Usability guru Jakob Nielsen published an article yesterday outlining the top 10 mistakes one can make when designing a Web application. Nielsen says:
Usually, applications fail because they (a) solve the wrong problem, (b) have the wrong features for the right problem, or (c) make the right features too complicated for users to understand.
The last one, (c), is most often found on news sites. One culprit (among many) is editors’ desire to spell out as many details as possible to reade…er…users, often resulting in a clunky and convoluted user experience. Folks, a web application is not an A1 news package.
Nielsen covers such usability sins as standard elements (radio buttons, dropdowns) behaving in unexpected ways, small click targets and not having progress bars or other elements to indicate something is going on.
Even if you don’t personally get into the nitty-gritty of designing Web apps, you should take a look at this article. Nielsen’s article will increase your usability IQ and help you provide more insightful feedback on projects that cross your desk.
More from Nielsen here: http://www.useit.com/alertbox/application-mistakes.html