usability Articles

SES – Usability and SEO
Build a user-friendly site and chances are you’ve also built a search engine friendly site. Learn how good usability can help your human visitors plus bring in the search traffic.

SES: The Usability Of SEO

Good search optimization practices don’t just make a site friendlier to the engines. SES San Jose panelists discussed how good SEO works wonders for human visitors, too.

If It Looks Like An Ad, They’re Not Looking At It

Usability expert Jakob Nielsen dropped a few bombshells in his latest Alert Box usability report. Banner blindness isn’t exactly a new topic – everybody knows by now it exists – but the results of this study suggest that ad network placements aren’t worth a warm pitcher of spit.

Sullivan, Berg, Spar On Sphinn

Just because a website can be optimized and marketed for prime search success doesn’t mean that it should.

SEM Bogus for Sites That Don’t Function
While there are bugs in the Beta version of Sphinn, that doesn’t seem to be stopping search engine marketers from racing over to try Danny Sullivan’s Sphinn.com I visited twice and haven’t joined because I’m disappointed there’s no place for me there.

New Web User Same As The Old Web User
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Humans change slower – much slower – than technology. That’s the guiding conclusion of usability guru Jakob Nielsen, who notes that 80% of Web usability guidelines from the Nineties still hold today.

Hanging with SEOs, Penalized on Digg
It occurred me this week, after seeing my old rant against Digg still pulling in traffic to this blog, that I would be nice and just act normal for once. I’d write a humorous 10 Tips article on usability and see if it inspired any Diggs. Maybe this time I’d have a positive experience because I swear all my friends just rave about the place.

Usability and Mode Errors

What’s a mode error or a modal error? In usability speak, that’s when the user confuses the mode they’re currently in, causing a wrong or ineffective action. For example, when I click on a contact’s note on my Windows Mobile OS (which has a very low overall usability), and I open up the keyboard to enter a note with my stylus pen, I can’t – I’m in read-only mode (indicated by the lack of a blinking text cursor inside the note field). Only after I hit “edit” at the bottom will I switch to edit mode to be able to enter something. I committed a “mode error.

Making The Most Of Your Blog

Blogging has transcended beyond the trendy platform that all the emo kids embraced as the new medium to publicize their fits of melancholy self-talk. Now, the practice has evolved into one of the most powerful vehicles for public information and discussion that the age of modern communication has ever known.

SEM – Beyond the Popularity Contest

In my last article I wrote about how search marketing is currently like a giant popularity contest. This begs the question of what’s going to come next as Google’s and the other engines’ algorithms keep evolving and take into account more and more data. What will this mean for search marketers?

Non-Blog Reasons Why Newspapers are Dying

There’s another flurry of ‘Newspapers Are Dead‘ posts this weekend. Dave Winer seemed to have triggered this by his post on the troubles at the San Francisco Chronicle. Robert Scoble has taken up the theme as he did some months ago. Even the Google Guys and Dave Barry have voiced the same views in the past.

Usability and SEM Virtual Education Opportunities
Learn from your living room or heck, just stay in bed. The following are some educational and information opportunties coming up in the user centered design, human factors and search marketing industries.

Human Factors

Usability & Domain Names

One of the things I like about usability is that it touches upon literally every aspect of a web business–it’s as much a
school of thought as it is a discipline. There are many little offshoots of that fact–tiny parts of your business which are partly

NCAA Tournament Coverage – Poor Usability

Why is it so difficult for me to get coverage of the college basketball tournament while I’m at work?

After navigating the mess at cbs.sportsline.com to try to watch the games over the live internet feed, (they make it almost impossible to find the link for to watch the games live.) I’ve come to find out that the video for whatever reason doesn’t even work on my Linux box, not to mention crashed my browser several times. I’ve also heard a friend say he can’t get the video working on Firefox either for Windows. He had to use Internet Explorer. HELLO? I wasn’t even aware people still used Internet Explorer.

Who Says Usability Isn’t Funny?

Usability and user centered designers, and those passionate about user behavior for everything from Internet applications, to search engines, to products you use everyday, sometimes come across as control freaks, anal retentive, irritating, boring, and demanding.

Usability Makeover – Twiddy

With just a shade under 50 submissions for the first round of the Usability Makeover Series, I had a hard time with the selection process. I ended up selecting Twiddy Outer Banks Rentals because I could tell they had already put a lot of effort into establishing user trust and usability. I think with a few tweaks the site could go from medium usable to extremely usable.

Why Does Marketing Hate Usability?

I hate to admit this because it feels selfish and I don’t want to appear like a usability activist. But. It secretly bothers me when I see conferences or seminars on website marketing that don’t offer a session on user centered design. I always wonder why this is. Is usability that scary?

Newspaper Design And Usability

Usability measures how satisfactory the user will find the experience of using a product or service. It’s as appropriate for newspapers as it is for coffee makers.

Yahoo: Google “Lacking In Usability”
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The head of Yahoo’s real-time communications thinks the low adoption of Google’s products beyond search and Maps is rooted in that company’s engineering culture.

Improve Your Site and Win More Customers

Most often, even successful websites can be improved to increase performance. Let alone their less successful brethren. How do you improve your already functioning website smartly?

Who Needs Website Quality?
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Back in the days, to get into the search engines you only had to submit a site to them and it’d show up in the results (or you could just get listed in the Yahoo directory).

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