Archive for the ‘News’ Category
Over the last 18 months, the amount of smartphone and tablet research we’ve been conducting has gone through the roof. Our customers are innovating at a phenomenal rate, confidently informed by our research. It’s a good job our team is good at supporting innovation!
I think we all underestimated just how fast the mobile market would grow. Google is now saying that it is about to get more searches from mobile than desktop; revising its original prediction of early 2014. Another figure I heard from Google was that tablets/iPads are the fastest ever adopted piece of tech. Web usage stats on Boxing Day 2012, saw some pretty phenomenal shifts in platform use towards tablets.
So what trends are we seeing?
Sofa & bed is where your business case for a mobile strategy exists; the user on a bus is usually an edge case.
People need a good excuse to go fire up the laptop. As daft as it sounds, turning on the computer is now starting to become a chore that we have to think about. People love the instant-on of iPhone, iPad & their Android/Windows equivalents, hence we all now start a lot of our browsing on mobile, whilst sat on the sofa. Some research has found that 60% of desktop computer based web research starts on a mobile device.
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Prediction: Those that focus on broader mobile strategies over location specific strategies will win.
Big Brother is watching you: reality show uses SimpleUsability’s state-of-the art eye tracking glasses in task
Big Brother used our eye tracking technology in last night’s episode, as it put the attention spans of its newest batch of housemates to the test with the help of SimpleUsability.
In the episode that aired yesterday evening at 10pm on Channel 5, viewers saw some of the contestants take part in a challenge while wearing our cutting-edge eye tracking glasses. The HD-quality glasses monitored and recorded the eye movements of the housemates in the Eyes on the Prize task, as Big Brother challenged contestants to stare intently at a certain item they would like to win.
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We can’t share too many details right now, however Guy and Emma spent an amazing day yesterday in the Big Brother house.
This week has seen the creation of the Big Brother Lab, with the three most intelligent housemates cast as scientists and the rest humble lab rats.
Yesterday four of those lab rats were involved in a task called ‘Eyes on the Prize’, during which our eye tracking glasses monitored their eye movements while they were subjected to various distractions.
Whilst we can’t reveal any more until the show airs tonight, you can get an idea of what was involved (and a glimpse of lab coat wearing Emma and Guy) in the Luke S, Shievonne and Ashleigh videos from Day 15: http://www.channel5.com/bigbrother
When I started my placement at SimpleUsability, I knew barely anything about usability or user experience. This isn’t the kind of stuff you learn at university (even as a Psychology student) and I found it fascinating that the usability testing I was witnessing would make an impact in the world, unlike my university dissertation…
After just half a day I was learning why it is that usability testing plays such a critical role in web development. After a few rounds of testing I was astounded by the richness and variety of comments and ideas that participants were producing. Many things that they were suggesting I had simply never considered – and judging from the frantic scribbling of notes from the web designers observing the session, neither had they.
I had been initially ‘switched on’ to usability by my interest in consumer behaviour and market research. Yet prior to seeing the work that SimpleUsability do, I had never come across usability testing before, though no doubt I had benefitted from it many times when browsing online. At the time of writing, the BBC reported that almost 2,000,000,000 people use the internet – almost a third of the population of the world, and so I was stunned that usability was not a more commonplace issue.
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It was a battle of the brands that cost £8k a second just to take part. As Marcus Collins and Little Mix cried their way through Sunday’s final, the real competition was being fought between the Christmas adverts jostling for top spot in the UK’s most expensive TV advertising slot.
Using innovative testing technologies to track eye movement and monitor subliminal, emotional response, we recorded how each brand’s advert rated during the final break before Little Mix was announced winner.
It’s been a bumper year for emotional Christmas offerings, but those that paid for top billing were Estee Lauder, HMV, Currys/PC World, M&S and KFC, as well as adverts for a Coldplay concert and ITV’s Christmas Special of Downton Abbey.
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Forget the singers grasping for stardom, the real battle of the X Factor final this year will be between the adverts. The break before the winner is announced on Sunday’s live final is the most expensive in the UK with slots selling for £8k per second.
Which mini masterpiece will come out on top? Can John Lewis’ headline-grabbing Christmas tale tug the heartstrings? Will the conclusion of M&S’s X Factor episodes have viewers hooked? Or can Coca-Cola claim the ultimate prize? Well, we intend to find out.
