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Research-Based Web Design and Usability Guidelines
Move over Jakob, here comes the National Cancer Intitute.
Bentler




msg:848130
 4:07 pm on Aug 20, 2001 (gmt 0)

A comprehensive reference [usability.gov] for web design & usability.

 

mivox




msg:848131
 4:49 pm on Aug 20, 2001 (gmt 0)

Wow! Very comprehensive page at first glance. And ( ::chuckle:: ) organizing it by topic makes it much easier to find what you're looking for, as compared to Nielsen's site...

But then, the National Cancer Institute probably isn't looking to lure everyone into shelling out $$$ for their important "reports" are they? ;)

Brett_Tabke




msg:848132
 10:38 am on Aug 21, 2001 (gmt 0)

That really is an excellent site (easy to use too boot). Now if we could just get all the .gov's to follow their own guidelines. (they say 50% of the gov sites fall outside of the recommended norms).

Eric_Jarvis




msg:848133
 12:03 pm on Aug 21, 2001 (gmt 0)

very good except that the content has obviously been put together by somebody so entrenched in dead tree design that they simply can't understand that a monitor is not a sheet of paper

all the font size advice assumes point sizes must be specified and they seem to be under the assumption that you have to build a site to specific screen resolutions...which is one of the most ludicrous web design myths of all

everything else I looked through seemed excellent

Eric_Lander




msg:848134
 1:17 pm on Aug 21, 2001 (gmt 0)

Eric, you're very right to point out the approach taken by the site designers, however, there is some very valuable information here. I just hope that it is frequently updated as new user studies are reviewed.

Thanks Bentler for the excellent resource!

Bentler




msg:848135
 1:51 pm on Aug 21, 2001 (gmt 0)

Eric J, I think the referenced study needed to refer to absolute sizes (in a Windows environment) to make sense.

Tullis, T.S., Boynton, J.L. and Hersh, H. (1995), Readability of fonts in the windows environment, Proceedings of CHI'95, 127-128.

I don't think they used points because they were thinking traditional print design-- it's just that they wouldn't be able to do a readability study without controlling size as a repeatable constant.

The problem I have with this section is that the size examples are dependent on display resolution, so they're really not useful.

Eric_Jarvis




msg:848136
 4:01 pm on Aug 21, 2001 (gmt 0)

Bentler, absolutely...but that simply makes it impossible to draw any usability conclusions from the research...they do the same thing again with screen size...since they have stats for screen resolutions they draw conclusions based on those that would only hold true if the vast majority of users kept their browser window at full screen all the time, and if all browsers were permanently set to accept cookies and with javascript enabled

in both cases the studies might be accurate, but the parameters they have set are so far removed from the actual practicalities of the web that they are entirely useless and potentially very misleading

loads of dee-ziners will use this page to back up claims that they MUST design pages that are exactly 800x600 and full of 10pt text

Bentler




msg:848137
 4:12 pm on Aug 21, 2001 (gmt 0)

<<the parameters they...set are so far removed from the actual practicalities of the web that they are entirely useless and potentially very misleading>>

I suppose you're right in that the font size guideline could be pretty misleading. Not quite useless, but difficult to apply at least. What it really seems to be saying is, "don't use a font size that's too small to read" and offers up a reference size that some study found was on the threshold of readability.

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