Usable internal software systems – just a pipedream?

Usability as a criteria for judging internal software solutions is not only overlooked but often undervalued when compared to one of its big sisters, so called ‘cost reducing features’.

With the penetration of enterprise software throughout businesses all over the world, will we as end users ever experience user friendly internal software, to the levels to which we are accustomed with the latest ‘user centered’ web applications?


Charity search engine incurs the wrath of Google

Charity search engine has become the latest victim of the dreaded Google penalty, having been relegated to number 60  in the search engine for its brand name.

Will Critchlow has covered this on the Distilled blog, seeing no particular reason for the penalty, and speculating that the fact that Everyclick is a search engine may have something to do with it.


We know CPM advertising sucks but what are you going to do about it?

I came across an interesting post on Mashable last week, written by Jitendra Gupta, the CEO of internet startup SezWho.

In it, he focuses on social media advertising but also addresses the broader issue of CPM-based advertising. It's this part that I feel is worth discussing.


Email Usability – clearly we are no further down this road

I had my attention drawn recently to Jakob Nielsen’s latest post on Alertbox, entitled ‘Transactional Email and Confirmation Messages’.

In his article, Nielsen reports on his findings from a research study into the usability of confirmation and basic trigger emails. 

His conclusion is that, from a usability perspective, they are, in general, shocking (my word, not his!). 


Is your design clear or confusing? Eye-tracking can tell

Websites that have strongly invested in building traffic should be able to capture and focus people’s attention once they arrive.

However, eye-tracking analysis shows that this is not always the case.


Newspapers - the good news and the bad news

Times are tough for newspaper executives.

The newspaper industry's woes were highlighted once again last week when The New York Times Company posted a quarterly loss from continuing operations and announced that it would have to write down the value of some of its assets by over $100m.


Site review: Webtogs

Webtogs is an e-commerce startup that launched in 2007 and focuses on outdoor clothing and equipment.

Webtogs homepage

I've been taking a closer look at its website, as well as talking to Webtogs co-founder Philip Wilkinson about the design, and how the business is doing nearly 12 months after launch...


Amazon EC2 comes out of beta

Amazon's EC2 "cloud computing" offering, which enables users to access on-demand processing power using the firm's infrastructure, is "now ready for production", according to Amazon.

It officially left "beta" last week.


Wired says bloggers should make like Calacanis and quit

Wired’s senior editor Paul Boutin has climbed aboard the 'blogging is dead' train, pointing to Jason Calacanis’ decision to quit blogging as a primary reason to bail out.

The article starts: “Thinking about launching your own blog? Here's some friendly advice: Don't. And if you've already got one, pull the plug.”


The Web Week in Review

Earnings season is in full swing and while there were a few pieces of "serious" news that I found interesting, it was a story of a virtual murder from Japan that took the cake.


Q&A: Wayne Robbins of social shopping site Tribesmart

I reviewed social shopping site Tribesmart last month and, though it needs to add more users and products to become a valuable resource, it is a well designed and very usable site.

The site was set up by Wayne Robbins and Michael Pratt, who also run digital agency Iconography. I talked to Wayne to find out a bit more...


Pop-ups spoiling user experience on eBay

I spend a fair amount of time on eBay, but using Internet Explorer 7 to shop on the auction site has become a bit of a nghtmare recently.

This is because I keep getting pop-ups whenever I click to view an item on the site, with a security warning related to internet telephony service Skype, which eBay acquired in 2006.