Factors That Affect Usability

Dec 15 2009 by James Costa | 18 Comments

If trending topics surrounding design blogs are any reflection of trends in design, then usability is what coffee is to freelancers. Usability is a study of human-computer interaction that helps designers analyze our users’ patterns as they use our creations. While we cannot fully predict our users’ interactions, we are able to brace for them through how we style and place elements on our page.

Factors That Affect Usability

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10 Simple Web Accessibility Tips You Can Do Today

Dec 3 2009 by Jacob Gube | 36 Comments

One of the most overlooked aspects in designing a website that we often brush off is web accessibility. There’s a misconception that web accessibility requires sacrifices to aesthetics, or that it’s not worth the effort.

Image with text that says Web Accessibility Tips

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Creating a Timeless User Experience

Oct 27 2009 by Francisco Inchauste | 22 Comments

Creating a Timeless User Experience

If we could tear into the fabric of time and look a decade into the future, what kind of experience might we find? It’s easy to imagine the technology would be much more advanced. Something out of a film like Minority Report with holographic touchscreens, or so advanced of an A.I. (artificial intelligence) that the application anticipates solutions without the user having to do much else.

In reality the kinds of products, websites, and applications that survive and continue to be effective are those that that focus on the user experience. The digital world evolves continually, but we need to manage this by making sure we don’t leave the people who use our applications and websites in the dust. In this article we will explore creating a timeless user experience.

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Adobe Flash Accessibility: Best Practices for Design

Aug 27 2009 by Erik Johnson | 13 Comments

Adobe Flash Accessibility: Best Practices for Design

Norman Nielsen once said that "About 99% of the time, the presence of Flash on a website constitutes a usability disease."[1] However, this statement was made in 2000 when Flash lacked many of the accessibility functions that are available today. In 2002, the Flash Player began support for Microsoft Active Accessibility (a bridge between the Flash Player and screen access technologies) and eventually Freedom Scientific released a version of the JAWS screen reader which could access Flash material.[2] This was just the beginning and eventually Adobe created a version of the Flash application that enables developers to control the accessibility as an application is designed.

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14 Brilliant Tools for Evaluating Your Design’s Colors

Jul 8 2009 by Jacob Gube | 20 Comments

Making sure that you choose the appropriate colors for a design is very important for readability. In addition, ensuring that the colors you select are viewable by persons with vision deficiencies such as color blindness is a good practice to follow when thinking about web accessibility.

In this article, you’ll read about excellent free tools for checking to see if the colors you are using are consistent with standard color contrast, brightness, readability, and accessibility best practices.

1. Check My Colours

Check My Colours

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10 Promising Free Web Analytics Tools

Jan 2 2009 by Jacob Gube | 126 Comments

Web analytics is the process of gathering and analyzing your web content’s data in order to glean meaningful information about how your site is being utilized by your users. There are plenty of Web analytics applications out there, and you probably already know the big guns such as Google Analytics, Crazy Egg, and remote-site services such as Alexa and Compete.

We go off the trodden path and explore a few lesser-known Web analytics options. In this article, you’ll find 10 excellent and free tools and applications to help you gather and analyze data about your web content.

1. Piwik

Piwik - screen shot.Go to Live Demonstration of Piwik.

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20 Websites to Help You Master User Interface Design

Oct 15 2008 by Jacob Gube | 56 Comments

As web technologies progress, websites and web applications are becoming more responsive, providing us with more ways and techniques to interact with the users. Form, more than ever, has been superseded by function.

The following websites deal with interface design, user experience, user-centered design, usability, and everything in between – all with the goal of enhancing the user’s interface.

1. Boxes and Arrows

Boxes and Arrows - screen shot.

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