Through a post on Mediapace I found a link to a study done by Catalyst Group Design titled “Net Rage” A Study of Blogs and Usability At first it sounded like a pretty good document and I suppose you can gain some insight from their study and findings. However, it says they did this study using 9 people. I’m familiar with doing research on small groups of participants but not this small. I wonder what the study would have concluded if they’d used a group of at least 50 or 60 participants.
With this small sample size they came to this conclusion:
Even assuming mainstream interest, current blog design standards – at least in terms of navigation, nomenclature and taxonomy – are a barrier to consumer acceptance. In fact, the design of most blogs can incite “net rage” (in the words of one test participant).
I think this is a stretch but if you read the full document there are some conclusions that I can understand and am not surprised at. For example, “Not a single participant understood the function or significance of trackbacks or trackback pings.” I can relate to that. I’m not sure I even understand trackback eventhough I have this feature enabled on AgWired and use it.
I’m finding that most people can search for and surf around a website, even a blog. They don’t seem to know when they’re on a blog or even particularly care. I don’t care if they know AgWired is a blog as long as they visit and use the RSS site feed to subscribe. I have been somewhat amazed to learn how little people do know about using the internet, especially people in professional marketing positions.
We just need to keep our audience in mind when we create a website, any website, including a blog. It looks like Catalyst Design Group has been very successful in creating websites since they’ve done work for some big companies. Not only do they have their own website but you can find their blog here.
If you have a chance to read the full study let me know what you think. By the way, that link at the bottom of this article that says “Comment/Trackback” is what you click on to write your own online comment to this article! Just in case you didn’t know.