In this book, we primarily address universal usability at the functional layer, focusing on the challenges of designing pages that are accessible and usable on different devices by diverse users. We concentrate on the functional layer because, without it, the other layers are irrelevant. An intuitive interface and informative content are useless if the basic functions of a site don’t work. Like a car that doesn’t start, a Web site that does not function is of no value to the user. Link
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The term “search usability” is widely misunderstood throughout a variety of industries: Web design/development, search engine marketing (SEM), online advertising, information sciences, human-computer interface (HCI), and usability industries. Even the term “usability” is misunderstood by search professionals.Every time I hear an SEO professional claim that his or her firm implements web site usability best practices, I wait to hear about the formative and summative usability tests performed. And I wait… and I wait… and I wait… and I wait. Then I go about my daily business because I will wait forever.
In my opinion, the vast majority of SEO professionals do not give a hoot about user-centered design (UCD), or, more accurately, usage-centered design. Nevertheless, they use these terms during a sales pitch or a conference presentation because it sounds pretty impressive, doesn’t it?
In today’s article, I hope to dispel some of the common misconceptions about search usability, and to show how important search usability is to the SEM industry.