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71

W3C rocks the house

Ok, this beats it all. If you are a musician and accessibility consultant this might be an obvious thing to do, otherwise not. Anyway, here's a song about writing accessibility standards for WCAG. To the tune of YMCA. Featuring "Sharky" the ScreenReader rapping. Made me fall of my chair with stomach cramps.

Let's rock the house...

Links:

  • The WCAG Theme Song (lyrics, MP3 and video) Open link in new window

Henrik Olsen - December 11, 2003 - via Maccessibility

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See also: Audio and video (48)  Fun music and videos (13)  Accessibility (13) 


 

72

Balancing visual and structural complexity in interaction design

For people with little experience in interaction design it's tempting to equate visual simplicity with usability. But there is more between heaven and earth than meets the eye. The Q4 issue of GUUUI takes a look at some common pitfalls, where studies have proven that what appears to be simple isn't always what is easy to use.

Links:

Henrik Olsen - September 30, 2003

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See also: Visual design (19)  Web page design (40)  Simplicity vs. capability (7) 


 

73

Product lists' impact on sales

A study conducted by the usability consultancy UIE has show that the design of product lists at e-commerce sites can have great impact on sales.

UIE found that when product lists provided enough information for the test participants to make informed product selections they where five times more likely to add items to their shopping carts, than when they had to click back and forth between product lists and product description pages - a behaviour named pogo-sticking by UIE. Also, the participants who didn't find enough information in the product lists where one-third more likely to quit shopping and had lower opinions of the site.

They study was conducted with 30 people who were given money to spend on products they wanted to buy.

Links:

  • The article Are the Product Lists on Your Site Reducing Sales? (registration required) Open link in new window

Henrik Olsen - September 27, 2003

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See also: E-commerce (27)  Navigation (63)  Research (129) 


 

74

20 Tips to Minimize Shopping Cart Abandonment

Bryan Eisenberg from clickz.com lists 20 different ways to reduce shopping cart abandonment.

Here's a few of his guidelines:
- Include a progress indicator on each checkout page
- Provide a link back to the product
- Add pictures inside the basket
- Provide shipping costs early in the process
- Make editing the shopping cart easy
- Provide meaningful error messages and don't blame the customer
- Make the checkout process easy for new visitors

"Some of these tips will result in dramatic improvements, others may not do much at all. Test each one that's appropriate. Improve conversion rate one step at a time."

Links:

  • Part 1 of 20 Tips to Minimize Shopping Cart Abandonment Open link in new window
  • Part 2 of 20 Tips to Minimize Shopping Cart Abandonment Open link in new window

Henrik Olsen - August 24, 2003

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See also: Shopping Carts (9)  E-commerce (27) 


 

75

Online health searches have become commonplace

According to Pew Internet & American Life Project, the act of looking for health or medical information is one of the most popular activities online, after e-mail and researching commercial products and services. 80% of adult Internet users report that they have searched for at least one of 16 major health topics online.

Some of the more popular health topics are:
- Specific disease or medical problem (63%)
- Certain medical treatment or procedure (47%)
- Diet, nutrition, vitamins, or nutritional supplements (44%)
- Exercise or fitness (36%)
- Prescription or over-the-counter drugs (34%)
- Alternative treatments or medicines (28%)

Some additional findings:
- Women are the primary consumers of online health information
- Internet users find support in online support groups and use e-mail to discuss health issues with family and friends.
- Health seekers want access to more information, but can't always find what is already available online

Links:

  • The report Internet Health Resources Open link in new window

Henrik Olsen - August 06, 2003

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See also: Research (129)  Search engines (7) 


 

76

The myth of 7 +/- 2

Periodically, we hear about the rule of 7 +/- 2 from inexperienced interaction designers: Users can't handle more than 7 bullets on a page, seven items in a form list, or more than seven links in a menu. According to James Kalback, this has no evidence in reality

Links:

  • The Myth of Seven, Plus or Minus 2 Open link in new window

Henrik Olsen - June 23, 2003

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See also: Research (129)  Information architecture (15)  Links (19)  Navigation (63) 


 

77

Using Photographs to Increase Trust in a Website

According to Dr. Bob Bailey, current research and studies show that staff photographs increase peoples trust in a website. But they should be used with care. In a study of online shopping, the photographs had a positive impact on non-experienced shoppers, while some experienced shoppers rejected them as fluff.

Links:

  • The article Using Photographs to Increase Trust in a Website Open link in new window

Henrik Olsen - May 19, 2003

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See also: Research (129)  Credibility, Trust and Privacy (6) 


 

78

Analysing search engine keywords

Wordtracker is a online tool for analysing how often people search for specific keywords at a number of search engines, and how many competing sites use those keywords.

Wordtracker is a commercial tool, but they have a limited free trial version, which will analyse you queries against Altavista only.

Links:

  • The online search engine tool Wordtracker Open link in new window

Henrik Olsen - May 11, 2003

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See also: Tools (106)  Search engines (7) 


 

79

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 Open link in new window

Henrik Olsen - April 29, 2003

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See also: Information architecture (15) 


 

80

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 Open link in new window
  • Poodle Predictor Open link in new window
  • About Poodle Predictor Open link in new window

Henrik Olsen - April 08, 2003

Permanent link Comments (1)

See also: Tools (106)  Search engines (7) 


 

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