We’ll track eye movement and monitor subliminal, emotional responses, to record how each advert rates in terms of excitement, interest and, emotional engagement amongst X Factor viewers.
We’ll then analyse each advert’s effectiveness and ascertain which had the most powerful, memorable and engaging impact on each demographic. In short: which advert has the real X Factor with viewers. The results will be announced on Tuesday 13th December.
The final advert break will be played to each research participant in isolation. Via an unobtrusive electroencephalograph (EEG) headset, their underlying brain activity will be recorded to reveal what the user is feeling as well as their levels of engagement, excitement and frustration. Similarly, eyetracking technology will record where they look at any given time and the data correlated with their emotional state.
In short, they will watch the final in the same way as they normally would, without any interruption or outside influence, but they will also be unconsciously giving an honest, realistic and quantifiable critique of the adverts.
Visit back on Tuesday once we’ve analysed the data and revealed which ad had the greatest impact, winning the title of ‘Advert of the Year’.
SimpleUsability were delighted to win the Innovation Award at the Digitally Leeds Awards last night, bringing home a new addition for the trophy cabinet.
Take a look at the recent piece in Marketing Week in which Steve Lee, Jet2.com’s Commercial Director talks about the benefits of usability research.
In case you hadn’t noticed, Christmas is looming large and many retailers are hoping that they will see a massive boost in sales in this make-or break season. Never before however, has the world of e-commerce been so important for retailers.
Guy Redwood, our MD shared with The Drum his top tips on the simple things every online retailer needs to have on its Christmas list. All retailers worth their salt know that their online presence must be every bit as fulfilling and satisfying an experience as a visit to a bricks and mortar store. At no time is this more important than Christmas when customers are scrambling to search out bargains online and worrying about getting them delivered in time to tuck under the tree.
At SimpleUsability we have spent ten years using specialist, cutting-edge technologies such as eye tracking, to capture conscious and unconscious behaviours of people, watching how and why they buy what they do – whether browsing online or walking around live retail environments. We found that there are many simple things that every retail website can do to ensure the best consumer experience possible. Here are my top ten dos and don’ts that every multichannel retailer can put in place and that won’t require extensive redevelopment:
- Don’t cover your tracks A clear strategy for handling post-purchase worry about delivery is paramount. Users want websites that allow them to check the status of their order. If you are using a third party, make it clear who the third party is so that the shopper can chase the delivery agency directly. This also means any problems are more likely to be blamed on the delivery company than the retailer.
- Inspire confidence in delivery On the ordering or checkout screens, make clear reference to your success in handling high demand over previous Christmas periods to establish a reputation as a company that works hard to get orders delivered on time. Support this with positive customer comments.
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Our research for Jet2 has been included in Marketing Week’s feature on ‘How new tech can deliver more consumer insight’.
The article covers the less conventional forms of market research and Jet2′s Commercial Director, Steve Lee states that EEG and eyetracking technology are a useful complement to other research sources as they pick up information that might otherwise be missed.
They can address flaws in traditional surveys, where people are often unwilling to admit to being influenced by marketing messages and are unable to recollect their choices and actions accurately. Lee says these are not necessary less reliable, and that behavioural monitoring techniques are used alongside, not instead of, surveys to build a fuller picture.
“The majority of it is challenging your own ideas of how you should market online. You do not see the wood for the trees all the time. You can have an overall conversion strategy that is successful, but you can always tweak it further and that is where website usability testing comes into play.”
When we talk about emotional engagement, we don’t mean ordering an ‘I heart ‘ t-shirt and giving the CEO a bear hug, we’re referring to the scientific study of emotions and how they have the starring role in the purchase decisions made by your customers.
Have you ever asked yourself how your users feel while they are using your product or your website?
It makes intuitive sense that if your users have a positive emotional experience on your site they’re more likely to convert from browsers into buyers. Do you know exactly what on you site is converting using emotional equity, and what is failing?
We are irrational beings, and nowhere more so than when we are online and (believe it or not) when we are parting with cash. In fact neuroscientists argue that emotions drive between 90-99% of all decisions we ever make.We have evolved a highly sophisticated subconscious brain that effortlessly deals with the millions of inputs we perceive every second before delivering it to the attention of our conscious brains, via ‘gut’ emotions.Yet the most widely used methods in usability testing often involve asking a user’s conscious brain why it did something. The truth is it simply doesn’t know.
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