tag:econsultancy.com,2008:/topics/user-experience-and-usability Latest User Experience and Usability content from Econsultancy 2018-04-18T09:30:00+01:00 tag:econsultancy.com,2008:BlogPost/69950 2018-04-18T09:30:00+01:00 2018-04-18T09:30:00+01:00 Spotify UX vs. Apple Music UX: How do they compare? Sean Cole <p>I’ll mostly be looking at major features that these apps have in common, such as homepages, browse and search. I have both services already, so I won’t be walking you through the sign-up processes for either of these services – but from memory they were both about as painless as each other.</p> <h3>Opening the app</h3> <p>From the off there are very different and distinct ‘homepages’ on each app. Let’s start with Spotify, which opts for a very visual, image-led display with emphasis on icons and images to engage the user.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0009/3665/spotify_home_new.jpg" alt="spotify home" width="300"></p> <p>This screen is home in all senses of the word for the app – clearly headed sections draw the user’s attention towards a particular feature or journey, to find music without moving off page one.</p> <p>Spotify is clever in its approach – having a long ‘home’ page enables the user to find lots of content (‘made for you’, ‘more like’, ‘recently played’, etc.) without having to navigate the footer menu.</p> <p>The sleek design also makes the most of the sideways swipe, with each feature’s slider providing you with sub-genres and curated playlists.</p> <p>You could quite easily visit only this page for your music fix – probably most notably the ‘made for you’ section which hosts playlists and mixes based on what you listen to when you’re on the app. Machine learning at its most effective!</p> <p>There are some really interesting and cool features to add value for music lovers here, such as the ‘concerts near you’ section, which provides you with a list of upcoming gigs also based on artists that you listen to regularly (don’t expect to see anything from Justin Bieber unless you’re a genuine Belieber).</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0009/3664/spotify_home_new_2.jpg" alt="spotify home" width="300"></p> <p>Apple Music takes a slightly different approach. The app doesn’t actually have a ‘home’ screen by name, in the way that Spotify does, instead using the ‘library’ tab as the default homepage for users (note that Spotify has a separate library page).</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0009/3663/apple_music_library_new.jpg" alt="apple music library" width="300"></p> <p>‘Library’ elicits a feeling of ownership, which may be part of the reason Apple opted for this language (with a history of users buying music through iTunes) but that’s not the only way it differs from Spotify.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0009/3662/apple_music_library_new_2.jpg" alt="apple music library" width="300"></p> <p>Instead of a page of discovery (suggested playlists and aggregated mixes) Apple opts for a menu-led approach. These dry category links (‘albums’, ‘songs’, ‘downloaded music’) and 'recently added' tiles indicate that although this is your library, if you want anything outside of what you have already listened to, you may have to work for it (i.e. use the footer menu). Which leads me on to….</p> <h3>Browse</h3> <p>Both apps have a browse feature in the footer menu which gives you the opportunity as a user to properly refine what you’re looking for. Again let’s take a look at Spotify first…</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0009/3653/spotify_browse_new.jpg" alt="spotify browse function" width="300"></p> <p>As with the ‘home’ page, Spotify maintains its visual approach at the top, with a slider of personalised playlists such as ‘Happy Friday’. This is a really nice touch that plays to the growing expectations of users – if you’re learning about me as I listen, I expect to be served something that at least makes sense (doesn’t put me off too much) when I want to have a wander through the musical universe.</p> <p>Below this slider there are six different filters users can choose (from ‘charts’ to ‘videos’ to ‘podcasts’), making it clear that the user is in control of what they want to consume even when they’re browsing.</p> <p>An additional nice touch is the ‘discover’ option, which immediately piques user interest to engage further with the app (spoiler, you’re met with more playlists based on artists and albums you frequent). Keeping with the theme of the app, once you scroll down below the fold you’re greeted with ‘genres and moods’ an eclectic range of 36 different genres, activities and moods from K-Pop all the way through to sleep (represented by tiles each with its own icon) – a little something for everyone. </p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0009/3650/spotify_browse_new_2.jpg" alt="spotify genres and moods" width="300"></p> <p>Apple opts for a similar approach – topical curated playlists at the top using the same sideways swiping as Spotify for navigation. Again, like Spotify, there are six distinct categories designed to make the experience of browsing music as easy and organised as possible.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0009/3661/apple_music_browse_new.jpg" alt="apple music browse" width="300"></p> <p>But whereas Spotify again gives you 36 genres and moods on the one page, you’re a further tap away from getting to a similar list on Apple Music. With this said, Apple could argue that the categories on the browse page are distinct enough that users shouldn’t really get too lost as they know exactly what they’re getting from each tap of the screen. </p> <h3>Radio</h3> <p>A feature that Apple Music prides itself on is its Beats 1 Radio feature, which Larry Jackson, <a href="https://www.theverge.com/2017/3/25/15056856/drake-more-life-apple-music-jimmy-iovine-streaming-numbers">speaking to The Verge in 2017</a>, called “the biggest radio station in the world,” adding, “There’s no way you’re going to find another station that has as many concurrent listeners.”</p> <p>And you can see why as soon as you click. From hosted shows by famous artists and a selection of curated radio shows you can tell this is where Apple is really interested in people using the platform and the experience is really impressive.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0009/3659/apple_radio_beats_new.jpg" alt="apple beats radio" width="300"></p> <p>The use of influencers, radio DJs and artist-led shows help to make the user feel as if they’re listening to some of the newest music in tandem with their favourite artists.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0009/3658/apple_radio_beats_new_2.jpg" alt="apple beats radio" width="300"></p> <p>Apple does seem to have taken a leaf out of Spotify’s book when it comes to heavy imagery and a much longer scrolling experience. However, if we’re looking at this objectively, it’s clear that this, from a user’s perspective, is where Apple Music excels and Spotify struggles. It’s almost like a role reversal – with Spotify having less inspiring content discovery in its radio feature and simpler signposting of content.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0009/3654/spotify_radio_new.jpg" alt="spotify radio" width="300"></p> <h3>Search</h3> <p>Search is probably the most important feature to get right on apps that claims to have all the world’s music at your fingertips. Putting aside the increasing use of voice search (through Siri and Google Assistant), it’s good to take a look at which of the two streaming services are providing users with what they want most effectively in-app.</p> <p>Spotify’s search function is very predictive and intuitive. As soon as you type a letter results appear straight away and true to form there is a visual stimulus (in the form of an artist’s picture or playlist cover) to greet you. Also true to form, all of the associated results (songs, artists, playlists) are based on artists that you listen to most which really helps hammer home the personalised experience when using the app.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0009/3656/spotify_search_new.jpg" alt="spotify search" width="300"></p> <p>Even from the search function, it’s clear that Spotify wants you to stay on one page, with a lot of content based on your listening behaviour and the collective top results, until you’re ready to move onto the next page. There’s something really neat and tidy about this and as long as you don’t mind scrolling it’s super easy to find your desired song, album and artist etc.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0009/3655/spotify_search_new_2.jpg" alt="spotify search" width="300"></p> <p>Apple provides a much less visual list of results, suggested based on popular searches (it would appear) by everyone using the app. It is predictive, just like Spotify, and like much of the app the search results are really text heavy, appearing as a list with some iconography to help users distinguish between artist, song and album.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0009/3657/apple_music_search_new.jpg" alt="apple music search" width="300"></p> <p>A cool feature that Apple Music does have in search though is the ability to flick between searching Apple Music or just ‘Your Library’. This can be really useful if you have a lot of music/videos saved to the Apple cloud and/or saved to your phone and want to just see what you do have available to you without having to stream it or download it.</p> <h3>Closing comments </h3> <p>Our relationship with music is and always will be changing and it’s up to the streaming services that we commit to to provide us with an easy and delightful experience when using their apps. The 'Spotify vs. Apple Music' debate is one that is often based more on personal preference than anything else and although we can look closely at functionality and suggest where one is outperforming the other, it’s easy to miss the fact that there is no ‘one size fits all’ approach that will please everyone that uses the product.</p> <p>Spotify has been the major player in the music streaming world for some time now in part due to lack of competition but also down to their great user interface, but if recent reports are anything to go by Apple Music is slowly but surely nipping at their heels in the market (Wall Street Journal <a href="https://www.wsj.com/articles/apple-music-on-track-to-overtake-spotify-in-u-s-subscribers-1517745720">predicts</a> that Apple’s superior growth rate – 5% to 2% – could see it surpass Spotify for users). Who needs all those images anyway?</p> tag:econsultancy.com,2008:BlogPost/69956 2018-04-17T13:26:22+01:00 2018-04-17T13:26:22+01:00 Goldman Sachs buys personal finance & budgeting app to bolster its growing retail banking business Patricio Robles <p>Case in point: Goldman Sachs, which <a href="https://www.wsj.com/articles/goldman-sachs-comes-to-the-app-store-1523829570">just acquired</a> Clarity Money for a sum reported to be in the high eight figures.</p> <p>Clarity Money is the creator of a personal finance and budgeting app that helps its approximately one million users “take control of” their finances. To do that, it aggregates data from the accounts users give it access to and then analyzes that data “harness[ing] the power of artificial intelligence (AI), machine learning and data science.”</p> <p>The app allows users to set savings goals, highlights spending habits and overspending, identifies subscriptions that could be canceled, and suggests credit cards that might be a good fit.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0009/3625/clarity.png" alt="" width="433" height="623"></p> <p>According to the Wall Street Journal, Clarity Money's app “is expected to serve as the smartphone storefront for Goldman's growing suite of retail products, which the Journal has reported could include wealth-management tools, home mortgages, point-of-sale loans and insurance policies.”</p> <p>Those retail products, which include high-yield savings accounts and personal loans, are being offered under the Marcus brand, which has acquired some 350,000 customers and originated $2.5bn in loans.</p> <h3>Customer acquisition <em>and</em> tech</h3> <p>Goldman believes that Marcus has the potential to become a far more substantial part of its business. How big? The firm reportedly believes that its personal loan offering has the potential to generate over $1bn in profit over the next three years – an amount equivalent to profits from its trading operations – and <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/69789-goldman-sachs-is-taking-a-fintech-approach-to-grow-its-consumer-lending-business">is taking a fintech-like approach to gaining traction in the market for point-of-sale consumer financing</a>, a $200bn a year business.</p> <p>But despite its lofty ambitions and process to date, Marcus' current numbers, however respectable, are a drop in the bucket for Goldman, which has been using direct mail to woo new customers, and that's where the Clarity Money acquisition comes in.</p> <p>Clarity Money's million users are all potential customers for Marcus, and if the financial giant is able to convert a good percentage of them, the acquisition could pay for itself quite quickly. </p> <p>But the acquisition isn't just about customer acquisition. As the Wall Street Journal notes, Marcus somewhat remarkably doesn't yet have any mobile apps. So if Goldman does indeed use Clarity Money as the “smartphone storefront” for Marcus, the acquisition will be a critical component of the Marcus business going forward, and one on which the Goldman's consumer venture's success or failure might rest.</p> <h3>A digital transformation study to watch</h3> <p>For that reason alone, Goldman's acquisition of Clarity Money could be one of the most important of 2018 to watch. Indeed, as the Wall Street Journal points out, other financial firms have purchased personal finance apps only to later shutter them. For example, <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/69874-capital-one-s-new-browser-extension-is-a-great-example-of-common-sense-fintech-innovation">Capital One</a> purchased Level Money in 2015 only to kill it off 18 months later, and Prosper ditched Billguard, which it purchased for $30m, after two years.</p> <p>If Clarity Money is to avoid that same fate, Goldman will have to navigate potential conflicts between its interest in growing Marcus and maintaining the neutral experience that Clarity Money's users signed up for. Specifically, Goldman could find it tricky to offer a Marcus-branded credit card, which it is reportedly considering, while maintaining the feature in Clarity Money that recommends credit cards based on users' finances and spending habits.</p> <p>How Goldman addresses this might provide a blueprint for other large banks as their relationships with fintechs are expected to <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/69680-fintechs-and-banks-to-partner-in-2018-thanks-to-open-banking">become a lot more cozy</a>.</p> tag:econsultancy.com,2008:BlogPost/69943 2018-04-13T10:40:31+01:00 2018-04-13T10:40:31+01:00 What makes HQ Trivia a winning mobile app? Nikki Gilliland <p>Recently, you might have noticed your mates or colleagues hooked on another game – one that’s played by appointment only. HQ Trivia is a new mobile app that’s gaining huge popularity both in the UK and US, reportedly generating over five million downloads since its release last August. </p> <p>So, why is a simple trivia game gaining such traction? Here’s more on the app, and what we can learn from its success.</p> <h3>Shared moments</h3> <p>HQ Trivia has a fairly basic premise – one that mimics that of a live game show. Players log on to the app each day at 3pm and 9pm to take part in quiz made up of 12 multiple choice questions. The players who answer all questions correctly split the winning cash prize, which can extend into thousands of pounds or dollars.</p> <p>Each game (which is hosted by Scott Rogowsky in the US and Sharon Carpenter in the UK) lasts for around 15 minutes. </p> <p>It might be a simple formula, but HQ Trivia is particularly clever in how it keeps users coming back for more. With other social or mobile apps, users can often be distracted or bored due to continuous play or browsing. Instead, the scheduled, live, and lightning-fast elements of HQ means that users are left wanting more each time.</p> <p>Meanwhile, with two daily games set at specific times, gaming becomes a regular part of the user’s daily routine, enhanced by the knowledge that others are also sharing in the same experience.</p> <blockquote class="twitter-tweet"> <p lang="en" dir="ltr">When you play <a href="https://twitter.com/hqtrivia?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@hqtrivia</a> and know Q12 but you lost on Q5 <a href="https://t.co/FgSFRcLAn2">pic.twitter.com/FgSFRcLAn2</a></p> — Emily Johnston (@Miss_EmilyJay) <a href="https://twitter.com/Miss_EmilyJay/status/982064683988365312?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">April 6, 2018</a> </blockquote> <p>Most interestingly of all perhaps, in a world where consumers are able to access content at their own leisure (proven by the huge popularity of Netflix and Spotify) - HQ Trivia shows that there’s still a place for live broadcasts, with the app becoming a must-visit destination for millions each day. </p> <h3>Tangible rewards</h3> <p>While it is certainly entertaining, HQ Trivia wouldn’t be so successful if it wasn’t offering players something in return. The cash prizes certainly ramp up interest and excitement in the game, as users try and try again for the chance to win. </p> <p>Unsurprisingly, it's not all that easy. The questions are tough and often obscure, meaning the odds of winning are slim. Plus, the total cash prize usually ends up being pretty paltry due to the large amount of people playing each time. Even so, the mere opportunity to be victorious is enough for most to return.</p> <p>This kind of strategy is nothing new, of course. Brands of all kinds typically use rewards to drive loyalty and engagement, but HQ Trivia’s gamification element shows just how effective it can be. </p> <p>Combined with the fast-paced, interactive, and competitive nature of the app - it makes for a frustratingly addictive user experience. </p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0009/3535/HQ_Trivia_prize.JPG" alt="" width="300" height="545"></p> <h3>Social &amp; sponsored elements</h3> <p>While it’s nice to know that friends and family might also be playing along, the app has recently introduced a new feature to expand on social elements. ‘Friends on HQ’ (only currently available in the UK) lets users find and add friends in order to track their progress and compare scores.</p> <p>It’s a clever move, as the feature will undoubtedly create even more healthy competition and incentivise players to return. It perhaps also signifies where HQ Trivia might be headed in future, with social elements (like messaging) being another way to keep players in the app as well as potentially encourage usage in between live quizzes. </p> <p>This is especially pertinent in relation to brand involvement - that’s if HQ Trivia goes on to accept more sponsored content or even ads in future. As a venture-backed company, HQ doesn’t appear in too much of a hurry to monetise the app – it has only recently started working with brands, with both Nike and Warner Bros. sponsoring quizzes in exchange for promotion. </p> <p>The more brands get involved, however, the more HQ will want to increase usage (and figure out an advertising model that doesn’t alienate users).</p> <blockquote class="twitter-tweet"> <p lang="en" dir="ltr">Over 2.2 MILLION players today! Thanks to <a href="https://twitter.com/TheRock?