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Tag: persistent navigation

10 Email Call To Action Ideas For Your Magazine Website

Most publishers are only using one or two of these email call to action ideas for building an email list to sell more magazines

Did you know that by pairing unproductive employees with productive employees, you can actually improve productivity overall?

Cornerstone OnDemand conducted a study of more than 2,000 tech company employees with a dataset of

36 Ways to Boost Magazine Circulation

36 ways to build your Internet audience, revenue and profits while building your magazine circulation
There are five different ways to build a magazine audience. You can use free subscription offers, use efficient call to action placements, use time-tested brand-building techniques, email-building techniques and other types of traffic drivers.
Consider the offer
The offer is the most important

An Informal Approach to the Best Website Design Review of Your Website You Can Conduct

As someone who’s looked at your website every day for a long time, you probably have no business reviewing your own website. There are probably things in the back of your mind that you’ve kept a mental checklist of – items that need to be optimized, altered and updated. Have you been writing these things down? Often, when we finally get the chance to update our websites, it’s months after we’ve discovered the original issue.

That’s why I’m going to give you a quick little checklist, based on our internal website design scorecard, to remind you of the items you should be paying most attention to. While these guidelines are by no means the complete list of website design practices, they are essential to sound, effective website design. We’re sure that implementation of these practices will result in happier, more satisfied, readers.

14 Best Website Design Guidelines for Improving Any Website

Since 2006 we have held these fourteen guidelines as the most fundamental principles of the best website design.

Every website is unique to its own audience, so you can’t include things like the best colors to use, or anything that will tell you exactly how to design a site. What we’ve put together is a report card that can be applied to any website, of any age. Like I said, this report card has existed for almost a decade and when we update it (like we did today), all of the rules still apply.

How the Multi-Platform Mobile Development Challenge Was Accepted By These Savvy Publishers

App-less in Seattle: the next frontier of multi-platform mobile development doesn’t involve apps
Appearing erudite and august themselves, the August 3 cover of Time magazine features Presidents George W. Bush and Bill Clinton.

At, a photo caption explains the two former leaders of the free world recently attended ceremonies at the Bush Presidential Center for the

8 Subscription Website Homepage Ideas for Audience Engagement

These subscription website homepage ideas will help you provide a better user experience through website design

Mequoda has long quantified its own best subscription website homepage ideas, which we put into action with all of our clients. Having recently launched two brand-new websites and re-launched a third, this is an excellent opportunity to show you how we put our subscription website homepage ideas into action.

41 Ways to Build Email Circulation Forever [+ Video]

You can build email circulation over forty different ways, and we’ve got all the case studies to prove it! If you’re subscribed to our email newsletter, then you’re living proof that the tips I’m about to share actually work. One of them even worked on you

Week in Review: June 4th, 2012 – June 8th, 2012

Catch up on the Mequoda Daily’s blog posts for this past week

Developing Persistent Navigation for Your Website

A persistent navigation is specifically valuable when websites are complex, with a lot of pages and options. This can include a blog, service information, different storefronts, and an about us section.

When users come to your site, it should be clear where they are within your site. They should know where to find your content, products, how to login and how to contact you. They should also be able to determine where they can go, and how to maneuver back to where they started, if they so choose.

Week in Review: September 20th, 2010 – September 24th, 2010

Catch up on the Mequoda Daily’s blog posts for this past week

Website Homepage Design Guidelines for Persistent Navigation

Is inconsistent navigation leaving users feeling lost on your site?

With inconsistent navigation, the ‘Back’ button is your best friend. An important aspect of good website homepage design is persistent navigation. It’s one of 14 points we analyze using the Mequoda Website Scorecard, what we believe to be the top 14 best practices for the running a Mequoda system.

Navigation bars and sidebars are best left constant, regardless of where the user moves on the site. If the navigation tools change, or users have to dig to find the information they want, they are likely to go to a better-designed competitor.

Does your persistent navigation reflect the depth and breadth of your content? Does it provide quick and easy access to customer service? Is it intuitive? Is it consistent throughout your site?

