varies from client to client, site to site. It is also something that you need to sit down with your client and discuss. It is something that needs to be weighed against your time and what your client is willing to pay for. If my client is not willing to pay me for my time to cater to IE5 or IE6 users, then I won’t.

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  • http://www.goodusability.co.uk David Hamill

    Nice article. You’ll be surprised how few people actually use site maps to navigate your website. If they do then there is probably something wrong with the site IA.

    They are better for SEO than usability.

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  • http://drveresh.googlepages.com Veeesh

    It is a good article with some useful usability tips. I am also focusing to improve the user experience by using various usability and accessibility features to increase the degree of effective content access on web. Hope everybody will try to understand its significance and use them.

    Veeresh D.

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  • http://hood-lord.deviantart.com hood_lord

    Really cool! I found it very useful & helpful. I hope my works will go more n more better after reading this article. cool!!

  • http://www.sagie.es/paginasweb.php Cesar

    Nice list!!!

    You could have mentioned that usability is good for SEO too. Great article anyway.

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  • http://www.charvidesigns.com venkat nookala

    Very use full list of usability tips..Thanks

  • http://persembahan.multiply.com ipoenk

    Thanks for sharing .. the whole tips make me see clearly about web design

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  • Scott

    Thanks for the helpful post. I’ve been looking into usability a lot recently and found good resources from Human Factors International. They have a monthly newsletter and lots of white papers that tend to not only talk about practical tips but also the science around why the recommendations are valid. In my work, these explanations make for good ammunition in winning battles of preference vs research. Keep up the good posts.

  • Confetti

    Here’s another one: don’t let the background image of your website incur the wrath of the horizontal scrollbar. You’re violating this rule right now.

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  • http://0800allergy.com tiettePremy

    I am unable to understand this post. But well some points are useful for me.

  • http://www.mindxstudio.com/ mindxstudio

    me web designer myself, yes it is very help full post, it help me a lot.

  • http://www.borgetsolutions.com Web development Solutions

    This is really a usefull artical …

    Hope to see more Search Engine optimization tips.

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  • http://www.heyou-media.com Maik

    Very usefull information, thanks.

  • http://ubuntuslave.blogspot.com sivaji

    Its worth to spend time on reading this :D

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  • Chris

    But … your own email subscription form uses captchas. I’m so confused.

  • http://www.webdesignerdepot.com Walter

    @ Chris: Yes, the captcha is part of Feedburner – i can’t remove it, i have no control over it.

  • Janice Sclafani *~*TheGrinningDoggy*~*

    I agree CAPTCHA is a pain. However, I do find it easier to deal with when I can at least see the words/numbers clearly and am not sitting there hitting refresh to get a new combination of such that I can actually discern.

    That being said, the use of CAPTCHA is a catch 22 , indeed.

    I think it is going to be a decision that each website owner must make based on how slammed with spam they are getting.

    I will admit- on some sites when faced with it, I have just left.

    Usually the ones that keep stating I inputted the info incorrectly.
    Those are the ones where the words/numbers are hard to read.

    After a while, you just say” The heck with this” and go right off the site.

    I think it is an individual decision and must be weighed against the degree of spam coming into the site.

    I would not install this the feature right off the bat- there has to be a genuine need for it.

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  • http://www.webtizer.com webtizer

    very nice post, i like usability articles .. i know that we are all need that useful information.. thanks

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  • http://webusabilityhelp.blogspot.com Sam

    This is great! Thanks so much. Hope it will continue.

    you can get interesting post about web usability and technology on my Web Usability Blog.

  • http://planetsum.com magesh

    that was really an informative article….
    very usefull

  • http://souravs.corexprts.com sourav sen

    i cant agree on the point of captcha with the author
    they are a need today and not a fancy display of code designed by a programmer.

  • sachin khobragade

    useful article..keep it up.

