Archive for the ‘News’ Category
Thanks to everyone who came to our Breakfast Briefing on Apple Watch and other Wearables. Here’s the write-up of the event – Apple Watch & Wearables Briefing 30.6.15
We’ve had some great feedback, and some awesome suggestions on future subject areas. If there’s something you’d like us to cover, please email firstname.lastname@example.org
All you need to know about wearable technology and the impact on user experience…..
Join SimpleUsability on Tuesday 30th June for a breakfast briefing on wearable technology. Two months after the launch of the Apple Watch, we’ll review its impact.
Is it a game changer in device ownership?
How does it stack up against other smart wearable technology?
Our team will share their usage diaries and reviews and we’ll consider the implications for user experience.
When: Tuesday 30th June 2015. Croissants and juice will be served from 8:00am. The seminar will start at 8:30am.
Where: SimpleUsability, 1st Floor, Marshall Mills, Leeds, LS11 9YJ
Places are limited.
To register your interest, please email email@example.com
There is to be an independent enquiry into why polls for the 2015 UK General Election got it so wrong following the shock majority win for the Conservatives.
Reasoning and discussions in the media around why the polls were so different really resonated with our UX Practitioners here at SimpleUsability, who have been following the election closely after a review of the party websites.
Here’s our thoughts on where the polls went wrong and why this is an extremely pertinent example of the importance of research methodology, something we’re incredibly passionate about here at SimpleUsability
1. Experiment design
BBC Panorama aired a programme called ‘Who will win the election’ where Nate Silver, US data journalist, explained the dilemma of users being polled in one way and acting in another way.
“Opinion polls usually only ask which party you’re going to support. But on Election Day you’re asked to vote for a candidate not a party… a popular MP gets more votes than the polls are able to predict.”
> Read more
In November we conducted a study which aimed to look at the physiological responses of the brain of participants’ during a game of playing poker. The study recruited six males, two who were deemed ‘expert players’, two ‘intermediate players’ and two ‘beginner players’. Each player was asked to sign into their own Party Poker account and play 40 minutes of poker.
EEG headsets were used to measure the physiological responses and the output was viewed using special software to allow the viewing of engagement, frustration, and long and short term excitement. This was then coordinated with the players game to allow insight into their emotional reactions to certain events within the game. The players also had to answer a few questions straight after their session on their experience.
This study was designed to provide results for a content project with poker brand PartyPoker called Your Brain On Poker. The content is an interactive graphic which provides details on the brain’s activity during certain stages in poker at differing skill levels.
- There were some reactions which were universal across players, such as an increase in levels of excitement when winning a hand or increase in frustration when losing.
- Expert players preferred to play more than one table at once. Playing multiple tables led to an increase in levels of excitement when required to play their turn on all tables at once.
- When intermediate players were required to take their turn on more than one table, they experienced an increase in levels of frustration rather than excitement.
As the election date looms, the political parties of the United Kingdom and Northern Ireland are locked in a fierce battle of wills to gather support and win the favour of the public.
In an increasingly digital world, websites and social media pages are becoming the major touchpoints between the parties and the people, so it is critical to provide a user-friendly and engaging online presence. As such, we decided to turn a critical eye to the web experience of the major players in this years’ elections.
Looking at the Conservatives, Labour, Liberal Democrats and UKIP, we assessed and analysed the websites for each party on their usability and overall user experience. At this stage in the year, visitors to the site may be looking to connect with the party, or contribute to the campaign; the tasks we tested the sites on included:
- Signing up for news updates
- Registering to volunteer with campaigns
- Connecting on social media
- Donating money to the party
- Joining or becoming a party member
By utilising our leading Online Experience Index, we were able to score each site on multiple facets of the user journey – including:
- Homepage & Design
- Flow & Layout
- Form & Errors
The Index allowed us to rate the site on various aspects, with points being awarded for usability, and penalised where changes could be made to improve the experience. These individual ratings were weighted to give more credit to more vital site requirements, thus allowing us to quantify the overall usability of each facet of the site to compare between the parties.
