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Monday 16 July 2007

Bytes · Drag'n'drop directions - Tog heart iPhone - Our sexy EU

Google Maps have added a rather good new drag-and-drop feature for directions.


 Wall St. to JFK, New York (with live traffic)
California National Parks tour

Wall St. to JFK, New York
(with live traffic)


IBM Center for The Business of Government: "Bridging the Digital Divide for Hard-to-Reach Groups (1.2mb PDF)
  • Recommendation 1: Offer free computer and Internet access to targeted groups.
  • Recommendation 2: Provide long-term support to organizations seeking to reach targeted groups.
  • Recommendation 3: Create partnerships with other organizations to share resources and expertise.
  • Recommendation 4: Create strategies for long-term project sustainability.
  • Recommendation 6: Raise awareness of the benefits and encourage use of e-government services among targeted users.
  • Recommendation 7: Improve usability of the Internet and e-government services to targeted individuals and groups.
  • Recommendation 9: Create a comfortable learning environment and provide informal training opportunities to targeted users.
  • Recommendation 10: Involve targeted users by constant consultation.

Usability/HCI guru Bruce Tognazzini loves the iPhone, even though he can't use it - like lots of Americans - because his area isn't part of AT&T's network.

Jacob Nielsen is a little less excited, noting that the New York Times has reported download times of:
  • NY Times: 55 seconds
  • Amazon: 100 seconds
  • Yahoo: two minutes (!)
The impact of the network on the iPhone's total user experience is a good example of a general lesson: usability is a chain that's no stronger than its weakest link. Take e-commerce: navigation, search, product photos, product descriptions, the shopping cart, checkout, and site credibility all need great design. If any one of these fails, then no sale.

  • More from Tognazzini about why he loves the iPhone and Apple

  • ~~~~~~~~~~~

    ClickZ has been tracking where visitors to Presidential candidates websites go:
    Clinton's site visitors were six times more likely to check out country music content, while visitors to the other three candidates' sites were no more apt to go country than others online. Those on Richardson's site were 15 times more likely to check out current hits, and Obama's site visitors were seven times more likely to check out urban music. Folks on Richardson's and Giuliani's sites were twice as likely to groove on urban music content.

    Top Content Segments Viewed by Visitors
    Content/Audience Segment Number of Times More Likely to Visit than Remaining Web Users
    Health Conditions, Asthma 169
    Sportscar (GM only) 47
    Sportscar 37
    New Auto Buyer, Sportscar 26
    Senior Travel 23
    Used Auto Buyer, Minivan 22
    Technology, Computers 19
    Technology, Consumer Electronics 18
    College Basketball 17
    Source: Tacoda, 2007


    • Can new technologies help in actually enhancing accessibility for certain user groups and help sites to engage with their audiences more effectively? In his post on Accessibility and Innovation, Brian Kelly gives a quick run-down of his talk The Accessible Web, which he recently gave at the Web Adept: UK Museums and the Web 2007 conference.

    • ReadWriteWeb:New Media Meets Old: A Look at Redesigned Mainstream News Sites
      Conclusion: 'USA Today has social media down cold'
    • Washington Post looks at online Reputation Management.
      "Google's not in business to give you the truth, it's in business to give what you think is relevant."

      The goal is to get Google and other search engines to seize on relevant sites that contain positive information on their clients and to downplay the rest.

    • The EU now has its own YouTube channel and it includes a video montage of movie sex scenes promoting the EU's support for European film-making. Defending it the European Commission spokesman Martin Selmayr said
      "The EU is not a bible belt. We believe in freedom of speech and artistic expression."

      You tell those Poles, Martin.

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