Browser-Size Me!

Cool new tool that is very useful if you have a website or are thinking about designing a new one. Google’s new Browser Size tool allows you to visualize your site through various user’s browser sizes. Not everyone has the 27 inch flat screen like you Mr. you-know-who-you-are (all my coworkers)…

Anyway, here’s a screen shot and below is Google’s description of the tool. Check it out!

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Google Browser Size is a visualization of browser window sizes for people who visit Google. For example, the “90%” contour means that 90% of people visiting Google have their browser window open to at least this size or larger.

This is useful for ensuring that important parts of a page’s user interface are visible by a wide audience. On the example page that you see when you first visit this site, there is a “donate now” button which falls within the 80% contour, meaning that 20% of users cannot see this button when they first visit the page. 20% is a significant number; knowing this fact would encourage the designer to move the button much higher in the page so it can be seen without scrolling.

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Last week Kara and I decided to visit the much talked about Red Door restaurant on Cantrell, hoping it would be as nice as Bene Vita, the Italian restaurant it replaced. This post is not going to be about our experience, but how our experience prompted action in a way that was never possible before…

Take a moment to Google- “red door, little rock“. The site obviously doesn’t have a website yet (wtf?) but even if they did, it is not uncommon for the Google Maps description to top the list in organic results…

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Once you click on the listing you then can view a map of the location, details and reviews. I’m sure you’ve seen the option- “Tell us what you think” is the new IT word everywhere you go- and I am personally taking advantage…

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Here are some photos of the food and the perfect expression of how we felt about the entire experience…

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The point of all this is- People are talking on the web. They’re talking to each other, participating in group discussions, and voicing their opinions on everything from politics to neighborhood watch alerts. This is the nature of Web2.0- social media and networking- and the future of businesses online reputation lies in the hands of their consumer.

According to a survey done by the Opinion Research Corporation, consumer reviews are a major influence on consumer decision-making. But you knew that already, right? Obviously one unhappy customer equals 10 new customers you’re never going to get, and vice versa. In the past, before this social explosion on the web, a bad (or good) review was limited to close friends and family- people we see or talk to on a normal, everyday basis. Now we are able to interact and network with a much larger circle of friends and new acquaintances who share similar interests and hobbies- taking the age old term of viral or guerilla marketing to a whole new level.

Here are a few more statistics from the survey-
•    83% of respondents said online reviews had at least some influence on their purchasing decisions.
•    70% said they look for reviews and information about particular types of products and services, with travel/recreation/leisure topping the list of most researched niches, and electronics right behind in 2nd
•    61% look for online reviews before purchasing a new product or service

These numbers are simply too big to ignore. Sites like YahooLocal and Yelp are growing in popularity and engagement at a shocking speed and this trend will only continue to increase as more and more consumers are finding ways to voice their opinions. Businesses must take a proactive approach to monitor and control their online reputation, before it’s too late.

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