Recently, Office Depot redesigned their search user interface, adding attribute-based filtering and creating a more dynamic, interactive user experience. Unfortunately, Office Depot’s interaction design misses some key points, making their new search user interface less usable and, therefore, less effective. That’s the bad news. The good news is that the Office Depot site presents us with an excellent case study for demonstrating some of the important best practices for designing filters for faceted search results, as follows:
Decide on your filter value-selection paradigm—either drill-down or parallel selection.
Provide an obvious and consistent way to undo filter selection.
Always make all filters easily available.
At every step in the search workflow, display only filter values that correspond to the available items, or inventory.
Provide filter values that encompass all items, or the complete inventory.
By following the attribute-based filtering design best practices this article describes, you can ensure your customers can take care of business without having to spend time struggling with your search user interface. Read More
Has your boss or a client ever asked you to review a user interface for a Web or desktop application? Perhaps the request went something like this: Can you just look over these new screens for us? Oh, and can you check the error messages, too? It won’t take long! And, by the way, we ship next month. Whether you are an interaction designer, usability professional, technical communicator, quality assurance engineer, or developer, reviewing a user interface typically means identifying
usability problems related to the layout, logical flow, and structure of the interface and inconsistencies in the design
non-compliance with standards
ambiguous wording in labels, dialog boxes, error messages, and onscreen user assistance
If you’ve ever purchased a home, the most painful part of the experience was probably filling out those seemingly endless forms—that and paying for the home, of course. Why can’t filling out government forms be more like using TurboTax?!
Have you ever wondered what goes on behind the scenes in pulling those government forms together? There is a whole enterprise-software industry focusing on data entry and processing for the forms that the government and banking industry require. That industry is just one of many that need to find a better way to process the multitude of government forms. In this article, let’s take a look at the UX challenges this industry faces—for example, a lack of context, or situational awareness—and discuss the different opportunities organizations have in addressing them. Read More