16 Apr 2014

7 website performance problems and how content strategy can help

7 website performance problems and how content strategy can help

When a website is underperforming, one logical response is to consider a redesign. Now, “redesign” can mean different things to different people — from refreshing just the look and feel to reworking certain user interactions or sections to completely re-architecting the structure of the site. The nature of your performance issues will determine the extent […]

13 Jan 2014

Crack-smoking social bots (and other brand meltdowns caused by silos)

Crack-smoking social bots (and other brand meltdowns caused by silos)

This holiday season, I decided to splurge on holiday cards ordered from the online printing company well known for their precious family photo cards. Taking this step cost about 30% more, and it also required me to get my act together and actually order our cards well in advance, so they’d have time to print […]

8 Jan 2014

What IKEA can teach us about helping customers

What IKEA can teach us about helping customers

An article about IKEA in The New York Times Magazine got me thinking about how the big-box-store customer experience can be similar to the user experience on a large company website. The article’s author describes how, years earlier, he and his wife went to an IKEA but left quickly. They found the store “a crowded, […]

11 Jun 2013

Lessons from startups on increasing user engagement: Stephanie Hay

Lessons from startups on increasing user engagement: Stephanie Hay

Stephanie Hay, a content and UX specialist, drove the same point home over and over again during her presentation, “What Startups Can Teach Us About Content Strategy,” at Confab 2013. That’s because it’s a fundamental best practice that so many companies seem to ignore: stop using marketing words and setting unrealistic expectations. Ah, marketing-speak. How […]

13 Jan 2012

Transactional online content: question everything!

Transactional online content: question everything!

Ask anybody in the world who uses the Internet regularly and you will get a story, often replete with colorful language, about the online store or transactional website where clumsy design, incomprehensible error messages, or frustrating login requirements caused the consumer to flee in disgust. It’s no secret that the e-commerce world is full of […]

22 May 2011

Testing content: Christine Perfetti

Testing content: Christine Perfetti

In her talk “Essential Techniques for Measuring Your Content’s Success,” Christine offered a lot of quick, easy-to-use tips for designing and running the content user test. Running a test session: Greet the user Introduce user to observers Explain to user how the test will work Give the user tasks to complete and observe problems they […]

1 Mar 2011

Interaction 11: who are we, and how can we be better? 

Interaction 11: who are we, and how can we be better? 

This was my second year attending Interaction, the conference of the Interaction Design Association (IxDA). I’m not an “IxD” myself, but my work is so inextricably linked with what interaction designers do that attending these conferences has been extremely valuable for me, if only to immerse myself in the current thinking of a highly specialized […]

21 Jun 2010

Don’t call them users!

Don’t call them users!

When we talk about creating Web sites and online experiences, we talk about users — as in, user experience, usability, user-focused design. The emergence of an entire discipline focused on end users has essentially revolutionized the Web industry (even though better serving your audience with intuitive content and design, if you really think about it, seems like […]

10 Mar 2010

Five ways to finesse your web forms

As an active Web user, you most likely fill out several forms online every day, at a minimum. Forms are how we interact online, and they’re very much a part of our personal and professional lives, like it or not. So why, as ubiquitous as they are, do so many Web forms leave us feeling […]

19 Feb 2010

The Right Way to Wireframe: reflection on a hands-on workshop

The Right Way to Wireframe: reflection on a hands-on workshop

As with many books and classes that begin with the words “The Right Way to …”, the moral of this pre-conference workshop put on by four well-known UX thought leaders was that — you guessed it — there is no “right way” to wireframe. But during this four-hour workshop, we as participants did witness how […]