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And he asked me to make some short article which.. will explain those
people what are the biggest differences between web usability and
Ok, that is really obvious for web developer.. But I am not great
software developer specialist, so I can tell only from my point of
view, not knowing their field..
Of course, web and desktop software are solving different tasks.
But I am speaking about interfaces and usability - people use both
web and usual software to make some actions, no matter they are
Maybe you can help??
Generally, to start from:
> Resolution - in web you can never rely on some resolution or color
depth, although you can do it in desktop programming
> Hardware - same story.. no chances to demand anything from the user.
Desktop developers always have minimum configuration notice. Below
that the software will not work fast enough or will not work at all
> Navigation - you can never tell how your web visitors will use your
navigation through out the site. They can find the deepest page
through the web engine and then navigate all over the site. In desktop
world, you can control the user's behavior - he will never start
somewhere you do not want him to... all softwares start from some
> Easy to leave - in web, if people can not do something on your site,
they can easily leave to another.. just 1 click. In Desktop, it is
not so easy and most users will try to study this stupid software or
even call the support
>tools in web - of course, web has much less tools in some
fields ( for example, form elements are much more feature-rich in
desktop world ), although others are more advanced . Also, you can
hardly make the 100% correct drop down menu, like it is in usual
> Unified - web usability does not depend on OS and platform. Desktop
usability GREATLY depends on the OS and platform
> Icons - icons are the rule in desktop development.. But much harder situation in web
Ok, can you add/modify something??????
Thanks to all!
Web Site - A web site is a collection of information contained on the Internet for the general public to interact with (this is a basic generalization of information sites. If we start to get into ecommerce, web reporting, and applications they should start to follow a hybrid of both web and software usability.).
Application Software - A desktop application is a program run locally on a client machine that performs tasks for the user.(Again this is a generalization to simplify our discussion).
So why don't we start a list that everyone can add to?
Web Site Usability
1.A web site information should be obvious and easy to get to.
2.A web site's navigation should be clear about where each link will take you at a glance.
4.A web site should load quickly to help users get the information from the site in a timely manner.
5.Users should decide what pages they want to see on a web site and not be hijacked by the browser’s content.
6.Any terms of service, privacy policies, or other important information for the user should be put in a conspicuous place for users to easily find and read.
8.Web sites should work with all common browsers and operating systems. There is a common set of markup that works on all common browsers. It is possible to insure that a sight works and looks properly across platforms and browsers. Making sights that only work in a certain operating system or browser destroys usability for users without your requirements.
9.Any aspect of the site that does not enhance usability or the general focus of the content is extraneous and should be excluded.
Application Software Usability
1.Application software should perform its tasks flawlessly on all systems that are covered by its requirements. Example: Many games change color depth on a computer to 256 colors. An application with 256 colors included in its requirements should not remove subtle colors informs and tables.
2.Users should have at least to ways to perform operations in an application. Use of the file/edit bar and a toolbar (floating and nonfloating). Applications should also allow advanced users to quickly perform its operations. It is also recommended that applications include hot key or keyboard shortcut operations for common tasks. Right click (apple click or secondary clicking) menus are recommended to include operations associated with the element click on.
3.Operation icons should include tool tips (hover information of the operation similar to alt tags attributes for images), a legend, or text labels identifying the action performed by clicking it.
4.All elements should allow operating system preferences to be used. Operating system themes should be able to hook into the application.
5.Software installation should include all necessary information for the program to run.
6.All icons should have a consistent look throughout the application based on the common application visual language. This also includes cursors for drag drop and other mouse events.
7.Applications should include searchable help through the application interface.
8.Any problems that occur within the application should notify the user what happened.
9.Basic operating system commands like cut and paste should be available in the application.
1.All form fields should be validated.
2.Input fields should have sequential and obvious tab order.
3.Niether should inhibit normal operating system functions.
4.Niether should interact with other applications or programs without users consent.
5.Niether should damage the user's machine or other information on their machine.
6.Actions should be clearly labeled and do what they say.
These are just some basic usability guidelines. There are exceptions to each rule, but if followed can give your users a better experience.
>2.A web site's navigation should be clear about where each link will take you at a glance.
Same with desktop programming. Link=menu item.
And I speak more about the difference.
You have posted some good differences!
With Photoshop, I'm willing to put in a few hours on a new version just to try out the new features and get my preferences set up. If I'm shopping for something online, there's no way I'm spending a few hours on your site setting up a user profile and figuring out how your shopping cart works. I'll go elsewhere.
Desktop software is allowed to have a learning curve... websites need to be as close to idiot-proof as possible. No learning curve allowed.