Monday, October 17, 2005

[site design] a few guidelines about usability

hey all...someone just tipped me off to a few usability guidelines when it comes to site design for blogs. a lot of it is pretty standard, for example, it highly recommends having an "About Me" section, a photo, etc. but these may serve as a tasty little reminder...my favorite line is "The web is not high school." LOL!

blog usability guidelines

This post was written by sarah from the delicious life

15 comments:

drbiggles said...

Too many rules make my head swim. All I need to do is fine a local source for fresh goat. I need some goat finding guidelines. I'll be following up a rumor today after work, yay!

Sam said...

he makes some good points - nothing as good bit of common sense doesn't tell you anyway.

I think some people. Me, Sarah, Amy, have left it too late to get rid of our beloved blogspots. Does it really matter that much?

I don't think os..?

Pim said...

It troubles me that someone who probably has very little clues about blogging and bloggers, or our readers, or what makes us and our readers tick in the first place to have the gall to tell us what we are supposed to do.

But hey, that has never stopped Jakob Nielsen in the past.

Oh well. The only good bits about that piece was like Sam said, all common sense anyway.

I mean, author photos? Geez. Who is he kidding?

I don't really care if my blog has .typepad as a part of it. I don't think I should be worrying about the good Mr.Nielsen outhip-ing me, or any of us, any time soon.

Heh.

Pim

Pim said...

I probably should also add that the snarkiness was certainly not intended at Sarah and her good intention.

All of it was instead intended at Jakob Nielsen and his silly rules alone.

If bloggers want to know a formula that work, why not look at the sites that we know to be very popular and very usable, like 101 Cookbooks, Chocolate and Zucchini or Cooking for Engineers (and many others) and see for ourselves what their common characteristics are? We could perhaps work backwards from there to formulate a set of guidelines that might actually work in the blog world. That makes a lot more sense to me than listening to someone who's never had a blog -nor advanced past the blue underlined texts denoting links for that matter- telling us what he thinks we are supposed to or not to do.

snarky Pim

McAuliflower said...

I found Nielsen's usability rules to be fairly simple, and comply with what I believe make me more likely to return to a site (except for the headline rule).

The url issue I have to agree with. You don't have control if your blospot/typepad url is all you've got. I don't trust the business enough to just have just a .textdriven/blogspot/etc account.

To me, using such a url exclusively is like handing out your phone number to a potential hottie, and then having to explain that its actually your parents number because you *still* live at home. But maybe I'm silly. As mentioned here earlier, having your own url is just less awkward when telling someone in the flesh about your blog.

Getting a url doesn't mean you'll lose readers. You can get one and have your blogspot account redirect to it.

We've practically already come up with our own list of usability rules through our postings here on food s'cool that I think would mesh well with the Nielsen guidelines.

paul said...

I won't defend Jakob, but he has been studying this stuff for years and what he says is true, but only for web newbies. New users with no clue need all the usability they can get, readers who have used the web more than once can figure out where to click pretty quick.

Jakob makes money on being an expert on this stuff, but if everyone listened to him, there'd be no images, we'd all be using the same font and we'd all have the exact same navigation system.

I did a food related satire of one of Jakob's column years before I had a food blog -Jakob Nielsen's Pumpkin Cheesecake:
http://www.kiplog.com/jakobs_cheesecake.htm#jakobcake

sarah said...

LOLLLLL!

omg - i just clicked on Pim's link to the photos...

my my, that was kind of scary.

LOLLLLL!

Sam said...

ha ha - now i did too.
I'm running a mile, right now...

Sam said...

mccauliflower

the problem is not losing readers
it is losing google ranking and links.
At this stage I just dont want to do that.
If I changed my site name, I would lose 341 links and my page ranking instantly. I left it too late. I dont want all my hard work to go to waste now that it has been done.

Had I known at the beginning what my blog would become, I would never have done it that way. But I had no clue. I was totally naive on the topic. Blogspot has never really let me down. So until it does (I hope it doesnt) I will remain loyal.

And I kind of trust google.I am an optimist.

McAuliflower said...

Paul is a genius!

Great recipe :P

Too bad we tend to limit such conversations on usability to top ten lists. My personal webmonkies tend to be big on the usability issue too, however they are more concerned with making my website usable to as broad of an audience as possible. Specifically, making it compliant for screen readers (for seeing impaired readers). So everyone, make sure to fill out your title/alt tags for your pictures!

This is a topic I'd like to get my Sweets to expound on some time...

paul said...

Thanks McAuliflower, I appreciate that, but I'm really only smart enough to to be able to spell appreciate.

Sam, you're right, but it's not just about changing the main URL, it's about losing all the links to people who have linked to your recipes.

I'm wrestling with changing over to a nicer, faster, php based web-publishing thingy, all the other aspects are fairly easy for me, but maintaning all the old links with the same URls via scripting is taking a bit of work.

By the way, i laughed at Jakob's photos many years ago, but I damn near fell on the floor again when I clicked on Pim's author photo link. The warning that the photos were 'hundreds of kbs!" put the fear of god in me.

Usability is certainly hindered when a web page makes you spit a mouthful of beer on your keyboard.

Kalyn said...

Sam, I appreciate reading your defense of Blogger and the reasons not to change. Of course I am not in the league of yourself and the others you mentioned, but I don't relish starting over either. I have not had that many problems overall, no more than any application of technology that I tried for the first time. I guess I also kind of trust them. Since google came on board, I figure it can only get better. Besides, I have enough new stuff to learn without adding to it.

Kalyn said...

Sam, I appreciate reading your defense of Blogger and the reasons not to change. Of course I am not in the league of yourself and the others you mentioned, but I don't relish starting over either. I have not had that many problems overall, no more than any application of technology that I tried for the first time. I guess I also kind of trust them. Since google came on board, I figure it can only get better. Besides, I have enough new stuff to learn without adding to it.

silverbrow said...

Sam
Thanks for that, I hadn't thought about losing links by moving the blog. I use Typepad and have just bought a couple of urls silverbrowonfood.com and silverbrow.com. With Typepad you are able to map the domain names, which as far as I can tell means that if anyone visits either of those urls they go directly to the Typepad webpage. So far, it seems to give the best of both worlds.

linda said...

I guess I don't rank with the pros of food blogging ~ I honestly wasn't interested in the "useability" list. But then I am not blogging to try and draw in readers or make money and win friends. I am blogging because I can and if I talk to myself, so be it.
I could understand the guidelines being very useful if you are a serious blogger.
The suthor photos... GACCK