Teaching, Promoting, Cheering UX and SEO Since 2002

The User Experience of Humor; Accessibility Finds; Spring Crazies

Shari Thurow wrote a two-part articles series called
What SEO/SEM Professionals Should Know About Website Usability
. In part two, she devotes the entire piece to comments by myself and Jakob Nielsen.

Rather than give her own opinions and perspective on the merging together of search engine optimization and marketing techniques with user experience and usability design, of which she is a speaker, writer, business owner, book author and trained practitioner of both, she let’s others do the talking.

Nielsen is more technical. He commented that,

“Narrowly considered, SEO might be thought of as the goal to rank as highly in SERPs for important keywords,” Nielsen continued. “While important, these rankings are only half of the ‘V’ element of site success. Besides ranking high, you also need users to click the listing, so clickthrough provides the other half of ‘V.’ Clickthrough is determined by usability considerations; more specifically content usability, in form of the guidelines for writing for the Web.”

I was more free flowing in my feedback. My favorite quote from myself was,

“We don’t remember sites because search engines rank them well. We remember and return to websites that work for us and give us what we want, when we want it.”

I was thrilled at the honor to be invited by Shari to participate. I was also joined by Peter Morville and Dr. Susan Weinschenk.

Other Have-to-Reads I Recommend

My friend, Jimmy Atkinson, blew me away with his 100 Killer Web Accessibility Resources: Blogs, Forums and Tutorials. This resource jumped to number one of my favorite sources on Accessibility for fast guidance.

Capture their attention with a giggle - Layering the Customer Experience looks at studies on humor and the web user experience.

The experience ratings of participants booking travel on a non-humorous site depended more directly on the outcome of the interaction. If the site was usable and the outcome was good, participants were satisfied. If the site was usable and the outcome was disappointing, the participants were disappointed, overall.

When humor was present, it helped to mitigate disappointing outcomes. Booking on humorous, usable websites led to more positive ratings, even when the outcome was ultimately disappointing.

Joe Dolson spells it out in plain language, in Best Practices: Writing for Accessibility.

A sentence can be punctuated with perfect correctness but still lose clarity when spoken by a screen reader.


I got a tasty hint in my mailbox today that tells me the next issue of Search Marketing Standard magazine is soon to arrive! In this issue’s Usability Column, I wrote about blog usability. I can’t wait to read what I said.

It’s getting down to the wire here at home and also a bit tense. Some strange health issues are popping up with my loved ones, causing a bit of anxiety. Plus, there’s my eldest graduating high school, her prom, senior week chaos and getting set for college. The middle son goes away to Penn State for football camp, while also playing on two baseball teams and ramping up for high school freshman football. For track last Friday he won first place in shot put with a 40.2 throw. He’s almost at the record for his school. The youngest child is likely going to be living on Mars or the Moon someday. He strikes me as the type who would help figure out how to do it.

I’m working on a web site for a brilliant local artist named Nathan DiStefano (Nathandistefanoart.com). It’s not finished yet. I have more to do and I have to re-do how the images were done and displayed. It’s a project I took over and am not charging for because I’ve known him for a long time and I’m hopelessly hooked on his paintings.

Please bear with me. The next two months will be crazy.

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