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It’s okay, Sherlock’s finished now. It’s safe to come back on the internet again.
The whole of the UK crowded around the television set at 8:30pm Sunday night to watch the finale of the contemporised sleuth’s current run.
Not since that final episode of To the Manor Born or that time when Paul Gascoigne cried during a world cup semi-final has the whole of the nation watched ‘event television’ in such a shared manner.
Except we didn’t. We don’t have to do that anymore. Watching a regular television programme at a set time every week just doesn’t suit most of our lifestyles.
Marks & Spencer has reported a 22.7% increase in online sales in the three months to the end of December, though it wasn’t enough to prevent an overall decline in sales.
Like-for-like sales fell by 2.1%, though there was a small improvement over the last eight weeks of the year during which M&S launched a sale, with general merchandise sales up 0.5%.
M&S’s disappointing results come after Next achieved impressive sales figures over the festive season, with the latter reporting that in-store and online sales increased by 12% in the period November 1 to December 24.
John Lewis also had a record breaking end to 2013, reporting that online sales for the five weeks to 28 December were 22.6% up on last year with johnlewis.com accounting for 31.8% of the total John Lewis business during this period.
Having previously examined the reasons behind John Lewis’ continued success in ecommerce, I thought I’d compare Next and M&S’s approaches to online retail.
As of last weekend, Vine has finally introduced a desktop website.
I say finally, Vine has only been going a year, but it’s still been an awfully long wait. The idea that a platform as supposedly trend-setting as Vine didn’t have a desktop presence is frankly ludicrous.
I’ve been writing a regular round-up of the best Vines of the month on the Econsultancy blog for a few months now, and the lack of a searchable homepage has made this a much more long-winded exercise than necessary.
Will my job be any easier from now on? Let's see.
I’m going to take a look at Vine’s new UX, along with a handful of other social media sites, and highlight some of the user experience issues I’ve been having with them all.
First I’ll start with Instagram as this has been bugging me for a while now.
In the recent past we’ve heard plenty about the importance of 'creating a consistent customer experience across multiple channels'.
While that phrase is horrendously buzz-wordy, it’s still undeniably important.
Multiscreen, multi-device customers check and compare prices in store, buy online and talk about their purchases via social media, so making sure each touchpoint effectively serves the user is essential.
But... what happens if a customer only wants to use one channel?
But are these changes benefitting end users? Or should it just stop messing about so much?
The answer seems to be a bit of both. Google does have to keep people using its search engoine, and providing the best user experience is how it can do that.
On the other hand, blurring the line between ads and organic results is not good UX, but about increasing revenues...
For anyone thinking of buying online between now and Christmas Eve, one of the biggest questions will be 'can this retailer deliver in time for Christmas?'.
However, many ecommerce sites are still way too vague about this information. This means that people will either decide not to order, or will press ahead and risk disappointment.
With the example of children's onesies (which seem to be like hen's teeth this year), I'll be looking at the approaches of different sites.
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...
You might think that headline is hyperbole. It isn’t.
The new FIFA app, created by Monitise Create, is reviewed very favourably in the app store, with users unanimous in giving the app five stars.
I must say, I quite agree. The UX is basically flawless, and information is presented elegantly and simply. The imagery, the formatting, the type, the transitions, the icons; it’s all pretty.
It compares very favourably with (is better than) other ‘match centre’ apps such as Sky Sports, but offers lots of other content, too, notably news, World Cup content, FIFA rankings and interactive games.
With the app tipped to become the most popular sports app download, I thought I’d put it through its paces. Take a look at my review of one of the most beautifully designed apps I’ve used in ages.
Supermarket giant Tesco was recently the victim of a viral blog that highlighted the laughably poor standards of cleanliness and service on offer at one of its London stores.
The Tumblr entitled ‘The very worst Tesco’ includes images from the Haggerston store in east London that show empty shelves, piles of boxes blocking aisles and a video of an alarm going off throughout the night.
Tesco chairman Sir Richard Broadbent said in an interview with The Sunday Times that his company had taken action to clean up the store in reaction to the Tumblr and that it was vital for the retailer to provide an excellent in-store experience for customers.
On the Econsultancy blog, we have previously debated the mobile site vs. app conundrum. However, we haven't done it in the context of considered purchases.
So, is this a good idea? I've explored some data that may help to answer that question...
When conducting the design phase of any new website build (or redesign) the fundamental pillars of ecommerce simultaneously collide: digital and business strategy, user experience, usability, creative, branding, marketing, IT (infrastructure), and data/insights.
This collision is made difficult when contending with the varying opinions and views of multiple stakeholders. They all want to have a say on what is to be presented to consumers.
Normally the influence during design stage reverts to positional power within the organisation, with business goals overriding all others including the needs and goals of the consumer. Not anymore.
The purpose of this article is to shed light on how to properly utilise wireframes, how this tool maintains the integrity of the strategic plan and how it can simplify the implementation of the project, shorten timeline and reduce costs.
I like Hamleys. Unlike supermarket-style toy stores, it offers a special experience for kids and adults alike, and reminds me of the days before brands like Toys R Us dominated the market.
In fact, as I've discussed often with Chris Lake, such a well-loved brand, known for quality and great in-store experience, should be able to thrive online, especially at this time of year.
Indeed, It appears that it is doing well offline. It's expanding, but I don't think it's making the most of digital.
This post takes a close look at the site, and the general impression is that it hasn't kept with with the growth of ecommerce over the past few years.