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.
Is it any wonder that those in need of a loan (and a fast one) turn to Wonga and not a high street bank?
One is approachable and colourful and isn’t full of boring text or ambiguous wording, and the other is an institution the public has gradually learned to call the enemy.
Of course, the two aren’t really comparable. The need to turn to Wonga is often caused by desperation (and being desperate is a reality for lots of people post 2008). And Wonga itself is gradually acquiring a reputation as not exactly a pillar of the community, as many are educated about the realities of interest rates.
However, despite selling different products, Wonga still has lots to teach the high street banks. More and more customers turn to banking websites before their branches, but the bank websites are often dry and difficult to use (albeit with some very nice mobile app alternatives).
So, to demonstrate how the user experience for some banks compares to Wonga, I’m going to look at the recently re-launched ‘people’s bank’, or TSB. And for a fairer comparison, I’ll look at Lloyds Bank, too.
Chiefly I’ll look at the 'approachability' of the homepage and the copy therein, as totems for the service on offer.
Argos has launched a new Gift Guide minisite that aims to provide struggling shoppers with inspiration for Christmas presents.
It sits separately from the retailer’s existing ecommerce site but is linked to from its homepage.
The guide is part of Argos’ plans to secure its share of the whopping amount spent online over the festive season, which is predicted to reach £20.4bn in the final two months of this year.
To find out whether Argos’ Gift Guide will help to capture some additional sales, I browsed the site for Christmas inspiration.
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.
The numbers are compelling: 7bn messages sent between 230m users of its messaging app, 200m downloads of its games, 10m Indian users in three months as well as tens of millions in Spain, South America, Indonesia and beyond.
LINE is a large content hub, and once you’ve downloaded the messaging app, you’re hooked into a network that gives away a lot of fun stuff for free, and ties everything together with a very strong brand.
So what is LINE doing that’s significant, and how will it begin to affect other brands on mobile?
The philosophy of aesthetics has become a widely acknowledged part of our lives. It refers to our innate need to define what is beautiful and what is not.
In the last decade a new field of study, called neuroaesthetics, has emerged which takes the philosophy of aesthetics one step further. By understanding the role of the brain we can begin to understand the neurological basis for why we find things more beautiful than others.
I believe the design world can learn a lot from the study of neuroaesthetics.
Nearly twelve million people in the UK have a limiting long-term illness, impairment or disability.
Ofcom recently published its Disabled Consumers’ Ownership of Communications Services Report, which reveals younger disabled people now have roughly the same level of internet access as the non-disabled.
What are the common mistakes of accessibility and what does the landscape look like for disabled consumers' access to the web?
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.
Webinars are annoying, ultimately, because we are designed for face to face communication. However, they are extremely useful if your colleagues and customers are ‘global’.
There are many annoying things about webinar tech, but most of them centre on UX. And central to UX is getting your language right.
Webex, as my chosen example, simply didn’t work with a good copywriter when laying out its back-end and webinar UI. I can’t speak for others such as Adobe Connect, as I haven’t used them myself.
I don’t think Webex is attempting to appear natty or complex, using slightly mystifying words or combinations of words. It’s just badly written.
Here are some examples:
I wrote a post on the use of carousels on ecommerce sites earlier this year, and the general consensus was negative towards them, with some feeling that such space could be put to better use.
However, is this just because many carousels haven't been implemented properly?
In his latest Alertbox post, Jakob Nielsen looks at how to make them more effective. Here are some of his suggestions, and examples of good implementation from ecommerce sites.