A List Apart


Topic: Usability

  • Web 3.0

    by Jeffrey Zeldman · Issue 210 ·

    Web 2.0 is a fresh-faced starlet on the intertwingled longtail to the disruptive experience of tomorrow. Web 3.0 thinks you are so 2005.

  • Sensible Forms: A Form Usability Checklist

    by Brian Crescimanno · Issue 209 ·

    Sometimes it's the little things that drive you nuts. As many of us have probably noticed during this season of holiday shopping, usability problems in online forms can be infuriating. Brian Crescimanno helps solve the problem with a checklist of form-usability recommendations.

  • Improving Link Display for Print

    by Aaron Gustafson · Issue 203 ·

    Some time ago, Eric Meyer showed you how to add URIs to the printed version of your pages using print styles. Sometimes, though, too many inline URIs can make pages hard to read. Aaron Gustafson comes to the rescue with a JavaScript add-on that'll have you loving your linkage again.

  • Design Choices Can Cripple a Website

    by Nick Usborne · Issue 207 ·

    Do you test your designs? If not, Nick Usborne wants you to take responsibility for your design choices and the very quantifiable effect they can have on websites that are built for business.

  • Flywheels, Kinetic Energy, and Friction

    by Nick Usborne · Issue 213 ·

    You want your users to do something, buy things, beg you to work for them, learn how they too can achieve inner peace. So how do you get them to do what you want? Try getting out of the way.

  • Ambient Findability: Findability Hacks

    by Peter Morville · Issue 205 ·

    In this excerpt from his new book, Ambient Findability, Peter Morville explains why findability is a required element of good design and engineering--and what that means for you.

  • Reading Design

    by Dean Allen · Issue 128 ·

    With so many specialists working so hard at their craft, why are so many pages so hard to read? Unabashed text enthusiast Dean Allen thinks designers would benefit from approaching their work as being written rather than assembled.

  • Anonymity and Online Community: Identity Matters

    by John M. Grohol · Issue 214 ·

    Most community managers want to offer a comfortable level of anonymity without spending too much time battling hooligans who aren't invested in the community. John Grohol offers advice on striking the right balance.

  • Home Page Goals

    by Derek Powazek · Issue 211 ·

    Home pages may get plenty of design attention, but that doesn't mean they don't need improvement.

  • Thinking Outside the Grid

    by Molly E. Holzschlag · Issue 209 ·

    CSS has broken the manacles that kept us chained to grid-based design...so why do so few sites deviate from the grid? Molly E. Holzschlag can tell us that the answer has something to do with airplanes, urban planning, and British cab drivers.


    by Bill Humphries · Issue 70 ·

    Database-driven content management systems are everywhere. And with them come URLs only a robot could love. Bill Humphries shows how to transform CGI-generated URLs into meaningful user interfaces through the power of URL mapping.

  • Enhance Usability by Highlighting Search Terms

    by Matt Riggott, Brian Suda · Issue 186 ·

    Google’s cache offers users a copy of your website with their search terms highlighted. You can do the same thing and make it easier for users to find what they’re looking for — whether they're coming from an external search engine or your own site search — by making their search terms easy to spot.

  • Complex Dynamic Lists: Your Order Please

    by Christian Heilmann · Issue 200 ·

    Help your site’s visitors reach their goals quickly with a dynamic menu that takes its cue from the Mac OS X Finder.

  • A Backward Compatible Style Switcher

    by Daniel Ludwin · Issue 136 ·

    You asked for it, you’ve got it: an Open Source alternate style sheet switcher that actually works in Netscape 4. No, really. Daniel Ludwin shows how it’s done.

  • Slash Forward (Some URLs are Better Than Others)

    by waferbaby · Issue 138 ·

    Some URLs are better than others: easier for visitors to remember, easier for designers and developers when it comes time to change the technology that drives the site. Waferbaby neatly and briefly considers the effect of web addresses on usability, design, and ease of maintenance and technological transition.

  • Information vs. Experience

    by Emmanuel King Turner · Issue 125 ·

    The conflict between presentation and structure reveals two views of the web. Which one’s winning?

  • Fragments (of Time)

    by Pär Almqvist · Issue 64 ·

    The best web interfaces take time – the one asset that seems to be in perpetually short supply. Leading Scandinavian web developer Pär Almqvist presents a time-based perspective on web interfaces and the network economy.

  • A Failure to Communicate

    by George Olsen · Issue 103 ·

    It’s ironic that, as professionals dedicated to clear communication, information architects and user interface designers are having such trouble communicating with each other. Information designer George Olsen digs up the roots of communication breakdown and explores the three aspects of web design.

  • Beyond Usability and Design: The Narrative Web

    by Mark Bernstein · Issue 106 ·

    Crafting a narrative web: To succeed profoundly, Bernstein says, websites must go beyond usability and design, deeply engaging readers by turning their journeys through the site into rich, memorable, narrative experiences.

  • The Curse of Information Design

    by Scott Jason Cohen · Issue 96 ·

    With the rise of information architecture, user experience consultants, and usability experts, the fate of a website is no longer left to chance, and its design is no longer a function of organic processes. That may be good for business, but is it really good for the web? Scott Cohen has his doubts.