tag:econsultancy.com,2008:/topics/user-experience-and-usability Latest User Experience and Usability content from Econsultancy 2018-02-19T12:00:00+00:00 tag:econsultancy.com,2008:BlogPost/69809 2018-02-19T12:00:00+00:00 2018-02-19T12:00:00+00:00 Trainline's head of engineering: "building our own voice app was a no-brainer" Ben Davis <p>Before we get started, a note that Jonathan will be speaking at Travel Technology Europe later this month in London – <a href="http://www.traveltechnologyeurope.com/">details here</a>.</p> <h4>In what ways is Trainline experimenting with 'AI'?</h4> <p>Trainline is building innovations that harness AI in a number of areas. Most recently we launched a voice app for the Google Assistant. It’s the UK’s most advanced rail voice AI, with 12 levels of conversation depth -  you can ask it about anything from whether your train is running on time and the weather at your destination to the number of changes you need to make. The voice app relies on machine learning to get smarter – the more people use it, the more accurate it becomes. We’re really proud of this one, and I use it myself each morning to check on my commute. </p> <p>Another example is BusyBot, which crowdsources data from our app users on the busiest parts of the train, this is then fed into the bot so it can recommend which part of the train passengers should get on to have the best chance of getting a seat.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0009/2345/busy_bot.png" alt="busybot" width="300"></p> <p><em>An example of BusyBot at work in the Trainline app</em></p> <h4>Do you think voice only experiences (such as Google Assistant) are here to stay, or are they more toys than tools?</h4> <p>Voice assistants, and the smart speakers which use them, are undeniably on the rise. Building our own voice app was a no-brainer, as it can enhance the travel experience; if you’re on the go - walking to the station or rushing around at home before heading out - voice is crucial to getting speedy, hands-free updates on your journey.</p> <p>Voice is here to stay – if you look at the CES trade show this year one of the biggest trends was the number of products that had a smart assistant installed in them. </p> <h4>I only recently read about BusyBot – has it been a success and how much further do you think you can interact with travellers via your app?</h4> <p>Engagement with BusyBot has been excellent so far, with around 26,000 people interacting with it every day! It’s amazing how much information travellers are willing to share in order to help their fellow passengers.</p> <p>BusyBot is just one of the innovations our 250+ strong team of travel tech specialists and engineers are working on that make people’s journeys more straightforward. Price Prediction, the UK’s first ever price prediction tool for rail travel, is another good example. The tool uses billions of data points to advise our app users how long they have left to buy a ticket at the current price, often helping them make significant savings.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0009/2346/price_prediction.jpg" alt="price prediction" width="350"></p> <p><em>Price Prediction from Trainline</em></p> <h4>Which company do you consider most influential when it comes to customer experience and expectations (either in or out of travel, online and offline)?</h4> <p>Amazon is usually open in a tab on my browser – it has led the way when it comes to UX innovation.  Elements which are now commonplace, such as recommending other products based on the content of the customer’s basket, were driven out of Amazon’s early innovation. It is also a master at managing UI convergence across a huge estate – with multiple large teams focussed on areas of the site, divergence is a constant challenge – but Amazon makes it look easy!</p> <h4>What events do you plan ahead for? Brexit? Renationalisation?</h4> <p>Ultimately, I’m a tech guy and my focus is on ensuring my teams are happy and inspired to create cutting-edge technology that continues to enhance the customer experience!</p> <p><em><strong><a href="http://www.traveltechnologyeurope.com/">Travel Technology Europe</a> takes place at Olympia, London, 21-22 February.</strong></em></p> <p><em>N.B. Econsultancy and Travel Technology Europe are both part of Centaur Media.</em></p> tag:econsultancy.com,2008:BlogPost/69808 2018-02-19T09:30:00+00:00 2018-02-19T09:30:00+00:00 Five examples of charity chatbots Nikki Gilliland <p>Luckily – largely thanks to the Facebook Messenger platform - many charities are starting to realise that chatbots can be a simple, straightforward, and highly effective tool for online engagement.</p> <p>So, just how are charities using chatbots, and what can they achieve? Here are a few of the best examples.</p> <h3>Mencap</h3> <p>Unlike most <a href="https://www.econsultancy.com/blog/68046-five-pioneering-examples-of-how-brands-are-using-chatbots" target="_blank">brand examples</a> which live on Facebook Messenger, the Mencap chatbot lives on the charity’s own website.</p> <p>Part of the ‘Here I Am’ campaign, it is designed to help people discover more about learning disabilities, and more specifically, to help break down stereotypes and any mis-informed assumptions.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0009/2317/Mencap.JPG" alt="" width="760" height="382"></p> <p>There’s no NLP (natural learning processing) involved, as the chatbot merely gives the user a set of pre-chosen responses (a decision tree). However, I was pleasantly surprised by the amount of humour involved, with the bot’s tone of voice portraying a very human and endearing personality. </p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0009/2318/Mencap_2.JPG" alt="" width="760" height="553"></p> <p>According to Mencap, the amount of people to use the chatbot remains fairly low, however engagement levels are typically high. It is also said to have led to a 3% increase in awareness for the charity overall – and succeeded in its core aim of educating users.</p> <h3>WaterAid</h3> <p>While most chatbots provide users with basic information, WaterAid’s example uses storytelling to offer a more immersive experience. It connects users with Sellu – a farmer, fisherman, and father of three from Sierra Leone – and gives them an insight into his world and the work that WaterAid does to help.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0009/2320/wateraid.JPG" alt="" width="760" height="492"></p> <p>The chatbot is one of the most content-heavy I’ve come across, integrating video, photos, and a whole host of interactive questions to guide users along the way. </p> <p>From how Sellu makes money to what his family typically eats - there’s a lot of information included, which means it’s very easy to stay engaged and immersed in the chatbot. </p> <p>It might not necessarily be so effective for acquiring new donators (unless a user is already interested in the idea) – but the chatbot certainly succeeds in connecting existing supporters to the people they’re helping. In this sense, it could help strengthen connections to the charity, and lead to repeat donations in future.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0009/2321/wateraid_2.JPG" alt="" width="760" height="488"></p> <h3>Shelter Scotland</h3> <p>In contrast to charity chatbots that are created to raise awareness or increase engagement, Shelter Scotland created one to serve a much more direct purpose.</p> <p>Prior to the project, the charity identified a few key problems with its customer service. These included the fact that 50% of calls to Shelter weren't getting through, the website content was proving tricky to navigate, and 4,000 live chat sessions had been conducted that year.