Author Archives: Todd

World’s Shortest Usability Test

User Interface Engineering recently “reprinted” a two year old article about their 5-second usability testing method. Don’t feel like reading, here’s a “podcast” on the topic with Christine Perfetti and Jared Spool.

The technique is similar to a traditional usability test, with some notable protocol tweaks.

First, participants are given a focused task.

Next, they’re warned that they’ll see a page for 5 seconds and asked to try to remember everything they see. They’re then shown the page.

Having seen the page, they’re asked them to write down everything they remember about the page.

Finally, the participant is asked to write answers to a few questions about what they saw. For example, “What is the most important information on this page?” and “What could you do on this page?”

At this point, the results are analyzed to see whether the content on the page is clear and concise. If so, users will easily recall the critical information and accurately identify the main purpose.

Per the article, a 5 second usability test provides a “valuable glimpse into what happens during the first moments a user sees a page.” At the same time, the author caveats that the technique isn’t appropriate for pages that serve multiple purposes, such as a home page.

If you try out this technique on your pages, drop a comment below. I’ll be sure to do the same.


Want to Save Some Time?

Here’s a neat little microsite from Sprint that ties into their SprintSpeed campaign:

It features videos of interesting, fun, sometimes practical, ways to save time in your daily life — like tying your shoes in 1 second or chilling a canned beverage in just a few minutes.

I wish they’d make the videos more sharable, perhaps with deep links to each video or at least a tell a friend. And the whole thing is basically trapped in a Flash shell so it’s not really getting as much SEO value as possible.

Either way, it totally reminded me of this great way to fold a shirt…

How do you save time?


Don’t Click Anywhere:

Screen capture of dontclick.itWhile we’re on the topic of not clicking, figured I’d make a post about this thought provoking little site… It’s an entire site navigable via a wide range of novel, non-clickable interface elements.

The site’s pacing is superb, with perfect delay times and progressive disclosure helping guide you through intriguing self-referential content about the site and the history of clicking.

Live user-generated content and site usage data are seamlessly blended with static content throughout.

And don’t miss the inspirational “explore” section with its various experimental interface solutions for submitting buttons and exploring content. There’s even a training camp where you can learn to be a better mouse user.

So, did you miss the click?


Don’t Click Here: Wendy’s Non-clickable Chicken Banner

In Just a Chicken Sandwich, a recently published post by Ari Rosenberg for The Online Publishing Insider, the author touts “an online advertising breakthrough.”

What’s this breakthrough, you wonder? It’s a non-clickable banner ad.

The ad, for Wendy’s new spicy chicken sandwich, features an image of the sandwich and reads “There is no web site for it. It’s tender and spicy and you just go eat it.” They just hope you’ll notice it, be hungry, and head on over to Wendy’s.

Well I’m not so sure this a breakthrough, but it’s certainly abnormal (i.e. uncommon). I sure wish I could sell my clients on that. It’s almost all media buy. No clickthrough metrics, no landing page optimization, no ROI to track. Sounds like a dream.

Rosen praises Wendy’s for deciding “not to ask for any more of its consumer’s time,” declaring it “strikingly refreshing.”

Wendy’s also decided not to further engage or entertain consumers, coupon them, get their permission to tell them about the next new sandwich, ask them to tell their chicken sandwich loving friends about the new product, close the loop on ROI (e.g. with the afore mentioned coupon), and so on.

What do you think? Is it a breakthrough? Is it even a good idea? Sound off below.


P.S. Perhaps more interesting than the non-clickable banner (though certainly not abnormal) is that Wendy’s is totally out of the conversation: