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Sites We Like (that possibly do a better job)

I'm just wondering if we could possibly start a list of sites we think are better in terms of dealing with the typical "end user".

Here's some open source sites I think do a pretty good job with dealing with end-users:

openSuse has very recently gone over to this VERY simple format

This is a VERY user-centric site with many other links going elsewhere

OK, WAY too wordy, probably, but this is a developer system, not a typical end-user application. Still the general layout has some merit I think

OK, I'm done for now. :)

I agree. It need not be just competitors, although the IBM competitors criteria can work for all sites. I would like to suggest some Corporate sites that probably have had some of the best professional designers working on them. I will be back with a list of links that caught *my* eye.

Regards Bill Case


Reviewed some sites. See what you think.

Thursday, November 08 2007 sample sites with comments (css based web sites) Sample sites with comments and ratings Lots of good samples, but no comment or rating, 540 designs listed More good samples, 203 designs listed

N. B. Irony -- Great sample/winning sites, well worth looking at -- but the webby site itself is confusing. Scroll down for categories.

Check out:

  • Best Home/Welcome Page
  • Best Navigation/Structure
  • Best Copy/Writing
  • Best Practices
  • Charitable Organizations Nonprofit

Some of these sites may be too resource intensive (flash, sound etc) but they contain great ideas that my be incorporated at a simpler level.

Of them all, I personally liked the 2007 IKEA BEST NAVIGATION/STRUCTURE .

What seems to work the best, particularly on a home page, seems to be "smiling people". No surprise there.

Addendum: I have read criticism of the Webby Awards. Some people would have chosen different winners or claim not all the best were nominated. Be that as it may, for our, OOo, purposes there isn't a better place to start reviewing what can be done.

Of course, start by checking:

Be honest, Microsoft's site is the better of the two.

Googles site is too simple in my view, although they have the advantage of letting the user immediately start creating a document.

Regards Bill Case

More download sites

I went after sites that weren't competitors, except maybe in terms of band width.

I have said in the past that the step from landing to download at OOo for Naive End User (NEUbees?) is a big one, especially if that user is on dialup, demonstrated by the marketing campaigns that pay out considerably for click throughs without substantial increase in Downloads... Dialup connection is still common and still in the majority globally. So I went looking at sites that required the NEUbee to commit to a substantial download.

Do they do a better job? Good question. Are they successful, demonstrably so, but then so is OOo, 100 million plus downloads certainly can't be called a failure. Can we do it better? Most definitely. Are any of these sites doing it better? If numbers are the measure then the Acrobat download site is the winner by a country mile probably followed by Irfanview.

Does this reveal anything? Possibly only that our problems are not unique to us.

Yorick 12:27, 25 November 2007 (CET)

A discussion on Thirsty Horses

As the old saying goes "You can take a Horse to water but you can't make him drink"

And therein it seems, lies much of our problem.

There is I believe a confusion of goals at the homepage.

We are getting people to the download page but that is not the end goal. You have to give the horse a reason to drink, Either, make him thirsty, make the water desirable beyond his need for water or wait till he is thirsty before you take hime there.

The three tenets of Marketing

  • Create a need
  • Create a desire
  • Fill a present need

Right now we do none of these well, we simply shove the Horse at the trough, only to make it doubly difficult, we blindfold him, block up his nose and force him to sup it through a straw after he has learned that drinking some types of water.will be bad for him.

People come to a website for two main reasons

  • Curiosity
  • To solve a problem

They will leave for more reasons:

  • Their curiosity has been satisfied and they leave informed
  • They find a solution to their problem
  • They can't satisfy that curiosity within a reasonable time and they leave frustrated
  • They can't find the solution or it is not obvious and they leave frustrated
  • Fear of the unknown

Our problem is right now, and the discussions up to this point are reinforcing this point, we are not asking the User what he wants to do we are telling them what we expect them to do, We inform them but we don't give them information that will make them feel comfortable about hitting the download button, or to stretch our metaphor a bit further, we talk to our horse about the trough but not about how good the water is, while the horse is still worried about drowning..

So I've put together a draft of a front page continuing on the simplicity idea which I'm a fan of. The difference is that we provide "answers" to the Question"

 "You have arrived at what would you like to do now?"  

NLC could be another answer if we don't use a script to get a users language. Though I will admit I like method of doing this.

Draft home page

More comment tomorrow

Yorick 12:52, 27 November 2007 (CET)

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