Author: Created: 7/15/2015 10:19 AM
All about content strategy, information architecture, user experience, and generally making the World Wide Web a better place. I'll try to keep it short.
By Administrator Account on 3/20/2014 1:03 PM
In his book Designing for Emotion, Aarron Walter introduces the concept of design personas. Personas are a standard tool used in the web design process. We want to better understand our website's audience, so we create archetypal users who represent a larger group. We give these personas a name, a face, biographical information, interests, and the like. They help guide the design process, because they keep us focused on the fact that there are actual human beings who need to use this website.

But so often we forget to ask the same questions of ourselves. We know who are audience is, but who are we? What is the personality of our website? This is where a design persona is handy.

"Following a structure similar to a user persona, you can flesh out your design's personality by creating a design persona. Personality can manifest itself in an interface through visual design, copy,...
By Administrator Account on 2/27/2014 4:26 PM
I just finished reading Karen McGrane's Content Strategy for Mobile. As is true of everything I have read from A Book Apart, I would highly recommend it to anyone who in any way is involved with making websites.

Just today I received an email from a potential client who identified her two top priorities: making sure content is updated and making sure the site works on mobile devices. What a great place to start, and I applaud her for recognizing these as the foundations. As Karen writes,

"To provide a great experience on mobile––one that delivers the information users want, and can be maintained internally––you need a content strategy for mobile." Below are my tweets as I made my way through the book. I encourage you to pick up or download a copy...
By Administrator Account on 7/17/2013 12:20 PM
"Can you put this PDF on the website?"

Yes. Of course. It takes no more than two minutes to upload the PDF and add a link to it. Request solved.

The client got what she wanted. But did the user? Probably not.

How many times have you gone to a website hoping you could find a PDF to download? Probably very few. So why do we so often subject our visitors to this forced behavior? Think they don't really mind? Wrong. Users hate PDF. That's according to several usability studies by the Nielsen Norman Group:

"It's a pain that I have to download each PDF....I find it to be annoying. It's slow to load. It's hard to search within it. I find HTML easier to deal with." Then why do we continue giving users what they don't want? I suspect the two most common reasons are:

Laziness. See above for how easy it is to put up...
By Administrator Account on 6/20/2013 4:24 PM
We have moved beyond content management to content strategy.

Just throwing up content on your website to overwrite your Lorem Ipsum or Hipster Ipsum text will not satisfy your users, who in all likelihood came to your website with a specific task in mind or question to be answered. You need to think strategically about your content and how your users will move through your site.

But once we have a content strategy, how do we measure its success?

One metric we look at is bounce rate. Bounce rate is defined by Google Analytics as "the percentage of visits that go only one page before exiting a site." Avinash Kaushik has a great way of remembering it:

I came. I puked....
By Administrator Account on 5/14/2013 12:42 PM
How would you feel after a year without the Internet?