tag:econsultancy.com,2008:/topics/user-experience-and-usability Latest User Experience and Usability content from Econsultancy 2017-01-20T17:00:00+00:00 tag:econsultancy.com,2008:Report/3008 2017-01-20T17:00:00+00:00 2017-01-20T17:00:00+00:00 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/68690 2017-01-10T14:42:41+00:00 2017-01-10T14:42:41+00:00 How three travel brands deliver superior customer service Nikki Gilliland <p>This reflects how the travel sector is leading the way in terms of customer experience innovation. KPMG even commented that “within this sector there is something of an arms race, as companies work hard to woo the more affluent passenger or customer, in particular.”</p> <p>So what exactly are travel brands doing?</p> <p>Here’s a look at a few examples.</p> <h3>Service via social media</h3> <p>Marriott hotels is one brand with a great social media presence.</p> <p>In fact, it has increased its focus in this area with its recently launched M-Live Studio in London – a centre for creating real-time content and generating social engagement with consumers.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/2921/M_Live.JPG" alt="" width="630" height="354"></p> <p>Instead of simply reacting to users on Twitter or responding to customer demand, M-Live enables the brand to seek out and tap into conversations online and increase levels of personalisation.</p> <p>It does this by talking about cultural and topical subjects, as well as promoting motivational and inspirational content to engage users. Meanwhile, Marriott often puts its customers in the spotlight, by sharing and replying to those who post positive travel stories online. </p> <p>This might sound like run-of-the-mill <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/65478-how-20-top-uk-retailers-handle-social-customer-service/" target="_blank">social service</a>, but Marriott’s laser focus in this area is what makes it stand out from competitors. </p> <p>A <a href="https://www.lireo.com/how-customer-service-can-impact-your-business-infographic/" target="_blank">2015 study</a> found that customers who feel engaged by companies on social media are likely to spend up to 40% more with them than other customers. For travel brands, this extends to loyalty, with travellers even more likely to return if an experience is positive.</p> <blockquote class="twitter-tweet"> <p lang="en" dir="ltr">Bill Marriott: Take the vacation you deserve; in the end it makes you more fulfilled. <a href="https://t.co/JgRzPZvab9">pic.twitter.com/JgRzPZvab9</a></p> — Marriott Internat'l (@MarriottIntl) <a href="https://twitter.com/MarriottIntl/status/813809710822354944">December 27, 2016</a> </blockquote> <h3>Retail experiences</h3> <p>While there has been a decline in the high-street travel agent, with online booking services becoming the most popular way to book holidays, we’ve also seen an increase in the demand for <a href="https://econsultancy.com/training/courses/intensive-mastering-customer-experiences/">immersive customer experiences</a>.</p> <p>Virgin Holidays is one brand that has reacted to this by rolling out V Room, its travel outlet concept, in multiple shopping centres across the UK.</p> <p>Designed to look and feel like an airport lounge, V Room aims to provide the one-to-one experience of a travel agent but elevates it to create a truly unique customer experience.</p> <p>With an intangible product, travel brands are recognising the importance of making experiences come alive for consumers. V Room does just that, aiming to give visitors a slice of a Virgin Holiday before they’ve even booked.</p> <p>With a bar for cocktail tasting and <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/67834-why-virtual-reality-is-the-ultimate-storytelling-tool-for-marketers/" target="_blank">VR technology</a> to give people a view of a destination – it focuses more on the immersive aspect than the actual transaction or booking process.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/2923/V_Room.JPG" alt="" width="600" height="399"></p> <h3>Practical functionality </h3> <p>As well as <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/67952-five-tourism-websites-guaranteed-to-give-you-wanderlust/" target="_blank">inspiration and wanderlust</a>, many travel brands are realising the importance of reducing stress and hassle of holidays, using digital technology to help facilitate the customer journey. </p> <p>Singapore Airlines uses its mobile app to do just that, relaunching it with a real focus on simplifying the customer experience. Now, users can access an integrated flight schedule, see real-time updates on flight statuses and keep track of loyalty rewards.</p> <p>While it's not unusual for airlines to have their own apps, Singapore Airlines has shown its intent to innovate – also launching a separate app specifically for the Apple Watch.  </p> <p>This also demonstrates the brand’s understanding of its customer base, with the airline clearly targeting the aforementioned affluent traveller.</p> <p><iframe src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/X8embLqZTb0?wmode=transparent" width="600" height="338"></iframe></p> <h3>In conclusion...</h3> <p>For many travel brands, a superior customer experience is often the key to long-term success.</p> <p>By meeting or even pre-empting the needs and desires of travellers, be it through social media engagement, immersive technology, or even <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/68678-the-impact-of-artificial-intelligence-on-the-travel-industry/" target="_blank">artificial intelligence</a> - many will increase positive brand sentiment and the chances of long-term customer loyalty.</p> tag:econsultancy.com,2008:BlogPost/68549 2017-01-10T11:53:09+00:00 2017-01-10T11:53:09+00:00 How will fintech lenders cope with an economic downturn? Patricio Robles <p>Today, non-bank lenders, many of them generating leads and conducting business primarily or exclusively online, are big players in the lending markets, in many cases having taken market share from banks.</p> <p>These include direct lenders like Sofi, Avant and OnDeck Capital, as well as marketplace lenders like LendingClub and Prosper. </p> <p>The timing couldn't have been better. The slow but steady recovery that has occurred over the past eight years has seen historically low default rates, a boon to the fintech lenders that more aggressively seized the opportunities bank lenders ceded.</p> <p><em>For more on this topic, see:</em></p> <ul> <li><a href="https://econsultancy.com/reports/digital-transformation-in-the-financial-services-sector-2016/"><em>Digital Transformation in the Financial Services Sector</em></a></li> <li><a href="https://econsultancy.com/reports/digital-trends-in-the-financial-services-and-insurance-sector-2016/"><em>Digital Trends in the Financial Services and Insurance Sector</em></a></li> <li><a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/67202-what-s-the-future-for-big-banks-in-a-fintech-world/"><em>What's the future for big banks in a FinTech world?