Finding Information: Factors that improve online experiences
As this site grows, my concerns about the findability of information grows. I feel like the navigation is fairly clear (although sub navigation is lacking). I have browseable archives and search, yet still, am I doing all I can do make the information on this site easy to find? I wish WordPress offered more advanced search for one thing, I might look into adding this via plugin somehow. Another idea I have is to offer some "guide" pages (e.g. "Just learning CSS? Start here.").
The Institute for Dynamic Educational Advancement (IDEA) has just released a report on Finding Information (July 2008). They kind of debunk my guide page theory in their conclution:
"...do not believe that visitor experience could be improved with the presences of
a â€œpersonal navigation aid.â€
Oh well, I've learned to trust my instincts on these kinds of things and they are telling me it might be a good idea.
Why we delete comments
The AV Club has a funny story about them transitioning into allowing comments on their stories.
Unacceptable: â€œYouâ€™re a dick!â€ Acceptable: â€œOnly a dick would watch Con Air six times in a row!â€ Better: â€œYou watched Con Air six times?! You shouldâ€™ve taken IQ tests before and after to see how it affected you.â€
Around here, in addition to deleting insulting comments, I delete comments that add nothing to the article discussion itself. Comments that consist of "Thanks!!!!" (and that's it) I delete. You're welcome, but this doesn't add a heck of a lot to the conversation makes it harder to follow.
Cameron Moll on which words should be linked in a sentence. An enjoyable debate. Obviously this comes up for me many times every week as I prefer to link relevant text within these "Links of Interest" posts rather than a VISIT LINK button or some such. I'm a "D" man, myself.
The New Delicious
I have literally thought to myself time after time in the past few months how sad it is that Del.icio.us has been stagnate for so long. It's such a nice service and so highly used, and it sat seemingly abandoned for quite a long time. Thankfully that was not the case! Del.icio.us has redesigned, and is reborn as Delicious! In this blog post about the redesign, there is a wonderful video that shows the transformation from old to new.
Blogging tips from Cory Doctorow
Boing Boing co-author Cory Doctorow shares some advice on blogging. I found the tips very thoughtful and relevant to all web design, really. Main points: write good titles and respect your readers. Down with superfluous pagination!