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RailsConf talk: Meanwhile, In the Rest of the World - David Demaree

“Hello, I’m David. I’m here to tell you what you’re doing wrong.” _ \ He has looked at websites since ’95. Used to work in tech support, so he’s heard lots of customers talk about what’s not so good about various interfaces. \ h3. What goes wrong? \ * While we are all excited about the “new” web, much of our potential audience is still discovering the old web.\ * We assume that our users control their environment: if they have and windows machine with internet explorer, that’s because they chose it.\ * In the real world, people are not aware of the “new hotness”, they don’t think they need it, and it has not been properly explained.\ * User requests are often “aspirational”; which is to say that they are something the user would like rather than something they need \ h3. What can be done? \ * Find out about your customers; talk to them.\ * Don’t work towards a comprehensive feature list. Too many features can do more harm than good.\ * Think about Usability through your site’s audience: Who’s going to use it? How are they going to use it? How often will they use it? \ h3. Syndication and Tagging \ * 12% of internet users are aware RSS exists\ * 4% have knowingly used it\ * Folks usually just have tiny RSS icons and not much explanation, but these kinds of stats make it seem reasonable to expect web authors to explain how to use RSS on their sites.\ * We know and love tags, but we can’t assume that people will know how they are used .\ * Think different – he called out one site that uses tags to review wines. \ Fair enough, rock on._