Just Call Things What They Really Are - Lessons in Usability
Folks launching new Web initiatives seem to believe that whatever they call a new feature or section on their site, visitors will understand exactly what it is without realizing that they get just one chance before someone clicks away to a site they know better.
Even Google recently changed its “Froogle” price comparison service to “Google Product Search.” On our Web sites, we have changed some of our “Job Connection” job boards to “Job Sites,” while I continue working with editors on the idea that if you have to explain what something is, you should call it something else. Our Web sites have “Communities” and “Industry Centers” that are basically topics that we cover on a regular basis. Should we just call them “Topics?” We’re thinking about it.
This was confirmed after reading Steve Krug’s “Don’t Make Me Think” book, which is full of ideas and tips that can make a quick read something you reference over and over again. Here are a few more suggestions:
• Search is all about getting an answer. Don’t have your users ask “how” they have to search a site, but rather have them ask you to find “what” they are looking for.
• Your home page navigation can be different than the persistent navigation that you use throughout your Web site.
• Taking Krug’s “trunk test” for good site navigation should be something each member of your team is required to do before any site launches.
• Usability testing can be done on the cheap and still be effective.
Do you have any suggestions?