From Cultuurweb to 300% more visitors

Presentation ‘From Cultuurweb To’

Case study presented at 2009′s conference. is the Belgian chapter of SIGCHI, the premier international society for professionals, academics and students who are interested in human-computer interaction.

What’s the presentation about?

  • 3x more visitors
  • What makes so much better than Cultuurweb?
  • Do the community features play an important part in the site’s success? 
  • How did user tests improve the search feature and results?

Usability Awards 2009: 2 times silver for

At the Usability Awards 2009 the new and improved came 2nd in the category ‘Most user-friendly government or non-profit website’. But wasn’t only a jury favourite. The site also came 2nd in the public vote.

Strong points of according to the jury

  • Phenomenal amount of events
  • Task-oriented homepage and main navigation
  • Handy search filters
  • Good integration of social media and web 2.0 features

Weak points of according to the jury

  • Content and copywriting isn’t always the greatest
  • Doubles of events
  • The search filters could be more streamlined
  • Too many events without images, making you dislike the omnipresent ’Uit’-logo
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Plan België: Usability Awards 2009 jury prize government or non-profit website

The website of Plan België,, was awarded the jury prize for ‘Most user-friendly government or non-profit website’ at the Usability Awards 2009.

What’s so good about the Plan België website?

1. Creative and user-friendly

Because most websites of usability gurus can’t exactly be accused of looking sexy ( anyone?), a lot of people seem to think user-friendly is synonymous with dull.  

Plan België proves these people wrong.

Jury comments:

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Ancienne Belgique: Usability Awards 2009 jury prize commercial or corporate website

The website of Ancienne Belgique,, was awarded the jury prize for ‘Most user-friendly commercial or corporate website’ at the Usability Awards 2009.

What’s so good about the Ancienne Belgique website?

1. Form follows function

The site’s design is functional. It’s clean and doesn’t detract from the reason why people visit the website: the concerts Ancienne Belgique is putting on.

In the words of one jury member: “Refreshingly straight-forward”.

What else is good about And what can be improved?

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Flash websites: not the best idea

I’m looking for a new laptop.

In my search, I came across the European website for the Sony Vaio.

A site that helped me decide I will definitely not be bying a Sony Vaio.

Below is the report of my visit to the European Sony Vaio site. There’s a commentary but it’s in Dutch.

After 15 years in the internet business I still don’t understand why people insist on turning a website into an ’experience’ that is supposed to rival a trip to the movies.

‘Experience’ the Sony Vaio site

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Brussels Airlines: public vote winner Usability Awards 2009

Brussels Airlines is the public vote winner of the first Belgian Usability Awards.

What’s so good about the Brussels Airlines website?

1. Task-oriented homepage

If you’ve been here before, or read Gerry McGovern’s column, you know it’s important to identify and manage the users’ top tasks, the main reasons why they visit your website.

Brussels Airlines knows that. And both the professional jury and the public appreciate it.

Jury comments:

  • “Task-oriented homepage. The majority of visitors come to look for a flight, book a flight or look up details of a flight they’ve booked earlier.”
  • “Good sectioning off of the different reasons people visit the website for.”
  • “You can start booking on the homepage.”
  • “Clear homepage.”

More good things about the homepage

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Belgian Usability Awards 2009: Winners!

On 10 November 2009 the winners of the Usability Awards 2009 were announced.

1. Belgium’s most user-friendly website (overall winner – public vote)

Chosen by the general public based on a short-list of 10 websites selected by a professional jury.

The jury’s comments on Brussels Airlines:

  • Task-oriented homepage
  • User-friendly booking system
  • Good understanding of how people really look for a holiday destination

2. Most user-friendly corporate or commercial website

Chosen by the professional jury

The jury’s comments on Ancienne Belgique:

  • Refreshingly straight-forward
  • Clear navigation
  • Good integration of useful social web features like ticket-swap and car-pooling

3. Most user-friendly government or non-profit website

Chosen by the professional jury

The jury’s comments on Plan België:

  • Creative but very intuitive graphic design
  • Interesting and well-written layered content
  • Good categorisation and navigation

Congratulations to all winners!

For more info on why these websites made it to the top, come back soon.

Usability Awards 2010

If you would like us to keep you informed of the start of the submission period for next year’s Usability Awards, please leave us your email address.
Inform me about the 2010 Awards

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48% of visitors on e-commerce websites don’t buy due to lack of usability

iPerceptions recently published its ‘Retail/E-Commerce Industry Report Q2 2009′. The figures are based on the feedback of 360.000 visitors of various e-commerce websites. 2 things in the report caught my eye.

1. Why didn’t you buy anything on this website?

E-commerce 2009: why didn't you buy?

Obviously I find it a little disappointing that ‘usability’ is only in 3rd place (13%). In my experience, not just as a usability consultant but as a surfer, it should be in 1st place.

Wait a second…

Lack of usability ís 1st.

How so?

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Usability Awards Ceremony on 10 November 2009

On 10 November 2009 we will announce the winners of the first edition of the Belgian Usability Awards.

Practical information

  • 10 November 2009, 17h00 till 19h30
  • Holiday Inn Garden Court Brussels Expo
    Keizerin Charlottelaan 6 – 1020 Brussels
    Easy to reach by car and public transport (subway at 2 minutes walk)
    Free parking
    Route description
  • Entrance fee: nothing. It’s free!

Now, don’t get carried away by the words ‘awards ceremony’. We are not the Oscars or the MTV Awards.

The word ‘ceremony’ is to be interpreted very loosely. There won’t be any singing or dancing. There will be nibbles and drinks.

Feel like joining us?
All you need to do is register.
I look forward to seeing you there!

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Usability articles

A few articles we’ve enjoyed over the past week or so.



  • “OMG! What Have I Done?” – Tim Berners-Lee’s reaction after getting a Twitter-account. (Well, according to Jared Spool. ) 

Want to comment on this article? Read this first

Read more articles about , Read elsewhere.

Google Maps: cases from travel websites

Google Maps is a wonderful thing.

But, like so often with new things, it isn’t always used in the best of ways. People seem to put stuff on Google Maps pretty much without thinking about it.

Some examples from travel websites.

Google Maps: how not to use it

Example 1: airline

“The map gives you an overview of all our destinations. You can choose where to go with a single click.” Great, isn’t it?

No, it isn’t. You can see the airline is very active in Europe. And that they haven’t discovered South-America yet.

But picking your destination in one easy click? I don’t think so. 

How can you use Google Maps in a good way?

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