Viewpoint on Usability

Written by Mimi Brooks

Continued from page 1

-Work processes and workflow to be streamlined -Costs to be reduced or revenue generated -Desired behavior to be predicted and measured -Competitive differentiation to be defined and tracked -Service levels to be established -Brand to be built through a targeted, positive user experience

Simply stated, a well-designed, user-centric web site reflectsrepparttar priorities ofrepparttar 134779 business and representsrepparttar 134780 business model ofrepparttar 134781 company or organization.

Usability. It's part ofrepparttar 134782 big picture.

For systems integrators and Internet architects,repparttar 134783 challenge is to integrate usability into an e-commerce strategy and subsequently into a project lifecycle, so that it becomes an integral part ofrepparttar 134784 overall planning, design, development, testing, and launch. This is easier said than done. When systems integrators claim to conduct "usability testing," it's safe to assume that this is a distinctively separate activity, performed generally atrepparttar 134785 END ofrepparttar 134786 project. While this is better than nothing, of course, it is but notrepparttar 134787 optimal approach, and it will offer only limited benefits torepparttar 134788 overall product.

User requirements need to be assessed early inrepparttar 134789 analysis stage of an e-commerce initiative, so that usability is considered throughoutrepparttar 134790 project lifecycle. Issues likerepparttar 134791 impact on workflow, expectations in navigation, "logical and intuitive" site design and content management, andrepparttar 134792 behavior we want to enable orrepparttar 134793 expectations we need to design to are huge considerations. This is combined withrepparttar 134794 technical architecture, transactional requirements, and performance expectations, and is synthesized -- exploited -- to achieve maximum user benefit in areas such as user profiling and personalization, dynamic content assembly, and interactivity.

Certainly, usability should never "dumb down" requirements torepparttar 134795 lowest common denominator in an attempt to satisfy "every user." Onrepparttar 134796 contrary, usability should no longer be considered as a way to prevent potential problems, but rather, an approach that realizes greater possibilities. Usability should challenge and pushrepparttar 134797 envelope equally as hard asrepparttar 134798 technical, business, and creative requirements. Only then do we break through with an innovative, engaging, clever, and effective web site.

Business Model. That'srepparttar 134799 bottom line.

Creating a compelling user experience has a direct tie to market competitiveness. It's fair to say that usability should, in all cases, support, augment, and enablerepparttar 134800 realization ofrepparttar 134801 business model. Happy users aren'trepparttar 134802 true objective, although certainly, it's a desirable by-product. Rather, realized business goals through targeted usability objectives make usability a straightforward business case.

Mimi Brooks, founder, president and CEO of Logical Design Solutions (, a leading provider of Internet professional services to the Fortune 500.

A Visit Isn't REALLY a Visit if Your Company Leaves on the Porch

Written by Harmony Major

Continued from page 1

If you're updatingrepparttar content, onrepparttar 134778 other hand, you never can do THAT too much. Your only limitation is how often you have time to add new content to your site. For instance, I normally add new content on my newest site every two weeks. Each time I release an article for reprint, I announce it inrepparttar 134779 "What's New" list on my home page, and postrepparttar 134780 article itself inrepparttar 134781 article directory.

4. Be creative.

When thinking of new ways to lure visitors into your site,repparttar 134782 possibilities are endless. For example, look at e-Business Moms < >. Bina,repparttar 134783 Webmaster, describes her home page lead-ins as if they're areas of her site, butrepparttar 134784 links ACTUALLY lead to articles.

When visitors click on that initial link, they want to learn more aboutrepparttar 134785 topicrepparttar 134786 article covers. They end up reading (or at least skimming)repparttar 134787 article, subconsciously starting to establish Bina as an expert in her field, and perhaps then seeking out MORE of her articles to read. Jackpot!

5. Eliminate clutter and distractions onrepparttar 134788 home page.

I don't know how many times a day I go to a site that sounds interesting, but ends up being a hideous conglomeration of disorganized links, cramped advertisements, and loud colors that my eyes STILL see after I'm long gone fromrepparttar 134789 page.

Ouch! What a way to send your visitors hightailing it.

Giving your visitors too many options means that they're leaving onrepparttar 134790 first page. Loud colors that make your visitors' heads bleed mean that they're leaving BEFORErepparttar 134791 page finishes loading.

Look again at < >.

The site is a nice soothing white and blue, with brighter colors used sparingly. There's absolutely no clutter, andrepparttar 134792 text and graphics are engaging -- not frightening. All in all, Bina sets a wonderful example of a site that presents an inviting atmosphere for increased visitor retention.

Harmony Major is the creator of Ready, Set, PROFIT!, helping you multiply your profit each and EVERY month, promote your site in ONE-FIFTH the normal time, and gain more free time INSTANTLY ... 100% guaranteed. Go to:

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