In testing and putting the finishing touches on a current application, I've been dismayed to discover that my users do not necessarily use my interfaces as I would have believed they do. I'll share these few tidbits that I've learned with the class:
- Do not set a default selection (or at least filter it out in form processing) in a multiselect dropdown list. Users automatically press the control key before clicking selections. They will unknowingly select the default in that group over 60% of the time.
- Some users are unable to watch animations and read text at the same time. - When using animated gif's for whatever reason, do not position text directly above, below or next to that gif if you intend for your users to read that text - especially directions. They may end up emailing you for explanations that are right beside the images. ;-)
- Inline datagrid editing may confuse your users - One of the things I like about the ASP.NET data controls are the ability to edit the contents of a row from right within the row. This seems to have dismayed some of my users as they've asked me where the "edit page" is. I could address this issue with instructional text, but as discussed before in a previous blog, it is unlikely to be read.
- Text at the bottom of the page is never read - this may be an exaggeration but I've noticed any additional instructions or information at the bottom of a page goes completely unnoticed, causing the user to phone me and ask. I think this spot is really only good for a copyright notice and a date.