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Every so often, whether you work in digital or not, one visits a website and gets a slap across the face. One dawdles for a moment, scrolling around and wondering how web design has come so far in such a short period of time.
Colston Hall is one of these websites. OK, it’s a fairly sizeable concert hall in Bristol, England, but still, it’s in the arts sector, this isn’t meant to be so slick, right?
Looking at comparable venues (e.g. York Barbican, Newcastle’s Metro Arena) Colston Hall is way ahead, it’s in the future. Other small and medium arts spaces are going to have to catch up, or miss out on maximising ticket sales.
Conversion optimisation is great, but to some extent it works on the premise that customers know what they’re looking for. Ok, checkouts, calls to action, merchandising should always be finessed, but optimisation is a means of squeezing more from specific intent.
But what if moving the customer towards the magpie psyche is the future of selling online?
A new ecommerce model is emerging and it works on the premise that customers can be encouraged to ‘bag at will’. All retailers need to do is surface rarer, quality products that are socially proven and most importantly look great.
Building an ecommerce product database to satisfy your target consumer requires three disciplines in order to get it right: usability, the use of filters and naming convention.
In this context to 'satisfy' is to display navigation in an intuitive manner, to use navigation techniques to compliment the buying process, and to name category titles your consumers recognise and understand.
This topic normally falls into the 'too hard' category, and is driven by legacy product database systems with little or no flexibility. If you have the time, and the infrastructure to manage the database from the perspective of the consumer experience, then work to these disciplines.
Mobile is no longer a trend or even just an opportunity. It is quickly becoming the new standard for consuming content.
Over the years there has been a continued, symbiotic evolution of mobile technology and consumer expectations, especially in the retail industry where companies have firmly embraced the 'commerce everywhere' dimension brought by mobile devices.
As digital mobile capabilities multiply, it’s interesting to consider just what consumers really want from their mobile experience.
The slow death of the homepage is underway, in the sense that there no longer is a “home” page i.e. a page that acts as the only entranceway for visitors to access a website and its vast content.
The emergence of side doors generated through search engines, social media, mobile devices and more has morphed the homepage into a way for companies to brand themselves online rather than act solely as an access point.
I tend to keep an eye on the UK’s most popular websites (Alexa is a good source for this data), as I know that my clients and their customers are likely to be familiar with their navigation features, tools and interfaces.
There is a risk that creating something ‘too new’ or ‘too different’ can give rise to negative user feedback, a recent case in point being Microsoft® Windows 8 lacking a Start button.
For most projects, delivery timescales are tight and there isn’t time to experiment with wild and fanciful navigation.
More importantly, users want to find things quickly. They don’t want to have to ‘learn’ how to use your site, it should be intuitive to them.
Navigation is central to the mobile user experience as visitors want to be able to find what they’re looking for or browse your wares with little fuss.
If they have to struggle with confusing menu options and numerous barriers then they’ll become frustrated and jump ship to one of your competitors.
A new report investigating consumer opinions of mobile commerce has found that there is still a perception that the mobile web offers a poor user experience.
More than a third (37%) of respondents in the EPiServer survey agreed that many mobile websites are difficult to navigate, an increase from 32% in 2011.
With this in mind, here are 11 tips for improving mobile web navigation...
I had an interesting email from an ecommerce site owner in Texas over the weekend, wondering why mobile outperforms desktop on his site for conversion rates.
The site in question is discgolfstation.com, and owner Clint Henderson tells me that mobile conversion rates are twice that of desktop, which is obviously unusual.
While the mobile site isn't bad at all, it seems the problem is down to poor desktop performance.
Here, I'll suggest some possible reasons, but it would be great to see what suggestions you have for improvements as well...
After this post rounding up some of our case studies, articles and reports on social media, I thought I'd steal Andrew Warren Payne's idea and do the same for ecommerce.
We have written a lot on ecommerce since the blog launched, but here are 70 or so or our best practice tips, interviews with ecommerce folk, stats, and reports from the past year or so.
Hope you find this useful...
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.
It's not exactly new, but you probably encountered far more sites with infinite scrolling functionality in 2012 than you did in 2011, and there's a good chance you'll come across even more in 2013.
With popular services like Twitter and Pinterest bringing infinite scrolling into the mainstream, it's no surprise that more and more designers and publishers are considering doing away with old school pagination.
But is infinite scrolling a good trend or will it soon become a design worst practice?
As it's one of Australia’s most successful grocery retailers, you may expect Woolworths to have an excellent e-commerce site.
In other markets major retail brands such as Tesco and Walmart have proven that online shoppers are integral for continued sales growth in the digital age.
But for reasons unknown, Woolworth’s doesn’t seem to have kept its site up-to-date.
To highlight some of the more obvious usability issues, we asked WhatUsersDo to run several user tests using its Australian panel.
Here are some of the findings, as well as my own observations...