  • M1chel

    Loved the article. I read many online about the subject and nobody talked about the tagline yet. maybe they think it’s obvious but it’s good to remind it!

    about the site map debate above: well, I have to agree that few visitors use it, but I think it’s something extremely useful to add. it’s something that can turn out to be essential for some and it’s not a big effort to build it.
    Hopefully following some basic usability tips you will have a decent navigation and your “search field” so that everyone can find what’s looking for easily, but more then once I’ve been forced to look for a site map to find the content I was seeking. sad but true.
    after all it’s our interest to provide all possible tools to ensure a comfortable navigation to visitors, therefore let’s add a simple page with a site map :)

  • http://www.junglescripts.com/ Adam Winogrodzki

    If all the webmasters will adopt these 10 Tips then it can be great for them .

  • http://golchitech.blogspot.com Golchi

    Thanks dude for your post (I used to think that we were few to suffer in front of some captcha that doesn’t offer a new image display in case you can’t read ;-))

  • http://www.designsolutionsmd.com Ruslan

    Hi
    First, Thanks for the valuable info.

    Also I would like to ask. What to do to Implement Site Search?
    Any one know of a tutorial on that?

    Thanks In Advance
    Ruslan

  • M1chel

    @ruslan:
    waiting for an answer from Walter, which I’m sure will be simple and effective, I can suggest you to take a look at an article from Smashing magazine ( http://www.smashingmagazine.com/2008/12/04/designing-the-holy-search-box-examples-and-best-practices/ )
    I hope is not unpolite to link to another blog. if so, please cancel my comment :)

    cheers.

    • http://www.webdesignerdepot.com Walter

      Hey, you can do a simple site search with WordPress, it comes integrated with that option. There are plugins to further customize the search look and function.

  • http://www.oxidizzy.com oxidizzy

    aha!!! i love this post . . .

  • http://www.pearsestreet.com social network software

    Awesome usability tips. I’m excited to send this link to our web designers.

  • http://www.sblgraphics.com/restoration-retouching_service.aspx image restoration

    This is absolutely useful tips. Thanks.

  • http://www.yogapuntadeleste.com/ Alvaro Hernandorena

    Great post tank you

  • http://ngocthachez.com ngocthachez

    Great Tips , thanks for sharing

  • http://www.chotrul.com/skills/seo-marketing.html Chotrul Web Design

    I’d totally agree with the comment above that site maps these days are primarily of benefit to search engine optimisation rather than human users. sitemap.xml is a very useful way to address a number of SEO issues. Whilst a basic html sitemap could conceivably be of some use the the visitor, it does smack of a failure of navigation and structure if the visitor has to resort to them!

  • http://mariomartinez.com Mario

    I’m a web designer and hate captcha, it’s annoying for visitors, frecuently they have to type words that don´t belong to their language. Technology must evolve in order to release visitors from the responsability to fight website spam.

  • http://tekirdagguvenliksirketleri.com tekirdağ güvenlik şirketleri

    Thanks for sharing your beautiful writing I’ve read

  • http://www.heightweightchart.org/ Height Weight Chart @ HWC

    i must say you rock the lane of web designer’s. well done.

  • http://www.ecwebcom.com Jerseys

    Professionals shouldn’t build sites like some kind of one solution fits all checklist. A site search for example is not always and absolutely applicable.

  • http://www.craigfordham.net Lisa

    Great list and you do see a noticeable change in users habits by introducing just one of these tips into your designs, Thanks. LT

  • http://www.bestcardprinter.com Jeff

    I love the simplicity of designing with usability in mind like the tips here. It’s so easy to want to over design something, great tips.

  • http://www.craigfordham.net Lisa Thomason

    Nice breakdown, some really poignant recommendations, and high conversion rates for what ever goal is really important, and will definitely be achieved if you keep usability in mind. LT

  • http://www.securityking.com Craig

    Great tips on usability! Thanks!

  • http://www.copewithasthma.com Michael

    Good tips but I don’t recommend avoiding CAPTCHAs. With as much bot spam as I used to get I would never have a form without a CAPTCHA.

  • http://brsubmityournews.info/bookmarks/ Randolph Savitsky

    Seriously! I have been looking bing all day for this and i also finally thought it was in this article!

  • http://www.creative-t.com/ Singapore

    Nice post. there are certain times when Captcha is a must. However I do hare long captchas.

  • http://www.hayvancilik1.com hayvancılık

    do not have the ability to imagine the “graphic” relationship between the mood oard and