Balsamiq is an awesome mockup tool used by usability engineers, interface designers, product managers and other people in lots of companies. There are many different ways of formatting text in Balsamiq – this article from the Balsamiq website shows you everything you want to know about formatting text in Balsamiq: http://support.balsamiq.com/customer/portal/articles/110121
In the past I have already experienced a number of evaluations for content management systems for different purposes, including a couple of personal websites, small company websites or even large online portals. Of course, the content section of your website or your website as a whole (if you fully run it using a content management system) should be optimized for search engines as good as possible. Most of the current content management systems have options for SEO already implemented, for others there are lots of plugins that help with this matter. But as I have made some really bad experiences with age-old content management systems in the past (where you automatically got an ugly URL with tons of parameters and were not able to define your favored title, h-tags, description, etc.) the SEO aspect of a CMS is even more important for me. That is why this article about five important CMS tips for large companies from a SEO point of view was really interesting to me. I found tip number 3 quite nice: Including brief infos for your online editors on how to use several tags, find the perfect title, write a good description, etc. seems like a really helpful thing to me!
Very helpful: The W3C Markup Validation Service. Just enter your website URL, upload a file or enter the code directly in the text field and hit the “Check” button – you see what’s wrong with your code and get useful hints on how to fix it!
A very useful tool for those who don’t know it yet: The W3C CSS validator. Just enter your website URL, upload a CSS file or enter the code directly in the text field and hit the “Check” button – in just a few seconds you get an overview about the CSS errors and warnings found in your file!
Great guide to Google Website Optimizer on kissmetrics.com that tackles several topics: What is Google Website Optimizer actually? What are the testing variants of A/B testing and multivariate testing and when do you choose which one? Where should you start? Which elements of your site can be tested? How do you set up your tests? First of all, don’t focus on completed sales or sign-ups. Instead of that, rather focus on converting your customers from one step of a desired process to the next one. Little improvements in every single steps will make a huge difference in the end. Identify different elements of your sites (e.g. your header, navigation, links to certain pages, etc.) and test them using a multivariate test. By doing that, you see which element performs best and therefore should be part of the final setting. Also consider creating different visitor segments. Visitors that come to your website using Google search may act different than users that come to your website via direct traffic. Always keep in mind that testing, measuring and defining improvements is just the first part – all of this is useless if you do not bring your findings to life by improving your website regularly and after that, continuing the process by starting to test again. More on this interesting topic here
Is it really possible to build a nice looking website with useful information in less than one hour? It sure is. All you need to do that is a) find a hosting provider to run your website, b) install a content management system (CMS) that helps you to set up pages without having to write a single line of code and c) get a template that fits your requirements and looks attractive. As far as the CMS part is concerned, WordPress is my absolute favorite. You can install it within minutes, you are able to choose between thousands of free templates and plugins and its user interface makes it fun to use each and every day. Much more information on this topic here http://blog.kissmetrics.com/build-a-company-website/
A tad bit weird at the first sight, but a really comprehensive overview of how to visualize things: The periodic table of visualization methods http://www.visual-literacy.org/periodic_table/periodic_table.html
Helpful software for understanding your visitors and improving conversion: http://www.conversion-rate-experts.com/articles/understanding-your-visitors/