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@TheRock</a> &amp; <a href="https://twitter.com/rampagethemovie?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@rampagethemovie</a> for our special $300,000 game and congratulations to all of the winners! <a href="https://t.co/bNrUIVi83d">pic.twitter.com/bNrUIVi83d</a></p> — HQ Trivia (@hqtrivia) <a href="https://twitter.com/hqtrivia/status/984176936640565251?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">April 11, 2018</a> </blockquote> <h3>Flaws and all…</h3> <p>Finally, despite the swathes of people logging on to HQ Trivia twice a day, it seems not everyone gets the appeal. Just like Pokémon Go and other popular games, it has a 'love it or hate it' reputation, with some steering clear (perhaps out of fear of becoming entirely addicted.)</p> <p>Interestingly enough, it also seems that even the most loyal fans find the app frustrating to say the least. The peppy nature of the hosts can be grating, while the technology is highly temperamental – there’s been reports of the app freezing and even games crashing half-way through. </p> <p>However, the slightly dodgy nature of the UX has in some ways added to the app’s appeal. As well as sharing in the excitement of the game, players also share their frustration over glitches and other infamous HQ Trivia traits. </p> <blockquote class="twitter-tweet"> <p lang="en" dir="ltr">if you then you<br>don't love don't deserve<br>me at my me at my <a href="https://t.co/v0957kZEWT">pic.twitter.com/v0957kZEWT</a></p> — HQ Trivia Fans (@hqtriviafans) <a href="https://twitter.com/hqtriviafans/status/981615498591899651?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">April 4, 2018</a> </blockquote> <h3>Where will it go from here?</h3> <p>While there’s a lot to appreciate about HQ Trivia, there are of course big questions about its longevity. Like with most apps, there’s certainly the danger of users getting bored. </p> <p>Will it be able to sustain current levels of excitement, or will it fade like just any other gaming fad?</p> <p>As brand involvement increases, there's definitely the potential for games to become bigger and better (in terms of prizes and overall UX). However, there’s also the danger of a slicker and more monetised version diluting the company’s start-up origins, as well as alienating users in the process.</p> <p>While we wait to find out, other brands could certainly learn a thing or two from HQ Trivia's interactive, competitive, and familiar format. Also proving that there's power in the destination experience - we could see others start to follow suit with in-app live-streaming in future.</p> <p><strong>Related reading:</strong></p> <ul> <li><a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/68060-what-brands-can-learn-from-nintendo-s-digital-transformation-and-pokemon-go" target="_blank">What brands can learn from Nintendo’s digital transformation and Pokemon GO</a></li> <li><a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/69456-how-mobile-apps-can-shape-the-premier-league-fan-player-experience" target="_blank">How mobile apps can shape the Premier League fan &amp; player experience</a></li> <li><a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/68113-in-app-advertising-one-user-s-experience" target="_blank">In-app advertising: One user’s experience</a></li> </ul> tag:econsultancy.com,2008:BlogPost/69933 2018-04-11T09:30:00+01:00 2018-04-11T09:30:00+01:00 How to put people at the heart of your design sprint Alan Colville <h3>What is a design sprint?</h3> <p>A design sprint condenses endless debates and discussions to help a team go from strategy, ideas and prototype to testing with real customers in just five days.</p> <p>Here’s a short 90-second video to explain by Jake Knapp, Design partner at Google Ventures and inventor of the Design Sprint.</p> <p><iframe src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/K2vSQPh6MCE?wmode=transparent" width="560" height="315"></iframe></p> <p>Get it right, and a design sprint can deliver benefits that far outlast those energetic five days. They help businesses question established ways of working, feel comfortable with uncertainty, see the benefits of cross-discipline collaboration and put aside organisational structure to deliver great customer experiences. </p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0009/3483/jack_knapp_sprints.png" alt="jack knapp design sprint illustration" width="615" height="346"></p> <p><em><a href="http://www.gv.com/sprint/">Image via Jake Knapp and Google Ventures</a></em></p> <p>With all these benefits, it’s no surprise that businesses are eager to start using design sprints and other design thinking and Agile development techniques over traditional ways of working.</p> <p>However, for design sprints to be successful, they need to be used with caution.  </p> <h3>When should you start sprinting?</h3> <p>I’ve heard plenty of horror stories around unsuccessful design sprints, which isn’t surprising - travelling at high speed comes with its fair share of risk, and derailing is common. But if you’re keen to start gathering speed, here are some ideal times to start a design sprint: </p> <ul> <li>At moments of failure - a sprint helps teams restart when they’ve previously been unsuccessful </li> <li>When you’ve reached an impasse - it brings people together to crack a big and gnarly challenge </li> <li>When you’re short of time – sprints fast-track when you can’t afford to get stuck in a long, drawn-out processes </li> <li>When motivation is low – a high energy, highly collaborative sprint can reinvigorate teams </li> <li>When the organisational structure of the business is a barrier – sprints can foster collaboration across the business and bring different groups together </li> </ul> <h3>Gearing up for a sprint</h3> <p>When it comes to getting the most out of a design sprint, you can’t just hit the ground running. There’s planning that needs to be done first. In large organisations, this can take weeks or months. And once you’ve decided to embark on a design sprint, you’ll need to convince the business that it’s worth the investment. </p> <p>It helps to namedrop some of the big, innovative companies that use design sprints, like Google and Slack. To get you started, here’s <a href="https://sprintstories.com/how-to-sell-design-sprints-279646af8714?gi=8c3d2afec428">a handy guide to making the case for design sprints</a>, written by the lead designer at Airbnb. Be sure to focus on the benefits, communicate why design sprints differ from the existing process and provide examples of who it’s helped in the past. </p> <h3>Getting others to join you</h3> <p>Once you’ve sold the concept of running a design sprint, the next challenge is getting the right people to turn up. Here are three tactics I find helpful: </p> <h4>1. Meet them first, invite them last</h4> <p>Asking for five days of someone’s time shouldn’t be done without explaining, face-to-face, why they should care, why they should invest so much of their time and what they’ll get out of it. If you can’t meet them face-to-face, set up a phone call. Whatever you do, do not send a meeting invite unannounced as you’ll scare people off. </p> <h4>2. Tackle their biggest worry </h4> <p>“I don’t have time for this” is the most common response I hear when inviting people to a design sprint. Demonstrate how a five-day sprint is a way to save, not waste, time. Reassure them that the days will start later, finish earlier and include longer lunch breaks to allow them to take care of other work commitments. </p> <h4>3. Offer support roles </h4> <p>Some people simply won’t be able to commit to all five days. It’s vital to be flexible, especially for more senior stakeholders. Consider asking them to come along at specific times on specific days, or if they’re really short on time, conduct a 20-minute expert interview with them on the first day of the sprint. A quick, expert interview is not only highly time efficient, but is a great opportunity to check with experts that you are on the right track and gets value senior buy-in through their involvement.</p> <h3>How to put people at the heart of your sprint and keep them motivated</h3> <p>Design sprints can easily go off-track if you don’t take care of their most important element - the people. A five-day sprint can often feel more like a marathon, at times uncertain and uncomfortable for its participants.</p> <p>The design sprint process expertly combines techniques from business strategy, design thinking, behavioral economics, UX and more in a fundamentally different way. The aim of the process is to confront and weed out our human inefficiencies and biases like long debate, difficulty in making decisions and worry about consensus.</p> <p>It helps to be aware of the key techniques and strategies involved in staying on track during a design sprint. </p> <h3>Sprint efficiency techniques and strategies </h3> <ol> <li>Cross business representation - getting a variety of departments on board for cross-business collaboration </li> <li>No devices - avoid the distraction of phones and laptops until predefined breaks</li> <li>Keep the team small – having approximately seven of the right people in the room</li> <li>Set solo work - individual-generated ideas are quicker, better and more plentiful than group thinking</li> <li>Set inescapable deadlines - looming deadlines force focus and make people more efficient </li> <li>A bit of competition – putting individuals against each other gets the best from people</li> <li>Independent decision making – decide and move on rather than time sapping consensus</li> <li>Short, energetic bursts – breaks every sixty to ninety minutes to not drain the battery</li> <li>Divide and swarm – divvy up the tasks to work concurrently and increase productivity</li> <li>Prototype - answer questions by producing prototypes (not PowerPoint presentations) </li> <li>Finish with a test - put your final prototype in front of real customers  </li> </ol> <h3>A day-by-day guide to putting people at the heart of a sprint </h3> <p>Each day people will experience highs and lows of emotions as they come face-to-face with the rigid sprint process and encounter the above techniques. Knowing when these highs and lows can occur can help you better anticipate and deal with these fluctuations.