Teaching, Promoting, Cheering UX and SEO Since 2002

Teaching Myself a New User Testing Trick

I’ve had an extremely busy day that included user testing with Camtasia and installing a new moderator at Cre8asiteforums (Congratulations Joe Dolson!) I barely had time to feed anybody here, which tonight, was no big deal because nobody was here at the same time to eat together anyway.

Flattery is the new SEO

So, I finally nestled down for another peek at my feeds (this is not considered work, by the way. I relax, put up my feet, help a kid with homework, answer “Mom!” questions and read my favorite blogs…) and what do I see?

“The lovely and super smart Kim Krause’s blog on usability and holistic search marketing.”

I reminded everybody in my house about the “lovely and super smart” part, just in case they happened to forget. This latest blog post, from Lee Odden Must Read Search Marketing Blogs, is the king of researched lists.

Impressing a Teenager

I haven’t been anywhere near live user testing in a few years and have sorely missed it. Today, as a surprise bonus for a client, who sent me a site targeted to somebody I gave birth to almost 17 years ago, I saw my chance to try out Camtasia. I’ve recorded software applications and done automated QA testing. This is kinda like that, only the recording is of a test user. The site I’m working on is targeted to teenage girls (and boys, maybe). I happen to live with one, so I asked her if I could watch her conduct an assigned task. She was very cooperative, after her boyfriend left and she was bored with nothing else to do.

A mom learns when to pounce.

I now have a nifty little recording to send them, that shows where she went, got lost, got in trouble and in the end, didn’t have what she really wanted. However, the site is perfect for her. It sells something she loves. We saved everything she did and I’ll likely order something from this client’s site, to pay her with.

I have a feeling I’ll be doing a lot more of these, and remotely too. You see, it’s one thing to get a site evaluation and allow me to uncover all the possible places where someone might run into trouble. It’s another story altogether when you can see your target visitors actually trying to use your site. Not having a lab is no longer a valid excuse, when there are so many applications and tools available these days. (Special nod to the TechSmith who ceaselessly continue to refine and enhance their products.)

Follow The Yellow Brick Blog

I found a new site today that I didn’t know existed. I found it simply because I used a form on a website that graciously gave credit to its designer. I was impressed with the UI and ease of use of the form, so I followed that link. That is how I discovered GreenBeast, by Mike Cherim. He’s now on my radar as someone who designs with accessibility in mind.

You see, it’s not just lists of links that allow us to network, though lists are certainly helpful. Sometimes following a trail is more fun.

That’s how I discovered Andrew Girdwood and his Flicker list. The trail began with Andy Beal. As a result of this journey, I now know that other people are SEO/M paparazzi too.

Consider a Career in SEO

There’s room for more. 11 Reasons Why You Should Consider A Job In Search Engine Marketing by Kalena Jordan explains why the industry is still “hot”.

Oddly enough, it seems as though many people think search engine marketing is a “new” field, but it’s been around for over 10 years now. The techniques change. Skills and methods are forced to change as search technology does. You have to be sharp and able to get by on 4 hours of sleep a day. That’s actually not a bad thing since so many SEO/M’s work from home offices in their PJ’s.

You may think I’m putting you on, about the need for SEO’s. All I have to say is “Like.com, Cha-Cha, hakia, Snap, Powerset, Wikia Search and Ask X“.

It’s starting to look like the old days again.

Hope Bruce Clay (ssshhh, the blog has comments now!) has a new pen.


  1. January 4, 2007    

    Interesting, i’ll have to take a look at that software.

  2. January 4, 2007    

    Shhh! If you tell people we have comments, they may actually respond to my crazy rantings. I don’t know if I have the stomach for this…

  3. January 4, 2007    

    Glad you’ve found Mike’s site – he’s really an excellent designer and accessibility advocate. Certainly has been a help to me! (And so have you!)

  4. January 5, 2007    

    Hey, I was just happy to make the list. Maybe it’s because I happen to know the lovely and super smart Kim Krause Berg.

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