Content for the Web


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  • This is an opportunity to recover any aspects that people found difficult last week. Point out that we are still on the scope section of the diagram. Ask students what issues Accessibility may have on content.
  • Start a discussion on how students use the web. They may have some favourite sites but they will all start with a search. Ask them how they use their search engines and whether they regularly look past the first page.
  • Ask students to think of search terms which would be particularly difficult to get into the top 10 of. T-shirts, womens’ shoes, holidays in Barbados, cheap flights, search engine optimisation. etc
  • A search engine provides a list of links to web pages, relative to the term you put in. A good example is the BBC who only bought recently, previously they could only be found on It would be quicker to type bbc into google than type in different addresses but google has to be sure that the results it gives are relevant. If it listed sites simply by how many times bbc was on the page then Bob Barry and Charlie’s sweetshop in Paisley could outrank them. Yahoo and Google are not the only search engines gives an idea of UK specific search engines that are available.
  • It’s important for students to understand the difference between “natural” and sponsored results. Obviously the big difference is that sponsored results pay for their positioning on the page whereas natural results are from the search engine’s algorithm. Natural results are seen to be the most prized as they are free (sponsored results pay for each click) and more trusted. The search term “search engine optimisation” is one of the most keenly fought over terms in search (would you trust an SEO company that couldn’t get itself in the top 10?) Point out that the number 1 space is occupied by Wikipedia, it is suspected that Google artificially augments Wikipedia. Yahoo’s search results page looks very similar, you can demonstrate this live if you wish.
  • It’s important that students get used to the idea of using more than one search engine. If you are responsible for maintaining a site then you need to be aware of it’s ranking in as many engines as possible, it is your responsibility to keep up to date with your results.
  • This is not the place to debate which is better, it is important to understand that they are different and are therefore useful in different types of searches. This is also a good time to discuss using “inverted commas” for exact phrase searches. Open up and and compare the home pages. Their look and feel is very different, demonstrate the advanced search features in Google
  • Ask the class to imagine that they sell Diesel jeans in their online store. Naturally they would want to be number 1 in the search. The search engines need to be credible and reliable and if someone types “Diesel jeans” into Google they will want to be number 1. The search engine doesn’t know who you are, you might be researching a school report on the company or interested in seeing their latest advert, you may not want to buy anything.
  • The point is that all the other sites can sell me the hotel and they won’t give me the number because they don’t want me to go straight to the hotel to book.
  • Although is the most visited page in the world. Google is the most used search engine. When writing content, it is important to try and consider what someone will type in. Continuity break. Ask the class to discuss an online store for men’s clothing. What key words can they think of. Mens clothes, trousers for men, menswear etc etc etc
  • Point out that this research is, once again, brought to us by Jakob Nielsen.
  • Point out that this research is, once again, brought to us by Jakob Nielsen.
  • You have to be absolutely certain that your user values your content enough to wait to download it.
  • Make sure you warn against blindly stealing images from the Web. Have a brief discussion on copyright. Stress the importance of copyright on existing content, if a company has had text written or images made for another product, it does not necessarily follow that they have permission to use them on their site.
  • Remind students that one of the aspects Google looks at is how regularly a site is updated. This is now a time to urge students to get into the habit of designing and walking away. Clients should be responsible for their own content and can be given a content management system (there are plenty of free ones available).
  • Content for the Web

    1. 1. IMD09117 and IMD09118 Web Design and Development Content for the Web.
    2. 2. The 5 Planes Model Last session we looked at Accessibility. We considered users with impairments of Vision, Mobility and cognition. This session we will be looking at content.
    3. 3. Content is King <ul><li>Never forget that the Web was designed to share information. If you have nothing to say then no-one will want to read your pages. </li></ul><ul><li>The Web is so populated now that whatever you’ve got, someone else has it too. </li></ul><ul><li>The big question is, how do you make yourself noticed. </li></ul>
    4. 4. Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) <ul><li>SEO is the art of writing to target search engines and gain ranking in the top ten on the results page. </li></ul><ul><li>It is known that most people rarely go past the first 10 in the list and so that prized position can be fought over. </li></ul>
    5. 5. What is a search engine? Without search engines, the internet would be virtually impossible to navigate. You would have to know exactly where you wanted to go and what the address was. There was a time when it was like this.
    6. 6. Anatomy of Google “Natural” Results Paid for Results
    7. 7. Anatomy of Yahoo Same layout, different results.
    8. 8. What’s the difference <ul><li>Concentrates very much on search. Uses an algorithm (computer program) to decide on ranking. Looks at things like how often external sites link to yours, how often you mention that search term, how often the page is updated as well as a whole host of other points. The algorithm is secret. </li></ul>Uses algorithms as well as human indexing which is where teams of people help rank pages. Yahoo concentrates more on providing a community and service. is the most visited page on earth.
    9. 9. How do you get to the top? <ul><li>This is the biggest question on the Web at the moment and here’s the dichotomy: </li></ul><ul><li>You want your site to be number 1 in the rankings (usually because you want to make money). </li></ul><ul><li>Search engines want to keep their reputation by providing credible and reliable search results. </li></ul><ul><li>There are thousands of people employed to manipulate the search results of websites so if you don’t join in the game, you won’t be seen. </li></ul>
    10. 10. What’s your phone number? <ul><li>I am staying at the Hotel Royal Montparnasse in Paris, my train is late and I want to make sure my reservation is still ok as I’m arriving at 1a.m. All I want is their phone number. I search in Google and this is what I get. </li></ul>This is the official site, with the ‘phone number
    11. 11. Keywords It’s all about this box. . If someone looking for a Paris citybreak, will they type in “Paris citybreak”, “Citybreak Paris”, “Paris City break”, “Weekend in Paris”.
    12. 12. Images that do not attract attention <ul><li>Generic/stock art </li></ul><ul><li>Off-putting, cold, fake, too polished or &quot;set up” </li></ul><ul><li>Not related to content </li></ul><ul><li>Look like advertisements </li></ul><ul><li>Low contrast in terms of color -- not crisp </li></ul>This information is from and is based on research carried out by the Nielsen Norman Group.
    13. 13. Images that do attract attention <ul><li>Related to page content </li></ul><ul><li>Clearly composed and appropriately cropped </li></ul><ul><li>Contain &quot;approachable&quot; people who are smiling, looking at the camera, not models </li></ul><ul><li>Show areas of personal/private anatomy (Men tended to fixate on these areas more than women -- really!) </li></ul><ul><li>Items a user may want to buy. </li></ul>
    14. 14. Don’t make me wait <ul><li>Although most people have broad band, bandwidth is still an issue. Impatience is your enemy and a user’s escape is only a click away. </li></ul><ul><li>Too many large images, videos or flash files will send users away in droves. </li></ul><ul><li>Make sure you economise as much as possible on images. If it’s larger than 30 - 40 Kb, have a good reason. </li></ul>
    15. 15. Who owns the content? <ul><li>This is not a clear cut question. If you write the content, you may have copyright, it is something you should negotiate with your client. </li></ul><ul><li>If you use images that are not your own, ensure that you are allowed to use them. </li></ul><ul><li>If a client provides you with content and images, make sure that they have permission to use them for a website. </li></ul>
    16. 16. Content Management <ul><li>Website content is not static. </li></ul><ul><li>A strategy needs to be in place for keeping it up to date. </li></ul><ul><li>You do not want to be the strategy. </li></ul>