</em></a></li> </ul> <h3>Underwriting as customer experience</h3> <p>Fintech lenders haven't benefited just because they were willing to lend money when bank lenders weren't. It's also that they have offered a better customer experience.</p> <p>Not only have fintech lenders brought much if not all of the loan application process online, they created user experiences that made it easy for consumers and business owners to complete that loan application process quickly and without hassle.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/2931/lending_club.png" alt="" width="800" height="460"></p> <p>For example, fintech lenders generally allow borrowers to upload documentation, and in many cases, borrowers can authorize the lenders to automatically retrieve data from their bank accounts, eliminating the need for borrowers to collect bank statements.</p> <p>Borrowers are often also able to sign documents digitally, speeding the application and funding process.</p> <p>But fintech lenders haven't just created winning customer experiences by implementing web and mobile user experiences that make applying for loans quicker and easier. In many cases, they have also reinvented the way loan applications are underwritten.</p> <p>Many fintech lenders have developed their own proprietary lending models, which are often different than those traditionally used by bank lenders. Some boast of using thousands of data points to evaluate borrowers and even relying very little on credit scores from the major credit bureaus.</p> <p>The result: in many cases, fintech lenders are able to approve loan applications much more quickly than their bank lender competitors, and are often able to approve loans for borrowers who banks historically wouldn't lend to.</p> <h3>Are cracks starting to emerge?</h3> <p>The narrative around fintech lenders has been that their underwriting models represent innovation.</p> <p>But there's a problem: the vast bulk of the loans fintech lenders have issued were issued after the Great Recession, and thus, the underwriting models they have been using haven't been battle tested against an economic downturn.</p> <p>Now, as recently detailed by Bloomberg, there are signs that at least some of these models might not have been as strong as fintech lenders believed them to be.</p> <p><a href="https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2016-11-15/consumer-loans-souring-fast-in-some-bonds-tied-to-online-lenders">According to</a> Bloomberg, several bonds issued by Avant, an online lender that offers personal loans, have breached or are expected to soon breach delinquency or default triggers for the first time ever.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/2932/avant.png" alt="" width="800" height="399"></p> <p>Earlier in the year, LendingClub, which later faced scandal, revealed that its write-off rates were higher than it had predicted, <a href="http://247wallst.com/banking-finance/2016/11/16/surge-in-online-loan-defaults-sends-shockwaves-through-the-industry/">suggesting to some</a> that LendingClub wasn't as good at assessing credit risk as it probably thought it was.<br></p> <p>While it's unlikely that fintech lenders will experience a collapse unless and until there's a major turn in the global economy, 2016 appears to have revealed some cracks in the loan portfolios of these companies. Many have taken corrective action, reducing their emphasis on loan growth, for instance.</p> <p>But given that non-bank lenders <a href="http://www.wsj.com/articles/lenders-step-up-financing-to-subprime-borrowers-1424296649">have been among the most willing</a> to lend to borrowers that wouldn't pass muster with banks, it's entirely possible that they could be at greater risk for loss than most have anticipated when the next recession hits.</p> <p>If that happens, it could offer bank lenders an opportunity to win back business they have ceded in the past eight years by applying some of the fintech lenders' innovations around user experience.</p> tag:econsultancy.com,2008:BlogPost/68674 2017-01-10T09:43:11+00:00 2017-01-10T09:43:11+00:00 Four websites that have reduced their primary navigation options Ben Davis <p>As Michael Sandstrom <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/68602-brand-commerce-navigating-through-online-customer-indecision/">has previously pointed out</a> on the Econsultancy blog, it's all about defeating the tyranny of choice.</p> <p>Michael advocates reducing choice paralysis by choosing relatable products categories, perhaps fewer in number, to encourage a smooth transition through the site.</p> <p>We highlighted this trend in our <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/68600-10-sensible-web-design-trends-for-2017/">2017 web design trends</a>, and did find a few dissenting voices in the comments, some of which suggested that 'hiding' an important category within a more generic one is counterintuitive.</p> <p>In reality, any change to primary navigation options will be carefully monitored to see if it has the desired affect on customer conversion.</p> <p>Here are four websites that have reduced their header menu options in a recent redesign. Let us know your thoughts in the comments below.</p> <h3>IKEA</h3> <p>This was Michael's original example. The old website header includes some rooms, some product categories (such as textiles), as well as an 'all departments' tab to catch the undecided.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/2132/Screen_Shot_2016-12-06_at_11.37.35.png" alt="ikea" width="615" height="484"></p> <p>As you can see from the screenshot below, the Ikea redesign features only four options, as opposed to the original 10.</p> <p>The main three are the generic 'products', 'rooms' and 'ideas' (perhaps perfect for the dilettante browser). Each has an alphabetical dropdown.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/2911/Screen_Shot_2017-01-09_at_10.11.01.png" alt="ikea new header" width="615" height="379"></p> <h3>Oasis</h3> <p>Oasis relaunched its website in 2016 and we covered <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/67994-10-ecommerce-ux-treats-on-the-new-oasis-website/">some of the interesting UX bits</a> on the Econsultancy blog.</p> <p>Below you can see the old top navigation. It's not extensive by any means, with six options and a range of categories within 'clothing'.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/2909/Screen_Shot_2017-01-09_at_09.52.34.png" alt="oasis old header" width="615" height="218"></p> <p>However, Oasis has now pared this back in the new design, with four choices available.</p> <p>'Shop' is the main option, and the dropdown here looks not unlike the old header, featuring 'clothing', 'accessories', 'footwear' and 'collections'.</p> <p>This is more towards a mega menu, and is arguably more visually salient than the old version.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/2910/Screen_Shot_2017-01-09_at_09.52.12.png" alt="oasis new header" width="615" height="406"></p> <h3>English National Opera</h3> <p>We covered <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/67591-improving-ux-by-simplifying-web-design-english-national-opera/">the English National Opera's redesign</a> back in March 2016.