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Not everybody loves a hero image or a carousel. But imagery is a continuing trend in ecommerce.
Whilst brands don't want to compromise load times, the increasing uptake of tablets and their use for shopping means that images can help a site stand out.
A browsing experience is a lot more fun, and arguably realistic, with some big imagery thrown in.
Here are six websites that hit those retina-popping notes of colour on their homepages and beyond.
In my last article, I asked whether Booking.com is the most persuasive website in the world.
Now I want to provide more insights on how it is delivering content on a crucial page in the browsing journey: the hotel detail page.
If you’d like to read more about the persuasive techniques used on the search results page, take a look at my article titled Booking.com improving conversion with best practice persuasive design.
The recent Harvey Nichois site redesign received some criticism for its perceived lack of a luxury feel, and its 'middle of the road' look.
It seems that luxury brands and retailers are to be judged by slightly higher standards than more 'mass market' businesses, so how do they handle this?
In a two part post, I'll look at what makes a site luxurious, and where some brands are going wrong...
Make internet browsing an entirely customisable experience with these helpful (and only occasionally distracting) Chrome extensions.
Save time, increase productivity, block keywords from your social media channels, improve your internet security, measure stuff you never knew you wanted to measure, add doges everywhere!… There are thousands of apps and extensions that can enhance your use of the internet.
These are just a handful available right now that may improve your experience...
Spotify began rolling out a brand new redesign for its users last week. It’s a sleeker, darker, apparently much improved revamp across all three of its platforms: web, desktop and mobile.
Apparently both YouTube and Apple will be launching similar subscription based streaming services this year so Spotify’s multi-platform redesign seems like an early attempt to set the pace.
I took a look at the previous incarnation of Spotify just over a month ago in Seven reasons why I love Spotify and 17 why I don’t. I use Spotify more than any other music platform (I actually use them all on an almost weekly basis) and I couldn’t function without its unlimited access to 20m songs and ability to sync playlists to multiple devices.
However I am profoundly aware of its limitations and frustrations. Just a few UX tweaks here or there could massively improve the experience.
There’s an argument to say that because Spotify never really had any competition, it didn’t have to worry too much about improving its functionality. However with Google Play, Beats Music and now iTunes and YouTube launching rival services, it’s time for Spotify to up its game.
Let’s see if the redesign has done just that?
Premier Inn has topped the latest Multichannel Benchmark study from eDigitalResearch, which compared 17 online travel websites and their respective desktop sites, mobile sites and mobile apps.
According to the research, the UK hotel brand scored well across the board, but excelled in terms of booking process, design and usability.
It’s been a good year for Premier Inn’s digital transformation. Last April David Moth reviewed its new iPad app and found that its “stripped down design and simple usability” made it a useful tool for business travellers.
The owner of Premier Inn, Whitbread, has also attributed its use of social proof as part of the reason why profits rose much higher than analysts’ predictions last year.
Here’s a look at the eDigitalResearch benchmark, followed by our own thoughts on Premier Inn’s multichannel win.
What’s that plinky plonky banjo sound? Yep it’s a new website explainer video!
The TfL site has been used by two million visitors whilst in beta. That’s no mean achievement and indicative of just what a challenge the TFL website undergoes on a daily basis.
In April 2013, the TFL website had 20m visitors every month. That’s every Londoner visiting more than twice.
The new site includes some really good features that vastly improve TfL’s ability to present information to the traveller.
Let’s have a look at the new site.
The lovely header image I've used for this blog post is a 'Karlism'. I considered using a picture of Will Ferrell's Mugatu, but stopped short.
Here, I've rounded up some little features, mostly about imagery and web design but also touching on UX. I've experimented a bit by showcasing them using Vine. Some of the imagery isn't captured particularly crisply, but you can click through from each heading, or from a static image if there is one, to explore the page in question.
I could have used screencasting to capture these elements, but Vine was quite a bit quicker and maybe it even makes me look agile?
See what you think. Visit the sites and check these things out for yourself and let me know what you think works and what doesn't.
Let’s put this to bed.
I’ve spent the last couple of weeks trying to find a decent replacement for iTunes.
The reasons why I want to abandon the world’s most popular music download service are many and varied.
iTunes is a deeply flawed experience. It's impersonal and slow, with lack of support for different file formats. It has a stubbornly rigid pricing model and no browser access whatsoever.
In fact I rarely use the platform to download. Instead I use a collection of different digital download sites to purchase MP3s online.
Yet I still use iTunes almost exclusively to organise and access my songs on both desktop and smartphone.
Surely there’s an easier way. Well I’m going to try and find one. For the good of you, me and the music loving public of the world.
As of June 2013, iTunes achieved 575m registered users and it’s adding 500,000 new accounts every day.
There is no denying the power and ubiquity of Apple’s digital music service, after all it has transformed the way that everyone on the planet consumes music.
It’s by no means a flawless experience however...
I’m sure you’ve heard the expression 'Never work with children or animals' right? Well, after you’ve read this lot, I reckon you’ll want to add participants, facilitators and even clients to this list.
You see, since my last blog I’ve spent a few weeks “playing journalist” sourcing weird, wonderful and downright bizarre stories from the UX (User Experience) Community.
The idea came to me while I was telling a friend how I had to sit throughout a whole study earlier this year in Norway, trying not to crack up every time a participant had to fill in his name on a form. Thing is, he was doing it with such a straight face that for a long time I thought it really was his name. Which it obviously couldn’t have been.
So it got me thinking that there must be other amusing or even downright weird experiences that my fellow UX practitioners might like to share with me... and share they did! OK, some took a little cajoling but I got there in the end.
They’re all anonymous and I hope you at least find them interesting, even if they might not tickle you as much as they tickled me.
Deciding what approach to take on mobile is a debate-worthy topic, as proved by the comment thread in this post on responsive design.
Marks and Spencer has a new site that is tablet-optimized, adapting to the iPad and its competitiors via device recognition rather than screen size. The brand has also updated its apps and mobile sites.
I thought I’d take a look at the mobile site in order to highlight a few nice features. It looks as good as the new desktop, tablet-optimized site, and I found it worked well, aside from a few niggles.
Of course, displaying large and high quality product ranges to their full potential on mobile is a challenge.
See what you think.