You are currently browsing the bab.la blog blog archives for March, 2010


Auffällig unaufällig – the bab.la relaunch

It’s been a while since our last relaunch in June last year. And you don’t really need to relaunch every year as cars do just to be able to sell something supposedly new. The reason for every relaunch so far (OK, including this one it has been only two…) was to increase the usability of the site. Last year, we removed a lot of clutter and put the search box into the centre of attention. We also included additional search functions in the left bar of the search results. We thought this was a good idea and most of our test users agreed. However, when we started measuring how many users actually use the left bar functionality it was a minuscule percentage. Key learning: Don’t think you know the right answer because your gut feeling tells you but measure it if you can.

condition-vergleich-layout
(click on image to enlarge)

So, what’s new? With this relaunch we focused on the dictionary search results as this is the page that most users see most of the time. You’ll notice three improvements:
1. More space for the search results by hiding the left search filter bar (you can still get it by clicking on “show search filters”). Bye, bye search filter bar, it was nice having you around but people just didn’t care that much about you.
2. Simplified and cleaner layout. The search results page is about finding the translation easily and fast so we removed (nearly) all colours, increased the font size of the words and moved most of the additional functions to the right.
3. Our probably most important new feature: New context sentences underneath the translation. We got a lot of feedback from our users saying “Your dictionary is great and offers really a lot of translations. Unfortunately, I don’t really know which one to use.” Unless you are a language expert (which most of you are, of course!) choosing the RIGHT translation can be quite tough. The context sentences help you choose the relevant translation for you. We don’t have context sentences for every translation yet but rest assured we are working on it.

Auffällig unauffällig – as the title suggests we didn’t have any major hick-ups during the relaunch. If you notice anything please let us know. We hope you like the new “unauffälliges” layout and find the right translation even faster now.

Andreas

Discontinuous change and web 2.0

I was happy to be invited to the “Discovery Event” by IMD to speak about discountinuous change and web 2.0.

The conference was organized by IMD-professors Stefan Michel and Albrecht Enders. Together with executives from the IMD Learning Network member companies, we discussed challenges and opportunities when emerging technologies and business models (such as web 2.0) aim to redefine the competitive landscape in many industries.

Amongst other topics like the deconstruction of the value chain or disruptive innovation, Jana Eggers (CEO of Spreadshirt) gave a great speech on long tail and mass customization.

It has been a great event, and I hope that the other participants enjoyed it as much as I did!
Thomas

PS: By the way, I don’t want to miss the opportunity to recommend you the recent book written by Prof. Albrecht Enders on strategies for e-business: http://bit.ly/8XyR75

PPS: Update (Mai 5, 2010): During the event, I was interviewed by Kevin Anselmo from IMD about innovation (and other topics). Interested readers can find the interview right here.