</p> <p>The launch of a chatbot would theoretically take away these issues, helping to streamline service and take away strain on staff.</p> <p>The end result was a bot named Sheldon, who responds to queries about people’s rights as a private tenant. As well as offering help and advice, the bot also allows Shelter to collect helpful data which can then be used if the person goes on to make further queries. </p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0009/2325/shelter.JPG" alt="" width="320" height="463"></p> <p>As well as providing real value for users, the bot is a great example of how the technology can be used to make internal processes much more efficient.</p> <p><em><strong>Update 19 Feb:</strong></em><strong> </strong>Shelter Scotland got in touch shortly after this article was published to let us know that the Sheldon prototype was actually a concept developed at a hackathon, and the idea itself wasn't taken beyond the working concept stage or fully implemented.</p> <p>However, the charity has now implemented the <a href="https://scotland.shelter.org.uk/newhouserules">Ask Ailsa chatbot</a> on its website, developed to coincide with changes to legislation around private renting, and to answer questions specifically on this subject.</p> <p>The chatbot is undergoing further development to increase the number of enquiries it is able to respond to, and to implement natural language processing.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0009/2363/ask_ailsa.png" alt="ask ailsa" width="615" height="309"></p> <h3>charity: water </h3> <p>I debated whether or not to include charity: water’s chatbot into this list, as it’s among the most very basic of bots I’ve used. However, there’s no denying its functionality, which means it’s surely a good example of a charity utilising the technology for a core aim - to raise money.</p> <p>Essentially, the Messenger chatbot is a vehicle for donations, simply asking users to send either $30 or $60 – which it then processes via the payment provider Stripe.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0009/2324/charity_water.JPG" alt="" width="760" height="489"></p> <p>There’s no bells or whistles, however, it’s clearly a way of adapting to the social experience - i.e. moving away from external donation journeys to a platform that a younger, tech-savvy audience is most likely to use.</p> <h3>Akancha Against Harassment</h3> <p>Akancha Against Harassment is an Indian charity that works to raise awareness against cyber harassment. Recently, it launched a chatbot on its website that aims to both inform users and help them in moments of need.</p> <p>Available 24/7, it provides users with a range of categories to choose from, including registering a complaint, finding out about workshops and events, or what to do if they’re feeling harassed. Then, it provides them with the relevant resources in order to prompt action and prevent further problems. </p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0009/2322/Akancha_1.JPG" alt="" width="760" height="582"></p> <p>According to Times India, over 70% of women have admitted to being harassed online, however, at the time, there were only 11,592 registered harassment cases within the space of a year.</p> <p>Although the AAH already provides information on how to access support, the bot acts as more of a direct link to help in real moments of need. What’s more, the use of emojis and gentle conversational language is likely to encourage users to see their complaint through.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0009/2323/Akancha.JPG" alt="" width="450" height="590"></p> <p><strong>More on chatbots</strong></p> <ul> <li><a href="https://www.econsultancy.com/blog/69799-skyscanner-chatbots-pass-one-million-unique-traveller-interactions" target="_blank">Skyscanner chatbots pass one million unique traveller interactions</a></li> <li><a href="https://www.econsultancy.com/blog/69794-the-hong-kong-tourism-board-on-chatbots-content-strategy-and-ai" target="_blank">The Hong Kong Tourism Board on chatbots, content strategy and AI</a></li> </ul> tag:econsultancy.com,2008:BlogPost/69805 2018-02-15T13:11:15+00:00 2018-02-15T13:11:15+00:00 45% of marketers cite content & experience management as top priority in 2018 Nikki Gilliland <p>So, what exactly are they doing, and what are the top digital priorities for the year ahead? Here's a few key findings and charts to consider.</p> <h3>45% cite content and experience management as their top priority</h3> <p>In terms of strategic priorities, 45% of companies cite content and experience management as their number one, demonstrating the importance of ensuring effective interactions with customers across multiple touchpoints.</p> <p>This also looks to be a key differentiator. Top-performing companies are 50% more likely than their peers to have well-designed user journeys that facilitate clear communication and a seamless transaction. (69% vs. 46%).</p> <p>With analytics and audience and data management coming next on the list of top priorities, the importance of a strong foundation in data and analytics is evident. Ultimately, content and data need to work in conjunction for effective digital experiences to occur.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0009/2288/Content_and_data.JPG" alt="" width="902" height="537"></p> <h3>Data-driven marketing increasingly seen as exciting opportunity</h3> <p>In 2018, optimising the customer experience once again came out on top as the <em>single most exciting opportunity</em> for organisations. While there has been a drop in the proportion of respondents citing this since 2017 – down from 22% to 19% - this doesn’t necessarily mean that CX has become less important. </p> <p>Companies appear to be more focused on specific opportunities which also feed into the overall customer experience. Data-driven marketing, for example, is up from 12% in 2017 to 16% of marketers in 2018 who see this as the most exciting opportunity for their organisation.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0009/2286/CX.JPG" alt="" width="780" height="500"></p> <p>Interestingly, companies that display a cross-team approach to improving customer experience are nearly twice as likely as their peers to be exceeding their business goals (20% vs. 11%).</p> <h3>Top performing companies twice as likely to be using AI for marketing</h3> <p>Finally, with a constant stream of new innovations on the horizon, it can be difficult for marketers to know where to focus and invest. However, getting this right can be the key to success. </p> <p>When asked about the themes and technologies companies are most excited about in the next three years, the most popular choice was ‘delivering personalised experiences in real time’. 36% of company respondents and 40% of agency respondents chose this option.</p> <p>This means that, while big trends such as <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/67834-why-virtual-reality-is-the-ultimate-storytelling-tool-for-marketers/" target="_blank">virtual reality</a> are on many marketers’ radar (15%), the majority remain fixed on delivering against core objectives, namely on serving customers with relevant and personalised content and messaging at key moments and touchpoints.</p> <p>That’s not to say that some technologies aren’t emerging as differentiators. Artificial intelligence is one tool that is helping companies provide more compelling real-time experiences. In fact, top performing companies are more than twice as likely to be using AI for marketing (28% vs. 12%).</p> <p>There’s still resistance, however, with 41% of marketers citing a lack of knowledge, 38% citing resources, and 25% citing immaturity as barriers to integrating AI into their marketing mix. </p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0009/2289/AI_potential.JPG" alt="" width="780" height="506"></p> <p><em><strong>Don't forget, subscribers can download the <a href="https://econsultancy.com/reports/digital-intelligence-briefing-2018-digital-trends/" target="_blank">2018 Digital Trends</a> report in full now.