</p> <p>The two GIFs below give a good idea of how much the ENO stripped back from its navigation.</p> <p>Whilst much of this redesign was arguably bringing an old fashioned, desktop-oriented site up to date, there are some features introduced aimed at reducing visitor paralysis.</p> <p>Look at the cleverly minimised and greyed links for 'about' and 'news', designed so as not to deflect attention away from buying tickets.</p> <p><em>Old</em></p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0007/2556/eno_old_nav.gif" alt="eno old website" width="615"></p> <p><em>New</em></p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0007/2557/eno_new_nav.gif" alt="eno old website" width="524" height="305"></p> <h3>ASDA</h3> <p>Lastly, we're going back to 2015. This Asda header was understandably pretty beefy, given the range of products and services the retailer offers.</p> <p>Dropdown menus were included with some popular categories listed.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/2913/Screen_Shot_2017-01-09_at_10.49.06.png" alt="asda old website" width="615" height="278"></p> <p>Asda's 2015 redesign is shown below. It's incredibly simple and quickly funnels the user to 'Groceries', 'Clothing', 'Home' or 'Money', without offering any dropdowns.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/2912/Screen_Shot_2017-01-09_at_10.49.57.png" alt="asda new website" width="615" height="249"></p> <h3>What do you think?</h3> <p>To me, these reduced menus offer focus as well as a touch of serendipity (in the case of Ikea's 'Ideas' button).</p> <p>Reduced navigation works for mobile and it keeps the user steadily moving forward.</p> <p>Have you had experience testing your primary navigation options? Let us know below.</p> tag:econsultancy.com,2008:BlogPost/68688 2017-01-09T14:42:12+00:00 2017-01-09T14:42:12+00:00 Four key features to appreciate about Google Trips Nikki Gilliland <p>Google Trips is designed to be every traveller’s ‘personal tour guide’ – but what sets it apart from other travel apps?</p> <p>Here’s a look at some of its key features.</p> <h3>Organisation in one place</h3> <p>While Google Flights wants to disrupt sites like Kayak and Skyscanner (i.e. the places people go to book), Google Trips aims to take the reins immediately after this point, helping travellers to plan and organise their holidays.</p> <p>Once users sign in using their Gmail accounts, the app provides a list of past trips as well as future ones, keeping things like hotel and flight details all in one place. </p> <p>As you might expect, with the same style and design of Google's 'Nearby' search funtion, it's pretty easy to use. And this convenience appears to be one of its biggest selling points – not to mention a reason existing Google account holders might naturally feel inclined to download the app.</p> <p>With more than <a href="https://techcrunch.com/2016/02/01/gmail-now-has-more-than-1b-monthly-active-users/" target="_blank">1bn monthly active users</a>, Gmail gives Trips a ready and waiting audience. So unlike other travel apps such as TripAdvisor or Lonely Planet, it offers the unbeatable incentive of tapping into a service many of us already use and adding a whole heap of extras on top.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/2883/Google_Trips_3.PNG" alt="" width="300" height="532"> <img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/2884/Google_Trips_4.PNG" alt="" width="300" height="532"></p> <h3>Inspiration </h3> <p>Curating travel plans is not Google Trips’ only draw. It’s also designed to offer inspiration, using its ‘Things to Do’ feature to offer a wealth of information about hotspots, restaurants and pretty much everything you need to know about an area.</p> <p>The amount of detail offered is impressive. Again, unsurprising considering Google's gargantuan pool of data.</p> <p>Google has certainly covered all bases, ensuring users will reach for the app during both advanced planning and while in-the-moment.</p> <p>Users can map out daily itineraries, delving down into deeper information such as walking distances and even how long tourists typically spend in locations. There's also a nice real-time element, too. If you’re using it online, the app will update weather conditions, offer relevant suggestions and even give random recommendations if you fancy going off the beaten track.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/2887/Google_Trips.PNG" alt="" width="300" height="532"> <img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/2889/Google_Trips_2.PNG" alt="" width="300" height="532"></p> <h3>Map integration and utility</h3> <p>Another significant feature of Google Trips is the map function, which allows users to easily access Google Maps directly from the app. </p> <p>This functional aspect is very welcome. While many people already use Google to discover nearby places, the tech giant is clearly hoping to be a one-stop travel shop, so to speak, joining the dots in the over-arching 'Google' user experience.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/2885/Google_Trips_5.PNG" alt="" width="300" height="532"> <img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/2886/Google_Trips_6.PNG" alt="" width="300" height="532"></p> <h3>Offline feature</h3> <p>Lastly, one of my favourite features in Google Trips is the fact that it can be used offline.</p> <p>Users have the option to download itineraries and information to refer to at a later date, solving the problem of international data charges - one reason many people fail to use travel apps while abroad.</p> <p>I've only recently discovered that Google Maps can actually be downloaded already - a fact which Google apparently doesn't like to advertise too much. With Google Trips, however, this comes to the forefront, with the feature being nicely highlighted to let users know that it is there.</p> <p><iframe src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/ign2GmVEflw?wmode=transparent" width="560" height="315"></iframe></p> <h3>In conclusion...</h3> <p>So, will Google Trips spell trouble for the likes of TripAdvisor?</p> <p>With popularity and loyalty towards the latter already being well-established, Google might have its work cut out convincing travellers that it can provide the same kind of knowledge and travel expertise. Likewise, let's not forget that Google Trips does not allow bookings from within the app, meaning the user experience will be disrupted at this point.</p> <p>Having said that, with its attention to detail, there's a lot to entice users back. Data is obviously where its real strengths lie, and combined with a familiar interface and easy-to-use design, it could mean a successful step up for Google's travel presence.</p> tag:econsultancy.com,2008:BlogPost/68673 2017-01-05T11:44:47+00:00 2017-01-05T11:44:47+00:00 Five apps & websites that ditched the hamburger menu Ben Davis <p>There are use cases for the hamburger. <a href="https://medium.com/@kollinz/hamburger-menu-alternatives-for-mobile-navigation-a3a3beb555b8#.pkua8kas0">Zoltan Kollin argues</a> that secondary information that is rarely needed can be placed behind a hamburger, as demonstrated by Uber and Google Translate.