Brain Food for Web Developers


October 30, 2010
by Graham
Comments Off on Aesthetics and Usability

Aesthetics and Usability

If a web page is made more attractive, does that make it easier to use? Usability and aesthetics have been the topic of much discussion with designers. The word ‘aesthetics’ can be defined as the study of beauty and artistic taste. Unlike usability, aesthetic appeal is not something which can be easily measured or quantified as it is largely based on personal preference. Beauty itself is a combination of shape, colour and form and can be interpreted in a variety of ways. People like to see attractive websites because they are visually stimulated by them. What researchers are trying to determine is if visual attractiveness aids the usability of a site or if it acts as a distraction. Continue reading


October 29, 2010
by Graham
Comments Off on Website Navigation

Website Navigation

Web pages are more than just a collection of pages containing useful information and forms for interaction. They are a network of interrelated nodes that have been structured and organised so that users can find what they are looking for. Since the structure of websites varies so much, users are forced to relearn how to navigate around them. Users frequently have trouble deciding which page within a site to visit next. This decision usually involves an understanding of their current location within the site, and for poorly constructed sites this can be difficult to determine. One possible reason for this could be that developers design the navigation system around the assumption that users will first visit the home page when they enter the site. This is not always true, as users may be linked to any page on the site from a bookmark, url or search engine result. Continue reading


June 19, 2010
by Graham
Comments Off on Why is Usability Important?

Why is Usability Important?

Usability plays a significant role in our lives. Everyday tasks such as driving a car, watching TV or filling out a form involves usability in some way. As technology becomes more complex and diverse, there is a greater need to ensure that users are able to operate it. Human computer interaction principles have existed for decades for the design of traditional software applications. However, there are several significant differences between traditional software interfaces and designing for the web. Web designers do not have the luxury of knowing where the user will be when surfing the Internet. They may be sitting at home on a desktop computer, travelling on a train or sitting in an crowded cafe. Find out why website usability is so important. Continue reading