Category Archives: Web Usability

Google’s Mobile-Friendly Update – What it means for Web Designers

Google recently announced that it will soon make big changes to its algorithm that elevates “mobile-friendliness” as a requirement for sites to perform well in its search rankings.

As part of the announcement, starting April 21st, 2015, Google will not only start labeling sites as “mobile-friendly”, but if your site does not the Google standards for this measurement, then you will see a drop in your mobile search engine result rankings. According to Search Engine Watch</a>, 46% of users use mobile exclusively as a primary research tool, so ensuring that your site meets Google’s standards is increasingly important.

Google has provided a simple and fast way to check your site’s mobile-friendliness via the Mobile Friendly Test tool. Simply type your website’s URL into the search bar, give it a few seconds to process, and your results will appear.

If you use the tool and your results show the site is not mobile-friendly, Google tells you exactly what needs to be done to your site to make it mobile-friendly. The Mobile-Friendly Test also provides a preview of any major errors the Googlebot encounters when crawling your website, so this one is probably worth performing just to see how your site measures up.

If your site is not mobile friendly by April 15th, your rankings will fall. Fortunately, there are several options to remedy this problem including making your site responsive or creating a separate mobile site. If you decide to make a separate mobile site vs. a responsive design site, it’s wise to consider running the report to see where you stand in the eyes of Google.

Here are 9 Things You Need to Know About Google’s Mobile-Friendly Update

What do you think about Google’s changes to their search ranking algorithm?

Mandel to present at IUE2014 Conference in Tempe, AZ – June 9-11

June 9-11, 2014 US Airways Corporate Headquarters, Tempe, AZ Spotlighting methods for dramatically improving today’s user experience This year’s conference will be held at the US Airways Corporate Headquarters, which is located in the heart of the Mill Avenue district. IUE 2014, the tenth annual conference brings you top industry speakers, practitioners, and authors toContinue Reading

Simplicity Isn’t Simple

KISS – Keep it Simple, Stupid! This has historically been a top-level goal for user experience professionals . However, as this blog post describes, achieving simplicity is not a simple exercise. There are many aspects to simplicity. It’s not as easy as saying, “If we look at an Apple UI, that’s our model!” Here’s the post: SimplicityContinue Reading

New book – Wicked Problems: Problems Worth Solving

Worth a read! New book available (for free!) – Wicked Problems: Problems Worth Solving Wicked Problems: Problems Worth Solving is presented as a handbook for teaching, learning, and doing meaningful disruptive design work. The book includes an introduction to wicked problems, describing some of the challenges and opportunities of design-led entrepreneurial activities. The text describes the skillsContinue Reading

Finally! Microsoft celebrates IE6 death!

As a user experience designer and prototyper, one of the painful aspects of creating websites is checking browser compatability. With the demise of IE6, there’s one less browser version we have to worry about! Hooray! Check out the article on BBC Technology News!

Phoenix World Usability Day Celebration 2011

“To the heart of design” is a phrase that best describes the largest and most successful World Usability Day (WUD) event produced in Phoenix, Arizona, since its first event in 2007. PayPal hosted and sponsored the event, kicked off with a multimedia presentation of examples from its extensive interaction design team members, numbering 250 strong,Continue Reading

What Facebook Can Learn From Netflix When Disrupting the User Experience

I love it when journalists don’t let big companies get away abusing their customer’s experience. Here’s the latest user experience blooper, pointed out by Scott Davis at Forbes Magazine: Any time you mess with the user experience, you’re going to risk backlash. If change is based on a solid understanding of your customers and theContinue Reading

“In Google we trust” – Students poorly advised?

