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I spotted an interesting article in the Washington Post, which looks at online auction giant eBay and its plans to improve the user experience in 2008.
The story focuses on eBay’s proposed introduction of a shipping fees ratings scheme, to clamp down on sellers who charge bargain basement prices but make profits on exorbitant delivery ‘costs’.
All good, but what about the improvements that eBay’s website has been in need of for a considerable time? Adding functionality and tweaking its ranking algorithms are one thing, but what I think it needs is some proper usability testing and a bit of a makeover.
Facebook is to make its developer platform available to other social networks, allowing brands to port apps to other sites that adopt the same standards.
The move forms a response to Google's OpenSocial project, which aims to create a common standard for developing and delivering social network apps.
Tailgate Technologies has found a new use for its transactional banners - selling tickets for Paramount's new movie The Kite Runner.
Consumers can use the banners to search for local cinemas that are showing the movie and complete purchases without leaving the host site.
Bebo is reportedly set to become the latest social network to open up its development platform to third parties.
According to Mashable, the new platform will be launched tomorrow and will apparently be compatible in some way with Facebook, allowing developers to port their applications to Bebo.
Professional social network LinkedIn has launched a developer platform as well as a redesign of its website.
As previously outlined by CEO Dan Nye, the new "Intelligent Application" platform will not be as open as that of rival Facebook, and will be limited to ‘business productivity applications’.
Online retailers still have much to learn about customer experience, and are missing conversion opportunities by not producing more usable websites.
This is the verdict of FutureNow's 2007 Customer Experience Study, which looked at over 300 US e-commerce sites, and grading them on 69 customer experience factors.
While there are many excellent e-commerce sites around, many online retailers are still making some schoolboy errors on their websites which can have a negative effect on sales and customer satisfaction levels.
Customers want a smooth experience when visiting a website, and if they encounter errors, or are frustrated by usability problems, then many will abandon their purchases and shop elsewhere.
What then, are the common mistakes made by e-commerce companies?
Thord Daniel Hedengren has written a series of posts that argue blog sidebars are being rendered useless by widget clutter.
He takes a look at things bloggers should and should not be doing with this valuable but often "wasted" inventory.
Here are Thord's tips...
Mindmeister is an excellent online mind-mapping tool which allows users to brainstorm and organise plans and ideas.
Bruce Tognazzini was Apple's 66th employee, developing the company's first usability guidelines and founding its Human Interface team.
Almost thirty years later, he's a principal at Nielsen Norman Group and still making his feelings known when companies commit design errors.
Here, 'Tog' gives us a variety of thoughts on interface design, freedom, the future of computing, the iPhone's place in world history and why he travels around in a 400 sq ft motorhome while towing a 4x4 and two Segways.
After working on email marketing for many years, I have certainly seen many examples of the good, the bad and the ugly, with many unfortunately falling into the latter two.
However, one brand is leading the way with an email newsletter that has kept me hooked for nearly two years with fresh and engaging content.
A survey of 33,000 web professionals by A List Apart has come up with some interesting findings on the make-up and morale of the web design industry.
Unsurprisingly, the research reveals that the average web designer is white, aged between 25 and 32 and likely to be male.
Among the respondents, only 14.3% of creative directors or art directors and 12.6% of web directors were female.