User Experience

Don’t Make Me Think – 10 Usability Lessons

Here are 10 usability lessons to help you create better user interfaces and websites.


1. Usability Means

  • It works well without the need of a tutorial
  • A user at an average ability or experience can use it for its intended purpose
  • Users don’t get hopelessly frustrated

2. User Interfaces should explain themselves & be

  • Obvious
  • Self-evident (doesn’t have to be demonstrated or explained)
  • Self-explanatory

3. Don’t Make Me Think

The user interface should remove all the question marks a user has otherwise it can affect how confident the user feels when using your UI. These questions could be…

  • Where is the navigation?
  • How do I find the news section?
  • Where am I?

4. Don’t waste my time

Users are like sharks they tend to keep moving or they die and to keep them moving you should

  • Save users time by designing a clear and easy structure
  • Keep them moving around your website instead of someone else’s (e.g Jump from one article to another)

5. User still cling to their back buttons

The back button is the most-used feature in a web browser and to stop users clicking it you should

  • Give the user the correct content as soon as they land on your site
  • Keep the user browsing your website for longer by using CTA like “you may like”

6. We’re creatures of habit

Once a user finds a website that is useful and easy to use they’ll stick to it until they find something better.

  • Be the leaders and use new technologies, create clutter-free content and make your user interface easy to use

7. No time for small talk

Happy talk is like small talk

  • Remove as much small talk as possible

Happy Talk: The following questionnaire is designed to provide us with information that will help us improve the website and make it more relevant to your needs

Simple Version: Help us improve our website by giving us feedback.

8. Don’t lose search

Some people will always look for a search box as they enter a site. These are the same people who look for the nearest employee as soon as they enter a store.

9. We form mental site-maps

Once we have visited a website we remember where everything is.

  • Don’t change your website layout often
  • Keep the structure similar to other websites

10. Make it easy to go home

Having a home button gives the user reassurance that no matter how lost they may get they can always start over. It’s like pressing a reset button.


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