October 17, 2005

Usability For Weblogs

Usability guru Jakob Nielsen has a regular column on usability, and the most recent covers weblog usability.

I don't think I score too badly, especially after my recent addition of the about me page. I do fall down by not having a photo of myself though, which is something I've been considering adding - I'd just have to find a photo I'm happy with...

His fifth point is one that oft pondered about weblog design, without coming to any particularly suitable conclusion:

"5. Classic Hits are Buried
Hopefully, you'll write some pieces with lasting value for readers outside your fan base. Don't relegate such classics to the archives, where people can only find something if they know you posted it, say, in May 2003."

Just how do you open up access to your archives? The most common solution for this seems to be a hand-crafted "best of" list, but this needs to be maintained, and it's hard to know which entries are worth further exposure. Part of this is just my laziness, so perhaps I'll instigate some regime of trawling through the archives and posting summary items into a "look through the archives" category.

What I really want (and might at some point in future get round to writing) is something which takes an assortment of metrics - number of comments, number of views, number of views which weren't due to random search engine access, etc. - and uses them to show which items in the archives are most interesting. The metrics could even be orthogonal - more comments would make an item brighter in colour, whereas more viewings would make the text bigger. Or something like that.

I think this is going to increasingly become a problem, and it would be nice if there were some (semi-)automated mechanisms to give bloggers at least an improved way of getting the content hidden in their archives into more public view.

Posted by Adrian at October 17, 2005 08:34 PM | TrackBack

This blog post is on the personal blog of Adrian McEwen. If you want to explore the site a bit further, it might be worth having a look at the most recent entries or look through the archives or categories over on the left.

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