</p> <p><em>Uber app with hamburger. Image via @Kollinz</em></p> <p><em><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/2801/uber.png" alt="uber app" width="300"></em></p> <p>However, in <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/68600-10-sensible-web-design-trends-for-2017/">Econsultancy's 2017 web design trends</a>, we foresee a notable decline in hamburgers. The reasons are chiefly that:</p> <ul> <li>a hamburger menu disguises the breadth and depth of an app or website (scuppering discoverability)</li> <li>the hamburger icon is not recognised by all users</li> <li>a hamburger menu takes more time to use than many alternatives</li> <li>hamburgers often sit at the top of the screen, hard for thumbs to reach</li> </ul> <p>Better alternatives include tabs (often with a 'more' option), scrollable navigation and dropdowns.</p> <p>Personally, I view hamburger menus as too often an easy way out for agencies designing a responsive website, and expect many businesses redesigning their three-year-old websites this year to rethink the hamburger.</p> <p>There are plenty of apps and websites that have ditched the hamburger already. Here are five...</p> <h3>Spotify</h3> <p>Spotify got rid of the hamburger menu from its iOS app in May 2016, favouring tabs at the bottom of the screen (see below).</p> <p>The change led to <a href="https://techcrunch.com/2016/05/03/spotify-ditches-the-controversial-hamburger-menu-in-ios-app-redesign/">a 30% increase in navigation clicks</a> and was rolled out on Android in November 2016.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/2135/spotify.png" alt="spotify app" width="300"></p> <h3>NBC News</h3> <p>NBC News was so enamoured with the hamburger menu that it used one on its mobile <em>and</em> desktop website designs after a 2014 rethink.</p> <p>The icon soon came with added explainer graphics and was also coloured bright yellow in an effort to increase engagement.</p> <p>Eventually, NBC admitted defeat on the hamburger front and added section titles back to the header.</p> <p><em>NBC News 2014 screenshot <a href="http://jamesarcher.me/hamburger-menu">via James Archer</a></em></p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/2803/nbc_news.png" alt="nbc news 2014" width="614"></p> <p>However, if you visit the NBC News website today, you'll see the current design has the section titles hidden once again, but this time behind a 'sections' menu, rather than a hamburger.</p> <p><em>NBC News website, 2016</em></p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/2804/nbc_news_2.png" alt="nbc news 2016" width="300"></p> <h3>Microsoft Photos</h3> <p>Windows 10 made wide use of hamburger menus (in late 2014 and early 2015). This was controversial, especially when carried over to Windows Phone (as explained in the video below posted by an anonymous redditor who was involved in the design).</p> <p>Microsoft ditched the hamburger on its Photos app on desktop and mobile in 2015, in favour of Collection, Albums, and Folders tabs.</p> <p>As a pointless footnote, you might also be familiar with Microsoft 365's so-called <a href="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/resized/0008/2809/msoft-blog-flyer.png">waffle icon</a>.</p> <p><iframe src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/1EhcYZkftJg?wmode=transparent" width="560" height="315"></iframe></p> <h3>Redbooth</h3> <p>Redbooth’s app moved from a hamburger menu to tabs at the bottom and saw increased sessions (+70%) and returning users (+65% DAUs). </p> <p>In <a href="https://redbooth.com/blog/hamburger-menu-iphone-app">a post on the company blog</a>, Rachel Kumar explains the logic behind the 2015 redesign:</p> <blockquote> <p>Many of our teammates wanted to fit as many things as possible into the small amount of screen real estate. (We probably taught them some bad habits in the old design, by stacking so many options in the main navigation drawer.)</p> <p>But the most important takeaway from the exercise was the repeating themes or items people kept adding to the main spots.</p> <p>“Chat,” “My tasks,” and “Notifications” appeared over and over again, while “Settings” was the most forgotten element.</p> </blockquote> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/2802/hamburger_to_tabs.png" alt="redbooth redesign" width="615"></p> <h3>Facebook</h3> <p>Facebook binned the hamburger way back in September 2013. It also saw engagement increase.</p> <p>Here's Facebook in 2013..</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/resized/0002/0153/fb_app_newsfeed_order-blog-third.png" alt="facebook app" width="200" height="333"></p> <p>..and a more modern screenshot.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/2805/facebook_app.jpeg" alt="facebook app 2016" width="300"></p> <p><em><strong>The great irony? Econsultancy still has a hamburger. Here's hoping it will be forgotten, come our next redesign.</strong></em></p> tag:econsultancy.com,2008:BlogPost/68658 2017-01-03T14:34:00+00:00 2017-01-03T14:34:00+00:00 Why more brands should write like The Economist Nikki Gilliland <p>Here’s a bit of expansion on what I found interesting and the reasons why brands of all kinds should take heed.</p> <h3>Simplicity doesn't mean ‘dumbing down’</h3> <p>The first topic up for discussion was how businesses and brands can instantly improve their use of language.</p> <p>The general consensus seemed to be that, instead of thinking about the writing itself, the first step is to consider the person reading it.</p> <p>It’s a simple tactic, but certainly one that finance-related brands in particular fail to execute, with many using unnecessary jargon or complicated language to convey the message instead.</p> <p>Of course, there is the argument that the language used is a by-product of a complicated industry (like banking or technology, for example), and that making it any simpler would be a case of dumbing down.</p> <p>But on the contrary, I think it is the smartest approach. Often the most successful companies are the ones that speak in the simplest and least-complex terms. And as well as engaging and attracting consumers in the first place, this can also lead to a superior customer experience.</p> <p>Experian is a great example of a brand that uses clear and concise copy to aid the user journey.</p> <p>It is designed to be as simple as possible, replacing standard words and sentences with conversational phrases to help users understand better. Even its login form is designed with this in mind, giving the user a subtle nudge in case they've forgotten their username.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/2596/Experian.JPG" alt="" width="650" height="614"></p> <h3>Avoid the ‘curse of knowledge’</h3> <p>The ‘curse of knowledge’ is a term used to describe when an individual unknowingly assumes that the people they are communicating with have a certain level of understanding on a given topic.</p> <p>Often, this is the reason behind unnecessarily complex copy.