Website Navigation Design: How To Provide Clear Instructions And Directions To Your Readers

How can you help your readers find what they are looking for on your website? How can you facilitate their need to know what to click next or where to look when in search for something? Navigation instructions, or as someone calls them, interface design instructions for the user, are text-based and visual elements that can help your web visitors understand more easily what they need to click or where they can look to find what they are looking for. As such, these navigation signposts and visual directions can make a hell of a difference in converting temporary visitors into long term clients and fans. In this report you will learn what are the key basic elements you need to pay attention to, to design effective user-facing navigation instructions.

Photo credit: António Nunes

People have things they want to accomplish, whether it’s making a purchase, finding a recipe, or learning how to do something new. Inherent in many web page designs, therefore, is information to help a user perform an action.

…In addition to these types of visual cues, we often write instructions to assist users in knowing what to do next.

These instructions guide the eyes and minds of the individual to look at the appropriate place and to take the appropriate action.

In this report, Connie Malamed identifies and explains which are the most critical aspects to pay attention to when working to add or refine user navigation messages and instructions to help your online readers find what they are looking for or take a specific action.

Specifically, some of the key aspects highlighted in this report, showcase the importance of several unique factors in designing effective user navigation instructions:

Blogging gets new life

Social media like Twitter and Facebook aren’t killing blogging. Social media make blogging stronger.

Cory Doctorow writes that blogging isn’t dying, “it’s just that other social media have taken over many of its functions.”

When blogging was the easiest, most prominent way to produce short, informal, thinking-aloud pieces for the net, we all blogged. Now that we have Twitter, social media platforms and all the other tools that continue to emerge, many of us are finding that the material we used to save for our blogs has a better home somewhere else. And some of us are discovering that we weren’t bloggers after all – but blogging was good enough until something more suited to us came along.

That’s true for me. I’ve always found blogging to be cumbersome, requiring commitment to blog every day, and fiddling around with blogging software and blog design. As a result, I only keep it up if someone pays me to. Otherwise, my personal blog moves in fits and starts. And blogging in fits and starts is a recipe for failure; you need to keep a regular posting schedule to keep people coming back. Seguir leyendo “Blogging gets new life”

WPP scoops global Bombay Sapphire account

GLOBAL – Bombay Sapphire, the Bacardi-owned premium gin brand, has appointed a group of WPP agencies to handle its global communications account.

WPP scoops global Bombay Sapphire account

The network won the business after a pitch against a selection of undisclosed Bacardi roster networks. It will handle all of the brand’s integrated advertising on a global level, including TV, digital and experiential work.

The move marks the first time that Bombay Sapphire has worked with agencies on a retained global basis.

The brand has previously used an in-house marketing team to create the majority of its campaigns – however, it has also worked with some US and UK-based agencies on projects. Seguir leyendo “WPP scoops global Bombay Sapphire account”

Yep, Microsoft still makes more than Apple (and Dog Daze)

Windows 7 Ultimate: Signature Edition
Image by The Master Shake Signal via Flickr

By Richi Jennings

Despite dire predictions, Microsoft’s Q4 results show that its revenues and profit are bigger than Apple’s. The two companies’ stock prices don’t seem to reflect that, but whoever said the market was that simple? The Windows, Office, and server businesses each had a barnstorming final quarter, which may ease the pressure on Steve Ballmer. In IT Blogwatch, bloggers show us the money.

Your humble blogwatcher selected these bloggy morsels for your enjoyment. Not to mention Obama’s dog flies solo?..
Seguir leyendo “Yep, Microsoft still makes more than Apple (and Dog Daze)”

Drawing the Line: 6 Things You Shouldn’t Tolerate in Projects

by Sacha Greif

Drawing the Line: 6 Things You Shouldn't Tolerate in Projects

I was pretty proud when I netted my first clients as a freelancer. Wow! Someone is actually willing to give me their money and have me design their site? I was ecstatic that someone had picked me out of all the talented designers out there.

But my joy didn’t last very long.

The projects were underfunded and the clients always asked for more, so I ended up designing and coding entire sites for about half the cost of what I currently make.

The logos were a mess, but I couldn’t change them because my clients liked them or already built an (unremarkable) brand around them.

And the products themselves were fairly boring and not innovative in any way. But it paid the bills (barely) at the time, and I didn’t have much experience in these things.

Don’t get me wrong, being flexible, open-minded, and being a “team player” is great.

