tag:econsultancy.com,2008:/topics/user-experience-and-usability Latest User Experience and Usability content from Econsultancy 2016-04-21T10:52:30+01:00 tag:econsultancy.com,2008:BlogPost/67762 2016-04-21T10:52:30+01:00 2016-04-21T10:52:30+01:00 Real-time marketing: The key to real success? Chloe Basterfield <p dir="ltr">All businesses face similar scenarios:</p> <ul> <li>It’s 3am and your call centre’s a flyblown wasteland...</li> <li>It’s Sunday afternoon and a hot-prospect customer has three questions that’ll entice him further down the sales funnel...</li> <li>It’s lunchtime and 100 people click Contact on your website – but it’s your lunch hour too, so you don’t answer straightaway...</li> </ul> <p dir="ltr">All of these are problems – because customers all want responses right now.</p> <p dir="ltr">Welcome to 2016, where real-time marketing isn’t a nice-to-have: it’s a mandatory.</p> <p dir="ltr">And autoresponder emails or pop-up chat windows aren’t as complete an answer as they were just five years ago.</p> <p dir="ltr">But according to the new Oracle Marketing Cloud/Econsultancy <a href="https://econsultancy.com/reports/cross-channel-marketing-report/">Cross-Channel Marketing Report 2015</a> just 26% of marketers believe that real-time customer experience is ‘fundamental’ to their business.</p> <p dir="ltr">So what’s causing this cavalier approach to the customer’s time? Is it deliberate? Certainly not.</p> <p dir="ltr">In the same report, 92% of businesses saw providing a superlative customer experience as vital. And real-time responses are part of that. </p> <p dir="ltr">Perhaps the gap is in understanding what real-time is and how it can drive real results.</p> <p dir="ltr">The report suggests that four questions matter. Answer all of them and you’re on your way to real-time success.</p> <h3 dir="ltr">1. Is the customer experience optimised to the device?</h3> <p dir="ltr">Your website remains at the heart of your online marketing – but with 4.9bn mobile devices connected to the web, mobile isn’t optional.</p> <p dir="ltr">That means optimising for all sizes of screen. And sometimes, for no screen at all.</p> <p dir="ltr">The user experience on a 4” phone screen isn’t a smaller version of a 15” laptop. It’s fundamentally different.</p> <p dir="ltr">Choices are much more limited; the information that can be packed onto a page is far briefer.</p> <p dir="ltr">The best optimisation of a site for mobile isn’t so much a cut-down as a complete re-imagining. So first, make a list of all the devices customers are using to visit your site and build the customer experience that works for each one. </p> <p dir="ltr">And why does this matter to real-time? Simple: devices are personal. People carry them along; keep them in their pockets; sleep with them nearby.</p> <p dir="ltr">When a customer makes an impulse purchase or has an urgent question, a mobile device is odds-on favourite to be the way they connect.</p> <p dir="ltr">A full 37% of purchases now come through the mobile channel. So optimise. </p> <h3 dir="ltr">2. Do your actions treat the customer as an individual?</h3> <p dir="ltr">Another aspect of real-time is how fast you build comfort with the customer.</p> <p dir="ltr">Automatic sign-in, intelligent presentation of options, click-to-chat channels where the agent knows her name: these all reassure the customer that you’re ready to roll when she is. </p> <p dir="ltr">This instant-on comfort is important because it demonstrates to the customer she doesn’t have to waste time.</p> <p dir="ltr">Yet only 44% of companies devote significant resources to crafting personalised responses that work 24/7. Don’t be in the 56%.</p> <h3 dir="ltr">3. Do your responses take account of the customer’s past behaviour?</h3> <p dir="ltr">Related to comfort is convenience: whether your response – whatever channel it happens on – takes account of past customer data to build an experience that’s truly personalised.</p> <p dir="ltr">It’s more than remembering the contents of shopping carts and wish lists across channels.</p> <p dir="ltr">It’s about making intelligent use of preferences, past behaviours, even the circumstances surrounding the customer’s visit to you.</p> <p dir="ltr">90% of companies would not strongly agree their marketing automation is real-time enough to keep up with customer behaviour.</p> <p dir="ltr">Which means most companies aren’t learning fast enough to stop their customers feeling aggrieved.</p> <p dir="ltr">So it’s time to look at your automated responses again and check whether they’re helping people along the customer journey – or putting roadblocks in their path. </p> <h3 dir="ltr">4. Do you respond in real-time, 24/7/365?</h3> <p dir="ltr">That’s the last question to ask yourself. Here’s the reason so many companies have a problem with real-time: they think create-and-forget mechanisms like email autoresponders are all it is.</p> <p dir="ltr">Maybe in 2005, but not today. And here’s the best part: today, real-time marketing automation can do things most companies never dreamed of. </p> <p dir="ltr">Just 41% of respondents to Oracle Marketing Cloud’s report were doing real-time marketing automation.</p> <p dir="ltr">Yet data you’ll probably find is already in your business – transaction frequency, service level, past trouble tickets – contains everything you need to make real-time responses in the context of the overall customer journey, every time, any time.</p> <p dir="ltr">Not one-click wonders that just acknowledge an order or register a query – but intelligent triggers that reply with genuine answers, part of the ‘managed conversation’ every modern marketer needs to be having with every customer.</p> <p dir="ltr">And that’s real real-time.</p> <h3 dir="ltr">In conclusion...</h3> <p>So there’s your answer: real-time marketing involves a lot more than real-time responses. </p> <p>Done properly, it becomes real-time engagement, using your knowledge of a customer’s past behaviour, their hopes and dreams, to tailor every exchange in a way that feels natural – and delivers results.</p> <p>The key points to remember:</p> <ul> <li>Optimising the experience to the device is part of real-time response too.</li> <li>A true real-time response treats the customer as an individual.</li> <li>Real-time customer engagement takes its cues from a customer’s past behaviour.</li> <li>Automated responses are now a lot more sophisticated than autoresponder emails!</li> </ul> <p>The questions above are just a small part of the new business landscape explored in the <a href="https://econsultancy.com/reports/cross-channel-marketing-report/">Cross-Channel Marketing Report 2015</a>.