• Alan

    Hi Shari – excellent
    article.

    As I’m sure you’ll agree those of us who have been around this Internet marketing malarkey for a while [veterans?] know this stuff is not new. Some of it being good web-practice back in the mid 1990s and good print-practice centuries before that [it is not by accident that even the earliest examples of print were black on white]. It is a shame, therefore, that it takes articles such as this one to bring the message to the new/next generation of web developers.

    I mention all of the issues you raise in my books and have included them in my
    teaching for nigh-on 15 years, but I’m afraid that in the computing and design
    schools it just ain’t sexy enough to get on the curriculum [I teach e-marketing
    to business and marketing students in a university's Business School].

    But then as I have said many times; if it was taught more widely I would get no
    ‘consultancy’ work advising website owners why their websites aren’t producing
    the required/expected results. It’s an ill wind …

  • http://twitter.com/TheINBRGroup The INBR Group

    Great article. I’ll definitely be watching for more from you. Thanks.

  • http://www.linkworxseo.com/ Link Worx Seo

    Nailing all of this down requires experience and patience. Testing should be done to learn what works or not as well as getting insight from visitors. Have all of the skill sets can go along way. Great article got some good thoughts out of it. Do not have the book though, but probably should.

  • http://www.kronikmedia.co.uk/blog/ K.Singh, London

    Colours have always played a very important role in usability. A good example is the use of colour red for error messages on websites – a simple but very effective method.

  • Stacey Mayer

    As an optician, I help patients choose reading glasses every day. Your job, as a webmaster, is to be sure everyone can READ your page. Please don’t forget people over 40. Print that page; can you still read it? Being readable, and enjoyable, will make your site a star. Thanks!

  • http://twitter.com/sharithurow sharithurow

    Hi Alan-

    Yes, I understand. I came up with my 5 Rules of Web Design back in 1997 (and associated corollaries) independent of Jakob Nielsen and other noted usability professionals and information architects.

    Another example? I still look at these download time discussions and roll my eyes, as that is one of the five rules. I’ve been minimizing download time since 1995. Sure, there are a handful of new recommendations, but all of the ones I’ve been doing for all of these years still apply. And SEOs still do not understand the difference between actual and perceived download time. They honestly believe they do; they don’t.

    So, like you, that gives me the opportunity for consultancy because people keep getting download time wrong. I pretty much have stopped emphasizing it at conferences anymore (except one). It falls on deaf ears, which is a shame.

  • http://www.alancharlesworth.eu/ Alan Charlesworth

    … and page size has come full circle :)

  • http://twitter.com/sharithurow sharithurow

    Hi Stacey-

    You’re preaching to the proverbial choir. I have worn glasses since I’ve been 8 years old. It is very natural for me to design for people with vision impairment.

    That’s why I provided the Lighthouse International link. I have used that site for many years.

  • http://www.topoftheburg.com/ Jonathan Hawkins

    As a website designer and seo services professional, I found this article to be extremely spot on. These are some true guidelines that you should incorporate into you next design action plan.

  • 4u2discuss

    Very interesting article thanx for these insights to colour and culture.

  • 4u2discuss

    But this is mis-understood by the Chinese where red signifies happiness so the culture thing really needs to be understood. this is difficult as there are so many cultures, so it is best to apply the standard SEO tactic of identifying your target market and writing specifically for that group. Understanding your target market is often very difficult as the product / brand owner is usually very vague because they want the world to view their pages and buy their product. So K.Singh of london you are very right colour plays an important role.

  • 4u2discuss

    Most SEO technicians work on a LAN (Local Area Network) and never access their pages YiFi networks, across 2G networks, across dial-up networks or 3G networks so they have no clue of what you are talking about. I can guarantee you that once they have accessed their pages across these networks they will think and act differently.

    SEO is totally misunderstood and has evolved to include the whole marketing team and not just a few tech savvy guys. The advent of social media has also change the rules considerably for the SEO world as new ways of determining relevance and search intention are being exploited by search companies like Yahoo, Bing, Aardvark (south African search Engine) ask and Google.

    big colour pics take forever to download over slow networks, so colour and file size are very important for down load times….

  • http://www.facebook.com/matthew.a.hart Matthew A. Hart

    The author is right, color is a subject that deserves much more attention than it gets. Especially for international marketers, the potential issue goes much further beyond whether or not you ask your page viewers to “minesweep” your page. In all countries certain colors take different meanings. International marketers need to make sure their pages are culturally relevant in order to maximize their interaction with users in a given market.

    For instance, in most cultures the color blue triggers positive feelings and conveys a sense of calm. Because blue is so readily found in nature, it is generally considered to be a universally acceptable color for any campaign. Simple enough, right? Not so fast. Take a look at Pepsi Co. for a minute. A few years ago, Pepsi was the dominant market share for Cola in South East Asia. However, when they changed the color of their vending machines from “regal blue” to “ice blue,” they lost their market share to Coke. Why? Well, unfortunately for Pepsi, while nothing negative is associated with darker shades of blue in South East Asia, lighter shades of blue like those found on Pepsi’s new vending machines are linked with death and mourning. The same ideology goes for web creation, theres no point in localizing your keywords and meta-data if you webpage will repulse the consumer it’s localized for.

    For those interested in reading more about the importance of color selection in web-loc, you can read a blog I published on the subject here: http://blog.lionbridge.com/marketing/2012/08/15/50-shades-of-________-color-perception-in-the-global-market/

  • http://www.nicholsonsjewellers.co.uk Elaine, Nicholsons Jewellers

    Hi, I’d never hear of the phrase “minesweeping” but I knew I didn’t like doing it! I’m going to check my own site now.