Ergonomics in Web Page Design
The human perceptive system can only dedicate so much of its resources to a particular task at on instance. In human factors engineering, this is known as "task loading". The object is to keep the audience or end user engaged without overloading, or necessitating special training. The key is to keep the information flow simple and steady, without regressing into "spoon feeding". Therefore, much of ergonomic design focuses on intuitive means to utilize the cognitive phenomenon of "chunking" (this is the actual term). Chunking is our tendency to contextually lump data together into representational chunks. The necessity for an efficacy of information transfer on the human level is illustrated by the incredible information glut that is on the web now (of which this page will add). We need it hard and quick.
Graphical User Interface Tips:
It used to be that a web page was a simple device that some guy posted test answers on or pictures of certain types. However, the internet has caught up with our media savvy society. You can still manage a nifty page without looking like a yutz.
Overview: The presentation should have a certain elegence which is more than simply subjective. The information should be evenly and consistantly distributed over the medium, with discreet and meaningful divisions. Redundancy helps reinforce pertinent information.
Background: The background you choose should be simple and un-muddled so as to not interfere with what you are trying to put across. Colors should be kept to the soft mid-range of the color spectrum, (such as green and yellow), or a neutral (white, grey, or morbid black). Color combinations should tend toward the course instead of the fine so as to not present too many background interference lines to be read as noise.
Text: Should contrast sharply in color to the background for a sharper image. The overlay should be spacious, without cramming the words into tight spaces.
Buttons: The field of buttons are of great concern in ergonomic design. The button should be, once again, simple and with few embellishments, yet convey an intuitive relation with the subject matter; ie. directionals, subject matters, etc.
Images: A picture is worth a thousand words; as a consequence, images tend to be the big thing on the web, and can be quite useful to the transferrence of important data. However, the internet has its own pragmatic limitations just as we humans do. The images should remain simple so as to minimize loading time. Remember, the average time that a seasoned surfer will wait for their steaming hot information is 7 seconds, and then BOOM, its back onto the highway.
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