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Jakob Nielsen has been dubbed the 'king of usability' and has been helping to make the web easier to use for more than a decade.
I had the pleasure of speaking to him yesterday, and we discussed the progress of usability, the challenges of providing a great experience across different devices, and the best methods for testing sites.
Manchester City is at the forefront of digital in the footballing world.
What City does very well in this new iPad app is to create an experience that's about football (duh!) and content and is enjoyable to use. It befits the sport and should please the fan.
Plenty of rival apps don't allow you to watch highlights (without paying) and don't put enough effort into editorial, preferring to concentrate on monetisation.
Let's take a closer look at the City App.
The clunk is nothing to do with being clunky.
A clunk is, as defined by Ashley Friedlein, a door clunk, a design detail within the user experience that lends a user satisfaction. It could be called a micro-interaction. The clunk is feedback, it's often skeuomorphic.
I had fun using the few apps on my iPhone 4S to find some features that embody the clunk. Some of them are pretty simple but see what you think and please add your own.
NB: I'm aware that my header image is a door closer (designed to avoid the clunk).
There's been plenty of talk about the need for a 'mobile first' strategy, and this does make sense at the moment, as mobile use overtakes desktop for many sites.
However, the long-term thinking should be around the customer's needs rather than the device.
At the moment, that does mean mobile in many cases but this may not be how your customers will access your site in years to come.
Who knows how customers will use your site in a few year's time. Maybe even on watches...
I've written about car manufacturers' websites before and found most to be lacklustre.
They sort of do the job but are confusing and don't look particularly elegant (see the German and Japanese big three). Volkswagen, however, has a great website - I've previously picked out its homepage for its simple messaging.
I thought I'd highlight five more features on Volkswagen's website that other car manufacturers would do well to emulate. Here goes...
Hem is the new high-end furniture ecommerce site from the team that brought you Fab.com.
It aims to deliver designer furniture at affordable prices by cutting out the middleman.
And if that sounds familiar, it’s because Made.com has been doing the same thing for several years, so Hem will have to try and differentiate its offering – it will have to re-disrupt the online furniture market.
Hem is currently taking pre-orders so all items will take a minimum of six weeks to be shipped, and it will also be launching a customisable design tool in the near future.
It sounds like an interesting proposition, so I tried it out...
Forcing users to register their details before they checkout is one of the quickest ways to lower your conversion rate.
Once a customer is ready to buy something from your store, presenting them with page after page of forms in which they need to fill out the most unnecessary of personal details is a sure fire way to litter your site with abandoned baskets and disgruntled customers.
That’s why guest checkout is a must-have feature for almost every online retail experience.
As I mentioned in my best practice guide to guest checkouts having a guest checkout doesn’t necessarily mean losing out on valuable customer data, it means adopting practices that put the customer experience first.
Using guest checkout as the default option, then offering to ‘save the customer details’ after purchase can help lower cart abandonment.
Saving customer details implies convenience, it puts customer experience as the primary focus. ‘Registering’ implies future marketing spam.
Also, if your site automatically fills in any details that the customer has already given you, such as name, address and email, all your customer needs to do is choose a password.
Boom! Conversion achieved. Customer satisfaction achieved. Data achieved. Easy.
Traditional thinking dictates that designers create the products and marketers sell them.
Then along came Apple and its beautifully designed products that practically sold themselves with almost zero marketing effort.
What came next was a huge amount of mediocre products needing ever-increasing budgets in order to highlight differences and features that may not have existed in the first place.
User experience designer and CEO of Clearleft Andy Budd believes that product and marketing teams need to work closer together and that the relatively new field of User Experience Design is the glue to achieve that.
I spoke to Andy Budd about all matters relating to UX last week.
Andy Budd is also one of the speakers at Econsultancy's Festival of Marketing in November. Our two day celebration of the modern marketing industry also featuring speakers from LEGO, Tesco, Barclays, FT.com and more.
I've been trawling through some mobile sites to find features I like.
Previously I published probably my favourite 15 mobile features but here's 30 more I like to see on the smaller screen.
As ever, check out the Econsultancy Mobile Web Design and Development Best Practice Guide for more guidance and come to the Festival of Marketing in London, November 12-13th, to learn more.
Right, let's get stuck in with the screenshots!
The Festival of Marketing (London's answer to Cannes Lions) will be upon us in November.
I've been rounding up some content to whet your appetite, including this collection of content and strategy slideshows relating to some of our speakers.
Check out the Festival website for more information, including a full lineup of speakers.
Whilst compiling examples for last week’s 10 essential features for mobile travel sites I was struck by how much I enjoyed using Ryanair’s new app.
Being as I only had to room to mention it briefly in the above mentioned article, I feel it deserved a deeper analysis.
The app was launched last month and was covered by mainstream news channels nearly as much as its much needed website redesign last year.
The app continues Ryanair’s huge cultural revolution, although both the website and the app redesign haven’t been without their technical hiccups. We’ll talk about some of the reported problems with the app below.
In the meantime, let’s take a look at Ryanair’s ever-improving mobile presence…
Looking for a break on a mobile? Gosh your commute must be especially arduous today.
Here’s some help: a guide to the most convenient features available on mobile travel sites, which could possibly help you find your way to pleasant pastures a lot quicker and also highlight some great design for other mobile commerce designers.
Ben Davis gives excellent advice on features needed for great mobile commerce design in general, which I’ll be using here, but skewing it towards features more suited to travel sites.
For this feature I’ll be taking a look at a range of travel sites all optimised for mobiles: EasyJet, Ryanair, Booking.com, TripAdvisor, Secret Escapes, Voyage Prive, Expedia, Mr & Mrs Smith, Laterooms and Skyscanner.