</strong></em></p> tag:econsultancy.com,2008:BlogPost/69799 2018-02-14T09:45:00+00:00 2018-02-14T09:45:00+00:00 Skyscanner chatbots pass one million unique traveller interactions Ben Davis <p>Before we get started, a note that Filip will be speaking at Travel Technology Europe later this month in London – <a href="http://www.traveltechnologyeurope.com/">details here</a>.</p> <h4> <em>Econsultancy:</em> How big is your optimisation and testing team?</h4> <p><em><strong>Filip Filipov:</strong></em> We are a travel technology company that builds software to optimize the experience of the travellers and our users. As such, our entire organization looks at optimization, relying on different practices of validation of hypothesis based on data – from <a href="https://www.econsultancy.com/blog/69760-how-to-stay-safe-when-a-b-testing">A/B testing</a> and user research to data management and optimization.</p> <p>We don’t have a testing team. A few years ago we decided that we’d put the responsibility of testing into the hands of our software engineers, who build and run their tests as they write the software. We have seen that in this case the rate of iteration and building products that are scaleable are the best.</p> <h4> <em>E:</em> How do you find a balance between design/customer-focus and optimising performance?</h4> <p><em><strong>FF:</strong></em> These are not necessarily contrary, as we start with the user needs, both from a design perspective as well as building our product. We test hundreds of ideas within the parameters of a larger design user experience and we learn from the data as we continue creating a bespoke user flow within our products.</p> <h4> <em>E:</em> What sorts of longer term metrics do you look at?</h4> <p><strong><em>FF:</em></strong> As any organization within the internet economy and tech, we look at the pirate metrics from acquisition, activation, retention, and referral. For us, it is important to ensure that users and partners find our marketplace valuable, which typically, outside of the user growth metrics, looks at NPS, total transaction value we can generate in the system and long term retention of partners and travellers.</p> <h4> <em>E:</em> What did you learn from your chatbot?</h4> <p><em><strong>FF:</strong> </em>It is still an early stage in terms of users. We have crossed the boundary of over 1 million unique travellers who have interacted with our chatbots across the different ecosystems where we participate – from Amazon Alexa (voice) to Facebook and Skype.</p> <p>We believe that over the long term, people will opt in for a free form of search as another channel for them finding the best travel options – something we excel at. In terms of specifics, each different bot ecosystem displays a distinct search and book pattern – for example, we see from our Facebook users that they are quite active in search on Wednesday, while Skype users are the weekend bunch.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0009/2272/skyscanner_bot.jpg" alt="skyscanner chatbot" width="300"></p> <h4> <em>E:</em> How are you preparing for <a href="https://www.econsultancy.com/blog/69610-what-do-voice-user-interfaces-mean-for-marketers-brands">voice</a>?</h4> <p><em><strong>FF:</strong> </em>We are already in voice. We were the first travel search company to integrate with Amazon Alexa and we are happy with the learning we have so far. One interesting piece is that this is still a nascent technology and while sales of the home assistant hardware have skyrocketed, the ecommerce equivalent hasn’t followed suit the same way utility apps have (think ‘Alexa, tell me a joke’ versus ‘Alexa, find me the best flight to Madrid next weekend’).</p> <p>Voice is a natural destination – it all started with voice [moving] to keyboard, but over time, as technology improves and the flows become more natural, voice will return.</p> <p>Finally, for purchases and product selection, users are accustomed to visual output of their queries – they like to see the information and potentially compare it with other options – something that is hard to do when it is read out from a speaker. I believe Amazon realized this quite early in the case, hence the introduction of Echo Show, which uses Alexa as a voice input and a screen as an output.</p> <h4> <em>E:</em> Hotel brands are now prioritising loyalty and investing in the customer experience. In what ways can Skyscanner fight back?</h4> <p><em><strong>FF:</strong></em> We don’t see this as fighting back – in fact, it is exactly the opposite. We are an unbiased meta-search and hoteliers can count on our reach to access travellers globally and drive traffic to their own sites (or participate in our direct booking product offering, which allows Hotels to brand their experiences on our site and app).</p> <p>In this case, I believe we can be seen as a preferred distribution channel because we can compare the benefits of loyalty across the different sellers and providers. So this is not in conflict – in fact, we welcome it – the more information a traveller has to make a better choice, the better it is in the marketplace. And for the hotels, exposing the product offering and benefits when people compare in fact helps them secure customers who are not focused on the lowest price, but rather on the loyalty benefits with the chains.</p> <p><em><strong><a href="http://www.traveltechnologyeurope.com/">Travel Technology Europe</a> takes place at Olympia, London, 21-22 February.</strong></em></p> <p><em>N.B. Econsultancy and Travel Technology Europe are both part of Centaur Media.</em></p> tag:econsultancy.com,2008:BlogPost/69771 2018-02-12T11:00:00+00:00 2018-02-12T11:00:00+00:00 Eight things I love about Hobbycraft's new progressive web app Ben Davis <h3>First, what's a PWA?</h3> <p>Progressive web app is a term coined at Google. You can read an explainer post <a href="https://www.econsultancy.com/blog/68601-what-are-progressive-web-apps-pwas">here</a>, but essentially PWAs are websites that <em>feel</em> like native apps.</p> <p>PWAs "use an app shell, which is the minimal HTML, CSS, and JavaScript required to power the user interface. The first time you load the site, the app shell is cached on your phone. On subsequent visits, this app shell is loaded very quickly from the local device cache, reducing the volume of data that needs to be freshly downloaded."</p> <p><a href="https://developers.google.com/web/progressive-web-apps/">Google describes PWAs</a> as reliable, fast and engaging (note that Chrome will prompt PWA browsers to add the app to their desktop if they would like to).</p> <p>Hobbycraft's new PWA is a great example of the advantages of the technology. The website is quick, the products are displayed well and avid crafters will no doubt return to the website confident it will serve their needs.</p> <p>Here are eight things I loved.</p> <h3>1. Speed</h3> <p>The video below is produced by Mobify (the platform behind the Hobbycraft PWA). It speaks for itself and demonstrates the main benefit of a PWA.</p> <p><iframe src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/fRmM-iifmUo?wmode=transparent" width="560" height="315"></iframe></p> <h3>2. Picture slider menus</h3> <p>When you choose a category and land on a product listings page, the Hobbycraft site uses slider menus to allow you to filter your results.</p> <p>There are more convetional filter and sort options further down the listings page, but with Hobbycraft stocking plenty of products, these slider menus help the customer get straight to what they want, without having to drill deep into the burger menu.