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Posts in Customer Experience

If SEO's a hygiene factor, why are so many sites dirty?

Many in the SEO world joke that if an agency or consultant starts talking about title or meta tags to potential clients, they should be ignored as this sort of thing is now considered very basic and suggests that the SEO doesn't know what they're talking about.

But looking at the websites of some pretty major brands, it's clear that for many people, SEO 101 is still pretty advanced.

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The last mile - a rant about delivery

Call me old fashioned if you will, but I still believe in the premise that when a customer places an order online, they should receive their goods within the timeframe highlighted by the retailer. Or better still, they should actually receive their order at all!

How about really stretching it and offering the customer the opportunity to choose a convenient delivery method and time?

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Site review: Halfords.com

Halfords recently launched a reserve online, collect in-store service so we had a look its website from a user experience perspective.

Halfords homepage

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Just how much of the customer journey will Google own?

Google's stated mission is to "organize the world's information and make it universally accessible and useful".

The genius of this statement is that it sounds quite innocuous, indeed philanthropic, despite its obvious grand ambition, but actually allows pretty much anything within its scope.

It is interesting to see just how much of the online customer journey (from search, to research, to purchase) Google is taking hold of. Will we all end up as "wholesalers" to Google's customers?

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10 things Tesco can do better online

Tesco.com receives more than 300,000 orders a week and its online sales for the first half of 2007 reached £748m, so it is hard to pick any flaws with it's business. But could it be doing even better? We think so.

Tesco is in a similar situation to Amazon (which we looked at last week) and may not want to mess around with a site that is clearly working in terms of revenue.

Nevertheless, we've identified 10 areas that could be tweaked to generate even more of the green stuff for the retailer...

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Breathing customer oxygen: How to build a customer-centric retail organisation

Everyday work life is filled with profit and losses, initiatives, metrics, administration, logistics and politics. All of this – along with the operational aspects of running your retail establishment – is vital to your business.

However, the most important aspect of your business, and one that must be measured on an ongoing basis, is the opinions and perspectives of your customers.

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Eye-tracking 2.0: it's about users, not science

Eye-tracking has been used in web design for many years. However, the widespread preconception is that it takes PhD skilled technicians - plus long consulting hours - to make any sense or use of people’s eye gaze data.

The value from eye-tracking has been directly related to consultancy skills, but shouldn’t it be more about real users?

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Online advertisers! Stop shouting at me!

There are a number of very irritating advertising techniques still used on the web today. Pop-ups, overlays and site intros are all highly annoying, but for me the worst ads are the ones that play sound as soon as you visit a web page.

I seem to be noticing this a lot more recently, and it isn't limited to low rent websites or brands. A bunch of well-respected sites regularly allow this, despite the fact that it makes visitors aim for the Back button.

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Arena Flowers’ Sam Barton on web design and development

Online florist Arena Flowers has had quite a lucrative time since its launch in late 2006.

The site says it generated £2m in revenues in its first year, helped by a strong focus on SEO, a bespoke e-commerce platform and a Facebook app that provides 15% of its traffic (albeit at lower conversion rates).

Here, head of design and development Sam Barton talks about its web strategy and plans for the future.

Arena Flowers homepage

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Do you make these user experience mistakes?

Online retailers and other website owners still have plenty of room for improvement, as some are still guilty of some avoidable usability problems.

Jakob Nielsen recently said that terrible websites are less common now, but an investment in improving user experience can still pay off, with average ROI around 83%.

We list ten common usability problems found on all kinds of websites...

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Ten things Amazon can do better online

Amazon is one of the great e-commerce success stories, and we often use the site as an example of best practice. But what can it improve?

The site's usability isn't perfect but users have become familiar with the way it works, and Amazon won't want to mess with a winning formula. It's the same story with eBay. Change isn't so easy once you achieve scale at a global level.

Nevertheless we've spotted some areas that could be improved upon...

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Fight Club: BBC iPlayer vs ITV's Video Player

According to figures quoted in The Guardian this week, ITV's online video player has been losing traffic, while the BBC iPlayer has grown rapidly since its official launch last month.

ITV's offering beat the iPlayer to market, launching a 30 day catch-up service back in June, so why has the BBC overtaken it so quickly? Let's take a closer look at the two services to find out...

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