Small details can make a big difference to the user experience, saving users' time, making it easier for them to spend money, or just generally making it more enjoyable.
Some of these things are so widespread and expected now that you don't even notice them, such as postcode lookup tools on sites. They were not always there, and save you a lot of hassle.
So, inspired by sites like littlebigdetails, I've rounded up 15 examples of little UX touches I've come across myself, or have found via sites like Pinterest.
Some are obvious, some less so, and there is a general ecommerce slant to this list. Please suggest any examples you've seen lately...
Every so often a customer or user encounters a process, or experiences an interaction, that makes them feel all 1990s.
It makes them feel like the whole world has moved on, leaving only them, stuck, trying to find a black biro, or trying to communicate with a customer services department.
On the Econsultancy blog, there's been much talk of digital transformation. One of the most startling changes, cross-sector, is the almost complete agreement that web operations must be completely customer focused, as should the rest of business be.
So when, at Econsultancy, we receive the occasional notice of a disputed payment from a Barclaycard or AmEx customer (as do most online businesses), asking me to fax or post back information, I rant and tramp around the office, shouting 'can't we just ****** email it?!'
Why do we have to do this? Is this an indicator of a false dawn; an indicator of how far we have to go until the customer is the number one priority?
Ok, this is going to be a boring article about faxes, but at the heart of it is the 21st Century assertion that 'you must be where your customers are'.
Stakeholders, who needs them? Well, me! I need them, and if you do too I have some advice for you about how to survive the more difficult relationships.
To give some context, I recently found myself having a debate with a friend over the way in which people commicate with one another.
“It’s what you say,” she said, pointedly. “That’s all that matters.”
I was disagreeing with her wholeheartedly because I’ve learned that it’s not just what you say, but also very much the way that you say it as well.
You see, in my job, I believe you not only need to communicate truthfully, but also effectively. It’s pointless making rubbish up and then 'selling' it to someone.
According to Curt Cloninger, "Usability experts are from Mars, graphic designers are from Venus".
Since the early days of web design and development, the enduring perception has lingered of a clash between two incompatible approaches.
According to the somewhat exaggerated popular concept of brain lateralisation, these might correspond to 'right brain' thinking (represented by art and aesthetics) and 'left brain' thinking (represented by engineering or usability).
This, of course, is simply not the case. Any website, (or any other form of communication) needs a combination of them all to be successful, and as the discipline of user experience (UX) has matured over the past few years this perceived divide has begun to contract.
Today, UX professionals are using the basic tools of visual communication to provide clearer, more intuitive user journeys.
Qualitative research ensures customer validation, clarity and a process when producing the products of tomorrow. It is possible to use qualitative techniques via a user centred design process to truly innovate whilst remaining agile.
The time and cost of qualitative research is often very small in the 'grand scheme' of product development.
Yet it is able to answer the 'how' and 'why' of which products should be created as opposed to just 'how much' attained from quantitative data, therefore yielding highly creative outcomes.
‘We need to think about iOS7…’ Heard that phrase recently? For enterprise organisations where mobile is a key channel, deciding what the appropriate strategy is for making OS updates can be challenging.
Here are some key considerations for your organisation.
If there’s one constant in any griping discussion about the internet, it will be either the presence of trolls, or rants about trolls and trolling behaviour on just about any website you care to mention.
I should say, for the purposes of this article, that we're not talking about the appalling abuses received by women lately on Twitter - which has moved far beyond trolling and into the space of criminal threats - but about the hijacking of discussions and similar.
Mobile companies that thrive do so through great user experience. Jonatan Littke, Founder of Lookback, believes design has taken over technology and rightly so.
Yet for all its glory, a lot of design is still being created without knowing how it will be received.
Check out more about Lookback's solution in this Q&A and let us know what you think in the comments...
Econsultancy’s updated User Experience Buyer’s Guide lists 23 suppliers of user experience services, and expounds the current trends in the market.
And guess what? User experience is as topical as ever.
Business transformation is increasingly design-led, delivering value to customers with great customer experiences, across multiple devices, with emerging technologies such as responsive design and HTML5.
I have recently become involved in the growing field of biometrics standards and believe the various technologies should be of great interest to digital marketers.
However, when I searched the Econsultancy site, I found that biometrics was mainly seen as a tool for market and user research.
Given the explosion in digital fraud and the difficulty of combining secure access with easy access, I believe biometrics have a great part to play in creating an engaging user experience.