Web Services Book Club

A few things that I’ve read recently that have influenced my thinking:

See, think, do

I’ll be honest - I didn’t make it all the way to the end of this post, but I did get a good takeaway from what I did read, which was three user stages:

See - People who use something, such as shoes.

Think - People who use shoes, and think they want some more.

Do - People who use shoes, think they want additional shoes, and are engaged in buying shoes.

Avinash Kaushik breaks this down more fully, gives examples of interfaces that engage users at each of these stages, and goes on to suggest ways we can use this framework for content strategy, marketing strategy, measurement, and an exciting surprise, which I will have to go back and finish the post to find out about. Which I intend to do.

Page not found

Harish Chakravarthy with San Jose State University’s Web Services shared a technique for getting a report of 404 error pages and their referrers in order to clean up these broken links. Kevin and I tried to implement their process, but we couldn’t get the report to work.

We wound up coming up with another method - looking at all the traffic on our 404 pages and its source. Not as elegant or specific, but it did help me track down a broken link to scholarship information in the catalog, and see a redirects people were guessing at that made sense to add, such as CSUMB.EDU/mealplan.

In any case, Harish pointed out that taking a look at 404 pages should be regular site maintenance in order to enhance the user experience.

Card Sorting 

Donna Spencer’s book on card sorting helped me reframe the way I thought about cards - rather than thinking about hierarchy, it’s really all about understanding categorization and user mindsets. I’m looking forward to implementing some of the ideas from this book over the next two weeks with a series of card sorts looking at the content on the Campus Service Center website. Look for details about how this went in future posts.