Keyword data, dangerous navigation, and cards

Duncan Stephen
Tuesday 15 October 2013

Lost for words: Google stops providing keywords

A couple of weeks ago, I covered the news that Google Search was no longer passing on keyword data to analytics tools. This blog post from the Government Digital Service looks at some potential workarounds that may help bridge the gap left by the disappearance of this data.

Four dangerous navigation approaches that can increase cognitive strain

One mantra I return to time and again is “Don’t Make Me Think”, the title of an influential usability book. Our job as web designers is to make information as easy as possible for the user to find and understand, and avoid making the user having to think about it.

This article from Nielsen Norman Group looks at some examples of poor navigation systems that do make the user think too much, and how these bad implementations can be fixed.

In many of our studies, we have witnessed that when people have to exert more energy in order to find a piece of information or manipulate a feature, they can become more vigilant and suspicious. Instead of just putting an item in the shopping cart and flying through the checkout, they may want to examine other options – some of which may not be on your site. They may start to question the credibility of your content, the reputation of your company, and the honesty of consumer reviews. The result of this lack of confidence may be a decrease in your visitors taking the actions you want them to take (a.k.a. desirable actions).

Why cards are the future of the web

Another interesting look at a potential future of the web. Cards as a design pattern are becoming increasingly common. Notably, Google has begun to adopt cards in a big way, particularly on mobile devices.

We are currently witnessing a re-architecture of the web, away from pages and destinations, towards completely personalised experiences built on an aggregation of many individual pieces of content… This is driving the web away from many pages of content linked together, towards individual pieces of content aggregated together into one experience.

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