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  • 1. Usability: User expectations are important Tim Fidgeon - Published: 07th February 2011 08:24 GMT Meeting user expectations throughout a site normally delivers good usability. Ways to make sure you meet expectations: user research, reviewing competitor sites and following usability guidelines. Introduction – meeting expectations improves usability A key principle within usability is that people carry around a 'mental model' of how we expect the world to behave1. These models are based on past experiences and can be a very powerful factor in influencing how people behave in certain situations. In our experience of usability testing, usability suffers when a site does not match users' expectations. Indeed, our usability testing sessions have repeatedly shown that breaking expectations makes users unhappy. User's reactions – to poor usability We have seen users react very strongly during usability testing sessions when their expectations are not met. The 2 main reactions we have observed in these situations are: Denial - Users can find it difficult to accept that their mental model does not apply to the site. This often leads to them persisting in a course of action even though it does not seem to be working. Resistance - We have found that people are often very reluctant to interact with anything that doesn‘t obviously fit into their existing mental model. Denial – a real-world usability example During a usability testing session, several users repeatedly clicked a 'Buy Now' button on a supermarket website. They did this because they did not think the site had recognised their action. The reason the users thought this, was because they had expected to be taken to a 'Your Basket' page. Instead of taking the user to such a page, the site simply updated the on-screen basket. This illustrates a profound truth in usability: a site's unexpected behaviours must be super-obvious. The problem with the site's usability wasn't (necessarily) that it didn't take users to the 'Your Basket' page, but rather that its updating of the on-screen basket was too subtle to be noticed by anyone who was not expecting it. It's vital that if a site does something unexpected that it make an extra effort to make 'what just happened' very obvious. The way to do this is, of course, by providing strong feedback on the consequences of a user's action which can not be missed. back to top Resistance – a real-world usability example
  • 2. Many users were very reluctant to upgrade from Office 2003 to 2007. When asked, people generally said that this was because they had spent a lot of time learning how to use the 2003 interface and did not want to learn a whole new interface. In fact, many people got quite angry if their employer forced them to use the 2007 version. People's resistance to Office 2007 was due to radical changes being made to an interface which they knew well and were comfortable with. During usability testing sessions, we have seen the same issue when people frequently use a website or intranet. If people use your site regularly, it is very likely that they get used to a certain way of doing things. If the site suddenly (and radically) changes the way it does things, users will tend to react negatively. This is simply because most people hate change. From a user's point of view, this makes perfect sense ("Why have you suddenly changed the site so I need to re-learn how to do everything?!"). If you have a site which is used regularly by a significant section of your audience, we would normally recommend that you evolve the design rather than have a Big Bang. Obviously there are exceptions to this (where an existing site design is simply unsustainable, for example), but evolution is generally a lower-risk approach. back to top Site design – where expectation impacts usability A user's expectations about your site can apply to almost every area of its design. In order to experience your site as having good usability, it needs to match its users‘ expectations (or at least not contradict them) with regard to its: Structure - Your site's logical grouping of content and concepts should be easily understood by the user. For example, in a supermarket site one would expect to see categories similar to a supermarket's physical aisles (Fruit & Veg, Tinned beans, etc.) Behaviour - The site should respond to a user's actions in a way that they could confidently predict. For example, all underlined text is clickable. Language - The language which the site uses when talking about a topic should be familiar, relevant and appropriate (from the user's perspective). For example, most people shop for a 'DVD' not a 'Digital Video Disc'. Appearance - Certain elements of a web site should look a certain way and/or be located in a certain area. For example, navigation menus should normally appear at the top or alongside the left of the page. back to top Ideas – how to avoid usability problems There are several well-known ways to try and mitigate any usability problems which might arise from a web site conflicting with a user‘s mental model. These include:
  • 3. User research - Most companies have repositories of ‗knowledge about our audience‘ – whether it be in the Market Research department, the Sales Office, or the Call Centre. If this information is not available, then consider running some usability studies to try to understand how users think about the topic in question (such as interviews, focus groups, card sorting or usability testing). Competitor research - Look at what competitor websites are doing. If a lot of your competitors are doing things in a certain way, it might be a good idea to follow their lead (if only because prospective customers are likely to shop around and at least your site will be consistent with theirs. Internal consistency - Users start building a mental model of your site as soon as they arrive on it. For this reason, your site needs to be as internally consistent as possible (in each of the parameters mentioned above: structure, behaviour, language and appearance). Guidelines - Usability guidelines which have been widely adopted can be very useful in helping to provide 'de facto' answers to many design decisions. There is a potential risk, of course, that if every web site follows users‘ expectations then they will all look very similar. Realistically, however, there is still plenty of scope for creativity within a design that meets user expectations. To be clear, it is perfectly possible to design a very innovative website with great usability – it's just more difficult and expensive than designing a site that 'follows the rules'. This is because every innovation is a potential risk which should be mitigated through user research (such as usability testing). back to top Conclusion – usability next steps Most sites should be able to meet their users' expectation by simply accessing their existing market research, following well-known usability guidelines and looking at what the competition is doing. But even then, any design should be subject to usability testing in order to iron out the wrinkles. If you are embarking on a project where you don't have access to any existing knowledge about how your users think about a topic and the expectations they might have, then user research becomes absolutely critical. References 1 Craik, K.J.W. (1943). The Nature of Explanation. Cambridge UK: Cambridge University Press. This article was written by Tim Fidgeon, of Spotless Interactive – a leading usability consultancy offering usability testing. back to top Need some more information? If you would like to learn more about how we can help you run and co-ordinate Usability research then please call us or email us below and we would be happy to help out where we can.
