tag:econsultancy.com,2008:/topics/user-experience-and-usability Latest User Experience and Usability content from Econsultancy 2018-06-18T14:29:27+01:00 tag:econsultancy.com,2008:BlogPost/70100 2018-06-18T14:29:27+01:00 2018-06-18T14:29:27+01:00 Venmo doubles down on mobile: Is it a smart move? Patricio Robles <p>That's because last week, Venmo informed its users via email that it's deprecating functionality on its website, starting with the ability to send and request payments. The email stated:</p> <blockquote> <p>Venmo has decided to phase out some of the functionality on the Venmo.com website over the coming months. We are beginning to discontinue the ability to pay and charge someone on the Venmo.com website, and over time, you may see less functionality on the website – this is just the start. We therefore have updated our user agreement to reflect that the use of Venmo on the Venmo.com website may be limited.</p> </blockquote> <p>In a statement to TechCrunch, Venmo further <a href="https://techcrunch.com/2018/06/15/venmo-is-discontinuing-web-support-for-payments-and-more/">explained</a>:</p> <blockquote> <p>Venmo continuously evaluates our products and services to ensure we are delivering our users the best experience. We have decided to begin to discontinue the ability to pay and charge someone on the Venmo.com website. Most of our users pay and request money using the Venmo app, so we’re focusing our efforts there.</p> </blockquote> <p>Although the usage of the Venmo app might be significantly higher than that of its website, some Venmo users took to social media to voice their displeasure with the decision, with some even going so far as to claim that they would no longer use Venmo as a result of the decision.</p> <blockquote class="twitter-tweet"> <p lang="en" dir="ltr">I don't know which <a href="https://twitter.com/MNDarkClouds?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@MNDarkClouds</a> decided to use Venmo as the app to collect funds for the Charity Club, but it sucks. I can't pay from the website?!?!? I am required to install an app? And it's owned by PayPal but not tied to my PayPal account? Why is this so stupid???</p> — Dave DuJour (@davedujour) <a href="https://twitter.com/davedujour/status/997480372576440320?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">May 18, 2018</a> </blockquote> <p>While Venmo told TechCrunch that “users can continue to use the mobile app for their pay and charge transactions and can still use the website for cashing out Venmo balances, settings and statements,” its email to users directly hints that more functionality will be deprecated in the future, raising the possibility that users who rely on or prefer using the Venmo website could be further alienated.</p> <p>So what gives? Why is Venmo suddenly making big changes to its service?</p> <h3>The Zelle factor</h3> <p>Venmo's decision to remove website functionality in favor of focusing on its mobile app experience comes at an interesting time. That's because <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/69757-big-banks-are-finding-success-with-zelle-but-what-does-it-really-mean">Zelle</a>, big banking's P2P payments app, is growing like a weed. In fact, according to eMarketer, thanks to the fact that the more than 30 banks behind it have so many customers, Zelle will overtake Venmo in users this year. </p> <p>And by 2022, eMarketer expects that Zelle will have a wide lead over Venmo in users, with 56.1m compared to 38.7m, respectively.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/resized/0009/5414/venmo-zelle-blog-flyer.png" alt="" width="470" height="463"></p> <p>While past statements from Zelle representatives indicate that it isn't trying to compete head-on with Venmo, there is no doubt some overlap between Zelle's user base and Venmo's user base and Venmo should probably be somewhat concerned about Zelle's ability to parlay ubiquity into usage.</p> <p>With that in mind, the question for Venmo is whether it can afford to take away functionality that a minority of its users use without ill-effect.</p> <p>On one hand, it would seem that allowing users to pay via the Venmo website is such a basic piece of functionality that there's really no need to risk removing it. On the other hand, as Venmo looks to solidify its relationship with users and innovate on the functionality and experiences it offers them, being able to focus exclusively on one application – and the one most of its users use – could prove advantageous.</p> <p>Time will ultimately tell whether or not Venmo's decision was a wise one, but already, Zelle has proven that <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/69457-can-big-banks-catch-up-to-venmo-with-p2p-payments-app-zelle">big banks can catch up to upstarts</a> like Venmo and once they do, those upstarts will have to become a lot more strategic if they don't want to find themselves playing catch-up.