I worked with Kim Krause Berg at Internet Marketing Ninjas from September 2012 to July 2014. Kim joined the team as the expert voice in usability and UX. As a junior member of the team I had been very excited for her arrival because I had read some of her work and based much of my own work on concepts I learned from her.
Kim built a new UX project workflow from the ground up for Internet Marketing Ninjas. She developed a client questionnaire that was used to ask clients pertinent questions about their business and requirements that would help us complete our work. Kim also created comprehensive audit checklists for heuristic evaluations of client websites. Many items on this list deal with accessibility issues which is one topic she was always very passionate about.
Additionally, Kim worked closely with many clients, doing audits and analysis to find the areas in need of improvement. From these heuristic analyses she developed new user experiences that were carefully described via text and wireframes and eventually implemented on her clients’ websites. Kim’s insights into the user experience are spot on. Kim was a pleasure to work with and was a great teacher of her craft. She would make an excellent addition to any team looking for an expert on UX. — K.B., Digital Marketing Analyst
As the graphic designer that worked on many projects with Kim, I can attest that she is very knowledgable and precise with her UX, accessibility and testing recommendations for our clients at the time. She was able to provide me with detailed graphic mockups and verbal and written communication that made it easy to implement her recommendations to user focused design concepts for our clients. She is amazing at what she does and a pioneer in the realm of user experience. We worked very well together and I learned a lot from her. She would be a very valuable asset to your company. — K.S., Chief Marketing Officer, The Finance Marketing Group
If you’re looking for an effective, well written and useful usability report for your website, Kim Krause Berg is the person to turn to. Her reports are extremely helpful and written in an easy to read manner. We implemented most of the points she outlined and saw immediate results. — Debra Mastaler
Kim Krause Berg knows her usability. We contract for her services whenever we can and her flexiblity and attention to detail are unparalleled! As someone who does SEO – I just dont have the time know all there is to know about how my SEO decisions effect the usability of a website. Hiring Kim to do Usability reviews for websites is one of the best decisions we’ve made for our clients. Her reports are thorough, thoughtful and always contain action items we can put to work right away. Her tips and ideas have also been great conversation starters with clients reluctant to redesign. I highly recommend having Kim look at your site whether it’s already live or in the wireframe stage – her insights into how people and demographics use your site are going to make you money. — Carrie Hill
Kim was a huge asset to my team. She educated both business and technical resources on the importance of software usability. She created new processes to better align QA and development teams. A great team player! — Matthew Hildenbrand
The only way you haven’t heard of Kim yet is if you just started out.
Kim is the mama of search, the mommy of a whole generation of site builders, SEO experts and nowadays even usability folks. With great care but ever greater determination she helps lead the forum she started: Cre8asiteforums. It’s one of the oldest forums and best respected site building and optimization forums out there, one with an A-Z approach rather than focusing on one aspect.
She’s a woman with self-evident staying power and has transformed herself from a site builder to an SEO — and from SEO to respected usability expert. — Ruud Hein
A while ago I contacted Kim Krause Berg for a usability review, but I threw a curve ball in on her. I asked her how I could make this blog more usable. I believe Kim is the first person who has ever offered blog usability review services. Her feedback was why I made the changes mentioned here, and many other site improvements. — Aaron Wall
Kim’s current focus in the search engine-marketing world is bridging the gap between the seo world and the usability world. She is a known advocate to improve search visibility in order to convert that searcher to a buyer (or a desired action). — Barry Schwartz
Very early on, I realized that Google was hitting the scene, but it wasn’t very good at indexing this “dynamic” content generated by programmed web sites. At that point, Alta Vista was the “established” search engine, but we knew that Google would be the king within a year or so. With some hit and miss experiments in developing my Movie Soundtracks web site, I realized that structuring things a certain way, clear path to goal, and various other factors would encourage Google, AltaVista, and even good ole Slurp! (Yahoo’s spider back in the day) to not only harvest the data, but represent it better than most sites. So, at that point, I started looking around to try to find some people that actually understood what was going on with all this “search engine” stuff. I got very lucky, because in the very first few days, I managed to find Cre8asiteforums. I’d found a few other good forums and resources where I could talk to people and refine my “hit and miss” approach to figuring it out and turn it into something a bit more scientific, but it was the Cre8asite gang that really gave me what I needed. Of all, though, it was Kim Kopp Krause Berg aka Cre8pc (pronounced Create Peace) who made it all fit together in my head.
The point of this is that I’ve always felt sort of sorry for Kim. No, not for any lack of success, or anything like that. I’ve felt sorry that her chosen area of expertise gets no respect. There are some, like me who get it. Of course, the folks at Internet Marketing Ninjas who bought up the forum AND her talents last year get it. And, of course, most of the gang at Cre8asiteforums (then and now) get it, too. The article I’ve linked to below, here, is a good example of this.
The entire industry (especially as Google has evolved in recent years) understands and is vocalizing the importance of the ideas Kim has been trying to present for almost two decades, but they are still behind the curve when it comes to actually bothering put what they are preaching into practice.
Kim calls what she does a “Holistic” approach to web design. I’ve always called it a “Whole-istic” approach. Her real word and my made up word bear the same general meaning, though. It’s basically an understanding that a good web site that achieves its goals needs to look at the whole picture and it needs to be organized in a way that the user can do what they are trying to do, while it also encourages them to do what I, the web site owner, want them to do. With structure and ease of use as a foundation, all the other things fall into place a lot more easily. Your copy, graphics, calls to action, shopping system, blog pages, and all of that are the bricks and your usability is the mortar that holds it all together. The former things are the rooms in a giant house, and usability is the hallway that allows you to move from room to room (and that does clever things like putting the dining room next to the kitchen rather than upstairs at the end of the hall).
I’m glad that the industry is starting to come around and is at least starting to preach what Kim has been practicing since the mid 1990s. And, to be honest, I don’t really care if the rest of the industry ever starts to practice it (after all, if they don’t know how to do it, there will always be work for her, yeah?) I do hope that businesses start to get it, though.
To this day, when dealing with a new client, my most difficult obstacle is trying to explain the importance of Usability and all of that. Thanks to Kim’s lessons over the years, I’m much better at explaining exactly what the hell usability actually “is” – but it still always seems to be the first thing they want to cut when you start reaching the top of the budget plan.
THE REAL POINT of this post is for all of you other folks out there who have a web site for your business or charity and who want to make it work right…
You simply MUST find someone who understands the whole-istic approach. All the search engine traffic in the world will not help you if people can’t find what they are actually looking for. All the people who find what they are looking for do you no good if they can’t figure out how buy it or otherwise do what needs to be done once they’ve found it.