</p> <p>One thing that The Economist does is make its writing as tight and succinct as possible, often cutting down first drafts to avoid arguably redundant words like ‘top’ and ‘very’. By writing in this way, it ensures that a naïve reader is more likely to understand it, as well as someone with an existing amount of knowledge.</p> <p>Online investment management company, Nutmeg, also uses language to convey a sense of clarity and transparency.</p> <p>Instead of explaining what it can offer the consumer, it steps into their shoes, highlighting the questions they are likely to have and providing answers in a straightforward way.</p> <p>What's more, it does not try to hide potential pitfalls (such as the questions of the user doing it themselves) but deliberately points them out - something that the user will instinctively appreciate.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/2597/Nutmeg_common_questions.JPG" alt="" width="650" height="309"></p> <p>Below is a great example of how Nutmeg deliberately avoids the ‘curse of knowledge’. Instead of assuming that the reader knows what diversification means, it provides the definition at the beginning of the sentence. </p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/2598/Nutmeg.JPG" alt="" width="700" height="278"></p> <h3>Write like you speak</h3> <p>Finally, onto the question of how and why brands often misjudge their <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/67268-how-to-achieve-the-right-tone-of-voice-for-your-brand/">tone of voice</a>.</p> <p>Speaking about language bugbears, Robert gave the example of airline companies placing a heavy stress on verbs when communicating with passengers, e.g. “Unfortunately, ladies and gents, we <em>ARE</em> experiencing a delay. This means we <em>WILL</em> be remaining here for the time being.” </p> <p>This type of thing doesn’t just happen when words are spoken out loud. One of my own bugbears is how brands attempt to reach a younger demographic by using certain slang words or phrases they <em>think will </em>resonate.</p> <p>Of course, this can be incredibly effective for brands that are built around a very specific tone of voice (and target a certain age bracket). Fashion brands like Missguided and ASOS, for example, use colloquialisms to reach a millennial audience – and they do it well. </p> <p>However, there are a lot of brands, again often financial, that sound superficial when they alter or change their tone of voice to try and reach a younger audience. It often comes across as cringy rather than cool.</p> <p>Alternatively, the best examples are brands that do not dumb down or try to be edgy, but ones that aim to be direct and relevant.</p> <p>Barclays is a good example, often discussing topics like student finance and graduating without being patronising or pretending to be cool. Its LifeSkills series – designed to help youngsters get the skills they need to succeed after school and university – is particularly good. </p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/2599/Barclays.JPG" alt="" width="650" height="350"></p> <p>As well as being customer-centric, asking users exactly who they are and what they want from the service, it is engaging and conversational whilst being informative at the same time.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/2600/Barclays_2.JPG" alt="" width="700" height="411"></p> <p><em><strong>If you'd like to improve your skills in this area, check out Econsultancy's <a href="https://econsultancy.com/training/courses/online-copywriting/" target="_blank">Online Copywriting</a> training course.</strong></em></p> tag:econsultancy.com,2008:BlogPost/68659 2017-01-03T11:05:19+00:00 2017-01-03T11:05:19+00:00 Three reasons behind The White Company’s boost in profits Nikki Gilliland <p>So, in a year that saw the demise of BHS and American Apparel – what’s behind the White Company’s success?</p> <p>Here’s a bit of insight into what I think the business is doing right.</p> <h3>Knowing the customer</h3> <p>The White Company began when founder, Chrissie Rucker, was unable to find high quality and affordable white homewares on the high street.</p> <p>With the launch of The White Company, she aimed to give fellow interior lovers a slice of ‘affordable luxury’. Since then the brand has gone on to expand its range to clothing, home accessories, gifts and furniture.</p> <p>Unsurprisingly, given the motivation of its founder, The White Company prides itself on knowing exactly what its customers want.</p> <p>It has never wavered from its ‘white’ theme, only veering into cream or other ivory-like hues. And while its clean, crisp and elegant designs are far removed from the likes of <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/68372-how-cath-kidston-used-a-disney-tie-up-to-increase-its-customer-database/">Cath Kidston</a>, it shares a similar reputation for selling a lifestyle - not just a product.</p> <p>While a candle might just be a candle to some, to others the idea of a calm and peaceful home is also part of the appeal. Using storytelling to engage its consumers, everything from its slippers to its range of cashmere robes come with irresistible promises such as “before-bed bliss”.</p> <blockquote class="twitter-tweet"> <p lang="en" dir="ltr">Don't get them just any socks, get them our extra-cosy Cashmere Bed Socks -&gt; <a href="https://t.co/FEdW24O0SK">https://t.co/FEdW24O0SK</a> <a href="https://t.co/6xs5AgrheN">pic.twitter.com/6xs5AgrheN</a></p> — The White Company (@thewhitecompany) <a href="https://twitter.com/thewhitecompany/status/810500181192044548">December 18, 2016</a> </blockquote> <h3>Fusing online and offline</h3> <p>The White Company’s chief executive Will Kernan recently commented that the company plans to "invest in enhancing our customers' experience through world-class new stores across the UK."</p> <p>It is this focus on the physical shopping experience which sets the brand apart, especially among fellow homeware giants like Ikea and Home Sense. In comparison to these other brands, its retail outlets are like an oasis of calm, designed to provide the kind of atmosphere you'd generally expect in a luxury or high-end store.</p> <p>Speaking about the visual nature of The White Company's stores, Chrissie herself has said that "some customers actually tell us they love it so much they often pop in just to calm down if they are having a bad day. We want it to be somewhere you love to spend time in, a bit like home really and somewhere you know you can trust the quality, advice and service."</p> <p>With this is mind, it might not be a surprise to hear that The White Company has opened seven more retail outlets in the past year. By translating its recognisable brand values into a physical experience, it has become one of the most inviting spaces on the high street.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/2613/White_Company_store.JPG" alt="" width="760" height="473"></p> <h3>Tapping into demand</h3> <p>That being said, The White Company hasn't sidelined its ecommerce business.</p> <p>Another big reason behind its recent success has been in its expansion - not only in terms of physical stores in the UK, but also into the US online market. Seeing 'significant growth' in this area in the second half of the year, it has clearly been a shrewd move from the brand.