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User Experience Fundamentals for Web Design
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How people read on the web


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User Experience Fundamentals for Web Design

with Chris Nodder

Video: How people read on the web

When people visit your website, they aren't reading much of your content; instead, they are scanning pages to find a mention of the items they are interested in. They are getting a feeling for whether the content on the page will help them find what they are looking for. Using Eye Tracking Technology, we can see where people look on the page. Here's an example heat map produced by noting the places where people's eyes rested. Hotter colors like red and yellow, mean more time spent in those areas. Colder colors like blue and green mean less time. We can see the people's gaze follows a kind of F pattern on the page, moving across the page near the top, and then moving down the left-hand side with movements across the page from time to time.
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  1. 1m 7s
    1. Welcome
      1m 7s
  2. 4m 37s
    1. Building a site for your visitors
      1m 29s
    2. Understanding how people browse the web
      45s
    3. It's all about information
      48s
    4. What causes people to leave sites?
      1m 35s
  3. 3m 50s
    1. Simple design
      1m 9s
    2. Consistent design
      1m 11s
    3. Standard design
      1m 30s
  4. 20m 55s
    1. Elements of navigation
      1m 21s
    2. Content has a structure
      2m 18s
    3. Understanding menus
      3m 19s
    4. Reviewing some menu myths
      2m 4s
    5. Working with site maps
      1m 5s
    6. Adding search to your site
      2m 53s
    7. Understanding links
      3m 43s
    8. Exploring clickable elements
      1m 18s
    9. Understanding Fitts's Law
      2m 54s
  5. 11m 19s
    1. People can begin from any page on your site
      1m 24s
    2. Elements every web page should have
      3m 25s
    3. Creating progressive navigation
      3m 22s
    4. Arranging your content
      3m 8s
  6. 8m 7s
    1. How people read on the web
      2m 31s
    2. Writing for information exchange
      1m 43s
    3. Formatting pages for information exchange
      3m 53s
  7. 7m 21s
    1. Using your homepage as a site summary
      1m 50s
    2. Creating fresh content
      1m 20s
    3. Displaying navigation and search
      1m 25s
    4. The five-second test
      2m 46s
  8. 8m 8s
    1. Showing people what you've got
      3m 50s
    2. Making comparisons easy
      1m 24s
    3. Creating landing pages from ad campaigns
      2m 54s
  9. 11m 22s
    1. The real purpose of detail and product pages
      1m 16s
    2. Writing descriptive text
      2m 4s
    3. Using images to set context
      2m 17s
    4. Showing the price for products
      2m 27s
    5. Have a call to action
      1m 36s
    6. About Us: a special detail page
      1m 42s
  10. 10m 58s
    1. Ask for information in context
      2m 25s
    2. Making forms as painless as possible
      2m 34s
    3. Creating form fields
      3m 37s
    4. Handling errors gracefully
      2m 22s
  11. 9m 9s
    1. Using different types of media
      1m 55s
    2. Simple question: Does it enhance the experience?
      2m 15s
    3. Using graphics for explanation, not decoration
      1m 17s
    4. What is interactive content?
      1m 58s
    5. Laying out your page for media
      1m 44s
  12. 5m 3s
    1. Making money without selling out
      1m 37s
    2. Adding graphical ads
      2m 10s
    3. Creating text ads
      1m 16s
  13. 3m 42s
    1. Simple, consistent, and standard design
      2m 4s
    2. Consider your users and you'll be fine
      1m 38s
  14. 1m 31s
    1. More resources
      1m 31s

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User Experience Fundamentals for Web Design
1h 47m Beginner Dec 20, 2012

Viewers: in countries Watching now:

Discover how to create a user experience that embodies utility, ease of use, and efficiency by identifying what people want from websites, how they search for information, and how to structure your content to take advantage of this. In this course, author Chris Nodder shows how to merge engineering, marketing, graphical and industrial design, and interface design to create a website that meets the needs of your customer, and is simple, elegant, and engaging. The course shows how to use graphics to help rather than hinder visitors, balance advertising and content, and integrate video, audio, and other media. Other tutorials consider the landing page experience and elements like contact forms from the visitor's perspective.

Topics include:
  • Applying simple, consistent, and standard design principles
  • Tailoring your menus, site map, and links for visitors
  • Understanding progressive navigation
  • Formatting page for information exchange
  • Understanding the importance of the homepage
  • Creating compelling category and landing pages
  • Showing the price for products
  • Having a call to action
  • Asking for information on forms
  • Using media to tell your story
  • Earning ad revenue without discrediting your site
Subjects:
Web User Experience
Author:
Chris Nodder

How people read on the web

When people visit your website, they aren't reading much of your content; instead, they are scanning pages to find a mention of the items they are interested in. They are getting a feeling for whether the content on the page will help them find what they are looking for. Using Eye Tracking Technology, we can see where people look on the page. Here's an example heat map produced by noting the places where people's eyes rested. Hotter colors like red and yellow, mean more time spent in those areas. Colder colors like blue and green mean less time. We can see the people's gaze follows a kind of F pattern on the page, moving across the page near the top, and then moving down the left-hand side with movements across the page from time to time.

What this means is that the first paragraphs of the page will get the most attention. Subsequently, it's typically headings and bulleted lists that get red. Also even for things that people read, is the first 11 lessons of each chunk that are the most scanned. This tells us what we need to do to get our point across; we need to put a summary of the page's content in the first paragraph. We need to make sure that page headings convey useful information, both about the content and about the information in the subsequent paragraphs.

We also need to frontload headings and bullet points with the information carrying words. It's only when people get to the information that they think is what they need that they start reading in more detail. Even then, it is quite normal for them to skip whole words. As an example look at the sentence on the screen, count the number of times that the letter F appears in this sentence. I'll give a couple of seconds. How many Fs did you count? Even with the fact that I gave the game away by telling you about skipping whole words, I wonder whether you saw more than three, there are actually six.

But because most people skip the small filler words, like "of" in this instance, they often get missed. There is one exception to the skipping behavior and that's people have lower literacy, either because their reading level isn't very high or because the site's text isn't in their primary language. For those people, the only way to understand the text is to read every word. As you can imagine, this can slow them down considerably. One way that people in this position cope is by skipping whole chunks of text in order to move through pages faster.

The government estimates that around 43% of US adults have basic or lower levels of prose literacy. A lot of those people could be trying to use your site. The best thing you can do to make a good reading experience is to create a most concise and easy to read text that you possibly can.

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