Thursday, February 09, 2006

Mequoda picks best site designs

The Mequoda Group has published its list of the best designed media websites. And some of the winners will be of interest to readers of this blog.
Mequoda uses a 14-step system that grades both B2B and B2C sites on usability and appearance. And among the few sites to garner an "A" rating is Firehouse.com. Longtime readers of this blog know I'm a fan of Firehouse, (although I must confess that I find the site's design a little too busy for my taste.). Few sites have done a better job of engaging users as a community. (Disclosure: Firehouse is published by Cygnus Business Media, which hired me last year for a short-term consulting gig.)
Another B2B product that did well in the Mequoda survey was AdAge.com, which picked up a "B." I also like the look and feel of Ad Age, and I've been impressed with the video content and the site's use of photos and graphics. But I've made note before that the site has some fundamental problems with understanding the culture of the Web.
ComputerWorld picked up a "B" grade as well. (Disclosure: ComputerWorld is an IDG product, and IDG is also a client.) And although Mequoda says ComputerWorld could do with some help in "Relationship Building," I like what the magazine has done with blogs, while ABM likes what it has done with editorials and commentary. And those areas are key to building connections with readers.
Click here to see the full list of Mequoda's winners. You'll need to register to see many of the details, but there's some material available for free.

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