</p> <p>Again going back to the customer experience, the brand has also been smart in how it has expanded its categories, introducing childrenswear and a line of fragrances into the mix.</p> <p>The White Company hasn't strayed too far from its origins, or its brand values for that matter. Starting life as a 12-page catalogue, it now runs at an impressive 130-pages, circulating an average of 10m copies in the UK alone each year.</p> <blockquote class="twitter-tweet"> <p lang="en" dir="ltr">Thanks, The White Company for my Christmas brochure - so excited to receive it this morning! <a href="https://twitter.com/thewhitecompany">@thewhitecompany</a> <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/thewhitecompany?src=hash">#thewhitecompany</a> <a href="https://t.co/hEsfkMYy4e">pic.twitter.com/hEsfkMYy4e</a></p> — Coolcookingteacher (@Clueduponfood) <a href="https://twitter.com/Clueduponfood/status/789136310510424064">October 20, 2016</a> </blockquote> <p>With a dedication to giving consumers exactly what they want, it's easy to see why The White Company has generated such success.</p> <p><em><strong>Related reading:</strong></em></p> <ul> <li><strong><em><a href="https://econsultancy.com/admin/blog_posts/68659-three-reasons-behind-the-white-company-s-boost-in-profits/edit/Three%20reasons%20behind%20WHSmith%E2%80%99s%20boost%20in%20profits">Three reasons behind WHSmith’s boost in profits</a></em></strong></li> <li><strong><em><a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/68568-three-reasons-behind-dominos-digital-sales-boost" target="_blank">Three reasons behind Dominos’ digital sales boost</a></em></strong></li> </ul> tag:econsultancy.com,2008:BlogPost/68621 2016-12-20T10:00:00+00:00 2016-12-20T10:00:00+00:00 UX in 2017: What do the experts predict? Ben Davis <p>(Don't forget, you can learn more about UX by downloading <strong><a href="https://econsultancy.com/reports/user-experience-and-interaction-design-for-mobile-and-web/">User Experience and Interaction Design for Mobile and Web</a>.</strong>)<strong><br></strong></p> <h3>Customer journey mapping</h3> <p><strong>Phil Williams, senior UX designer, PRWD:</strong></p> <p>With the rise of AI over the next 12 months, it will be interesting to see how brands can be consistent throughout a journey.</p> <p>For example, I can order an Uber from Alexa (Amazon’s AI) on my Amazon Echo, get a notification on my Apple watch when it arrives and split the fare with my friend on messenger. How will Uber ensure their brand values are met with so many different interfaces?</p> <p>What was once a slick looking app now turns into a disjointed journey lost in a web of ‘human’ interactions. This will be a problem for lots of business, but in reality it’s nothing new, just a little more complex.</p> <p>Entire Customer journey mapping is something every business must think about if they want to stay ahead of the curve.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/resized/0008/2439/journ-blog-flyer.png" alt="customer journey" width="470" height="278"></p> <h3>Artificial Intelligence</h3> <p><strong>Will Grant &amp; Steffan Aquarone, authors of </strong><strong><em>User Experience and Interaction Design for Mobile and Web</em>:</strong></p> <p><a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/67745-15-examples-of-artificial-intelligence-in-marketing/">AI is advancing</a> rapidly and so-called ‘deep learning’ systems are beginning to become ever more useful. Google and Apple want their phones to predict how to help you before you realise it and 2017 will see an increased rate of change in this area. </p> <p>Your iPhone already reminds you to leave on time to make a meeting - factoring in travel and traffic - as the systems pull more and more data in we can expect to see these ‘predictive’ interactions become more commonplace - and more useful. </p> <p><strong>Josh Payton, VP UX, Huge:</strong></p> <p>In 2017 and beyond I foresee a massive amount of investment and progress in AI, but I expect the only winners in the space are going to be the serious software companies with the technical sophistication to do it well.</p> <p>At some point we will probably get a white-label AI framework that brands can leverage to create conversational experiences.</p> <p>Until then I wouldn’t recommend that Acme Soap Co start building a Facebook bot to help you fight dandruff.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0007/4069/facebook_ai.png" alt="facebook ai" width="500"></p> <h3>Machine learning for conversion optimisation</h3> <p><strong>Phil Williams:</strong></p> <p>Machine learning is really taking centre stage in 2017 and it will be taking a lot of leg work out of small design tweaks, traffic allocation and data analysis.</p> <p>In the past, it would be down to one designer to iterate on colour, copy, images, size, positioning, one strategist to manage traffic allocation and visitors and a data analyst to figure out what part of journey users are struggling with.</p> <p>In the coming months, we should see more intelligent algorithms that will test the best combinations of a page design.</p> <p>Currently, we will run a test, iterate if it fails, run another test, iterate on the copy, run another test, iterate on the layout and so on and so forth.</p> <p>The problem with this process  - though it does often have a positive impact on key metrics - is that it can be time consuming (depending on website traffic). </p> <p><a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/68466-could-ai-kill-off-the-conversion-optimisation-consultant/">Machine learning will test these iterations in one go</a>; think of it like MVT testing on steroids. You feed the ‘machine’ your research-informed variants and data and it will then produce dozens (if not hundreds) of iterations of the same page.</p> <p>Then, using dynamic traffic allocation, we can see these tests conclude quicker.</p> <p>This process will ultimately save weeks of testing time (the build etc.) and free up UX Designers’ time so they can think about even bigger and better ideas; something the machines will never be able to do as well as us!</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/1052/Ascend-Cosabella-1.png" alt="cro" width="615" height="294"></p> <h3>"I lost my job to a machine."</h3> <p><strong>Josh Payton:</strong></p> <p>As we look to 2017, my expectation, and my big worry, is that we'll begin to see the first shocks of widespread unemployment driven by autonomous technology.</p> <p>Self driving trucks will be on the road in Ohio in a matter of months. Uber has self driving cars on the road in Pittsburg. Amazon has a store with no employees.</p> <p>As this trend takes hold everything changes. The price of all goods is driven mostly by transport; ships, planes, trains and automobiles. As transportation and service jobs are replaced, the cost of goods and transport begins to drop significantly.