</p> tag:econsultancy.com,2008:Report/3008 2016-04-20T15:45:00+01:00 2016-04-20T15:45:00+01:00 Internet Statistics Compendium Econsultancy <p>Econsultancy’s <strong>Internet Statistics Compendium</strong> is a collection of the most recent statistics and market data publicly available on online marketing, ecommerce, the internet and related digital media. </p> <p><strong>The compendium is available as 11 main reports (in addition to a B2B report) across the following topics:</strong></p> <ul> <li><strong><a href="http://econsultancy.com/reports/advertising-media-statistics">Advertising</a></strong></li> <li><strong><a href="http://econsultancy.com/reports/content-statistics">Content</a></strong></li> <li><strong><a href="http://econsultancy.com/reports/customer-experience-statistics">Customer Experience</a></strong></li> <li><strong><a href="http://econsultancy.com/reports/web-analytics-statistics">Data and Analytics</a></strong></li> <li><strong><a href="http://econsultancy.com/reports/demographics-technology-adoption">Demographics and Technology Adoption</a></strong></li> <li><strong><a href="http://econsultancy.com/uk/reports/ecommerce-statistics">Ecommerce</a></strong></li> <li><strong><a href="http://econsultancy.com/reports/email-ecrm-statistics">Email and eCRM</a></strong></li> <li><strong><a href="http://econsultancy.com/reports/mobile-statistics">Mobile</a></strong></li> <li><strong><a href="http://econsultancy.com/reports/search-marketing-statistics">Search</a></strong></li> <li><strong><a href="http://econsultancy.com/reports/social-media-statistics">Social</a></strong></li> <li><strong><a href="http://econsultancy.com/reports/strategy-and-operations-statistics">Strategy and Operations</a></strong></li> <li><strong><a title="B2B Internet Statistics Compendium" href="http://econsultancy.com/reports/b2b-internet-statistics-compendium">B2B</a></strong></li> </ul> <p>Updated monthly, each document is a comprehensive compilation of internet, statistics and online market research with data, facts, charts and figures.The reports have been collated from information available to the public, which we have aggregated together in one place to help you quickly find the internet statistics you need, to help make your pitch or internal report up to date.</p> <p>There are all sorts of internet statistics which you can slot into your next presentation, report or client pitch.</p> <p><strong>Those looking for B2B-specific data should consult our <a title="B2B Internet Statistics Compendium" href="http://econsultancy.com/reports/b2b-internet-statistics-compendium">B2B Internet Statistics Compendium</a>.</strong></p> <p> <strong>Regions covered in each document (where available) are:</strong></p> <ul> <li><strong>Global</strong></li> <li><strong>UK</strong></li> <li><strong>North America</strong></li> <li><strong>Asia</strong></li> <li><strong>Australia and New Zealand</strong></li> <li><strong>Europe</strong></li> <li><strong>Latin America</strong></li> <li><strong>MENA</strong></li> </ul> <p>A sample of the Internet Statistics Compendium is available for free, with various statistics included and a full table of contents, to show you what you're missing.</p> tag:econsultancy.com,2008:BlogPost/67744 2016-04-20T10:32:00+01:00 2016-04-20T10:32:00+01:00 Confusing UX: The new Royal Family website reviewed Ben Davis <h3>Mobile-first but with too many links out?</h3> <p>The site looks better on mobile than it does on desktop, where it has the characteristic appearance of a stream of content that has been re-arranged for a larger page and lacks focus.</p> <p>On the lighter side, I do love the call-to-action 'You may also like.. The Duke of Edinburgh'.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0007/4113/Screen_Shot_2016-04-19_at_17.01.45.png" alt="royal.uk" width="615"> </p> <p>However, there's a problem in concept with this mobile-first website.</p> <p>It's essentially a blog with some nice featured articles and embedded video, then lots of links out to other Royal properties (e.g. The Royal Collection website) and social networks (Instagram and Twitter).</p> <p>What this means is there's an initially enjoyable experience on mobile, scrolling through an optimised home or category page.</p> <p>But then when the user clicks on some features they get carried away to another website, or to a web browser version of a social network (rather than the app).</p> <p>So, when I try to Like an embedded Tweet, I get the following experience.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0007/4108/IMG_2738.PNG" alt="twitter royal.uk" width="300">  <img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0007/4107/IMG_2737.PNG" alt="twitter in browser" width="300"></p> <p>Embedded Instagram posts don't display any text on them on Royal.UK</p> <p>So again I have to click through to see what it's all about, to Instagram in a browser.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0007/4109/IMG_2739.PNG" alt="instagram on royals.uk" width="300">  <img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0007/4115/IMG_2742.PNG" alt="royal.uk" width="300"></p> <p>Blocks such as the one below ('Plan Your Visit', on the 'Homes and residences' stream) carry me to an external website with no warning.</p> <p>There are some blocks which do warn of an external site, but not all of them do.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0007/4116/IMG_2743.PNG" alt="plan you visit royal.uk" width="300">  <img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0007/4117/IMG_2744.PNG" alt="royal collections site" width="300"></p> <p>Therefore, for all the joy of discovering 'native' articles with nice text and images, and for all the joy of scrolling, the experience as a whole can be frustrating.</p> <p>Millennials don't like mobile web UX, so used are they to the app world.</p> <p>It reminds me of using a social curation tool such as <a href="http://live.storystream.it/year-in-review/">Storystream</a>. It's intended to show highlights at face value, with links off to in-depth articles.</p> <p>So, despite its mobile-optimised appearance, this site actually works far better on desktop, where users have time and space to explore the content.</p> <h3>Some of the content is great, but you need to load two pages to find it</h3> <p>Making an attempt to avoid that treason charge, I went to find some great content.</p> <p>So, I clicked the following CTA on the homepage:</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0007/4118/Screen_Shot_2016-04-19_at_18.14.54.png" alt="button" width="300"></p> <p>And it doesn't link to an article, merely a search facility that has been turned on to show me all the Queen-specific content (see below).