Web Usability

Best Resources for Web Usability

“Studies show that for every dollar a company invests to increase usability, it receives $10-$100 in benefits, and wins customer satisfaction and loyalty.” – IBM

What is usability? Why is it important? How to improve it?

Somewhere from 2004-2005, I was asked to develop recruitment website. Since then, I begin to fall in love on web usability. It is interesting. I read many articles about it. I applied what I learnt on this recruitment website and my own personal home page. Until today I am still passionate about it, in fact more lately.

Here, I would like to provide some best resouces you can look for if you are keen about it.

  • – Written by Jakob Nielsen (his credential).
  • – There are eight Ph.D who has contributed to this web usability guidelines. It is a very comprehensive study (292 pdf pages). There are many print screens to help you to understand certain points in this pdf file.
  • – If you are still not enough of it, there are 786 links for you to go there. Some might be a repeat though.
  • Categories
    ASP.NET 1.1 Visual Studio 2003

    Debug vs Release Build

    During implementation stage, what we normally do is we build (or compile) it as usual and then copy and paste the dll file from local to development server for testing.

    And after the testing is succesfully, we moved the dll from development server to staging server for testing again and then to production server.

    Everything seems fine but one thing I didn’t realize (or easily forget to do) is there is a release build. The difference between the two:

  • debug build consists of debugging information in Microsoft format and no optimization, which means the dll file size is larger.
  • release build does not consist debugging information in Microsoft format but got optimization, which means the dll file size is smaller. Thus, better performance.
  • I tried. Using debug build, my dll file size is 48 KB, while using release build it is just 44 KB. Not big difference, but imagine if you have many dlls, it counts a lot.

    In conclusion, we should use debug build during our local development while release build during implementation.

    Information Technology (General)

    Open Window Explorer with a smile

    Do you open Window Explorer a lot in a day? Do you feel a little annoyed each time you open your Window Explorer, seeing the cursor drill deep into some folders, which you hate to be? If yes, you can do something about it today. Say, the you want your default location is C:, just follow these two steps below:

    Right click to select Property of your Window Explorer.

    Change the Target value to %SystemRoot%explorer.exe /n, /e, /select, C:

    That’s it. This gives me some smile. Hope it does the same to you. 🙂

    Web Usability Website Online Tools

    Free Website Performance Tool and Web Page Speed Analysis

    “The homepage is the most important page on most websites, and gets more page views than any other page”Jakob Nielsen

    There are many useful tips to improve your home page (home page is means your first page in your website). For that you can check on

    Here, I would like to focus on just one point, page loading time. Since home page is the first page people normally visit, it is important to make sure your home page load fast. You know, first impression.

    One of the main area which affects the page loading time is your page size. Page size does not just include the size of your html and images, but also your external page, like external style sheet, Javascript and etc.

    The good news is you don’t need to check on your page size manually. There are online tool out there to help you. And this is what I have been using. Second good news, it is free!

    After you have reached that site, just type your domain and click “Submit Query” (below is the print screen)

    Then, it will show you the report of your site, with some recommendation to improve it. Ops .. my personal home page has exceeded the optimum page size a bit. (below is the print screen)

    More Resources

  • Ten ways to speed up the download time of your web pages
  • Categories
    Information Technology (General)

    Four MSN Messenger Tips

    MSN Messenger (MM) is a good thing. So, you took your previous time to download and install it. After you have installed MM, you began to use it. You add your friend’s MM ID in it and you feel excited seeing a little square box moving up and down, showing your friend has online in MM. But as time goes by and when you have more and more contacts, you realize that those “cool” looking stuff now became an annoyance and more a distraction. So, I would like to share four tips on how to minimize the annoyance or distraction cause by MM and how to use MM better.

    First Tips – Turn alerts when contacts come online.
    Get annoyed by with constant box which goes up and down whenever someone signed in? You can turn it off by these steps:

    1. Double Click to open MM.

    2. Click Menu (located at the red color circle)


    3. Click Tools. Click Options


    4. Click Alert and Sounds. Unselect Display alerts when contacts come online”.


    Second Tips – Turn off Window Live Today
    This is another default setting. You might have closed it a million times but never after you follow these steps to turn it off.

    1. Repeat Step 1-3 from First Tips.

    2. Click General.

    3. Unselect Show Window Today after I sign in a Messenger.


    Third Tips – Add nickname to your contacts.
    Get frustrated by all the kinds of funny disguised nicknames your friends chose? This happens normally when your friends add you first. Anyway, actually, you can change those nicknames just for your own use. Your friends won’t know that.

    1. Move your cursor over your friend’s nickname.

    2. Right Click and Click Add a nickname or Edit nickname.


    3. Type your nickname of your friend.

    Fourth Tips – Keep chat history
    Sometimes we have an important chat, says your friends has sent you some important information. Then, suddenly you got a call. After the call, the came back and turn off the chat window. Only then you realize that you have forgotten to jot down those information. Or you hope search back your chat with this person which happen last week. Actually, in MM, there is a feature which can keep chat history. Or in the other hand, if you are too afraid to use MM because you afraid your privacy is gone, you can tell MM not to keep chat history.

    1. Repeat Step 1-3 from First Tips.

    2. Click Messages.

    3. Unselect Automatically keep a history of my conversations.