Saturday, November 10, 2007

Jakob Nielson sees parallels between ethical SEO and usability

Overview of Nielson's keynote address at Experience 2007 ...

"Jakob Nielson believes there are many similarities between ethical search engine optimisation techniques and usability best practice. In his keynote speech delivered at the User Experience 2007 conference in Barcelona on November 7th, Mr Nielson stated that the two design attributes of websites were "not identical, but closely aligned" and have triggered the advancement of the next wave of search engine trends.

Nielsen went on to clarify that there many parallels between the two areas of study including 'information architecture' and 'writing for the web' in particular. He stressed that "it's better to be more accurate in the way we describe content".

User Experience 2007 Conference
The User Experience 2007 Conference provides up to six days of full-day tutorials from international experts on topics including Content Usability, Information Architecture and Managing User Experience Strategy. Jakob Nielsen's keynote speech on day four of the conference highlighted the state of usability and what's next for the field.

SEO and the State of Usability
Nielson's keynote speech effectively outlined the next stage of search engine development for users. Having grown from 'Resource Discovery' engines such as Infoseek and Yahoo!, which focus on information retrieval and keyword matches, we are now in the phase of 'Solution Engines'. Search engines such as Google provide web users with the best, most popular documents based on popularity.

Nielson predicts that we are currently moving further into an arena where search engine optimisation and usability will go hand in hand to provide more 'Solution Engines' like Ask.com that help users get tasks done and base results on behavioural metrics.

... Trends in Usability
With Web 2.0 still a buzz word and Web 3.0 or even 4.0 on the horizon, Nielson predicts a 'back to basics approach' as website owners realise that simplification and resolution of basic problems is the key to a positive user experience, rather than the bells and whistles that come with participation innovations.

Nielson underlined this point by demonstrating the changes Google has made to its search engine results pages over time, reducing the level of content, removing a left hand column and continuing to improve basic user experience elements such as page load times - from 0.23 seconds in 1999 to 0.08 seconds in 2007."    (Continued via bigmouthmedia)    [Usability Resources]

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