7 Incredibly Useful Tools for Evaluating a Web Design

Some things to consider:

  • Are important information being seen by the user?
  • Are the navigation and action items intuitive?
  • Is the user being directed to sections in a logical manner?
  • Does the web page load quickly enough to not turn away the user?

If you’re interested in analyzing and optimizing your page layout - here’s some extremely useful tools that you can use to help.

1. ClickHeat

ClickHeat is an open source visual tool for showing “hot” and “cold” zones of a web page. It allows you to see which spots users click on most, and which spots are being ignored.

ClickHeat - Demonstration screenshot

It’s very easy to implement on your website, you only have to include an external JavaScript file.

Download: Clickheat on SourceForge.net.

2. Crazy Egg

Crazy Egg offers a myriad of analytical tools to help you visualize what visitors are doing.

Crazy Egg - Screenshot of confetti overlay

Features include: Confetti - allowing you to see what people are clicking on based on certain factors such as their operating system and where they came from, Overlay - providing you with tons of data about particular links, and Report sharing - enabling you to share the data with team members and clients.

The free version only allows 4 pages to be tracked - so use your top landing pages to get the most data.

3. YSlow for Firebug

A key tenet of a strong design is that, not only should information be presented in a logical and elegant fashion, but that it must also be served quickly, with very little delay.

YSlow for Firebug - Performance Grade and breakdown of Yahoo! homepage

YSlow for Firebug is a free tool for Mozilla Firefox that gives you information about your front-end design to see if it performs well. It gives you a letter grade (A through F) and outlines your web page’s trouble spots.

It’s based on the Yahoo! Developer Network’s “Best Practices for Speeding Up Your Web Site” initially written by Steve Souders, who was once the Chief of Performance at Yahoo! and is now working over at Google on web performance and open source initiatives.

Downloads: Firebug extension for Firefox (required) and YSlow.

4. clickdensity

clickdensity is a full suite of usability analysis tools that will help you assess your web page design.

clickdensity - screenshot of hover map

You can use heat maps showing where users click on the most, hover maps - which shows people scrolling over links but not clicking on them, and A/B Tests which allows you to change certain page elements to see which style is more effective.

The free subscription give you 5,000 clicks and only one page and one site to monitor.

5. ClickTale

ClickTale offers a lot of user data pertaining to how visitors use your website.

ClickTale - Heat map

There are plenty of things you can look at such as average time it takes for a user to click on a link, a user’s hesitation on clicking a link, hover to click ratio, and much more. It also provides detailed reports and charts on your users’ monitor sizes to better optimize your web page design to cater for the typical visitor.

6. Clicky

Perhaps the most interesting feature that Clicky has is its real-time tracking and monitoring feature, called Spy (check out the demo here).

Clicky - Spy Data

Besides Spy, there’s a host of other analytics data you can look at such as user Actions - which records click data from your users and Visitors - providing you user data.

7. Google Analytics

One of the best free services that Google offers is Google Analytics and probably the most well-known analytics tool. It’s incredibly easy to install and offers plenty of user and content data to help you learn more about your web pages’ performance.

Google Analytics - Site Overlay feature

It has a feature called Site Overlay, which gives you a visual representation of the popular places your users like to click on. It also offers data on bounce rates and your top exit pages (to see what pages make users leave).

So there they are, some of the best tools in the market to help you troubleshoot and optimize your page layout. In the end, it’s a combination of great content, as well as how you present this content — that will lead to an effective design.


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Vehicle registration numbers of kerala

Thiruvananthapuram (for Kerala State Road Transport Corporation)
North Paravur

LD — Lakshadweep


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Firefox Introduces New Rickroll Protection

The developers of Firefox, a web browser created by the Mozilla Foundation, have decided to once again rescue the masses from the horrors of the Internet. Having produced top-notch phishing protection, malware identification and other security features unmatched by their competitors they are now introducing the "Rickroll Detection Filter."

This new filtering protection will pre-screen links when the page renders and determine the campiness of the content. The new technology is called "Quash Unreasonable Electronic Entertainment Recognition" or QUEER. It will start being tested in the fifth beta of version three of their flagship product.

Avid gamer Ronald Parks was Rickrolled just hours before attending a LAN party to play Halo. "I started humming the tune while fragging the other team. They all stopped playing because they were laughing so hard. It was embarrassing. They all think I'm gay now," says Ronald.

