10 Unexpected Online User Behaviors to Look Out For

When designing a website, there are key user behaviours that should be taken into account. But in order to take them into account, it helps to know them. Below are 10 of the more interesting and less well-known user behaviours that regularly occur in user testing:

People have banner blindness

People don’t notice banners. It’s been found in eye tracking studies their gaze literally avoids settling on any area that looks like an advert instead it seems people actively try to avoid looking at them. This effect is called banner blindness.

Banner blindness affects most people, and has a startling side effect. Useful areas of the site that are overly graphically designed (and end up looking like an advert) are ignored by users as though they were adverts.

Photoshop Tutorial: Erasing Unnecessary Content

Here’s a simple way to use Photoshop to erase unnecessary content from your photos and images.

Step 1: Place the img (image) on top of a blank, white layer (comes in handy when erasing content).  Duplicate the img, and add a vector mask to the top-layered img.

step 01

Designing Online Social Networks: Social Group Theory

Online communities (facilitated by Web 2.0) have become very important over the past few years – not only to niche communities, but now to mainstream brands. Social networking is about human connection and links between people. The reasons why people join groups and social networks are typically that groups can:

  • Provide encouragement and support
  • Establish identity with others and fulfil the need to feel included
  • Provide the outlet for some people to establish their need for recognition, social status, control and/or leadership
  • Alternatively, provide the necessary control over aspects of lives for those who don’t want to be leaders (e.g. Weight Watchers)
  • Help establish friends, relationships and the opportunity to interact with others

Historically group membership has served an evolutionary survival function – put simply, there’s safety in numbers

There’s been much research into group psychology but not so much about how this applies to a marketer trying to monetise an online community or introduce one to their brand. Here are some interesting phenomena about groups designed to help a brand owner capitalise on networks and the social phenomena:

Capturing and Editing Screen Shots with the GIMP

For those of you unaware, the GIMP (Gnu Image Manipulation Program) is a free, open-source image manipulation program. It doesn’t quite stand up to Photoshop, but it’s still extremely useful, and you can’t beat the price.

This is intended to be a very quick tutorial explaining how to capture screen shots and then edit them with the GIMP.

Eight Links – April 22

Here are today’s Eight Links — links for web developers:

  1. JsPDF – create PDF files completely using JavaScript
  2. The Database Rant – begins with “It’s time for SQL to die.”
  3. iPhone app sales – a developer explains the income his app has generated and how changing pricing didn’t change sales
  4. Why writing software is like writing
  5. 18 Seriously Helpful Cheat Sheets for Easier Coding
  6. Google Analytics API Launched
  7. Finding and Fixing Memory Leaks in Python
  8. A Design for a Distributed Transaction Layer for Google App Engine

Cross-Browser Semi-Transparent Backgrounds

This is a simple tutorial to explain how to implement semi-transparent backgrounds for your HTML elements in all browsers. By now, most people are probably aware of the fact that you can use 24-bit PNG images to create semi-transparent backgrounds in newer browsers. However, because a large percentage of Internet users have still not adopted Internet Explorer 7; which means that they’re still using IE6, which doesn’t support 24-bit PNG images, we have to find a way to mimic that behavior. It should be noted that the fix described in this tutorial is only applicable to solid color backgrounds; it cannot be applied to backgrounds that include some sort of image.

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