Emerging Web trends

“There’s no way of picking apart all of that stuff. There’s no curational layer. It terrifies me.” [Jack Schulze, Berg, about being stressed by Google reader]

“The fundamental problem, Öhrvall [Bonniers, Stockholm] argues, is the absence of closure in most digital narratives. On the Web, you ‘always link somewhere else, the story never ends. No sense of completion. For us, it was clear that there was something missing. We realised there must be other ways to tell a story in digital media, apart from millions of look-alike sites on the Web.

“Most of these publishers have a very strong drive to maintain the integrity of the printed product. (…) More than anything else, they have fought against the atomisation of content on the Web.”

From: Tablets of the new covenant by Peter Kirwan, Wired UK, March 10, p. 42 – 46

Content strategy

“[A bunch of] tactics, when combined, do not make up a strategy.”

“Content strategy is the practice of planing for the creation, delivery, and governance of useful, usable [online] content.”

  • Creation: What contnt will be created and why? How will that content be structured and found? Where will the content come from? Who will be in charge of creating it?
  • Delivery: How will content get online? Who will review it, edit it, approve it, load it? What goes into phase one, phase two, and so on? How and where will you deliver content to users? Which tools and data will ensure your users will find it?
  • Governance: Who cares for he content after it goes live? What’s the plan for adding, updating, and archiving content? What are the policies, standards, and guidelines by which content will be evaluated?

Halvarson (2010), p.32

Decisions are linked to activity in all parts of the brain

“What makes us human is that we have all three brains [new brain/cortex, mid brain and old brain], but since the new brain is the only part of brain functioning that we are conscious of we think it is the most important player. Our mid brain (emotions) and old brain (automatic functioning) processing are, for the most part, unconscious, but there’s the interesting thing: our behavior and our decision-making is just as affected, actually, even more affected by our old brain and our mid brain than it is by our new brain.
What does this mean? It means that we think we make decisions about how to act and what to do consciously, but actually most of our decision making and behavior is governed by unconscious aspects.”

Weinschenk (2009), p.7

10 things that are more important than menu navigation

Slideshow notes ‘10 saker som ar vigtigare an navigation pa din sajt‘ (inuse.se)

  1. Short ways (eg repetive bread crumbs, relevant links, popular links)
  2. Tags (to allow for horizontal categorisation and/or crowd-sourced semantics)
  3. Timing (currently rather underestimated, even in Google search results)
  4. Linked keywords (as in Wikipedia)
  5. Social media (What is relevant to your friends might be relevant to you)
    Meaningful categories
  6. Improved landing pages (eg meaningful URLs)
  7. Outsourced navigation (eg serach results on google provide mini navigation)
    Improved site serach
  8. SEO

Pete Gale (cogapp): Usability issues with maps

From the ‘Wayfinding’ talk at UX Brighton 9.2.2010; Pete talks about experiences from user testing tfl related sites/apps

    When developing wayfinding tools such as maps, consider:

  • Attitudes
    People do have attitudes amongst maps, not everybody likes them
  • Interaction
    People do not necessarily read affordances provided in the map (eg dragging with the hand)
  • Information
    Too much information can obscure the map; information as clutter and noise; consider density of information and level of detail
    Often, the journy is less important than actual information around the start and the end point of a journey
    Examples: Mapumental
  • Wayfinding
    Discrepancey of how the world is represented on a map and how it is perceived by people; example: people usually do not use street names to decribe a journey, but landmarks; problem: how can landmarks be described adequately; problem of crowdsourcing ‘popular’ information: data are dirty; think of simplicity vs. complexity, concrete vs. abstract
    Examples: Legible London; Here & There

Information seeking behaviour

Model of user experience while searching information (six stages):

  1. Initiation: The user becomes concious of a gap in knowledge. Feelings of uncertainty and apprehension are common; the main task is to recognize a need for information.
  2. Selection: Ubncertainty often gives way to feelings of optimism and a readiness to begin searching. The task is to identify and select the topic to be investigated. Thoughts are forward-looking and attempt to predict an outcome.
  3. Exploration: Feelings of uncertainty, confusion, and doubt return. The general inability to precisely express an information need commonly results in an awkward interaction with the system.
  4. Formulation: Rising confidence ion decreasing uncertainty mark a turning point in the process. Forming a focus becomes the chief task as thoughts become clearer.
  5. Collection: Interaction with the information system is most effective and efficient. Decisions about the scope and focus of the topic have been made and a sense of direction sets in. Confidence continues to increase.
  6. Presentation: The goal now is to complete the search and fulfil the information need. A sense of relief is common as well as satisfaction and dissatisfaction (in the case of a negative outcome). Thoughts center on synthesizing and internalizing what was learned.

By Carol C. Kuhlthau, cited in Kalbach (2007, p.47)

Transitional volatility in Web Navigation

According to Danielson, people navigate in a cycle of habituation, prediction, and re-orientation:

  1. Habituation: While interacting with a web site, people become accustomed to its navigation mechanisms and overall systems. But it’s not just the currently viewed page that contributes to habituation: people may have memory of all pages they’ve experienced. For each navigation act, they bring prior knowledge and expectations.
  2. Prediction: From patterns of navigation within a web site and cues that provide ‘scent’ to information, such as link labels and link position, people predict the attributes of destination pages. They anticipate what comes nect while navigating.
  3. Re-orientation: Once a new page is reached, people familiarize themselves with it. Re-orientation occurs. The navigation on the new page now becomes incorporated into the navigator’s model of the site, and the cycle begins again.

From David R. Danielson ‘Transitional volatility in Web Navigation‘, cited in Kalbach (2007, p.34)

David Ellis: Behavioural model of information seeking (8 primary behaviours)

Eight primary behaviour patterns in information seeking:

  1. Starting: identifying relevant sources of interest
  2. Chaining: following and connecting new leads in an initial source
  3. Browsing: scanning content of identified sourcves for subject affinity
  4. Differentiating: filtering and assessing sources for usefulness;
  5. Monitoring: keeping up to date of an area of developments in a given subject area
  6. Extracting: systematically working through a given source for material of interest
  7. Verifying: checking the accuracy and reliability of information.
  8. Ending: concluding activities

David Ellis, cited in Kalbach (2007, p.26)