In: General

22 Jan 2006

I started writing this a while back, and I figured I might as well publish it, despite being some what incomplete…

I always find that usability is a difficult topic to cover and as such, there are very limited resources that solely address this issue separate to the notion of accessibility. As the two topics are usually discussed both in context with each other, I have included and brief description of their distinctions.


Usability is a term used to denote the ease with which people can employ a particular tool or other human-made object in order to achieve a particular goal. Usability can also refer to the methods of measuring usability and the study of the principles behind an object’s perceived efficiency or elegance.

Web Accessibility

Web accessibility refers to the practice of making pages on the Internet accessible to all users, especially those with disabilities.

From experience, I have noticed a number of aspects that can aid in usability, although these may seem rather trivial, the number of headaches I have had explaining these to apparently IT literate people is an uphill struggle.

  • Selecting Options from a drop down menu
    • Always predefine a default value, to purge users to select a value.
  • Removing string literals from a text box.
    • This may seem rather silly, however from observation, some people cannot distinguish that removing an string literal they have entered into a text box is removed by holding the backspace and the delete button.

Heres some interesting analysis with labels and form alignment and why you should right align form labels?

Figure5 – Eye Movement in a Left Aligned Form. Triangular Pattern. Figure6 – Eye Movement in a Right Aligned Form.Triangular Pattern.

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About this blog

I have been a developer for roughly 10 years and have worked with an extensive range of technologies. Whilst working for relatively small companies, I have worked with all aspects of the development life cycle, which has given me a broad and in-depth experience.