Kathryn Whitenton

Kathryn Whitenton is Nielsen Norman Group's Director of Digital Strategy. She works with clients to evaluate the user experience and information architecture of websites in a variety of industries including technology, telecommunications, and media, as well as corporate intranets. She has conducted usability research, eyetracking user research, and studies of users on mobile devices in the United States, Europe, Asia, and Australia. Her user studies have included general audiences as well as specific consumer types, business segments, children, and seniors.


Articles and Videos

  • Repeated User Actions Are Frustrating

    It's frustrating for users to go back-and-forth and back-and-forth to the same web page, bouncing around without getting what they need. Analytics data can help identify pages that don't help users progress.

  • The Aesthetic Usability Effect and Prioritizing Appearance vs. Functionality

    Users believe that designs that look good also work well, and UX should take advantage of this. But don't make aesthetic usability lead you astray as a designer, because the UI must actually work well for long-term success.

  • Advanced User Testing Methods for Accelerating Innovation

    Two user research methods allow you to quickly test a large number of design alternatives, thus accelerating UX innovation. Rapid iterative design and within-subjects testing of multiple alternate designs aren't for every project, but are great when they do apply.

  • Triangulation: Combine Findings from Multiple User Research Methods

    Improve design decisions by looking at the problem from multiple points of view: combine multiple types of data or data from several UX research methods.

  • Using Fitts's Law to Make Links and Buttons Easier to Click

    Fitts's Law describes how long time it takes to click a target, based on the distance to the target and its size. Use this information to make buttons and links faster to click.

  • Better Charts for Analytics & Quantitative UX Data

    Spreadsheet defaults don't generate the most meaningful visualizations of UX data. Modify charts to enhance Context, Clutter (less of it than spreadsheet software likes!), and Contrast.

  • Four Factors in UX Maturity

    Improving UX maturity requires growth and evolution across 4 high-level factors: strategy, culture, process, and outcomes.

  • Feature Checklists Are Not Enough: How to Avoid Making Bad Software

    A good design relies on a thorough task analysis of the steps required to complete a task, as well as determining what information users need at each step.

  • The 6 Levels of UX Maturity

    Our UX-maturity model has 6 stages that cover processes, design, research, leadership support, and longevity of UX. Use our quiz to get an idea of your organization’s UX maturity.

  • When is It OK to Be Inconsistent in User Interface Design?

    Consistent design enhances learnability and is usually best for usability. But if the problem you're solving is sufficiently different, then inconsistency may be better.