Website Design Review of

This week we took a look at, a popular site for communicators, and put it to the Mequoda Website Design Review Scorecard.

1. Strategic Intent: A

At first look it’s easy to see that the homepage of this site is about the content. This site is the free entry point for content into the larger Ragan network of sites. There are no 3rd paid advertisements on the homepage.

There are links to paid products like books, training, and consulting as ways to monetize the site, but there is plenty of free information offered to entice repeat visitors. Some articles are for paid members only but there is a good balance of free content.

Website Design Review of the Huffington Post

See how this popular news website scored on the Mequoda Design Scorecard

Mequoda Daily Website Design Review

We visited our own site to show you how it ranks

Website Homepage Design Workshop

Let Nancy Horan & the Mequoda Website Scorecard Make Your Home Page Perform Better in less than 90 Minutes…

Better Homes & Gardens Website Design Review 2010

We revisited Better Homes & Gardens’ website design to see what’s been improved since our last review Website Design Review 2010 has overcome the hurdle of letting their print roots go

Subscription Website Design Free Report Released

Complimentary Guidelines and Case Studies for Designing Subscription Websites

Everything You Need to Know About Subscription Websites

Gain access to our free report Subscription Website Design: 14 Guidelines and 13 Case Studies for Designing Subscription Websites

Top 10 Media Website Design Reviews

Website Design Reviews are written by the Mequoda Research Team, based on our Website Design Scorecard that features 14 website design guidelines, and focuses on the websites of today’s top publishers.

To create the 14 website design guidelines, we’ve reviewed hundreds of websites and interviewed dozens of website publishers. We’ve conducted a series of expert usability reviews and actual user tests to determine what we believe to be the top 14 best practices for successful website publishing.

Organic Landing Pages: Topic Landing Page

With Topic landing pages, persistent navigation is the key to success

The key to success is to send users to landing pages that are specifically designed to fulfill their goals. Any page where there is a direct response transaction — whether or not money is exchanged — is a landing page. For every type of direct response transaction you initiate, there should be a landing page waiting for the user that is optimized to maximize its conversion rate.

A topic landing page, as the name suggests, is a page on a website that is about one particular topic, or category. This page is usually found in a site’s primary navigation, either on the right or left hand side of the screen. Occasionally, a user may also find topic pages in the horizontal site navigation, just below the nameplate, if the number of topics is limited (3-5). Topic pages are also often referred to as category pages, or section pages.

Breadcrumb Navigation Best Practices

If your users are Hansel and Gretel, then your website is the woods, and your navigation is their breadcrumb Travel Website Design Review

Today, most would-be travelers start their journeys online by researching destinations, carrier schedules, accommodations and free web mapping services.

In order to compete with travel agencies and agents, travel information publishers, who traditionally published books, magazines and newsletters, have migrated to the Internet and become online publishers. Some have created retail websites whose primary objective is to sell traditional hard-copy books. Others are focused on publishing travel reviews on their sites, and derive revenue from advertising and affiliate links.

House of White Birches Website Design Review

House of White Birches, a division of the Dynamic Resource Group, is an experienced print publisher. It has an enviable collection of magazines and book titles. It has carved out several profitable special-interest niches that it addresses with excellent products. But like many other successful print publishers, its Internet marketing strategy is not well executed.

The site suffers from disorganization and an inferior architecture that confuses users and diminishes sales.

Helping Users Find Things Easily and Quickly Using Persistent Navigation

The key to persistent navigation is to help the user find anything on the site, fast. No clicking about, desperately hitting the back button. Make it clear where they are, and how to get somewhere else. Even with deep layers of content, multiple topics and content formats, covering three continents— answers this challenge. The navigation strategy includes: Website Design Review

With Advertisers Footing the Bill, has Built a Website Offering a Superior—and Free—Online Content Experience for Users. is part of (do I really need to say this?) the Forbes family publishing business. Including the familiar Forbes magazine, the websites and, spin-off magazines such as ForbesLife, business and investing specialty newsletters, a business conference division and Forbes on Fox TV. This is a typical Mequoda publishing pyramid—with a very rich family sitting on top. Website Design Review

The Site that Earned a Top Score in 2004 Hasn’t Lost Too Much Ground. The Lesson Here is Simply a Wake-Up Call—for Online Publishers, Continuous Improvement is a Requirement Just to Keep Up.