It has become part of the internet vernacular to “Google” something to find out more about it. Once googled, how reliable are the results listed? Are featured listings more truthful or informative than lower-ranked listings? A new study coming out of Northwestern University, discovered that college students have a decided lack of Web savvy, especiallyContinue Reading

You’re not a user experience designer if…

It is very comforting that the “User Experience” field has become more popular and well-respected over the years. That makes me, as a UX professional, feel good about the work we do. However, as Whitney Hess points out in her blog post, There’s just one problem: not everyone calling themselves a user experience designer isContinue Reading

Healthcare Experience Design Conference – Boston, Mass – April 11, 2011

As a user experience professional designing EMR, EHR and case management software in the healthcare industry, there are few opportunities to educate, learn, network and focus on UX in healthcare. Well, look no longer!! I’m excited to hear about the Healthcare Experience Design Conference in Boston, Mass, on April 11, 2011. Here’s a summary ofContinue Reading

Why are User Experience (UX) and User-Centered Design (UCD) getting a bad rap?

There have been a number of recent articles, blog posts and list comments trashing user experience design (UX) as unneeded, misguided and counter-productive to good product design and development. As a long-time user experience practitioner, I was taken aback by these attack from many sides. However, as my partner at Success PragmatiQ, Larry Marine, and IContinue Reading

Mandel presents to Denver University’s Daniels College of Business on “Golden Rules of Web Design”

  Theo Mandel, Ph.D. gives an invited presentation – “Golden Rules of Web Design” – to a Digital Marketing graduate course at the Daniels College of Business at the University of Denver September 27, 2010 Denver, Colorado

Healthcare IT News: Health 2.0 2010 Developer Challenge

This is a wonderful community effort! The Health 2.0 2010 Developer Challenge was launched on June 2nd, 2010 at the Community Health Data Initiative (CHDI) meeting at the Institute of Medicine (IOM), with support from the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS). Here’s what it’s all about: Health 2.0’s original tag line of ‘user-generatedContinue Reading

Smashing Magazine: 40+ Helpful Resources On User Interface Design Patterns

User interface design patterns are common researched and reusable solutions to frequent user interface problems. There are a number of user interface pattern repositories. This article in Smashing Magazine lists over 40 resources for user interface design patterns. Here’s what they say about it: In this article, we share with you the best of the best,Continue Reading

iPad Usability: First Findings From User Testing – Mixed Results!

Now that the iPad is out and people are using the new apps supposedly designed for the iPad, their usability falls short of the expected Apple usability experience.  Jakob Nielsen, in his Alertbox, May 10 2010, summarized his findings: “iPad apps are inconsistent and have low feature discoverability, with frequent user errors due to accidentalContinue Reading

Reaching Retirees: Web Design for Senior Users

Good article by Design For Use on web design for seniors. Here’s the summary: “With the aging population and increased reliance on internet resources, improving the online experience of senior and retired users can facilitate greater success and knowledge about the web. While the common practices of increased text size, button size, and simplified layoutContinue Reading

Counterpoint to the “Madlibs” Form Style

As I looked closely at the different form styles in the previous blog entry, I noticed there are a number of differences, in addition to the different form layouts. Any or all of these changes could have contributed to the reported test results.  Here’s a well-written counterpoint blog post: Lesson from Madlibs Signup Fad: DoContinue Reading

“Mad Libs” Style Form Increases Conversion 25-40%

UI designers are always looking for new ways to do common tasks better and faster. This new style of filling in forms may prove to be one of those new twists that makes people think, “Why didn’t I think of that?” Luke  Wroblewski writes about some new websites that lay out registration forms in aContinue Reading

Usability Guidelines for Heuristic Evaluation

Very nice overview of heuristic evaluation guidelines for websites. >

Theo Mandel’s “Golden Rules of Web Design” Keynote Presentation – User eXperience Russia, October 2009

Theo Mandel, Ph.D. was invited to give a keynote presentation at the User eXperience Russia conference in Moscow, Russia, on October 26, 2009. Mandel’s keynote, “The (New) Golden Rules of Web Design,” is an new presentation based on a chapter from the well-known book, The Elements of User Interface Design (John Wiley & Sons, 1997).Continue Reading