Web Usability & Website Optimization

Web Usability and SEO
A blog on » Web Usability   » Website Accessibility   » Search Engine Optimization (SEO)

Friday, July 29, 2005

SiteMap's for Google

Google has come up with a sitemap generator tool that gives webmasters a way to get their site pages indexed in short time. The short time is still in question as Google downloads the sitemap from the URL provided to it on almost everyday, but doesn't seem to index all the pages in the sitemap in short time, may be another google strategy.
To use the tool, your server must support Python and you should have SSH access to the server. Although its a little complicated process, but give it a try.
As the result Sitemap file is XML, we can't have our users to go to that page to search for a page on the site, but either this file should be used to create a HTML sitemap that should be linked from "Site Map" link on every possible page on your site or there should be a completely different User Friendly SiteMap page linked from "Site Map".

Wednesday, July 13, 2005

Mobile Phones and Usability

Mobile Market Share 2005
It was found that Nokia is leading the Mobile market from the day mobiles became a mode of communication. Despite the fact that Nokia is very slow in introducing new featured mobile phone handsets as compared to other big players in the market like Samsung, Sony Ericsson, Motorola, LG, Siemens, 3G etc just because their mobile handsets are the most user friendly. Looking at the graph it still shows that Nokia is leading the market with around 32%. Give any Nokia handset to any user and he/she will get comfortable with most of the features within 2 hours, this is not the case with other handsets.
Did you ever think why people like Nokia mobile phones which are quite heavy and get introduced late in the market, there can't be no other reason than the easy User Interface. Good job Nokia :).
I also liked their online product catalogue pages e.g. Nokia 6610i

Saturday, July 02, 2005

Web Usability- Why so Important?

Web Usability or Website Usability is the measure of quality of a website. And there are several factors that makes a website usable or unusable:
1. Downloading Time - If the page size is big, it will take considerable time to download and most of web users still use low speed Internet connections, such users will eighter close such website or never visit again.
Solution -
Avoid using heavy Images
Avoid Flash
Keep the size of a webpage well below 50k.

2. Navigation - If a website has product of users interest but the user couldn't find it in max 2 or 3 clicks, most probably he/she will get frustrated and leave the website and never come back.
Solution -
Use easy navigation throughout the site, preferably Text Navigation.
Use two sets of navigation on every page, one at top or top-left and other one at the bottom of the page.
Have a Site Map page on the website.

3. Content of Interest - Content is King. It increases re-visits. Good content at best visible place on a webpage is the most important factor for converting a visitor into a customer. If a website has poor content or has no content, more chances are a user won't revisit the site, on the other hand if a website has good content but not placed at good location and its hard for a visitor to read it then also its bad for a site.
Develop great content for your website.
Keep changing the content once in couple of months, search engines and visitors like fresh content.
Place content at prominent places on pages.

4. Resolution compatibility - Most of users are still using 800X600 Display Resolution, so every website must satisfy common display resolution criteria. If the website is designed keeping only 1024X768 or higher resolution, then you are loosing many many customers.
Make your website compatible in generally used display resolutions.
Test it atleast with 1024X768 and 800X600 resolutions.

5.Browser Friendly - Many sites looks cool in Internet Explorer but gets bad look in other major browser such as Mozilla, FireFox, Netscape etc.
Before launching the website, test it in all major browsers.
Take appropriate design steps if its not compatible with any of major browser.

Friday, July 01, 2005

Experience with blogging

Blogs are the coolest happening things on Internet. These are the most search engine friendly sites and usability wise looks good. I got rocking experience with blogging. You can choose a subject and post on anything you like, search for similar themed RSS feeds on the net and show them through your blog, good food for you as well as the readers of your blog. There are many blogging tools available on the internet e.g. Blogspot/Blogger (owned by google), BlogLines(owned by Ask Jeeves), TypePad, MSN Spaces and more.
Today I visited a very interesting blog: Miss-Information, I liked the structure and the way it is managed with full of resources, its an example of real blogging.