Top 10 Application-Design Mistakes(February 21, 2008)
Web-usability guru Jakob Nielsen published in his Blog a great
article about application usability. There he explains the top most
common application design mistakes and gives advices on how to avoid
"Application usability is enhanced when users know how
to operate the UI and it guides them through the workflow. Violating
common guidelines prevents both," says Nielsen.
- solve the wrong problem
- have the wrong features for the right problem
- make the right features too complicated for users to understand.
The advice he gives to these problems is rather than rely on your own best guesses, to base your decisions on user research:
- Conduct field studies and task analysis before deciding what your app should do.
- Paper prototype your initial ideas before doing any detailed design — and definitely before wasting resources implementing something you'd have to change as soon as you get user feedback.
- Design iteratively, conducting many rounds of quick user testing as you refine your features.
- Non-Standard GUI Controls
- No Perceived Affordance
- No Feedback
- Bad Error Massages
- Asking For The Same Info Twice
- No Default Values
- Dumping Users Into The App
- Not Indicating How Info Will Be Used
- System-Centric Features