  • 4. We are ready to answer your questions right now, so please contact us by telephone on +44 (0)207 168 7526 or drop us a quick email info@spotlessinteractive.com and we will do our best to help you with any questions you might have. Usability: User expectations are important Tim Fidgeon - Published: 07th February 2011 08:24 GMT Meeting user expectations throughout a site normally delivers good usability. Ways to make sure you meet expectations: user research, reviewing competitor sites and following usability guidelines. Introduction – meeting expectations improves usability A key principle within usability is that people carry around a 'mental model' of how we expect the world to behave1. These models are based on past experiences and can be a very powerful factor in influencing how people behave in certain situations. In our experience of usability testing, usability suffers when a site does not match users' expectations. Indeed, our usability testing sessions have repeatedly shown that breaking expectations makes users unhappy. User's reactions – to poor usability We have seen users react very strongly during usability testing sessions when their expectations are not met. The 2 main reactions we have observed in these situations are: Denial - Users can find it difficult to accept that their mental model does not apply to the site. This often leads to them persisting in a course of action even though it does not seem to be working. Resistance - We have found that people are often very reluctant to interact with anything that doesn‘t obviously fit into their existing mental model. Denial – a real-world usability example During a usability testing session, several users repeatedly clicked a 'Buy Now' button on a supermarket website. They did this because they did not think the site had recognised their action. The reason the users thought this, was because they had expected to be taken to a 'Your Basket' page. Instead of taking the user to such a page, the site simply updated the on-screen basket. This illustrates a profound truth in usability: a site's unexpected behaviours must be super-obvious. The problem with the site's usability wasn't (necessarily) that it didn't take users to the 'Your Basket' page, but rather that its updating of the on-screen basket was too subtle to be noticed by anyone who was not expecting it. It's vital that if a site does something unexpected that it make an extra effort to make 'what just happened' very obvious. The way to do this is, of course, by providing strong feedback on the consequences of a user's action which can not be missed.
  • 5. back to top Resistance – a real-world usability example Many users were very reluctant to upgrade from Office 2003 to 2007. When asked, people generally said that this was because they had spent a lot of time learning how to use the 2003 interface and did not want to learn a whole new interface. In fact, many people got quite angry if their employer forced them to use the 2007 version. People's resistance to Office 2007 was due to radical changes being made to an interface which they knew well and were comfortable with. During usability testing sessions, we have seen the same issue when people frequently use a website or intranet. If people use your site regularly, it is very likely that they get used to a certain way of doing things. If the site suddenly (and radically) changes the way it does things, users will tend to react negatively. This is simply because most people hate change. From a user's point of view, this makes perfect sense ("Why have you suddenly changed the site so I need to re-learn how to do everything?!"). If you have a site which is used regularly by a significant section of your audience, we would normally recommend that you evolve the design rather than have a Big Bang. Obviously there are exceptions to this (where an existing site design is simply unsustainable, for example), but evolution is generally a lower-risk approach. back to top Site design – where expectation impacts usability A user's expectations about your site can apply to almost every area of its design. In order to experience your site as having good usability, it needs to match its users‘ expectations (or at least not contradict them) with regard to its: Structure - Your site's logical grouping of content and concepts should be easily understood by the user. For example, in a supermarket site one would expect to see categories similar to a supermarket's physical aisles (Fruit & Veg, Tinned beans, etc.) Behaviour - The site should respond to a user's actions in a way that they could confidently predict. For example, all underlined text is clickable. Language - The language which the site uses when talking about a topic should be familiar, relevant and appropriate (from the user's perspective). For example, most people shop for a 'DVD' not a 'Digital Video Disc'. Appearance - Certain elements of a web site should look a certain way and/or be located in a certain area. For example, navigation menus should normally appear at the top or alongside the left of the page. back to top Ideas – how to avoid usability problems
  • 6. There are several well-known ways to try and mitigate any usability problems which might arise from a web site conflicting with a user‘s mental model. These include: User research - Most companies have repositories of ‗knowledge about our audience‘ – whether it be in the Market Research department, the Sales Office, or the Call Centre. If this information is not available, then consider running some usability studies to try to understand how users think about the topic in question (such as interviews, focus groups, card sorting or usability testing). Competitor research - Look at what competitor websites are doing. If a lot of your competitors are doing things in a certain way, it might be a good idea to follow their lead (if only because prospective customers are likely to shop around and at least your site will be consistent with theirs. Internal consistency - Users start building a mental model of your site as soon as they arrive on it. For this reason, your site needs to be as internally consistent as possible (in each of the parameters mentioned above: structure, behaviour, language and appearance). Guidelines - Usability guidelines which have been widely adopted can be very useful in helping to provide 'de facto' answers to many design decisions. There is a potential risk, of course, that if every web site follows users‘ expectations then they will all look very similar. Realistically, however, there is still plenty of scope for creativity within a design that meets user expectations. To be clear, it is perfectly possible to design a very innovative website with great usability – it's just more difficult and expensive than designing a site that 'follows the rules'. This is because every innovation is a potential risk which should be mitigated through user research (such as usability testing). back to top Conclusion – usability next steps Most sites should be able to meet their users' expectation by simply accessing their existing market research, following well-known usability guidelines and looking at what the competition is doing. But even then, any design should be subject to usability testing in order to iron out the wrinkles. If you are embarking on a project where you don't have access to any existing knowledge about how your users think about a topic and the expectations they might have, then user research becomes absolutely critical. References 1 Craik, K.J.W. (1943). The Nature of Explanation. Cambridge UK: Cambridge University Press. This article was written by Tim Fidgeon, of Spotless Interactive – a leading usability consultancy offering usability testing. back to top Need some more information?