"This new scheme will protect the many users who are now suffering, sometimes for days, with catchy yet awful songs and images in their head," says Hans Freidenhaufer, a top developer at the Mozilla Foundation. He continues, "The worst part is when you are caught humming these tunes in your cubicle when someone walks by. The QUEER filter will keep you from having to wear that old Metallica t-shirt to work for the next three days to restore your respectability."

The filtering mechanism will be extensible with plug-ins to catch threats that may get past the default engine. The first of these extensions, the "LoLCat Image Malady Protection" or LIMP, has the ability to still render pages where LolCats have been found with the offending images removed.

When asked if the QUEER filter would protect against things like the Goatse website, Mr. Freidenhaufer responded, "While the imagery depicted there is rather horrific, the use of this particular attack is usually directed at an individual not to the public at large. Also, it is not used lightly. If you have pointed someone to that page, they probably deserved it."


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Adobe Media Player Now Available

AMP Download Center

Adobe announced the immediate availability of Adobe Media Player 1.0 software.

An Adobe AIR application, this customizable, cross-platform media player provides exciting new ways for viewers to discover and interact with their favorite content, while offering revenue and brand-building opportunities for content publishers. Major television broadcasters and leading content publishers, including CBS, MTV Networks, Universal Music Group, PBS, CondéNet, and Scripps Networks have worked with Adobe to provide a broad range of television programming and entertaining video content to viewers.

Additionally, Adobe announced Adobe TV, a network in Adobe Media Player with a series of shows that provides expert instruction and original series programming about Adobe products to the worldwide creative community.

Adobe Media Player is available for immediate download at http://www.adobe.com/go/mp .

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Are Plastic Water Bottles Safe?

Source: MSNBC Today Show

A nice short clip from MSNBC about water bottles and leeching chemicals. Its nice to know that there are some things we can do to avoid potential risk. The main take-away is to avoid plastic bottles marked with a "3," 6," or "7" in the plastic recycling triangle stamped on the container.

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The Googlenairs - What are salaries like at Google?

Google has been known for a long time as the best place in the world to work. They offer free massages, gourmet meals, and professional haircuts at their beautiful campus in California. That right there puts them above 99.99% of the other companies in the world. At any rate, you already knew all that so lets move on.

Have you ever wondered how much a Google employee makes? Well this data isn't extremely easy to find, if you don't believe me just search Google. However, here is some interesting statistics.
Google Programmer in Phoenix - $174,000/year
Google Programmer in California - $197,000/year
Google Programmer in Chicago - $222,000/year
Google Programmer in New York - $242,000/year
(according to Indeed.com)

...and thats just in salary. What other financial benefits does Google offer it's employees?

  • 1) Google will pay $8,000 / year for you to continue your education. They just require you get at least 'B's in your classes.

  • 2) If you refer another employee to Google's staff and they stay for 60 days, Google will pay your $2,000

  • 3) If you are thinking about adopting a kid, Google will contribute $5,000 towards all the legal and adoption fees.

  • 4) Depending how long you have worked at Google you can get up to 25 days (almost a month) paid vacation a year!

Now their is one more thing that is very interesting about Google employees financial lives. According to the New York Times there are estimated to be over 1,000 Google employees with Google stock worth over $5 million dollars. Woah wait! There are over 1,000 people working for Google who are worth OVER $5 MILLION DOLLARS! Even Google's former masseuse (did I mention employees get free massages) is a millionaire. Also, according to the New York Times, every employee that has been at Google for over a year is worth well over $250,000. Competing firms have said that Google alone has raised the average programmers salary by 50% over the last few year and with salaries and benefits like this I really don't doubt it.


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Super Mario in 14kb Javascript

Here's an experiment in keepings things small and confined to one Javascript file. There are no external image files or anything, everything is rendered with Javascript using either canvas elements or old fashioned div-making tactics (for IE). The sprites are stored in custom encoded strings in a format that only allows 4 colors for each sprite but in turn only takes up around 40-60 bytes per sprite.

Regular version: no music or with music

Double size: no music or with music


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Superfast internet:Coming soon

THE internet could soon be made obsolete. The scientists who pioneered it have now built a lightning-fast replacement capable of downloading entire feature films within seconds.

