CS 66-460
Introduction to Graphical Human Machine Interfaces

Web Usability and Web Design


Instructor: G. Bowden Wise
Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute
Spring 1997


Review: What Is Usability?

Usability is concerned with these aspects:

So What is Web Usability?

What makes a web page usable?

Sites vs. Page Usability?

What kinds of things can be done to make a web site more usable?

Web Design
(From Heller, interactions, march 1996)

Web HCI Resources

Jakob Nielsen's Web Site on Usability http://wwww.useit.com
In particular, his Alertbox column.


ACM SIGCHI Web HCI Page http://www.acm.org/sigchi/webhci/
Lots of pointers to other sites, conferencs, books, columns, etc.
Also a mailing list: chi-web@acm.org (listserv@acm.org)

The HCI-Index: http://www.ida.liu.se/ miker/hci/www.html
Jakob's hotlist: http://www.useit.com/hotlist/

Trends in Web Development

Trends in Web Development (continued)

Fundamental Design Concepts

From Nielsen, Interface Design for Sun's WWW Site

Fundamental Design Concepts (continued)

Users do not want to scroll

Users do not want to read

Users do not want to wait for downloads!

General Goals When Writing for the Web

From Alertbox, March 1 and 15, 1997

Top Ten Mistakes in Web Design

From Alertbox, May 1996

  1. Using frames
  2. Gratuitous use of bleeding edge technology
  3. Scrolling text, marquees, and constantly running animations
  4. Complex URLs
  5. Orphan pages
  6. Long scrolling pages
  7. Lack of navigation support
  8. Non-standard link colors
    (standard: links not seen are BLUE; those seen are PURPLE/RED)
  9. Outdated information
  10. Overly long download times

Other Alertbox Titles

You may wish to check out these other titles at


Architecting a Web In a Nutshell
(from The Web Architect)

Tools for Quality Web Architecting
(from The Web Architect)

Building Usable Web Pages:
An HCI Perspesctive
(Tim Comber, AusWeb Conference)


Visual Appearance

Building Usable Web Pages:
An HCI Perspesctive

Visual Appearance (continued)



Web Design Methodology
(John December)

Web Design Methodology

Web Design Methodology

in other words

Web Design Methodology

Principles and goals

Web Design Methodology

Web Design Methodology
(Release and Promotion)

Web Design Methodology
(Ongoing Innovation)

Bowden Wise
Wed Mar 26 12:51:23 EST 1997