Readers familiar with Mequoda as Internet Media Review (IMR), might remember that was given the number one Best Practice Ranking for Consumer Magazine Website Design. Since that time, a lot has changed—for, for the Mequoda website design scorecard and for magazine websites. Website Design Review

With A’s in Strategic Intent, Relationship Building and Brand Preference, it’s Hardly Surprising that this Non-Profit is an Online Leader in the Paid Membership Website Category.

Consumer Reports’ successful membership website strategy has earned them over two million online subscribers (as of November, 2005). Averaging well over 20,000 new online subscribers per month, it’s obvious this site is doing something right. Website Design Review has Earned High Marks in Relationship Building and Readability. Other Areas Such as Community Building Display a Good Infrastructure that Could Really be Impressive with a Little More Promotion.
Mequoda has previously covered the Boston Common Press’s media network in America’s Test Kitchen Media Network Case Study by Jane E. Zarem. The membership website (and print magazine) Cook’s Illustrated is an important part of the business strategy. Here we’ll review the design and usability of the membership website With 120,000 paid online subscribers, this site’s recipe is worth a try.

Keeping Website Navigation Intuitive, Persistent and Consistent

Persistent navigation is the simple concept of ensuring that the navigation to complete an online activity is the same experience each time that the user returns to the site to pursue that activity. Five years ago this was a real problem, as site navigation changed frequently. As a result, the user was constantly lost or having to figure out how the website worked.

A website is really an interactive piece of software. The navigation facilitates user goals of: 1) easily accessing content, community and commerce and 2) finding any desired feature or information page. The site should be straightforward, relatively simple to use and unchanging—with no surprises or misleading cues, such as design elements that look like links but instead are static graphics.

Three Website Design Tips from Knitter’s Review

Knitter’s Review is a six-year-old site run by a small group of enthusiasts. Their story in the About pages tells of publishing veteran Clara Parkes, who left the rat race where she produced large scale websites and escaped to the peace of rural Maine to focus on doing something she loved. She has two compatriots who represent the operational and technical ends of (KR), and the support of her friends, family and postmistress, but not much else. In other words, a true hands-on, do-it-yourself success story. Website Design Review Stands Out for Integration of TV and Magazine Content Online, but Otherwise the Site is Doing Poorly on Some Key Usability Guidelines.

You almost can’t have a dinner party without someone making a “Martha Stewart” comment at some point during the evening. Beyond being a mere household name, Martha Stewart has become synonymous with home decorating, cooking and gardening—bringing beauty to all things domestic. Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia, Inc (MSLO), is an integrated media company distributing the “art of everyday living” to us in many different channels, broken down into business segments: Website Design Review

Knitters Review is a Great Web-product for the Target Audience of Knitters. It’s Easy to Use, Easy to Read, Easy to Interact With and the Brand has Integrity.

Knitter’s Review is a six-year-old site run by a small group of enthusiasts. Their story in the About pages tells of publishing veteran Clara Parkes, who left the rat race where she produced large scale websites and escaped to the peace of rural Maine to focus on doing something she loved. She has two compatriots who represent the operational and technical ends of (KR), and the support of her friends, family and postmistress, but not much else. In other words, a true hands-on, do-it-yourself success story.

The success of the site is readily apparent in the plethora of forum posts. This is the real deal, a community site that has been brought together via KR’s weekly editorial product reviews. The site makes its revenues through advertising and their own store. It is a true Mequoda network that is run without a large publishing company behind it—just good old-fashioned know-how.

Reader’s Digest Website Design Review

Reader’s Digest Online Version is a Great Example of an Old Brand Taking their Show Online Successfully

Reader’s Digest is so well known and widely read that almost everybody has picked up a copy at some point in their lives. Founded in 1922, the family friendly, feel-good favorite is also the flagship of a billion dollar public company. The Reader’s Digest is the largest-selling magazine in the world, and the company uses their circulation power to sell a plethora of books, magazines, games and children’s titles, and recently music video and audio books.

