Archive for January, 2008
…does the concept User Interface ring a bell? What a User-Interface test?
As I hinted to in my last post, I think the evaluation step is maybe one of the most important steps a marketing plan can include, yet many lack. Doing evaluation, allows one to:
- Reflect on the strengths of the campaigns
- Document the process so there’s no reinventing the wheel for next time
- Identify areas for improvement
- Lets you gain and track client feedback
- Find ‘lessons to learn from’
- Calculate ROI and compare to previous years/cases
For best evaluation results, one should meet with a team, get outside feedback, talk to the client(s), key associates or other employees who had a hand in the project. Now, it the fun part. I want to introduce to you a great, but commonly unknown tool to add to your evaluation methods: the User Interface Test.
User Interface is a concept that describes how users interact with a website. If you’ve ever had any of the following questions, then conducting a User Interface test might be right up your alley:
- What should be on the homepage?
- Should the main graphic be video, a slideshow, a moving graphic, etc.?
- Where should the ‘search’ button go?
- Is our website easy to use?
- How functional is our website?
- What’s the message our users are getting?
- What would make our website easier to use?
- When someone first comes to our site, what’s the first thing they see?
- What would get users to spend more time on our pages?
- Does everything on our site communicate our message?
- Does our content engage the reader?
- What is someone expecting when they come to our site?
- Is the site easy to use?
- Is our site customize-able?
- Does our site have a professional tone? or an appropriate tone?
- Does our site speak relevance to those trafficking the site?
- Does the design capture attention?
- How do our users interact with our site?
If you find yourselves asking these questions and similar others, then a User Interface test could be right up your alley! To test your User Interface, you can use either quantitative or qualitative approaches. Four qualitative approaches are outlined below.
- Time to Task: Tests ability for tester to complete an action to user’s satisfaction in a decent time.
- Accuracy: Tests the accuracy of the website and the information found.
- Emotional Response: Tests how the testee responds to their overall experience on the site or in conducting their tasks.
- Recall/Repetition: Tests ability to recall the process it takes to find desired information. Also looks as how the testee’s ability to recall where he or she is on the website and how he or she arrived there.
To create quantitative results, one can have testee fill out forms measuring various categories on a scale of 1-5 (customization, professionalism or tone, design, organization, usefulness, relevance, and interactivity.)
Hope this little research tidbit, and way of evaluating your website comes in hand. =)
Any Oprah fans in the atmosphere? On last Friday’s show, Oprah’s show featured: Going Green 101 where she shared many tips and insights on how individuals and families can join the fight to save our earth. Feeling inspired, I wanted to provide my own list of simple and easy ways to Go Green this upcoming year. Some of my favorites from Oprah’s show are also shared.
1. Turn your water off in between brushing your teeth.
2. Unplug straightener, shaver, blow dryer, etc. when not in use. When items are plugged in, they still use up to 40% power.
3. Buy a shower timer to conserve water.
4. Use tissue and toilet paper sparingly.
1. If you’re making a picnic, choose plastic over paper plates. They can be reused and recycled.
2. Buy energy saving appliances to help global warming. Look for the blue Energy Star label when purchasing or visit http://www.energystar.gov for more information.
3. Use reusable containers to put away leftover rather than plastics wrap or foil. Also, in the same line of thinking, use rags to clean up messes when possible to conserve paper towels.
1. Instead of adding yard waste or lawn clippings to landfills, use a mulching mower. Not only is it healthier for your yard, but its healthier for all of Earth.
3. Remember to inflate your tires about every two weeks. This allows your tires to last longer, meaning more rubber is conserved.
1. Turn lights on and off when entering and exiting rooms.
2. Caulk your windows to get the most out of your heating and air conditioning. This will save energy and money. Double bonus!
3. Use energy strips. This helps save power and cuts down on your energy bill. When something is off, but still plugged in, it still uses power.
4. Use GE energy smart light bulbs. According to Oprah.com, GE Energy Smart bulbs use 70 to 75 percent less energy than incandescent light bulbs and last up to 10 times longer than most bulbs.
5. Donate books and magazines to public libraries.
6. Use rechargeable batteries instead of throwaway ones.
1. If you haven’t heard about the questions surrounding bottled water, go no further. Bottled water is more expensive…to our pocketbooks, bodies and our world. Save all three. Invest in a Nalgene water bottle or an aluminum water bottle that can be reused, is safer, cost effective, healthier and saves the earth.
2. Buy less packaged food. Read the labels and packaging to see if food is healthy for your body, but also take notice if wasteful materials are being used to sell the item.
2. Donate old clothes and items you no longer use to The Salvation Army or the Goodwill.
3. Do not throw away leather shoes. Leather takes 50 years to decompose. Donate them.
4. Resell or donate your old, used cellphone even! Lots of companies buy back phones, spruce ’em up and then resell them at lower rates. Green mobile is one such company.
5. Just say no…to receipts. When an ATM or a gas pump asks if you want a receipt, say no. This will save many precious trees.
1. Visit a landfill. As Oprah’s show told us, throwing something away, doesn’t mean that it goes away. It goes somewhere else.
2. Plant trees. The more CO2 we can create, the better.
3. Adopt a cause and become an activist. Green is the new pink everyone. Just check out Matt Damon’s favorite organization Greendimes, Stop Global Warming!, or Gwenyth Paltrow and Cameron Diaz’ organization ‘act green’ that works to reduce dependence on oil and for energy conservation.
4. Use newspapers as wrapping paper.
6. Take up Shard Art. Also known as Pique Assiette mosaic art. Use pieces of broken glass to create wonderful new pieces of art.
7. Visit and shop at your local farmer’s market.
1. Beg, borrow or buy Al Gore’s documentary: An Inconvenient Truth.
2. Read The Green Book by Elizabeth Rogers and Thomas M. Kostige.
3. Watch the television series Planet Earth.
4. Attend a Drive-In movie, according to Eath911.org.
5. Carpool. This web service helps you connect with others looking to carpool in your area.
6. Catch Leonardo DiCaprio’s film The Eleventh Hour, about the growing dangers of global warming, set to come out soon!
And lastly, one way to recycle I would not recommend….using old condoms as hairbands. True story.
And on that note, hope this was enough to get motivated. Feel free to leave your favorite recycling tips below too!
Eco-Friendly Websites for further information: