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41

The power of metadata-based web content

Brett Lider and Anca Mosoiu have written an eye-opening article on the benefits of using metadata to organize web content and separating the content aspect of web sites from the presentation layer.

One of the big advantages of separating content and presentation is that relations between content entities, for example a product and its related services, isn't trapped a in a proprietary system, such as a traditional content management system (CMS). In traditional CMS, relations between content are created by cross-reference hyperlinks. Using metadata to establish such relations, important relations can be preserved and reused in different contexts.

Links:

  • Building a Metadata-Based Website

Henrik Olsen - April 29, 2003

Permanent link Comments (0)

See also: Information architecture (12) 


 

42

Google diagnostics with Poodle Predictor

To quote one of my colleagues: "Usability begins at the search engines."

Richard Bennett and his mates have developed a tool, which will let you see pages as Google does. It gives you a rough idea of how a page's listings will look, which links Google will find, and how efficient the HTML coding is at feeding Google the right keywords.

Links:

  • The article Poodle Predictor - See your site like Google does
  • Poodle Predictor
  • About Poodle Predictor

Henrik Olsen - April 08, 2003

Permanent link Comments (1)

See also: Tools (51)  Search engines (7) 


 

43

Supporting customers' decision-making process

The Q2 2003 issue of GUUUI is about how people buy. Research shows that many commerce sites fail in supporting customers' decision-making process, by not taking their information needs into consideration. The article takes a look at how we can tackle this problem.

Links:

Henrik Olsen - April 01, 2003

Permanent link Comments (2)

See also: Persuasive design (13) 


 

44

Story of an Intranet Redesign

Dr. Keith Robinson has written a story about how he and his team redesigned a hospital Intranet. He takes us through the whole process from the initial considerations to implementation. The nice thing about the story is that it includes all the subtle problems, which are common in web projects, but seldom discussed or theorized about, such as user having adjusted to the existing site, internal politics, time pressure, budget, and having to compromise with technology.

Links:

  • Story of an Intranet Redesign

Henrik Olsen - March 25, 2003

Permanent link Comments (0)

See also: Cases and Examples (12) 


 

45

How experts evaluate web sites' credibility

In parallel with Stanford Persuasive Technology Lab's study of how average people evaluate web sites' credibility, Sliced Bread Design and Comsumer WebWatch conducted a study of how industry experts rate credibility of the very same sites. The results showed that experts were far less concerned about visual appeal and more about the quality of a site's information.

The comparative studies suggest that while people without deep knowledge and personal interest in a site will judge it by its visual design, people involved in a site's professional domain are more concerned about the quality and accuracy of the content.

Links:

Henrik Olsen - March 19, 2003

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See also: Research (93)  Credibility, Trust and Privacy (6)  Expert reviews (6) 


 

46

The Internet has become a mainstream information tool

Pew Internet & American Life Project have done a survey on how Americans engage online with government, health care providers, the news media, and commercial enterprises. The study shows that Americans have high expectation about the information and services available online. For many Internet users, the web is the first place to which they turn, when they need key information.

Some interesting findings:
- 70% of all American internet users said that they mostly find what they want when they look for information online
- 63% say they expect to find information at a store's Web site about a product they may want to purchase
- If a store provides information online, even if it doesn't sell products at its Web site, 46% said this would make them more likely to go to the physical store to buy the product
- 85% of those who have ever bought products online say that they always (29%) or most of the time (56%) are able to find and buy the products they seek

Links:

  • The report Counting on the Internet

Henrik Olsen - March 10, 2003

Permanent link Comments (0)

See also: Research (93)  E-commerce (21) 


 

47

How people evaluate a web site's credibility

Consumer WebWatch has published a research report by B. J. Fogg and the Stanford Persuasive Technology Lab on how people evaluate web sites' credibility. 100 sites in 10 content categories were studied and total of 2,684 people completed the survey.

When asked to comment on site's credibility, the top 10 issues addressed by the survey participants was:

1. Design Look (46.1%)
2. Information Design/Structure (28.5%)
3. Information Focus (25.1%)
4. Company Motive (15.5%)
5. Information Usefulness (14.8%)
6. Information Accuracy (14.3%)
7. Name Recognition and Reputation (14.1%)
8. Advertising (13.8%)
9. Information Bias (11.6%)
10. Writing Tone (9.0%)

Links:

  • The research report How Do People Evaluate a Web Site's Credibility?
  • Discussion on why visual design is so prominent in the study

Henrik Olsen - March 04, 2003

Permanent link Comments (3)

See also: Credibility, Trust and Privacy (6)  Visual design (14)  Research (93) 


 

48

Stanford Guidelines for Web Credibility

Stanford Persuasive Technology Lab has compiled 10 guidelines for building the credibility of a web site.

1. Make it easy to verify the accuracy of the information on your site.
2. Show that there's a real organization behind your site
3. Highlight the expertise in your organization and in the content and services you provide
4. Show that honest and trustworthy people stand behind your site
5. Make it easy to contact you
6. Design your site so it looks professional
7. Make your site easy to use - and useful
8. Update your site's content often
9. Use restraint with any promotional content
10. Avoid errors of all types

On their site you'll find more details and supporting research.

Links:

  • The Stanford Guidelines for Web Credibility

Henrik Olsen - March 02, 2003

Permanent link Comments (0)

See also: Tips and guidelines (65)  Credibility, Trust and Privacy (6) 


 

49

The web has grown into a commercial tool

A study of search behaviour published in march 2002 suggests that the web has evolved from an entertainment into a business and information medium in the period from September 1997 to May 2001. Search topics have shifted from pornography and entertainment to subject related to commerce, travel, employment, or economy (24,7%) and people, places, or things (19,7%).

While search topics have shifted, the study showed little change in user search behaviours. Some key findings:
- Most people submit a single short query (27%)
- Users are viewing fewer search results pages (51% view only one page)
- The use of Boolean operators has increased from 5 to 10 percent

The study included more than one million search queries submitted by more than 200,000 users of the Excite search engine.

Links:

Henrik Olsen - March 02, 2003

Permanent link Comments (0)

See also: Research (93)  Search engines (7) 


 

50

Information Architecture for Dummies

Using a lost-in-the-woods analogue, John S. Rhodes explains information architecture in a very simple and clear manner. Print plenty of copies and use them as handouts at family parties.

Links:

  • The article Information Architecture for the Rest of Us

Henrik Olsen - February 26, 2003

Permanent link Comments (0)

See also: Information architecture (12)  Primers (9) 


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