Make Marketing History

The views of a marketing deviant.

Monday, November 26, 2007

Short-Cut, Not Short Circuit.

Continuing with my theme of facilitating short-cuts as a route to better usability and improved customer experience, it's crucial to ensure that the short-cut in question is actually a short-cut for your users. is a very useful facility that reduces unwieldy url's to a manageable length. That is great when you're sending them in SMS form, but it doesn't facilitate comprehension as you can see here.

The predominance of emboldened tiny urls in an article about podcasts is certainly a short-cut for the techie writer in terms of printspace. However, from the reader's perspective, having one's scanning eyes drawn to indecipherable urls does nothing positive.

The only short-cut this facilitates is that of the reader to the next article.


Blogger Kelly Jones said... does have a preview function. It is an alternative TinyURL that takes you to the TinyURL site first to tell you the link's destination. Again, this circumvents the TinyURL's function as a short-cut because it requires much more than a link and a Web page. Your observations of flawed usability are pretty good!

6:20 PM, November 26, 2007  
Blogger john dodds said...

And it wouldn't work on the newpaper page I held in my hands,

1:32 AM, November 27, 2007  

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