As if you missed me…
I’ve been around, and I can prove it. Bravo to Nick Wilson for his hilarious piece on blog usability called Digital Magpies and Usability Ignorance. It’s a great recap of how to overdo things and thus, make your blog un-userfriendly.
My friends at the usability company,Brook Group, have a new blog called Babbling Brook (Clever name.) Well written articles. I didn’t see a feed for it yet but its worth checking out if you’re interested in web analytics, design, content writing, branding and more.
I’m reading a preview copy of Waiting for Your Cat to Bark?: Persuading Customers When They Ignore Marketing written by Future Now’s, Bryan Eisenberg, Jeffrey Eisenberg and Lisa T. Davis. It’s my excuse to “work” outside by the pool, for which I thank them very much! So far, this paperback is an easy, informative read written in the light, fun, conversational style the Eisenberg’s are known for. Keywords are “persuasion architecture” and “customer centered marketing” - the guts of user centered design.
Yes, I’ve been buried in web sites, reviewing them for their user centeredness. It’s a fun job because I get to play detective. I nearly always like the sites I work on. They often make a good first impression. Where they slip up is in the details, usually in performing tasks. This is when logic falters or, most likely, simply not understanding the people who visit the site.
I had a case for luxury property rentals. It’s the kind of web site where you can go dream a little and easily picture yourself in the hot tub or staring at the sunset from your private deck. It’s the kind of escape that a company might send their executives to, or perhaps someone has presented as a gift and they are paying the expenses. Unfortunately, there is no way on the reservation form for a separate billing account to be entered. The form is designed so that the renter and person who pays the bill are one and the same. Even Amazon knows people send things to other people, and people pay for things for other people. Even funnier is my user persona wanted to surprise his wife. Wouldn’t be much of a surprise if she pays the bills and sees the credit card deposit, would it?
Comments Do Not Make The Blog
It still annoys people that I don’t have comments here in this blog. That is because this blog began when they were considered “web logs” or “online journals” – one way conversations, back in 2002. This was before someone invented comments. Before some people decided that if you don’t have comments, your blog is not a blog. My blog was up before theirs were even born.
Seth Godin tried them (again) and then wrote, Why I don’t have comments
“Instead of writing for everyone, I find myself writing in anticipation of the commenters.”
I steer clear of comments because they would threaten the time I have in an even larger Cre8tive Community that I am associated with.
People Are Talking About
How Tall Are You? Does your height and gender have anything to do with how much you are paid or whether or not you are hired for jobs?
“Contextual Usability”? What is it?
Book: The Persona Lifecycle. Check it out or discuss.
Shari Thurow has written a good article on personas that ties into search engine optimization practices called Persona Development and SEO
And finally, lest you believe for a minute that I purposely ignore everything about search engines, here is one for Google watchers: Is Google Broken.
You can comment there all you want to.
Back to the Missed Me Part
I turned another year younger on May 27. It’s as I explained to my daughter’s 16 year old pack of friends who congregate here after school now that the pool is opened up. I made a vow on my 21st birthday that I would stop there. I would live, of course. Just not get older. They thought that was a very cool idea.
For my day, we drove out to visit my parents in our musty old motor home. They live several hours away and I don’t see them often, so getting to spend my birthday with them was unusual. Being Memorial Day weekend, we all went to a large park in Central PA, and had a picnic in high winds alongside a beautiful lake. Dakota, our golden retriever, thought he’d died and gone to doggy heaven.
My daughter was grumpy and didn’t cheer up until we got all the way back home and her boyfriend came over. At which time she experienced a miraculous recovery.
The birthday excuse to chill was hard to pull out of, especially since it was over the Memorial Day holiday. I never feel as though I can truly take a break or get much needed rest. I think I’ve forgotten how. In any case, the message we got at Cre8asiteforums, in this popular thread, With Apologies to Bragadocchio! is that if you own or volunteer at a popular Internet forums, you had better not take any time off. The thread is about how to keep things alive and kickin’ in forums. When things slow down, the sky is apparently falling. Or, in other words, if you want to know how much you’re needed, disappear for a few days.
I do this a lot at my house, just to make sure everybody still knows how to clean the kitchen and fold their laundry.