  • 7. If you would like to learn more about how we can help you run and co-ordinate Usability research then please call us or email us below and we would be happy to help out where we can. We are ready to answer your questions right now, so please contact us by telephone on +44 (0)207 168 7526 or drop us a quick email info@spotlessinteractive.com and we will do our best to help you with any questions you might have. A lot of designers seem to be talking about user experience (UX) these days. We‘re supposed to delight our users, even provide them with magic, so that they love our websites, apps and start-ups. User experience is a very blurry concept. Consequently, many people use the term incorrectly. Furthermore, many designers seem to have a firm (and often unrealistic) belief in how they can craft the user experience of their product. However, UX depends not only on how something is designed, but also other aspects. In this article, I will try to clarify why UX cannot be designed. [Editor's note: Have you already got your copy of our Printed Smashing Book #2? The book covers best practices and techniques for professional Web designers and developers.] Heterogeneous Interpretations of UX I recently visited the elegant website of a design agency. The website looked great, and the agency has been showcased several times. I am sure it delivers high-quality products. But when it presents its UX work, the agency talks about UX as if it were equal to information architecture (IA): site maps, wireframes and all that. This may not be fundamentally wrong, but it narrows UX to something less than what it really is. The perception might not be representative of our industry, but it illustrates that UX is perceived in different ways and that it is sometimes used as a buzzword for usability (for more, see Hans-Christian Jetter and Jens Gerken‘s article ―A simplified model of user experience for practical application 6‖). But UX is not only about human-computer interaction (HCI), usability or IA, albeit usability probably is the most important factor that shapes UX. Some research indicates that perceptions of UX are different. Still, everyone tends to agree that UX takes a broader approach to communication between computer and human than traditional HCI (see Effie Lai-Chong Law et al‘s article ―Understanding, scoping and defining user experience: a survey approach 7‖). Whereas HCI is concerned with task solution, final goals and achievements, UX goes beyond these. UX takes other aspects into consideration as well, such as emotional, hedonic, aesthetic, affective and experiential variables. Usability in general can be measured, but many of the other variables integral to UX are not as easy to measure.
  • 8. Hassenzahl’s Model Of UX Hassenzahl‘s ―Model of User Experience‖. Several models of UX have been suggested, some of which are based on Hassenzahl‘s model 8. This model assumes that each user assigns some attributes to a product or service when using it. As we will see, these attributes are different for each individual user. UX is the consequences of these attributes plus the situation in which the product is used. The attributes can all be grouped into four main categories: manipulation, identification, stimulation and evocation. These categories can, on a higher level, be grouped into pragmatic and hedonic attributes. Whereas the pragmatic attributes relate to the practical usage and functions of the product, the hedonic attributes relate to the user‘s psychological well-being. Understanding the divide can help us to understand how to design products with respect to UX, and the split also clarifies why UX itself cannot be designed.
  • 9. Manipulation 9 Hassenzahl explains the hedonic and pragmatic qualities with a hammer metaphor. The pragmatic qualities are the function and a way for us to use that function. However, a hammer can also have hedonic qualities; for instance, if it is used to communicate professionalism or to elicit memories. (Image: Velo Steve 10) In this model, the pragmatic attributes relate to manipulation of the software. Essentially, manipulation is about the core functionalities of a product and the ways to use those functions. Typically, we relate these attributes to usability. A consequence of pragmatic qualities is satisfaction. Satisfaction emerges if a user uses a product or service to achieve certain goals and the product or service fulfills those goals. Examples of attributes that are typically assigned to websites (and software in general) are ―supporting,‖ ―useful,‖ ―clear‖ and ―controllable.‖ The purpose of a product should be clear, and the user should understand how to use it. To this end, manipulation is often considered the most important attribute that contributes to the UX. Identification Although manipulation is important, a product can have other functions as well. The first of these is called identification. Think about it: many of the items connected to you right now could probably be used to get an idea of who you are and what you care about, even though some of them would be more important or descriptive than others. The secondary function of an object is to communicate your identity to others. Therefore, to fulfill this function, objects need to enable users to express themselves.