</p> <p>Simply hit the painting category on the homepage, use the slider to select oil paints, and you're right where you want to be without having to think.</p> <p>I've mentioned these sliders before, they're <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/69552-93-ecommerce-ux-features-that-create-user-flow/">used by AO.com</a>. Hobbycraft artfully ensures that on loading, the right-most category thumbnail in the slider is only partially visible, which is the signal to the user that this feature is swipeable.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0009/2203/hobby-painting.gif" alt="hobbycraft listing page" width="300" height="533"></p> <h3>3. Cute category icons</h3> <p>Speaking of the homepage, here are those nice category icons. The homepage does have a banner at the top, used to promote offers and popular products, but below the banner are these easy-to-use buttons that will function as the primary navigation tool for many users.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0009/2211/home_hobby.png" alt="homepage hobbycraft" width="300"></p> <p>The icons are mirrored in the slide-out burger menu, increasing the salience of the categories and making navigation easier.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0009/2210/menu_hobby.png" alt="hobbycraft menu" width="300"></p> <h3>4. Featureful store finder</h3> <p>Store finders aren't the sexiest part of ecommerce design, but users notice when they don''t work. A clunky store finder with slow-loading maps and poor information can be very frustrating.</p> <p>Hobbycraft has a really good one. I can search by postcode or town, or allow the site to use my location. As you can see from the screenshot below, I can then click to call or click to email the store.</p> <p>And that's not all...</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0009/2208/store_3_hobby.png" alt="store finder hobbycraft" width="300"></p> <p>Each store has an events tab, with event listings and descriptions, as well as links to the Hobbycraft blog, where more information is available. This is a really nice touch.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0009/2209/store_4_hobby.png" alt="store finder events hobbycraft" width="300"></p> <h3> <br>5. Easy-to-use filters</h3> <p>More standard ecommerce features done very nicely indeed. I like the little filters icon, and the clear information which tells me which sorts and filters I have applied, as well as a bin icon to delete filters or a 'clear all' option.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0009/2213/filters_hobby.png" alt="filters hobbycraft pwa" width="300"></p> <h3>6. Delivery prompt in basket</h3> <p>More best practice. I add a product to bag and get a prompt to spend a bit more money in order to qualify for free shipping. This can boost average order value and leave the customer feeling satisfied they haven't been hit with extra charges.</p> <p>Returns are free, too.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0009/2215/basket_hobby.png" alt="basket hobbycraft" width="300"></p> <h3>7. Best practice site search</h3> <p>Site search gives me suggested terms, which helps when I can't quite remember the name of the product I was looking at previously or that had been recommended to me.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0009/2205/suggested_search_hobby.png" alt="suggested search" width="300"></p> <p>Scrolling down beneath the suggested search terms, the user can also select from 'top results' which include a product thumbnail, average review rating and a clear price. All exactly as the user would have it.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0009/2206/top_results_hobby.png" alt="most popular search" width="300"></p> <h3>8. Simple checkout</h3> <p>Lastly I'd like to pick out a clear path through checkout, with three sections highlighted as I progress.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0009/2214/checkout_hobby.png" alt="checkout hobbycraft" width="300"></p> <h3>Conclusion</h3> <p>As you can see from the features I have picked out, the site doesn't rewrite the rulebook of UX, but it does stick steadfastly to some time-hnoured best practices.</p> <p>Combine this solid design with the benefits of the progressive web app (speed, reliability and engagement) and you're left with a very good website. One which should delight crafters with its ease of use.</p> <p><em><strong>Further reading for subscribers:</strong></em></p> <ul> <li><a href="https://econsultancy.com/reports/user-experience-and-interaction-design-for-mobile-and-web">User Experience and Interaction Design for Mobile and Web</a></li> </ul> tag:econsultancy.com,2008:BlogPost/69782 2018-02-07T15:00:00+00:00 2018-02-07T15:00:00+00:00 Fintech propels Quicken Loans above Wells Fargo in mortgage originations Patricio Robles <p>The company that surpassed Wells Fargo last quarter was not, as one might expect, another major bank. Instead, <a href="http://www.crainsdetroit.com/article/20180201/news/651886/quicken-loans-overtakes-wells-fargo-as-largest-mortgage-lender-in-q4">it was Quicken Loans</a>, a privately-held company that, unlike Wells Fargo, doesn't operate any branches.</p> <p>Quicken Loans is no upstart. For years, it has been one of the largest mortgage originators in the country, and the largest online mortgage lender.</p> <p>But a changing mortgage market combined with the fintech boom has allowed Quicken Loans to capitalize in a big way.</p> <p>The changes in the market are dramatic. Consider that in Q4 2015, Wells Fargo originated $47bn in home loans. Quicken Loans originated $19bn, less than half of Wells Fargo's total but still enough to make it the third largest mortgage originator in the country at the time.</p> <p>But change was already afoot. While Wells Fargo was still top dog in Q4 2015, <a href="https://www.realtytrac.com/news/mortgage-and-finance/q4-2015-u-s-residential-property-loan-origination-report/">according to RealtyTrac</a>, its share of originations dropped 8% year-over-year. The same was true for other large banks, including JP Morgan Chase, Bank of America and US Bank, which saw their share of originations drop by 30%, 27% and 13%, respectively.</p> <p>Quicken Loans, on the other hand, saw its share grow by 10%.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0009/2133/top_originators_Q4_2015.png" alt="" width="468" height="339"></p> <p>And those gains continued as Quicken Loans doubled down on technology. In 2016, it launched Rocket Mortgage, one of the first mortgage lending offerings to give customers the ability to complete the entire loan application process online. Every year since, Quicken Loans has used a Super Bowl spot to promote Rocket Mortgage to the masses.</p> <p><iframe src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/IX3_Aqji4yE?wmode=transparent" width="560" height="315"></iframe></p> <p>Rocket Mortgage's value proposition is simple: “get an approval to buy a home or refinance your mortgage in minutes.” To make this possible, Rocket Mortgage reduces or eliminates the need for paperwork by allowing applicants to retrieve their financial information from their accounts at their financial institutions <a href="https://www.econsultancy.com/blog/69779-how-will-open-banking-affect-ux">Open Banking</a>-style.</p> <p>While prospective homebuyers using Rocket Mortgage have the option of talking to a human being about their options and application, they're not forced to. Contrast that with Wells Fargo, which offers homebuyers a form through which they can request a “personal consultation” by phone or at a local bank branch.