</p> <p>Looking at the CTA again, I realise the search icon should have made this obvious.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0007/4119/Screen_Shot_2016-04-19_at_18.57.12.png" alt="royal.uk queen" width="615" height="315"></p> <p>Anyway, the content on this filtered page is great, there's <a href="https://econsultancy.com/training/courses/video-marketing-strategies">video</a> that plays when you scroll over and some nicely informative articles.</p> <p>But, I can't help but think that the website confuses the user slightly with that first click.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0007/4120/queen_child.gif" alt="royal.uk" width="519" height="311"></p> <h3>Site search is not intuitive (and doesn't cope with typos)</h3> <p><a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/66658-24-best-practice-tips-for-ecommerce-site-search">Site search</a> sometimes confuses.</p> <p>Before realising there's actually an 'invisible' search field which you need to click into, the user naturally but mistakenly clicks the search icon, which loads search results for a blank query.</p> <p><em>Click the 'invisible' field, not the icon.</em></p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0007/4110/Screen_Shot_2016-04-19_at_14.10.48.png" alt="desktop royal.uk" width="615" height="311"></p> <p>Then the user types a phrase and either hits return on the desktop keyboard or 'search' on the mobile keyboard.</p> <p>But instead of searching, this merely adds a comma after the search term, much as if you were adding tags to a blog post (see below).</p> <p>So, the user then has to hit return or 'search' once more to get the action underway.</p> <p>Far from ideal as this is a behaviour pattern that isn't often used on site search fields.</p> <p><em>'Search' keyboard button doesn't search first time.</em></p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0007/4100/IMG_2736.PNG" alt="site search" width="300"></p> <p>Then, when you finally search, the function does deal very neatly with synonyms (e.g. 'Charles' takes me to results for 'The Prince of Wales') but any typo is likely to stifle your results. And the alternative, suggested content is generic. </p> <p>See below, where I've searched for 'Bictoria' (note that B is next to V on a mobile keyboard).</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0007/4114/IMG_2741.PNG" alt="victoria" width="300"></p> <p>Lastly, when you select a page, its title populates the search field.</p> <p>This is confusing (or at least atypical) if you want to then use this field for your onward journey.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0007/4121/Screen_Shot_2016-04-19_at_18.57.12.png" alt="royal.uk" width="615" height="315"></p> <h3>Navigation is limited, can lead to the user getting 'lost'</h3> <p>The site is designed to be scrolled. There are basic category filters in the menu (which again narrow down posts based on search 'tags').</p> <p>But the user simply can't see the extent of the content, or what subsections might hold.</p> <p>This is fine if content is intended to be transitory, flying by and <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/65455-why-you-need-an-evergreen-content-strategy/">not evergreen</a>, but I'm not sure it's intended to be that type of experience.</p> <p>To get round this, the site uses blocks that link to different parts of the same article, but this can send the user to content they have already viewed.</p> <p><em>These two blocks link to the same long article, albeit one block links to further down said page.</em></p> <p><a href="https://www.royal.uk/her-majesty-the-queen"><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0007/4122/Screen_Shot_2016-04-19_at_19.11.11.png" alt="royal.uk" width="615" height="250"></a></p> <p><em>The website menu is limited.</em></p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0007/4123/Screen_Shot_2016-04-19_at_19.11.01.png" alt="menu royal.uk" width="615" height="364"></p> <h3>And this button is slightly strange</h3> <p>'Related content' isn't exactly a CTA that's begging to be clicked.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0007/4124/RLATED_QUEEN.gif" alt="royal.uk" width="615"></p> <h3>Was this content crying out to be on Medium or Wordpress?</h3> <p>The newly 'platformised' Medium or the classic Wordpress are great options. Lots of the UX has already been done to a high standard and, crucially, it's becoming standard.</p> <p>Some of the problems I had with the site came from the fact that I had not previously experienced the UX points I detailed above.</p> <p>Standing out is great, but not at the expense of a decent user experience.</p> <h3>Cookies are truly treasonous</h3> <p>Lastly, a tiny detail. Despite <a href="https://econsultancy.com/reports/the-eu-cookie-law-a-guide-to-compliance/">EU law</a>, I think websites are overzealous when implementing a 'cookie warning'.</p> <p>Here, the message obscures the Queen's face. That definitely is treason.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0007/4099/IMG_2733.PNG" alt="cookies" width="300"></p> <h3>Conclusion</h3> <p>I had to actively get to know this website, get used to using it, understand its quirks.</p> <p>Perhaps I've overplayed the detrimental effect of this novelty in an age of limited attention span.</p> <p>The content is good and perhaps it will reward royalists all the more for its new look, and turn the ambivalent away.</p> <p>Reading Room and The Royal Family have certainly championed the novel use of search as navigation, I'm just not sure the world is ready to do that for a site with limited content.</p> tag:econsultancy.com,2008:BlogPost/67751 2016-04-18T12:38:11+01:00 2016-04-18T12:38:11+01:00 It’s time to make web accessibility integral to your project lifecycle James Hopkins <p dir="ltr">The definition of ‘web accessibility’ and the scope of what it refers to should encompass the complete combination of interfaces that sit between the application interface (which conveys semantics), and the user’s cognitive evaluation of those semantics.</p> <p dir="ltr">They can be thought of as three distinct entities:</p> <ul> <li dir="ltr"> <p dir="ltr">the application composition (colour contrast, design responsivity).</p> </li> <li dir="ltr"> <p dir="ltr">the device used to access the application (network connection, rendering capability).</p> </li> <li dir="ltr"> <p dir="ltr">the capabilities of the user (visual, cognitive, and physical).</p> </li> </ul> <p dir="ltr">It is important to recognise that each entity has the potential to affect the user experience to a similar degree.