NOVEMBER 2014 – Mobile phone provider sites
With the Online Experience Index, we aim to identify which ecommerce sites are leading the way in providing a powerful customer experience.
In May we reviewed appliance e-commerce sites and found variation in the levels of usability between the sites, as well as identifying some recurring trends and issues.
Following on from our review of appliance retail websites using our Online Experience Index, this report reviews the websites of five mobile phone providers: Three, EE, O2, Virgin Mobile and Vodafone. Reviews were performed in the week of 4th November 2014.
In addition to the main Index, we have also included scores for accessibility, and persuasion, emotion and trust (PET) techniques, to explore a broader scope of the online experience.
- Most websites presented their brand and purpose well, although there was room for improvement in navigation around the website.
- As expected for this sector which needs personal and banking information to purchase, the checkout process was lengthy and websites varied in how well they communicated what information was needed and why.
- Filters were generally well implemented for selecting phones, featuring a comprehensive range of criteria.
- Most websites offered a search function with search suggestions but there was room for improvement in presentation of search results.
- Use of PET techniques was low, with only two websites implementing several techniques in areas of social proof and trust.
- The holy grail – engaging content which drives sales
- We discuss examples from Waitrose, Marks & Spencer and Winsor & Newton
The idea of combining content with commerce isn’t entirely new – almost every major high-street fashion retailer has some kind of editorial section of their site to feature the new trends. But recently, retailers have been finding more innovative ways of merging content and commerce to provide a more engaging customer experience.
At the 2014 Internet Retailing Conference, Waitrose showcased how they’re doing this. Alex Murray, Waitrose’s Web & Multichannel Development Manager said, “People don’t want to buy food – they want a nice meal.” It’s this concept that has inspired Waitrose to not only sell products to customers, but to help customers create the experience they’re looking to get through buying those products.
> Read more
Forget technologies like iBeacon and Oculus Rift, speakers at the 2014 Internet Retailing Conference were focused on more practical forms of innovation, notably around delivery and collection services. B&Q, Zalando, House of Fraser, John Lewis, Tesco and M&S all had something to say about this area.
Mark Lewis of John Lewis explained why it’s just as important as ever to be thinking about the delivery options made available to customers:
“Customers are finding that their online bit of their experience is pretty good now, but actually what happens after you leave the site or after you click the button to buy, is perhaps a bigger driver of how you feel about the overall experience.”
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“Our customers don’t think about ‘I shop at retail’, or ‘I shop online’… they just look at a brand.” – Mike Durbridge, B&Q.
“Customers no longer think about shopping in terms of multiple channels. For them, the whole shopping experience should be absolutely seamless and it should be absolutely holistic.” – Simon Belsham, Tesco.
“They shop with the brand. They don’t shop with any one channel.” – Mark Lewis, John Lewis.
We heard this idea echoed a lot at the 2014 Internet Retailing Conference, with speakers going on to talk about the user experience as ‘Multichannel’ or, more often, ‘Omnichannel’.
These terms became the buzzwords of IRC2014, but after listening to so many retailers talking about this, a few questions came to mind:
- What are the differences between the two?
- Do retailers understand the differences or are they jumping on the omni-channel bandwagon?
- Most importantly, what does this mean for the users?
We’re delighted that our client Aviva was recently recognised as Online Company of the Year 2014 in the FT Adviser Online Service Awards.
Congratulations to all at Aviva for their work and particularly Senior Platform Development Manager, Dave Roberts, who has kindly credited SimpleUsability’s behavioural research as a contributory factor.
Dave comments: “The work done by SimpleUsability greatly helped with the development of our new website and gave us unique insight into how financial advisers would work online. It was very important to get independent research at key points in the development process to verify our thinking and plans.
Many thanks to the team at Simple Usability for all their help and hard work with this.”