Even the best designers produce successful products only if their designs solve the right problems. A wonderful interface to the wrong features will fail.

— Jakob Nielsen

The most jaw-dropping Jakob Nielsen quotes that will add value to your life

To design an easy-to-use interface, pay attention to what users do, not what they say. Self-reported claims are unreliable, as are user speculations about future behavior.


A general principle for all user interface design is to go through all of your design elements and remove them one at a time.


A bad website is like a grumpy salesperson.


Good information architecture makes users less alienated and suppressed by technology. It simultaneously increases human satisfaction and your company's profits. Very few jobs allow you to do both at the same time, so enjoy.


Designers are not users.


Ultimately, users visit your website for its content. Everything else is just the backdrop.


Clear content, simple navigation and answers to customer questions have the biggest impact on business value. Advanced technology matters much less.


...pay attention to what users do, not what they say.


Progressive disclosure defers advanced or rarely used features to a secondary screen, making applications easier to learn and less error-prone.


Inadequate use of usability engineering methods in software development projects have been estimated to cost the US economy about $30 billion per year in lost productivity.


The usability tests we have conducted during the last year have shown an increasing reluctance among users to accept innovations in Web design. The prevailing attitude is to request designs that are similar to everything else people see on the Web.


Minimize the user's memory load by making objects, actions, and options visible.

The user should not have to remember information from one part of the dialogue to another. Instructions for use of the system should be visible or easily retrievable whenever appropriate.


About Jakob Nielsen

Quotes 41 sayings
Profession Usability consultant
Birthday October 5, 1957

On the Internet, it's survival of the easiest.

... Give users a good experience and they're apt to turn into frequent and loyal customers. But ... it's easy to turn to another supplier in the face of even a minor hiccup. Only if a site is extremely easy to use will anybody bother staying around.


Even though it is better if the system can be used without documentation, it may be necessary to provide help and documentation. Any such information should be easy to search, focused on the user's task, list concrete steps to be carried out, and not be too large.


If your users have many questions, it's a failure of your primary site design.

It becomes not so much customer support, as much as customer complaints.


Information Overload = "information pollution"


The system should always keep users informed about what is going on, through appropriate feedback within reasonable time.


Developing fewer features allows you to conserve development resources and spend more time refining those features that users really need. Fewer features mean fewer things to confuse users, less risk of user errors, less description and documentation, and therefore simpler Help content. Removing any one feature automatically increases the usability of the remaining ones.


On the Web, usability is a necessary condition for survival.

If a website is difficult to use, people leave. If the homepage fails to clearly state what a company offers and what users can do on the site, people leave. If users get lost on a website, they leave. If a website's information is hard to read or doesn't answer users' key questions, they leave. Note a pattern here?


In the attention economy, anyone trying to connect with an audience must treat the user's time as the ultimate resource.


The best Web sites are better than Reality.


...the book is a manifesto to make the Web atone for the sins of computers and regain a level of simplicity that can put humanity at peace with its tools once again.


Popularity is the product of two factors: (a) how compelling material you offer, and (b) how easy it is to access it. Host free pirated movies and users will flock to the site, even if it's difficult to use.


Windows '98 is so similar to Windows '95 because Apple hasn't invented anything worth copying since 1995.


The system should speak the users' language, with words, phrases and concepts familiar to the user, rather than system-oriented terms. Follow real-world conventions, making information appear in a natural and logical order.


What we learned is money doesn't grow on trees.


Usability rules the web. Simply stated, if the customer can't find a product, then he or she will not buy it.


At most project meetings, everyone has a seat at the table except the poor victims who will have to operate the technology.


Consistency is one of the most powerful usability principles: when things always behave the same, users don't have to worry about what will happen. Instead, they know what will happen based on earlier experience.


Diversity is power on the Web. Big sites may be bigger, but smaller sites will keep scoring higher for specialized topics, both in terms of their connections with users and in terms of each visit's commercial value.


Three Tips: Simplify, Simplify, Simplify.


Users spend most of their time on other sites.

This means that users prefer your site to work the same way as all the other sites they already know.


On the Web, all advantages are temporary, and you must keep innovating to stay ahead


The more users' expectations prove right, the more they will feel in control of the system and the more they will like it.


The web is the ultimate customer-empowering environment.

He or she who clicks the mouse gets to decide everything. It is so easy to go elsewhere; all the competitors in the world are but a mouseclick away.


Compared to 1999...we cannot quite declare victory, but we can declare progress.


On average, when you ask someone to perform a task on a site, they cannot do it.

It's not their fault; it's the designer's fault.


Throughout this book, we've been evangelizing simplicity, but ironically, the practice of simplicity is not simple. It is easy to build a bulky design by adding layer upon layer of navigation and features; it's much more difficult to create simple, graceful designs. Paring designs to essential elements while maintaining elegance and functionality requires courage and discipline.


Even better than good error messages is a careful design which prevents a problem from occurring in the first place. Either eliminate error-prone conditions or check for them and present users with a confirmation option before they commit to the action.


People have to want to change before there's any chance of helping them do so.

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