</p> <p dir="ltr">For example, an unsupported browser used against a well-designed application may be as detrimental to the user journey as an assistive technology used against an <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/67625-making-your-html-accessible-for-the-visually-impaired/">application that is not using semantic HTML</a>.</p> <h3 dir="ltr">User capabilities are a project requirement</h3> <p>In the same way the application composition and supported browsers/devices are project requirements, so are user capabilities.</p> <p dir="ltr">From the perspective of the project lifecycle, the capabilities of the user can be classed as external variables that cannot be analysed nor controlled.</p> <p dir="ltr">For example, it is impossible to detect that a user may have a cognitive disability which could affect their user journey.</p> <h3 dir="ltr">Don’t rely on the defaults</h3> <p dir="ltr">Throughout the project workflow, more often than not, a set of user capabilities with which our product must work against have already been subconsciously defined.</p> <p dir="ltr">These are the <a href="http://mrmrs.io/writing/2016/03/23/the-veil-of-ignorance/">personal capabilities</a> of each team member (UX, design, development, testing) that has had input into the product.</p> <p dir="ltr">Unless these team members take into consideration the varying capabilities of other users (who don’t have the same capabilities as themselves), it can lead to an inferior usability experience for those user groups.</p> <p dir="ltr">For example:</p> <ul> <li dir="ltr"> <p dir="ltr">a designer that doesn’t suffer from any visual disabilities may inadvertently choose a background/foreground colour combination or typography style that inhibits the readability of text.</p> </li> <li dir="ltr"> <p dir="ltr">a developer that relies solely on visual cues to deduce meaning may not pay enough attention to semantic HTML to describe the application to users who use screen readers.</p> </li> </ul> <h3>Be aware of your surroundings</h3> <p dir="ltr">You need to acknowledge that a proportion of your users will have a disability (as demonstrated through <a href="http://www.sitepoint.com/how-many-users-need-accessible-websites/">consensus statistics</a>) that leaves them exposed to potential usability issues with your site.</p> <p dir="ltr">These disabilities can vary in severity, and the strategy you will need employ to ensure the quality of experience of these users will be proportionate.</p> <p dir="ltr">For example, a visually impaired user may be using a screen reader to interact with your site, which relies on well-constructed, semantic HTML to deduce application composition.</p> <p dir="ltr">Delivery of such an interface, will require early communication between UX designers, visual designers and developers to identify component patterns, so that their meaning can be described through the appropriate HTML structure.</p> <p dir="ltr">In contrast, a user who has motor issues may require an intuitive keyboard routing to navigate through your application.</p> <p dir="ltr">This will involve the same team members as the aforementioned, although the developer will have two roles - implementing the routing itself and advising designers by highlighting any additional routing requirements (sufficient focus highlighting, etc.) that weren’t originally perceived in the design phase.</p> <h3 dir="ltr">Taking an holistic approach</h3> <p>Traditionally, conformance in this area has been a reactive task rather than a proactive one; indeed, the term ‘web accessibility’ is defined by Wikipedia as:</p> <blockquote> <p>...the inclusive practice of removing barriers that prevent interaction with, or access to websites...</p> </blockquote> <p>Rather, fundamentally there shouldn’t be any barriers in the first place that need removing.</p> <p dir="ltr">A common example of such a retrospective task is an ‘accessibility audit’, where issues with the current product have been identified by team members or the business.</p> <p dir="ltr">This approach is nearly impossible to get right because:</p> <ul> <li dir="ltr"> <p dir="ltr">an audit is a static document; assuming the project is in active development, more often than not <strong>the audit becomes out-of-date as soon as it is written</strong>.</p> </li> <li dir="ltr"> <p dir="ltr">mitigating the risk of code conflicts during component ‘patching’ and ever-changing business requirements is tricky.</p> </li> <li dir="ltr"> <p dir="ltr">it can be a contentious subject getting buy-in from a business to remedy the issues identified; you are implying that you have delivered a product that not everyone can use.</p> </li> </ul> <p dir="ltr">The involvement of multi-disciplined teams throughout the entire project lifecycle demonstrates that accessibility is inherently a cross-cutting concern, which must be treated as such.</p> <h3 dir="ltr">Reaching enlightenment</h3> <p dir="ltr">In order to correct previous bad habits, you’ll need to be prepared to change many aspects of your project lifecycle and overall workflow to ensure you stay on top of your responsibility towards accessibility - and become proactive rather than reactive.</p> <p>In my next blog post, I’ll demonstrate how you can achieve this on your own project.</p> tag:econsultancy.com,2008:BlogPost/67718 2016-04-14T11:01:52+01:00 2016-04-14T11:01:52+01:00 Key trends in online identity verification (so everybody knows you're a dog) Danny Bluestone <h3>Using our ‘real’ identities online</h3> <p>Online anonymity is waning. A user’s digital behaviour never used to be closely connected across the web, nor did it connect to their offline lives.</p> <p>Technically, there were also fewer plug-and-play solutions like <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/61911-the-pros-and-cons-of-a-facebook-login-on-ecommerce-sites/">Facebook Connect</a>, which can follow and connect users’ activities across the Internet. </p> <p>The desire for anonymity hasn’t completely disappeared. But, as the social web has grown, people have become happier to use their ‘real’ identities online. Some social networks are even throwing their influential power behind ‘authentic’ identities to make their platforms more credible and secure.