All posts by kuithof


How customers influence website design without knowing it

Frustrated how your favorite websites keep changing their designs? Obviously you can’t be the only one complaining about this, right? There must be a reason for it, but why? Now it turns out you (yes, YOU!) might be the actual reason for these changes!

Even before the beginning of the Internet, marketers used eye tracking to find out what people were watching when viewing an advertisement. A well known example of this it the advertisements below, for Sunsilk. It shows that even the smallest details like the direction of the eyes influences the attention that is paid to the product itself.

Advertisment for Sunsilk. The overlay shows where viewers were watching, red being the most watched areas.

Nowadays, this type of data is of immense value to website designers. Basically, three types of data on visitor’s behavior can be distinguished. Generally, the more informative these are, the harder or more expensive they are to obtain:

  • Simple visitor statistics (for instance:
  • Click-tracking (for instance:
  • Eye-tracking (for instance:

One way of using this visitor data is so-called A/B testing, where two different designs of the same website are uploaded, and visitors are assigned randomly to one of the two. Visitor data will then not only provide usable data on which of the versions sells the most products, for instance, but also how long visitors stayed at one page, which pages were the most popular, which links were clicked the most and how visitors find their way through the pages. Continue reading Heatmapping – Still alive and kicking (?)

Already early in the adoption of the Internet, Durk Jan de Bruin started thinking about a remote control for the overload of webpages on the Internet. In this process, he imagined his father being an inexperienced Internet user as the target audience of such a website. His idea was to provide a webpage which contains a collection of links within a certain area of interest. On 15 September 1998, was launched. It provided an overview of all the most important websites on the Internet, grouped per type. During its first years, the number of visitors boomed from 40,000 page views per day in the first days, to 1 million in 2000 and 4 million in 2009 [1].

Equally remarkable however is the growth of the number of daughter pages. The first daughter page ‘’, was launched in February 1999, and only contained links that were related to vacations. After a while, visitors were invited and encouraged to begin their own daughter page, about topics of their interest. The number of daughter pages increased rapidly: 800 in September 2000, and 5,700 in 2009 [1]. The last couple of years the growth has stabilized, resulting in the current number of daughter pages of 6,049 [2].

Image’s daughter site on sailing, only providing useful links on this topic.

Because Durk Jan de Bruin made it seem like he was running the website from his attic, he was able to attract so many other people believing in the cause. Throughout the years, the 1,700 individual administrators of these pages form a community that even organizes a ‘daughterday’ each year. The administrators are independent, and their pages are kept up-to-date through feedback, tips and suggestions from visitors. In addition to suggesting new links to the page’s administrator, visitors can add personal links in a separate section on the page and if some sections don’t apply to the visitor’s area of interest, they can be removed from the page. Another way how visitors are actively involved in the page are the message boards or fora behind each daughter page, where visitors can exchange ideas and opinions about their field of interest.

Continue reading – Still alive and kicking (?)

Grooveshark – Search. Play. Discover.

Forget Spotify, SoundCloud, or listening to old-fashioned radio. With Grooveshark, you can upload your own music, listen to your friends’ uploads, or listen to other’s broadcasts. While reading the blog below, why not start listening to one of my personal favorites right away?

Not only a great platform for launching your own garage-based heavy metal band, but also a nice way to listen to the same music as your friends, no matter where you are. Founded in 2006 by Sam Tarantino, a student and musician, and the more technical Josh Greenberg, Groovehark states to be an online ecosystem, bringing together fans, bands, labels and brands. It currently has over 30 millions users world-wide, and over 15 millions songs available [1].

So, what’s new in Grooveshark in comparison to all others? Grooveshark offers a range of possibilities, extending beyond most online streaming music services. First of all, the music that is available ranges from the current most popular songs (a top 500 is provided conveniently under ‘Popular’) to your personal band, looking for a broader fanbase. All available music is uploaded by the users, opening possibilities for bands with established fanbases and newly started musicians. Second of all, every user has the possiblity to create playlists, broadcasts or share music with your online community. Continue reading Grooveshark – Search. Play. Discover.