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Usable Optimization?

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#1 mugshot


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Posted 01 September 2004 - 10:44 PM

Which is which?

Is your site's optimization usable or is your sites usability optimized? :)

#2 Respree


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Posted 01 September 2004 - 11:13 PM

If you had a choice, would you choose your mother or father?

In building a good website, you serve two masters; usability and optimization. One master is neither more or less important than the other. They are equal. It's about balance.

What good is usability if no one can find you? What good are high rankings if people who find your site immediately leave?

In my view, you need both; equally. :wink:

#3 fisicx


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Posted 02 September 2004 - 02:00 AM

I used to be obsessed with definitions and nomenclature but discovered that the boundaries between each were not clean, things overlapped and peoples perceptions changed over time. So it is with much of the glossary we use in the world of IT.

Whilst I agree with Respree, is it important to worry about wether a site is optimised, usable, accessible et al. Content is still king, what the designer needs to concentrate on is the presentation of that content and balance the visitor's needs against those of the search engine they use to find the content.

PS: optimization could be regarded as a sub-set of usability: a site that is optimised is usable from the perspective of a SE...

#4 mugshot


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Posted 02 September 2004 - 08:24 AM

Both of you made excellent points! Both principles need to be incorporated to make a website successful, but which one has precedence? :P

#5 cre8pc


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Posted 02 September 2004 - 08:56 AM

Not sure there is a correct answer.

You'd expect me to say user centered design is the higher value, over page optimization, and in theory, it's a strong case.

Why bother to push for higher rank if the page itself will not deliver on its promise or convert to something productive?

But, we all know how many millions are made are direct mail and email scams. Some "get rich quick" gurus are wealthy because they convinced someone to read a mile long page with bold face headlines, flashing animation and outrageous claims. All of which are traditional usability no no's.

The answer, for me, is tied to business goals and considerations such as credibility and accuracy of information. It's too easy to rip people off, and some people will glady do so, and even optimize with this intent.

#6 mugshot


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Posted 02 September 2004 - 09:17 AM

Indeed Kim. Business goals determine majority of how usable or optimized a site is. Just like different businesses in the industry differ in strategy.

Take a look at the layout of a casino and the layout of an airport. Both have massive amount of foot traffic every day. The purpose of the airport is to create a layout that is usable for people to get in, check in, and board the plane asap.

For the casino, heck...they would give you sleeping bags if you were spending enough money on the tables :P The design of EVERY casino is made to trap you!!!

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