  • 10. The growth of social media can be explained by this identification function. Previously, we used personal websites to tell the world about our hobbies and pets. Now, we use social media. Facebook, blogs and many other online services help us to communicate who we are and what we do; the products are designed to support this identification need. MySpace, for example, takes advantage of this identification function; it allows users to customize their profiles in order to express themselves. WordPress and other platforms let bloggers select themes and express themselves through content, just as users do through status updates on Facebook, Twitter and all the other social platforms out there. Stimulation Gmail notifies users when they forget to attach a file to an email. The Pareto principle 11, also known as the 80-20 rule, states that 80% of the available resources are typically used by 20% of the operations 12. It has been suggested, therefore, that in traditional usability engineering, features should have to fight to be included 13, because the vast majority of them are rarely used anyway. This is necessarily not the case with UX, because rarely used functions can fill a hedonic function called stimulation. Rarely used functions can stimulate the user and satisfy the human urge for personal development and more skills. Certain objects could help us in doing so by providing insights and surprises. From this perspective, unused functions should not be dropped from software merely because they are used once in a blue moon. If they are kept, they could one day be discovered by a user and give them a surprise and positive user experience. As a result, the user might think ―What a brilliant application this is!‖ and love it even more. In fact, this is exactly what I thought (and found myself tweeting 14) when Gmail notified me that I had forgotten to attach the file I‘d mentioned in an email. If you do a
  • 11. Twitter search for ―gmail attachment 15,‖ you‘ll probably find many others 16 who 17 feel 18 the 19 same 20. Furthermore, I think ―Pretty cool!‖ when YouTube enhances its presence by modifying its logo on Super Bowl Sunday (or Valentine‘s Day). I also discovered something new when MailChimp‘s monkey whispered, ―Psst, Helge, I heard a rumor…‖ and linked me to a Bananarama song 21 on YouTube. There are many examples, but the best ―stimulating‖ functions are probably those that are unexpected but still welcome (like the Gmail notification). Evocation 22 Souvenirs tend to have weak manipulative qualities, but they can be evocative when they elicit memories. (Image: meddygarnet 23) The fourth function that a product can have, according to Hassenzahl‘s model 24, is evocation, which is about recalling the past through memory. We enjoy talking and thinking about the good old days (even yesterday), and we want objects to help us with this. Even weird, dusty and practically useless souvenirs (with weak manipulative qualities) have evocative function because they help us to recall the past. In design, we can certainly give a website a vintage look and feel to remind us of our childhood, high school or the ‘60s… or the ‘30s. But even websites with a modern and minimalist design can have evocative attributes. For instance, don‘t Facebook and Flickr (by way of their users and your friends) provide you with a huge number of pictures from the past, some of which are highly evocative? Thus, UX Cannot Be Designed
  • 12. The MailChimp monkey‘s words will probably appeal to some users more than others. Having said all this, why is it argued that UX cannot be designed? It‘s because UX depends not only on the product itself, but on the user and the situation in which they use the product. You Cannot Design the User Users are different. Some are able to easily use a website to perform their task. Other simply are not. The stimulation that a product provides depends on the individual user‘s experience with similar products. Users compare websites and have different expectations. Furthermore, they have different goals, and so they use what you have made in different modes. Think about it: when judging the food and service at a restaurant, you will always compare what you experience to other restaurants you have been to. They have shaped your experience. Your companions compare it to their previous experiences, which are certainly different from yours. The same goes for software, websites and apps. Evocative qualities vary even more, simply because all users have a unique history and unique memories. You Cannot Design the Situation UX also depends on the context in which the product is used. A situation goes beyond what can be designed. It can determine why a product is being used, and it can shape a user‘s expectations. On some occasions, you may want to explore and take advantage of the wealth of features in WordPress. In other situations, the same functions may make things too complex for you. On some occasions, you may find it totally cool that the MailChimp monkey tells you randomly that, ―It‘s five o‘clock somewhere,‖ but in other cases it would feel entirely weird and annoying, because you are using the application in a different mode. Furthermore, UX evolves over time. The first time a user tries an application, they may be confused by it and have a slightly negative experience. Later, when they get
  • 13. used to it and discover its wealth of features and potential and learn how to handle it, they might get emotionally attached to it, and the UX would become more positive. We Can Design For UX 25 Are roller coasters fun, thrilling and exciting or just breathtakingly scary? It‘s hard to tell. (Image: foilman 26) Many designers label themselves ―UX designers.‖ This implies great confidence in the capabilities of the designer; it suggests that the user experience can be designed. But as explained, we cannot do this. Instead, we can design for UX. We can design the product or service, and we can have a certain kind of user experience in mind when we design it. However, there is no guarantee that our product will be appreciated the way we want it to be (again, see Hassenzahl). We can shape neither our users‘ expectations nor the situation in which they use what we have designed. It is certainly possible to have a fairly good idea of the potential ways a user will judge what we make, as Oliver Reichenstein points out 27. Movies, rhetoric and branding demonstrate as much: they predict certain experiences, and they often achieve their goals, too. However, a thrilling movie is probably more thrilling in the theater than at home, because the physical environment (i.e. the situation that shapes the UX) is different. In the same way, the effectiveness of an advertisement will always depend on the context in which it is consumed and the critical sense and knowledge of the consumer (i.e. the user‘s prior experience). The commercials are designed to elicit certain experiences, but their level of success does not depend solely on the commercials themselves.
  • 14. The difference between designing UX and designing for UX is subtle but important. It can help us understand and remind us of our limitations. It can help us think of how we want the UX to be. It has been suggested, for instance, that UX is the sum of certain factors, such as fun, emotion, usability, motivation, co-experience, user involvement and user engagement (for more, see Marianna Obrist et al‘s article ―Evaluating user-generated content creation across contexts and cultures‖). In turn, we must address some of these factors when we design for UX, depending on how we want our product to be perceived. If we want an application to be fun, then we need to add some features that will entertain; a joke, a challenging quiz, a funny video, a competitive aspect or something else. We should keep in mind, however, that, as designers, we can never really predict that the application will be perceived as fun by the user. Users have different standards, and sometimes they aren‘t even willing to be entertained. Extra Credit: How To Design For UX Peter Morville‘s ―Facets of User Experience.‖ (Image: Semantic Studios 28) Understand UX If we want to design for UX, then we need to understand what UX is all about. For example, knowing which variables make users judge a product might be advantageous, and Hassenzahl‘s UX model is one such model for this.
