Web designer Jakob Nielsen recently told the BBC that sites are forgetting the basic rules — makes sites simple and make things easy to find:
“Most people just want to get in, get it and get out,” said Mr Nielsen. “For them the web is not a goal in itself. It is a tool.”
According to the BBC article, web site users typically split into unevenly sized cohorts by virtue of activity: the 90 percent who read and never or rarely contribute; the 9 percent who contribute occasionally; and the one percent who contribute often.
The upshot seems to be that sites should design for the mass audience, or at least make sure that tools and gadgets aimed at the interactive minority don’t make it difficult for the inert majority to get what it wants. In other words Keep is Short and Simple. A commentary by Fons Tuinstra pointed me to Nielsen’s comments.
Free ad effectiveness seminar: The Online Publisher’s Association will hold an eight city tour in June to release the results of research into “best practices in creating and distributing video advertising and content.” Learn more about the two-hour breakfast meetings here.
Analysis of time spent online: The Center for Media Research offers a summary of the Netpop study by the market research firm Media-Screen. The summary is free. The study is not. Here is a link that briefly describes how the data were collected.
Download large files: Here’s an item suggested by Deep Cuz, one of my frequent contributors and obviously a file-swapper fellow. He sent out this bit which I slavishly adopt:
So maybe you don’t run your own ftp site, or want to explain to someone else how to use ftp, or even know what I’m talking about with ftp, but you must send an absolutely huge zip of spreadsheets or other documents to someone else and don’t wish to risk having them bounce back to you as too large and undeliverable. What do you do? Mashable.com touches on 7 easy to use web based solutions.
Journalism that gets people involved: The most novel aspect of new media is the ability to involve the audience. The Batten Awards, sponsored by the J-Lab, offers a $10,000 grand prize and some lesser awards to sites that:
- Encourage new forms of information sharing.
- Spur non-traditional interactions that have an impact on community.
- Enable new and better two-way conversations between audiences and news providers.
- Foster new ways of imparting useful information.
The entry deadline is June 13. Contest guidelines will tell you who can apply and how. Check out the 2006 winners to see what took the prizes last time.