</p> <p>To help illustrate, I’ve created an emotional map, where you’ll see that the first day should be up and up, but days two and three can be trickiest, and day five will leave people feeling like they’ve achieved something extraordinary.</p> <p><em>(Click to enlarge)</em></p> <p><a href="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0009/3502/Design_Sprint_emotional_map_final.png"><em><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0009/3503/Design_Sprint_emotional_map_final.png" alt="design sprint day-by-day framework" width="615"></em></a></p> <h3>Getting the best from people each day </h3> <p>Here’s a day-by-day guide for getting the best out of people on each day of your design sprint. </p> <h4>Day One - make a map </h4> <p>Start by agreeing a long-term goal. Then compile a list of questions that need answering in order to meet that goal and create a map of the problem. Like any good map, it should show the destination, key landmarks and potential pitfalls. Validate the work so far with experts from across the business in a series of 20-minute interviews, then revisit the goal, questions and map before picking a target area for the sprint.</p> <p>Distilling the sprint into a single goal focuses the team, helping them feel calmer and less overwhelmed by the process. The map is a quick and effective way of chunking up the problem space in a way that people can understand and navigate.</p> <p>Critically, at the end of the first day, the story of the map will be shared with experts in short interviews to gauge that the team is on track. Done right, at the end of the first day, people should feel in good hands, trusting in the process and excited about what’s to come. </p> <h4>Day Two - start sketching solutions </h4> <p>Start the day with some lightning demos for inspiration, followed by a review of previous efforts to remix and improve during sketching, so people leave for lunch feeling energised and inspired. In the afternoon, ask the team to formulate these ideas into competing sketches - this may feel new, pressured and even uncomfortable. One particularly effective but also testing technique is ‘Crazy 8s’, which asks people to take their favourite idea and sketch eight variations in eight minutes.</p> <p>Reassure the team that it’s normal to feel uncomfortable and remind them of the benefits of working and sketching this way - it’s the fastest way to generate and develop more concrete ideas. Comfort them that you are not looking for Picassos – so go fast and messy. It’s also worth reminding them that they don’t need to share every sketch with the group - just those they’re happy with and the one at the end.</p> <p>Luckily, the process is step-by-step, so ask people to just take it a step at a time. Let them know that if they are struggling, then you are there to help. Finally, inspire them into action by letting them know that often exercises like Crazy-8s can bring revelations.</p> <h4>Day Three - decide what works </h4> <p>In the morning, the team will critique the many ideas generated the day before and decide which ones to turn into a testable hypothesis in the form of a step-by-step storyboard. A straw poll is a quick way for the whole team to express their opinion on which is the best solution. Everyone has three votes, but the decider’s vote trumps everyone else’s. That also means that if the decider votes for three solutions, all three should be taken forward, either by incorporating them into one prototype, or as part of different, competing prototypes.  </p> <p>It’s worth pointing out up front that day three can feel unnatural but effective. Explain that there won’t be lengthy discussions because today is all about making decisions. Remind them that every vote counts, discarded ideas may be revisited later and the voting system is the most effective way to move towards achieving the end goal.</p> <h4>Day Four - build a prototype </h4> <p>Today is where it all comes together, but not without a big push from the team. They’ll turn the previous day’s storyboard into a realistic prototype in just seven hours. It’s important to move away from the idea of creating a ‘perfect’ prototype, in favour of generating something that’s ‘good enough’. It needs to be believable for the next day’s testing, but not so high-quality that you don’t get it finished in time. </p> <p>People may feel as though it’s impossible to create a realistic prototype in just seven hours. Remind them that most of the thinking has been done, they have detailed sketches to work from, that people will be allocated specific tasks and that it doesn’t need to be perfect. It’s a day when it’s easy to let time slip, so continue to apply the sprint techniques and strategies like inescapable deadlines, divide and swarm.</p> <p>And at the end of the day, celebrate a job well done. Remind them how much they’ve achieved in such a short space of time. </p> <h4>Day Five - test it with real people</h4> <p>The team - and the experts - will learn a huge amount from testing the prototype with real people. And by the end of the day, you should know exactly what needs to be done. The interviews will involve the customer ‘thinking aloud’, where they verbalise their thoughts as they move through the prototype - something most people aren’t used to doing.</p> <p>First put the customer at ease by reassuring them that it although it feels unnatural, it gets easier as they go along. And remind them they aren’t being tested. Make sure you don’t interrupt them and give them time to formulate their thoughts before they speak.</p> <p>Secondly, get the observing team to take note of as many direct quotes as possible, both positive and negative, to avoid simply capturing what they want to hear. The final day should be a revelation for those who do not usually get face-to-face with customers. The team will leave tired but with a huge sense of accomplishment and wanting to do it again for other projects.</p> <h3>Hints and tips for great sprint facilitation </h3> <p>The success of a design sprint hangs on good facilitation. As a facilitator, you’re there to offer guidance, not to take over. Here are some core principles to stick to:</p> <ul> <li>Ask permission </li> <li>Stay neutral </li> <li>Listen actively </li> <li>Ask questions </li> <li>Stay on track</li> <li>Give and receive feedback </li> <li>Test assumptions </li> <li>Collect ideas </li> <li>Paraphrase what’s been said </li> <li>Point out behaviour e.g. “I see you’ve gone quiet” </li> <li>Summarise clearly  </li> </ul> <p>And finally, good facilitators must:</p> <ul> <li>Be informed - get to know the people on your team, the business and the problems they face </li> <li>Be optimistic - to weed out shyness and cynicism</li> <li>Be consensual - focus on achieving the best outcome for everyone</li> <li>Be understanding - remember that your team have busy lives and work stress </li> <li>Be alert - keep gauging the group dynamic </li> <li>Be firm - be assertive in order to stay on track </li> <li>Be unobtrusive - know when to get out of the way and let others speak</li> </ul> <p>If you want to read more about good facilitation, I’d recommend <a href="https://www.amazon.co.uk/Facilitation-Glance-4th-Ingrid-Bens/dp/1576811832">Facilitation at a Glance</a> by Ingrid Bens. </p> <h3>Get sprinting</h3> <p>Design sprints may seem tough but they’re worth the effort. They take you from a problem that needs solving to testing a prototype with customers in just five days. They bring people together and show businesses a different, more effective way of working - a tantalising glimpse into the world of a start-up.</p> <p>But to be successful, they need to take care of the needs of the people involved, from addressing the concerns of the senior stakeholders, to keeping the core team motivated and inspired. Done right, design sprints can have a long-lasting effect on a business. Done wrong, and you may never get the chance to try one again. </p> <h3>Further reading and resources</h3> <ul> <li>Jake Knapp's book, <a href="http://www.thesprintbook.com/">Sprint</a>.</li> <li><a href="https://sprintstories.com/how-to-sell-design-sprints-279646af8714">Making the case for design sprints</a></li> <li><a href="https://designsprintkit.withgoogle.com/">The design sprint kit</a></li> <li><a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/68288-how-to-overcome-ux-challenges-with-product-design-sprints/">How to overcome UX challenges with product design sprints</a></li> </ul> tag:econsultancy.com,2008:BlogPost/69928 2018-04-09T12:30:00+01:00 2018-04-09T12:30:00+01:00 Four innovative examples of eye-tracking technology in marketing campaigns & products Nikki Gilliland <p>So, which brands have been among the first to cotton on? Let’s take a look at how companies are capitalising on consumer’s eyes.</p> <h3>Smashbox and beauty recommendations</h3> <p>Augmented reality is becoming commonplace <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/69716-why-fashion-and-beauty-brands-are-still-betting-on-chatbots" target="_blank">within the beauty industry</a>, with many brands launching AR-driven apps to create a more immersive user experience. Eye-tracking technology is being brought in-app, too, as a useful application of AR tech.