Sitegeist Blog - Beiträge vom December, 2009

Fast websites, Flash intros and Google

Friday, 18. December 2009 9:25

Speed. When we’re online, there’s nothing like it. Click and load; fast and easy.

And then we arrive at a site with…wait for it…wait….still waiting…a Flash intro. And faster than you can say ‘skip’, momentum has been lost and we’re annoyed. A waste of our time. And there’s nothing that makes a user hit the close box or the back arrow faster than having their time wasted.

I’ve been trying to think of a legitimate use for a Flash intro. And I can’t. How about a funky designer showing off what they can do? No – not if ‘what they can do’ is encouraging their clients to build sites that waste our time.

Here it is again, in case you missed it: There is no excuse for a Flash intro.

And it looks like Google agrees. In a December 2009 interview on WebProNews, Google software engineer guru Matt Cutts hinted that Google search results might take a site’s speed into account:

“Historically, we haven’t had to use it in our search rankings, but a lot of people within Google think that the web should be fast,” says Cutts. “It should be a good experience, and so it’s sort of fair to say that if you’re a fast site, maybe you should get a little bit of a bonus. If you really have an awfully slow site, then maybe users don’t want that as much.”

At Sitegeist, we believe that the content on the page is of paramount importance. If the words are right, then we’re happy to wait an extra second or two for the page to load. But the problem is that we don’t know the content is good until the page loads. And we hate waiting for a slow site with bad (or not relevant) content.

So we approve of Google’s move to reward faster sites. Content and reputation are still the reigning monarchs at Google, but a dose of speed can’t hurt either.

For developers, Google has some speed tools and tips. For the rest of us, expect things to get just a bit quicker online in the next year…

Thema: Being bad, Being good, Trends, User focus, Web dev | Kommentare (4) | Author:

Bad for business

Friday, 4. December 2009 10:16

Ahhh, the freelance coffee-all-day, work-for-yourself world. Marvellous, isn’t it?

I just recently knocked back a job because I didn’t like the business. Initially, I was keen for the work. I had nothing on my books and (like all of us) could have really used the money. And there would have been pretty good money.

But I wasn’t on-board with their business. And I didn’t sleep very well, pondering the work.

What they do isn’t illegal or on the fringes. And they run a good, professional show. I just don’t like that show. And so I said no.

I’m a service provider. If I was an electricity company, would I feel bad about supplying power to a business I didn’t approve of, such as a racist political party? Should I? Banks spend bucketloads on creating a friendly corporate image. Do they have any obligation to ensure that their customers operate in a manner that reflects their own brand values?

And if not, why not? Is it just a market-driven free-for-all?

I claim no moral high ground. I’ve worked on products I don’t believe in. Sure I have. But I don’t think those products have caused harm, and I haven’t had to lie in order to describe them. Not knowingly, anyway.

But my work constantly requires me to make decisions based on both business need and personal morals. And this one fell on the wrong side of my morals.

I know a bit more about myself as a result. I know where I draw the line. And that’s worth something.

So help me out, fellow users, buyers, freelancers… Did I short-change myself for no reason?

Do you care that cigarette companies own Starbucks, Lifesavers and even Vegemite? Does it matter? Cigarettes are legal.

A fairly large soft drink company you may have heard of has been accused of torturing union leaders in Colombia. Kellogg’s uses GM sugar. L’Oreal tests on animals. So does Procter and Gamble (USA), and they make Pringles which are yummy and Duracell batteries which last for ages…

Where do you draw the line on what you buy and who you do business with?

Thema: Being bad, Being good | Kommentare (2) | Author:

Simple & Great

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