Top Usability Mistakes of Wangjianshuo’s Blog

Since I have plenty of time, I reviewed Jakob Neilson’s Top Ten Web-Design Mistake of 2002. I am very interested in usability and even delivered training and speech on usability in some events. I had paid a lot of attention in usability of tihs site, but still find 6 mistakes in my current design. Read the article – the cartoon pictures are so cute!

PROBLEM: Horizontal Scrolling.

Yeah. I made this mistake. Even on 1024×768 resolution screen, there is still a little horizontal scrolling bar. It will be worse on 800×600 screen. It is because of some long titles. According to usability guidelines, the “Also on this site” section (with a lot of photo icons) are not effective as “Related Entries” section, since the later offers more content related links, instead of links in each category. I finally decided to remove this section from the individual article pages. So say good by to this section and the annoying horizontal scrolling bar.

To continue to remove the horizontal scrolling bar, I have deleted two cells from the search bar.

In addition, I added the category page to the end of the “Related Entry Section” as the following bullitins:

  • Read other 23 articles in SARS category, or
  • Return to the homepage of Wnangjianshuo’s blog

This is the sample to provide the user the information they need at the right time. It makes sense to tell the reader to look at the home page or other similiar pages after they have completed reading the page.

WELL DONE: JavaScript in Links

I didn’t use any JavaScript in links in this site. I seldom use “TARGET=_BLANK”. So most of the links will load the content in the current window. Press Shift key when clicking the link will load the target page in new browser.

NO RATE: No Prices

I didn’t make this mistake since I don’t sell anything on this site. Everything is free so I don’t need to put a sticker to every article to say: “Hey, the price for reading this is $0!”. However, inspired by the idea of selling T-Shirt on BigWhiteGuy.com, I may try to put some printed pictures online – with price about $12 – $15. How do you think about it? It is sure that no people will buy, just for fun!

WELL DONE: Inflexible Search Engines

I used to use master.com’s search engine – it is a great service with very quick update (interval of 72 hours by default). It even the “Look and Feel” customization. Very cool!

However, I finally decided to switch to Google Free Search. Although the search interval is about 1 month and there is no template based customization, it offers flexibility of typo correction (try search for goverment? It will offer the corrected search term government) and the order are prioritized by Google’s magic algrithm. So, nothing will change.

7 thoughts on “Top Usability Mistakes of Wangjianshuo’s Blog

  1. Well. Your feedback on the T-shirt selling idea is very encouraging. Let me have a try and put some Shanghai pictures on it. It should be very interesting.

    Yes. Please do a critique on your site. I am interested to read.

  2. Actually, I was hoping that you would critique my site. You did such a good job on your own site, and other people’s eyes see problem’s better than the owner’s eyes.

    Thanks,

    Tim

  3. Oh, Tim. I misunderstood your meaning – actually I was not very sure about the term critique – I did looked it up in a dictionary and thought you want to use the guidelines to critique your own site – it is definitely OK since the guidelins were created by Jakob Neilson.

    Now I understand that you want me to review the usability of your site. I love to do that. I want to create a report about the usaibility on your site and post it as an blog entry – I hope it will help others.

    (BTW, I am still improving my English. During SARS, at least I have learnt two words: quarantine and respiration. :-)

  4. Yes. The new Top Ten Design is a wonderful report. After I checking my own site, I still voilate the first rule 1. Unclear Statement of Purpose. For other, I think I either did well, like 2. New URLs for Archived Content or 3. Undated Content, or N/A for my site, like 7. Long Lists that Can’t Be Winnowed by Attributes and 8. Products Sorted Only by Brand

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