</p> <p>For instance, Twitter issues verified account status to key individuals and brands who are highly sought after. This helps users differentiate and validate if specific accounts are credible. </p> <p>Furthermore, the boundaries between social and commercial websites are blurring. Some users submit real-name <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/67117-analysing-amazon-s-palliative-approach-to-fake-reviews/">reviews on Amazon</a> and other ecommerce sites like Etsy, where authenticity can increase sales by generating confidence from customers. </p> <p><em>"<a href="https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/On_the_Internet,_nobody_knows_you%27re_a_dog">On the internet, nobody knows you're a dog</a>"</em></p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0007/3930/dog.jpg" alt="dog" width="500"></p> <h3>The rise of identity verification services</h3> <p>So, identifying people online – and confirming that information against their ‘real’ selves – is becoming increasingly important. </p> <p>Verification is required by a surprising amount of digital businesses: from purchasing products and applying for services, to social networking platforms, where users’ authenticity is built into the experience.</p> <p>It’s consequently no surprise that the technology behind identity verification services is constantly evolving, while balancing two critical, and often competing, factors: security and user experience.</p> <p>Last year alone ecommerce fraud <a title="rose by 19%" href="http://www.infosecurity-magazine.com/news/uk-online-banking-fraud-soars-64/" target="_blank">rose by 19%</a> and online banking losses soared by 64%, compared to 2015. High-profile <a href="https://www.marketingweek.com/2015/10/30/the-talktalk-hack-shows-why-every-brand-must-take-customer-data-seriously/">data breeches at TalkTalk</a> and Sony have made consumers more aware of the security threats.</p> <p>Yet users are still incredibly fickle. They will go elsewhere if the verification stage of a purchase or online account setup is too lengthy or rigid regarding which proofs of identification are acceptable. </p> <p><em>TalkTalk website</em></p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0007/3932/Screen_Shot_2016-04-14_at_10.36.35.png" alt="talktalk" width="615"></p> <h3>Trends in verification solutions</h3> <p>Exposing more personal information about ourselves and revealing our true identities online opens up great opportunities and risks. Organisations must navigate (and mitigate) these for their users.</p> <p>Consequently, a number of solutions have emerged to validate who we are online.</p> <p><strong>Two-Step Verification</strong></p> <p>Creating a username and password to access specific websites is the most familiar online identity system. But, we’ve known it’s a broken process for years. </p> <p>It’s too difficult to create and manage unique, elaborate passwords for each online account we have. And even the idea that a ‘strong password’ can protect us is now a fantasy, with hackers regularly breaking into computer systems and releasing username and password data.</p> <p>Worse than this, plenty of us <a title="daisy-chain accounts" href="http://www.wired.com/2012/11/ff-mat-honan-password-hacker/all/" target="_blank">daisy-chain accounts</a> to our main email address; creating a single point of failure for hackers to exploit, gaining entry to countless more with ease. </p> <p>The most common solution is two-factor authentication: requesting knowledge (such as an alphanumerical ‘secret’) and possession (adding a physical level) for a user to verify themselves. Cash machines were the original implementation of this idea, requiring possession of a physical card and remembering a secret PIN. </p> <p>The trick is establishing a second, physical authenticator that is secure, but doesn’t inconvenience the user.</p> <p>For example, many companies have avoided the delay and cost of issuing unique physical tokens (such as a key fob, or card reader); instead, asking users to add a mobile contact number and enter unique codes sent via SMS. </p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0007/3931/Screen_Shot_2016-04-14_at_10.27.47.png" alt="two step verification" width="615"></p> <p><strong>Biometric Verification</strong></p> <p>Biometric technology can streamline the second step in two-factor authentication. Fingerprint data is the clear favourite, as a particularly elegant solution for unlocking smartphones.</p> <p>Promoted by Apple and Samsung, it requires investment from device manufacturers to install the sensors and secure partners willing to use the channel for purchase, like PayPal. </p> <p>Concerns about storing such sensitive data has been addressed with both companies storing an encrypted mathematical model instead of the fingerprint images. But as a <a title="Mashable hack" href="http://mashable.com/2013/09/25/video-hack-apple-touch-id/#KhNkh0x3zZqo" target="_blank">Mashable hack</a> revealed, people leave copies of their fingerprints everywhere – and lifting a copy can be used to unlock devices. </p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/resized/0007/3706/econsultancy-touchid3-blog-flyer.jpg" alt="" width="470" height="265"></p> <p><em>To set up Apple’s TouchID, users repeatedly tap the phone’s sensor so it can map a single fingerprint that will unlock the phone. </em></p> <p>Some businesses are even exploring more outlandish models. Amazon recently filed a patent application for <a title="payment by selfie" href="http://www.independent.co.uk/news/business/news/amazon-files-patent-to-offer-payment-with-a-selfie-a6931861.html" target="_blank">payment by selfie</a>.</p> <p>Preventing fraudsters using a photo to pose as another, the proposed system would involve its own two-step process. One photo would be taken to confirm identity. Users would be asked to subtly adjust their position, then a second photo would ensure their proximity to the device.</p> <p>MasterCard has already trialled facial recognition technology, ensuring users are actually there with a blink instead. 83% of those tested believed it felt secure.</p> <p>The company has even proposed <a title="heartbeat recognition" href="http://www.theverge.com/2016/2/23/11098540/mastercard-facial-recognition-heartbeat-security" target="_blank">heartbeat recognition</a> as an alternative, integrating sensors that can read people’s electrocardiogram, or the unique electrical signal their heart produces.</p> <p> <img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/resized/0007/3695/econsultancy-mastercard-blog-flyer.jpg" alt="" width="470" height="267"></p> <p><em><a title="MasterCard's selfie pay system" href="http://newsroom.mastercard.com/latin-america/photos/mastercard-identity-check-selfie-pay-en-mobile-world-congress/" target="_blank">MasterCard’s selfie pay system</a> was available to test at Mobile World Congress, Barcelona. </em></p> <h3>National service verification</h3> <p>Demand for access to government services online is rising – but verification is particularly critical for national schemes.