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From:
Atul Yadav <[log in to unmask]>
Reply To:
Atul Yadav <[log in to unmask]>
Date:
Mon, 3 Jul 2000 18:08:17 +0530
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Here is the summary of replies. Thanks everyone who replied.
Atul

I had asked

Dear List,

I am making a pitch to one of our clients who has a large website about
improving their navigation . I want some data on how navigation affects user
experience.

There was some research published in Industry Standard(August 99 I think)
about what leaves surfers frustrated which gave the following figures :
Difficult Navigation (87%) Slow Downloads (84%)  Could not find info (73%)
Too many clicks (68%) Confusing Home Page (61%) Boring Content (56%) No
Interactivity (38%) The site needs Plug-ins (37%).

I am interested in knowing if any other research has been done on the topics
related to navigational problems that affect user experience on the web.

Also I am interested in knowing the further break up of  what one means by
Difficult Navigation and Confusing Home Page. Is there any research done on
what are the component of navigation that affects user experience? (maybe
page density, poor organisation, poor language or anything else one has
found).

I would also appreciate if any members quote their personal experiences
about this topic. I would be also keen to know how user feedback (not
usability testing) is used in organisations to improve the user experience.

Please mail replies to me. I would post a summary to the list.

Thanks,


Atul Yadav
Information Architect
email : [log in to unmask]
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Here are the replies

jupiter communications put out a year old study on it that was fairly
useful...you can find them on www.jup.com...

here's the title:

Navigation
Toward Intuitive Movement and Improved Usability
Anya Sacharow, Mark Mooradian - March 1999
Vision Report - Content & Programming

word of caution, this doc is not free...
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Atul,

If I understand well the data you quote from Industry Standard come from a
poll.

If this is the case the reasons of frustration described by the users are
based
on their opinions which don't necessarily correspond with the actual usage
they
do of the system. So the reasons they invoke could differ from the
difficulties
that hinder their experience. Futhermore the responses could be limited to
the
choices offered in the questionnaire.

Also I think that 'navigational' stands for 'usability' since usability is a
dimension which manifest itself only during the usage, i.e. navigation in
the
case of browsing hypertext-based informational domains.

Talking about the 'components of navigation that affect user experience' can
also be misleading because if navigation = usability, then components are
effectivness, efficiency and satisfaction (or acceptability if you prefer).

On the other hand if you are talking about elements of the user interface,
and
question about how their relationship can shape/alter the user experience
then
the answer could be found in how those elements complement/supplement or
nullify
each other. I think that this aspect depends on the degree to which the
elements
build on each other and this is a matter of how well the interface have been
designed (contrast/luminance, lisibility, disturbances, page lay out,
fonctional/dynamic entitlement of the screens, etc.).

Concerning how user feed-back can be useful, I believe that before to put it
at
work one should classify, categorize and prioritize the raw material.
This could be done by reffering to some kind of rule like heuristics
(existing
or taylored), or a collection of best practices / errors to avoid.

Hope this helps

Marco Botta
http://ourworld.compuserve.com/homepages/MarcoBotta/index.htm
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there is always the interesting cheskin/studio archetype paper on trust that
connects god navigation with how well folks trust a site.
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In my humble opinion, the two most blatant offenses to usable navigation
are:

1)  Not making it obvious that navigation actually IS navigation

This is the concept of making a "cool looking" website using lots of
graphics, and a user not actually realizing that a particular image (whether
it contains text or not) is a clickable link because someone didn't want it
to look like a nav bar.  It's the "hey, let's be innovative to the point
that we end up driving our users away" syndrome.

2)  Using navigation terminology and imagery that is not commonly understood

Words chosen to represent navigation should be easily understood by the
majority of the general public, not just the web designers or company
management.  Also, some people use navigation that is symbols instead of
words.  These are a big no-no to me (even if the user manages to finally
figure out that the mouse will rollover a text description on those
ambiguous little images on the side of the page), but using symbols which
aren't universally recognizable is even worse.

Basically, a user should have to hunt for, or interpret, the navigation
elements on a site.


-Loren

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