The Hub for Internal Communicators Website Design Review

An Online-Only Membership Website is a Good Idea for Melcrum, and The Hub is Taking the Right Steps to Bring the Promised Value to Both the Company and to the Audience.

The Hub for Internal Communicators is a membership website with research, information and tools for communication professionals. The product and the audience are identified in the tagline: The most comprehensive resource available for employee communication professionals.

Produced by Melcrum, an information and research company with offices in the UK, North America and Australia, The Hub for Internal Communicators (The Hub) has been online as a UK site since 2005 and launched a North American version shortly after. Website Design Review is a Sturdy Site That Will Serve the Purposes of the Master Brand, but Won’t Warm the Hearts of the Audience.

Woodcraft Supply Corp. is a leading seller of woodworking tools. The company has been around for 75 years and sells via retail, online and in over 3 million catalogues globally. Expanding the woodcrafting empire, the company publishes a magazine, licenses franchises, offers classes with certified continuing education credits and acts as a trade organization for woodworking teachers. Running all of these businesses through a single website would be a recipe for disaster, and Woodcraft has rightly chosen to create a branded network of sites to fulfill the diverse business goals. This review details the website design of the magazine site, Website Design Review

The Incredible Website Usability of is a Key Component in the Success of this Community Phenomenon. (CL) was a simple online community classified site started in 1995 by Craig Newmark (yes, Virginia, there is a Craig). The originally-non-profit site was incorporated in 1999. There are 190 versions of the website—localized by city—throughout the world, featuring free classified advertisements (jobs, housing, for sale, services, personals, gigs and community) and forums. Website Design Review

The Publishers of the Wine Enthusiast Magazine Have Done it Right. They Have Created a Series of Websites that Complement Each Other and Effectively Lead Visitors to Make a Buying Decision. is an online catalog that offers a comprehensive selection of all things wine related. The only thing the site doesn’t offer is wine. But that’s just fine, as the publishers of this site depend on a motivated visitor who is enthusiastic enough about wine to want the very best in wine accessories. Website Design Review

AOL’s New Entertainment Site, Has Everything Going For It. In Addition to Having a Great Background, the Excellent Website Design Scores for Make it Easy to Predict a Shining Future

On December 8, 2005, AOL’s expected press release announcing the launch of the new entertainment site,, hit the buzz-makers. The commentary? Only that AOL needed a massive influx of traffic, and that even in the crowded online entertainment space the subsidiary of Time Warner should be able to put up enough interesting new tidbits to draw in the ever-celeb-hungry masses. Website Design Review

Our Campaign to Stamp Out Bad Website Design Turns Ugly with a Visit to, Which In No Way Resembles What This Reviewer Imagines it Should=

For me, the two most important of the 14 Mequoda System Website Design and Usability Guidelines address strategic intent and aesthetics.

The Motley Fool Website Design Review

The Motley Fool Website Provides Relevant and Engaging Content in a Readily Accessible Fashion, Combining Effective Use of Content Webification, Relationship and Community Building and Proper Navigation

Tom and David Gardner have made a career of being foolish, and foolishly brilliant. They have created a brand that is well recognized within the investment community and without. They created this brand by respecting their audience and by offering real value to those tens of thousands of viewers, listeners and readers. Website Design Review is a Pay-For-Access, Online Database of Incalculable Value to Freelance Writers that Cross-Sells Print Publications and other Products Owned by its Publisher as it Helps Build a Priceless Customer List
Online databases sold by subscription are big business for LexisNexis, R.R. Bowker, Thomson and other traditional publishers of directories.

The idea makes a lot of sense. An online directory is easier to update and keep current, and the costs for manufacturing and delivery are minuscule compared to those of a printed volume. Major directory publishers generally offer both print and online versions and these can be very pricey. Website Design Review

The Most Pressing Question About is the Strategy of the Site. Is it a True Content Site or Just Marketing Print Subscriptions?

