What is your "Hype Level"?

The usually straightforward Jakob Neilsen has created a reality-check Web usability parody of the color-coded US terrorism alert system: the “Hype Level Index

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The usually straightforward Jakob Neilsen has created a reality-check Web usability parody of the color-coded US terrorism alert system: the “Hype Level Index” at his online Alertbox (posted bi-weekly since 1995, perhaps one of the first public “blogging” efforts).

The fads and big deals that get the press coverage are not important for running a workhorse website. To serve your customers, it's far better to emphasize simplicity and quality than to chase buzzwords… In 1997, I wrote an Alertbox called “The Fallacy of Atypical Web Examples". In it, I complained about the excessive attention focused on a few highly prominent Web projects that didn't represent the vast majority of websites. I also warned against emulating these big and famous examples...

And now? History repeats itself. There is endless coverage of a few atypical stories in the trade press, mainstream media, and even on specialized Internet-focused websites. Once again, it's worth remembering: your site is different from the ones in big stories. Focus on fixing the basics to get a simple and communicative website. Simple steps don't get hyped, but they drive much more business value for the average site than the issues that everyone writes about.

Is your Website a “workhorse”? Join the conversation: “Talk Back” below to share your simple and communicative strategies.

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