have two Bytes in one today – for web owners and non-web owners:
I haven’t looked at Usability much lately but I had reason to look into it this week. I ran across a study from Jakob Nielsen. He tracked how users look at web sites (http://www.useit.com/alertbox/reading_pattern.html). Nielsen is a well respected web site usability guru. He found that people tend to scan web sites very quickly and generally in an “F pattern” across the site. You can see an image of this pattern on the site listed above. He also found that people tend to gloss over content that looks like an ad – something to remember when posting important info on your site (whether it’s an ad or not). Pictures were a non-issue to some degree although people were more attracted to pictures that featured regular people (not models) looking straight on in the picture. I just thought this was interesting enough to share.
For those without a web site I found a good reason to dip your toe into an RSS Feed:
The US Consumer Product Safety Commission has a web site that tracks recalls on various products. You can search their database by date, product type, company name or product description. Or you can do a keyword search of their press releases. I expected to see an option to receive email updates. They don’t provide updates by email but they do provide an RSS feed. So, if you have an RSS reader you can get automatic updates. Visit the site and check it out. Lots of new browsers embed an RSS readers – so you could simply try clicking on the orange R and see what happens. (Sorry I can’t provide more directions – but with so many different browsers, versions and computers that would be a lot of guess work.)