Vanity Fair is one of those cultural icons that doesn’t have to introduce itself. But, being a bit of a cultural dork myself, I’ll let them do it anyway: Website Design Review is an Excellent Example of a Publisher Taking Advantage of the Synergies Between Audience Information Needs and Technology’s Ability to Facilitate the Satisfaction of Those Needs, an online edition of Investor’s Business Daily, is the sort of site that the core audience loves with a fierce loyalty. With a focus on the signature stock analysis methodology, deep data diving and just the need-to-know news, the website doesn’t have a lot of splashy design and is exceptionally un-exciting for non-investors. is a deep site that succeeds well in providing a plethora of ways for getting and displaying data crucial for the avid trader. Investment junkies love it; IBD knows how to speak to their core audience. Website Design Review Pays Homage to Benjamin Franklin by Making its Owners Wealthy. Twenty-first Century Publishers Take Note: There is Wisdom in Adopting this Business Model

Financial independence has many rewards beyond the monetary. Or so I would like to believe. In the case of Michael Masterson, who prior to reaching age 40 sold a $135 million business and retired, one of the rewards is a bully pulpit on which to pontificate about anything and everything to anyone who will listen. Or more precisely, anyone who is willing to subscribe to his free email newsletter and read it. Website Design Review

Mr. Levinson has been busy practicing, developing and evangelizing guerrilla marketing since 1984, with great success. Many startups and small companies use Mr. Levinson’s techniques to produce tangible results with minimal cost. However, established companies such as Smirnoff and Vodafone have also integrated guerrilla techniques into their marketing mix. The concept of guerrilla marketing has been especially well received by Internet companies, which typically operate on limited marketing budgets, and has given rise to other marketing techniques such as viral marketing and search marketing. Guerrilla marketing is characterized by extreme statements that are intended to grab the audience. Website Design Review Epitomizes Great Website Graphic Design and is a Perfect Partner to Real Simple Magazine. So is it a Brand Site or a Membership Website? Is its Objective Lead Generation or Customer Service?

The Big Lie of the 1950s was the forecast that life in the future would be easier—even effortless—leaving us with lots of free time. Futurists in the 50s looked at all the labor-saving devices that were being invented and predicted that Americans would have so much time on their hands—owing to machines doing all the chores—that we would have to find more leisure activities to fill up the hours.

2006 Mequoda Media Website Design Award Winners

During 2005, our intrepid research team put the Mequoda Website Design Scorecard to work by using it to perform expert reviews of 48 media websites. With a high score of 3.86 (a tie between and Better Homes & Gardens ( and a low score of 1.57, the scoring system validated its ability to help expert reviewers parse good website design from bad. The scorecard and the 48 expert reviews offer those who design websites for media organizations of all sizes an integrated set of concepts and cases to build better websites that will create happier users and healthier profits.

Website Design Guideline #5: Keeping Navigation Intuitive, Persistent and Consistent

While Persistent Navigation is Now Rather Common, Site Owners Mustn’t Become Complacent. Users Must be Crystal Clear About Where They Are, Where They Can Go and How they Can Get Back to Somewhere They’ve Been.

Usability and design are two key factors in publishing great websites. You may have a clear strategy and great content, but if your site is unusable and unattractive, it will be difficult for users to find what they’re looking for, difficult for you to get users to do what you want them to do and difficult to get users to become loyal customers and revisit again and again. Website Design Review

Let the Good Times Roll: is a Marketing and Branding Website for its Namesake

According to his website, Guy Kawasaki is a managing director of Garage Technology Ventures, an early-stage venture capital firm, and a columnist for Previously, he was an Apple Fellow at Apple Computer, Inc., where he was one of the individuals responsible for the success of the Macintosh computer.

Mr. Kawasaki is the author of eight books including The Art of the Start, Rules for Revolutionaries, How to Drive Your Competition Crazy, Selling the Dream and The Macintosh Way. He has a BA from Stanford University and an MBA from UCLA as well as an honorary doctorate from Babson College. Let’s examine through the prism of the Mequoda System Website Design Guidelines.