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Interesting web and identity news

Internet Explorer 9 hits beta, but will it win users?

ie9Internet Explorer 9 hits beta, but will it win users?

Ever since Internet Explorer beat Netscape and turned into the web industry’s least favourite boat anchor, Microsoft has been struggling to turn the tide. IE7 was little more than a statement that it planned to become a contender again, and IE8 was a decent overhaul, but one whose success came firmly from being a Microsoft release rather than because of any intrinsic improvements over its rival Firefox.

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10 Hidden Google Gems

hidden-gemsBest known for its search engine, Google has developed a range of interesting and useful free tools. Here’s our pick of them!

Google made its name as a search engine but over the years it has also built up a selection of free online tools. The benefits they offer range from a better way to find things online, to full-blown programs that rival expensive commercial software. In this article, we will introduce you to 10 of the best.

Our top 10 tools are all tried and tested versions, but you may find some other Google tools that have the label ‘Labs’ attached to them. This means the tool is still being worked on in Google Labs, which is essentially a trial area for Google to demonstrate new tools it is developing. The idea is that anyone can try them out and leave feedback. Should a tool work well and get enough positive responses, it may eventually make it out of Labs as fully fledged Google tool.

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Your web browser in 5 years

future-webThe next big computing platform won’t be Mac or Windows. It’s already here and it’s the web! And the drive to offer the most compelling window to the web possible, via the browser, is intense.

What will your web browser look like in 2015? Five years doesn’t always bring dramatic change to technology – today’s desktop PC, for instance, isn’t that different from its 2005 predecessor – but browsers are undergoing major changes that will alter our day to day computing lives.

Not only will web browsers become a common place in cars, but they’ll also incorporate voice recognition, text-to-speech and touchless gesture controls for applications where keypads, touchpads and touchscreens can be inconvenient or dangerous while driving, for instance. Browsers will stream internet radio to our cars, and perhaps even adopt a 3D-style interface – only without the clunky glasses.

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Facebook Privacy - How to protect your Identity

facebook-exposedFor many people, Facebook is the first stop in any web-surfing session. It has developed into a highly engaging combination of online bulletin board, personal scrapbook and group communication network. But did you ever wonder why, being all those things, Facebook is free?

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Google Base / Google Merchant Centre

google-base

Do you know what they are?

Google base in simple terms is an online database provided by Google. Users can add almost any type of content to the database in structured formats (such as XML, EXCEL, PDF etc). Recipes, classified ads, lecture notes - pretty much anything you can think of can be posted for free to Google Base.

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Usability Testing – Keeping Testing Simple

usability-testingWhy didnt we do this sooner?

What everyone says at some point during the first usability test of their web site.

Here are the main things we know about testing.

If you want a great site, you’ve got to test.

After you’ve worked on a site for even a few weeks, you can’t see it freshly anymore. You know too much. The only way to find out if it really works is to test it.

Testing reminds you that not everyone thinks the way you do, knows what you know, uses the Web the way you do.

We used to say that the best way to think about testing was that it was like travel: a broadening experience. It reminds you how different and the same people are, and gives you a fresh perspective on things.

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Designing Your Home Page

home-page1

The first step in recovery is admitting that the Home Page is beyond your control

To design your website home page takes a lot of time and planning. Think about all the things your home page has to accommodate.

  • Site identity and mission. Right off the bat, the home page has to tell you what site this is and what's it for and if possible, why I should be here and not at some other site.
  • Site hierarchy. The home page has to give an overview of what the site has to offer, both content ("What can I find here?") and features ("What can I do here?") and how it's all organised. This is usually handled by the persistent navigation.
  • Search. Most sites need to have a prominently displayed search box on the home page.
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Street Signs and Breadcrumbs

 

streetsignnavDesigning Navigation

Its a fact:

 

People won’t use your Website if they can’t find their way around it.

You know this from your own experience as a web user. If you go to a site and can’t find what you’re looking for or figure out how the site is organised, you’re not likely to stay long – or come back. So how do you create the proverbial “clear, simple, and consistent” navigation?

Scene from a Shopping Centre:

Picture this: It’s Saturday afternoon and you’re headed for the local shopping centre to buy a chainsaw.

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Animal, vegetable, or mineral?

 

thinkWhy web users like mindless choices

 

Web designers and usability professionals have spent a lot of time over the years debating how many you can expect users to click to get what they want without getting too frustrated. Some sites even have design rules stating that it should never take more than a specified number of clicks (usually three) to get to any page in the site.

On the face of it, "number of clicks to get anywhere" seems like useful criteria. But over time we have come to think that what really counts is not the number of clicks it takes us to get to where we want (although there are limits), but rather how hard each click is - the amount of thought required, and the amount of uncertainty about whether we are making the right choices.

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ISSBA Business Event - Monitor Winner!

 

issbaThank you to all those that visited the identity stall on the ISSBA business event 28th April.

The event proved a great success with more than a hundred stands ranging from accountants to waterproof cushions! There were some fantastic business at the event giving out free advice and help where needed. Everyone had excellent opportunities to network and build up some good local business relationships.

On the day Identity were giving away a free 20” Dell monitor! The competition was drawn by fellow stall member, Shelli Moyes from MPM Computer Consultants who forfeited her go just for the opportunity!

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