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More and more we are used to slick mobile websites that focus on functionality above all else, and quite right, too.
Arguably when we visit web entities we have less patience than ever before.
Certain generations are starting to build up some serious hours of learning online, navigating websites, social networking and getting stuff done. These users are developing an innate understanding of web design, even if subconscious.
What this means is that the online world is fast finding its own feet, its design conventions, when viewed as a channel for interaction and productivity, not just information dissemination. It's no longer apeing traditional media. Just take a look at Google's Material Design.
So, I'm going out on a limb to say this means photography is becoming rarer online. Here are some examples of why and where.
At the start of the year, retailer John Lewis announced some impressive year on year sales figures, along with the revelation that more than three quarters of its site traffic on Christmas Day came from mobile devices.
Its profits continue to look very healthy, and mobile is an ever growing proportion of its sales.
So what is it that John Lewis is getting right with its mobile strategy? And what lessons can we learn in order to apply to our own?
These are some of the elements that John Lewis delivered on.
Mobile, social and the Internet of Things are transforming the trajectory of the customer journey.
The straight shot from discovery to checkout no longer exists. Instead, it has been replaced by a zigzagging, interwoven path of touchpoints, screens and interactions.
Microcopy is one of those things that is hard to define (how does it differ from regular or maxicopy?) but you know it when you see it.
There's a loyal following of UX bods behind these kind of microinteractions and how they can be enhanced with little pieces of finely judged copywriting.
I've written about it before (see previous post on micro-copywriting), but thought I should thrown down some of the finest examples of this fine art.
These are bits of copy most websites could implement somewhere, and without precluding the need for testing, I'm sure they will improve performance.
What makes for a lovely experience on a mobile commerce site?
Mobile is undergoing big change and still in the area of design testing and optimisation.
Companies, although finally on board with the idea of the smartphone as assisting sales and driving footfall in store, are of course trying to increase conversion and checkout on the mobile itself.
In the classic late 80s film “Field of Dreams,” Kevin Costner is inspired to turn his cornfield into a baseball field after hearing a mysterious voice whisper the famous line, “If you build it, he will come.”
Indeed, the ghost of Shoeless Joe Jackson soon shows up, followed closely by the Chicago Black Sox and half of the town.
Unfortunately, many marketers believe that if they only build an 'awesome' website, the customers will start pouring in. But what happens when visitors show up and, instead of playing ball and inviting all their friends, turn right around and leave?
Building a 'site of dreams' requires a whole lot more than a pretty hero image and scrollspy navigation. To truly capture and engage today’s consumers, brands must focus on creating an immersive, interactive user experience that spans channels and devices.
Here are three UX pitfalls causing your customers to abandon your site, and how to make them stay.
Today is Global Accessibility Awareness Day, an initiative to get people to talk, think and learn about digital accessibility.
So why not try out these five steps to see how well your site is meeting the accessibility requirements?
Spotify began rolling out a brand new redesign for its users last week. It’s a sleeker, darker, apparently much improved revamp across all three of its platforms: web, desktop and mobile.
Apparently both YouTube and Apple will be launching similar subscription based streaming services this year so Spotify’s multi-platform redesign seems like an early attempt to set the pace.
I took a look at the previous incarnation of Spotify just over a month ago in Seven reasons why I love Spotify and 17 why I don’t. I use Spotify more than any other music platform (I actually use them all on an almost weekly basis) and I couldn’t function without its unlimited access to 20m songs and ability to sync playlists to multiple devices.
However I am profoundly aware of its limitations and frustrations. Just a few UX tweaks here or there could massively improve the experience.
There’s an argument to say that because Spotify never really had any competition, it didn’t have to worry too much about improving its functionality. However with Google Play, Beats Music and now iTunes and YouTube launching rival services, it’s time for Spotify to up its game.
Let’s see if the redesign has done just that?
Recently I’ve just completed a series on how to set up and run a WordPress blog for beginners.
What the series didn’t cover was the difference between WordPress and some of the other free-to-run blogging platforms out there. So in the interests of balance and all things fair, I’m going to take a look at Google’s Blogger from a UX point of view and see how it compares to WordPress.
Premier Inn has topped the latest Multichannel Benchmark study from eDigitalResearch, which compared 17 online travel websites and their respective desktop sites, mobile sites and mobile apps.
According to the research, the UK hotel brand scored well across the board, but excelled in terms of booking process, design and usability.
It’s been a good year for Premier Inn’s digital transformation. Last April David Moth reviewed its new iPad app and found that its “stripped down design and simple usability” made it a useful tool for business travellers.
The owner of Premier Inn, Whitbread, has also attributed its use of social proof as part of the reason why profits rose much higher than analysts’ predictions last year.
Here’s a look at the eDigitalResearch benchmark, followed by our own thoughts on Premier Inn’s multichannel win.
The reality today is that we, as consumers, have more and more digital engagements requiring different security elements, hence simplicity is key.
Banking is one entity that we all see as fundamental and need access to.
Through this article, I will highlight what banks are doing to help customers to manage their finances safely, the direction that digital banking security will take in the future and how security fits into a wider context.
I’ve been keeping a close eye on innovation in the ecommerce sector for more than a decade now, and it seems to me that we're living in exciting times. We have hit some kind of purple patch.
Why is this? Well, ecommerce has massively matured. It's big business. Digital teams are smarter, and more agile. Sexy new tech such as HTML5, CSS3 and jQuery allows for sublime user experiences.
As such I wanted to raise a toast to innovation by highlighting a bunch of - hopefully inspiring - examples to you.
But first, a massive caveat: I would severely and mercilessly beat a few of these sites with a big best practice stick. There are product pages with missing information. There are search boxes with tiny fonts. There are usability issues galore.
Secondly, for ecommerce sites, it is all about the data. If you’re not constantly testing, measuring and refining, then you aren’t doing it right. What works for one brand might not work so well for another.
All of that aside, the ecommerce teams that take chances and push the boundaries of are to be applauded. Guidelines are precisely that: guidelines. Rules are there to be broken. And innovation is always to be encouraged, even when it doesn’t work out.
So let's take a look at some ecommerce websites (and one mobile app) that are trying new things, and that are noteworthy for their approach to the user experience. Click on the screenshots to check them out for yourself, and do let me know what you think.