UK conference Library Information Show will be held in Birmingham NEC 18-19 April 2007. NEC ist the same conference building as when I was attending the Internet Librarian International Conference 2003.
Search Engine Land has started a weekly column on search and user behavior called Just Behave. Nice initiative as search behavior is maybe one of my main interests in my work. Last friday Marissa Mayer:”…the driving force behind Google’s Spartan look and feel from the very earliest days”, was interviewed by Gord Hotchkiss. Gord is CEO of Enquiro, a search marketing firm that produces search engine user eye tracking studies and other research.
Gord does some reviewing on Enquiros latest Eye-tracking study which compares Google, Yahoo and MSN. I’m not doing comments on it here, because Chris Sherman will soon on Search Engine Land. But I want to put some critical views on the importance of Eye-tracking studies by pointing to this article by Jared Spool: “Eyetracking: Worth The Expense?“
Many interesting things is discussed in this interview. I will extract some of Marissas answers. Here’s about designing for the right resolution:
Yes, we are still seeing as many as 30% plus of our users at 800 by 600. My view is, we can view 1024 by 768 as ideal. The design has to look good on that resolution. It has to at least work and appear professional on 800 by 600. So all of us with our laptops, we’re working with 1024 by 768 as our resolution, so we try to make sure the designs look really good on that. It’s obvious that some of our engineers have bigger monitors and bigger resolutions than that, but we always are very conscious of 800 by 600.
Very interested thing is how search focused user avoid information:
Most users on our search results page don’t see the logo on the top of the page, they don’t see OneBox, they don’t even see spelling corrections, even though it’s there in bright red letters. There’s a single-mindedness of I’m going to put in my search, not let anything on the home page get in the way, and I’m going to go for the first blue left aligned link on the results page and everything above it basically gets ignored.
About the future of search she says:
I think the most pressing, immediate need as far as the search interface is to break paradigm of the expectation of “You give us a keyword, and we give you 10 URL’s”.
So, challenge one is how the searches get expressed, I think we really need to branch out there, but I also think we need to look at results pages that aren’t just 10 standard URLS that are laid out in a very linear format.
And comments on ads as relevant and not as disturbing:
I do think that for the 40 or so percent of page views that we serve ads on that those ads are incredibly relevant and usually do beat the search results, but for the other 60% of the time the search results are really the only reasonable answer.
Can’t stop getting excited of Slideshare.net. Today my slideshow about The perfect interface is the second most featured.
I’m also the most favorited slideshow today:
Well, enough boasting! ;-)
Eagerly I’m waiting for further developments like:
1. putting slideshows as private.
2. Exporting slideshows as ppt, pdf and other formats.
3. Online editing.
The only content-related web service I ever payed for is Flickr, but I would definitely pay for this also if they do further developments.
Thanks to Guus van den Brekel the other day I discovered another fantastic web 2.0-service called Slideshare.net. As the name expresses it’s a service where you put up your power points to share with others. In your profile you also set up which creative commons license your prefer for your slides. You can embed your slideshow in another web page by copying some code from Slideshare, just as possible with YouTube, Flickr etc.
I put up two of my english talks from autumn 2006 and whoops a couple of people had saved my presentation about perfect interfaces as a favorite. Don’t think I’ve been that overwhelmed since I discovered Gmail or Librarything. I just wonder when Google will buy this service too and I just wonder why they haven’t bought Librarything yet.
Here’s another conference for medical librarians held on Ireland: Health Sciences Libraries Group (HSLG) Conference Teaching, Learning and Promotion Skills for Health Care Librarians. 15 & 16th February 2007. Here announced at EAHIL website.
Don’t forget the search engines conference Search Engines Meeting in Boston April 23-24 2007. I was there on a scholarship in 2000 when Larry Page was in a panel review with Eric Brewer from Inktomi and some others. Who remembers Eric Brewer and Inktomi today and who remembers Larry Page? ;-) I remember the Google stickers Larry Page distributed to his audience. Remember, this was a time just before the Google hype. Larry was quite, in contrary to boasting Eric Brewer, laconic but had the most listeners wanting to ask him questions afterwards. To many to getting me a chance to ask the questions I didn’t dare to ask during the panel discussion. ;-)
Since then I haven’t vistited the Search Engines Meetings conference. The 2000 conference was not splendid if I compare to others but quite interesting though. As always nice meeting other professionals. Any one who been at Search Engines Meetins conferences the latest years? What’s your opinion on the quality? I thought it was a bit to much of commercial product presentations disguised in informative conference talks.
Pew Internet Project has released a study on use of social networks by teens. Social networks is defined as: “an online place where a user can create a profile and build a personal network that connects him or her to other users”. As most studies from Pew Internet it’s based on americans, in this case American youths ages 12-17. 55% of online teens use social networks and 55% have created online profiles. The Pew Internet study means 48% of teens visit social networking websites daily or more often; 26% visit once a day, 22% visit several times a day.
Amanda Lenharts conclusion is:
“There is a widespread notion that every American teenager is using social networks, and that they’re plastering personal information over their profiles for anyone and everyone to read. These findings add nuance to that story – not every teenager is using a social networking website, and of those that do, more than half of them have in some way restricted access to their profile.”
A new conference in Prague called INFORUM for information specialists from public and special libraries, corporate sector and government agencies. Read this presentation extracted from the website:
“The 13th annual conference of INFORUM that deals with professional electronic information resources for research, development, education and business purposes will be held from May 22 to May 24, 2007 in Prague”.
Both Peter Jacsó, Phil Bradley and Guus van den Brekel are guest speakers. Never heard Peter Jacsó but would be delighted to hear him. Though I’m not going there. Read a lot of Peter Jacsós articles. Guus I heard and met in Cluj-Napoca, Romania.
Even if you not have to agree with all puritanic ideas of usability guru Jakob Nielsen in his postings at his website Useit.com it’s great reading all the time. Read his last finding: “Fast, Cheap, and Good: Yes, You Can Have It All“.
Nielsen means the maxim: “…if you want something done quickly and inexpensively, it’ll be of poor quality; if you want it quickly and done well, it’ll be expensive” is not applicable “for one important aspect of usability: methodology”. The fastest and cheapest methods are the best in usability. He suggests paper prototypes and testing of each design with 5 users and to run many rounds of user testing.
A great blogpost from Shoemoney called “How Hackers Are Using Google To Pwn Your Site” shows a good example on what happens if you use default settings in Google sitemaps and have old exploitable code on your server. Blog posts like this are invaluable, thanks!