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False Positives Adventures in Technology, SciFi and Culture from Toronto

Sunday, July 04, 2004

Time for a Redesign: Dr. Jakob Nielsen

Time for a Redesign: Dr. Jakob Nielsen

  • And I'll just mention one glaring mistake that most companies make: They divide up their networks or Web sites between products and supplies and service. There are typically three different places because there are three different divisions doing it. For a customer, however, if I have a certain copier, let's say the X17 copier, and I want toner for that machine, or I want to get it serviced—well, what I want is to go and find my copier and, once I find it, I want to get supplies for my copier, I want to get some trouble-shooting, self-service information. But it's a major effort because these are in different places. So that's something we find almost every time we do a study: that information is not structured in the way that people think of it. And that has been a problem for all ten years.

  • Fail to include a tag line that explicitly summarizes what the site or company does.

  • Neglect to use a liquid layout that lets users adjust the home page size.

  • Don't use color to distinguish visited and unvisited links.

  • Use graphics to decorate, rather than illustrate real content.

  • Give an active link to the home page on the home page.


  • several of these best intranets had reduction of e-mail as being one of their priorities in their project, finding ways of taking information away from e-mail and sticking it into a more kind of organized and searchable space on the intranet.

  • B2B Tips
  • To make the most of your B2B Web site, nielsen recommends that you "Help your fans help you" win their business. Provide the resources prospective clients' need to sell your products and services internally.

  • White papers that demonstrate ROI. Make these short, and don't use PDF; standard Web pages make it easier for advocates to cut and paste text and images into their memos and presentations.

  • Links to external press coverage that demonstrates that independent sources have covered you positively.

  • Ongoing updates through an e-mail newsletter, which can offer advocates hints about tidbits to feed their bosses.


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