Re: Red Button - O MY! (end of that story - for now) - and NEW question

Subject: Re: Red Button - O MY! (end of that story - for now) - and NEW question
From: Kathleen MacDowell <kathleen -at- writefortheuser -dot- com>
To: dvora -at- tech-challenged -dot- com
Date: Wed, 29 Jul 2009 10:02:44 -0500

Congratulations, Deborah. That's a huge step that will make the
documentation task so much easier.

What did they do about the menu colors?

Re usability question: I recall a discussion of no greater than three levels
at at time in menus. I think that was one of Jakob Nielsen's

I'd think that would also apply to other aspects of any screen or form(?).
So if you're working on a screen, you'd lay things out so people could jump
to the topic or next step.

If you're working on a form, I recommend Jarrett and Gaffney's "Forms that
Work." Very easy to understand, well laid out book for designing/correcting
form designs. I think aspects of it would be applicable to multiple pages
designed for setting up systems, etc., too.


On Tue, Jul 28, 2009 at 2:20 PM, Deborah Hemstreet <
dvora -at- tech-challenged -dot- com> wrote:

> LOL - It's only Tuesday but sure feels like Friday...
> Seems that The Creative Director (TCD) works for a company that has
> received awards in usability.
> TCD advises that there is "some controversy" about the use of red.
> However, in light of the consistent use of red throughout the GUI, and
> that this is clearly part of the company's branding, the use of the red
> buttons is not disturbing, but contributes to the general color scheme.
> I talked with the relative of TCD and told them that, not-withstanding,
> I still have some concerns.
> They advised me, "well, our user-base is only about 100 people, it does
> not seem that this is an issue that poses clear-cut problems. The user
> base is familiar with the company, branding, etc. and this should not be
> a problem. But, if we find time, I'll see if we can try getting the
> button changed to blue, or another color in our branding. Please keep
> bugging me about this... we just have so many other concerns...We have
> not paid attention to usability in the past, and we really are trying to
> improve usability, so please, keep bugging me on these issues. Don't
> give up."
> Conclusion: We may disagree, but they are starting to soften up and
> recognize that the usability info I am offering is valuable. They have
> agreed to pay particular attention to how their users respond to this,
> and will change the buttons if they become a usability issue (via
> support calls/complaints).
> Major success: All text is being passed through me to make consistent
> for capitalization, expression, terminology, and embedded help in the
> GUI is also going to be passed through me!
> And that leads to my next question:
> Are there any usability studies about how users prefer to see data
> displayed on screens? Specifically, if a user has a choice of seeing
> several headings collapsed, all of which can be expanded to enter the
> desired data, as opposed to all headings on a screen open, but
> necessitating a lot of scrolling down... which would the user prefer?
> Thanks again for your input and encouragement!
> Deborah
Kathleen MacDowell
kathleen -at- writefortheuser -dot- com
kathleen -dot- eamd -at- gmail -dot- com

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Red Button - O MY! (end of that story - for now) - and NEW question: From: Deborah Hemstreet

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