</p> <p>In 2017, Smashbox partnered with Modiface - the company behind the popular AR app, MAKEUP. Smashbox's products were the first to officially be featured on the Makeup app, and the brand also tested out Modiface’s eye-tracking technology in order to discover what users are most interested in. </p> <p>Essentially, it allows Smashbox to determine where attention is focused, which in turn allows the brand to push or recommend particular products. For example, if a user lingers over an eyeshadow or mascara but doesn’t take action, the brand can then deliberately draw their attention back to this product in future marketing messages. </p> <p>As well as determining the most popular overall products, Smashbox also uses the technology to test and analyse the placement of call-to-action buttons. To demonstrate the effect of the tech, the brand's marketers split 8,819 app users into two groups, one was served a call-to-action button permanently placed near the top of the page, and the second only saw it after they had interacted with a particular product. </p> <p><a href="https://digiday.com/marketing/smashbox-using-eye-tracking-technology-increase-sales/">The results</a> showed that the conversion rate increased from 6.2% to 7.9% for the latter group, justifying the use of the technology and proving that it can help to drive sales when used in real-time.</p> <p><iframe src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/oMooOfT84AU?ecver=1&amp;wmode=transparent" width="854" height="480"></iframe></p> <h3>Palace Resorts and personalised marketing</h3> <p>Eye-tracking technology is fairly new in-app, but has been done with webcams for some time (particularly for UX research). Palace Resorts, however, has integrated webcam tech it into its latest online marketing campaign, serving users with a personalised experience based on how they use their eyes.</p> <p>Dubbed ‘Never Lift a Finger’ (a reference to the brand’s high-end and luxury position) - the campaign involves <a href="https://www.palaceresorts.expedia.com/us.html#/intro" target="_blank">a microsite</a> where visitors can partake <a href="https://www.econsultancy.com/blog/69505-eight-effective-examples-of-quizzes-in-content-marketing" target="_blank">in a quiz</a>. With the option to turn on their computer’s webcam, participants are asked to deliberately select their favourite type of Palace getaway, simply by lingering on the categories they prefer (i.e. ‘upscale dining’ or ‘laidback eateries’).</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0009/3367/Palace_resorts.JPG" alt="" width="600" height="517"></p> <p>At the end of the quiz, users are then presented with their ideal holiday resort, and prompted to click through to book.</p> <p>While this example is more of a marketing gimmick than something of tangible value for consumers, it’s perhaps a sign of how eye-tracking technology could be utilised in future. We’ve moved on from typing to speaking, so could the the next step be using our gaze? The technology is undoubtedly exciting for brands, but for now, Expedia has shown how it can also infuse fun and a bit of novelty into digital marketing. </p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0009/3368/Palace_2.JPG" alt="" width="760" height="382"></p> <h3>GSK and product development</h3> <p>Meanwhile, GSK - one of the world’s largest consumer healthcare companies – has been using eye-tracking technology for a much more actionable and conventional purpose. It has launched a ‘consumer sensory lab’ to test its products using eye-tracking devices and monitoring systems. </p> <p>Its ‘Shopper Science Lab’ is designed to look and feel like a real store, allowing real consumers to browse and shop while under analysis. The eye-tracking technology enables the brand to monitor how consumers interact with products on the shelf, and what packaging (or parts of it) they are most drawn to. In turn, the company is able to plan and develop future products (or make changes to current ones) based on this insight. For example, if a person shows a high level of fixation or repeats a fixation, it could be that product copy is more difficult to process or is unnecessarily complicated. </p> <p>Eye-tracking for market research is undoubtedly one of the most common ways companies are utilising the technology, but GSK shows how some are investing in it in a big way. </p> <p><iframe src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/MgK3tXrZWew?ecver=1&amp;wmode=transparent" width="854" height="480"></iframe></p> <h3>Toyota and its in-store experience</h3> <p>Much like store layouts, car showrooms can have a huge impact on the consumer-buying experience. In a bid to understand and improve its own showroom, Toyota partnered with eye-tracking experts Tobii Pro for a study to discover how visitors engaged and interacted while browsing.</p> <p>The 92 participants involved were separated into two groups – millennials and others – before exploring the interactive Toyota showroom. Interestingly, the eye-tracking technology picked up on two main points. First, that younger shoppers spent more time with interactive digital elements, while older shoppers’ attention was focused more on textual information. Overall, however, it also found that interactive digital screens generated the most engagement, proving that it’s an effective way to drive shoppers down the path to purchase.</p> <p>For <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/69496-four-examples-of-automotive-brands-that-are-innovating-the-customer-experience" target="_blank">automotive brands</a> like Toyota, eye-tracking technology doesn’t just provide general insight, but can directly influence sales. This is because car buyers use showrooms for a specific purchase, making it vital for brands to understand what features are the the most influential.</p> <p><iframe src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/wJMfShHoz9g?ecver=1&amp;wmode=transparent" width="854" height="480"></iframe></p> <h3>What does the future hold?</h3> <p>So, where will eye-tracking technology take us in future? </p> <p>Alongside greater adoption by user experience professionals, it’s been suggested that the biggest impact will be on <em>how</em> users interact with brands in the first place. </p> <p>As computers evolve to become even more intuitive, it appears that clicking, typing, and (with the recent adoption of voice technology) speaking won’t be the only way we will be able to interact online. </p> <p>For now, the technology is certainly a worthwhile investment for brands keen to better understand and engage consumers in a variety of ways.</p> <p><em><strong>More for UX lovers:</strong></em></p> <ul> <li><a href="https://www.econsultancy.com/training/courses/usability-user-experience">UX training</a></li> <li><a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/69646-ux-trends-in-2018-what-do-the-experts-predict">UX trends in 2018: What do the experts predict?</a></li> <li><a href="https://www.econsultancy.com/blog/69552-93-ecommerce-ux-features-that-create-user-flow">93 ecommerce UX features that create user flow</a></li> </ul> tag:econsultancy.com,2008:BlogPost/69925 2018-04-06T14:45:23+01:00 2018-04-06T14:45:23+01:00 Four things Black Friday has taught us about ecommerce Nikki Gilliland <p>So, we’re clearly a nation of online shoppers, but what else has Black Friday taught us about the state of ecommerce today?</p> <p>Here’s four key things we have learnt. For lots more expert opinion and analysis, particularly when planning for 2018 and onwards, subscribers can check out Econsultancy’s <a href="https://econsultancy.com/reports/lessons-from-black-friday/">Lessons from Black Friday Best Practice Guide</a>. </p> <h3>Website performance is improving</h3> <p>Black Friday has previously resulted in disappointment for online shoppers, often due to slow loading times or sites simply being unable to handle the amount of transactions taking place. </p> <p>2015 was a particular low point, with big name brands including Argos, Lowes, and Target all buckling under the weight of Black Friday demand.</p> <p>As the past few years have seen continued increase in online transactions, retailers have had no choice but to up their digital game or risk losing out. Luckily, the majority have risen to the challenge. According to Dynatrace, the average time a retail site took to fully load on Black Friday was just 2.5 seconds – under the three seconds that consumers typically expect.</p> <p>This is good news for shoppers, of course, but it also means that an increased focus on website performance is likely to have a positive effect for retailers throughout the entire year (not just on the day itself). </p> <p>That being said, there’s always room for improvement, and in order to ensure that sites stay speedy, retailers should be looking to analyse past data to determine where potential problems could occur in future. </p> <h3>Shoppers are savvier than ever</h3> <p>Another big observation from Black Friday 2017 is the increasingly sporadic behaviour of online consumers. This is typically shown in shoppers researching goods, adding items to their baskets, but not going through with transactions until they are sure they have found the best deal. </p> <p>As a result, basket abandonment rates soared, reaching 74.5% in the US last year. </p> <p>So what does this mean for retailers? While on one hand it could mean an increased opportunity for sales – with brands having less of a job to lure customers in – it could also have a negative effect elsewhere. </p> <p>For example, one tactic used to <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/69561-why-online-shoppers-abandon-their-baskets-and-how-to-stop-them" target="_blank">improve basket abandonment</a> rates is to provide reassurance during the path to purchase, let’s say by displaying how much stock is left or how many people are currently browsing. However, this metric could itself be skewed by ‘basket bandits’ as they’re known – those with items in their basket but no real intent to purchase.