</p> <p><a title="CitizenSafe" href="https://www.citizensafe.co.uk/" target="_blank">CitizenSafe</a>, one of <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/65774-gov-uk-the-government-s-website-is-better-than-yours/">GOV.UK</a>’s certified identity verification providers commissioned a <a title="YouGov survey" href="http://digitalmarketingmagazine.co.uk/digital-marketing-news/govuk-verify-partner-citizensafe-launches-consumer-awareness-campaign-with-cyber-duck/3239" target="_blank">YouGov survey</a> that found 61% of full-time workers (and 64% students) believed online identity verification was the most convenient option for them. </p> <p>Hailed by the UN for providing the world’s best e-Government content, <a title="Estonia's service provision" href="http://www.theatlantic.com/international/archive/2014/01/lessons-from-the-worlds-most-tech-savvy-government/283341/" target="_blank">Estonia’s service provision</a> rests on centralised unique personal identification codes, given at birth. Microchipped ID cards with this code enable users to sign things online and use a range of digital services from online banking to voting.</p> <p>But, such comprehensive nationalised schemes have faced concerns from privacy and civil liberties groups.</p> <p>Instead, countries like the UK and US are adopting a verification approach that checks who the user is against physical sources, such as passports, utility bills or drivers licence. These sources aren’t centrally stored, so no department or individual knows everything about you.</p> <p>Transitioning from public beta to live next month, <a title="GOV.UK Verify" href="https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/introducing-govuk-verify/introducing-govuk-verify" target="_blank">GOV.UK Verify</a> is the UK’s solution to accessing national services easily (yet securely) online. GOV.UK certified a variety of identity verification companies, like CitizenSafe, to verify users’ identities on the Verify portal. </p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/resized/0007/3704/govukverify2-blog-flyer.jpg" alt="" width="470" height="255"></p> <p><em><a title="GOV.UK Verify" href="https://identityassurance.blog.gov.uk/2016/04/06/new-certified-companies-now-connected-to-gov-uk-verify/" target="_blank">GOV.UK Verify</a> empowers you to choose from a range of certified companies to verify your identity. </em></p> <p>Users complete the online verification process just once to create an account they can use to quickly and easily access a multitude of government services, such as tax returns, benefits and allowances. </p> <p>Furthermore, two-factor authentication is used when users login to their online account, needing to enter a user ID and password as well as a code sent to a stored phone number.</p> <h3>New data storage solutions</h3> <p>Whatever identification solution is used, a critical question remains around how personal data is stored to safeguard it against hackers.</p> <p>Even if hackers can’t access your credit card details, obtaining your home address, date of birth, contact details and other personal data could give them enough to access, change or use a multitude of your online accounts, posing a serious risk.</p> <p>One of the recent solutions to overcome this issue is blockchain technology. Initially developed as a ledger for bitcoin transactions, blockchain is an incredibly secure distributed database where no single organisation (or individual) holds all information.</p> <p>Blocks of data are added sequentially, embedded using a ‘hash’ of the block just before it. CoinDesk explains how this acts as a <a title="digital version of a wax seal" href="http://www.coindesk.com/information/how-bitcoin-mining-works/" target="_blank">'digital version of a wax seal’</a>, confirming data is legitimate and hardening the chain against tampering and revision.</p> <h3>Summary</h3> <p>Connecting our digital services and activities with our ‘real’ offline identities has significant implications for our safety.</p> <p>Leveraging the myriad of new technologies and systems available, businesses have some choice and must balance the security of user data with providing a seamless service, or users will look elsewhere. </p> <p>Whatever approach you choose, communication with customers throughout their experience is the key. For instance, users may be reluctant to give you their mobile number during an <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/64385-how-to-attract-registrations-without-creating-a-barrier-to-checkout/">online sign-up</a> if you don’t explain that it’s for a two-step identity verification process that will protect their identities.</p> <p>Carefully considered communication, on the other hand, is likely to make users tolerate a slightly more elaborate on-boarding process in the interest of keeping their data safe.</p> tag:econsultancy.com,2008:BlogPost/67697 2016-04-04T10:10:00+01:00 2016-04-04T10:10:00+01:00 Does the rise of messaging apps mean brands need a ‘bot’ strategy? Patricio Robles <p>Last week, Microsoft <a href="http://news.microsoft.com/2016/03/30/microsoft-outlines-intelligence-vision-and-announces-new-innovations-for-windows-10/">announced</a> the Bot Framework, an addition to its Cortana Intelligence Suite that allows developers "to build intelligent bots that enable customers to chat using natural language on a wide variety of platforms including text/SMS, Office 365, Skype, Slack, the Web and more."</p> <p>It also released a Skype Bot Platform that paves the way for companies to build bots that can interact with users on Skype via text, voice, video and interactive characters.</p> <p>Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella <a href="http://www.bloomberg.com/features/2016-microsoft-future-ai-chatbots/">is committed</a> to the idea of "conversation as a platform" and Microsoft isn't the only company aiming to make it possible for consumers to interact with digital services via a variety of digital conversations – many of which will only have a human on one side.</p> <p>Already, companies are embracing <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/66234-is-facebook-about-to-open-messenger-to-content-producers-brands">Facebook Messenger</a>, one of the world's most popular messaging apps, to interact with their customers.</p> <p>For example, Air France KLM <a href="https://messenger.klm.com/">is integrating</a> with Messenger and will soon allow flyers to check in, receive flight status updates, make itinerary changes and interact with customer service through Facebook's messaging solution.