Websites have been around long enough that many general solutions to problems are now available in the usability literature. The use of research data, shared by the academic and professional usability communities, provides valuable information to experts who know how to find this research and apply the knowledge.
One of the professionals at nHarmony is a usability expert - he is a professor who has taught usability for over 25 years and contributed to this scientific literature. He is familiar with the the ideas and research presented in sources such as:
nHarmony Usability Guidelines
nHarmony has developed a list of usability guidelines. For example, here are some of our guidelines:
Of course, these are guidelines and sometimes there are good reason to break them! Some of our clients are less concerned about usability because there are other issues that are more important. Following these guidelines will often minimize the frustration that people have with website. However, often this isn't enough and usability testing should be done to find usability problems and explore solutions.
The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 generally require that State and local governments provide individuals with disabilities access to their programs, services, or activities. One way to help meet these requirements is to ensure that government websites have accessible features for people with disabilities. While it is not yet law, many experts believe that in coming years, businesses and other organizations will be required to provide similar website accommodations for those with disabilities.
Many people with disabilities use adaptive technologies to assist them in accessing the Internet. People with visual disabilities may use screen readers – devices that speak the text that would normally appear on a monitor. People having difficulties controlling hand movements can use voice recognition systems to control their computers with verbal commands. New and adaptive technologies are constantly being developed.
To make web pages accessible, the web developer needs to know about web page features that can make a web page less accessible or more accessible. One important resource is the Section 508 Standards:
Usability testing can be especially important to assure that websites follow these standards. We can ask for assistance from students and staff at Ball State University who are associated with the Office for Students with Disabilities.
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