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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!
I've looked at search and comparison tools on automotive sites in the past, and there was a lot of room for improvement.
Some automotive brands, accustomed for so long to the dealership sales process, were slow to adapt to and take advantage of ecommerce.
Now, with some stats suggesting that up to 94% of people are researching cars online before purchase, the online user experience is all important.
Here are some examples from the major automotive brands.
Virgin America's new website manages to turn booking a flight into a joyous process.
That tells you all you need to know about how good this website is.
Here I've picked out 30 good bits. I urge you, of course, to read this post, but go and check out the website yourself for some great design inspiration.
Designing usable and enjoyable experiences for people online, across devices, is defining business change.
It's no surprise then that some of the most visited posts on the Econsultancy blog concern web design.
Chris Lake has traditionally written about web design trends for the year, with eight of his 18 trends for 2014 pointing towards minimalist design.
These were flat UI, mobile first, minimalist navigation, monochrome and hypercolour (perhaps summed up as high contrast), cards and tiles, bigger images and fixed position content.
I wanted to write a simple post highlighting key examples of clean and simple web design from publishing.
Recently I’ve been building a few apps for fun in my spare time.
Doing so has got me thinking about various design elements, and where online design might be heading.
Currently flat design is ruling the roost, but it may not always be that way...
Microcopy is one of those things that is hard to define (how does it differ from regular or maxicopy?) but you know it when you see it.
There's a loyal following of UX bods behind these kind of microinteractions and how they can be enhanced with little pieces of finely judged copywriting.
I've written about it before (see previous post on micro-copywriting), but thought I should thrown down some of the finest examples of this fine art.
These are bits of copy most websites could implement somewhere, and without precluding the need for testing, I'm sure they will improve performance.
Norway is a digital savvy market and has one of the highest smartphone penetration rates in the world (68%).
The digital banking solutions are at the forefront and customer adoption rates are high.
As a result developments and trends seen here may be things that will be launched in other mature markets.
In this article we give you a rundown of some of the latest developments in the Norwegian market which we hope will be interesting for anyone working with digital banking strategy and developments.
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...