Change vs. Stability in Web Usability Guidelines – Jakob Nielsen’s Alertbox

Summary: A remarkable 80% of findings from the Web usability studies in the 1990s continue to hold today.Jakob Nielsen goes on to write:
As Web usability testing enters its 14th year, it’s worth asking how early results have held up to recent user research.10 years ago, I wrote an article on the changes in Web usability from 1994 to 1997. A few of my original findings were no longer valid a mere 3 years after they were issued. But most of the 1994 guidelines held true in 1997 — and they’re still correct today.Considering how primitive websites were in 1994, it’s striking that most of these initial usability guidelines remain valid for today’s sites. It’s even more impressive when you consider that the Web currently has 120M sites, and my very first study tested only 5 sites with 3 users. This tiny, exploratory study’s outstanding outcome and endurance is testament to the power of qualitative usability methodology.In 1999, I published my book Designing Web Usability: The Practice of Simplicity. I based its guidelines on tests of about 100 websites with 200 users. Over the 5 years between my first test and publishing that first comprehensive book, we learned a lot about Web usability, making it possible to provide sound advice for successful Web design.
http://www.useit.com/alertbox/guidelines-change.htmlJakob Nielsen says: I was right by Jack Schofield
http://blogs.guardian.co.uk/technology/archives/2007/06/15/jakob_nielsen_says_i_was_right.html

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