Posts in Customer Experience

Site review: lastminute.com

Travel comparison company lastminute.com has opted for a low key launch of its revamped website, giving users the chance to use the new version and give feedback.

The redesigned version of lastminute devotes more space to providing holiday ideas and showing the latest deals on offer, so the search box is less prominent than before. The old version is still running alongside the new one, which gives me a chance to compare the two.

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Overcomplicating the checkout process

Checkout processes are supposed to be made as easy as possible for customers to complete. Of course, a certain amount of detail is required to complete a transaction, but this should be made relatively painless for the user.

The checkout and purchase process should be smooth and easy to understand, distractions should be removed, while the amount of information required and the number of steps should be kept to a minimum to make it as quick as possible. This is not the case on VistaPrint though, which has one of the most complicated checkouts I have seen.

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iPhone app comparison: Qype Radar and Yelp

Local listings and reviews websites should be well suited to the mobile internet, as the kind of information they offer can be incredibly useful when out and about and looking for somewhere to eat, or some local entertainment.

There are a few sites like Tipped, Yell.com which have dedicated mobile versions of their services, but two such websites have launched iPhone apps, which offer a richer experience than the standard mobile sites. I have been trying out two iPhone listings apps; Qype Radar and Yelp...

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DSGi sites take the day off

Three of DSGi's major UK e-commerce sites were down for maintenance for a large part of the day yesterday, with Currys, PC World and Dixons all displaying error messages for visitors.

The retail group is expected to report disappointing like-for-like sales figures this week, and can ill-afford the loss of a day's online trading in such economic circumstances.

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Site review: TopGear.com

TopGear.com, the sister site to the popular BBC motoring programme, has been trumpeting its relaunch with a series of viral videos seeded on sites like YouTube and Facebook.

The look of the site has been improved, while car reviews, and more blog and video content has been added. The redesigned TopGear.com also displays new and used cars from AutoTrader. This brings it into competition with sites like Autocar and Parkers, so I've been seeing how it compares.

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Site review: Yelp.com

US listings and review website Yelp, already a big success in the US, launched a UK version this week, which covers the London area and a number of other major UK cities.

There are a few local listings sites in the UK already: Trusted Places, welovelocal, Tipped and Yell.com all offer similar sites with local business listings and user reviews, so how does Yelp's offering measure up?


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What does rising netbook popularity mean for web designers?

Netbooks are on the rise. The bare-bones laptops, which typically cost under $500 and are designed for web surfing and email, are increasingly the focus of major PC makers looking for growth.

And for good reason.

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The Great Usability Debate: Internal vs external testing?

There is an ever-urgent need for companies to both acquire and retain online users, especially in today’s economic environment. Our new Usability and User Experience Trends Briefing highlights this, but which is best for achieving reliable results - internal or external testing?

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Site review: thomascook.com

Travel operator Thomas Cook introduced a number of improvements before Christmas, including an improved holiday search function, and the addition of more multimedia content.

Since I had written a post last year listing ten different problems with the Thomas Cook website which were affecting the user experience, it seems only fair to give credit for some of the improvements that have been made since then.

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Gap.com's single checkout not a good idea after all: report

US clothing retailer Gap.com launched a nice new e-commerce site in June last year, but it seems the decision to integrate its four brands into one checkout function hasn't worked as well as it hoped.

The retailer has designed its site so that users can shop from Banana Republic, Old Navy, and Piperlime, as well as Gap itself, and checkout at the same time, but this has had the unintential effect of undermining perception of the brand, according to Foresee Results.

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Site review: Matalan

High street retailer Matalan unveiled its first e-commerce website just before Christmas, though the company is just selling its women's clothing range online at the moment.

I've been having a look at the new website, designed by Code Computerlove and using BT Fresca's e-commerce platform, to see how it shapes up from a user experience perspective.

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ITV Player finally catching up to iPlayer?

ITV has been busy promoting its newly rebranded video player lately, as it attempts to improve take up of its online catch up service.

While video views on ITV.com have risen over the past year, it still lags behind the iPlayer. It has updated again though, and now the ITV Player looks more of a match for the BBC's online video offering.

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