UIEtips article: 3 Important Usability Challenges for Designing Web Apps

Jared Spool

March 5th, 2008

Web-based applications are different from content-based web sites because the users are involved in a transaction. In our work researching the usability of a content-based site, we focus on how users will find and react to the information. However, with web-based applications, there are many other considerations we account for.

In this week’s article for our email newsletter, UIEtips, I share some of the challenges we’ve seen users encounter in our usability tests of web applications. These are challenges you’ll want to look out for when users interact with your applications. I hope you enjoy it.

You can read my article here.

At UIE, a big part of our research agenda focuses on how to create web applications that delight users. In the upcoming months, we’ll share our tips and techniques in our weekly Usability Tools podcast.

What are some of the challenges you’ve had to address when building web-based applications?

3 Responses to “UIEtips article: 3 Important Usability Challenges for Designing Web Apps”

  1. Sam T. Says:

    We have a commercial web app that generates a document for users. (It’s similar to tax software.) Currently, users pay at the end of the process, after completing the interview and before receiving their document.

    Some people on the development team are interested in trying out a pay-first model, before allowing the user to begin the interview. Naturally, we would provide plenty of information, document samples, and perhaps a demo to provide reassurance before they paid.

    Is there any research on pay upfront/pay-at-the-end for commercial web apps? Does anyone have experience with this?


  2. Daniel Szuc Says:

    Its frustrating when companies use clever names for products or key links in the information architecture. Always nice when companies make an effort to use plain language and not fancy marketing names for products or functionality.

    There are also times when business assumes that customers want to do everything online and this is not the case. User Research upfront is a nice way to uncover what the user is more inclined to do online versus wanting to speak to a person directly.

  3. 10 Blog-Lesetipps der Woche für Shopbetreiber » Tipps, Muster, Checklisten, News, Urteile für Online-Händler » shopbetreiber-blog.de Says:

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