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Nielson’s Five Design Principles

Jakob Nielson, the guru of web design and usability (literally, the guy practically invented the field), has five design principles that should form the core of any proposed website. He wrote these over a decade ago. However, ask yourself how many websites you know that follow these?
I am guilty myself of avoiding some of these.

-Learnability: How easy is it for users to accomplish basic tasks the first time they encounter the design?

-Efficiency: Once users have learned the design, how quickly can they perform tasks?

-Memorability: When users return to the design after a period of not using it, how easily can they reestablish proficiency?

-Errors: How many errors do users make, how severe are these errors, and how easily can they recover from the errors?

-Satisfaction: How pleasant is it to use the design?

Can you think of five websites off the top of your head that follow more than three of these at any given time?

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About Author

My name is Michael Sean Gallagher. I am a Lecturer in Digital Education at the Centre for Research in Digital Education at the University of Edinburgh. I am Co-Founder and Director of Panoply Digital, a consultancy dedicated to ICT and mobile for development (M4D); we have worked with USAID, GSMA, UN Habitat, Cambridge University and more on education and development projects. I was a researcher on the Near Futures Teaching project, a project that explores how teaching at The University of Edinburgh unfold over the coming decades, as technology, social trends, patterns of mobility, new methods and new media continue to shift what it means to be at university. Previously, I was the Research Associate on the NERC, ESRC, and AHRC Global Challenges Research Fund sponsored GCRF Research for Emergency Aftershock Forecasting (REAR) project. I was an Assistant Professor at Hankuk University of Foreign Studies (한국외국어대학교) in Seoul, Korea. I have also completed a doctorate at University College London (formerly the independent Institute of Education, University of London) on mobile learning in the humanities in Korea.

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