A Different Way of Looking at Usability Skills

Two of my articles were published this week, each of them looking at user experience web design from a different perspective. They were fun to write.

The first one, for SearchEnginePeople.com, was Ruud’s idea. I’ve been writing on Usability and SEO topics for over 15 years and it helps when a publication I write for has an editor who can offer me some new ideas. Knowing my heritage and beliefs are rooted in Native American ways, he wondered if I could find some tribal wisdom that could be used to inspire user experience web design.

The result is Ancient Wisdom for User Experience Web Design and Online Marketing

[box] “Continue to contaminate your own bed and you will one night suffocate in your own waste. ” Chief Seattle

Sooner or later destructive practices in web design and search engine marketing come back to bite you. [/box]

Picture of Goddess or Priestess

The Goddess of Blended Usability and SEO

For SearchEngineLand, I traditionally write to Search Engine Marketers and SEO’s about how and why they should bring usability testing and understandable user interface design into the work they perform for their clients.  It’s a drum I’ve been beating for years and years and I haven’t gotten through to a majority of SEO/M’s yet.  And as for UX folks, they’re just as guilty of ignoring how optimizing pages for search engines benefits their user oriented designs and online applications.  I don’t usually approach that angle since SearchEngineLand targets only online marketers.

To my surprise, when I reversed direction and wrote to user experience designers about adding SEO to their designs, the article was met with a positive response. The article, Why User Experience Design Needs Search Engine Marketing, garnered 6 comments (1 from me), which I think is a record for responses to my articles for SEL.

So how many user experience designers visit Search Engine Land? There is no usability section other than the column I write for, which used to be called “Just Behave” but they recently changed it to “Search and Usability”. The old Sphinn site had a usability section because I prodded Danny Sullivan to add it. They’ve relaunched the site and it is now called MarketingLand.com. They no longer accept user generated content and the usability section is gone.

I found it curious that when I changed my angle at SearchEngineLand to writing for usability folks instead of SEO folks, the comments came from the usability camp. When I write to SEO’s about usability, I rarely hear from them.

I’m not sure what to make of this.