</p> <p>The entire value chain is going to need to be rethought. I think the big question we’re going to start grappling with in 2017 is, “What happens to all of us when industry gets 'smart?’” </p> <h3>We will not all adopt VR</h3> <p><strong>Will Grant &amp; Steffan Aquarone:</strong></p> <p>Instead it’ll just get better, and faster. But it’s still waaay too rubbish for most people to want to prefer the world of a <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/67834-why-virtual-reality-is-the-ultimate-storytelling-tool-for-marketers/">VR</a> headset to that of reality.</p> <p>Impressive as the latest experiences are, a serious technological leap is needed before designing experiences for VR becomes a mainstream part of most organisations’ product strategies.</p> <p>Before we give over a big chunk of our spinal or optical nervous bandwidth to Google, we’ll develop better, more human interfaces with the machine. Or no interfaces at all (predictive AI).</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/2443/vr.png" alt="vr" width="400"></p> <h3>The merging of disciplines (research, design, psychology)</h3> <p><strong>Paul Rouke, founder &amp; CEO, PRWD:</strong></p> <p>Typically seen as very different roles within a digital team, people who are passionate about user research, <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/68503-what-is-design-thinking/">design</a> and psychology will see that they are in high demand. This is because their skills are inherently interlinked.</p> <p>Those who specialise in [just one of] user research, design or psychology, but have no interest in the other areas (or don’t collaborate with other people who have these complementary skills and experiences) will be seen as a waste of potentially valuable resource. </p> <h3>The world is not flat</h3> <p><strong>Will Grant &amp; Steffan Aquarone:</strong></p> <p>We hope that the ‘make everything flat’ trend has come to an end and we can start building some <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/68600-10-sensible-web-design-trends-for-2017/">proper visual affordances into user interfaces</a> so that non-UX people can actually use them again.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/2142/Screen_Shot_2016-12-06_at_12.13.19.png" alt="material design" width="615" height="264"></p> <h3>The evolution from being product-led to customer-led </h3> <p><strong>Will Grant &amp; Steffan Aquarone:</strong></p> <p>User experience will develop into more of a mindset than solely a product-related craft.</p> <p>Lots of organisations have sat pretty for a long time - they’ve dominated sectors, enjoyed monopolies and created big management structures that have taken decision makers ever further away from their customers.</p> <p>UX people have to battle against this sort of corporate inertia every day as they try to make things people want, not the stuff companies want them to use. But they’re starting to show the value of the approach and we expect to see more evidence of these principles being applied to the design of organisations, not just products.</p> <p>Imagine what your company would look like if it was designed around how your customers found it easiest to interact with!</p> <p><strong>Paul Rouke:</strong></p> <p>As more businesses invest in A/B testing built upon research and the understanding of user behaviour, they will begin to evolve from being what they have always been (product-led), to becoming a more customer-led business.</p> <p>In early 2016 in my article <em><a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/67454-five-digital-realities-every-ceo-md-must-face-in-2016/">Five digital realities every CEO and MD must face</a></em>, reality four was “You will need to become customer-centric at some stage”.</p> <p>2017 is no different, this requirement isn’t going to go away.</p> <h3>Brands rethinking their next “big redesign”</h3> <p><strong>Paul Rouke:</strong></p> <p>In 2017, more brands will take a different approach when it comes to  redesigning their online experience.</p> <p>Instead of user research, conversion-centered design and behavioural psychology being either ‘nice to have’ (or not being budgeted for at all), they will begin to form the foundation for user experience redesigns.</p> <p>Website redesigns will be less about creating ‘best in class’, beautiful looking user experiences and more about addressing what your users are looking for and how you can differentiate your brand from your competitors. There isn’t such a thing as ‘brand loyalty’ anymore.</p> <p>Prior to moving into a redesign, brands will begin to utilise informed A/B testing to trial major user experience changes, significantly reducing the chance of a negative result.</p> tag:econsultancy.com,2008:BlogPost/68620 2016-12-16T11:04:10+00:00 2016-12-16T11:04:10+00:00 What were the biggest UX trends of 2016? Ben Davis <p>And to improve your skills in this area, book yourself onto one of our training courses:</p> <ul> <li><a href="https://econsultancy.com/training/courses/usability-and-persuasion-in-ecommerce/">Usability and Persuasion in Ecommerce Training</a></li> <li><a href="https://econsultancy.com/training/courses/usability-user-experience/">Usability and User Experience Training</a></li> <li><a href="https://econsultancy.com/training/courses/lean-ux-and-agile-design/">Lean UX and Agile Design Training</a></li> </ul> <h3>Chatbots get a mixed reception</h3> <h4><strong>Will Grant &amp; Steff Aquarone, authors of <a href="https://econsultancy.com/reports/user-experience-and-interaction-design-for-mobile-and-web/">User Experience and Interaction Design for Mobile and Web</a>:</strong></h4> <p>2016 was the year that <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/67894-what-are-chatbots-and-why-should-marketers-care/">chatbots</a> (or ‘conversational interfaces’) went mainstream. </p> <p>Apple’s Siri got new superpowers and made her way to Mac, while Amazon’s Alexa made her way into the home with the Echo device and Google integrated voice control deeper still into Android.</p> <p>Whichever anthropomorphised robot you choose, it’s clear that people were using computers less frequently with their fingers and more with their voices. And, the less said about <a href="https://www.theguardian.com/technology/2016/mar/24/tay-microsofts-ai-chatbot-gets-a-crash-course-in-racism-from-twitter">Microsoft’s doomed chatbot ‘Tay’</a> the better. </p> <h4><strong>Josh Payton, VP UX, Huge:</strong></h4> <p>I don’t think I heard any idea pitched more in the last year than the chatbot. It’s also the thing that seems to have amounted to the least payoff.</p> <p>Guess what? AI is HARD. If you’re not already an organisation experienced in producing digital products, trying to build a chatbot will quickly put a very bright spotlight on that fact.</p> <p>There are a million chatbots in the world today and 999,999 of them are garbage. Shouts to <a href="https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Xiaoice">Xiaoice</a>.</p> <h4><strong>Phil Williams, senior UX designer, PRWD:</strong></h4> <p>There’s lots of hype around chatbots. ...Currently, they are seen as a bit of a gimmick. It’s those pesky little ‘help’ pop-ups on a website that try and answer frequently asked questions.