Archivo de la categoría: Useful Articles and Resources

Content that pulls. And content that pushes.

by Nick Usborn (¹)

There are several factors that drive us to create new content for our websites.

Maybe we have a list of pages to be written that will be optimized for long-tail keywords.

Or we have a list of topics we need to address to complete various subject areas on our site.

Or we have some reader questions to answer.

Or we have some pages to put up with a view to getting good distribution through social media.

But as we immerse ourselves in writing these pages, we can lose sight of the fact that a web page needs a purpose beyond just being there as a source of information.

To put it simply, a web page needs to be either pulling or pushing.

Pulling new readers into the site for the first time, and pulling returning visitors back again and again.

Or pushing readers to take an action – whether to subscribe, to buy, to sign up, to download, to take a free trial, or click on a revenue-earning link.

So once you have created that list of upcoming content, whether it be about keywords, customer questions, missing subject matter…or whatever…mark it as either a page that is written to pull, or to push.

What’s the difference? How do you write pages that pull or push? Sigue leyendo

DAT, el día después…

Inspirados en el film homónimo “El día después de mañana”, donde el Armagedón desatado por un abrupto cambio climático, evidencia la experiencia de estar expuesto; de diversas formas; a situaciones traumáticas. Surge de inmediato un paralelo con diferentes situaciones en que las áreas de Recursos Humanos deben intervenir.

DAT, por sus siglas en inglés (Day after tomorrow), resume un equipo de trabajo especializado en hacer frente a las contingencias del “día después”. Sigue leyendo

Social media and the multiplier effect

by ian |

Marketing nerdiness alert! This post has some heavy-duty marketing geekination in it. You have been warned.


The multiplier effect: Each additional quality friend or follower in your network increases the value of all other people on your network.

I came up with this concept whilst grinding my teeth to nubs over demands like this: “I only have 500 followers. My competitor has 50,000. Get me more followers!”

See, most social media campaigns devolve into spamfests. It’s like the early- and middle-age of e-mail marketing. More = better, therefore let’s send crap out to every sucker we can find. It’s accumulation marketing [blast from the past alert]. And it never works for long.

Where social media spam comes from

Spam – particularly social media spam – comes from a long-time belief that a bigger network of potential customers is always better.

That belief comes from a traditional marketing formula: Add another person to your network of potential customers, and best case is that each member of that network keeps the same value.

Say I have a network of 1,000 potential customers, with each customer worth $1. Then I add another person to the network. Conventional wisdom says that the best I can hope for is that each network member remains worth $1. It’s likely that, as I add more people, the background noise and accidental addition of people who have no interest in my product at all will reduce the value of every individual network member:

individuals decrease in value

So, goes conventional wisdom, if your plan is to grow sales and customer base, you need to expand your network exponentially to make up for the lost value. A massive network is always better than a small one, and individuals are worth less and less.

That’s why otherwise intelligent people still click on messages like this:


And it’s why I crack molars.

But it doesn’t add up. If a massive network is always better, why is it that someone tweeting to 50,000 people gets me 3 clicks, and someone tweeting to 5,000 gets me 10,000 clicks?

Go figure. Sigue leyendo

Movement from Test to Experience: a Fundamental Shift in Assessment Perspective

Reengineering guidance and relationship of Mis...

by Dr. Charles Handler | //

Those of us in the testing and assessment business are very proud of what we do. We have about 50 years of experience in helping companies to make better hiring decisions, resulting in happier employees and increased ROI. Some of the benefits of pre-employment assessments include:

  • Sound methodology: when created correctly, assessments provide an accurate and reliable way to measure constructs important for job performance
  • ROI: we have tons of data to show that assessments provide a strong value add to the hiring process
  • Variety: there are thousands of tests available, covering almost every job and industry
  • Versatility: tests can be used for both pre- and post-hire assessment, helping them offer more value

Despite the advantages listed above, we need to be realists and face the fact that testing is a difficult game to be in. Despite a huge shot in the arm provided by technology, the basic testing paradigm still involves candidates filling in small circles and likely grousing a bit in the process.

On the other side of the fence, many companies view a “test” as isolated element of the hiring process, not an integrated part of the bigger picture. As a result of this paradigm it is not a stretch to say that in their current mainstream state of use:

  • Tests are boring — they are not engaging for candidates. In fact, they have the opposite effect.
  • Tests build walls — it is very common for a separate function to be in charge of testing and for tests to be an “add on,” creating separation between various parts of the recruitment/staffing functions
  • Tests are highly localized — although highly effective as key parts of an employee lifecycle/talent management perspective, tests are most commonly used to fight fires
  • Tests offer only a one-way dialogue — pre-employment tests provide no feedback to the applicant and by doing so can function to erode employment branding efforts

The positive and negative factors associated with testing combined with what I call “technology push” (the idea that advances in technology push all businesses and industries upward and forward by providing the infrastructure needed for innovation) are driving a fundamental shift in testing. This shift will carry us away from thinking about “tests” toward an increased focus on the idea of creating an “experience” that adds value for all parties involved in multiple ways.

