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From Stefano Mazzocchi <stef...@apache.org>
Subject Re: Usability news website
Date Sat, 22 Mar 2003 11:50:58 GMT
Nicola Ken Barozzi wrote:
> 
> I found this really cool site about website usability:
> http://wsupsy.psy.twsu.edu/surl/usabilitynews/51/usability_news.html
> 
> I especially liked:
> 
>  The Impact of Paging vs. Scrolling on Reading Online Text Passages
>  (scrolling wins, we don't need to add paging ;-)
> 
>  Breadcrumb Navigation:  An Exploratory Study of Usage
>  (how it's not really used, but just adds visual context)
> 
>  Cascading versus Indexed Menu Design
>  (how our left menus are not so bad)

When I designed the Forrest skin, I had great help from my former 
girlfriend who was responsible for the usability of the biggest italian 
portal (www.virgilio.it). I also read three different books on usability 
(Nielsen's and another one that I don't recall).

So the above doesn't surprise me, except for paging. Laura and I had 
major discussions over this, but she is an old-time mac user and doesn't 
know the beauty of the mousewheel :)

this is only half-serious: I strongly believe that wheel-crolling is 
potentially much easier to use and gives faster results (so much that 
even if I now own a mac, I carried my good old optical wheel mouse over 
with me, but it strongly depends on the audience.

                                     - o -

This said, I think there are a few issues with the current forrest skin 
that I would like to see addressed:

for a reference look at the original design here:

http://www.betaversion.org/~stefano/software/forrest/1.3/page.gif

1) the light-blue used-to-be-for-pagination bar is occupying too much 
important space if we don't have pagination, we should think about 
removing it or, at least, reducing its size.

2) the tab above do not have the single black pixel below. this is 
visually misleading.

3) the leftbar should not open all levels, but only first two and the 
one that ones at the level that is currently visible.

4) the use of the triangles indicates a visual semantics of opening the 
tree (as used in macosx, for example).

Moreover, and even more important:

  THE TABS SHOULD NEVER OVERLAP IN NAVIGATION!!!

currently, the forrest web site is very poor in respect to this. tabs 
should be indicating completely orthogonal concerns and thus site areas.

Thoughts?

Stefano.


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