At speeds about 10,000 times faster than a typical broadband connection, “the grid” will be able to send the entire Rolling Stones back catalogue from Britain to Japan in less than two seconds.

The latest spin-off from Cern, the particle physics centre that created the web, the grid could also provide the kind of power needed to transmit holographic images; allow instant online gaming with hundreds of thousands of players; and offer high-definition video telephony for the price of a local call.

David Britton, professor of physics at Glasgow University and a leading figure in the grid project, believes grid technologies could “revolutionise” society. “With this kind of computing power, future generations will have the ability to collaborate and communicate in ways older people like me cannot even imagine,” he said.
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Q&A: Chris Kelly, chief privacy officer of Facebook

Facebook's man in charge of privacy talks about the challenges of China, identity theft and child protection

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The power of the grid will become apparent this summer after what scientists at Cern have termed their “red button” day - the switching-on of the Large Hadron Collider (LHC), the new particle accelerator built to probe the origin of the universe. The grid will be activated at the same time to capture the data it generates.

Cern, based near Geneva, started the grid computing project seven years ago when researchers realised the LHC would generate annual data equivalent to 56m CDs - enough to make a stack 40 miles high.

This meant that scientists at Cern - where Sir Tim Berners-Lee invented the web in 1989 - would no longer be able to use his creation for fear of causing a global collapse.

This is because the internet has evolved by linking together a hotchpotch of cables and routing equipment, much of which was originally designed for telephone calls and therefore lacks the capacity for high-speed data transmission.

By contrast, the grid has been built with dedicated fibre optic cables and modern routing centres, meaning there are no outdated components to slow the deluge of data. The 55,000 servers already installed are expected to rise to 200,000 within the next two years.

Professor Tony Doyle, technical director of the grid project, said: “We need so much processing power, there would even be an issue about getting enough electricity to run the computers if they were all at Cern. The only answer was a new network powerful enough to send the data instantly to research centres in other countries.”

That network, in effect a parallel internet, is now built, using fibre optic cables that run from Cern to 11 centres in the United States, Canada, the Far East, Europe and around the world.

One terminates at the Rutherford Appleton laboratory at Harwell in Oxfordshire.

From each centre, further connections radiate out to a host of other research institutions using existing high-speed academic networks.

It means Britain alone has 8,000 servers on the grid system – so that any student or academic will theoretically be able to hook up to the grid rather than the internet from this autumn.

Ian Bird, project leader for Cern’s high-speed computing project, said grid technology could make the internet so fast that people would stop using desktop computers to store information and entrust it all to the internet.

“It will lead to what’s known as cloud computing, where people keep all their information online and access it from anywhere,” he said.

Computers on the grid can also transmit data at lightning speed. This will allow researchers facing heavy processing tasks to call on the assistance of thousands of other computers around the world. The aim is to eliminate the dreaded “frozen screen” experienced by internet users who ask their machine to handle too much information.

The real goal of the grid is, however, to work with the LHC in tracking down nature’s most elusive particle, the Higgs boson. Predicted in theory but never yet found, the Higgs is supposed to be what gives matter mass.

The LHC has been designed to hunt out this particle - but even at optimum performance it will generate only a few thousand of the particles a year. Analysing the mountain of data will be such a large task that it will keep even the grid’s huge capacity busy for years to come.

Although the grid itself is unlikely to be directly available to domestic internet users, many telecoms providers and businesses are already introducing its pioneering technologies. One of the most potent is so-called dynamic switching, which creates a dedicated channel for internet users trying to download large volumes of data such as films. In theory this would give a standard desktop computer the ability to download a movie in five seconds rather than the current three hours or so.

Additionally, the grid is being made available to dozens of other academic researchers including astronomers and molecular biologists.

It has already been used to help design new drugs against malaria, the mosquito-borne disease that kills 1m people worldwide each year. Researchers used the grid to analyse 140m compounds - a task that would have taken a standard internet-linked PC 420 years.

“Projects like the grid will bring huge changes in business and society as well as science,” Doyle said.

“Holographic video conferencing is not that far away. Online gaming could evolve to include many thousands of people, and social networking could become the main way we communicate.

“The history of the internet shows you cannot predict its real impacts but we know they will be huge.”


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