</p> <p>In today's market, for many consumers, a fully online no-touch or low-touch process beats a process that requires human interaction, especially if the human interaction isn't seen to be critical. For example, if a company can use technology to determine what loans and loan terms a prospective homebuyer can qualify for in a matter of minutes, a company that requires them to have a “consultation” to obtain the same information is increasingly going to be at a disadvantage.</p> <p>So while Wells Fargo still originated the highest dollar value of mortgage loans for the full year of 2017, Quicken Loans' big fourth quarter is no fluke and the writing is on the wall: fintech has and continues to change consumer expectations. If big players don't take action to meet them, they will continue to be surpassed by once-smaller companies that do.</p> tag:econsultancy.com,2008:BlogPost/69779 2018-02-06T10:42:00+00:00 2018-02-06T10:42:00+00:00 How will Open Banking affect UX? Nikki Gilliland <p>But, how will it actually impact UX? Here’s a general summary.</p> <h3>Greater freedom and choice</h3> <p style="font-weight: 400;">Opening up a new bank account or switching services can be a notoriously lengthy procedure, marred (or typically put off) by the need to fill in long or dull forms. Open Banking will make onboarding much more simple. Users will no longer need to provide this kind of information – instead they will just need to allow access to their financial data, which services can immediately access and use.</p> <p style="font-weight: 400;">This might also transform traditional processes such as mortgage applications, with users able to apply on the basis of open data rather than lengthy processes. </p> <h3>Access to all accounts in one place</h3> <p>Open Banking will also lead to the introduction of Account Information Service Providers (AISPs), which will join up customer account data from various banks. This means that, if you happen to have multiple accounts with different banks, you will be able to access all this information from a single service rather than log into each bank separately. </p> <p>One of the biggest benefits of this is that it will allow customers to manage money much easier, with the ability to see their entire financial set-up at one time. Naturally, this will present greater opportunities for banks and fintech companies. </p> <p>Challenger banks like <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/68756-prudent-ux-for-banking-monzo-designs-positive-friction" target="_blank">Monzo</a> and Atom already offer users greater visibility within apps, breaking down user payments into categories like ‘groceries’ and ‘bills’. From now on, this is likely to expand further, with more companies likely to focus on a bigger and more complete picture of personal finance.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/3519/monzo_positive_friction.png" alt="monzo" width="615"></p> <p><em>Monzo app</em></p> <h3>Improved personalisation </h3> <p>Another benefit of Open Banking is that it will allow banks to utilise <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/68995-big-data-the-golden-prospect-of-machine-learning-on-business-analytics" target="_blank">machine learning</a> to offer more compelling, relevant, and personal experiences across the board. With the ability to see how a customer manages their money – let’s say, if they have recently booked a holiday - banks will be able to deliver more contextual offers and communication (such as travel insurance). It also means that banks can pre-empt customer needs to offer related and relevant products or services.</p> <p>Again, this will lead to more flexibility for users, with the rise of aggregators allowing customers to choose financial services in relation to real-time need. </p> <p>Another way personalisation will come to the forefront is due to the emergence of competitors offering personalised services to niche markets, i.e. in areas that large banks are thought to typically underserve customers. Open Banking will essentially create more of a level playing field, allowing small or challenger companies the chance to break through. </p> <blockquote class="twitter-tweet"> <p lang="en" dir="ltr">Even more good news this morning. <a href="https://twitter.com/atom_markm?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@Atom_markm</a> is joining the Open Banking Initiative, representing challenger banks <a href="https://t.co/vjAU7ybdkY">https://t.co/vjAU7ybdkY</a> <a href="https://t.co/s26gRjcg1N">pic.twitter.com/s26gRjcg1N</a></p> — Atom bank (@atom_bank) <a href="https://twitter.com/atom_bank/status/880715932687110144?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">June 30, 2017</a> </blockquote> <h3>Enhanced safety</h3> <p>The concept of Open Banking has brought up natural concern about safety and data protection. However, it is important to stress that the new rules are actually aiming to enhance customer safety - not damage it. This is because data-sharing will always be optional, as banks can only share your data with third-party providers if you offer consent. You can also determine the amount or specifics of what data you share.</p> <p>Meanwhile, it will be the Financial Conduct Authority’s (FCA) job to regulate and authorise third-party companies, and only then will they be able to access banking APIs. </p> <p>Another reason safety might increase is new legislation will take away the need for screen scraping, which involved third parties collecting a user’s banking credentials and using them to login and retrieve data. Last year, the European Banking Federation (EBF) called for a ban on screen scraping due to the risks of fraud.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0009/2088/safety.jpg" alt="" width="650" height="433"></p> <h3>Paying vendors directly</h3> <p style="font-weight: 400;">Paying for something online might feel like a seamless experience for users, but beyond this it requires quite a complex series of actions, one that has previously been reliant on providers integrating with bank infrastructure. </p> <p style="font-weight: 400;">To buy something on ASOS, for example, the retailer would be required to access a secure payment service (such as Visa), who would then contact your bank in order to take the payment. </p> <p style="font-weight: 400;">Now with Open Banking, you would instead give ASOS direct permission to access your bank account. The resulting user experience could then be similar to social login, where you access third-party sites with your Twitter or Facebook account.</p> <p style="font-weight: 400;"><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0009/2085/online_shopping.jpg" alt="" width="700" height="466"></p> <h3>More or less loyalty?</h3> <p>Open Banking will undoubtedly lead to more competition within the market, meaning banks must step up their focus on UX in order to hold on to customers. </p> <p>Consequently, while loyalty might be harder to achieve, it could ultimately become stronger in the long-term if banks are able to deliver. Then again, with the ability to switch now being easier than ever before, it remains to be seen whether customers will hold on to their loyalty in the long-term.</p> <p><em><strong>Related reading:</strong></em></p> <ul> <li><em><a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/69680-fintechs-and-banks-to-partner-in-2018-thanks-to-open-banking">Fintechs and banks to partner in 2018 thanks to Open Banking</a></em></li> <li><em><a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/69646-ux-trends-in-2018-what-do-the-experts-predict" target="_blank">UX trends in 2018: What do the experts predict?