But in retrospect, I wish I had taken a stand at some of the things I decided to tolerate. Here are 6 things I pledge not to accept anymore. Seguir leyendo “Drawing the Line: 6 Things You Shouldn’t Tolerate in Projects”

20 Most Useful WordPress Tutorials Hacks and Tips for Bloggers

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20 Most Useful WordPress Tutorials Hacks and Tips for Bloggers

WordPress is most popular among in bloggers. It is growing and seemingly endless end. You will agree with me, it has very few limitations and rapidly pushing itself to being, to remove those limitations, WP community joint works together and try to customize WordPress. These are useful WordPress Tutorials hacks and techniques for everyone. Its consits of for Basic , Thumbnail guides, Tools, Ajax, WordPress 3.0 features, Customized etc I am sure, these tutorials certainly useful for bloggers. Seguir leyendo “20 Most Useful WordPress Tutorials Hacks and Tips for Bloggers”

PwC iPlace – Six Factors Behind Our Success

Michele McConomy  |  US Innovation Office Manager, PwC

It is becoming increasingly important to accelerate innovation by discovering, developing, and implementing ideas that increase the speed of delivering new products and services.  Here at PwC, and as in other organizations, people are bubbling over with ideas and creative ways to deliver more value to clients.  There is a great opportunity with the use of social media to tap into the collective knowledge of people.   We wanted to take advantage of this opportunity and created a way for our people to share, collaborate, and expand on ideas.  As Thomas Edison once said – “There’s a way to do it better—find it.”  And find it we did.

Just one year ago, we launched our firm’s first online idea management platform, PwC iPlace, and provided a way for our people to share ideas and find inspiration in an open and interactive online forum.  As they say, “if you build it they will come”, and boy…did the ideas come.  In just one year – the response has been tremendous as we’ve generated over 2,000 ideas, 10,000 comments, and 40,000 votes.

So why did we have such great success in the first year?  Here are six key factors we think are why… Seguir leyendo “PwC iPlace – Six Factors Behind Our Success”

Tips for More Effective Business Meetings

Whether we like it or not, most of our professional lives are going to have their fair share of time spent in meetings. Be it with our coworkers or clients, a measurable fraction of our working lives will more than likely be taken up in an engaged discussion of tactics, projects, progress, etc.

Unfortunately, many of us in the professional world absolutely detest meetings, and abhor giving up any of our precious time to them as they usually end up being a complete waste of that time. As many professionals do not know how to effectively organize and operate a meeting for maximum results, or any at all for that matter.

It’s not necessarily our faults that our tend meetings tend to fall short of our expectations given that most of us have not had the best models to learn from. If you have ever sat through an hour plus long bickering banterfest where nothing was decided or no conclusions were every substantially reached, then you can identify with and feel our pain. So below are a few tips for helping get the most out of your meetings. Now given that our meetings tend to fall in one of two categories, either co-worker or client, and also considering that both of these types of meetings are completely different and require different handling, the post has been broken down into advice on both fronts.

Consider some of our previous articles

El Anillo de Giges, un test de Responsabilidad Social Empresarial

Eden Corporate Social Responsibility
Image via Wikipedia
Algunas empresas tienen programas de RSE porque creen que es lo correcto. Otras, lo hacen para mejorar su reputación y sus resultados. Y nosotros, ¿por qué lo hacemos? El Anillo de Giges, un test de Responsabilidad Social…
Por Federico AstLa Responsabilidad Social Empresaria es, quizá, uno de los conceptos más hondo han calado en los últimos años en el mundo de las organizaciones. Casi no existe sitio web corporativo que no tenga una sección donde se afirme el “compromiso de la organización con el crecimiento sustentable y el bienestar de la comunidad”.

De hecho, queda “antipático” escribir: “nuestra única misión es maximizar el retorno de los accionistas”.

Pero, ¿cuándo surgieron las preocupaciones por la RSE?

Si bien desde siempre han existido condicionamientos sociales y juicios éticos sobre el accionar de las corporaciones, todo esto se presentaba de una forma relativamente aislada hasta el libro “Strategic Management: A Stakeholder Approach” (1984) de Edward Freeman.

Con la irrupción del “stakeholder approach”, se empezó a considerar que las empresas tienen obligaciones no sólo hacia sus accionistas, sino también hacia otros grupos de interés como el gobierno, los sindicatos, las comunidades locales, y el público en general.

No obstante, no todos están de acuerdo con este enfoque. El Premio Nobel de Economía Milton Friedman encarna la posición anti RSE, con el lema “the business of business is business”. Seguir leyendo “El Anillo de Giges, un test de Responsabilidad Social Empresarial”

Hay que decidir rápido: ¿puede ayudarnos la intuición?

Cover of "Blink"
Cover of Blink
Cuando hay que decidir rápido, no tenemos tiempo de buscar datos y analizarlos. En estos casos, la decisión saldrá del “estómago”. Aunque esto también conlleva mayores riesgos de error. Así, ¿cómo saber cuándo necesitamos mayor análisis? ¿Cuándo podemos confiar en la intuición?
Por Ernesto Weissmann

El modelo de líder que prevalece en las empresas suele ser una persona “de carácter” que toma decisiones en un abrir y cerrar de ojos.

En efecto, existe en las organizaciones un sesgo hacia la acción que propone que las decisiones se tomen rápido, para que no queden empantanadas en reuniones interminables o en excesiva burocracia.

En contextos de incertidumbre, sin embargo, este sesgo hacia la acción suele utilizarse para justificar el poder de la intuición o incluso la falta de análisis de aquellas decisiones que, por su complejidad, lo requerirían.

