UX London – Designing for Content Rich Sites Workshop

Here’s a dump of tweets i sent during Jared’s workshop.

  • sitting up the back of @jmspool‘s workshop – Why Good Content Must Suck: Designing For The Scent of Information
  • Jared is talking about the Scent of Information and why it is more effective than designing for navigation
  • humans = informavours
  • Jared says: the best websites have a lot of content
  • conten sucks the user towards it (this is why your content has to suck… like a vaccuum cleaner)
  • every link gives off ‘scent’ that users follow. As scent gets stronger, people are more confident they’re headed the right way
  • we can only tell from users behaviour whether the scent is working or not. If you’re not watching users, you won’t know.
  • “trigger words” are the words that cause users to act
  • our eyes go straight to trigger words.
  • @Suw no videos from #uxlondon as far as I know
  • Jared says the 3 click rule is ‘complete bullshit’. Tell your boss.
  • the only time users complain about clicks is when the information scent has gone
  • good design is like air conditioning. You don’t notice it unless there’s something wrong.
  • @Suw I’m in the process of posting dumps of my tweets session by session to my blog right now :) www.disambiguity.com
  • when the user comes to the page they scan for trigger words, if they find one, they click on it. If they don’t, they go to search
  • the search box is users creating their own links by inputting the trigger words they’re looking for
  • most of the time BYOL (bring your own link) via search doesn’t work
  • users don’t like to scroll ‘that’s complete bullshit too’ @jmspool
  • iceberg syndrome: people assume the most important stuff is at the top. If ‘marketing fluff’ is at the top, don’t bother scrolling
  • nobody goes to a website without a purpose. except web designers.
  • information masking:when users look at a page they focus on only the portion of the page that has consistently given them good use
  • navigation panels are often scentless. Scent is specific, navigation is often not.
  • short links don’t emit scent
  • the best links are 7-12 words in length
  • @atownley 12 words is too long :)
  • short pages reduce scent. The best pages are *really* long. ref: CNN, Yahoo, Amazon, NYT
  • things that stop ppl from scrolling 2. Design elements that *look* like the bottom- white space, text that looks like a disclaimer
  • cute/brand/marketing type links don’t work (mystery meat)
  • homepages should look more like sitemaps in @jmspool‘s opinion. It’s not clutter. Link rich homepages do better than sparse pages
  • @jmspool on baseball – it’s 15mins of excitement jammed into 2.5hrs
  • the only people who care about what ‘section’ of a site something is in is people who manage the site. Users couldn’t care less.
  • graphics for information = v useful. decorative graphics are less easy to correlate to good user outcomes
  • the no.1 thing that users base the quality of their experience on is whether or not they complete their task
  • Navigation Graphics communicate scent. Content Graphics convey information. Ornamental Graphics do something else #uxlondon PRT @Wandster
  • yes, in case you’re wondering, I’m tweeting a @jmspool workshop at
  • designing for scent – make sure every click makes the user more confident
  • what makes users confident – ‘i know where this link is going to take me’
  • on click show desired content OR even stronger scent = happy user
  • if you’re not spending time watching people use your site there is no way you’re designing a good site #uxlondon ( )
  • you need to know – why are users coming to your site? what are their trigger words?
  • users look for blue & underlines. yes, it’s ugly and hard to see but we’ve trained users to look for that.
  • Target Content Page = the page the user is looking for to solve their objective. The most important page on the site for that user
  • you only have to worry about information scent if you have more than one page on your website
  • Gallery Page = a list of links to content pages. Scent comes from the content page thru the links on the gallery page to the user
  • @jmspool does research on ecommerce sites because they’re easy – easy to measure if users have achieved their goal.
  • 3 scent failure predictors: use of the back button, pogo-sticking, use of search
  • wireframing 2.0 #uxlondon goodies http://tr.im/uxlondongoodies (via @solle)
  • the back button is the button of doom (repeat after @jmspool)
  • pogosticking = when the user bounces between levels of the information hierarchy seeking their target content page
  • when people pogo-stick we see a huge reduction in users achieving success on a site
  • the more users pogo-stick the less likely they are to find the target content. When you see it it, tells you there’s a problem.
  • you are *much* more likely to find what you’re looking for if you DON’T use search
  • only if you have Uniquely Identified Content (like Amazon) do you get an exception to the searching = predictor of problems rule
  • people type very generic terms into search – this is the main reason search fails (behaviour not technology)
  • your users are telling you every day what trigger words they’re looking for and on what pages. Look at your search logs.
  • users are telling you every day what is wrong with your site and what you need to do to fix it. Are you paying attention? @jmspool
  • to stop people pogosticking, you need to put as much information on the gallery page as possible
  • “Changes in the web don‚Äôt change the fundamentals of human behaviour” (@jmspool) #uxlondon (via @Paulseys)
  • alphabetical order is the same as random order in 99% of cases @jmspool
  • Department Pages = collections of gallery pages. Separates gallery pages into logical groups.
  • Department pages are for winnowing, gallery pages are for selecting. Users get this.
  • More on “pogosticking” on UIE: http://bit.ly/NuY6W #uxlondon (via @bashford)
  • You can always have that much space for your gallery page because you have an infinite page length @jmspool
  • people do NOT learn the structure of your site by using it. They have no sense of the organisation of your site, nor do they care
  • When users comparison-shopped using pogosticking techniques:purchase = 11% . Compare to 55% when product lists used. #uxlondon PRT @Wandster
  • seducible moments – at the end, once users have *achieved* their goal say ‘by the way, would you like to do this?’
  • Store pages = groups of department pages. Helps users tell the system what they *don’t* want to see (eg. business or sports)
  • people who choose a ‘Store’ page tend to never choose another ‘Store’ page in the same session.
  • Do you need store pages? Look to your competitors. If they have them, you probably do. Use the same terms as they are (generic)
  • Homepage purpose – to get people to other pages, usually to a category page. Divide real estate accordingly
  • anyone who tells you that your homepage is for brand, to learn about your products/your business etc. They’re wrong @jmspool
  • the best way to solve arguments is to have everyone watching users actually using the site @jmspool

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