user interface and the customer experience

20060918, 38

One of the many great strengths of a user interface is navigation persistence…which I define as the ability to always find the **whateverbutton** in the same place relative to the pixels of the screen. In MS Word, this means the “Standard” toolbar is (by default) at the top of the interface, and has the same items (File, Edit, View,…et cetera). A user friendly paradigm.

Yahoo! epitomizes…breaking the navigation paradigm, or “not maintaining” the relationship of navigation to the screen pixels. This is evident and has been a source of irritation to me in their web mail for ages and ages…a variety of objects move the navigation around upon the page, and obligate the user to constantly be aware of where it is they are clicking, to avoid clicking on–for example–a product advertisement.

I suppose a business has to decide which is more important:

  • Incremental increases of click-through revenue by “innocent” mis-direction of customer clicks
  • Providing a bullet-proof, stable, reliable interface

We’ll probably see it creeping into Flickr soon as well…

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