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Newsletter issue #42 - 3rd September 2007

This issue

Hello and welcome to the September edition of the Webcredible newsletter!

In this issue:

  • Feature article: How to embed usability & UCD internally
  • Top tip: Speak your users' language with keyword research
  • Useful program: Firebug
  • Top link: Local council websites white paper
  • New articles in August
  • Webcredible news in August

Enjoy!

Feature article: How to embed usability & UCD internally

Getting usability and user-centered design (UCD ) established internally can be a difficult and isolating experience, even for the most determined user champion. All is not lost though as this month's feature article outlines how you, step-by-step, can change your internal processes so users' needs are fully taken into account during web projects.

Read this article in full at www.webcredible.co.uk/user-friendly-resources/web-usability/embed-ucd.shtml.

Top tip: Speak your users' language with keyword research

It's essential that your website uses the words and phrases your site visitors are using. One of the quickest ways of doing this is to conduct keyword research to see the phrases people are searching for in the search engines. By using these exact phrases you'll be speaking the language of your users (and not of your organisation). You'll also make it easier for them to find you in the search engines as your site will rank higher for these phrases. There are a few tools available to you when doing this:

  1. Wordtracker Wordtracker is one of the most essential tools out there for keyword research. Simply enter a keyword phrase and it'll tell you how popular that phrase is. It will also suggest alternatives and tell you how popular those are too. It does this across all search engines so you can gain a comprehensive picture of the phrases people use when running searches. Wordtracker isn't free and charges a nominal fee.
  2. Overture Keyword Selector Tool The Overture tool works in a similar way to Wordtracker. It's free but only searches websites that use Overture adverts (e.g. Yahoo!) so is slightly more limited in scope.
  3. Google Adwords Traffic Estimator Google's keyword research tool is very much focused around its Adwords advertising but is still useful. Run a search for as many keyword phrases as you can think of and it will show you the 'search volume' for each phrase in the form of a set of bar graphs. The longer the bar graph the more people in Google searching with that keyword phrase.

Useful program: Firebug

Firebug is an extension to the Firefox web browser and is an indispensable tool to any web developer. It allows you to edit HTML, CSS and JavaScript live on any web page as well helping you debug a large number of potential problems.

Read about and download this program at www.getfirebug.com.

Top link: Local council websites white paper

Our latest white paper is now available and has had over 500 downloads already. The 'Local Council Websites: Design by Committee?' report evaluates the top UK council websites against 20 best practice usability guidelines.

Download this excellent report at www.webcredible.co.uk/council.

New articles in August

Read this and many other articles at www.webcredible.co.uk/user-friendly-resources.

Webcredible news in August

  • The Webcredibles are back!
  • Local council usability report now available

Read these news stories in full at www.webcredible.co.uk/about-us/latest-news.shtml.

We're still recruiting!

Webcredible currently has job vacancies for a lead user experience architect and a user experience consultant. Send in your CV and you could be working here in our London offices sooner than you think!

Read about these exciting vacancies at www.webcredible.co.uk/jobs.

Vote in our poll!

We're running a poll to find out about your mobile / cell phone Internet usage. We'd really appreciate it if you took a moment to vote in our poll - it'll only take about 10 seconds of your time!

Put your opinion across and vote in our poll at www.webcredible.co.uk/user-friendly-resources/polls.

Training courses

Courses continue to sell out well in advance! Our next training courses will take place in our training centre in Aldgate, London in September, October and November:

  • Usability testing training - Monday 3rd September & Monday 5th November. For more information and to reserve your place before it fills up please consult our usability testing training page.
  • Web writing training - Tuesday 4th September, Monday 1st October & Tuesday 6th November. For more information and to reserve your place before it fills up please consult our intermediate web writing training page.
  • Web usability training - Wednesday 5th September, Wednesday 3rd October & Wednesday 7th November. For more information and to reserve your place before it fills up please consult our web usability training page.
  • Web accessibility training - Thursday 6th September, Thursday 4th October & Thursday 8th November. For more information and to reserve your place before it fills up please consult our web accessibility training page.
  • Advanced CSS training - Friday 7th September, Friday 5th October & Friday 9th November. For more information and to reserve your place before it fills up please consult our advanced CSS training page.

About Webcredible

Based in London, UK, Webcredible is a user experience consultancy. Tailor-made usability, accessibility & design solutions include:

Please contact us on 020 7423 6320 or , or consult www.webcredible.co.uk for further information.

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