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61

The Death of Meta Keywords

Making a site show up on search engines often becomes a big issue in web development projects. One method which doesn't work is meta keywords. According to Danny Sullivan from Clickz, the only major crawler-based search engine supporting meta keywords is Inktomi – and they are not giving it too much weight. The meta keywords has been shown to be a spam magnet and search engines, such as Excite, Lycos and AltaVista have dropped their support while Google and FAST never added it at all.

So, the only reason left for adding meta keywords is to avoid being spammed by fishy search engine optimizer companies.

Links:

  • The article Death of a Meta Tag

Henrik Olsen - November 18, 2002

Permanent link Comments (0)

See also: Search engines (7) 


 

62

The Search For Seducible Moments

UIE takes a look at how to entice users to explore content they aren't necessarily seeking. They compare how Sears and Dell have tried to solve this common problem through the design of their sites.

"It's rare where we get a situation like we have with these two sites. They are basically the same, offering high-priced products with available financing. In this analysis, we can see how two sites handle seducible moments. Sears struggles to convince users to apply for financing, whereas Dell has an easier time. The difference between the sites is not in the content, but in the design."

Links:

  • The article The Search For Seducible Moments

Henrik Olsen - November 10, 2002

Permanent link Comments (0)

See also: Persuasive design (13) 


 

63

Accessibility and Usability

Anitra Pavka writes a great article that covers the lawsuit over Southwest's website and the "Accountability of Accessibility and Usability." For those who are still wondering why usability is important, you should read this article.

Links:

  • Accountability of Accessibility and Usability

Nick Finck - November 07, 2002

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See also: Cases and Examples (12)  Accessibility (11) 


 

64

Selling and merchandising online

ClickZ columnist Bryan Eisenberg has written a wealth of interesting articles about how to sell and merchandise online. In Beyond Usability he describes what seems to be the guiding principle in his articles about web marketing:

"…usability is not the end; it's simply a big step in the right direction. Usability by itself only reduces your customers' frustration level. That's important, of course, but still a far cry from guiding your customers into doing what they want to do and you want them to do: buying."

His articles covers a wide range of e-business related issues such as sales, marketing, measuring ROI, web analytics, copywriting, usability, and customer psychology.

Links:

  • The article Beyond Usability
  • Bryan Eisenberg's column ROI Marketing at ClickZ
  • Bryan Eisenberg's newsletter archive at grokdotcom

Henrik Olsen - November 01, 2002

Permanent link Comments (0)

See also: E-commerce (21)  Persuasive design (13) 


 

65

User-Centered Design and more acronyms: UCIA and CCD

Two new article are up on Digital Web Magazine about User-Centered Design. Both articles make some good points when it comes to UCD and how the Web industry is handling it.

Links:

  • The myth of User-Centered Information Architecture
  • Client Centered Design

Nick Finck - October 24, 2002

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See also: Information architecture (12) 


 

66

The customer sieve

UIE learned that using a web site is a progressive process, where users are inadvertently filtered out at each stage, as they work to accomplish their goal. The stages act as a sieve. At the e-commerce sites studied, 66% of the purchase-ready shoppers dropped out at various stages in the process because of bad design, inadequate information, or wrong deliveries. By understanding these stages and how they work, we can learn a lot about building better sites.

Links:

  • The article The customer sieve

Henrik Olsen - October 17, 2002

Permanent link Comments (1)

See also: Navigation (46)  Shopping Charts (5)  E-commerce (21)  Research (93) 


 

67

Design for impulse purchases

An experiment with 30 people conducted by UIE showed that the design of a site, rather than product price, is the primary reason why customers make impulse purchases on e-commerce sites. They also found that sites, which urge users toward the category links, are going to make more impulse sales than sites that encourage users to use the search engine. Some hard facts from the study:
- 39% of all the money spent on the e-commerce sites studied was impulse purchases
- Only 8% of the impulse purchases were related to price
- 87% of the dollars spent on impulse purchases resulted from users navigating the site by category links.
- The remaining 13% was spent after navigation via the sites' search engines

The larger amount of impulse buys when the users browsed categories links was caused by the fact, that the users was exposed to more of the site's products - both within and across product categories.

Links:

  • The article What Causes Customers to Buy on Impulse?

Henrik Olsen - October 12, 2002

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See also: Research (93)  Persuasive design (13) 


 

68

The nature of online privacy concerns

Since people have a tendency to produce their own version of companies' motivation for collection data online, it's important to have up-front and straightforward explanations about the things that users are concerned about. A survey by AT&T; has studied the nature of online privacy concerns.

Some interesting findings:
- 11% said that they feel comfortable providing their phone number, while 76% usually feel comfortable providing their email
- 54% were usually comfortable providing their full name
- The top reason for not filling out online forms was that information on how data is going to be used is not provided (96%) - less important was it whether a web site has a private policy (49%) or a privacy seal of approval (39%)
- A number of respondents were skeptic about whether sites actually follow their privacy policies, suggesting that they were unaware that seals can help provide assurance that policies are followed
- 52% were concerned about web cookies

Links:

  • The article Beyond Concern: Understanding Net Users' Attitudes About Online Privacy

Henrik Olsen - September 16, 2002

Permanent link Comments (1)

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


 

69

Emotion and design:

ATTRACTIVE THINGS WORK BETTER by Don Norman provides examples of how emotion impacts on our experience (percieved or otherwise) - but of course this does need to be ballanced with usability ;-)

Links:

  • the article
  • Interview with Don Norman about emotion and affect
  • Time Pressure and Creativity: Why Time is Not on Your Side
  • Article in Interactions Magazine, ix (4), 36-42

ben hyde - August 28, 2002

Permanent link Comments (1)

See also: Visual design (14) 


 

70

IA and usability

Digital Web Magazine interviews Jeffrey Veen and Jesse James Garrett of Adaptive Path

Links:

  • interview

Nick Finck - August 14, 2002

Permanent link Comments (0)

See also: Interviews (10)  Information architecture (12) 


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