The 10 most common design mistakes on the Web

  1. Not understanding the nature of the Internet.  Too often, design teams think of the Internet as a pushing media such as television or radio. Users’ behavior on the Internet is different than when they are reading books or newspapers, listening to the radio or watching television. For example, when browsing, users have goals and look for information.  If they don’t find what they are looking for, they will leave the page after 8 to 12 seconds.  Users scan web pages.  They don’t read.  If something looks like an ad, they will rapidly look someplace else.
  2. Continue reading The 10 most common design mistakes on the Web

The Mechanics of Politics in IT: Part 1

Last year, the government of Quebec asked Cognitive Group to do a heuristic evaluation (expert evaluating usability with a list of usability heuristics) and usability testing of their web portal. First, heuristic evaluation is not reliable because:

  1. Continue reading The Mechanics of Politics in IT: Part 1

The Irony of Project Management: the practitioner’s view

I was recently hired by an important financial institution from Canada to help them assess their strategy for a transition to a new a version of their content management software. Content management software is a portion of an imaging system that allows users to scan documents, index an image, retrieve and view image documents. Continue reading The Irony of Project Management: the practitioner’s view

Leading change: the practitioner’s view

A few years ago, I was in a group that got lost during a hiking trip. One member of the group said “I know the way out. We just have to turn right and walk in that direction for 10 minutes; we will see a little farmhouse and the road to civilization”. He was sure of himself. We followed his lead but after 15 minutes of walking, no sign of the little farmhouse. The group began questioning the direction. After a while, it became obvious that we were led in the wrong direction. This leader failed and the magnitude of his failure was greater because of the high degree of confidence he expressed.

Bush Approval Ratings

This graph shows the evolution of George W. Bush’s approval rating over time. His approval rating rose to 68% in March 2003, at Continue reading Leading change: the practitioner’s view

Simplicity: the Jawbone web site

In the: 10 things to do for the success of your web site – the practitioner view, I wrote in 8. Don’t reinvent the wheel: A simple menu and the browser’s back and forward button are Ok for most of the cases. Here is a sublime example of Web site simplicity. Jawbone, designed by FuseProject, one of the most innovative design firm based in SanFrancisco. Users can grab all elements in less than two seconds.

Jawbone

Say a lot with less!

10 things to do for the success of your web site – the practitioner view

1. Know what is important. 1. Bring users to your site, 2. Ensure usefulness and usability, 3. Maximize trust. You will make much more money trying to bring users to your site and ensuring good usability than trying to have beautiful flash and look. Most users care only about finding rapidly what they are looking for and achieving their goals. They don’t care Continue reading 10 things to do for the success of your web site – the practitioner view

On the Size of Font

Just back from SanFrancisco, I was trying to find an address in Montreal.
I had to slow down in order to read the street name. While slowing down, a car almost hit my back bumper! Hope it doesn’t sound familiar but I am sure it happens frequently. Continue reading On the Size of Font

Christine Whitman’s Nuclear Option

This letter was published in Business Week

“Whitman says: “Despite its controversial reputation, nuclear is efficient and reliable.” Yet since 1950 there have been 20 nuclear accidents. One was major (on Mar. 28, 1979, at the Three Mile Island nuclear reactor) and one catastrophic (on Apr. 26, 1986, at the Chernobyl nuclear power plant). How can we say a major nuclear accident will not happen again?

Continue reading Christine Whitman’s Nuclear Option

Human Error Part 2: Management Error

You arrive at home after a long day and you rush to prepare food. You turn-on the burner but oups !, you realize that you activated the wrong burner. You feel frustrated and tell yourself “I should have paid more attention”. If it is a new stove, you might tell to yourself “I should have look at the instructions”. Some might even blame themselves for this error.

Continue reading Human Error Part 2: Management Error