The performance rate of modern computes is rapidly increasing. With the same, if not higher, speed increases the degree of complexity of web design. New sites are created within short terms and with limited budgets that is why some websites are often inconvenient in navigation and usage. However, there is a way to make unattractive product become convenient for users and administrators, this is usability evaluation. In the course of usability evaluation the convenience and simplicity of usage is determined. In this paper we will make usability evaluation of the website http://hci. jodaro. com/login/index.php applying such interaction design principles as visibility, feedback, constraints, mapping, and affordance.
The developers of this website seem to stick to the rule keep things simple. The objective of keeping things simple is to efficiently and effectively communicate a message, so that users can perform a task. Though the design of this page is very simple it can be justified by the suggestion that the page is designed for a limited number of people, in this case the participants of the HCI courses. Fewer words and type styles generally provide less visual noise and greater comprehension of that small volume of information available.
It’s obvious that developers’ goal was to communicate ideas and information, not show off features or graphics. These characteristics add to website visibility. As Norman defines, “The correct parts must be visible, and they must convey the correct message. With doors that push, the designer must provide signals that naturally indicate where to push. ” (p. 4). The page under evaluation keeps the right things visible, that makes clear what parts of the site operate and how, how the user is to use that source. Though there is a problem with poorly used colors that make page unattractive.
Feedback principle is neglected at this website. There is no evidence of sending back of information about what has been done. The use of highlight or any sound signals when pressing screen buttons would have made this website more comfortable. The site under evaluation doesn’t contain any constraints, neither physical, logical nor cultural. However, this cannot be considered as design flaw as there is no need to include constrains into the site of this type. The mapping of the site is clear and simple. Functional buttons are located in logical and sequential order that contributes to the site usability.
On the other hand the edit fields for login and password are not of equal size that affects visual perception of the site. In terms of affordances which are “the perceived and actual properties of a thing, primarily those fundamental properties that determine just how the thing could possible be used” (Norman, p. 9) the site is equipped traditional features like scrollbars to afford moving up and down, icons to afford clicking on, hyperlinks to jump to the next page, buttons to process actions, dropdown menus to select items.
To sum up, the website usability complies with the most basic principles of interaction design that means that the content is understandable and the interface meets users’ needs. The site navigation is simple and doesn’t require much time to comprehend. However, there are still some areas that need improvement like visibility, including use of colors, and feedback features.
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