Unit 8 Reading Response

This entry discusses chapter 10 “Usability as common courtesy” and chapter 11 “Accessibility, Cascading Style Sheets, and you” of Don’t Make Me Think.

Summary of chapter 10:

You need to be considerate of your customer’s wants, or it may have more negative impact then just them leaving your site that one time.



This image represents the amount of goodwill toward a company, and how it replenishes as your website ignores what they want.  However, the amount a consumer starts with, is entirely up to the individual and their current situation, so you cannot count on a certain amount being available for exhaustion. Good news, is you can refill it by looking out for their best interest.
Things that will lower goodwill:

  • Hiding customer support numbers, shipping rates, and prices (leaving these things out, can usually have the opposite effect you intend.)
  • Punishing the consumer for not entering information correctly (have many format options available for entering things like phone number, CC#, etc.)
  • Asking for more personal info than necessary
  • If your site does not look professional or organized

Things that increase goodwill:

  • Make the main demands of consumers obvious and easy to find.
  • Be upfront about costs, numbers, etc.
  • Save consumer from extra steps (anticipate questions and answer them)
  • Apologize if you have no other way then to inconvenience

Chapter 11 discusses designing for disabilities  and advocates why it is importan to be actively working on it, as well as working to progress the status quo.  Some things are beyond what we can do now, but these five things can be done now:

  1. Fix the usability problems that confuse everyone (thinking universally)
  2. Read an article about blind users and how they use the web
  3. Read a book about accessibility
  4. Start using Cascading Style Sheets (does anyone not use this today??)
  5. Add alt text to every image, make forms work with screen readers, create skip main content link on every page, make all content accessible by keyboard, avoid javascript unless necessary (though I feel this information is outdated perhaps?) and use client-side image maps.

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