What we do? What we expect?

3 10 2007

Let’s talk about “What we do?” first.

Firefox Back Button

Clicking Back Button for “escaping” is one of the common action for many people when they come across boring content. You should not do anything to block this button. However, you can still do something to take advantage of the Back Button suggested by
The Back Button – How people use Web Sites

  • Place your branding up near the back button
    This may draw the customer when they leave.
  • Make items in that area click-able
    If they miss the back button, they might go somewhere else useful on your web site.

Then, What we expect?

My Home

Global “Home Link” is also a vital help tool when they get loss in your web site.
Here is a site about the arrangement of the Homelink:

Besides, here are information of how people expect where the common element (e.g. search engine) is located.

I hope the above information can give you some idea how to convenient the users on web design.


Different People Different Screen Resolution

25 09 2007

screen display

Different people will use different screen resolution, thus the same web page will looks different when coming across different screen resolution.

Web developer need to take this issue into account when building websites.

Fluid design
This enables the web site to use as much as the “space” under the specific screen resolution. No space will be unused.

It can detect screen resolution and redirect the visitor to a page optimized for their particular resolution.

Researching for the visitors is also vital:

Studying web site log files
This provides the web developer s with advanced information on the most popular screen resolution, browsers, browser version and … etc.

Test web site
Practice becomes perfect. Try to test the site under different screen resolution, browsers, versions and operation system combinations.


Information from:

Where did users look?

19 09 2007

To answer “Where did users look”, eyetracking may help.
By introducing eyetracking, heatmap will be generated.

What is eyetracking?
Eye tracking is the process of measuring either the point of gaze (i.e. where we are looking) or the motion of an eye relative to the head.

What is heatmap?
A heatmap represents which content was seen by a group of participants. A heatmap helps to answer the questions “Where did users look?” and “Where didn’t users look?“.

heat map example
an example of a heatmap for a web page

If we have heatmap, we may discover:
What layout element draw the user attention?
Does photo always draw the user attention?

Here is the articles I read about the hints bring by the heatmap:

Besides, web site is for users! Therefore, we should know more about them, especially — User don’t read pages but scan the pages.

The reasons include:

User’s time is valuable
They are interested in the material that is necessary for them, so they choose some but not get all in order to save their time.

User has habit of scanning
When reading newspapers or magazine, they have been scanning and finding the part interesting them. Therefore, users tend to scan the web pages instead of reading page.


Here is more detailed information about eyetracking and heatmap:
Example of eyetracking equipment:

Yahoo Mail Vs. Google Mail

12 09 2007

Yahoo Mail


Here is the article that I read recently:
Yahoo Mail Vs. Google Mail

After reading the above articles, I also try to have an informal comparison based on my experience on these two applications.

First of all, I would like to talk about the difference between interface of Gmail and Yahoo Mail.
1) very simple and neat
2) just a few color used in building the interface
Yahoo Mail:
1) a little bit clustered since there is many icons in the interface
2) the interface is very colorful
Simple is the best and I feel more comfortable while using the Gmail Interface to manage email.

Apart from that, the convenience is my main concern while using the application. Let’s try to have a look about the first screens after successfully login the email account:

(Gmail printscreen)

(Yahoo Mail Printscreen)

After login successfully Gmail account, I can browse the heading of the new mail at once.
However, after login Yahoo mail account, I am forced to see the advertisement that I may not have interest. (In fact, I am interested in reading the new email at once.) Moreover, I need to click 「收件箱」to see what new email I receive. It requires me to take one more action compare with Gmail arrangement. Also, I will think Yahoo must/may care about advertisement more than customer email.

All in all, reading email for me is a necessary task for me every day but not for leisure. Therefore, spending the least time and effectively to do the task is my requirement in using the web mail application. Gmail can meet my requirement.


If you feel interested in comparing the usability of the free webmail, you can browse the following site:
Web 2.0 applications: Google vs. Yahoo vs. the world