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Picking which online supermarket you prefer to park your trolley in can be based on little more than which supermarket you regularly visit in the real world.
It’s the one you’re used to, the one you’ve got a loyalty card with, it’s also probably the one that’s closest to your home.
We sometimes forget that we needn’t be beholden to such boundaries when we’re shopping online for groceries. We have the whole of the nation’s biggest food retailers to choose from and each has their own particular conveniences.
You’re decision on which ecommerce store to shop with may purely come down to which offers the cheapest products, reasonable delivery charges and the availability of a convenient delivery window.
However if all these things are moot, it may also come down to which offers the best user experience.
This post is not meant to definitively suggest which supermarket out of Tesco, Asda, Sainsbury’s, Waitrose or Morrisons is the best, it’s just meant to highlight various UX features and tools that make for a great customer experience, features that other ecommerce site designers could learn from.
According to a survey, the answer is Premier Inn and Travelodge, the best-known budget hotel brands.
Premier Inn narrowly nudged out its budget rival, with The Hilton a distant third.
So what are these hotels doing right online? Or are the results merely a reflection of the popularity of these two brands?
I've been looking at the survey results, as well as how the top ten hotel brands deal with the search and booking process.
When I started looking at user journeys for CrowdShed.com and the tools we’d need to deliver a good quality UX, one of the first areas I looked at was forms.
Form abandonment is a headache for all ecommerce sites but there is a lot of learning out there regarding how to minimise the risk of alienating users.
This blog looks at some of the core UX requirements that I think people selecting a postcode lookup and validation tool should take into consideration, as well as explaining which solution we chose and why.
From an interactive value proposition to brilliant product descriptions, there's much to love at Made.com.
I was taking a look around the site and kept stumbling on things that I consider to be best practice in ecommerce from this pureplay 'direct to designer' store.
Take a look at what I found and see if you feel the same way.
Due to the popularity of the article titled, 'Ecommerce product pages: where to place 30 elements and why', a sequel has (finally) been written.
The focus now turns to the main category page, which is used in ecommerce to give shoppers access to a range of products such as 'menswear' before they drill further down to find specific items (e.g. socks, jeans).
This article will add value if you:
- Have little confidence in your current main category page layout.
- Are in the process of redesigning your website and need guidance on the main category page.
- Are bombarded with differing opinions on how the main category page should be laid out by stakeholders, vendors (designs, UX teams) and would like an unbiased opinion.
We and many others have made our love for Government Digital Services (GDS) quite clear.
However, I thought it worth quickly flagging up an interesting post on Reddit that shows just how far GDS has come and the standards it is setting.
In the post a redditor from the Home Office highlights a poor experience and a developer from the GOV.UK team fixes it within a day.
If you want to hear from Mike Bracken, executive director of digital at GDS, get yourself to the Festival of Marketing in November.
Interaction design (IxD) is all about shaping the customer’s digital experience, with new research and design trends constantly inspiring technologists and designers to invent better user interfaces and widgets.
So, what are some of the exciting new trends in Interaction Design and how can they create a positive impact on customer experience?
In my opinion, there are three important innovations set to make waves.
Last month I wrote a comparison of how the UK’s favourite restaurants are performing on mobile, this month I’m going to take the same test to the streets of London.
Having a mobile optimised site is an absolute must for driving the peckish smartphone wielding pedestrian through your doors.
Whether it’s a separate mobile-site, a responsively designed site or an adaptive one, if you want to capture the attention of the empty stomach as it angrily roams the streets in need of an empty table, then you have to provide a decent mobile presence.
Other restaurants may not necessarily be better than yours, but will they will beat you in the dinner rush if your website remains in its desktop form.
You don’t need a fully featured work of creative genius, just a simple, functional, easy-to-read, easy-to-navigate site that puts the most vital information to the fore.
Simplicity is the key to great design. Anything that complicates or irritates should be immediately jettisoned, in favour of a cleaner approach, and functionality should always come before beauty.
As such I still get shivers when I think about animation and web design, given the amount of user experience crimes committed over the years. Animation was a dirty word. It meant too many crazy gifs, too many flashing ads, or even worse, it meant 'innovative' Flash websites.
Lots of websites still suffer from animation overload, but when done with appropriate amounts of restraint I think motion can help improve the user experience.
Moving backgrounds, rolldown navigation and micro UX effects were three of the web design trends I highlighted back in January. I think a broader trend is the rise of animation / motion, and no doubt it will be on next year’s list.
I thought I’d explore some of the different areas of a website (or mobile app) where motion can come into play, to improve the user experience by communicating meaning, or as a visual flourish that bridges the gap between clicking and loading.
Before we begin, let us doff our hats in the direction of HTML5 and CSS3, not to mention better browsers, faster devices, nicer screens, and quicker internet connections. All of these things have allowed designers to use motion in a way that doesn’t suck.
A bunch of these examples come from the ever-enlightening Codrops, which should probably be on your reading list if it isn't already.
Ok, brace yourself for some gifs...
More and more we are used to slick mobile websites that focus on functionality above all else, and quite right, too.
Arguably when we visit web entities we have less patience than ever before.
Certain generations are starting to build up some serious hours of learning online, navigating websites, social networking and getting stuff done. These users are developing an innate understanding of web design, even if subconscious.
What this means is that the online world is fast finding its own feet, its design conventions, when viewed as a channel for interaction and productivity, not just information dissemination. It's no longer apeing traditional media. Just take a look at Google's Material Design.
So, I'm going out on a limb to say this means photography is becoming rarer online. Here are some examples of why and where.
Airbnb's business model has certainly been 'disruptive' for the hotel industry, but a major factor in its success is the user experience.
While some travel brands have yet to fully adapt to the web, Airbnb offers an excellent user experience backed up by great visual design.
I've picked out several lessons that other travel brands, and indeed any online business can learn from Airbnb...
It’s time to live vicariously through rapper The Game, various Premiership footballers and the lead singer of Jamiroquai.
Most of us can relate to browsing for a Kia or a MINI online, interacting with its social channels, endlessly researching customisable features on a mobile device and maybe even buying one via an ecommerce store.
Now let’s imagine we’ve all gone up a pay grade (or ten).
What’s it like carrying out the above online tasks with a brand from the luxury sports end of the automotive industry?
How does it feel to browse the online catalogue of Ferrari? What’s it like asking Lamborghini’s Twitter account “why hasn’t my Aventador LP 700-4 Roadster turned up yet?” Is it possible to even attempt the checkout process without being snootily (and rightfully) removed from the virtual forecourt by the scruff of my filthy shirt collar? I may have to borrow someone else’s credit card to find out.
So with all of this in mind I’ll be standing between the two powerhouses of speed and aspirational materialism, waving my chequered flag and seeing which of the two super cars makes it past the finishing line and which one ends up bonnet first in a ditch.
GO GO GO!