Friday, 5 November 2010

Newsletter Issue 192, November 2010



Sam Young Newsletter

Issue 192, November 2010
Hi guys,
When it comes time to finally do something with your website, it can be really hard to know What is Good Site Design. Read on, below.
There's a whole lot of opportunity out there in Emerging Nations & Markets
Don't forget, if you want to be taken off my mailing list, click here to send me a reply e-mail and I will remove your name.

What is Good Site Design?

If you are thinking about upgrading a website, as I am at present, you get to thinking about what constitutes good site design.
There is a whole lot of waffle on the web about what websites are great, and which are rubbish - and taking a look at the webby awards, you would get the impression that to have a good website, you need lots of flash (http://www.webbyawards.com/).
Harking back to my old art teacher, I would disagree. He, like many engineers, felt that simplicity was the key to good design. Making it easy for people to absorb your key messages.
So, after preparing a brief for my designer, writing up my consumer profile, and thinking about my brand, I have taken a trawl around the web, looking for nuggets on design. I have come up with a list of things which I think are key to good site design:
  1. Use an always visible left-hand navigation bar with branding (me)
  2. Keep text to a minimum (me)
  3. No wasted click-throughs - only have another level if necessary (me)
  4. Blog (cf online newsletter) as part of the website (me)
  5. Use universally accepted links colours (blue for normal, purple for visited). (Thakur, 2004)
  6. Home link in the top left corner & bottom of each page. (Thakur, 2004)
  7. Familiar, easy-to-read fonts used for text. Use fonts consistently in the same places (eg TNR headings, Arial text), and consistently with the brand. (Thakur, 2004)
  8. Allow resolution flexibility. Ensure viewability at 800 x 600, 1024 x 768 and larger resolution. (Thakur, 2004)
  9. Only underline links. (Thakur, 2004)
  10. Have a custom pop-up error page with a sitemap if there is a broken link. (Thakur, 2004)
  11. Have as much of the content as possible accessible at the first level. (Thakur, 2004)
  12. A logo in the upper left corner of the page. (Nielsen, 2004)
  13. A search box on the homepage. (Nielsen, 2004)
  14. No splash pages, pop-ups & little flash. (Nielsen, 2004)
  15. Breadcrumbs listed horizontally. (Nielsen, 2004)
  16. Using the label "site map" for the site map (which is recommended from user research on site map usability). (Nielsen, 2004)
  17. Placing the shopping cart link in the upper right corner of page. (Nielsen, 2004)
I would be most happy if we could get some discussion going on these.
Sourced & summarised from Thakur, Kshitij (2004). Website Design Conventions: General web conventions. Retrieved 16 November 2010 from http://www.theukwebdesigncompany.com/articles/article.php?article=241
Nielsen, Jakob (September 13, 2004). Alertbox: The Need for Web Design Standards - How Many Design Elements Are Standardized?. Retrieved 16 November 2010 from http://www.useit.com/alertbox/20040913.html 

Emerging Nations & Markets

Trendwatching's newsletter (http://trendwatching.com/briefing/) had some very interesting stats on emerging markets recently:
  • Developing economies "have accounted for nearly 70 percent of world growth over the past five years". (Source: Carnegie, 2010.)
  • The GDP of Emerging and Developing Economies accounted for 20% of world GDP in 2000, 34% in 2010, and an estimated 39% by 2015. (Source: IMF, 2010.)
  • The global emerging middle class now stands at two billion people who spend USD 6.9 trillion a year, a figure which is expected to rise to USD 20 trillion - twice current US consumption - by 2020. (Source: McKinsey, July 2010.)
  • Developing countries will account for two thirds of world trade in 2050. (Source: Carnegie, 2010.)
  • The GDP of emerging markets will grow to be about 1.3 times the size of advanced economies in 2050. China will be approximately twice the size of the United States in purchasing power parity (PPP) terms. (Source: Carnegie, 2010.)
  • India now has more rich households than poor, with 46.7 million high income households as compared to 41 million in the low income category. 62 per cent of Indian households belong to the middle class (Source: National Council of Applied Economic Research, August 2010.)
  • 700 million people will start using the Internet in Asia in the next 5 years (Source: McKinsey; September 2010)
So what does this mean for we Kiwis, tucked away at the bottom of the world?
New ideas, new markets, new consumers. As these emerging nations explore new opportunities, it creates opportunities for us to sell knowledge, expertise and innovation. In return we will gain inspiration and fresh ways of looking at what we do.
There is nothing like collaboration for fuelling creativity, and Kiwis are good at collaboration :-)

