Posts tagged ‘usability’
Going back to the issue of privacy – I saw this post at ReadWriteWeb and it confirmed something I’ve suspected for awhile: that although many people claim to be concerned about their privacy online, many of them never use the options available to them for managing their various profiles. In fact, nearly 60% of the people in the study cited didn’t know if their profiles were public or not. This is a perfect example of what Kevin Kelly calls “triumph of the default.” The vast majority of users are stymied by the sheer number of choices available, so they don’t choose (or they choose by not choosing).
I’m exploring this in my work right now with usability testing. We have software and services that are pretty robust and have a lot of features, but most of those features never get used. We’re trying to determine which options are the most useful to most of our customers so we can set intelligent defaults. We don’t want people to have to be super-users to get good results from our site, but it can be difficult to find the balance between ease of use and quality of results. This is one of the reasons we do iterative testing. Test, tweak, test again, tweak some more…the hard part is knowing when to stop.
I added some links to my resource page because I read Aaron Schmidt’s post a few weeks ago and got inspired to try some different usability methods. 5-second Tests seem like a great way to test variations of a design. I’ve been looking for quick and easy ways to test small content blocks on our site, and this may be the best option. There’s even a site to help you do it.
The great thing about the fivesecondtest site is that you can participate in tests of other interfaces and you will come away with useful ideas to apply to your own design. NYPL’s Infomaki does the same thing. They’ve created their own usability test site, and I spent a fair amount of time answering questions just to see the types of things that they were asking – it’s sort-of addicting!