March 22, 2005

If Your Home Page Could Only Talk

This article is quite funny. A great example of criticism via satire. Here are a couple of excerpts:

"First, let me say, I have no idea who you are, or why you came, but believe me when I say, I built my site just for you. My company and products are the best there is to offer."

"Contacting me is easy. Just fill out the form when you find it. When you find the privacy policy, please take an hour to read that. Basically it says I don't have time to record your data and don't care who you are. I'm only interested in selling you something that has my company name on it."

"The product catalog is to the left of that big fat image on the right of the homepage that's distracting you. Above the two global navigation schemes in the top header is your login area. To register, you need to first give me your phone number so I can call you at 3am and tell you about my specials. I put the search box at the bottom of the page, so you can find things quickly. The sitemap needs to be updated, sorry. We put it there for search engines to crawl and then forgot we had it. "

March 21, 2005

Do users really cares about culture when it comes to web design?

I found this quite curious:

"One of the most time consuming conversations in the company is the extent to which the look & feel of this template is appropriate for each local market, with country managers always claiming that the site needs to have a more local look & feel.

This is despite the fact that we have standardized our offline brochure design worldwide for years. The only country we have tested this on is Korea, where we implemented a 'Korean' looking homepage to appease the country manager, and found it had no impact on conversion."

From Standard Global Site Templates Beat Asia-Specific Design

And from an earlier story Exclusive Results Data from VistaPrint's Top 10 Marketing Tests:

Test #10. Generic versus cultural Web design

Although VistaPrint hires a native of each country to be in charge of marketing for his or her own country's site, the sites are constructed using generic templates. Language and prices are translated of course, but not overall style.

Holian figured it might not be optimum, but this system saved a great deal of wear and tear on the site design and engineering team.

But when VistaPrint launched in Japan, the Japanese-born marketer absolutely insisted the company develop a cultural-specific site.

Holian agreed to a test. So the company launched not one but two Japanese sites -- one using the standard template and the other copying typical Japanese site design -- and split incoming traffic.

The standard template won. Looking like a Japanese site wasn't critical as long as the language and pricing were localized.

Of course, they don't provide any details on their test methodology or any real I'm left curious what other research might confirm or dispute these findings.
Tim Berners-Lee, web inventor, compares mobile web design to accessible web design

"Web designers have learned to design for the visually impaired and for other people. They will learn in a few years how to make Web sites available for people with mobile devices, too," Tim Berners-Lee said today at a seminar on the future of the Web.

From Web design hampers mobile Internet, Berners-Lee says - Computerworld