usability

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Two Card Sort Opportunities

Those of you interested in learning more about usability (or in seeing some of the TLT Web sites provide content more intuitively) may want to participate in one or both upcoming card sort activities

1) Virtual Card sort for this hub
See information at http://ets.tlt.psu.edu/learningdesign/node/268
This should take you about 15-25 minutes and can be done anytime before April 21, 2008.

2) Card Sort for http://tit.its.psu.edu
This is a full card sort with moderators, and will take about 1 hour. Other sorters will be faculty and ITS staff.

Learning Design Hub Virtual Card Sort Activity

A few weeks ago, we asked you to submit keywords for what the Learning Design Hub should cover, and now we're ready to take the next step - the card sort.

The card sort is an usability design in which you take a list of concepts and sort them into groups. I thought I would keep the asynchronous format and experiment with doing a card sort activity in Excel (the estimate is 15-25 minutes).
If you're interested in participating in this part of the usability study, here's what I would like you to do

Screen Readers Expect Navigation First

A common accessibility suggestion is to place navigation lists after content so that screen readers don't have to "plow" through a list of links before being able to read the content.

But a survey from Australia Source Order, Skip links and Structural labels found that screen reader users expect navigational elements to be read first on a page and are confused when they are not there.

Page Layout Tips

The Best Choice.. according to the experts

  1. Include white space or padding/margin on the left and right sides of a block of text
  2. Increasing space or "leading" between lines can enhance legibility
  3. Long lines of text can decrease legibility
  4. Include "visual organizers" like list bullets, data tables, and bold text. See Writing for the Web for more details

Text Color on the Web

The Best Choice . . . . according to the experts

  1. Specify BOTH text and background colors to maintain consistency across user settings
  2. Maintain sufficient contrast between text and background colors. Watch out for "subtle" tonal contrasts which may not have enough contrast for all users.
  3. Most readers on the Web prefer dark text on light backgrounds (Hill, 2001)

Text Size and Style for Web

The Best Choice.. according to the experts

  1. Avoid specifying a font size for the main text - let the browser handle it.
  2. Use H1,H2,H3 tags for headers and subheaders instead of manually changing font sizes.
  3. AVOID ALL UPPER CASE LETTERS, and use upper and lower case.
  4. Use bold rather than italics text to emphasize information. Italic text is not as legible on a computer monitor

Fonts Faces for the Web

The Best Choice...according to the experts

Recommended fonts include

Text Legibility for the Web

These pages discuss options for designing individual pages including fonts, text size, color, page layout and the use of CSS style sheets.

Planning a Web Site

These pages discuss ideas on how to best plan a Web site.

Planning for Learning: Why Use a Storyboard

The Best Choice...according to the experts

Before placing any content online, it is recommended that you create some sort of "storyboard" or outline of what you want on in an online course or other Web site.

Cave, 2002 – "Story-Boarding is a popular management tool to facilitate the creative-thinking process and can be likened to taking your thoughts and the thoughts of others and spreading them out on a wall as you work on a project or solve a problem."

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