All Posts Tagged Tag: ‘usability’
Google announced the addition of a new Mobile Usability feature to Webmaster Tools, which shows you issues Google has found with your site. It includes graphs that look at issues over time, so you can see any progress you’ve made. The offering further underscore’s Google’s emphasis on the importance of the mobile experience to webmasters. If your site sucks on …
Veteran web usability consultant Jakob Nielsen recently gave an “At Google” talk about mobile usability and where it’s headed. Google has now made the talk available for all to see. If your’e developing a mobile app or site, you may want to give this guy an hour of your time. He’s one of the biggest names in usability, and has …
It’s become clear that site speed and performance have become increasingly important on the web, particularly with Google. The company has made a plethora of announcements over the past year or two directly related to making the web faster in general. Most recently, for example, Google announced mod_pagespeed, a tool for webmasters to use to automatically optimize their sties. "It’s like Page Speed, but makes the changes automatically," Google told WebProNews.
WebProNews talked to a lot of interesting people at Search Engine Strategies in New York this week, and one theme that ran through more than one of these conversations was the relationship between user attention and usability and how this relates to search marketing.
Note: There is plenty more useful information in the videos embedded in this article than the points I have referenced. I suggest watching the interviews in their entirety for some helpful advice.
We’re well into the holiday season now, in terms of having sites ready for holiday sales. That said, it’s never too late to improve your site. Your sales may depend on it. There are lot of key ingredients that go into the recipe of a successful e-commerce site: marketing, analytics, customer service, prices, competition, and the list goes on. Somewhere in there is design, and more importantly, usability.
The following is based on research, not sexism or prejudice of any kind. Conclusions are by nature overly general, and there are many exceptions to the following “rules” of masculine and feminine behavior. Quite simply, there really are general and stark differences in the behaviors men and women, but this fact should never be used for discrimination or other types of abuse. Also, in the following, jokes and wisecracks abound. The author apologizes in advance if you don’t find him funny and reminds you they’re only jokes.
Gmail has been all about improving usability lately. Most recently they’ve announced a big improvement in this area fixing a problem that has annoyed countless emailers including Googlers themselves.
You know how when you get more than one conversation going based on one message, you don’t always have time to read each new one? It can get pretty confusing when trying to remember which ones still need to be read when you go back to them. If you mark the whole thing as unread, then you have to wade through the ones you’ve already read.
Web Accessibility organization WebAIM has posted results from an interesting survey on the use of screen readers. Webmasters should pay attention to this, as accessibility is an important part of your online presence, but is often ignored or overlooked. Just ask Target, who settled an accessibility lawsuit last year for $6 million.
What captures a user’s attention on their screen can play a large part in whether or not they click through to a search engine result. Naturally, that makes finding out where eyeballs go on a SERP vital to their overall search experience, and hence, vital to Google’s strategy.
Google of course obtains this knowledge through extensive eye tracking research. The company has a post up today revealing some findings from their latest efforts in this area.
The future of search engine optimization is uncertain right now. Google is experimenting with personalization, and the need for quality, engaging, and usable content is becoming more important than ever.
One part of a site’s usability is the ease with which a user can find desired content. A common way to make this easier, is site search, which Google itself happily provides.
I recently posted about ways to get more conversions out of Google Site Search. This was based on tips that Google itself offered for capitalizing on its potential. These tips were:
1. Make your search box easy to find
2. Make sure search is always available
3. Customize the appearance of search to fit your site
5. Be open to feedback
6. Learn what users are looking for
Mozilla has a new project called Test Pilot, which it uses to test usability of its products. It collects data from users on a strictly voluntary basis, and shares that data with the public anonymously so others can use it too. In fact, the testing platform itself will be available to the public as well.
Online video is consuming the web as we know it whether you like it or not. Some prefer text content over video in most cases, and that’s ok too. I don’t think text is going anywhere, but demand for video is on the rise from both consumers, and businesses looking to stay on top of their marketing. Just like not all text is great, not all video is great, but when done well, I think you will find that it offers plenty of reward.
Content and Reputation
Today was "New Feature Tuesday" again for Hulu as part of the site’s Hulu for the Holidays run, an initiative that sees Hulu adding TV shows on Mondays, new features on Tuesdays, and new movies on Wednesdays, Thursdays, and Fridays.
Google has decided to make PDF viewing in Gmail a little more user-friendly. Now when you get sent a PDF attachment with a message, you will see a "view" link, which will simply open the file within your browser rather than make you download the file.
Let’s start with the bad news, and there’s kind of a lot of it, before we move on the good news of how to fix it. About three-quarters of online shoppers are unsatisfied with their online shopping experience. The other quarter are, flatly, satisfied, in that even bad pizza is good pizza kind of way.
Sort of anticlimactic, isn’t it? The good news is there’s a lot of opportunity for satisfying customers, even making them very, very happy.
A site’s flash intro may be appealing the first time you see it. The second, third, and four hundredth times, not so much. So what appears to be a new "skip intro" button from Google is an interesting gift.
What I like about Jakob Nielsen’s posts most is the grumpy-old-man-ness in the underlying tone. It makes me almost think he’s family. But along with the why-doesn’t-anybody-ever-listen-to-me attitude comes some sage-like advice. This time it’s about how bad content trumps other design flaws in terms of what’s bad for business.
But before that, it’s about elevator buttons: