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User Experience (Usability)

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Apr 21, 2004 9:55 am re: re: re: Familiarity (f)or usability
Mark Wilson
Just a quick point Ashutosh
If I were you, I'd forget about specific browser support and concentrate only on standards support. While there are still some tricks to getting everything to look right in (especially) IE, if your site is designed and coded well, it should degrade well enough to be usable in almost any browser.

This will address Rick's point about browser usage - IE may be the most used, but it's the least standards-compliant of the modern browsers. So code to standards tightly, then use the wll-known work-arounds for fixing any IE-specific problems. One quick tip would be to code to XHTML 1.1 and make sure your doctype is set to strict - this seems to get all the browsers to be at their best-behaved.
Mark

> Ashutosh Bijoor wrote: > Thanks Rick, >Yes, we sure could do with a better reference than the Mac - in fact one of our designers is Mac-fanatic and always pooh-poohs the Windows design. > >Also appreciate your suggestion that we block out usage on non-supported browsers. Will keep in mind your suggested browsers - we hope to increase support to other browsers once we have our main application underway. Presently IE6+ and Mozilla 1.5+ seem to satisfy our present user base. But once we expand to markets where the norms are different, like you said, we will need to broaden the range of browser support. Here's wishing that the inter-browser differences gradually diminish with time. :-) > >Regards >Ashutosh > > >> Rick Kershner wrote: >> Windows was designed to mimic the standard macintosh look and feel while attempting to be a little different to avoid obvious comparisons; look at the macintosh for inspiration.

>> >>Also there have been many reports about users looking for a standard Internet interface (menu on left side, etc.) Using a toolbar at the top is no help, people on th web expect the program controls, which they don't use much, to be there.

>> >>Finally, if you are selling in Europe, make sure it works in Konqueror (linux), and Opera, If you are selling in the US., make sure it works properly for the Macintosh (Safari, IE for the mac, Netscape for the Mac). Realize that there is HTML and Microsoft MSHTML which is somewhat compatible, KHTML on the mac, DHTML which is not always implemented the same, XHTML (sometimes called XML) which is different; PHP, ASP, etc... many ways to do things which are not implemented the same; so if you are selling a product test it and say up front, before the user buys it that it will or won't work on their platform - forbid buying it with the wrong platform (use a pulldown and if choice= incompatible, show Incompatible and lock out the sale.... this will prevent you from so many headaches

>> >> >> >> >>> Ashutosh Bijoor wrote: >>> Hi everyone >>> >>>I would like your opinions on the relationship of familiarity to usability of user interfaces. >>> >>>We are in the process of revamping the interface of our enterprise relationship management suite. We had several different "innovative" design options. However, based on initial responses from users, we find that familiarity seems to play an inordinately high role in determining usability for most users. >>> >>>Based on this observation, and given that all our target users are expected to use the software over extended periods all day, we have decided to adopt an interface that mimics the standard Windows look as closely as possible so as to provide a seamless transition between our application and the usual Office applications that users spent most of their time on. >>> >>>We have ofcourse, attempted to stick to W3C standards and used CSS and DHTML as much as possible while trying to keep compatibility with a fixed number of browser versions (IE6+ and Moz1.5+), thus keeping the interface efficient in performance over slower networks. >>> >>>Initial user reports are encouraging. But before we jump in the deep end, I am hoping to get some feedback / advice from experts on this network about potential pitfalls if any, or validation of our strategy. >>> >>>Thank you in advance >>>Regards >>>Ashutosh

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