bookofjoe‘s Nielsen rating is over 90%.
Jakob Nielsen’s rating, that is, from his book. I bought this book after reading strong recommendations for it in several places. Also, I know Nielsen is considered the “uber-guru” of website design.
I love the author’s hubris re: the value of his book. In the introduction, he points out that his web consulting firm, Nielsen Norman Group, charges a minimum of $10,000 for a useability review of a homepage.
Therefore, “Because this book contains 50 reviews, we’ve been joking that its value is $500,000 for the readers. Makes the cover price [$39.95] seem cheap, wouldn’t you say?”
I agree completely. Well worth the money (only $27.99 at amazon).
It’s so much fun just to read the deconstruction of the 50 websites – the good, the bad, and the ugly – that this book offers.
So many things I find stupid, distasteful, or bizarre on the sites of so many major companies, especially those in the information or computer industries who certainly should know better, are here skewered most delightfully. But I digress.
Nielsen offers 113 specific guidelines. You get 1 point for each one you meet, one-half point for partial compliance, and 0 for complete failure. You don’t score guidelines that don’t apply.
For example, I don’t score the guidelines re: advertising since I don’t have any – yet. I don’t have animation or flash, so the guidelines re: these things don’t apply.
Also, the book is directed at business and ecommerce: all 50 sites reviewed are of this type.
Nevertheless, bloggers can benefit immensely from the book, since many aspects of a blog – title, site nature and purpose, window title, links, URL, archives, search, navigation, layout and design, advertising, credits, technical problems and emergencies, dates and times, etc., apply to blogs.
Here’s how the scoring of the guidelines test works:
Above 80%: “Consider youself in good shape, though you might want to make a few minor fixes to areas where you have violated guidelines.”
Between 50% and 80%: “start a redesign project to produce a new homepage. Your current homepage is definitely not a disaster, but it is bad enough that isolated modifications to individual areas will not suffice.”
Below 50%: “Abandon your current site and start over from scratch.”
“The perfect website will probably follow about 90-95% of the useability guidelines and do something different, but appropriate, in the remaining cases.”
Dare I say that bookofjoe is perfect according to this extraordinarily strict taskmaster, known for being extremely rigid, perfectionistic, and demanding?
PW, my site engineer and partner, take a big, big, bow, ’cause bookofjoe’s standing up here screaming your name and whistling and clapping. U R DA BOM.
Re: where bookofjoe might improve according to the Nielsen criteria:
1) I don’t have a tag line currently. Suitable ones might be
USA Today – XXX Rated
Food, Fucking, Folks, Fashion, Fun
Information Sickness: here’s where you get well
My site engineer, PW, and I were chatting on the phone last night (we talk every couple months, the rest of our communications being via email), and I mentioned to him that it might be fun to take the USA Today logo and put 3 red Xs across it, then put it up under “bookofjoe” in the upper left hand corner of my homepage and see how long it took ’till a cease-and-desist letter arrived from USA Today.
The publicity I’d get if this made the news might just be the tipping point to put me on the internet map big-time. Don’t be surprised if you see it something like this up there one day. You know how much I love to cause trouble.
2) Nielsen says the search function should be at the very top of the homepage: you’ll note mine is down a ways. PW and I will discuss this.
3) Link colors should show visited and unvisited sites. Neilsen recommends blue for unvisited links, and a clearly discernible and less saturated color for visited links. This I don’t do, and should.
4) The search box should have space for at least 25 characters, preferably 30 – mine allows only 10.
5) The url should be bookofjoe.com. PW and I know this, and have been working to drop the typepad from the current URL – bookofjoe.typepad.com – for over a month, without success. The reasons are boring, but have to do with the unbelievably fucked-up nature of the internet when it comes to clerical and technical, behind-the-scenes stuff like this. It will happen.
6) Dates and times. Nielsen says that if you have international visitors – and you number about 25% of my readers at present, with the percentage rising to over 50% between midnight and 8 am my (U.S. Eastern Standard) time – it’s imperative to put the time zone in after any post’s time, along with GMT.Powered by Sidelines