Don’t Forget the Long Tail!

First, off sorry for the hiatus of late…been busy prepping various library sites for a major migration to SharePoint…more on that soon…

Meanwhile, as part of this migration, I’ve been pouring over analytics data to fathom what on earth our users are doing, what’s popular, what’s not.

And then this morning, as I executed my usual Sunday morning web wanderings, I stumbled upon another user interface redesign based on analytics when I noticed that the RSS icon on Firefox 4 was missing. This led me to discover that this was baked in by Mozilla:

Why Firefox 4 abandoned the RSS icon and how to get it back – Tech Products & Geek News | Geek.com.

Apparently, Mozilla was also looking at user data and noted that less than 3% of users were using the RSS feed icon, which if you know how to use it, allows you to subscribe to feeds from web sites you like (blogs, news, etc.). And if you don’t know how to use it, you get a really bad user experience.

Well, I definitely fit into this 3% that actively used the RSS icon. And luckily, there are add-0ns for everything with Firefox, like one that puts the RSS back into FF4, so no real issue here. But it does remind us info architects that users come in many flavors and we ignore the minority at our peril.

Fortunately, Mozilla’s development model, accommodates everybody by offering add-ons to their browser platform, so no harm done. But for the rest of us, locked into less elegant platforms, don’t forget the long tail!

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