</p> <p>A way to offset this type of behaviour (and its impact) is to focus on loyalty. This means instead of playing into the hands of the one-off bargain-hunters, retailers could benefit more from offering the best and biggest discounts to longer-term shoppers. This also has the benefit of creating a ripple effect throughout the year, with happy customers coming back long-after the event has ended.</p> <h3>Everyone wants a slice of the Amazon pie</h3> <p>It’s probably no surprise to hear just <a href="https://www.econsultancy.com/blog/69614-amazon-won-thanksgiving-and-black-friday-as-retail-strategy-varied" target="_blank">how dominant Amazon was</a> during Black Friday 2017. According to Hitwise, of the top 50 retailers in the US, Amazon captured 45.1% of all online transactions on Thanksgiving Day and 54.9% of transactions on Black Friday. </p> <p>To put this into perspective, the second and third biggest sellers, Walmart and Best Buy, accounted for just 13.9% and 8.3% of all transactions on Thanksgiving and 8.8% and 5% of all transactions on Black Friday.</p> <blockquote class="twitter-tweet"> <p lang="en" dir="ltr">Amazon Black Friday Deals is Here! <a href="https://t.co/yTGp5WpMOL">https://t.co/yTGp5WpMOL</a> <a href="https://t.co/2yRD33zyNs">pic.twitter.com/2yRD33zyNs</a></p> — Amazon.com (@amazon) <a href="https://twitter.com/amazon/status/933455958474334208?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">November 22, 2017</a> </blockquote> <p>Amazon dominates Black Friday to such an extent that some retailers might even question why they bother competing. However, this highlights where many go wrong. Instead of trying to snatch a piece of Amazon’s pie – surely impossible considering its combination of price, convenience, and delivery etc. – retailers should be focusing on how to carve out their own space in the market.</p> <p>This means getting back to basics on a customer-focused strategy - figuring out who the core customer is, what they want, and how to can deliver it.</p> <p>Of course, another tactic is to work with Amazon instead of against it, something that retailer Kohl's did last year by offering in-store Amazon returns on Black Friday. You can read more on this case study in the <a href="https://econsultancy.com/reports/lessons-from-black-friday/" target="_blank">full report</a>.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0009/3345/Kohls.JPG" alt="" width="700" height="344"></p> <h3>Positioning is key – not just bargains</h3> <p>Another way retailers can differentiate themselves in such a competitive space is by thinking about more than just deals. This is because while consumers might naturally be led by cheap prices, it’s certainly not the only thing they are influenced by. </p> <p>Whether it’s philanthropic efforts, influencer involvement, or even a strong stance against Black Friday – there are many ways that retailers can capture consumer attention and stand out from the crowd.</p> <p>Again, this goes back to having a strong customer-focused strategy. Ultimately, retailers who are able to deliver something of real value to their core shopper (and not just a blanket offer or low price point) are likely to find success.</p> <blockquote class="twitter-tweet"> <p lang="en" dir="ltr">This Black Friday we're closing our doors and paying all our employees to play outside. Will you be joining us? <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/OptOutside?src=hash&amp;ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#OptOutside</a></p> — REI (@REI) <a href="https://twitter.com/REI/status/932662320408403968?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">November 20, 2017</a> </blockquote> <p><strong><em>Related reading:</em></strong></p> <ul> <li><em><a href="https://www.econsultancy.com/blog/69534-ask-the-experts-black-friday-ecommerce-strategy">Ask the experts: Black Friday ecommerce strategy</a></em></li> <li><em><a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/69528-uk-black-friday-landing-pages-the-good-the-bad-the-uglyhttps://econsultancy.com/blog/69528-uk-black-friday-landing-pages-the-good-the-bad-the-ugly">UK Black Friday landing pages: The good, the bad &amp; the ugly</a></em></li> </ul> tag:econsultancy.com,2008:BlogPost/69913 2018-04-01T10:22:46+01:00 2018-04-01T10:22:46+01:00 The best digital marketing stats we’ve seen this week Nikki Gilliland <p>Enjoy, and happy Easter!</p> <h3>Grocery retailers failing on ecommerce UX</h3> <p>From a survey of 2,000 consumers in the UK, France, and Germany, Rich Relevance <a href="https://www.richrelevance.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/03/Grocery-Infographic-Final-UK.pdf" target="_blank">has discovered</a> that there are still barriers preventing people from switching from in-store to online grocery shopping. </p> <p>Despite the fact that 53% of the UK population now buy groceries online – falling to 40% and 32% in France and Germany respectively – consumers expect more from their experience.</p> <p>53% say that they would be happy for their retailer to automatically re-order frequently bought items. Meanwhile, 55% of consumers would like grocery retailers to offer recipe ideas based on what they are adding to their cart.</p> <p>When it comes to consumers that don’t shop for groceries online, 51% say the reason is a lack of trust in retailers picking the freshest produce on their behalf, while 68% say they prefer to physically handle items themselves in-store.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0009/3253/RichRelevance.JPG" alt="" width="600" height="562"></p> <p><strong>More on grocery retailers:</strong></p> <ul> <li><a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/68723-store-locator-tools-which-supermarket-has-the-best-mobile-ux" target="_blank">Store locator tools: Which supermarket has the best mobile UX?</a></li> <li><a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/69071-m-s-to-trial-grocery-delivery-service-will-it-take-off" target="_blank">M&amp;S to trial grocery delivery service: Will it take off?</a></li> <li><a href="https://www.econsultancy.com/blog/69645-10-of-the-best-ad-campaigns-from-the-uk-s-top-supermarkets" target="_blank">10 of the best ad campaigns from the UK’s top supermarkets</a></li> </ul> <h3>US TV ad spend predicted to decline further in 2018</h3> <p>In 2017, TV ad spending dropped 1.5% to $70.22 billion. According to eMarketer’s <a href="https://www.emarketer.com/content/us-tv-ad-spending-to-fall-in-2018" target="_blank">latest forecast</a>, further decline is expected in 2018, with TV ad spend set to drop another 0.5% to reach $69.87.</p> <p>Overall, this will bring TV’s share of ad spend down to less than a third of US ad revenue in 2018.</p> <p>Elsewhere, spend on digital advertising is predicted to surge, growing 18.7% to reach $107.3 billion. eMarketer suggests that OTT (over-the-top) video platforms will play a large part, offering live services that directly compete with television.</p> <h3>Product discovery can increase mobile conversion</h3> <p><a href="https://www.qubit.com/research/mobile-product-discovery-ecommerce-revenue/?utm_campaign=2018-Q1-Mobile-Product-Discovery&amp;utm_source=hs_automation&amp;utm_medium=email&amp;utm_content=61655456&amp;_hsenc=p2ANqtz-_2p48GUzh1xj1WAlyuN_NO_O-k5meaKPxqPYRSaxwFtaVLtY4QjlZ19OiSvio8MldeaixYC4FrZgvoZYXvkuPOy6uLiAX6suF2bSTWzWPmBKWQ6Z8&amp;_hsmi=61655456" target="_blank">A new report</a> by Qubit, which is based on the analysis of 1.2 billion customer interactions, has delved into the causes of low mobile conversion.</p> <p>While the assumption might be that payment methods are the biggest barrier for mobile shoppers, Qubit’s research found that problems tend to occur much earlier in the funnel. </p> <p>47% of respondents said that they would complete more purchases via mobile if ‘the browsing experience was easier or faster’. Similarly, 44% said they would if ‘it was easier to find exactly what I want.’ </p> <p>A better mobile UX doesn’t just lead to more mobile conversions either. Mobile discovery is said to have a direct impact on cross-channel sales, increasing revenue by around 19%. </p> <p>One way brands can improve product discovery is with artificial intelligence or machine learning - Qubit suggests that AI-powered discovery helps customers find 2.25x more products, making them 80% more likely to buy.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0009/3252/Qubit.JPG" alt="" width="760" height="517"></p> <p><strong>More on mobile conversion:</strong></p> <ul> <li><a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/69193-using-data-to-improve-your-mobile-conversion-a-simple-but-effective-approach" target="_blank">Using data to improve your mobile conversion: A simple but effective approach</a></li> <li><a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/69160-mobile-conversion-rates-how-does-your-site-compare" target="_blank">Mobile conversion rates: How does your site compare?</a></li> <li><a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/69447-ask-the-experts-conversion-rate-optimisation-trends-challenges-strategy" target="_blank">Ask the experts: Conversion rate optimisation trends, challenges &amp; strategy</a></li> </ul> <h3>Programmatic budgets held back by poor measurement</h3> <p>A new study by Infectious Media has revealed that the inability to effectively measure campaigns is preventing advertisers from further investing in programmatic. </p> <p>From a <a href="http://info.infectiousmedia.com/measurement-report" target="_blank">survey of more than 200 decision-makers</a> in EMEA, APAC and North America, it found that almost 90% of marketers would be able to justify ‘slightly’ or ‘significantly’ more investment in programmatic with better measurement.</p> <p>66% of respondents said they find accurately measuring campaigns ‘extremely’ or ‘very’ challenging, while 65% said the same for maintaining high viewability. 64% said that increasing brand safety protection is highly challenging.