La cultura de “sacarse los temas de encima” funciona, para algunos ejecutivos, como una excusa para saltear las primeras etapas del proceso de decisión y abocarse de lleno a los detalles de la ejecución.

Así, muchas veces se exalta el valor de la intuición por sobre el análisis, incluso cuando la capacidad analítica de la que pueden valerse las empresas hoy sea enorme y provea muchas ventajas.

Se suele creer que si una decisión es producto del “estómago” tiene más mérito que si fue pensada. Aplaudimos al camarero que se acuerda de memoria nuestro pedido, en lugar de aplaudir al que anota y no se equivoca nunca.

En los últimos años, el enfoque más intuitivo ha tenido a su principal exponente en Malcolm Gladwell, autor de “Blink”. Los que pregonan que el análisis es crucial para el éxito, lo han encontrado en Thomas Davenport, autor de “Competing on Analytics”.

Sin embargo, no todas las decisiones pueden tomarse siguiendo un método ni tampoco en un parpadeo.

Desde los tiempos de Platón, la discusión sobre “razón o emoción”, “intuición o deducción”, o incluso “acción versus reflexión” se ha establecido como ejes opuestos, pero cada vez más empiezan a pensarse como enfoques complementarios más que competitivos. Seguir leyendo “Hay que decidir rápido: ¿puede ayudarnos la intuición?”

La tragedia del líder desenfocado

Una empresa europea, líder en terminales de telefonía móvil con un dominio que alcanza a un tercio del mercado, ciento veintitrés mil empleados en ciento veinte países… sin duda, Nokia parece una empresa para ser tenida en cuenta. Y sin embargo, un líder desenfocado, con muchísima menos influencia que la que le correspondería tener en función de su posición, y una trayectoria claramente descendente.

Podemos matizarlo como queramos, pero los datos son los que son: una caída del 40% en el beneficio en el segundo trimestre de este año, una competencia cada vez más dura por parte de los dispositivos de Apple o con Android, una evolución bursátil preocupante, y una salida del primer ejecutivo de la compañía que evoca claramente a esos equipos de fútbol cuyo único recurso cuando van mal es cambiar de entrenador. Decididamente, y por mucho que nos guste la idea tener una empresa europea situada entre los líderes de la industria tecnológica, las cosas no pintan bien para el gigante finlandés. Seguir leyendo “La tragedia del líder desenfocado”

How design thinkers imagine the future?

David McClelland.
Image via Wikipedia

Por jabaldaia

The situations and constructive memory

For Antonio Damasio, each memory has an emotion attached to it.

When we have to determine a response to something, we recall the emotions associated with our memories related to that thing.

Sometimes we feel the need of something because we have been there and remember the well being that it gave us . In Portuguese it is said “saudade”!

Those are needs caused by our memory. Seguir leyendo “How design thinkers imagine the future?”

Real-world testing: iPhone 4 vs. HTC EVO 4G

Our writer spent a few weeks with the Apple iPhone 4 and the HTC EVO 4G. Which came out ahead?

By Mitch Wagner

Computerworld – I’ve been using an iPhone for three years now, first the original iPhone then the 3G. I like the iPhone a lot — but I’m not married to it. When I began hearing great things about the Sprint’s Android phone, the HTC EVO 4G, I thought hard about switching. And although I eventually decided to upgrade to the iPhone 4, I was curious what I was missing.

The good people at Sprint let me borrow an EVO for a few weeks, and I compared it to my personal iPhone 4. I found that there were a lot of factors where one phone excelled over the other — but that, in the end, it was hard to choose between them.

What follows are my observations about how the two phones compared in a variety of aspects. In each case, I’ve chosen the phone I think is the winner in each category — when there was a winner.

Note: The EVO I tested ran Android OS 2.1, but the next version of Android, version 2.2 or “Froyo,” is due any day now. Froyo is a major upgrade — but many of the new features are interesting only to developers, and others are already available on the EVO, including wireless tethering and Flash support.
According to all reports, Froyo performs faster than Android 2.1, but even using Android 2.1, I didn’t find performance to be a problem. Seguir leyendo “Real-world testing: iPhone 4 vs. HTC EVO 4G”

How the Internet is Affecting Traditional Journalism [SURVEY]

Jolie O’Dell

In a survey conducted over May and June this year, PR network Oriella asked media moguls how the Internet was affecting their business, their publishing formats and even the quality of the content issuing forth from their newsrooms.

In a survey of 770 journalists across 15 countries, the company determined that, while media creators are slightly more optimistic than they were last year about maintaining revenues vis-a-vis the rise of online ad budgets, many are still worried about whether traditional media formats can succeed in the long run.

“Concerns about the viability of journalists’ traditional media channels (print, radio or television) have intensified,” the report reads.

“When asked about the future of their respective publications, over half of those polled believe that these channels may well fold and be taken off the market… This is a sharp rise from last year, when only one in three journalists surveyed believed this would happen. Nearly one in six confirm this has already happened to their publication.” Seguir leyendo “How the Internet is Affecting Traditional Journalism [SURVEY]”