Ministry of Propaganda

Ministry of Propaganda - 29/Oct/2005: "Now More Usable"

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Now More Usable

Recently 'usability guru' Jakob Nielsen wrote about Weblog Usability: The Top Ten Design Mistakes. As to be expected the blogs were all over it. Some of it I agree with, some of it sounds far too formal to me. And I've even made one addition today which kind of addresses one of his points, but then again I had thought about that for quite a while already and only needed a push to finally do it. In the order of his arguments:

  1. Author biography? Sounds a bit pompous to me. But if you are really that interested you can go to my personal homepage and read more there. It's also linked at the bottom of every page of this blog. Usable enough?
  2. Author photo? Do you really want to see me? OK, I take the point about recognising me should we meet somewhere. But then I assume you will most likely be a regular reader of this blog and have seen this picture, this picture, this picture, this picture or this picture.
  3. Descriptive posting titles? I'll try to sometimes. But then again I don't always want to. Just sounds too boring.
  4. Good links? I'd like to think that my links are usually quite clear and where appropriate I also use the title attribute (that's the thing that pops up when you hover your mouse pointer over a link).
  5. Classic hits are buried? Yes, have to give him that. And to that end have created the Old Favourites and Frequent Topics page, where you can quite quickly find the most important entries I've written about living abroad, TV Licensing, Islay and a number of other frequent topics.
  6. Calendar the only navigation? Not sure I really understand that point anyway, but the Old Favourites and Frequent Topics should cover most of that in combination with the search.
  7. Regular publishing frequency? Hey, this is a hobby, not a job! I post when I've got time and inspiration. That might be several times a day, that might be once every couple of days. But isn't that what RSS feeds/ readers are for anyway, allowing readers to track a blog and only visit when there is a new entry?
  8. Mixing topics? Well, I'm not sure I want to and/or need to attract high-value users, whatever they are. So I prefer to write about the topics I'm interested in, keeping them in one blog and those interested in one or two or three of them will pick them up. That'll do me nicely.
  9. Writing for my future boss? Yes, there are certain things where I 'censor' myself. But not only for potential future bosses, also for myself, friends and family.
  10. Own domain name? Done. That one was easy.

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