User research with prospective university students, ranging from kids still in high school to Ph.D. level grad students, found that they really want to know about the professors they'll be learning from, so when visiting university websites, these users (and their parents) scrutinized the faculty pages.
Information foraging explains how users behave on the web and why they click certain links and not others. Information scent can be used to analyze how people assess a link and the page context surrounding the link to judge what's on the other end of the link.
We studied the most important activities users perform on the internet, repeating an old classic study. Users' most critical behaviors have shifted substantially over 22 years, due to more information available online and the constant presence of mobile devices.
If a website or company is big and famous, should you copy their design for your own site? Likely not, because good UX depends on context, and your situation could be quite different than a world-famous company's circumstances.
Users want to do the least amount of work possible to get to a desired web page. However, "work" is the sum of difficulty presented by each click and not the number of clicks in itself. Here are some tips for making a path easier to navigate.
The contrast between low-context and high-context cultures has substantial implications for web designs that target users in different countries. Examples from eyetracking research in China (a high-context culture) illustrate this point.
Data-entry form fields on websites are crucial for ecommerce and many other applications. Fields need labels and (sometimes) instructions, but placing this text inside the field lowers usability and accessibility and should be avoided.
Sliding hero images that rotate through a set of promotions, news, or the like on the top of web pages are often annoying to users and are definitely error prone, unless they are designed according to usability guidelines.
No. 1 of the top 10 UX design heuristics is to provide visibility of system status through proper feedback, so that the user knows how commands are being interpreted and what the computer is up to at any time.
Research spanning 20 years proves PDFs are problematic for online reading. Yet they’re still prevalent and users continue to get lost in them. They’re unpleasant to read and navigate and remain unfit for digital-content display.
Forcing users to browse PDF files causes frustration and slow task completion, compared to standard webpages. Use PDF only for documents that users will print. In those cases, following 10 basic guidelines will minimize usability problems.
Listboxes and dropdowns are compact UI controls that allow users to select options. Listboxes expose options right away and support multi-selection while dropdowns require a click to see options and support only single-selection.
When deciding which links to click on the web, users choose those with the highest information scent — which is a mix of cues that they get from the link label, the context in which the link is shown, and their prior experiences.
In people with normal vision (or corrected-to-normal vision), visual performance tends to be better with light mode, whereas some people with cataract and related disorders may perform better with dark mode. On the flip side, long-term reading in light mode may be associated with myopia.
Instructional video content is helpful as supplementary information, though not all users will watch it. Videos should be easily discoverable, consistent in style across the site, and with thumbnails that accurately represent the type of content they provide.