</a></em></li> <li><em><a href="https://www.econsultancy.com/blog/69253-gdpr-10-examples-of-best-practice-ux-for-obtaining-marketing-consent" target="_blank">GDPR: 10 examples of best practice UX for obtaining marketing consent</a></em></li> </ul> tag:econsultancy.com,2008:BlogPost/69757 2018-01-30T15:05:00+00:00 2018-01-30T15:05:00+00:00 Big banks are finding success with Zelle, but what does it really mean? Patricio Robles <p><a href="https://www.reuters.com/article/us-usa-banks-payments-zelle/whats-zelle-banks-hope-commercials-get-customers-to-notice-the-app-idUSKBN1FI0GB">According to</a> Reuters, nearly 250m transactions valued at $75bn were transferred through Zelle in 2017. The app launched in the middle of the year.</p> <p>PayPal, which owns Venmo, says that Venmo, which is especially popular with millennials, saw $30bn in transfers in the 12 months through September. That means Zelle is already bigger than Venmo in terms of the dollar value of transactions it's processing.</p> <h3>Big caveats</h3> <p>Of course, it must be noted that Zelle was technically already larger than Venmo on the day it launched. That's because Zelle is essentially the front-end interface for the clearXchange Network, a digital payments network that now has over 60 members, including large banks like Wells Fargo, Bank of America and JPMorgan Chase.</p> <p>While some 95m consumers have access to Zelle through their banks and Early Warning Services, the company that operates Zelle, says that more than 100,000 people are logging into Zelle daily, when it comes to how many consumers actually know about Zelle, Venmo's position in the market looks far more competitive. According to Reuters, whereas the word Venmo is now a verb among many younger consumers, Zelle's brand recognition is still very limited.</p> <p>Interestingly, and perhaps tellingly, Early Warning Services also wouldn't reveal how many people regularly use Zelle.</p> <h3>Key takeaways and questions</h3> <p>But how much does brand recognition and direct usage really matter for Zelle? On one hand, thanks to its wealthy banking backers, Zelle has been spending big to promote itself to consumers. Reuters says that ad spots Zelle is buying “can cost from $500,000 to well over $1 million” and banks that are part of Zelle's network are also buying their own ads. Zelle's campaigns star rapper and Broadway actor Daveed Diggs.</p> <p><iframe src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/khTwBP06FFM?wmode=transparent" width="560" height="315"></iframe></p> <p>But even as it spends big to promote itself to the masses, Zelle clearly doesn't intend to compete head-on with Venmo, which for its part insists that it has no intentions of advertising beyond its core base of younger consumers. As Lou Anne Alexander, the group president for payments at Early Warning Services, explained to Reuters, the goal of Zelle's ad campaigns is “to make consumers aware that the majority of them already have access to Zelle in their banking app.”</p> <p>Put another way, because of the way Zelle is structured, and the fact that members of the Zelle consortium have integrated Zelle into their own banking apps, Zelle in many cases doesn't even need to convince consumers to download an app and use it. It simply needs to drive awareness of functionality that a large number of consumers already have through their financial institutions' banking apps.</p> <p>The big question here is whether ubiquity will beat out brand. Or is it possible that Zelle and Venmo's strategies can both be successful, albeit in different ways? In other words, is the market that both Zelle and Venmo serve big enough for multiple players with distinct strategies and userbases?</p> <p>Time will tell. In the meantime, it would appear that established financial institutions can make inroads into a market dominated by a fintech upstart when they target use cases that have already been validated, band together and flex their marketing muscle. That alone is a valuable lesson.</p> tag:econsultancy.com,2008:Report/3008 2018-01-29T15:33:00+00:00 2018-01-29T15:33:00+00:00 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/69705 2018-01-08T15:21:29+00:00 2018-01-08T15:21:29+00:00 What is best practice pagination? And how does it create amazing online experiences? Greg Randall <p>If you want to know why and how it contributes, read on.</p> <h3>Product listing page defined:</h3> <p>A product listing page is defined as the page on an ecommerce site where the retailer presents all products within a specific category. This page typically comprises…</p> <ol> <li>Thumbnail images of specific products </li> <li>Specific content on each product (product title, pricing, review rating etc…)</li> <li>Filtering and sorting options</li> <li>And in most cases, this page contains some form of pagination</li> </ol> <p>An example of this page in action can be seen on Boohoo.com in Figures 1 (desktop) and 2 (smartphone):</p> <p> <img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/resized/0009/1490/boohoo_main_page-blog-flyer.png" alt="" width="470" height="388"></p> <p><em>Figure 1 - Boohoo product listings page on desktop</em></p> <p> <img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/resized/0009/1491/boohoo_smartphone-blog-flyer.png" alt="" width="300"></p> <p><em> Figure 2</em> - Boohoo product listings page on smartphone</p> <p>If the pagination method is constructed <strong>within the realms of best practice,</strong> there are many ways this page element contributes creating great experiences.  This article addresses three:</p> <ol> <li>Sticking to convention</li> <li>Offering consumers multiple options to engage</li> <li>Delivering a visual frame of reference </li> </ol> <h3>Sticking to convention:</h3> <p>Google has been using and continues to use, pagination for all its results pages. It’s irrelevant that users rarely go to page two.  </p> <p> <img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0009/1492/Google_Pagination.png" alt="" width="333" height="78"></p> <p><em>Figure 3 - Google on desktop</em></p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/resized/0009/1493/google_smartphone_pagination-blog-flyer.png" alt="" width="300"></p> <p><em>Figure 3a - Google on smartphone</em></p> <p>The constant exposure to this form of results presentation contributes to creating pagination as convention.</p> <p>Presenting convention within consumer journeys is the foundation of creating usable (and great) experiences. Convention provides consumers the ability to recognise page elements and their functional behaviour <a href="https://www.nngroup.com/articles/minimize-cognitive-load/" target="_blank">without exerting any mental effort</a>.  </p> <p>Sticking to convention throughout the consumer’s journey provides consumers with a sense of being in full control, <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/68839-the-10-principles-for-creating-amazing-online-retail-experiences" target="_blank">an important aspect of creating great experiences</a>.</p> <p>When discussing the top mistakes in web design, NNGroup has this to say on <a href="https://www.nngroup.com/articles/top-10-mistakes-web-design/" target="_blank">how convention contributes to creating amazing experiences</a>….</p> <blockquote> <p>Consistency is one of the most powerful usability principles: when things always behave the same, users don't have to worry about what will happen. Instead, they know what will happen based on earlier experience. </p> <p>The more users' expectations prove right, the more they will feel in control of the system and the more they will like it. And the more the system breaks users' expectations, the more they will feel insecure.