Posts Tagged ‘homepage’

What are CAPTCHAs?

Thursday July 16th, 2009

A CAPTCHA is a validation code (combination of letters and numbers), which you are asked to enter before submitting information to a website. CAPTCHA is actually an acronym for “Completely Automated Public Turing test to tell Computers and Humans Apart.” CAPTCHAs display an image that people can detect, but computers cannot and it is used to keep malicious computer “bots” and other automated programs from using Web forms.


Actually a good idea, but there’s a lot of time and effort involved in it. Approximately 150.000 hours are spent every day by users around the world trying to decipher CAPTCHAs. Sometimes they use distorted images like wavy letters or a background with a strong pattern, which makes it difficult for humans to read them too. ReCAPTCHA, which we use on motigo, aims not only to make this easier but also to give this lost time a useful purpose.

reCAPTCHA uses real words instead of the code fragments used by conventional CAPTCHAs. The words used by reCAPTCHA are words, which computers could not read when digitalizing a book. So, when you type a reCAPTCHA, you are actually helping to digitalize a book. Read more on the reCAPTCHA website .

Want to use a CAPTCHA on your website? Find out how in Tips&Tricks. For futher informations, please visit

Is your website user-friendly? Test yourself!

Wednesday May 27th, 2009

Usability is such an important factor for the success of your website that it should be on your mind from the beginning on. The rule for the usability test is: The sooner the better. The best is to start testing website usability before you start working on your website: Ideas, concepts and drafts are easier (and cheaper) to change than existing websites. But, of course, it is never too late to start optimizing your website and make it more user-friendly. The only things you need to conduct the usability test are five test persons and some time.

5 Methods to check usability:

  1. Card Sorting for user friendly navigation and menu structures. Write the name of each of the main items (products, topics) of your website on paper cards. Give each user a set of cards ask him to sort them thematically. This will help you find out which topics belong together in the eyes of your users and tells you where they expect to find the information they’re looking for. Use this information to determine the menu and navigation structure of your site.
  2. Paper Prototyping helps you test if your site structure makes sense. Draw your website on paper. Do not concentrate on design issues, but only on the structure: How are website pages organized hierarchically and how are they linked to each other? Let your test users perform real tasks with the paper prototypes and watch their reactions. Ask them also for feedback and suggestions.
  3. Interviews to find out more about user-experience. Ask your test persons about one aspect of your website. If you conduct written interviews, it is recommended to use closed questions with predefined answers (yes/no, I agree totally/ I agree partially/ I disagree). If you interview your test users personally, you can use open questions where users can reply freely. Interviews will give you important feedback and will help you look at your website through the eyes of your users.
  4. Thinking aloud will give you high quality feedback during testing. Let your test user perform a task and ask him to explain his decisions. What is he doing? Why did he choose this option and not another one? How is he feeling? What is his opinion? Thinking aloud will give you important information about the user’s mental and emotional interaction with your website and can give you many good ideas for improvement.
  5. The Five-Second-Test is a fast and easy way to test the functionality of your website. Here, you let your test user perform a certain task again (for example, if you sell products, ask the person to tell you how he would go about buying a certain product). Let the person look 5 seconds at your website without scrolling or clicking on links (you can also use a screenshot). After that, ask the person to tell you what he remembers from the website. This will show you what catches the user’s eye and tells you if your images, titles and banners are sending the right message to the users. On the next step, ask the test person to perform the task. If he has difficulties or takes too long, this means your site is confusing and needs restructuring.