</p> <p><iframe src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/yZXZyrIY3RU?wmode=transparent" width="420" height="315"></iframe></p> <p>According to Tjalling Smit, Air France KLM's senior vice president of digital, it's all about serving customers where they are. </p> <p>"The KLM app is not one" of the apps that its customers use on a regular basis, "however Facebook, Messenger, etc. are. This made us decide that we have to turn third-party platforms like social media (including chat platforms) into a new entry point for our customers."</p> <h3>Challenges, opportunities ahead</h3> <p>Of course, interacting with customers through messaging apps presents brands with a number of challenges. They won't have full control over the user experience, so delivering a high-quality customer experience will require effort.</p> <p>There is also the potential that interactions with corporate chat bots could be sources of a major fail.</p> <p>Microsoft, for instance, was forced to take Tay, an AI Twitter bot, offline after it was manipulated into posting <a href="http://www.theguardian.com/technology/2016/mar/30/microsoft-racist-sexist-chatbot-twitter-drugs">offensive, embarrassing tweets</a>.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/resized/0007/3500/tay-blog-flyer.png" alt="" width="470" height="264"></p> <p>But despite the fact that perfecting human-computer interactions will take time, brands should start thinking about how they might be able to engage with their customers in an automated fashion.</p> <p>This is because it seems increasingly likely that a large number of consumers will not only be comfortable with this kind of engagement, but might even find it desirable.</p> <p>Case in point: bots <a href="http://www.wired.com/2015/08/slack-overrun-bots-friendly-wonderful-bots/">are one of the most popular features</a> of popular collaboration platform <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/67489-slack-yammer-facebook-who-ll-win-the-collaboration-battle">Slack</a>, and as more and more people are exposed to the utility bots can provide, brands may find it necessary to think about a "bots everywhere" strategy in preparation for the day when bots are ubiquitous. </p> tag:econsultancy.com,2008:Report/4082 2016-04-01T13:07:00+01:00 2016-04-01T13:07:00+01:00 The China Digital Report, Q1 2016 <p>The opening-up of China, with its growing middle-class population, increased westernisation, and greater communication with the outside world, has resulted in a rapid expansion in internet penetration. Indeed, <strong>China now accounts for around a fifth of the global internet population</strong>, with the single largest national online presence.</p> <p>Unlike western countries, however, this growth has been fuelled by ownership of smartphones rather than desktop computers. This heavily influences the way in which consumers in China access the web for surfing, social networking and, of course, shopping.</p> <p><strong>China’s new digital economy</strong> has opened opportunities for western brands looking to target consumers in what is far from a homogenous market. However, the digital ecosystem in China differs substantially from that of western countries. With this in mind, it makes sense to look at the major internet players in China as well the user experience.</p> <p>This, and subsequent <strong>China Quarterly Updates,</strong> will do just that. We also analyse and learn from the real-life experiences and outcomes of companies who have recently launched their brands in China.</p> tag:econsultancy.com,2008:BlogPost/67679 2016-03-29T14:59:00+01:00 2016-03-29T14:59:00+01:00 Five UX lessons retailers can take from Screwfix.com Ben Davis <h3>Product images in site search</h3> <p><a href="https://econsultancy.com/admin/blog_posts/67679-five-ux-lessons-retailers-can-take-from-screwfix-com/edit/ractice-tips-for-ecommerce-site-search">Predictive or suggestive search</a> is rightly held up as a must-have for ecommerce retailers that have many categories and products. What is often not mentioned is how helpful imagery can be in search.</p> <p>As you can see below, the <a href="https://econsultancy.com/admin/blog_posts/67679-five-ux-lessons-retailers-can-take-from-screwfix-com/edit/screwfix.com">Screwfix</a> search functionality includes both a suggested text listing and several suggested products with images (much like mini product listings).</p> <p>This allows for much better product recall when customers are trying to find something they have viewed before (and may reduce the number of mistaken clicks from search).</p> <p>These panels can also be personalised, using my behavioural history in combination with popular products and, most importantly, the text I have entered into the search bar.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0007/3386/Screen_Shot_2016-03-29_at_12.11.25.png" alt="screwfix site search" width="582" height="480"></p> <h3>Shop by persona</h3> <p>Screwfix already includes hundreds of categories and possibly thousands of filters to allow customers to find what they want without headache.</p> <p>However, Screwfix doesn't stop there in its attempts to help users cut through the noise. Two of the main categories (tools and safety &amp; workwear) include the option to 'shop by trade'.</p> <p>This means builders, mechanics, decorators etc. can exclude products designed specifically for other trades.</p> <p>Though there is much hype around personalisation, with the associated danger of funnelling customers away from products they may well be happy to discover, the process of thinking about customer shopping personas is a valuable one.</p> <p>In fashion, this could be as simple as allowing customers to filter by style (e.g. Boho), rather than by product type.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0007/3384/Screen_Shot_2016-03-29_at_11.43.17.png" alt="shop by trade listings" width="615"></p> <h3>Rich product listings</h3> <p>Catalogue retailers have a mammoth task transferring great UX to a website.</p> <p>The enormous number of disparate products with such detailed specifications is a nightmare for categorisation and navigation (see <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/67239-the-ultimate-ecommerce-cro-ux-case-study-rs-components">this great case study from RS Components</a>).</p> <p>One of the ways of overcoming this is by including as much detail as possible in filtered product listings.</p> <p>Look at the screen shot below. Three bullet points are used to sum up the key features of each power drill. This mini product description is perfect for quick comparison (with a compare tool available, if more detailed weighing-up is required).