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Live.com Usability Case Study  (View post)

James Xuan [PersonRank 10]

Wednesday, September 19, 2007
12 years ago6,291 views

Good wrte-up

Personman [PersonRank 8]

12 years ago #

Also, when using the any tab *besides* Video, the video tab has been relegated to the More dropdown. This isn't the case with any other tab.

I also find it kind of annoying that the cursor starts a little ways in to the search box, making it look like you've accidentally typed a space, and perhaps leading to frustration when trying to delete a query – you press delete a bunch of times, check the box, oops I left a space behind, press delete again, nothing happens...

Anyway, quite a good post. On the one hand, I hope Microsoft pays attention and improves, but on the other, I hope they don't and no one uses their services... :)

Satan [PersonRank 6]

12 years ago #

Nice study. You should do one on MySpace.com. ;-)

Mapper [PersonRank 1]

12 years ago #

That would be hilarious! What a farce!

[signature removed]

Freiddie [PersonRank 7]

12 years ago #

Some of them are not particularly serious for the ignorant (namely myself). I wouldn't have noticed those. Some of the usability problems are noticeable and strange (e.g. X in a loading screen), while others I wouldn't have counted as a significant problem (say, the non-3D text box and button 'problem').

DCMonkey [PersonRank 0]

12 years ago #

You should point out #5 to the Google Groups Team. For some reason they shuffle the order of the links in the upper left of the page compared to the other Google search pages

Martin [PersonRank 0]

12 years ago #

As for 10: When clicking on the "MSN" tab opens msn.com, now that would be bad design, as tabs are not buttons. And non of the other tabs does anything like that as well.

Also, when on the video tab you can search for videos and on the image tab you can search for images, then I think it is reasonable that you search MSN in the MSN tab.

Martin Porcheron [PersonRank 10]

12 years ago #

Another point is the inconsistent colour scheme (Green homepage/blue for the rest of the site).

It simply looks like half an update to a useless product. Yet again, Microsoft FAIL.

Nathan Weinberg [PersonRank 8]

12 years ago #

Philipp, Microsoft is halfway through an interface refresh on Live Search. You should have save the usability study until after the process was complete. They changed the front page (which you mostly liked), but are changing the results pages next week at the Searchification event (and most of your problems are problems with inconsistencies between Wave 2 and Wave 3 designs, and with Wave 2 usability problems that won't exist next week).

Hopefully you can update this next week, and we can see how much you liked the new design.

c [PersonRank 1]

12 years ago #

Here's a tip: If staging your UI rollout causes your interface to be inconsistent and confusing, don't do that.

Philipp Lenssen [PersonRank 10]

12 years ago #

Nathan, OK, but 4.5 out of 10 cobblestones were "collected" from the from the apparently new frontpage: low contrast, confusing screenshots with UI, Beta text clutter, [3D border], pimping own product MSN. But let's see what they'll bring soon. Maybe they hired more usability people for the second stage?

Martin Porcheron [PersonRank 10]

12 years ago #

Nathan, Well Microsoft deserve critiism for being stupid and not holding off one week to release a complete product, although I guess, this is Microsoft we are talking about.

If you just go around making loads of incosistancies then between now and the release of the other half, you will have a load of users who will dislike the incosistencies and leave.

Balakumar Muthu [PersonRank 1]

12 years ago #

Wow, Amazing study!!

Duncan Strong [PersonRank 0]

12 years ago #

I can't name a single site UX on the Internet where a list of 10 minor (cobblestone) UI issues couldn't be generated....giving this article, regrettabley, a big "so what" in terms of signifigance....

Martin Porcheron [PersonRank 10]

12 years ago #

But Live is meant to be trying to attract more users and be there homepages. You quickly notice these annoyances if you see it many times in one day.

Philipp Lenssen [PersonRank 10]

12 years ago #

> I can't name a single site UX on the Internet where a
> list of 10 minor (cobblestone) UI issues couldn't
> be generated....

OK, try to find usability 10 cobblestones on Google.com homepage + search please. I'm interested.

Niraj Sanghvi [PersonRank 10]

12 years ago #

I've got a couple that routinely bother me (they span different services though):

The inconsistency of that top toolbar on results pages. It's gotten a lot better, but you still get some instances like the blog search results page where the bar disappears or order of items gets rearranged:
Ex: blogsearch.google.com/blogsear ...

Similarly it's gotten better but the Google logo on the results pages has always had odd effects. Sometimes your query terms could carry across services and sometimes not. It looks like it finally consistently gets carried around when clicking services in the top bar from results pages, but the Google Images results page has a non-Google Images logo that links you back to the Google homepage (rather than image search). The other services all have their own logos and link to their respective service homepages:
Ex: images.google.com/images?hl=en ...

Sanjay [PersonRank 1]

12 years ago #

What about www.tafiti.com? That looks interesting and runs on live.com?

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