Posts in Customer Experience

10 reasons why customer service doesn’t have to suck

The hell of a call centreLast night the BBC aired Watchdog, which this week focused on the ailing state of customer service among big businesses (and no doubt some smaller ones).

Almost three quarters of people said customer service is getting worse, according to a survey of more than 7,000 consumers. The worst offenders tend to be broadband / mobile operators, and utilities companies, though web companies aren’t immune either

It doesn’t come as any shock to me, but surely good levels of service and a focus on the customer experience are key to surviving a difficult market?

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Is the iPhone about to get a whole lot more risqué?

Getting an app approved on the iPhone can be a tough task. And it's currently all but impossible if your app is a little too sexy or just plain demented.

But all that may soon be changing when Apple launches version 3 of the iPhone OS.

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Don't pretend to be something you're not

At some point, when you start a new business you come face to face with an interesting question: what the heck are we doing?

Chances are you had some idea of what you were doing before you started on your journey. You saw a problem. You thought you had a brilliant solution. You know the story.

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Disney buys into Hulu

Hulu's meteoric rise as the online video site of choice for big media companies looking for online distribution has attracted another equity partner: Disney.

The Walt Disney Company has announced a deal that sees Disney taking a 27% stake in Hulu and receiving 3 seats on Hulu's board. Hulu is now owned by Disney, News Corp., NBC Universal and a private equity firm.

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Ten things Laura Ashley can do better online

Laura Ashley's website does have some good points, but having used it this week while searching for furniture, I think there are a few areas which could be improved upon.

I've come up with ten suggestions that would improve the usability of the Laura Ashley website...

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A social media smorgasbord: 40 common elements for community-focused websites

A social media smorgasbordSocial media websites try to combine two things: people and content. When these two things work in harmony a website becomes a buzzing, viral experience, where users do the hard work and feel a bond to the brand / platform. 

In the past few days I have started planning and wireframing a new community-focused website, to try to develop and launch a useful platform. 

Creating such a platform should be reasonably straightforward in this day and age, since there are so many fabulous sites out there that are already doing this well. 

Indeed, I found it relatively straightforward to add the kind of tools and functionality I thought a social media site should offer to users. Many of these elements are second nature to us, since we use them everyday (on sites like Twitter, Last.fm, Facebook, Flickr, et al...).

So what are the common elements used by social media websites? 

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Q&A: Glasses Direct founder Jamie Murray Wells

Jamie Murray WellsSince its launch in 2004 with the model of providing glasses at a fraction of the cost of high street opticians, Glasses Direct has become a great e-commerce success story, and recently announced a second funding round of £10m.

I've been talking to founder Jamie Murray Wells about the story behind the growth of the company, the recent funding round, and the lessons for other entrepreneurs...

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Budget airline websites fail usability test

The websites of some of the UK's budget airlines are some of the worst to use, with four of them scoring 50% or less for usabilty, with Ryanair coming last with just 41%.

This is the verdict of Webcredible's Flights Online study, which looks at the websites of 20 airlines and travel agents in the UK. British Airways topped the table with 71%, closely followed by Expedia and Virgin Atlantic on 70%.

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Ten inexpensive tips to improve user experience

At TechCrunch’s Geek ‘n Rolla event last week, I managed  to have a quick chat with Leisa Reichelt from Disambiguity, following her great presentation about “Why you can’t NOT afford good user experience”. 

Although the presentation was geared up towards digital start-ups, our conversation crossed over into the fact that usability is often overlooked by most small business with an online presence, usually due to a combination of a lack of understanding, time and resources. 

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BBC has the best headlines on the web - Nielsen

The BBC's descriptive yet concise news headlines are a great example of writing for the web, and are always written to the 'highest web usability standards' according to usability guru Jakob Nielsen.

He cites headlines like 'Mass Thai protest over leadership' and 'Iran accuses journalist of spying' as best practice examples, with the average news headline containing five words and 34 characters.

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Facebook opens up

Facebook is already pretty open. Its developer platform enables developers to build applications that leverage Facebook users' 'social graphs' and its Connect API gives developers the means to 'connect' their websites with Facebook.

But, perhaps in an effort to compete with the service Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg can't have (Twitter), the social network is set to become even more open.

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Google introduces Product Search results for iPhone

Google has begun to integrate Product Search results for users of Android and iPhones in the US and UK, presenting users with results tailored to their mobile phone.

Product Search for mobile makes for a useful price comparison service, allowing users to check prices and reviews while shopping instore to make sure they are getting a good deal. So how well does it work?

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