</p> <p>Lastly, it appears that advertisers largely view clicks as the most important indicator of success – despite click data often being distorted by fraud. 56% of advertisers describe number of clicks as the most important metric, followed by 45% who say cost per click and 43% who say click-through rate.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0009/3251/Measurement_report.JPG" alt="" width="592" height="372"></p> <p><strong>More on programmatic:</strong></p> <ul> <li><a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/69624-three-ways-to-boost-brand-safety-in-the-programmatic-age" target="_blank">Three ways to boost brand safety in the programmatic age</a></li> <li><a href="https://www.econsultancy.com/blog/69558-ask-the-experts-what-s-the-best-way-to-target-programmatic-ads" target="_blank">Ask the experts: What's the best way to target programmatic ads?</a></li> <li><a href="https://www.econsultancy.com/blog/69588-10-signs-that-programmatic-advertising-is-reaching-maturity" target="_blank">10 signs that programmatic advertising is reaching maturity</a></li> </ul> <h3>56% think that most mobile ads are boring or dull</h3> <p style="font-weight: 400;">Verve <a href="https://www.warc.com/newsandopinion/news/relevance_doubles_engagement_with_mobile_ads/40238" target="_blank">has found</a> that generic mobile ads generate little engagement. From a survey of 2,000 UK adults, it found that just 17% of people are ‘likely’ or ‘very likely’ to interact with a generic ad on their phones, while 56% think that most mobile ads are boring or dull.</p> <p style="font-weight: 400;">As a result, brands need to do more to pique user interest, which means making mobile ads much more relevant to individuals.</p> <p style="font-weight: 400;">Verve found that mobile ads which reference the user’s interests or location drives twice as much engagement as generic mobile ads. Dynamic ads (that use phone mechanics to tilt, tap, zoom or zoom) were also found to increase engagement by 20%, while interactive ads that ask questions can do so by 21%.</p> <h3>‘Digital trailblazers and emergers’ create sweet spot for brand engagement</h3> <p>Do all influencers have an impact on consumer behaviour?</p> <p>A <a href="https://fullscreenmedia.co/2018/03/27/influence-numbers-lowdown-whos-really-influential-online/" target="_blank">new study</a> by Fullscreen Media has attempted to find the answer, analysing 31,802 influencers with a range of followings, and surveying 1,200 individuals aged 18-34 who have in some way interacted with their branded content.</p> <p>Overall, it found that digital creators (i.e. those with one to 19 million followers) have the highest cross-social engagement rate among influencer segments – ranging from 50% to 88% higher than celebrities and micro-influencers. This is said to be the ‘sweet spot’ for engagement, resulting in the greatest impact on purchasing decisions.</p> <p>While micro-influencers (those with 250,000 to 999,000 followers) generated the lowest engagement rate among the four measured Influencer segments, this group is still fairly effective at driving purchases. 26.9% of people that viewed or interacted with micro-influencer content went on to make a purchase, compared with just 20.4% who interacted with celebrity content.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0009/3254/Influencers.JPG" alt="" width="520" height="801"></p> <p><strong>More on influencers:</strong></p> <ul> <li><a href="https://www.econsultancy.com/blog/69620-only-29-of-influencer-campaigns-use-trackable-urls-for-attribution" target="_blank">Only 29% of influencer campaigns use trackable URLs for attribution</a></li> <li><a href="https://www.econsultancy.com/blog/69801-are-virtual-stars-the-next-step-for-influencer-marketing" target="_blank">Are virtual stars the next step for influencer marketing?</a></li> </ul> tag:econsultancy.com,2008:Report/3008 2018-03-27T11:33:00+01:00 2018-03-27T11:33:00+01:00 Internet Statistics Compendium Econsultancy <p>Econsultancy’s <strong>Internet Statistics Compendium</strong> is a collection of the most recent statistics and market data publicly available on online marketing, ecommerce, the internet and related digital media. </p> <p><strong>The compendium is available as 11 main reports across the following topics:</strong></p> <ul> <li><strong><a href="http://econsultancy.com/reports/advertising-media-statistics">Advertising</a></strong></li> <li><strong><a href="http://econsultancy.com/reports/content-statistics">Content</a></strong></li> <li><strong><a href="http://econsultancy.com/reports/customer-experience-statistics">Customer Experience</a></strong></li> <li><strong><a href="http://econsultancy.com/reports/web-analytics-statistics">Data and Analytics</a></strong></li> <li><strong><a href="http://econsultancy.com/reports/demographics-technology-adoption">Demographics and Technology Adoption</a></strong></li> <li><strong><a href="http://econsultancy.com/uk/reports/ecommerce-statistics">Ecommerce</a></strong></li> <li><strong><a href="http://econsultancy.com/reports/email-ecrm-statistics">Email and eCRM</a></strong></li> <li><strong><a href="http://econsultancy.com/reports/mobile-statistics">Mobile</a></strong></li> <li><strong><a href="http://econsultancy.com/reports/search-marketing-statistics">Search</a></strong></li> <li><strong><a href="http://econsultancy.com/reports/social-media-statistics">Social</a></strong></li> <li><strong><a href="http://econsultancy.com/reports/strategy-and-operations-statistics">Strategy and Operations</a></strong></li> </ul> <p>Updated monthly, each document is a comprehensive compilation of internet statistics and digital market research with data, facts, charts and figures. The reports have been collated from information available to the public, which we have aggregated together in one place to help you quickly find the internet statistics you need - a huge time-saver for presentations and reports.</p> <p>There are all sorts of internet statistics which you can slot into your next presentation, report or client pitch.</p> <p><strong>Sector-specific data and reports are also available:</strong></p> <ul> <li><strong><a title="B2B Internet Statistics Compendium" href="http://econsultancy.com/reports/b2b-internet-statistics-compendium">B2B</a><br></strong></li> <li><strong><strong><a title="Financial Services and Insurance Internet Statistics Compendium" href="https://econsultancy.com/reports/financial-services-and-insurance-internet-statistics-compendium/">Financial Services and Insurance</a></strong></strong></li> <li> <strong><a title="Healthcare and Pharmaceuticals Internet Statistics Compendium" href="https://econsultancy.com/reports/healthcare-and-pharmaceuticals-internet-statistics-compendium/">Healthcare and Pharmaceuticals</a></strong><strong> </strong> </li> <li><strong><a title="Retail Statistics Compendium" href="https://econsultancy.com/reports/retail-statistics-compendium/" target="_self">Retail</a></strong></li> <li><strong><a title="Travel Statistics Compendium" href="https://econsultancy.com/reports/travel-statistics-compendium/" target="_self">Travel</a></strong></li> </ul> <p><strong>Regions covered in each document (where data is available) are:</strong></p> <ul> <li><strong>Global</strong></li> <li><strong>UK</strong></li> <li><strong>North America</strong></li> <li><strong>Asia</strong></li> <li><strong>Australia and New Zealand</strong></li> <li><strong>Europe</strong></li> <li><strong>Latin America</strong></li> <li><strong>MENA</strong></li> </ul> <p>A sample of the Internet Statistics Compendium is available for free, with various statistics included and a full table of contents, to show you what you're missing.</p> tag:econsultancy.com,2008:BlogPost/69892 2018-03-26T15:00:00+01:00 2018-03-26T15:00:00+01:00 How managing your customer's 'top tasks' can deliver a better experience Chris Rourke <p>In usability tests, we see a recurring problem: people unable to find what they seek due to irrelevant information getting in the way and poorly labeled links.    </p> <h3>The accidental haystack</h3> <p>Piling on more content increases the haystack within which a visitor tries to find their needle - that is, the specific task they came to do.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0009/3174/hay_stack.jpg" alt="Haystack represnting website content" width="500" height="335"></p> <p>Why does this happen? There are a few reasons, including internal pressures to promote certain content.</p> <p>Even allowing everyone to access the content management system, which sounds wonderfully democratic since everyone can publish what they want, often results in trivial or redundant content getting in the way of users performing their tasks. </p> <p>If your key management metric is simply <em>the number of pages on our site</em>, or <em>the number of different pages visited on the site</em>, just adding more content may look like a great success.  If your success metric is <em>the percentage of people able to do what they want to on our site</em>, constantly adding content may well be less successful.   </p> <p>Many also find it easier to add content than to remove it. Indeed, removing things can often be met with resistance: </p> <ul> <li><em>"We've got a team of content writers and they worked really hard creating that. So we must keep it on the site."</em></li> <li><em>"Look, the analytics show that 7 people visited that page last year - we can't let them down."</em></li> <li><em>"Yes, but those pages were Mr. McManager's idea. He's important so better let's not touch it."</em></li> </ul> <p>It's worth considering what a site's content is actually for. After all, a great webpage is not something to simply look at - it's something to do practical things with.</p> <p>Great customer experiences happen when people can easily perform their tasks such as finding information, downloading something, getting in touch, buying something, comparing, deciding and more. Let your customers do these easily and they will come back repeatedly.