Kill the “Title” #distroyTheWeb

Recently I’ve been around a conversation between a non-so-technical F-level manager and a bunch of nice, smart programmers/developers.
The non-so-technical F-level manager required, invoking weak subjective reasons, the removal of title attribute in link element from a WYSIWYG editor, worst case scenario having it replaced ONLY with the URL of the link.

The title HTML attribute

Definition and Usage

The title attribute specifies extra information about an element.
The information is most often shown as a tooltip text when the mouse moves over the element.

Browser Support

The title attribute is supported in all major browsers.

Source: http://www.w3schools.com/

HTML Email for the Visually Impaired

This is a very nice article wrote some years ago (8, in fact) by Ben Chestnut, the CEO and founder of Mailchimp. A lot of things changed in the meantime, but the need or use of “title” attribute doesn’t.
What makes this story even worst, the discussion was related with… a news-lettering web application

So, what says this article?

Bottom line? Put ALT text on all your images to describe what they are. Optionally, put TITLES on all your images, to give more detailed descriptions. Put TITLES on all your hyperlinks

Source: Mailchimp.com blog

To sum up

The programmers lost the battle despite explaining what the “title” is and what’s for. part because they lost the will to fight weak reasons, part because just don’t feel like arguing at all.

It might not be such a big issue after-all.
Or it is?
And how about the visually impaired recipients?
And since when a non-specialized personal opinion is more important than a basic functionality implemented from the very-beginning of the web?


I might destroy the web in many ways, too. But only by lack of knowledge. Or mistake.
But I can always take a good reason for a walk

The Rich, The Common and The Unwanted

During the last years these were my friends during during long meeting hours:
The Rich, The Common and The Unwanted.

The Rich, The Common and The Unwanted are water glasses. Normal water glasses.

The Rich is a little fattier, and, on a very close examination, you will probably notice that the glass is better quality.
The Common has nothing special. It’s just a common water glass: common design, common color (or lack of color), common glass quality.

The Unwanted looks exactly like The Common. Maybe the glass is 1/4 millimeter thinner, but I could not swear on this. The difference between The Unwanted and The Common comes only when you lift the glass. Suddenly you realize you simply don’t want it. I’s clean, not broken, water-glass shaped. Dried. Not finger tips on it. You just prefer to, somehow embarrassed, choose another one from the table in front of you.

I’ve been watching the meetings attendees selecting the glasses from some time now. On a normal meeting, on the table are 8-10 Reaches, same number Commons and only 2 Unwanted.
The Riches go first. There are only a few cases when The Commons will be preferred to The Riches. And most cases by negligence.

The Unwanteds are always left behind.

Somewhere, deep down, we are built to recognize and prefer quality, but most than this, we prefer what we are already used with: the weight we are used with, the color we are used with, the glass we are used with, the Commons vs. the Unwanteds.

50% conversion rate and the unhappy client

50% conversion rate and the unhappy client

If you are in a hotel industry, you know what a web booking engine is. Well, I am proud to say I am member of the team that developed protel WBE4, it is a great application hotels use to generate bookings through direct online sales.
And again, if you are in the hotel industry, you know the average conversion rate is about 2% (again, average). Most of our clients using this product have better conversion rate. I am saying “most of” because results are directly correlated with the effort the hotels invests in implementation this web booking engine, but also the effort hotels spend developing a valuable website (including SEO, SEM and Social media)

50% conversion rate and the unhappy client

So, what’s the story:
Some time ago I’ve got a call from a colleague from clients relation. The client X was unhappy: he was using protel WBE4 but haven’t seen too many room reservations. I’ve checked his implementation – OK. The website was not exactly what I would like for my hotel, but was not that bad, either.
3rd step: analytics. That moment the mystery was gone. During the last 4 months the hotel had a total traffic of about 600 visits. (or 6 months and 400 visits? doesn’t really matter…)
To my amazement, it was a day with 50% conversion rate: out of 4 visits, 2 converted!

Sir, are you aware you are a cat?

Somebody shared this image on twitter. I apologize, I don’t remember who. I love this picture. It’s the face of my colleague when I’ve told her The Client X had 50% conversion rate. I presume this would have been be the face of Client X when he found out he had 50% conversion rate.

Dear website owners (regardless of your business)

In order to make a difference, a web site needs:
1. A team to create it: at least a web developer (a good one) and a copywriter.
2. Mentenance
3. Search Engine Optimization – On site (ask your developer) and off-site (hire an agency or learn how to DIY)
4. Social Media
5. PPC (if SEO and Social media are not enough)
6. and lots of love.

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