Tag Archives: Web

A Tale of Two Web Browsers: What they say about your personality

Screen shot 2009-12-11 at 5.16.19 AMThere are more reasons than ever to replace Internet Explorer (Windows) and Safari (OSX) as your default web browsers. Two of the best reasons? Performance and personality.

Google Chrome  is now available on the Mac and the latest Firefox 3.6 beta boasts more than 140 changes. For the past week, I’ve been driving these new browsers hard — and pondering the results.

Both browsers beat the pants off Internet Explorer in JavaScript performance. Chrome ( is faster than its competitors in most respects, but Firefox (3.6.b4) makes good use of memory. However, the Mac version of Chrome (still in beta) isn’t full-featured like its Windows counterpart. It doesn’t manage bookmarks or integrated Google SideWiki.

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Link Popularity: The Internet’s ‘In’ Crowd

Having the best web site in your industry is a noble goal. A far more satisfying one is to have the most popular site.

The best means of measuring your web site’s popularity is by determining its link popularity – that is, the number and quality of other web sites linking to it. Each time another web site adds a link to your web site, it’s a vote of confidence in your site and the quality of its content. This confidence is inherited by search engines which reward popular web sites with higher search engine rankings.

To measure your web site’s popularity, use any free, web-based link popularity tool. Marketleap provides one of the most popular link popularity tools on the Internet. These tools will provide you with a summary of incoming links to your site from the most popular resources.

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How good does your website look on paper?

toiletpapercartoonThe best way to improve the effectiveness of your company’s web site is to let your site’s users lend you a hand (quite literally) through the process of paper prototyping.

Paper prototyping is a fast, low-cost method of testing web site designs. It involves creating rough sketches of a web site design and inviting some of your users to take the design for a test drive using their pen, instead of a mouse, to complete important tasks.

As users explore the site on paper, they are asked to describe their experience aloud to a facilitator who explains the tasks to be completed. Although a typical paper prototyping session takes less than an hour of a user’s time, the amount of time it saves your company can be invaluable.

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Improving your clarity: Using focus groups to test website designs

skydeck1IT IS GREAT that so many companies test new website designs using focus groups.

IT WOULD BE EVEN BETTER if more companies did it well.  With that in mind, I thought I’d share the methods I’ve developed, collected, and refined to gather actionable data for website redesign projects.

Desired Focus Group Outcomes

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Twitter me this: Can newspapers attract MORE followers with LESS content?

dinosaur-cartoonLike many other Americans, I’ve been getting most of my news these days via Twitter. And, I’m loving it.

With 20-50 local headlines delivered to my mobile phone each day, I’m aware of what’s going on in Madison, Wisconsin, without tuning in, logging on, or reading more. There’s no greater test to the inverted pyramid than the 140 character limit enforced by Twitter!

As a follower of the Capital Times (@captimes) and NBC 15 (@nbc15_madison), I get my daily news fix.  I’m not alone. @captimes has 735 followers. @nbc15_madison has 532 followers. The New York Times has more than 399,500 followers.

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