Tag: design

Heat Maps to Test Your Ecommerce Site Design via Feng GUI

Amazon Ecommerce Heatmap

I came across a useful free tool for creating heatmaps of your website design at Feng Gui.   The site allows you to type in your url or upload an image and it creates a heatmap based on what it thinks a real human would be most likely to look at.  The application uses a ViewFinder algorithm to create a saliency map based on objects in the field of view that stand out relative to neighboring items. 
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CSS Reference Released by Sitepoint

Sitepoint, one of my favorite web design communities just released a CSS Reference -http://reference.sitepoint.com/css for looking up syntax and semantics for CSS. 

Free report on designing websites for users with disabilities

While surfing I came across Beyond Alt Text:  Making the Web Easy to Use for Users With Disabilitiesfrom the Nielsen Norman Group.   It’s normally $124, but they are giving it away for free for the holidays.   Accessibility design has become increasingly important over the last few years with ecommerce websites due to rulings in the courts that sites such as Target.com must be accessible.   

 It’s a good time in the year to look at your site and determine if you are compliant. 

Mashup App for Tracking Top Ecommerce Sites for Design Analysis & Best Practices

I haven’t been writing much over the past couple weeks because I’ve been focused on developing a new mashup app that will track the top 500+ ecommerce sites on the web.    Trying to keep up with what the top companies are doing is always a difficult and time consuming task so I decided to pull information together in one place.   I’ve written a few spiders as well as some mashup code with Compete, ZoomInfo, and Google API’s to build a dossier on each of the best sites. 

Please check out The Top Ecommerce Sites and let me know what you think. 

Currently I’m tracking on each site:

  • Snapshots of the home page
  • Google Page Rank
  • Backlinks from major search engines
  • Traffic via Compete
  • Company data from ZoomInfo
  • Types of technology used and sizes (i.e. html, images, flash, javascript)
  • User submitted comments and reviews
  • 1-5 Star ratings submitted by users
  • References in the Blogosphere
  • Google News

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Barnes & Noble Refreshes Site

bncom refresh

Barnes & Noble refreshed their website recently and some of the additions are useful but overall falls short.    When you reach the refreshed site, a 1/3 of the page is dedicated to B&N picks presented in a scrolling flash window.  Unfortunately, you are only given a pause button instead of back/forward/skip a page controls.  This leads to problems when you are interested in an item and you don’t get your mouse up to it quick enough, it’s off the page and you have to wait for a full rotation to get back to it.   It’s also dissappointing that in 2007 the picks are selections chosen by BN without any regard to who I am.  (continue reading…)

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