It’s been Easter this weekend and the clocks have gone forward, signalling the end of Q1 and the beginning of a fresh quarter.
So to mark the shift into Q2 I’ve rounded up the surveys and reports our research team has published so far this year including some of the most intriguing and useful stats.
The topics include mobile strategy, marketing budgets, data driven business culture, user experience and the state of digital in Australia.
So, here are the stats...
In ecommerce, tablets are now finally being recognised as an entirely distinct category than smartphones, so the overarching mobile category is no longer relevant.
As such, businesses can’t rely on having a single mobile strategy to cover both devices. Tablet shoppers can expect to be treated to an excellent user experience that fits with the capabilities of their device.
It's a topic we've discussed in more detail in a post about the opportunities that tablets present for marketers, as well as highlighting 10 ecommerce sites that have catered to tablet users by embracing responsive design.
And in order to help sites deliver this experience, Mobify has come up with seven techniques for providing a tablet optimised user experience...
Social commenting is hot, to the tune of $15m as evidenced by the latest funding round from LiveFyre, a dominant player in the space. This brings the startup’s total funding to $21m.
What exactly do the platforms LiveFyre and their competitor Disqus bring to your website or blog? Is one better than the other in any given area? Should comments even be “real-time” and “social?”
I did a bit of my own investigating, and these results are by no means scientific or conclusive.
I'd love to hear member thoughts (yes use our web 1.0 commenting system) if anyone out there has been using one or the other on their website for extended time and has feedback to share!
It seems a lot of companies are happy to work on 'hunches' and best guesses when it comes to user experience, with 45% not conducting any UX testing at the moment.
However, of these companies, the majority have begun to see the light, with 73% planning to start testing in the next 12 months.
Our User Experience Survey Report 2013, produced in association with WhatUsersDo, surveyed more than 1,400 digital and ecommerce professionals.
Here are a few highlights from the survey...
Some companies spend a fortune coming up with enticing names for new products - and sometimes it goes disastrously wrong.
A memorable example is the Chevy Nova, which in Spanish roughly translates to the Chevy doesn't-go.
Even if the name doesn't mean something inappropriate, our research shows that gimmicky product names might not be as clever as their creators imagine.
Over the past decade, it’s plain to see the change in what users term ‘good’ websites. Often, websites of the past were not intuitive; a certain nous or understanding of their flaws was needed to extract information swiftly.
Now good websites are built with our gentlest sensibilities in mind. The beauty of a listings site like Timeout is that getting the architecture right, and the aesthetics, and every fillip of design, is directly linked to monetisation.
Here are a few of what I deem to be Timeout’s objectives, with some little snapshots of how they’ve been achieved.
As experts in digital marketing, I am sure you were all aware that Thursday 8 November was World Usability Day -a world wide event celebrating the importance of in usability in the digital world.
This year’s theme was financial services and few would argue that usability was anything other than vital in this market.
My colleagues at System Concepts contributed a video of interviews with potential customers and some key players in the mobile financial market in which the two mobile financial services providers interviewed were Vodafone and O2.
This set me thinking: Do we trust mobile companies to give us banking, more than we trust banks to give us mobile services?
There are a lot of websites out there where you can see the 80/20 rule at work; when a website has a good look but just a small proportion of the site’s features and content is doing all the hard work. The rest is maybe distracting, irrelevant or even getting in the way of the customer journey.
Why does this happen? We all know that great stuff just works and consequently great design often goes by unnoticed - simplicity wins hands-down over complexity.
Twitter shows us we can all say more with less, and pictures engage us better than words. Look how image-based Facebook quickly displaced text-based sites, such as Friends Reunited.
I suspect that cumbersome or over-designed websites are often the result of the designer loving what they do… maybe just a little bit too much.
It is the little things in life that count, according to the old adage, and this is certainly true as far as user experience is concerned. The devil really is in the detail.
All too often some minor oversight on a website makes me furrow my brow, but more and more websites are taking a microscopic approach to user experience and interface design, and the results can be useful, amusing, fun, and functional.
I thought I’d share some of my favourites, as well as a bunch from Little Big Details, a fantastic website that collects these examples of smart user-focused design. It has hundreds to browse through, so if you're interested in UX design then do check it out.
I've always found it ironic that some of the most fancy hotels have some of the worst websites in the world. It's the same with restaurants. Both are long serving fans of Flash and autosound, and the result can be hellish.
If websites are particularly bad, and if I'm the one tasked with booking or buying something, then I can tell you for a fact that I will look elsewhere. The problem is that there isn't always an 'elsewhere'. Luxury brands pride themselves on their uniqueness, after all. If your better half wants some Jimmy Choo for her birthday then that's what you need to buy.
I've seen signs of improvement, especially in the restaurant sector, but many top class brands still have a lot of work to do.
Here are 17 examples of the kind of user experience issues that drive me mad, and which feel like a punch in the face when the brand in question charges a premium for the quality of its products and services.