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Archive for the 'Tips' Category

In order to celebrate the last episode (posting tonight!) of the Usability and Usability Testing 101 series, this week’s tips focus on usability testing. Once you have decided to conduct usability testing on your website, blog, or other digital media, you need to determine who you will be usability testing your media. First, you need […]

Anti-aliasing is used on images and visuals displayed on screens. Anti-aliasing takes an image designed for a higher resolution and smooths out the jagged edges so it will look better (and less distorted) at lower resolutions. Without anti-aliasing the images will appear pixelated—with jagged edges that are actual pixels being displayed. With anti-aliasing a gradient […]

Tip of the Day: When choosing usability testing tasks, start easy!

Posted by Jennifer L. Bowie, Ph.D. on August 17th, 2011

Starting your users out with an easy task in usability testing will give them a  chance to get warmed up, ease into the testing, and will give the testing a more positive light. If you start with a hard task, users may become frustrated, which could impact how they do the remaining tasks. It may […]

Users hear usability testing and think tests—maybe the SATs, GREs, grad school qualifying exams, or a math test from high school. I suspect few of us think of good things when we hear the word “test” or “testing.” The term “testing” in “usability testing” is misleading in many ways. We are not conducting tests of […]

If you are not using Twitter and your audience is younger, female, urban, minority and/or tech enthusiasts, you are missing out. People in these categories are more likely to use Twitter. So tweet to them! In addition, about 8% of US adults use Twitter, so this is a great way to reach a non-insignificant number […]

Chunking is a design concept based on proximity.  A good designer uses proximity to show the relationships of design components. Two items that are close (like a heading and the paragraph of text under it) should be related, and two that are far away (a title and the footer) are not related (or less related). […]

Back in the good ‘ol days of typewriters, writers used a tab indent to show where a new paragraph begins. Back in the good ‘ol days of the early web (think 1993), browsers were setup to render paragraphs with a line of white space after. More recently (say 2007), Microsoft decided that both were a […]

The second major step of usability testing[1] is deciding what you will test during the testing. This is where you develop your tasks for the testing, but simply pulling tasks out of a hat will not get you the best possible tasks, and thus your results will not be as effective and helpful. To make […]

Consider Garamond for any print document where readability and legibility are important, where you want to fit a lot of text on a page, and when you want to be eco-friendly. Garamond is a highly readable and legible typeface for print use. It is also eco-friendly—save trees and use toner by using Garamond. Garamond works […]

Use the correct, more readable, and preferred “curly” quotes in your writing. Due to first the advent of typewriters and later our good friend ASCII, the normal “curly” quotation marks of printing were turned into ambidextrous "straight" quotes. This saved two keys on typewriters (as only one is needed for the ‘single quote’ and one […]