</p> <h3>All tasks are not created equal</h3> <p>Most sites have so many things that can be done on them it is hard to decide which ones to prioritise. Some things - the 'top tasks' - are very important for many people and add great value to the site and user experience.</p> <p>Typically, there are also many relatively unimportant tasks that add far less value. However, these 'tiny tasks' are often given undue prominence which can lead to competing links and calls to action.</p> <h3><strong>How to discover your users' tasks </strong></h3> <p>Using an approach called top task management helps to identify and focus on what really matters to customers to reduce complexity and improve customer experience. </p> <p>A first step is to perform a <a title="Top Task ID" href="http://www.customercarewords.com/services/customer-top-task-identification/">top tasks identification</a>, an innovative user research method developed by <a href="http://gerrymcgovern.com/">Gerry McGovern</a>.  This is performed over several steps that lead to a poll asking site visitors and other customers to select their most important tasks with the organisation.  </p> <p>Each participant votes on their top five tasks from a randomised list of potential tasks for the site. The data typically shows a pattern of four to six top tasks getting about 25% of the votes, with the remainder extending into a 'long tail' of tiny tasks. An example of this is seen in the results for the European Commission which also <a href="http://ec.europa.eu/ipg/basics/web_rationalisation/top_tasks_en.htm">described in detail</a> their process and results. </p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0009/3173/27051533798_e9f019e23a_z.jpg" alt="top tasks analysis showing 6 tasks that take 25% of the vote" width="640" height="323"></p> <p>Information such as this helps organisations review their navigation information architecture, re-prioritise their content and ensure that their site supports the users' top tasks. This gives you the best of both worlds: better access to the top tasks and clear signposting to everything else through user-centred navigation.</p> <p>And if some content needs to be removed, you have a solid basis to make those decisions based on the user task priorities.</p> <p>The effects can be significant. Liverpool City Council redesigned its site after identifying their customers' top tasks and reduced the site from 4,000 pages to 700. This delivered a 400% increase in people transacting online and substantially fewer support phone calls. This was a powerful result for a local council needing to save money by making better use of its website. </p> <p>Top task management provides insightful results that can be applied to make a real difference to that very important performance metric – your customers' ability to do what they want on your site.</p> <p>As a customer experience method, top tasks management has proven very useful for redesigning digital services around the users' needs, especially for large, information-heavy sites or intranets supporting lots of tasks for a wide variety of users.</p> tag:econsultancy.com,2008:BlogPost/69897 2018-03-26T11:00:00+01:00 2018-03-26T11:00:00+01:00 Why a superior user experience creates customers (not consumers) Mark Thomson <p>In this article, I’ll explain this in more detail:</p> <ul> <li>what the difference is between a consumer and a customer and why it’s important</li> <li>examples of brands doing this well online</li> <li>one action you can take today</li> </ul> <h3>What’s the difference between a consumer and a customer?</h3> <p>Today, the words ‘consumer’ and ‘customer’ are interchangeable. But in 1950, Walt Disney thought otherwise when he opened Disney World in Florida. The park was not designed around funnelling visitors to a gift shop, or to force them to pay per ride. Instead, Walt designed the park and the zones to make the fans of his films feel part of them. He treated visitors as customers, not consumers.</p> <p>The word ‘consumer’ suggests a person who’ll buy once from a brand: they’ll simply buy and use what you sell then get on with their life. The word ‘consumer’ is transactional, cold and lends itself to single customer journeys with singular purchase goals and funnels.</p> <p>On the other hand, the word ‘customer’ suggests a 360 view of an individual who has more complex needs. It suggests that the person buying is a person with a pulse, emotions and needs to be nurtured beyond a single purchase. The word ‘customer’ recognises multiple user journeys and a non-linear path to purchase.</p> <p>Coming from the Latin meaning ‘become accustomed’, the word ‘customer’ means a person who needs time to trust a brand first if they are to buy into you repeatedly.</p> <h3>Why is a customer-first experience important to any business?</h3> <p>The answer is simple: sustained growth. A user experience that lets users explore your brand online, feel delighted and be treated like a customer is central to sustained digital growth strategy.</p> <p>Walt Disney wanted customers to be part of the Disney experience when he created Disney World. He invested in <a href="https://www.econsultancy.com/blog/69458-how-disney-world-has-mastered-customer-experience">a user experience that made people come back</a> consistently over many years. An experience that they told their friends and family about.</p> <p>So, it’s no surprise that Disney accounts for 21% of box office profits globally and the Magic Kingdom is the world’s most attended theme park. All being driven by Walt’s focus on a user experience that creates returning customers, not single-use consumers.</p> <h3>Let’s look at three brands treating people as customers (not consumers) </h3> <h4>1) Etsy</h4> <p>Etsy has a clear target audience: ‘creative people everywhere’. Etsy allows users to explore the site and be inspired by ‘what’s popular’, by category, by collections or by gifts (<a href="https://www.econsultancy.com/blog/69858-a-ux-review-of-etsy-the-most-user-friendly-mobile-website-according-to-google">see Econsultancy's UX review</a>). And it goes out of its way to communicate trust. On the homepage it dedicates space to ‘Trustworthy sellers’, extensive user reviews, world class data security promise and a money-back guarantee on all purchases.</p> <p>Etsy's values are human and community focused and the site is littered with people-friendly images. The brand goes out of its way to not make users feel like customers.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0009/3169/etsy.png" alt="etsy" width="615"> </p> <h4>2) Giffgaff</h4> <p>Giffgaff is a case study in superior user experiences because it’s all about the customer. As soon as you land on the gifffaff community page you are welcomed with friendly copy, that celebrates you as a new community member. An upbeat welcome video starts off with the words “Welcome to the fold, you lovely GiffGaff member you.”</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0009/3168/giffgaff.jpg" alt="giffgaff" width="615" height="326"> </p> <p>Within the community, members feel rewarded. Phrases like “You lovely lot, our members, constantly help us shape our future and make us a better network” and rewards for best answers to members’ questions make the community personable.</p> <p>The site layout also has lots of friendly imagery, an equally friendly tone of voice written and sans serif font — all showing a brand thinking of its users as customers (not a mass of consumers needing to be herded like sheep).</p> <h4>3) 5000BC</h4> <p>It’s unlikely that you’ve heard of this small business community site that costs about $200 dollars a year to join. But it’s a special one that justifies a mention. On 5000BC, the user gets extensive 1:1 daily personal Q&amp;As answered four to five times a day by the owner (who is a entrepreneur and owner).</p> <p>The same owner writes articles every week for the community, free reports, hosts webinars, gives members early access to new products and courses, critiques on sales copy, articles and web design. The main forum is called  ‘The Cave’ and members hold their hands up to become ‘Cave Elves’ to help run the community for free. The community is positioned as a safe place for introverts. Every member, all 600 of them, are treated like customers, not consumers.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0009/3167/5000bc.jpg" alt="5000bc" width="615"> </p> <h3>Yet, isn’t there a risk in trusted customers?</h3> <p>Isn’t there a risk in not shepherding customers down a guaranteed funnel from the start? Google Analytics and modern, prefabricated digital platforms are trying to teach us otherwise. And, yes, it is true that there is a risk. But only if you don’t put in the work upfront to understand the needs and likely journeys of your customers.</p> <p>So for designing a superior user experience, it’s about getting the fundamentals right first: start with your customer (not with a cleverly designed funnel).</p> <h3>Walt Disney understood what a superior user experience creates</h3> <p>And so does 5000BC, giifgaff and Etsy. Their user experiences orientate around inspiring customers to come back repeatedly and become advocates. The opposite of a ‘consumer’ based user experience. </p> <h3>What one thing can you do today?</h3> <p>Think about how you can build a superior user experience that appeals to customers’ personal situations, to their emotions and to their desire to explore online (without forcing them into a funnel). It’s an investment of time and money that will build trust, affiliation and make long term customers.</p> <p><em><strong>Why not try Econsultancy's <a href="https://econsultancy.com/training/courses/intensive-mastering-customer-experiences">3-day Mastering Customer Experiences training</a>?</strong></em></p>