Show Leading Zeros in Excel

Excel doesn’t display leading zeroes in a numeric value. You may be thinking - why would I want to? You may want to enter a serial number on a form or an invoice number (eg Invoice 001250).
There are two ways to get Excel to display leading zeroes:
  • If you want to use a leading zero for mixtures of letters and numbers for phone numbers, postcodes or similar, so DON'T need Excel to recognise your entry as a number (ie, you don't need it to add up), it is very simple. All you need to do is enter an apostrophe (’) before your characters (eg '03 456 7890 ).
  • If you want Excel to read your entry as a number, you need to apply a custom format, as follows:
  1. Highlight the cell (or column, row or range) you want to show a leading zero in
  2. Right-click on your selection and choose Format Cells from the pop-up menu
  3. In the Format Cells dialogue box, click the Number tab
  4. In the Category field, choose Custom from the list
  5. In the Type field, enter the number of zeroes necessary to accommodate the largest value (eg, if the largest value you will enter has four numbers, enter "0000". If you need decimal places, enter "0000.00")
  6. Click OK.
Excel will now display leading zeroes. Thanks to TechRepublic (http://blogs.techrepublic.com.com/msoffice/?p=3901&tag=nl.e056) for this tip :-)

TLAs for SMEs

Here are this newsletter's TLAs (Three Letter Acronyms) for you:
  • SRM, Sustainability Risk Management. A business strategy aligning profit goals with environmental policies; more focused than CSR (Corporate Social Responsibility).

Please feel free to email me with any TLAs that you want to get the bottom (meaning!) of.

Tips, Short+Hot Keys
Over the next few newsletters, we are going to look at all you can do with Function keys. This time it is F6:
  • Access, Excel, Outlook, PowerPoint, Word, Windows "Go to the previous file window" Ctrl & Shift & F6
  • Access, Excel, Outlook, PowerPoint, Word "Go to the next file window" Shift & F6
  • Access "Move among the Query Designer panes, Anywhere in the target pane" Ctrl & F6
  • Access "Move between open windows" Ctrl & F6
  • Access "Move between the navigation pane and topic pane, or move among the Query Designer panes, Anywhere in the target pane, or switch between the upper and lower portions of a window (Design view of tables, macros, and queries and the Advanced Filter/Sort window only), or move between the navigation pane and topic pane when working with Help menu" F6
  • Excel "Move to the next pane in a workbook that has been split" F6
  • Excel "Move to the previous pane or move to the previous pane in a workbook that has been split" Shift & F6
  • Explorer "Switch between left and right panes " F6
  • IE "Move forward between frames " F6
  • Outlook "Activate Office Assistant while working in a document, repeat until at required subject" Alt & F6, Repeat
  • Outlook "Cycle through all the panes in the active window or move between Calendar, TaskPad, and the Folder List when moving around in day/week/month view" F6
  • PowerPoint "Display a topic from a thumbnail" F6 & Tab & Enter
  • PowerPoint "Move clockwise to the next pane or move between the navigation pane and topic pane" F6
  • PowerPoint "Move to the previous pane" Shift & F6
  • Publisher "Bring to front or move between the Navigation pane and the Help pane" F6
  • Publisher "Send to back" Shift & F6
  • Windows "Go to the next document window in the active application. Add SHIFT to go to the previous document window" Ctrl & F6
  • Windows "Move between active panes and the toolbar" F6
  • Windows Media Player "Show the anchor window menu" Alt & F6, Alt
  • Word "Go to the next active document window" Ctrl & F6
  • Word "Go to the next pane or move between the navigation pane and topic pane when working with Help menu" F6
  • Word "Next Window" Alt & F6
  • Word "Previous Window" Alt & Shift & F6

Hot Linx
When you are choosing colours for your brand or your website, check out the colour wheels to see how your logo aligns at http://www.letscolourproject.com/blog/2010/09/infographic-colours-of-the-top-100-websites/
For the Terry Pratchett fans out there who haven't heard of his short story "Troll Bridge", it is viewable at http://members.fortunecity.com/bookdepository/stories/pratchett/trollbridge/trollbridgetext.html
A cute site for a wee play with virtual fridge magnets - perhaps when you are on the phone - is http://isnoop.net/toys/magwords.php. You can drag & crop the 'magnets' wherever you like, creating meaning in chaos :-)
If you are feeling poorer now that the GST rate has gone up, check out http://www.globalrichlist.com/. Pop your annual household earnings into that (double NZ$ approximately equals the Euro) and feel briefly wealthy.

                                Catch you again soon!! E-mail your suggestions to me here

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