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Usability Labs

August 21, 2006

The company I work for has a usability lab. A few weeks ago I had the opportuntity to sit in on one of the sessions. I have to say it is a very interesting experience seeing the user fumble around with designs that you thought were simple and reasonably well reasoned.

It’s amazing how easily distracted a user can become by elements on the page that you thought were part of the background. If there is one thing I took out of the whole thing it is that you really need to reduce the number of elements a user can get distracted with.

Wording is also something that the user can easily trip up on. An over abundance of text also seems to scare off certain users. If something is complicated enough that you need a lot of text to explain it the chances are you probably need to look at ways to make it simpler.

Having said all that I don’t think you should completely dumb things down but careful consideration and testing with real users can help avoid a lot of potential confusion.

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From → Technical

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