Posts in Customer Experience

Google introduces expandable AdSense ads

As the recession lingers on, Google has been forced to admit that it's not immune to the economy. That's a tough thing to do when your core business is still doing pretty well relatively speaking. 

So what's Google to do? For starters, it's cutting back on projects that aren't producing. But what about its core business of online advertising? In what might possibly be seen as a way of combating the effects of recession, Google has introduced expandable ads on the AdSense content network.

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Five things Carol Bartz should do at Yahoo!

New Yahoo CEO Carol Bartz had her first public appearance at the Morgan StCarol Bartzanley conference yesterday. She took the opportunity to continue her message to Wall Street that the sliding search company is considering a whole menu of options for the future. The operative quote: "Everything is up for evaluation."

The problems with Yahoo begin and end with that attitude. Here are five things Bartz could put in motion tomorrow that will get the company back on track:

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UK rail websites fail usability test

Thanks to overcomplicated and unreliable websites, two thirds of people were unable to book a rail journey from the UK to European cities.

Just 33% of users in the study managed to complete the task, compared to 98% who tried to book the equivalent flight online. Rail tickets also took nearly twice as long as flights to book. I've been looking at a couple of rail websites to see what was so difficult.

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President Obama ditches YouTube embedding

As we've discussed here at Econsultancy before, United States President Barack Obama loves social media. He used it with remarkable success during his campaign and he's using it as president.

But the popular website he used to serve his weekly video address on WhiteHouse.gov has unceremoniously been ditched.

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UK e-tailers improve on accessibility

Some of the UK's top online retailers have made improvements to the accessibility of their websites over the last 12 months, with Boots and John Lewis the top performers in a Webcredible study. 

The average accessibility score increased from 57% to 62%, but some online retailers' scores have slipped since last year, and there is still plenty of room for improvement.

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Ten things Ryanair could do better online

Budget airline Ryanair made an online PR gaffe yesterday (or at least some of its staff did) by its petulant response to the exposure of a bug on its website by a blogger.

Taking our cue from Jason Roe's post on Ryanair's usability error, I've been looking at some other ways that the budget airline can improve the user experience on its website and perform better online.

Ryanair homepage

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Google changes AdWords display URL policy

Some Google AdWords advertisers are probably not having the best Monday.

Last Friday, Google announced a change to the AdWords display policy: all display URLs within each ad group must have the same top-level domain.

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How to spoil your checkout process

I looked at VistaPrint's checkout process last month, and found it one of the most annoying and complicated ones I had ever seen, but now I have found a checkout to rival it.

Like VistaPrint, domain name registration company GoDaddy overcomplicates its checkout process by adding a ridiculous amount of cross-selling options that are sure to annoy all but the most determined customers.

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Friends don't let friends autotweet

The more I use Twitter, the more I've noticed an annoying phenomenon: the autotweet.

What are 'autotweets'? They're tweets sent in an automated fashion, usually through websites connected to Twitter via the Twitter API. The purpose of autotweets: to alert followers to new content posted on the Twitter user's website.

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Mobile site review: Sccope

I wrote an article about the quality of shopping comparison sites on mobile a few weeks ago, and was disappointed by the quality of most of them.

Reevoo and Kelkoo both had useful iPhone versions, and Reevoo has further improved its app by adding price information and transactional functionality, but most were less useful than they could have been.

I've been looking at another entrant into the market, Sccope, as well as talking to CEO Douglas Orr.

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EEG: cracking your clients’ sub-conscious

Whatever the amount of expert advice you seek or in-depth research you conduct, it can sometimes feel that pinpointing why some online experiences are successful with your customers and some are not requires nothing short of a mind-reader.

Now there is a pioneering neuroscience technique that has been recently developed which, in the right hands, just might have similarly magical implications for internet marketers and e-commerce professionals struggling to unlock the true potential of their online channel.

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River Island finally ditching Flash site?

FlashRiver Island is one of the only high street retailers which hasn't significantly improved its e-commerce offering over the past couple of years, and still retains an all-Flash website.

I have been wondering for a while when River Island would look to improve the site, and Paul Rouke of PRWD has a few answers after attending a Q&A with CEO Richard Bradbury last night.

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