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think again about personalized and/or 'rich' vs fast

 6:49 pm on Dec 26, 2000 (gmt 0)

The study showed that as consumers shop online more, they become more concerned about privacy. Moreover, a personalized Web site was second to last in priority among the five groups of consumers polled.

The quickest way to damage your brand reputation is to sell customers' personal information without their knowledge...

Consumers have expressed a desire for speed over richness and interactivity ..... Techies and the marketing people have ignored this.

Article focused on e-tailers, but it really applies across the board, imo. Retailing Web Sites Face Tough Future [dailynews.yahoo.com]

Edited by: rcjordan



 7:25 pm on Dec 26, 2000 (gmt 0)

I agree that privacy is a major concern with users. Face it, the "computer age" is not a fad. Information about yourself is stored electronically in zillions of places.
One very simple "fix" to help preserve alittle bit of your privacy online is to rent a mailbox from Mailboxes, etc. or someplace like that. Then change the billing address on your credit cards (all your bills actually) to this address. UPS will deliver to this address whilst they won't deliver to a PO Box. All your credit hrecords and history points to this "static address" no matter where you live or move to. You can also get one of those ONEBOX.com voice mail phone numbers as your phone number.
Then you can order some of that "Miracle Weight Loss" cream and apply ten times the amount suggested until you become invisible.....:)
Sometimes its better not to do something (even if it's super cool) just because you can do it....
KISS...Keep It Simple Stupid.
Still true;)


 5:39 pm on Dec 27, 2000 (gmt 0)

Rich media -- save us from it, please. Especially those pages where you can't see anything else until the big fat ad file loads from a too-busy remote server. It's an instant back button click for me every time.

In the physical world, earlier in the year I was involved in creating and testing some print materials. I discovered that black and white often gets better results than the identical content in color, sometimes even better than vivid 6-color separations with an ultra-wide gamut.

Slick can be very close to slippery, as in "your audience will slide right off it."


 6:08 pm on Dec 30, 2000 (gmt 0)

Yep, I've often found that it pays off much more to find a new way to simplify my layout, reduce my file sizes, or make the navigation more similar to other sites than it is to optimize a bit more for search engines. Users are just more predictable and faster-reacting than SEs :)

The third one was a real surprise. I knew familiar layouts would be easier to use, but I didn't realize until a round of layout changes just how much it mattered. My neato layout that allowed you to find exactly what you wanted in a hurry was less useful than a layout everyone already understood, even if it took an extra click or two to get where they wanted to be.


 6:55 pm on Dec 30, 2000 (gmt 0)

>I discovered that black and white often gets better results than the identical content in color

>My neato layout that allowed you to find exactly what you wanted in a hurry was less useful than a layout everyone already understood

I'm going to add one other comment, then try to tie the three together
No one uses all the whistles and bells on a VCR, they just jam in the tape and hit 'Play.'

Now we're really going to make the haut design types scream....

I believe we're looking at a phenom that comes with a maturing web user -by 'maturing,' I mean more total time logged at the browser. Several years ago, I made a point of tracing the evolution of a few people as they moved to the web. In every case, they started out favoring "rich" sites and usually equated rich graphics and sophisticated design with content authority. As they were online more and more, they morphed 180 degrees from their original preferences and became "black & white" users. The heaviest users are now aggressive in their browser habits when it comes to cutting to the chase (and reducing time), surfing with graphics off, javascript off, speakers off. Some strip frames out of framesets and bookmark them, use sites that scrape screens (like SEW does with Nando -love it!), or go for simple Mosiac-era text directories.

The user is becoming jaded, they have also developed a skillset for reading 'standard' websites. Like the QWERTY keyboard, some site designs may be technically better or more efficient, but the user doesn't want to take time to re-learn anything.

BTW, I do not believe that it's a coincidence that one of the most common complaints now being leveled at NS6 is the inclusion of "skins" at a cost of performance.


 1:11 am on Dec 31, 2000 (gmt 0)

After reading through this thread I figured I had better read the article; alas, no longer available.

Does anyone have a copy they could email me?




 2:58 am on Dec 31, 2000 (gmt 0)

found another source for the same article, link is fixed, Woz. Url in s-mail, too.


 3:06 am on Dec 31, 2000 (gmt 0)




 4:09 am on Dec 31, 2000 (gmt 0)

From experience...

We reduced the number of graphics on one site from an average of 4.5 on each page to 2

We changed the menu from grahic based buttons to a text menu ala Yahoo and Searchengineworld on the top of each page

We reduced the size of our front page enormously to really just a short description and internal links.

We based it on what people said they wanted to find on our web site and put the names of the links as reflecting this.

We split long pages up, each trying to make one point and focus

We read and re read Jakob nielsen and webmasterworld

We got rid of any java, js or HTML4

We optimised by theming.

Result 6 months down the track?

unique visitors up 190%, page views up 250% (per capita!), email enquiries up 350%


 6:32 pm on Dec 31, 2000 (gmt 0)

I'm still not sure why everybody thinks skins are the reason NS6 is slower in some areas :)

Skins were actually something that was added because it cost them basically nothing beyond what they were already doing. The real problem is that much of the code consists of "first cut" implemenations of components that need to be rewritten. One example is the newsgroup subscribe dialog in NS6, which is several hundred times slower than the one in later Mozilla nightlies.

The startup time is a similar situation: it spends about 11 seconds inside the OS loading dynamic libraries, and another 10 or so reading the component registry.

They *could* have made Mozilla a Windows-only product and removed XUL and themes, but it wouldn't make a huge dent in speed or memory usage. People assume themes are to blame because it's the most obvious user-level change.


 10:06 pm on Jan 20, 2001 (gmt 0)

Thanks, chiyo, for the details of your site make-over. The numbers tell the story, don't they?

As I re-read it today, I wondered how your SE rankings were affected. I'd assume a boost - can you confirm?


 4:44 am on Jan 21, 2001 (gmt 0)

Hi tedster, We are not full time SEO's here. And seeing rankings change so much we just use the referal stats from SE's from our logs.

It is not so good a method because of the uncontrolled factors (mainly how many people are using each engine and the boost from directory listings not as affected so much by Page/Site design factors).

We also hardly ever submit any more as we seem to be fully spidered by Fast, AV, Google, Goo, NL, and Go very regularly but have a few goTo 1c keywords.

On this we have shown increases in Google and MSN over the past quarter of around 35% to 45%, Fast of around 30%. Go and AV have stayed static or even reduced a bit. This may be underestimated significantly because it includes the Xmas slow down period where at least in our area which ha a professional, management profile, hits traditionally halve for one month.

Also we are in a specialist area, so there is competition but it in no way is it a highly competitive area. Basically our sites are an Asian business ezine (satirical, intellectual and research content with personal style columnists), a site about market research in asia, one about branding in asia, and one our corporate site (market research services).

But most importantly our Search engine terms in our log files are now far more relevant. Very few porn like terms like before and garbage hits, but the terms we want people to find us by have shown a dramatic improvement.

We are now starting to roll these ideas over some of our other sites after the prototype on our corporate site.

A bit shy about posting the url of the sites here but certainly can provide them if you email.


 8:01 am on Jan 21, 2001 (gmt 0)

Thanks for the details, chiyo.

I'm glad you didn't post your URL in your message -- in order to keep our boards clear of spam, we discourage URLs in the posts which might be considered self-promotional.

But, I would like to see your site -- you can either post it in your profile or send me a Sticky Mail with the address if you are willing.

Sticky Mail is local forum email. You can access it on the menu at the top of the page and send a private message to any registered forum member.

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