*** Increased understanding of commercial benefits of usability and accessibility to boost UK market spending to almost £150m by the end of 2006, according to the internet research publisher E-consultancy. ***

London, 23 February 2006: The combined UK Usability and Accessibility markets grew 28% in 2005 from £90m to £115m, according to E-consultancy’s 2006 Usability & Accessibility Buyer’s Guide published this week (www.e-consultancy.com/in/usability-research-2006).

The fast growth of these markets reflects the buoyancy of the internet sector and, more specifically, an increased understanding of the commercial benefits of best practice and user-centric business models.

E-consultancy predicts that the combined usability and accessibility markets will grow by a further 25% in 2006, resulting in a market value of £144m by the end of the year. E-consultancy’s valuation is based on money spent on usability and accessibility resources both client-side (internally) and through agencies.

“These markets are growing very quickly because more and more companies are realising that an optimal online experience is directly linked to commercial success,” said E-consultancy analyst Linus Gregoriadis.

He added: “The user experience is becoming more of a focal point for both smaller and larger organisations. This has led to increased investment in internal capabilities as well as spending with the agencies and consultants who have the necessary expertise.

“It’s not just investment on websites that is increasing. Companies are recognising that they need to deliver an experience which is consistent across other channels such as mobile devices and interactive television as well as the internet.”

Key market trends in 2006

• Market grew by 28% in 2005 to £115m. Likely to grow by around 25% to £144m by the end of 2006.

• Increased investment by SMEs in addition to continued spending by Blue Chips.

• Growing marketplace understanding of commercial benefits of usability, and the business case for accessibility.

• Growing shortage of experience, particular cross-platform expertise, at a time of rising demand for holistic customer experience irrespective of channel.

• Further increase in the number of organisations paying a retainer to consultancies. Market is maturing in this respect.

About this report

This guide is primarily aimed at buyers of usability and accessibility services. The 2006 buyer’s guide features in-depth profiles of 24 UK-based usability / accessibility agencies plus market research on growth and drivers of growth.

There is also information about return on investment benefits and pricing models, as well as advice about how to pick the right agency. It is a great time-saving report for anybody researching the usability and accessibility market. It is also invaluable for digital strategists.

Which suppliers/technologies are featured in the buyer’s guide?

AbilityNet, Amberlight, Bunnyfoot, Clearleft, cxpartners, Designed for All, Digital Habitats, Effortmark, Elemental Creative, fhios, Flow Interactive, Foolproof, Foviance, Nomensa, Optimum.web, Segala, Serco Usability Services, System Concepts, Usability by Design, UsabilityWorks, User Vision, Userfocus, Webcredible, The Web Usability Partnership.

Click on link for access to full report:
Usability & Accessibility – A Buyer’s Guide (2006)
www.e-consultancy.com/in/usability-research-2006

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Media contacts:
Linus Gregoriadis, Analyst, E-consultancy
(e: linus@e-consultancy.com t: 0207 681 4051)

Chris Lake, Editor, E-consultancy.com
(e: chris@e-consultancy.com t: 0207 6814052)

About E-consultancy

E-consultancy is the UK’s leading online publisher of best practice internet marketing reports, research and how-to guides. It also publishes buyer’s guides and has a directory of 100,000+ third party internet marketing white papers.

Since moving to a paid-content model in 2003 E-consultancy has amassed thousands of paying subscribers, more than 35,000 registered users and 150,000+ unique users sessions per month. Its weekly newsletter is sent to 20,000 users. Subscribers pay from £149 per year to access the exclusive and highly practical content, which helps internet marketers get the most out of their websites.

E-consultancy has more than 100 events lined up for 2006, including roundtables and monthly Supplier Showcases, where six suppliers pitch to an audience of pre-qualified buyers (typically between 100-150) in a Central London venue. E-consultancy also provides a range of public and in-house training programmes, such as seminars and workshops.

http://www.e-consultancy.com/about/

Other E-consultancy reports

• Managing An E-commerce Team (June 2005)

• Web Analytics: A Buyer’s Guide (June 2005)

• Online Advertising Networks: A Buyer’s Guide (July 2005)

• Affiliate Marketing Networks: A Buyer’s Guide (September 2005)

• E-commerce Solutions: A Buyer’s Guide (October 2005)

• Online Ad Serving Solutions: A Buyer’s Guide (January 2006)

Published on: 12:00AM on 23rd February 2006