Website design: balancing form and function

Website design requires a balance.

Website design requires a balance.

No matter what you design — from blue jeans to loveseats to SUVs — you have to strike a balance between form and function. Thanks to the patient counsel of my interactive colleagues over the years, I’ve learned that I can’t approach web design the same way I approach print and other media. The scales tip toward functionality, which is determined by the target audience and its needs.

User experience is the number-one priority. Of course a successful website should look good, but, more important, it has to answer the needs of the audience and bring value to the user. Complicated navigation and over-designed pages only distract and confuse the audience, driving them away from the site.

When it comes to web design, balancing form and function is critical. Your design has to be engaging, interesting and compelling, but you can’t overwhelm the user with superfluous bells and whistles. Know your audience; know their needs. Let that knowledge guide you.

The Google Chrome Operating System – Vindicated yet, Ellison?

The Google Chrome Operating System

The Google Chrome Operating System

Google announces an OS. For anyone even remotely familiar with cloud computing (is that term still used?), thin/dumb clients, Android, Chrome and how Google operates, this is not a real big surprise.

Google’s answer to OS bloat is lean and mean (and uses an open-source Linux kernel). Empowering the programming community could (should) bring some true innovation to the OS. Speaking of these developers, Google wants us to remember that “for application developers, the web is the platform.”Read full post...

What is Google Wave?

Google Wave

A unified communication and collaboration tool

What do email, instant messaging, forums and ticketing systems have in common?

They are all mechanisms that two or more people can use to send communication back and forth. The primary differences between each is the number of people participating, the medium in which the messages exists, the speed with which the messages are delivered and the mechanism by which a user is notified of changes.

Email and instant messaging often have a dedicated medium (users of both typically run a special program like Outlook or Mac Mail) and generally happen between two people. A key difference is that email is asynchronous and instant messaging is synchronous. Instant messaging also notifies the user, well, instantly, and e-mail is a bit less “in your face.” But they share the features of a contact list and the ability to exchange text and images.Read full post...

Your Marketing, Search Engine Optimization (SEO) and Google: BFF?

Search Engine Optimization

Search Engine Optimization

You have finally launched a beautiful customer-centric website. Now what?

As traffic flows move from brick-and-mortar storefronts to online locations, it is vital that you stake your claim online. And, as in real estate, there are still three keys: location, location, location.

If you build it, they will come no longer works. With well over 110 million individual websites competing for people’s attention, you need a plan, and some help, to be consistently found by the audience you most care about. One path to success is Search Engine Optimization, a collection of techniques that agencies can implement to give your website, and your marketing, the tools to succeed.Read full post...


Slinging Bing

Microsoft's Bing

Microsoft's Bing

Microsoft has launched its answer to Google in Bing, its replacement for Live Search. This latest go at a search platform has some interesting quirks, including instances of single results on the SERP (search engine results page) for keywords it’s certain have a single destination site.

On the homepage, Bing layers a pleasing image behind the search box, with your standard Images, News and other options down the left-hand column. The image has discoverable hotspots, which both fits the theme of searching and could be a very interesting way to integrate ads onto the most visited page at Bing.Read full post...

“Canonical” solution to search engine woes

Search engines

The top search engines have collectively agreed on a solution to a problem that has long vexed web developers and web site owners.

Google, MSN, and Yahoo have announced support for the use of a “canonical” link tag as part of a page’s markup to help identify duplicate content. The three have a combined search market share of over 90 percent, according to several independent rating surveys.Read full post...


Index measures mainstream media popularity on blogs


Blogs and the mainstream media

Blog content aggregator and search site Technorati will soon release its Technorati Attention Index, which measures the incidence of blogs linking to mainstream media sites during the last 30 days. Traditional news sources such as The New York Times, CNN and the BBC are leaders, most likely indicating the high influence of politics and the economy, versus, as examples, entertainment and technology reporting.Read full post...