  • 15. Other models have been suggested as well, such as Peter Morville‘s ―seven facets of user experience 29.‖ Here, UX is split into useful, usable, desirable, findable, accessible, credible and valuable. As you may have noticed, these facets fit Hassenzahl‘s model pretty well: useful, usable, findable, credible and accessible could all be considered as pragmatic (i.e. utilitarian and usability-related) qualities, while desirable and valuable would qualify as hedonic (well-being-related) qualities. As mentioned, UX has also been viewed as the sum of particular factors. Other models have been suggested as well, some of which are linked to at the bottom of this article. Understand Users Following this, we need to understand our users. Traditional methods are certainly applicable, such as user research with surveys, interviews and observation. Also, personas have been suggested as a means of designing for UX, as have UX patterns. Smashing Magazine has already presented a round-up of methods 30. Exceed Expectations Finally, give users what they want — and a little more. In addition to enabling users to use your service effectively and efficiently, make them also think, ―Wow, this application is genius.‖ Exceed their expectations desirably. If you do so, they will use your website or app not because they have to but because they want to. Other Resources To learn more about UX, you may want to read the following: What Is User Experience Design? Overview, Tools and Resources 31 A useful introduction to UX, along with suggested techniques and helpful tools for designing for UX. 8 Must-See UX Diagrams 32 An excellent collection of visualizations of the concepts and fragments of UX. Retro and Vintage in Modern Web Design 33 An extensive showcase of inspiring websites that are graphically designed to elicit memories. UX Myths 34 A website dedicated to debunking misconceptions about UX. The Thing and I: Understanding the Relationship Between a User and a Product 35 Freely available extracts from Marc Hassenzahl’s article on the UX model referred to in this article. Booeep is an online entertainment portal featuring the "Official Websites" of Actors, Athletes, Comedians, Models, Musicians and Experts. Booeep powers the Websites of the celebrities and delivers hot content and interactive applications to fans and visitors.
  • 16. Booeep provides "Official Website" solutions for celebrities with an approach that rewards users, advertisers and Hollywood. Booeep aims to be one of the most popular online entertainment portals. We provide all of our employees with a salary, benefits, and stock options. We believe that if you want employees to act like an owner, it helps to make them an owner. We are building a team that together will do great things. Booeep is an equal opportunity employer. Please send your resume, credentials and salary requirements to jobs@booeep.com. Emails should not be larger than 20 MB. Positions Available: Web Content Manager - Sports and Athletes - Los Angeles Web Designer - Los Angeles Web Developer - Los Angeles Web Engineer - Los Angeles Online Advertising Sales - Los Angeles and New York Web Content Manager Booeep is looking for a motivated and experienced Web Content Manager to support our Athletes' Official Websites. Candidate should have experience covering mixed martial arts in particular. Title:Web Content Manager - Los Angeles, California Terms:Full-time employee or independent contractor Rate:Please send your resume and writing samples and indicate current compensation Responsibilities Research celebrity's content, style and image and prepare Q&As to create content Create and execute a marketing plan for promoting the celebrity's site Create and manage celebritys' MySpace pages to promote their Official Website Manage and support multiple Official Websites Ongoing development of new content with the Producer and Web Designer Qualifications Must have an applicable college degree (English, Journalism or Marketing majors preferred) with 3-5+ years of experience in copywriting and marketing in Web entertainment Expert copywriting and copyediting skills including thorough knowledge of different styles (AP, MLA, etc.) Ability to match the celebrity's style and write effectively to the celebrity's audience Expert computer skills, Web savvy and basic HTML skills Experience creating advanced MySpace pages Exceptional attention to detail, no typos, always proofed
  • 17. back to top Web Designer Booeep is looking for motivated and experienced Web Designers to design and create custom websites for our celebrities. Title:Web Designer - Los Angeles, California Terms:Full-time employee or independent contractor Rate:Please send your resume and writing samples and indicate current compensation Responsibilities Meeting with clients/celebrities Conceptualize and design complete site layouts, including homepage layouts, supporting content pages, site navigation and supporting visual elements Ensure that content layouts are accessible and logical and support the need of the client as well as fulfill the workflow requirements of our internal development cycle Work with the development team to efficiently and effectively build sites Ability to focus and meet deadlines in a fast-paced environment Work closely with the rest of our team to effectively manage information and content into creative solutions Perform maintenance and updates to existing sites when required Must have strong written and verbal communication skills Qualifications Expert in Adobe Creative Suite (5+ years) Creating highly-polished, commercial-quality designs for entertainment industry Understanding of how to "slice / dice" a design for web applications Intermediate understanding of how to build a website Intermediate understanding of web technologies and current market trends Extensive understanding of cross browser, cross platform issues (IE, Firefox, Safari etc) Intermediate understanding of flash animation and development Experience with AS2 / AS3 is a plus!! Intermediate understanding of web usability Understanding of common user expectation regarding current-day/cutting-edge widgets Strong verbal and written communication skills back to top Web Developer Booeep is looking for a motivated and experienced Web Developer to build and support our celebrities' Official Websites. Title:Web Developer - Los Angeles, California