</p> </blockquote> <p>UX Magazine (UXMag.com) has this to say about <a href="https://uxmag.com/articles/standard-conventions-innovative-experiences" target="_blank">leveraging standard convention</a>:</p> <blockquote> <p>Users that are dumped into a website will be looking for familiar elements to interact with. If users get confused during an experience, they will look for standard conventions for guidance. </p> <p>Users often have to understand many different elements and how they work together quickly. If a user isn’t able to understand the conventions used within a couple seconds, statistics show they’re likely to leave.</p> </blockquote> <p>Standard conventions <strong>do not need to look the same</strong>, its more about utilising the <strong>same mental model</strong>.  </p> <p>Standard conventions are literally intuitive micro-experiences in their own right and needs to be thought of in this way. Creating new innovative experiences can work, however, it’s the splicing together of innovative design with standard convention that ensures an experience is intuitive and usable.  </p> <h3>Offering consumers multiple options to engage:</h3> <p>Providing consumers multiple options to engage with content provides consumers a sense of control. Anthony Mayfield writes in Forbes about the importance of consumers having full control of their journey referring to them as the “<a href="https://www.forbes.com/sites/onmarketing/2017/04/13/2017-the-year-of-the-empowered-customer/#10acadb9252a" target="_blank">empowered customer</a>”. </p> <p>Presenting multiple pagination options <strong>delivers another layer of control</strong>. Some examples of what pagination elements can be offered and is considered best practice:</p> <ol> <li>Adjusting the number of products to be viewed per page</li> <li>Easy for consumers to move forward and backwards from one page to another  </li> <li>Providing consumers the ability to view all products on a single page</li> </ol> <p>House of Fraser is a good example of pagination in action (see Figure 4 below):</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/resized/0009/1494/house_of_fraser_desk-blog-flyer.png" alt="" width="470" height="336"></p> <p><em>Figure 4 - House of Fraser product listings page on desktop</em></p> <p>The House of Fraser pagination elements deliver the following:</p> <ol> <li>Consumers can select different volumes of products to view per page</li> <li>Consumers have an option to view all products</li> <li>Consumers can view products in a grid pattern of 3 or 4 per row</li> <li>Consumers have a very simple method to moving both forwards and backwards between pages</li> </ol> <p> House of Fraser translates the pagination elements to smartphones the following way. </p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/resized/0009/1495/house_smartphone-blog-flyer.png" alt="" width="300"> </p> <p><em>Figure 4a - House of Fraser product listings page on smartphone</em></p> <p>The mobile pagination options shown in Figure 4a are reduced to emphasise the filter and sorting options. However, when the consumer scrolls down to the bottom of the page he/she is delivered with two options (that are great finger targets) (see Figure 5 below):  </p> <ol> <li>“Show More”</li> <li>“Back To Top” (this remains on the screen throughout scrolling)</li> </ol> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/resized/0009/1496/house_smart-blog-flyer.png" alt="" width="300"> </p> <p><em>Figure 5 - House of Fraser 'show more' on smartphone</em></p> <p>The “Show More” element is how House of Fraser has translated pagination for smartphones.  While this is an obvious action, the output of this action comes with ambiguity. The <a href="https://www.nngroup.com/articles/interaction-cost-definition/" target="_blank">consumer’s mental effort increases</a> because he/she needs to think about what is going to happen if “Show More” is selected.</p> <p>It’s obvious “Show More” means show more products, but how many more products?  The consumer needs to assume, by viewing “Showing 1 – 30 of 5358” (in Figure 5), they will be presented with another 30 products. This assumption gathering is mental effort. </p> <p>If House of Fraser does not wish to present the pagination flexibility as seen in their desktop experience, why not consider changing “Show More” to “Show Another 30 Products” at the very least?  It’s more obvious and less mental effort is required.</p> <p>A good example of conventional pagination treatment on smartphones is Boohoo.com which presents pagination both at the top and bottom of their product listing pages (see Figure 6, below, to show what the pagination treatment at the bottom of the page for Boohoo looks like):  </p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/resized/0009/1497/boohoo_bottom_of_page-blog-flyer.png" alt="" width="300"></p> <p><em>Figure 6 - Boohoo pagination elements on smartphone</em></p> <p>Figure 7, below, shows how John Lewis treats the pagination element at the bottom of its smartphone page, its use of convention is similar to Boohoo.com:</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/resized/0009/1498/john_lewis_bottom_of_page-blog-flyer.png" alt="" width="300"> </p> <p><em>Figure 7 - John Lewis pagination elements on smartphone</em></p> <p>Debenhams takes convention and modifies it slightly to introduce a more concise and yet still <strong>intuitive pagination element</strong> at the bottom of their smartphone product listing pages (see Figure 8 below). </p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/resized/0009/1499/debenhams_pagination_and_next-blog-flyer.png" alt="" width="300"></p> <p><em>Figure 8 - Debenhams pagination on smartphone</em> </p> <p>This is a great example of utilising the pagination “mental model” and making it easier for consumers to move forward and backwards on smartphone screens.  </p> <p>Consumers understand there are 35 pages of products, and are presented with an easy and obvious method to move to page 2. Once the consumer moves to page 2, they are presented with both “Next” and “Previous” page elements at the bottom of the page (see Figure 8a below).  </p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/resized/0009/1500/debenhams_next_and_previous-blog-flyer.png" alt="" width="300"></p> <p><em>Figure 8a - Debenhams 'previous' and 'next' buttons on smartphone</em></p> <h3>Delivering a visual frame of reference:</h3> <p>Retailers and their digital teams work to engineer intuitive <strong>forward moving</strong> experiences, but few consider and develop <strong>elegant back step experiences</strong>.</p> <p>The notion that consumer journeys only flow in a <a href="http://baymard.com/blog/back-button-expectations" target="_blank">forward pattern is not real life</a>.   </p> <p>To create amazing online experiences, planning and consideration is required to develop <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/68839-the-10-principles-for-creating-amazing-online-retail-experiences" target="_blank">elegant forward and backward steps throughout designed journey paths</a>.  </p> <p>The region of a retail site where back steps are most common <strong>are on product listing pages</strong>. Consumers commonly move from the product listing page to a product detail page and back again. </p> <p>This back and forth behaviour is known as “pogo sticking”.</p> <p><a href="https://www.nngroup.com/articles/pogo-sticking/" target="_blank">“Pogo sticking” defined</a>…</p> <blockquote> <p>The hub-and-spoke pattern of navigation from a routing page – search-engine results page, product-category page, or similar – to a deeper page in the site’s hierarchy, then immediately back to the routing page is referred to as pogo sticking.</p> </blockquote> <p>Pogo sticking increases a consumer’s effort to find what he/she is looking for resulting in an “increased interaction cost and a decrease in engagement over time”.</p> <p>When retailers are analysing consumer paths in and around their product listing pages and sees high engagement, this is not necessarily a good thing.  </p> <p>Retailers need to acknowledge this behaviour and work to support this behaviour by improving the intuitive standard of these back-and-forth experiences when they occur.</p> <p>This consumer behaviour is relevant to this narrative because of the consumer’s need for a frame of reference when he/she moves from a product detail page back to the product listing page. Pagination delivers on this need for visual validation as to where he/she is within a specific category.</p> <h3>The 'fear of missing out' - FoMO:</h3> <p>The frustration brought on by pogo sticking is compounded for those consumers influenced by the psychological heuristic known as the fear of missing out (FoMO).</p> <p>A <a href="http://www.insidecxm.com/heuristics-2-scarcity-and-loss-aversion-as-motivators-online/" target="_blank">“heuristic”</a> is a decision-making shortcut people adopt to simplify and speed up decision making, these <strong>govern automatic judgements and influence behaviour</strong>.  </p> <p>FoMO can influence consumer behaviour for those in the early stages of buying. <a href="http://fomofearofmissingout.com/fomo" target="_blank">This from Dr. Dan Sherman who has written a book on this behaviour</a>: </p> <blockquote> <p>FoMO is experienced as a clearly fearful attitude towards the possibility of failing to exhaust available opportunities and missing the expected joy associated with succeeding in doing so. </p> <p>It all begins with a growing awareness of the virtually endless selection of attractive options for the consumer to choose from. Then there’s the consumer’s conceived ability to exhaust as many of the options that she would like to.</p> </blockquote> <p>Dr Sherman’s comment on the “virtually endless selection of attractive options” is a real problem for consumers in today’s world. Consumers are now confronted with many options when landing on category pages comprising thousands of products to choose from.</p> <p>FoMO is the <a href="http://fomofearofmissingout.com/fomo" target="_blank">catalyst behind pogo sticking behaviour</a>.</p> <h3>FoMO in the context of product listing pages and pagination</h3> <p>When consumers are in the middle of a pogo sticking behaviour and head back to the product listing page (from a product page), they need a clear frame of reference to verify they are in the exact same place where they originally left.  </p> <p>It’s obvious when consumers are on page 1 of a product listing page but imagine (for a moment) a consumer on page 10 of 20 pages. A frame of reference in this scenario adds value and <a href="https://www.nngroup.com/articles/minimize-cognitive-load/" target="_blank">reduces a consumer’s mental effort</a>.</p> <p>Pagination (if visually treated properly)<strong> serves as this frame of reference.</strong></p> <p>Pagination can quickly validate the consumer is back in the right region of the category giving them confidence they have not missed out on viewing other products.</p> <p><a href="https://uxplanet.org/ux-infinite-scrolling-vs-pagination-1030d29376f1" target="_blank">User research has found</a> consumers coming back to the middle of a product listing page will scroll up or down to view the pagination element.</p> <p>Boohoo.com, shown in Figure 9 below, is a good example of the best practice visual treatment of pagination in action.</p> <p><img style="vertical-align: middle;" src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/resized/0009/1501/boohoo_pagination_validation-blog-flyer.png" alt="" width="470" height="399"></p> <p><em>Figure 9 - Boohoo pagination to eliminate FoMO</em> </p> <p>Figure 10 shows good treatment of pagination at the bottom of the page:  </p> <p><img style="vertical-align: middle;" src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/resized/0009/1502/boohoo_bottom_of_page_fomo-blog-flyer.png" alt="" width="470" height="406"></p> <p><em>Figure 10 - Boohoo pagination in desktop</em></p> <p>Those of you reading this may be thinking consumers can use the product they clicked on as another frame of reference. Yes, this is true, but is not the solution all of the time. </p> <p>Consider a consumer who uses filters to present a specific style and colour of a garment/product? Or a consumer looking at a similar type of electronics product such as a digital camera or washing machine?</p> <p>In figures 9 and 10 (above) the consumer has over 10 pages of black boots to review. The suggestion of asking consumers to use their memory to assist in developing a frame of reference <strong>increases their mental effort</strong>.</p> <p><a href="https://www.nngroup.com/articles/interaction-cost-definition/" target="_blank">This from Nielsen Norman Group (NN Group)</a>:</p> <blockquote> <p>Users needing to remember information on one page and apply it to a different one requires cognitive effort.</p> </blockquote> <p>Reducing this type of effort (mental) contributes to making a site more “usable”. </p> <h3>Conclusion - Balancing both Physical and Mental effort:</h3> <p>Retailers and UX practitioners supporting other forms of product presentation (“continuous scrolling”, “lazy loading”) do so because it reduces a consumer’s physical effort. There is less physical clicking to see more content. (Side note: scrolling is still physical effort)</p> <p>While in concept these methods appear beneficial, there this little consideration for the consumer’s mental effort.</p> <p>To create amazing, intuitive and usable experiences requires the cost of interaction, by the consumer, to be as low as possible. Lowering “<a href="https://www.nngroup.com/articles/interaction-cost-definition/" target="_blank">interaction cost</a>” requires the reduction of both physical and mental effort.  </p> <p>While it’s impossible to completely extinguish interaction cost, it is the job of the retailer to reduce it as much as possible.  To achieve this requires the <strong>lowering of both physical and mental effort.  </strong></p> <p>A consumer is comfortable in <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/68839-the-10-principles-for-creating-amazing-online-retail-experiences" target="_blank">applying more physical effort if it makes intuitive sense</a> (in essence, reducing their mental effort).</p> <p>Let's ends on a <a href="https://www.smashingmagazine.com/2013/05/infinite-scrolling-lets-get-to-the-bottom-of-this/" target="_blank">quote from Smashing Magazine</a> and a <a href="https://www.slideshare.net/danmckinley/design-for-continuous-experimentation/35-Innite_Scroll_Results_Visitors_seeing" target="_blank">brief story from Etsy.com</a>….</p> <blockquote> <p>Human nature demands hierarchy and structures that are easy to navigate. Infinite scrolling leaves users feeling disoriented as they travel down a page that never ends.  </p> <p>Infinite scrolling often causes a consumer’s position to get lost when “pogo sticking”. The scroll position is lost when navigating to the product page forcing consumers to scroll back down the page each time.</p> </blockquote> <p>Etsy.com implemented infinite scrolling only to find it led to fewer clicks and fewer purchases. Once all the data proved this to be true, they went back to pagination (see Figure 11).</p> <p><img style="vertical-align: middle;" src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/resized/0009/1503/etsy-blog-flyer.png" alt="" width="470" height="181"> </p> <p><em>Figure 11 - Etsy has reverted back to pagination after experimenting with infinite scroll</em></p> <p><em><strong>Further reading for Econsultancy subscribers:</strong></em></p> <ul> <li><a href="https://econsultancy.com/reports/ecommerce">Ecommerce Best Practice Guide</a></li> <li><a href="https://econsultancy.com/reports/user-experience-and-interaction-design-for-mobile-and-web">User Experience and Interaction Design for Mobile and Web</a></li> </ul>