Katie Sherwin

Katie Sherwin is a Senior User Experience Specialist with Nielsen Norman Group. She specializes in helping organizations utilize principles of user-centered design and strategic communication to achieve their goals. 

Articles and Videos

  • Faculty Pages on University Websites Persuade Prospective Students

    User research with prospective university students, ranging from kids still in high school to Ph.D. level grad students, found that they really want to know about the professors they'll be learning from, so when visiting university websites, these users (and their parents) scrutinized the faculty pages.

  • Remote Card Sorting

    5 steps for conducting a card sorting study remotely, to discover how users group items together. This is useful when designing your IA.

  • 5 Types of E-commerce Shoppers

    Extensive user research with people shopping online identified 5 main types of behavior: product-focused, browsing, researchers, bargain-hunters, and one-time shoppers. Each user type benefits from different UX elements.

  • Mask Interaction Delays with Progress Indicators

    In case of slow response times in a user interface, indicate that the wait time will soon be over by showing an animation. For longer delays use a percent-done indicator.

  • Alternatives to Low-Contrast Text

    If the foreground color (the actual words) is too similar to the background color, legibility suffers, and users can't read your copy. Simple tweaks make websites much easier to read.

  • Search Box vs. Navigation

    Is it enough to have a search feature on a website? Or do users also benefit from a well-designed navigation interface? Depending on the nature of the site, the balance between the two can change.

  • 3rd Pillar of Usability Testing: Skilled Facilitator (video 3 of 3)

    To get useful and valid results from a usability study requires a skilled facilitator who avoids biasing the test while ensuring that the users are comfortable. And who can interpret the participants' actions and statements correctly.

  • 2nd Pillar of Usability Testing: Appropriate Tasks (video 2 of 3)

    To learn something useful from a usability study, you must have the test participants perform tasks that are representative of typical user goals, while avoiding bias caused by giving too detailed directions or hints.

  • 1st Pillar of Usability Testing: Typical Users (video 1 of 3)

    The foundation of valid usability studies is to recruit representative test participants: you should test with users from your target audience.

  • UX Guidelines for Ecommerce Product Pages

    Customers shopping online rely on product pages to decide what to buy. Help them by answering questions, enabling comparison, providing reviews, and facilitating the purchase process.