</p> tag:econsultancy.com,2008:BlogPost/70053 2018-06-14T14:00:00+01:00 2018-06-14T14:00:00+01:00 Beyond 'contact us': Six website features hotels can use to increase engagement & bookings Tom Dibble <p>Customer service is supposed to be at the core of hospitality, yet that “extra mile” ethos doesn’t always translate into the digital sphere. The integration of enhanced contact tools on hotel websites has been moderate, and not just among smaller properties with modest budgets. </p> <p>L2’s recent <a href="https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=i4LdZgehI8w&amp;feature=youtu.be">Digital IQ: US Luxury Hotels</a> report revealed that while nearly every global hospitality brand analyzed has a dedicated “contact page” on their website, only about <a href="https://www.l2inc.com/daily-insights/the-key-to-digital-hospitality">one in four</a> allow users to request a call from a customer service agent, and even fewer offer a live chat feature.</p> <p>Adding more sophisticated contact features offers a competitive edge and leads to direct bookings.</p> <p>Here are six website enhancements for contact that converts.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0009/5344/hotel_bookings.png" alt="hotel" width="615"></p> <h3>Upgraded features</h3> <h4>Web form</h4> <p>Utilitarian to the core, web forms have been around as long as there’s been a web, and many hotels already have simple submission areas on their 'contact us' page.</p> <p>Hotels that don’t currently offer a web form should consider this simple, low-cost addition that can be implemented in just a matter of days.</p> <p>Web forms let users fire off their thoughts with fewer clicks, and without the need to open additional applications. Savvy marketing teams will additionally take the opportunity to invite users to opt-in the property’s email list.</p> <h4>Persistent 'contact us' feature</h4> <p>When a user experiences an <a href="https://www.thinkwithgoogle.com/consumer-insights/i-want-to-go-micro-moments/">“I want to go” moment</a>, the last thing you want to do is make them wonder how to reach you.</p> <p>Often added with simple plugins, a persistent 'contact us' feature always keeps the opportunity for interaction on screen, regardless of where the user navigates across the hotel website.</p> <h3>Advanced features</h3> <h4>'Call me' prompt</h4> <p>For all the new tech in the hospitality industry, humans are still the heart of quality customer service.</p> <p>Allowing users to request a call from the hotel team not only offers an opportunity to quickly and efficiently answer questions, it also offers an opportunity for conversion.</p> <p>Further, providing an easy method of moving an inquiry from online to the phone line is efficient, and a welcome customer service act that shows an appreciation of how important a user’s time is.</p> <h4>Chatbots </h4> <p>The integration of <a href="https://econsultancy.com/search/?locale=uk&amp;q=chatbot">chatbots</a> is on the rise across many industries, including hospitality. Users engage in an automated, conversational experience via text on a property’s website for a thoroughly modern user experience (UX).</p> <p>Many of today’s chatbot services are smart, adaptive and relatively easy to assimilate into existing sites. Most chatbots are equipped with natural language processing (NLP) and have become pretty good at decoding nuance and intent.</p> <p>Not only does the integration of chatbots show that you’re modern and dedicated to next-level customer service, the tool can be a source of business intelligence. If your chatbot is being bombarded with inquiries about checkout times, for example, it’s likely that information needs to be featured more prominently on the website, or that it might be missing entirely. </p> <p>Particularly for properties with a smaller staff, chatbot integration can really lend a helping hand.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0009/5343/Chat_Bot_2_1000px.png" alt="chat bot" width="615"> </p> <h3>Elite features</h3> <h4>Live chat</h4> <p>Chatbots are a cool tool, still nothing beats that human touch.</p> <p>Across the internet, the most friction-free purchase experiences offer a 'live chat' option. It’s a UX feature people love, with one recent <a href="https://www.forrester.com/report/Making+Proactive+Chat+Work/-/E-RES57054">study</a> noting 44% of online consumers say that having questions answered by a live person during an online purchase is one of the most important features a website can offer.