</p> <p>However, the technology behind these bots is getting better by the day. There is true AI (artificial intelligence) lurking behind those pop-ups and they are getting smarter.</p> <p>Their understanding of language and communication will soon be on par with a real human being; they will able to hold a conversation and help you in many ways a personal assistant would.</p> <p>Take <a href="https://space10-community.github.io/conversational-form/">this form</a> for example. Data input has never been a strong human skill, it’s actually quite alien to most of the population.</p> <p>Ask your mum to fill out a complex form and she’ll no doubt struggle. Ask her to send you a text message, and it’s something she’s much more familiar with.</p> <p>Chatbots take the stress out of this by turning a process into something which humans have done for thousands of years, they have a conversation with you.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0007/5458/chatbot.jpg" alt="chat bot" width="615"></p> <h3>It’s not just about startups anymore</h3> <h4><strong>Will Grant &amp; Steff Aquarone:</strong></h4> <p>A lot of big organisations have found ways to build products and experiences that are best for customers.</p> <p>It proves you don’t have to be a startup to be quick, nimble and adaptable. Once anything gets going and it successful it needs lots of people and procedure to keep it working, even if part of that process is to “think and rebuild” regularly.</p> <p>A few big organisations have shown they’re capable of changing with the times and shipping great products, without the need to sponsor startup incubators.</p> <p>Startups are just as - in fact more - likely to get things wrong. They just care less and can recover and learn more quickly.</p> <h4><strong>Paul Rouke, founder &amp; CEO, PRWD:</strong></h4> <p>The combination of bringing more humility into businesses, becoming truly customer-centric, developing a test and learn culture and running <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/67249-a-beginner-s-guide-to-a-b-testing/">A/B tests</a> across the full spectrum of testing (iterative, innovative, strategic), [are and] will all play a part in helping change the mindset of the business.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/2315/nimble.jpg" alt="nimble" width="220" height="282"></p> <h3>New rules, new tools</h3> <h4><strong>Josh Payton, Huge:</strong></h4> <p>2016 felt a bit like the time around 2002 when people started earnestly abandoning Quark for inDesign.</p> <p>We’ve been dealing with process changes for at least five years now, and a big trend I’ve noticed more recently is the serious migration towards a host of new digital-first design tools.  </p> <p>Powerful, compatible tools like Sketch and Principle, which are made specifically with digital interface design in mind, coupled with the significant process changes that have occurred over the last five years or so have diminished, replaced or eliminated the roles of many tools designers have used for the last 15 years.</p> <p>Photoshop is still firmly entrenched, but loyalty seems much shakier when it comes to pretty much every other tool in the box.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/2314/Screen_Shot_2016-12-09_at_16.20.17.png" alt="sketch" width="615" height="213"></p> <h3>Turquoise </h3> <h4><strong>Josh Payton, Huge:</strong></h4> <p>I first noticed this trend at the end of 2015 with <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/67022-nine-things-i-love-about-the-trainline-app/">The Trainline’s excellent redesign</a>, which also follows the 2015 Circular typeface trope.</p> <p>Over the last year I’ve noticed the turquoise rise to prominence everywhere, from Deliveroo doubling down on it to the American Government hopping on the bandwagon.</p> <p>If you want your designs to look instantly dated, make them flat, use the circular typeface, and use turquoise as your emphasis colour.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/resized/0006/7779/img_2228-blog-flyer.png" alt="thetrainline app" width="300"></p> <h3>Google Optimize offers pros and cons</h3> <h4><strong>Paul Rouke, PRWD:</strong></h4> <p>Just as Google provided the catalyst for mainstream web analytics tracking when it launched Google Analytics for free, launching Google Optimize for free [in September 2016] is going to see a major acceleration of A/B testing in 2017 and beyond.</p> <p>The combination of Google's credibility and visibility coupled with Google Optimize being free provides a heady combination, which businesses of all sizes will find difficult to ignore. </p> <p>[But], although Google Optimize is going to help bring A/B testing to an even wider audience, the biggest challenge for the conversion optimisation industry is that it has the potential to hinder the intelligent practice of this slowly establishing industry.</p> <p>The reality is that when a product or service is free, more often than not, the end-user won't use the product or service intelligently.</p> <p>Google Analytics is a great example of this. A number of businesses who use Google Analytics “out of the box” (with little or no intelligent configuration) discover they can’t draw any meaningful insights from the data which thus limits the tool’s capabilities.</p> <p>The free and simple to use Google Optimize, (where you can “test within minutes” so says one of the straplines) is potentially going to create the mindset that A/B testing is purely about speed and simplicity whilst overlooking the importance of user research, UX design, strategy, company culture, psychology and <a href="https://econsultancy.com/training/courses/topics/copywriting">copywriting</a>.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/2316/Screen_Shot_2016-12-09_at_16.31.10.png" alt="google optimize" width="615" height="268"></p> <h3>The continued evolution of the UX designer</h3> <h4><strong>Paul Rouke, PRWD:</strong></h4> <p>As experimentation becomes more established within businesses, more UX designers are being forced (if they resist) to change their approach to the design process and scientifically test how their new designs impact user behaviour.</p> <p>Many UX designers (who naturally have a healthy amount of egotism about their design work) are gaining a wider perspective of how irrational users can be when making decisions and have to adjust their process accordingly.</p> <h3>Silos still exist</h3> <h4><strong>Paul Rouke, PRWD:</strong></h4> <p>Working in silos is still one of the biggest issues within businesses.</p> <p>For a business to embrace a culture of experimentation through testing, they have to develop ways to be more collaborative, either internally or in partnership with their agency.</p> <p>CRO (conversion rate optimization) requires a multi-disciplinary team all working towards the same goal, rather than each team or department competing for resources, budgets or credit.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/2317/silo.jpeg" alt="silos" width="307" height="164"></p> <p><em>What else do you think has made UX waves in 2016? Let us know below.</em></p>