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  1. #1
    SitePoint Wizard Ian Glass's Avatar
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    developerWorks: Seven tricks that Web users don't know

    Seven tricks that Web users don't know
    They may seem obvious to you, but less-technical users are frequently stymied by issues like these
    Web developers have all sorts of browsing tricks that they have gained from years of experience, to the point where they can't even imagine not knowing them -- right-clicking to open a new browser window, for instance, or using the arrow keys to navigate a list. To Web veterans, these things are so familiar that they seem obvious. The fact that many people don't know these tricks -- and can get completely stuck as a result -- comes as a shock. This article describes seven Web site features that typical non-technical users aren't familiar with, based on data collected from the author's own usability studies.
    1. Logos that link to the home page
    2. Concepts of security vs. privacy
    3. Rollover menus
    4. Arrow keys and drop-down lists
    5. Navigation by hacking URL
    6. Knowledge of browser controls
    7. Second browser windows
    ~~Ian

  2. #2
    SitePoint Wizard iTec's Avatar
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    an oldun but a goodun.. most of those are commonsence tho.

  3. #3
    SitePoint Wizard creole's Avatar
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    Commonsense to YOU and I but it's NOT to many people. I can tell you for sure that many of the people in my office are technically inept..dumb as a bunch of rocks, when it comes to computer/internet issues.
    Adobe Certified Coldfusion MX 7 Developer
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  4. #4
    gingham dress, army boots... silver trophy redux's Avatar
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    creole, amen to that !
    re·dux (adj.): brought back; returned. used postpositively
    [latin : re-, re- + dux, leader; see duke.]
    WaSP Accessibility Task Force Member
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  5. #5
    Back in Action Winged Spider's Avatar
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    Has a study been done recentely to see how people have changed since the publication of the article?

    I'd love to see how many people use the logo as a Home button, or if they know that TAB switches between form fields.

    Never read this before. Gave me a little insight. Thanks, Ian.


  6. #6
    SitePoint Wizard Ian Glass's Avatar
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    'Welcome. :-)

    I thought it was interesting too how many of them enhance the usability of us peeps, but apparently not for the average Joe (like logo links tabindexes and such). A bit of interesting juxtaposition, really.

    ~~Ian

  7. #7
    SitePoint Enthusiast plattopus's Avatar
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    Very interesting article...

  8. #8
    Back in Action Winged Spider's Avatar
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    I guess that enhancing our own experiences is just another symptom of our disbility when dealing with the web. We just don't see things like the average Joe.

    Whenever I watch somebody surf the web I tend to give out little hints to whoever is surfing in front of me. But I notice that people don't change the way they surf. Even with helpful comments. Now I just sit tight and watch. It's facinating to make my grandmother try and buy products from my website(s). :-)


  9. #9
    SitePoint Wizard Ian Glass's Avatar
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    I know what you mean. I find it sooooo annoying to watch someone double-clicking on links! When I watch my mom surf, she always leaves all the pop-ups open too, so that by the end of it all she's got quite a collection going in the taskbar. (I know I'm a tad elitist ;-)

    The ones that really though get me are the ads that look like warning boxes--my mom'll (in an utter panic I might add) call me in from whatever I'm doing to make sure that our internet is optimized...

    ~~Ian

  10. #10
    Back in Action Winged Spider's Avatar
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    I wonder if I'd be funny to video tape old people surfing the Internet and then turn that into a movie. I bet all of use Web Designers would get a kick out of it.


  11. #11
    SitePoint Zealot
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    No disrespect, but I just had to at this one:

    7. Second browser windows
    I've saved this one for last because it's especially hard to believe -- some people can use Windows applications for years without understanding the concept of task switching. (When I point to the task bar and ask them what it's for, they can't tell me.) Thus, spawning second browser windows can completely throw users off track because it removes the one thing they are sure how to use: the "Back" button.


  12. #12
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    Originally posted by Winged Spider
    I wonder if I'd be funny to video tape old people surfing the Internet and then turn that into a movie. I bet all of use Web Designers would get a kick out of it.
    Oh yeah

    This must be an oldie, but I remember this joke where some pupil complained he/she couldn't click a button because, get this, the mouse cord wasn't long enough...
    Was already at the next desk with it, didn't seem to realize you can actually 'pick up' the mouse...

  13. #13
    webality...dunno what it means bcp_2005's Avatar
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    Originally posted by Guest

    This must be an oldie, but I remember this joke where some pupil complained he/she couldn't click a button because, get this, the mouse cord wasn't long enough...
    Was already at the next desk with it, didn't seem to realize you can actually 'pick up' the mouse...
    LOLOLOL!!! that's a killer! never heard that one bfore!

    yea i can't stand it when ppl double click on the links either. uhhggg.

    but yea those were good Ian...
    [ metabahn ] : changing the course of the web.

  14. #14
    Former Staff Member silver trophy Adam P.'s Avatar
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    Originally posted by Ian Glass
    I know what you mean. I find it sooooo annoying to watch someone double-clicking on links!
    haha, sounds just like my grandma. She always double clicks links and single clicks computer icons - she'll never get it straight!
    SPF Mentor/Advisor 2001-2003
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  15. #15
    SitePoint Wizard Ian Glass's Avatar
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    Originally posted by Winged Spider
    I wonder if I'd be funny to video tape old people surfing the Internet and then turn that into a movie. I bet all of use Web Designers would get a kick out of it.
    Or even better, they might learn a few things... ;-)

    Computers really don't have to be this hard! As anyone who uses a Mac will tell you, "double-click's stupid." I've set Windows up so I don't have to. Well, at least the links still work if you double-click...

    ~~Ian


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