Web Usability - Designing with the User in Mind
Introduction
On & Offline Usability
Usability Attributes
Repeat Visitors
Better Usability
Usability Testing
Organization
Navigation
Reading & Writing
Interaction






Organize and Structure the Information on Your Site for Easy Accessibility
How do you best organize and structure information on your web site so that it makes sense to your users? Following are some important factors to take into consideration.
General Principles
Arrange and organize your information in a readily understandable order (by topic or product, alphabetically, etc.) Give the user a sense of hierarchy.
Establish general categories to describe the information available on your site. Once the general categories have been determined, drill further down into each individual category and establish subcategories.
Avoid hiding resources in obscure places, unless discovery is a central part of the user's interactive experience, e.g., as in interactive games.
Do not force users to scroll excessively to access content.
Break up information into easily scannable chunks.
Build a structure that makes it easy to maintain and update information.
Consistency
Make the site's look and feel as consistent as possible, i.e., present information (e.g., headers, alignments, images, banners, colors, etc.) consistently, and use the same sequence of actions across similar conditions throughout the site.
Metaphors
Use metaphors to organize information that supports real user goals and tasks, rather than only for style.
Familiar concepts and images can make it easier for users to understand and remember something new.
Metaphors create expectations based on a user's prior knowledge. However, they only work if the audience is familiar with the metaphor, and if the metaphor is well suited to the content.

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Introduction | On & Offline Usability | Usability Attributes | Repeat Visitors
Better Usability | Usability Testing | Organization | Navigation
Reading & Writing | Interaction
Web Usability - Designing with the User in Mind
Copyright 2001 Clear Design, Inc.