Do you ever have the experience of going somewhere for over four days and when you return, not all of you is “back home” yet? I don’t get this way from family vacations. It’s noticable whenever I attend a conference or seminar in which I meet a lot of new people and the sights are completely different from what I’m used to seeing.

Today I feel mostly here now, although most of my work activity this week can be directly traced to last week’s trip to Chicago SES. There were a few people that I met for the first time who left a huge, positive impression on me, and many folks whom I’ve known for years that I was able to reconnect with in a pleasant, “Now, where did we leave off?” kind of way.

My visit to Chicago seemed to remind some search engine marketers of the added bonus of adding a usability person to their services. There’s varying levels of understanding on what user centered design is and definitely continued mysteries about human behavior and how it relates to web pages and search engines. There’s also outdated information circulating. That seems to be a theme this week, no matter where I go.

Sooo, here’s a bit of a running around the room type of post of things that entered Kim’s world this week.

Rand Fishkin must be tuned into the same universe I’ve been in this week. He muses in his blog on the abundance of inaccurate or mis-leading search engine optimization and marketing information by reputable resources.

I’m very interested in the evolution of online application design, both the back-end and front-end. I will read anything written by Larry Constantine. I wished this piece had more meat, but Designing Web Applications for Use is one of those juicy “yes!” pieces I like to find. He puts into words what I’ve sensed but haven’t articulated well to anyone, including my own head.

“What should be the real focus of your design efforts?

The all-too-easy, politically correct, user-centered answer is that the whole of the user experience needs to be addressed, that the target audience must be understood in all its human richness, and that every aspect of the experience needs to be designed. But a growing number of forward thinkers in the field are recognizing that too much attention on users as people can lead designers to miss the main point, which is not the users themselves, but what they are doing and trying to do in the context of the larger activities in which they are involved. Designing for use rather than for users is a way to focus design more sharply.”

I tend to view everything from a task perspective and a conversions outcome one. That’s just a whisper of what can be done to help designers build better applications. If you’ve ever sat in a project team discussion with various players from different disciplines and duties to the company, you will be familiar with statements such as “We don’t want to make drastic changes they need to re-learn“, “You’re making it too complicated,” or “This client wants it this way and that client wants this part to do such and such” for the same application.

Constantine talks about the various issues facing application development today and offers some brief insights into how to tackle some of the concerns.

Other Stuff

The winner of HatBait is Karl Ribas. I predict that Liana and Chris will work things out, and they will be the bigger winners in the long run.

Now that we know I am not SEOFanGirl, I’ve been invited to guest blog there, under an alias if I want. I was thinking of using “sex goddess”. Do you think everyone will know who that is?

If you wonder still who the women in technology are, Liana Evans was inspired to begin a series of interviews with them. The first one is Women of Internet Marketing Wednesday.The first installment features yours truly and Rebecca Kelley.

It’s slow going so far, but the guys have one of their own fan blog too, called Women of SEO. It could use a little more testosterone, boys.

Hot topic. Search pages and user behavior. Addressed in Marissa Mayer of Google: Speed Good, AJAX Not So Good

“Mayer shared some very fascinating findings regarding the usability and user experience design of Google’s search results pages. In short, the study found that users preferred speedy page loads to a greater number of results per page and to ‘highly interactive ajax features’. Although users reported that they preferred more results per page, their expressed desires diverged from their actual interactions. Google’s analysts found that search results pages with 30 results per page rather than the standard 10 per page resulted in lower search traffic and decreased ad revenue by 20 percent.”

They did this just for Bill Slawski, I just know it.

Happy birthday, FLASH

Lee vents on the 5 Myths about SEO. I can relate.

Last Friday night I joined my husband, who works in performance testing for a software development company, for his company holiday party. He’s been trying to get management to include usability testing for their applications and often boasts that he’s married to someone who can help. So far, there’s no interest in application testing with people other than letting their existing clients pound on it and give feedback after each new version is rolled out.

This was clearly evident whenever someone would ask me what I did for a living (Don’t you just hate that, “And what do you do?” question? I so want to say “I’m a professional stripper“, or something really shocking.) Anyway. Whenever I said the word “usability” or “user testing”, their eyes would widen, mouths form the “oh” shape and they’d say things like, “We could SO use someone like you here!” and then the conversation drifts off to say, sports or who won the company raffle.

Have you ever searched in search engines for something, found it, left the site and then needed to find it again later, but forgot how you got there? Trexy is for you. Here’s a nice demonstration about how it can be helpful. Trexy technology has won several awards, including this one.

I went back to the Kineda A-List Blogger Tool to see if my luck had changed, but alas, this blog remains a

B-List Blogger

This just tells me I have to get my knees replaced asap, get back to running again, learn to pole dance and raise my fees to afford more travel so I can convince everyone I’m special.

At home, I just have to make dinner and feed the dog on time, and that seems to be enough.

Speaking of which, I attended my son’s Middle School Christmas concert on Tuesday night. Two hours of choruses, orchestra, concert band, junior varsity jazz band and varsity jazz band. My son retired from 3 years of the viola to play the tuba. Now, the only way we even knew he was on stage was that once in awhile you could see the top of the tuba move around. But, everytime it did, I got excited and would say dumb mom things like, “He’s playing now!”

When I wasn’t focused on the stage, I was monitoring the teenager who brought her boyfriend and they kept finding ways to sneak out to his truck to, um, make out. Only that’s not what they were telling me, of course.

I think that’s it. This is nowhere as good as Lisa Barone’s Friday recaps. I know this post has no redeeming SEO value. The title is not optimized and many anchor links are completely non-productive.

Sometimes you just have to RELAX and have fun when you write in a blog, ya know?

Search Engine Journal 2006 Best Blog Contest Back to the Future
SES Chicago: The Comic Strip by Rebecca Kelley

cre8pc

Kim Krause Berg’s long background in web design, SEO and usability includes software application functional and user interface testing, accessibility, information architecture and persuasive design. She shared her passion for Usability and SEO through her site and private consulting at Cre8pc for 17 years. Kim founded Cre8asiteforums in 1998. In the fall of 2012 she sold her forums to Internet Marketing Ninjas and retired from private consulting to join their Executive Management team where she continues her work in usability testing, customer experience and conversions design.

My Online Course: Web Site Usability 101

Member:

American Society for Information Science and Technology (ASIS&T)

Information Architecture Institute

Usability Professionals Association (UPA)

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