Web accessibility is not just about catering to the needs of the disabled. It is about providing people with access to your online services whatever their situation, whether that be a disability, older technology or alternative device (such as a mobile phone). Making your site accessible is not only morally right, it will improve your search engine rankings and expose your message to a larger audience.
A successful website has to be about more than pretty design or even fulfilling business objectives. A successful website has to meet the needs of users. Customer service and usability lies at the heart of differentiating yourself from the competition. However, a great user experience doesn't just meet user needs, it also nudges them in the right direction to ensure an outcome that benefits both the user and your business.
Your website doesn't matter. Neither does it matter what social network you use. What matters is what you say. It amazes me how organisations will spend thousands on a content management system or shiny new design, but fail to invest in their content. What point is there in having a great website if your message is poorly communicated? I desperately want to see everybody take web content more seriously.
I began my career in the web as a designer and that is where my passion still lies. I write regularly on all aspects of user interface design from aesthetics to structure and flow. I write about design, not just for other designers but to make the design process more accessible to clients and help them understand exactly what goes into the process. I believe in a collaborative process of design where the designer works alongside developer and client to find the right solution.
I am the first to admit I am not a developer. However, I am still interested in the development process and occasionally have something useful to say. I also know some amazing developers and try my best to get them to post here from time to time. With the web becoming ever more complex with more diverse devices and powerful applications, I can see my posts to this section becoming more frequent.
Ultimately an organisation has an online presence for a single reason, to help fulfil its business objectives. To be online just because the competition is or because that is what everybody does is not enough. Your organisation needs a digital strategy. It needs to outline how exactly the web can help. If you need help establishing these goals and working out the best strategy for achieving them learn more about how I can help.
It is no longer enough for an organisations 'web strategy' to only consist of having a website. The web is an incredible marketing tool but in order for it to work at its most effective you need to use its many aspects from your corporate site to social media and SEO. I believe that online marketing is about building relationships with potential customers wherever they are and using all the online tools available to us.
The web has changed. Where once we had a fair idea of how people accessed the web (via a desktop computer at home or in the office) now things are more challenging. With a plethora of devices from smartphones to internet enabled televisions, we do not know where, when or how people are going online. Mobile devices in particular have changed the landscape and we need to move with the times.
One of the things I love most about the web is how fast everything changes. It is hard to keep up, but that is perfect for somebody like me who seems to suffer from ADD. There is always something new happening and that is exactly what I try to share in this category. If you want to stay up-to-date keep an eye on what I post here.
Boagworld is not just my blog; its a community of designers, developers and website owners who support one another. One of the ways we do that is by answering each other questions. If you have a question about any aspect of the web or digital strategy, email Paul and he will answer here. Alternatively check out the existing questions and add your answer to the mix.
If it's shiny and new then you can guarantee I will be playing with it. From new web apps to the latest hardware and software, I share those little discoveries that make a web users life easier. You will find something in this section whether you are a designer, developer or website owner.
One of the most enjoyable parts of my job is learning new things and then communicating that to others. I have been privileged enough to travel all over the world talking about every conceivable aspect of web design from accessibility to working with clients. In this section I bring together a small selection of those talks and make them available.
Working as part of the web design community since 1994 has been a privilege. I love the web and I love the people I meet through it. This section is where I share something of my experiences as part of this community. Some of the posts are dully personal, but some talk more broadly about the challenges we face as web workers.
When most of us think about content, we are thinking copy. But today compelling content goes way beyond text. You can no longer stick to the written word.
Many of us know that the organisations we work for provide a terrible user experience. But we believe we are powerless to bring about change. Nothing could be further from the truth.
“It is not the strongest of the species that survives, nor the most intelligent that survives. It is the one that is most adaptable to change.” A lesson for web designers everywhere!
We all know prototyping is a great tool for developing user interfaces. But that is just the tip of the iceberg. They have so much more potential.
We cannot design the user experience alone. We need the help of our colleagues. That means we have to become advocates for the user experience.