</p> <p>Click-and-collect and next-day delivery are surfaced as buttons on the listing, allowing users to jump straight to these options (rather than clicking to a product page and then clicking again). The next-day delivery button is changed appropriately, when products have longer lead times.</p> <p>Number of reviews and average rating is displayed, price is given accurately (wth option to turn VAT on or off in the header menu), and icons are used to show 'trade rated', 'new' or 'Screwfix exclusive'.</p> <p>All in all, these listings are designed to allow me, the user, to skim as lightly as possible over the catalogue, before I need to dive into a product page and out again. This saves time and means I'm less likely to abandon my search.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0007/3383/Screen_Shot_2016-03-29_at_11.30.21.png" alt="screwfix product listings" width="615"></p> <h3>Product page video</h3> <p>The drill product page shown below has a video button that launches a Screwfix YouTube channel frame in window.</p> <p>This is exactly the sort of content a customer wants for medium- to high-value purchases where spec and reviews are very important.</p> <p><a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/66068-where-should-you-place-ecommerce-videos-on-the-product-page">Product page video</a> is not needed for every listing (not much use for a screw or a light switch), but retailers in any industry should prioritise important products, with video a tool for improving conversion rates.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0007/3394/Screen_Shot_2016-03-29_at_14.20.22.png" alt="screwfix product page" width="615"></p> <p><iframe src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/W_pDsVjHOm8?wmode=transparent" width="560" height="315"></iframe></p> <h3>Filter best practice</h3> <p>This should be dyed in the wool by now for any online retailer, but the elegance of filter best practice is demonstrated so well by Screwfix, it would be remiss of me to remind myself.</p> <p>Filters should be collapsible, with each filter option showing the number of products within it. Pricing should be filtered by pre-set ranges, but also a custom range that the user can set.</p> <p>There should be the option to 'clear all' applied filters in one click. Filters should include customer reviews and attributes entirely relevant to the category in question (in the instance below, lawnmowers can be filtered by collection capacity, propulsion type and cutting blade size).</p> <p>One thing that Screwfix doesn't do is highlight a filter heading when an option has been checked within, however this is only a problem if the user applies a filter and then collapses the filter menuin question.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/resized/0007/3387/screen_shot_2016-03-29_at_12.29.56-blog-flyer.png" alt="filters on screwfix" width="470" height="324"></p> tag:econsultancy.com,2008:Report/941 2016-03-23T11:50:00+00:00 2016-03-23T11:50:00+00:00 Usability and User Experience – Digital Marketing Template Files Econsultancy <h3>Overview</h3> <p><strong>Digital Marketing Template Files: Usability and User Experience</strong></p> <p><strong>Author: </strong>James Gurd, Owner and Lead Consultant, Digital Juggler</p> <p><strong>Files included:</strong> 4 files </p> <p><strong>File titles:</strong> Basic Usability Audit, Understanding Usability Reviews and User Testing, Recruitment for User Research, Creating an Online Customer Survey</p> <h3>About these templates</h3> <p><strong>Who created these template files?</strong></p> <p>In some cases Econsultancy has created the templates. In others we have gone to leading experts in the relevant area and they have provided the files. Details of those people are given where appropriate in the descriptions that follow.</p> <p><strong>How should these files be used?</strong></p> <p>Usability and user experience are key to ensuring that online marketing activity is successful, especially if you are driving users to a website. In this bundle, you will find various templates and guides to help you understand how to create a seamless user experience, which should in turn mean higher retention and conversion rates.</p> <h3>Contents</h3> <p>In this release we have a template bundle containing four individual files for usability digital marketing projects.</p> <p><strong>Download separate files on the report pages below.</strong></p> tag:econsultancy.com,2008:Report/934 2016-03-23T11:50:00+00:00 2016-03-23T11:50:00+00:00 Digital Marketing Template Files Econsultancy <h3>Overview</h3> <p><strong>Digital Marketing Template Files</strong></p> <p><strong>Authors:</strong></p> <ul> <li>James Gurd, Owner and Lead Consultant, <a title="Digital Juggler" href="http://digitaljuggler.com/">Digital Juggler</a> </li> <li>Ben Matthews, Director, <a title="Montfort" href="http://montfort.io/">Montfort</a> </li> <li>Ger Ashby, Head of Creative Services, <a title="Dotmailer" href="https://www.dotmailer.com/">Dotmailer</a> </li> <li><a title="Starcom Mediavest Group" href="http://smvgroup.com/">Starcom Mediavest Group</a></li> </ul> <p><strong>Files available:</strong> 10 file bundles, 50+ individual template files<br></p> <p><strong>File titles:</strong> See sample document for full breakdown of section and file information.</p> <h3>About these files</h3> <p>Need help with an area of digital marketing and don't know where to start? This pack of downloadable files contains best practice templates that you can use in your digital marketing activities. Feel free to adapt them to suit your needs.</p> <p><iframe src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/jxKmQGxspc8?wmode=transparent" width="560" height="315"></iframe></p> <h3>Contents</h3> <p>In this release we have 10 template bundles containing over 50 individual template files for digital marketing projects.</p> <p><strong>Download separate file bundles below:</strong></p> <ul> <li>Affiliate Marketing</li> <li>Content Marketing</li> <li>Display Advertising *to be published soon*</li> <li>Ecommerce Projects</li> <li>Email Marketing</li> <li>Search Engine Marketing: PPC</li> <li>Search Engine Marketing: SEO</li> <li>Social Media and Online PR</li> <li>Usability and User Experience</li> <li>Web Analytics</li> </ul> <p><strong>The template files bundle also includes a <a href="https://econsultancy.com/reports/small-business-online-resource-manager/">Small Business Online Resource Manager</a> that </strong><strong>can help you effectively manage and own your online assets.</strong></p> <p><strong>There's a free guide which you can download to find out more about exactly what is included.</strong></p>