  • 18. Terms:Full-time employee or independent contractor Rate:Please send your resume and writing samples and indicate current compensation Responsibilities PHP/MySQL coding for database-driven, custom-designed websites PHP development of custom, interactive features Back-end support for designers Contribute to the design of web interfaces through personal knowledge of usability theory and concepts Work closely with the rest of our development team Qualifications 3-5 years of PHP OOP Development experience Experience building databases to support dynamic web content Experience developing interactive web features and applications Knowledge of AJAX, Javascript, XML is preferred Strong communication and ability to meet deadlines in a fast-paced environment Special Considerations E-Commerce and Ad Network Experience Unix/Linux, Apache, server administration knowledge a plus Flex or other Desktop-based web experience a plus back to top Web Engineer Booeep is looking for motivated and experienced Senior Web Engineer to support and develop our celebrities' Official Websites. Title:Web Engineer - Los Angeles, California Terms:Full-time employee or independent contractor Rate:Please send your resume and writing samples and indicate current compensation Responsibilities Gather and Compile requirements for requested features / applications Design complex SQL database architectures Build complex Object-Oriented applications / features within a MVC architecture System administration of live celebrity websites Troubleshoot problems experienced by internal staff and public users Manage SVN repositories Ability to focus and meet deadlines in a fast-paced environment
  • 19. Work closely with the rest of our development team Qualifications Expert in PHP / Back-end development ( 5+ years ) o Compile PHP & Apache in a linux environment ( no binary packages... ) o Use PHP5 compatible concepts only ( no PHP4 ) o Experience with MVC & ORM concepts o Experience with php CLI o Ability to follow a coding standard o VERY clean tabulation / indentation ( tabs, not spaces... ) Expert in MySQL ( or other ) Database design o Full understanding of inner/outer joins & complex queries o Full understanding of database query optimization o Understanding of database clustering & sharding/partitioning concepts Intermediate knowledge of media processing / encoding o Experience with media encoding (On2, FFmpeg, FMS) o Experience with GD lib Expert in HTML / XHTML: hand-coding... ( 3-5 years ) o MUST resist the urge to use tables!! ( somebody could get hurt... ) o Use of non-deprecated tags / attributes o Valid markup across IE6 / IE7, FF2 / FF3, Safari on PC and Mac o VERY clean tabulation ( tabs, not spaces... ) Expert in CSS o Relative & Absolute Positioning o Floats & Clearing o Image Sprites o CSS Specificity o CSS Glossary (talk the talk) Advanced JS skills o Experience creating OO JavaScript code o Experience with a JS framework, preferably jQuery o Advanced experience with AJAX/JSON Expert in XML Intermediate / Advanced *nix Commandline o Compiling / Installing applications o Editing text files using VIM o Managing php / apache processes o Managing SVN repositories Intermediate SEO practices o Proper use of H1-6, img, a, p, title, meta, etc. o Proper URL structures o Understanding of Search Engine Behaviors
  • 20. Strong verbal and written communication skills Any experience with basic Flash / ActionScripting is a plus! Special Considerations Perl / mod_perl Development Experience E-Commerce Experience Ad Network Experience Email Marketing Experience Blogging Experience Forum Experience back to top Online Advertising Sales Booeep is looking for motivated and experienced Account Executive to sell advertising on our celebrities' Official Websites. Title:Online Advertising Sales - Los Angeles and New York Terms:Full-time employee or independent contractor Rate:Please send your resume and writing samples and indicate current compensation Responsibilities Account Executives are responsible for agency and advertising relationships, prospecting and sales. Drive online advertising sales, meet and exceed all sales goals. Focus on client direct and named agencies in the Western region. Work as a partner to help clients reach their goals and initiatives. Manage, renew and up-sell existing clients. Prepare proposals and respond to RFP's with a high degree of professionalism, quality and in a timely manner. Participate and represent Booeep at local industry events. Work with Account Management (including web traffic coordinator) to ensure that client's needs are being met to the best of our ability. Stay current of online advertising trends and innovations. Prospecting and cold calling skills necessary. Some travel required - 30%. Qualifications Minimum 5 year previous sales experience in related field, preferably online sales. Ability to negotiate/sell the intrinsic value of a program to customers, not just the program/price. Ability to manage a specific territory and mine it for business opportunities in order to meet quotas. Ability to articulate future business within your territory and provide weekly updates and reports to management.
  • 21. Ability to create forecasting models, including budget, dates, probability to close and inventory estimates. Ability to work in a fast pace, exciting environment. Strong ethics. Strong communication and presentation skills. Teamwork and interpersonal skills. Education: Bachelors Degree. back to top Privacy Policy This website is owned and operated by Allure Media Pty Limited (Allure Media, we, us or our). Allure Media is bound by the National Privacy Principles (NPPs) in the Privacy Act 1988 and this Privacy Policy applies to Allure Media and the websites it operates. This Privacy Policy applies to all Allure Media's business activities. Also, to the extent that it relates to personal information supplied by users of our websites, it forms part of the terms and conditions of those websites. This is explained in more detail in the terms and conditions of each of the websites we operate. This Privacy Policy outlines how Allure Media handles personal information. "Personal information" is information or an opinion that identifies an individual, or from which an individual's identity reasonably can be ascertained. 1. What personal information do we collect and why? (a) Website users Much of the personal information that Allure Media collects is information that website users volunteer to us (through our websites). For instance, personal information is provided by users who register for our website services (Registration Information), including: Discussion boards: Sometimes we provide a discussion board service on our websites so that users can discuss common topics of interest. If a user chooses to sign up to a discussion board service, they must provide us with some personal information including a valid email address. Allure Media uses this personal information to identify users who leave comments prohibited by our terms and conditions of use, and also to identify topics of interest to discussion board users; and Comments: Also, website users can choose to leave comments on particular articles of interest. To leave a comment, users must submit personal information including a valid email address.
