Tips

  • User control and freedom: The user should not only know their location within the site, but be able to rapidly navigating to the most important information wherever they are. A consistent set of vital links on each page will provide for this.
  • Consistency and standards: The site should be generally uniform throughout, in order to make navigation intuitive. Furthermore, most control panels and forms have a number of functions in common - cancel, save, etc. These should appear in the same location and with uniform design whatever the form is intended to achieve.
  • Aesthetic and minimalist design: Many content management systems don't promote this, but aesthetics and minimalism are extremely important. Don't clutter the interface with polls and notices on irrelevant issues, stick to what you need people to read. Take Google as a perfect example of combining a minimalist design with an attractive interface.
  • Help users recognize, diagnose, and recover from errors: This includes concealing ugly system errors, which can flood newbie users with so much guilt and worry that they think they've cast the company into the pits of computational oblivion. A polite "sorry" message would be better all round.
  • Help and documentation: Again it's useful if documentation is task oriented, addressing the most common tasks a user will need to perform. Context-sensitive help is also a very good idea, so that clicking a small question mark on a page will tell the user about what they're looking at.
  • Communication: It's a good idea to use the Intranet as a communication tool; apart from anything else it encourages your users to read the site on a regular basis. Employ a private messaging system. This just needs to be a table containing a 'to', 'from' and 'message' column, with an Inbox page to pick up messages where the 'to' column matches the currently logged in user

This page contains information I gathered and thought were very useful. See more notes on programming.

Just to let you know, this page was last updated Thursday, Jan 18 18