THINKING ALOUD: THE #1 USABILITY TOOL

Got a new idea for a website or page but are not really sure how it will be perceived by the public? One of the quickest and easiest ways to find out if your user interface ideas meet your expectations it to conduct a simple usability test where users think out load as you give them tasks to perform.

The benefits are it's cheap, flexible, robust, convincing and easy to learn. The downsides are it's unnatural, statements not as spontaneous as you'd like, interruptions for instructions may prompt behavior bias and it's not the final answer.

Long-time web advisor Jakob Nielsen gives his usual logical detail in his January Alertbox newsletter.

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UK SOCIAL MEDIA

UK Public Relations & Marketing has new developments concerning UK's social media efforts. Along with the Office of Information Technology the Social Media Policies and Guidelines (pdf) have been updated and are now a part of UK's Administrative Regulations.

Whitney Hale is now the contact to have your accounts reviewed for approval and placed on UK's Social Media website. Your college or unit Facebook, Twitter, YouTube (and Vimeo) and Flickr accounts can be listed. The site also includes links to UK versions of iTunesU, foursquare and LinkedIn.

Most helpful for beginners is the Frequently Asked Questions section, with answers to "Facebook has groups and fan pages. Which is right for me?," and "What UK logos and trademarks can I use?"


UK PHOTO RESOURCE

Because they've gotten so many requests for generic campus photos UK PR & Marketing has created a Flickr photostreaming site where selected seasonal photos are available to you and the media. While the site is not password protected it is not searchable on the Flickr site, so you will need the exact URL (www.flickr.com/photos/ukpr-photos) in order to access the photos.

UKPR Graphic Services' Catherine Hayden said that six or more high resolution photos will posted periodically and at sizes ranging from Square, Thumbnail, and Small to two Mediums and Large. You can see samples by clicking on the photo then choosing View all sizes in the upper right corner. You would then download the photo for your use. All photographer and other rights have already been obtained.

Additional photo requests and suggestions should be directed to Catherine.


QUICK TIPS

IMPORTANCE OF ALT TAGS TO GOOGLE SEARCHES - Video with Matt Cutts


SITE REVIEWS

College of Communications & Information Studies - http://cis.uky.edu/
Honors Program - www.uky.edu/Honors/
College of Nursing - www.uknursing.uky.edu/


CONFERENCES

AIGA Orlando In Control - Feb. 20-21 - 2012.incontrolconference.com/
DrupalCon Denver - March 19-23 - denver2012.drupal.org/
Learning Solutions - Orlando, March 21-23 - www.learningsolutionsmag.com/lscon/content/2086/learning-solutions-conference-2012-home/
Retreats 4 Geeks: Progressive Enhancement - Clark, CO, March 25-30 - retreats4geeks.com/events/2012/progressive-enhancement/
An Event Apart - Seattle, April 2-4 - aneventapart.com/2012/seattle/
Breaking Development (mobile) - Orlando, April 16-18 - 2012.bdconf.com/
ConvergeSE - Columbia, SC, April 27-28 - convergese.com/