In issue #23, we speak with Kate Rutter, a Senior Practitioner for Adaptive Path. | duration 38:34
During her ten plus years in the web industry, she's honed her talent for bringing companies and customers closer together through smart strategies and inventive design. She actively embraces the term "specialized generalist."
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A website costs money. It’s your job, as a web professional, to make sure your website is written and designed well, that visitors can use it easily, that it’s accurate, and that it’s contributing to the achievement of your company’s mission.
Kate answers these questions and more:
- Why is site evaluation important?
- The best way to improve the effectiveness of a Web site is to have data that indicates how it’s performing. That would primarily be based on visitor’s experience. How do you get this information?
- Using tools that we’ve talked about before, like Google Analytics or Woopra, I can view the number of visits to a page, etc. But how can I measure satisfaction?
- I can know my audience through research: Surveys, Phone Calls, What about Profiles or fake personas? How are these effective? Like designing a site based on needs and expectations?
- I want to collect both quantity and quality results. What sort of Web Metrics or Web Analytics?
Government agencies are required by law to establish performance measures in their web practices, to show how they’re achieving their mission, and further -- to make their annual performance plans readily available to the public. The Government Performance and Results Act (GPRA)
ANOTHER SIDE NOTE:
Listeners will appreciate a product coming soon from Clear-Left called Silverback. It’s An OSX application to help people run their own low-cost Guerrilla usability tests, combining screen activity and video from the built-in iSite camera. Sign-up for information at silverbackapp.com
- What about Usability testing?
- What about Quality and Compliance?
- What about Usability Goals -- setting performance goals for your users. Can you talk about that? (the time it takes a user to find specific information, or submit data) -- I sometimes think about this topic when bailing on an e-commerce form, hoping they'll see me running-away from the transaction.
- On the topic of Parallel Design, I worked for an online company where we used a service that would deliver content to a small cross-section of members. This would allow Marketing to make design decisions based on user data. Very breakthrough, and I must also add that it was somewhat limiting as a designer -- where I'm stressing that a particular look & feel is what will work, and being shown the data that proves otherwise.
Be careful when MOVING THE DOG DISH.
Evaluate the markup on your site using the Firefox plugin called The Web Developer Toolbar.
- Does the website work with CSS off? Meaning -- can you read the content?
- is the website using tables for layout, instead of CSS?
- is all essential information in the HTML?
- is there extra code, non-essential information in the HTML?
- is the site all Flash?
- is there hidden content?
- is image replacement being used?
LINKS PROVIDED BY KATE:
The Elements of User Experience
Jesse James Garrett
(You can download the summary diagram of the elements from here.)
Content essay with Kristina Halvorson & Kate Rutter
Kristina Halvorson of Brain Traffic
! Big note !..I think I flaked and said BrainTree (thinking of Boston, apparently) and the company is Brain Traffic. http://www.braintraffic.com/
Jeff Veens old but still great essay on content inventory
Doing a Content Inventory (Or, A Mind-Numbingly Detailed Odyssey Through Your Web Site)
It's a great way to start a site assessment.