We can expect this shift in focus to bring an increase in:

  • Transparency: tests will become embedded into a more engaging candidate experience until they become transparent to the applicant
  • Interactivity: experiences will increase the level of interactivity between organizations and job applicants/employees, as well as interactivity within the applicant population
  • Predictive accuracy: technology-backed experiences will help create major shifts in predictive capabilities of assessment-based content based on business intelligence and data analysis that flows from increased engagement and interactivity Sigue leyendo

10 Usability Tips Based on Research Studies [Excellent]

vector version of this image

by Cameron Chapman | Six Revisions

We hear plenty usability tips and techniques from an incalculable number of sources. Many of the ones we take seriously have sound logic, but it’s even more validating when we find actual data and reports to back up their theories and conjectures.

1. Forget the “Three-Click Rule”

The idea that users will get frustrated if they have to click more than three times to find a piece of content on your website has been around for ages. In 2001, Jeffrey Zeldman, a recognized authority in the web design industry, wrote that the three-click rule “can help you create sites with intuitive, logical hierarchical structures” in his book, Taking Your Talent to the Web.

Logically, it makes sense. Of course, users will be frustrated if they spend a lot of time clicking around to find what they need.

But why the arbitrary three-click limit? Is there any indication that web users will suddenly give up if it takes them three clicks to get to what the want?

In fact, most users won’t give up just because they’ve hit some magical number. The number of clicks they have to make isn’t related to user frustration.

A study conducted by Joshua Porter published on User Interface Engineering found out that users aren’t more likely to resign to failure after three clicks versus a higher number such as 12 clicks. “Hardly anybody gave up after three clicks,” Porter said.

Source: User Interface Engineering

The focus, then, shouldn’t be on reducing the number of clicks to some magically arrived number, but rather on the ease of utility. If you can construct a user interface that’s easy and pleasurable to use, but takes like 15 clicks (e.g. 5 times more than the three-click rule) to achieve a particular task — don’t let the arbitrary three-click rule stop you.

Sources and Further Reading

2. Enable Content Skimming By Using an F-Shaped Pattern

Dr. Jakob Nielsen, a pioneer in the field of usability, conducted an eye tracking study on the reading habits of web users comprising of over 230 participants. What the research study displayed was that participants exhibited an F-shaped pattern when scanning web content.

F-Shaped PatternSource: Alertbox

A similar study, by search marketing firms Enquiro and Did-it in collaboration with eye-tracking research firm Eyetools, witnessed a similar pattern when they evaluated Google’s search engine results page with an eye tracking study that included 50 participants. Dubbed the “Google Golden Triangle” because the concentration of eye gazes tended to be top and left, the results are congruent with the F-shaped pattern seen in Nielsen’s independent research.

Google Golden TriangleSource: Clickr Media

For designers and web copywriters, these results suggest that content you want to be seen should be placed towards the left, and also that the use of content that fits an F-shaped pattern (such as headings followed by paragraphs or bullet points) increases the likelihood that they will be encountered by a user who is skimming a web page. Sigue leyendo

Cell phones, how are adults using mobile phones?? [PDF download link]

Chargepod is a 6-way charging device that allo...
By Todd Ogasawara

What Do People Who Send 200+ Text Messages & 30+ Voice Calls Per Day Have to Say?

The Pew Internet and American Life Project released another report of interest to gadget fans.

Cell phones and American adults (available online & PDF download) turned Pew’s numberes into a series of easy to understand pie charts and bar graphs.

How Are Adults Using Mobile Phones?

Some interesting items that pop out of the report and graphics?

- 18% of people 18 to 24 years old send more than 200 text messages per day

- This heavy texting (200+ per day) drops to 3% for people 25 to 29 years old

- Heavy text users do not text exclusively. In fact, they also make a lot of voice calls. 26% of heavy text messegers make 31 or more voice calls per day

What is it these people text and say in all of these messages every day?

Six Revisions: A Comprehensive Guide Inside Your

by Alexander Dawson

Become a Facebook Fan of Six Revisions.

A Comprehensive Guide Inside Your <head>

As web designers and developers, we pay so much attention to what’s directly on the screen (or in our code) that the <head> of a document and what’s inside is often considered as an afterthought.

While in many cases it’s true that what appears on the screen is the most important part of a website (the content is what people visit a site for), the “thinking code” inside the <head> of our documents plays an important role.

This article will examine exactly what can fit inside a website’s head.

Mastering the Mind

The head of an HTML document is a busy area, and while it may not have the range of elements that the <body> can flex, it can actually engineer a range of its own elements to play vital roles in how a site will operate or how it can interoperate with other sites.

Depending on the website, there might be plenty going on inside its head.

So what are your options and how can they benefit your website? Well there’s quite a lot actually!

There are ways to add useful metadata into your documents (for search engines and other web robots to find), icons that you can supply web browsers for extra visuals (like favicons or device-specific icons for the iPad/iPhone), ways to allow the syndication of your content, and even stylistic and behavioral references that include external stylesheets and scripts.

In essence, the <head> of our HTML documents give the markup below it extra meaning. Sigue leyendo

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