  • 22. Allure Media uses this information to screen out users who leave comments prohibited by our terms and conditions of use only. Also, Allure Media may aggregate personal information that is Registration Information. This is for research purposes only (and the aggregated data will not identify any individual users). The discussion boards and comment pages that we provide through our websites are public spaces. For this reason, website users who post information to discussion boards or comment pages are taken to consent to such information and comments being disclosed to other users of those websites. (b) Competition entrants As explained in the terms and conditions of our websites, from time to time, Allure Media conducts competitions and promotions. Allure Media will collect personal information when it does so, in order to distribute prizes and administer the relevant competition or promotion. If we collect personal information in this way, when you enter the competition or promotion we may also ask you to consent to us using that information for marketing purposes or for other purposes. (c) Business contacts We also collect personal information from people we do business with, such as contact people in our external service providers and related bodies corporate. This information is needed so that we can manage our business, and is collected in the ordinary course of business. (d) Journalism subjects In the course of operating the babble.com.au, bellasugar.com.au, defamer.com.au, fabsugar.com.au, gizmodo.com.au, kotaku.com.au, lifehacker.com.au and popsugar.com.au websites, Allure Media operates as a media organisation (ie in that it collects and disseminates of news and information, and related commentary and opinions). The NPPs do not apply to acts done or practices engaged in by media organisations in the course of journalism if they are publicly committed to observing standards that deal with privacy in the context of their media activities, and which have been published in writing. In operating our websites, Allure Media is committed to complying with the Journalism Privacy Standards in Annexure A of this Privacy Policy. (e) Employees
  • 23. Allure Media also collects personal information about its own employees, but its handling of employee information is not within the scope of this privacy policy. 2. Will personal information be given to anyone else? Subject to the exceptions outlined below, Allure Media's policy is not to disclose personal information that is Registration Information to third parties. Like most businesses, Allure Media uses a number of external service providers to help us perform functions such as delivery, mailing, IT and website support. For our service providers to perform those functions effectively and efficiently it is sometimes necessary for them to handle personal information on our behalf. This may include Registration Information and other personal information held by us. Under the terms of our service agreements with our service providers, we require those external service providers to respect your privacy, and authorise them only to use personal information that we disclose to them in order to provide the services we require. We may also disclose personal information we are under a legal requirement to do so (eg under a court order, or if required under legislation), or if an authorised request is made (eg from a law enforcement agency). As noted above, website users who post information to discussion boards or comment pages consent to such information and comments being disclosed to other users of those websites. 3. Access and Correction Under the Privacy Act, you have a right to seek access to information which we hold about you (although there are some exceptions to this). You also have the right to ask us to correct information about you which is inaccurate, incomplete or out of date. As noted, the personal information that we hold about you will generally be information that you have provided to us. However, if you wish to exercise your right under the Privacy Act to seek access to personal information that we hold about you, we ask that you contact our Privacy Officer (details at point 7 below), who will explain how we will handle your access request. Our policy is to consider any requests for correction in a timely way. 4. Is personal information stored safely? Allure Media takes reasonable steps to ensure that the personal information we hold is stored in a secure environment protected from unauthorised access, modification or disclosure. We remind our staff and contractors of the importance of storing personal information in a secure way, and to treat it like confidential information.
  • 24. 5. Cookies & Log Files Cookies: The discussion boards hosted by our websites may use cookies. A cookie is a piece of data stored on the user's computer tied to information about the user. We may use both session ID cookies and persistent cookies. For the session ID cookie, once users close the browser, the cookie simply terminates. A persistent cookie is a small text file stored on the user's hard drive for an extended period of time. Persistent cookies can be removed by following Internet browser help file directions. By setting a cookie on an Allure Media site, users will not have to log in a password more than once, thereby saving time while on the site's discussion board. We store a cookie on each user's machine that contains a username and encrypted password. You can configure your browser to accept all cookies, reject all cookies, or notify you when a cookie is set. If you reject all cookies, you will not be able to use any products or services we offer that require you to "sign in," and you may not be able to take full advantage of all offerings. However, not all of our services require that you accept cookies. Log Files: Like most standard web site servers we use log files. This includes internet protocol (IP) addresses, information about your browser type and your internet service provider (ISP), referring/exit pages, platform type, date/time stamp, and number of clicks you make. This is used to analyse trends, administer the site, track users' movements in the aggregate, and gather broad demographic information for aggregate use. However, this information is not linked to the personal information that you provide to the site. 6. Email/SMS marketing We will not email or SMS you marketing material unless you have consented to this. This is a requirement of the Spam Act 2003. Further, you can unsubscribe from our electronic communications by using the "unsubscribe" facility contained in each electronic publication we send. 7. Contacting us If you have any questions or comments about this privacy policy, or if you wish to complain about how we have handled personal information about you, please contact our Privacy Officer at Allure Media, Level 4, 71 Macquarie St, Sydney NSW 2000. 8. Changes to this Privacy Policy We review our privacy policy from time to time to make sure it is complying with legislative requirements and is in line with our users' expectations. We reserve the right to change the policy accordingly.
  • 25. This policy was last updated in September 2009. ANNEXURE A: JOURNALISM PRIVACY STANDARDS Introduction The National Privacy Principles contained in the Privacy Act 1988 do not apply to "acts done or practices engaged in by a media organisation in the course of journalism", so long as that media organisation is publicly committed to observing standards that deal with privacy in the context of its activities and those standards have been published in writing by the organisation. Allure Media acts as a media organisation to the extent that it operates the babble.com.au, bellasugar.com.au, defamer.com.au, fabsugar.com.au, gizmodo.com.au, kotaku.com.au, lifehacker.com.au and popsugar.com.au websites (Website). These Journalism Privacy Standards (Standards) outline how Allure Media's employees who are engaged in the provision of content for the Website (Journalists) will handle personal information. The objective of these Standards is to balance the right of a person to privacy against the media's right to inform the public about newsworthy matters and other matters of public interest. What is personal information? "Personal information" is information or an opinion that identifies an individual, or from which an individual's identity reasonably can be ascertained. Collection of personal information by Journalists Journalists will collect personal information in the course of compiling reports and other information for the Website. Journalists should only collect personal information that is needed for an actual or anticipated report or Website posting. How will personal information be used or disclosed by Journalists? Personal information collected by Journalists should be used or disclosed for the purpose for which it was collected (eg for the publication of a story on the Website) or for related purposes (eg formulating commentary about such information, for publication on the Website). Personal information should only be disclosed on the Website if it is relevant to the story in question.
