3 reasons why I love the internet

13Jul10
Fingers crossed

This hairy man-arm isn't mine.

I reckon I spend an average of 49 hours a week using the internet, sometimes more. Whether it’s for my job or my own personal use, me and the internet are like that (see picture).

Every day I’m bombarded with links to content, photos, presentations, talks, music; you name it, I get it. As I enjoy seeing what others have to offer, I open a lot of them right up.

In the last few days, I have opened a couple of links that were so darn good, I felt they deserved special mention!

First up is a blog post called “Happy customers through an improved checkout”, by Paul Boag of Boagworld. Paul is a web designer who started a blog that has since become incredibly popular. In summary, it talks about how online retailers can give their customers the best possible checkout experience.

Now I don’t claim to be a web design or usability expert, but Paul has brilliantly articulated and demonstrated everything I have ever thought was wrong with online retailers’ checkout processes. He tells you the problem, why it’s wrong, and how to fix it. I think every online retailer should be forced to read it, and learn what they could and should be doing better.

My second discovery was a talk from Relly Annett-Baker, a professional copywriter and content strategist who runs her own business, ‘poppy copy’.

In the talk titled, “All the small things”, Relly talks in depth about the importance of microcopy on websites. Microcopy (as I understand it) refers to the small, instructional pieces of text that help guide the users through the site and any forms that need completing. If done well, you’ll barely notice it’s there.

The talk is nearly an hour-long, and yet at no point did I lose interest or start to phase out. An engaging speaker, Relly bought the subject matter to life with great examples, funny slides and amusing analogies.  There is a lot to learn from this talk, and again, there are thousands of websites that could benefit from listening to this advice. Also – follow her on Twitter!

Finally, on a more humorous, un-educational note, I discovered a blog called ‘Hyperbole and a half’. With a massive following, you may have heard of it already, but if not, go there NOW. I can’t stop reading this blog.

The illustrations are brilliant; simple, expressive and hilarious. The woman who writes it, Allie, is an unemployed twenty-something with an incredible imagination and a fantastic writing style. This is one of the first blogs in ages where I eagerly anticipate new content. I’d go so far to say that this is the level of writing quality I aspire to produce, although I could never hope to be so amusing.

I hope you enjoy this content as much as I did!

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