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Archive for June, 2011

Typeface of the Week: Arial—A common mimic

Posted by Jennifer L. Bowie, Ph.D. on June 30th, 2011

Arial is a child of the licensing restriction “wars” of the 1980s. Adobe had the very popular Helvetica under a Type-1 format and were not sharing at the level others wanted. So, Arial was created by Monotype (a font foundry) as an alternative and easy substitute because it was the same width as Helvetica[1]. Visually, […]

Tip of the Day: Write clear and concise page titles

Posted by Jennifer L. Bowie, Ph.D. on June 29th, 2011

One of the signs of a novice web designer is an untitled web page. Page titles are key for webpages. They show up in the title bar in most browser windows, the label of a browser tab, as the first information listed for the page in search results, in the browser’s history, as the bookmark […]

Magical visual design from ~100 years ago

Posted by Jennifer L. Bowie, Ph.D. on June 28th, 2011

What is 137 years old, carries a bit of Victorian aesthetics, and can get out of anything? Houdini, of course. In March, Google celebrated Houdini’s 137 birthday with a doodle. The funky and fun thing about the doodle is that Google drew on Houdini’s show posters for the design, giving us a peek into late […]

Watch the alphabet evolve right before your very eyes!

Posted by Jennifer L. Bowie, Ph.D. on June 28th, 2011

Ever wondered why the our alphabet looks they way it does? In this wonderful animation by Prof. Robert Fradkin (the animation may be by Charlie Seljos for Dr. Fradkin), you can watch how the alphabet has evolved over time from Phoenician characters to what we use today. Letters transform, flip, and move to different places. […]

Tip of the Day: Use Arabic numerals for all numbers (even under 10) online

Posted by Jennifer L. Bowie, Ph.D. on June 28th, 2011

Many of us have been taught to write out in words the numbers ten and under. So 10 is “ten” and “11” is “11.” However, research has shown that numerals jump out on web pages and are easier to read—so many web writing experts suggest using numerals for all numbers including those under 10 within […]

According to Jacob Nielsen’s research on usability testing, conducting usability testing on even a small number of users can uncover a great number of your usability problems. A single user will often uncover 33% of the problems, three users 66%, and five users 80%. To get about 100%, Nielsen recommends 15. Even if you cannot […]

Screen Space 12: Usability & Usability Testing 101 Part 2—Selecting Users

Posted by Jennifer L. Bowie, Ph.D. on June 27th, 2011

[Podcast Transcript] Welcome to Screen Space your podcast about creating usable, accessible, effective, and efficient web, blog, and digital media design for the everyday (and non-expert) designer. This is episode 12 of Screen Space “Usability & Usability Testing 101 Part 2—Selecting Users.” In this episode, I discuss the first part of usability testing—user analysis and […]

 
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Tip of the Day: Use color to communicate, not decorate!

Posted by Jennifer L. Bowie, Ph.D. on June 24th, 2011

This week’s theme: Best of Screen Space Podcasts Color is powerful and aids in getting your message across. But don’t just throw it in because it looks good. Use color to communicate and not to just decorate. Add color to  makes your site more usable, efficient, and effective. To find out more check out Screen […]

Typeface of the Week: Times New Roman—Blend into the crowd

Posted by Jennifer L. Bowie, Ph.D. on June 23rd, 2011

Times New Roman (TNR) was created by Victor Lardent on commission for the British newspaper The Times in 1931 and then used in the newspaper for 40 years[1]. TNR is used often as the body text in books printed in the USA. Microsoft used this as the default typefaces in many programs (like Word) for […]

Tip of the Day: Keep the text concise!

Posted by Jennifer L. Bowie, Ph.D. on June 23rd, 2011

This week’s theme: Best of Screen Space Podcasts Keep your writing on websites, in blogs, and in other digital media concise. A lot of research shows that people do not like to spend much time reading online and many people prefer to skim. Do make reading easy for them. Cute the amount of text down […]