  • 26. How will personal information be stored and checked? It is a responsibility of Journalists to take reasonable steps to check that the personal information they use is accurate, complete and up-to-date, and that it is stored in a secure way. Can our sources stay anonymous? Journalists are not required by privacy laws to reveal the identity of confidential sources. What is sensitive information? Under the NPPs, sensitive information includes details of a person's religion, race, sexual preferences, health or union/association membership. Sometimes, media organisations need to collect sensitive information if it is relevant information for a story. Journalists must take care in relation to the use of sensitive information by taking reasonable steps to ensure that they do not portray any person in a negative light on the basis of that information only (eg by placing gratuitous emphasis on age, colour, gender, national origin, physical or mental disability, race, religion or sexual preference). The focus should be upon the conduct or omissions, rather than the racial or other sensitive characteristics of the person who engages (or fails to engage in) in the relevant conduct. Complaints If you have a complaint about the handling of personal information by Journalists, please contact our Privacy Officer (see details in section If you‘re thinking of committing precious time or marketing dollars to social media, a new study from online advertising network Chitika offers some useful insights and may help ensure that your message is reaching the right audience. It shows that users‘ interests and expectations vary sharply depending on the platform they‘re using. Based on a sample of over 287,000 impressions, the study examined outbound traffic from four social sites. Researchers learned that nearly half of the traffic (47%) that Twitter generates goes to news sites — Twitter users‘ interest in news outpaces that of Facebook users by nearly 20%, apparently making it the most popular social network for news junkies. On MySpace, users seek out celebrity gossip and video games — and MySpace is the only site in the sample that doesn‘t refer a significant amount of traffic to news destinations. Celebrity/entertainment is the only genre in the top 5 of all sites, demonstrating that many of us are very interested in exploits of the rich and famous.
  • 27. You might also like:
  • 28. Social Media Sites Are Now Used by 65% of Adults Online Advertisers Embrace Facebook, Other Social Networks Social Media Users More Likely to Buy From Brands They ... Facebook is Trampling Other Social Networks LinkWithin Tagged as: Digg, Facebook, MySpace, Social Media, Social network, Statistics, Trending, Twitter Disqus o LoginAbout DisqusLike Dislike Mobile Web App vs. Native App? It's Complicated + Comment now 58 347
  • 29. 74 4 141 I assume you have already read numerous articles about the neverending debate between mobile and native web applications. Moreover, this debate will undoubtedly grow along with Android’s market share. If you’d like a broad, comprehensive look at the pros and cons, I recommend this must-read article: The fight gets technical: mobile apps vs. mobile sites. (source: Worklight) Unfortunatly, the debate is more complicated than it looks. First, because the figures usually provided behind the arguments are based on new subscribers, not owners, and don’t take into account all types of mobile phones. Rather, they focus only on high-end smartphones like the July 2011 comScore U.S. Mobile Subscriber Market Share Report. This data gives you the false impression that the market is divided between Google and Apple, a biased vision of reality (The proliferation of mobile platforms). The second complication: You have more than two options (web vs. native). To be more precise, we can envision four different technical configurations:
  • 30. Native apps, which are coded with a specific programming language (ObjectiveC for iOS, Java for Android). These mobile applications are fast, reliable, and powerful but are tied to a mobile platform. That means you must duplicate them using the appropriate programming language in order to target another mobile platform. Nearly all games are native apps. Hybrid apps, which rely on development frameworks like Sencha, PhoneGap, Titanium, Rhomobile, ParticleCode, Corona, Mosync, Worklight, BkRender… These mobile apps offer a very interesting compromise because they ensure cross-platform compatibility and can access the phone’s hardware (camera, GPS, user’s contacts). IGN’s mobile social network Dominate is just such a hybrid app. Dedicated web app, which is a mobile web site tailored to a specific platform or form factor, like the LinkedIn web app which was designed for Android and iOS, but not for other smartphones or feature phones. Generic mobile app, which are mobile web sites designed to match every webenabled phone, like the Wikipedia mobile page. As you can see, you have definitely more than two options. The tricky part is that there is no best choice. It’s all about context, and that context is evolving at a very fast pace. At the very least, you can count on this: If your mobile application is mainly used to display and interact with online content or services, avoid the native choice. On the other hand, if your application is mainly used offline, a native app will offer a better user experience. eMarketer recently published a very informative chart of mobile vs. native apps’ market share depending on usage:
  • 31. In any case, what you should remember is that mobile is not only about choosing between web and native apps. It requires a more sophisticated approach. Here’s my advice to help you define an effective mobile strategy: Build an API infrastructure to allow easy and reliable access to your content and services (APIs Drive the New Touch.Salesforce.com Platform) If you decide to use native apps, hire or train an internal team on major mobile platforms’ technologies (iOS, Android) and use sub-contractors for minor mobile platforms (RIM) Don’t try to replicate your entire web site. Rethink your offer on a local level and focus on what brings most value in a mobile context
  • 32. And last but not least, bear in mind that this is a very unstable market. Everything can change within months. So don’t think about delivering the most advanced mobile app. Instead, focus on acquiring understanding of your users’ expectations and behavior