BC Tips are best practice memos distilled from our constant monitoring of websites, and e-mailed to subscribers twice-weekly. Each tip consists of a characterisation of the featured site, a screen shot of or link to the highlighted practice plus ‘the takeaway’ – our commentary on how it can contribute to a more effective website.
What is RSS?
Many websites have links labelled "RSS". This means that you can find out about updates to our website without having to visit the site in your web browser. This feature is often referred to as "syndication" or "aggregation". Sometimes it's just called subscribing. And these days, instead of one of these words, lots of sites will use a feed icon that looks like this: Whenever you see this icon it means: The site you're viewing has a feed available.
How do I use RSS?
Just like when you want to watch a video clip or listen to music on the web, you need a "player" of some kind to subscribe to feeds. Good news: Most of these tools are free, and there are many to choose from, so you can find the one that best suits you. The "player" for a feed is called a feed reader . This tool lets you subscribe to any feeds you want, checks automatically to see when they're updated, and then displays the updates for you as they arrive. Internet Explorer 7, Firefox and Safari all include feed readers.
Once you have a feed reader, just click on our RSS icon and follow the instructions.
France 24: Searching for news
An eyecatching and inviting variation on directing visitors to popular content.
GigaSpaces: Tabbing help
Accomplished use of tabbed presentations gives enquirers quick access to relevant parts of an archive.
Banque AIG: Lessening effectiveness
An attempt to make a site stand out visually compromises its usability.
State Farm Insurance: Letting cover lapse
Poor maintenance of self-service contact options risks more calls and less custom.
Copenhagen Business School: Building a sense of place
Well-planned virtual tours draw in a site’s target audiences.
American Express: Conflicting logics
Usability of a location finder is affected by a failure of logic.
Somerfield Group: Expanding acronyms
Web-enabled sophistications bring extra meaning to annual report terminology.
JPMorgan Chase: Flagging vacancies
Jobseekers’ main concern drives a careers section home page.
Novo Nordisk: Converging journeys
With a little care it is possible to provide customised routes to information from common areas of enquiry.
Dow: Answering popular demands
Frequently asked questions that demonstrably are enhance their value to site visitors and owners alike.
Misys Banking Systems: Isolating spokespeople
Lack of support neutralises the value of a ‘premium’ information service.
Marathon Oil Corporation: Sticking to the fax
Selective inclusion of fax numbers in contact details provides a link that is still important to many customers.
Intel: Cooling interest
A streamlined contacts system loses sight of target-user needs.
ConocoPhillips: Directing enquiries
User-friendly contact pages contribute to the bottom line.
Farmers Weekly Interactive: Growing communities
The simple-sounding secret to well-used community features.