</p> <p>A separate <a href="https://www.zendesk.com/company/press/zendesk-benchmark-live-chat-drives-highest-customer-satisfaction/">report</a> recently noted 'chat' is becoming the customer service interaction of choice, with 92% of customers saying they feel satisfied when they use a website’s live chat feature, exceeding the satisfaction levels of using voice, email, even social media messaging like Facebook and Twitter. </p> <p>The integration of live chat can offer unique challenges when it comes to smaller hospitality groups. Travel is a global game, and servicing users from different time zones writing in different languages needs to be addressed, but the growing benefits – and expectations – of live chat is still worth investigating to see if it’s a fit for your particularly property. </p> <h4>'Triggered' live chat </h4> <p>Even more proactive than simply offering live chat is actually initiating a live chat session automatically.</p> <p>'Triggered' live chat sessions are prompted after a user has been inactive on the website for a predetermined amount of time. </p> <p>It's the digital equivalent to an on-property employee spotting a guest poring over a map and taking the initiative to ask “May I help you find something?” and a customer service feature that's sure to leave guests impressed. </p> <p>There are varying technology solutions for implementing the above contact enhancements. Meet with your trusted digital marketing partner to discuss which features are the best fit for your property, and put a plan in place that goes beyond 'contact us.'</p> <p><a style="color: #2976b2; text-decoration: none;" href="https://econsultancy.com/reports/a-guide-to-customer-experience-management/" target="_self"><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0009/3592/Customer_Experience_Management_Best_Practice_Widget__1_.png" alt="customer experience management best practice guide (subscriber only)" width="615" height="242"></a></p> tag:econsultancy.com,2008:BlogPost/70084 2018-06-12T09:32:09+01:00 2018-06-12T09:32:09+01:00 Considering colour blindness in UX design (with five examples) Lizzy Hillier <p>Although sizeable advances have been made in assistive equipment and software, many websites contain design flaws that hinder simple and engaging user experience. With equality and accessibility at the forefront of the minds of countless businesses, why is their online presence sometimes at odds with this ideal?</p> <p><a href="http://www.colourblindawareness.org/colour-blindness/">Statistics from Colour Blind Awareness</a> indicate that colour blindness affects 8% of males and 0.5% of females globally, with around 2.7 million of those living in the UK. This is a surprisingly large percentage of the population whose needs are frequently overlooked, impacting their ability to interact with numerous online resources such as maps, charts, online booking forms and general web navigation.</p> <p>I was foolishly unaware of just how prevalent this visual impairment really was until I met my partner, who has­ a rare blue-yellow form of colour blindness (Tritanopia), and my sister’s partner, who has a more common red-green type (Deuteranopia). Owing to this, I have found myself more mindful, as a designer, of the colour combinations I use and their effect on those who cannot distinguish the full spectrum we often take for granted.</p> <p>Thanks to campaigns such as <a href="http://www.colourblindawareness.org/wp-content/uploads/2015/02/1ineveryclassroom-press-release-Final.pdf">#1ineveryclassroom</a> and criticism of <a href="https://www.theguardian.com/media/2016/jul/28/bbc-colour-blind-people-election-complaints?CMP=twt_gu">the BBC's 2015 general election coverage</a>, awareness of colour blindness has somewhat improved, with more consideration taken during the design process of video games, classroom materials, on- and offline infographics, websites and many more.</p> <p>New tools have been developed that enable digital designers to view their creations as a colour blind individual would perceive them. These tools range from software and web browser plug-ins to desktop apps, which I will touch upon later in this article. However, despite the array of test simulations now available, some continue to slip through the net. Below are a few examples: </p> <h3>Online booking forms</h3> <p>Having assisted my partner with the navigation of several online booking platforms in the past, this appears to be a common UX problem. The below combination of lime green and lemon yellow featured on the Victoria &amp; Albert Museum's booking site does not provide enough contrast for a red-green colour blind user to easily interact with.</p> <p>Unfortunately, a simple matter of colour choice like this consequentially risks conversion rates, particularly in the context of a booking form. Unclear colouration has the potential to prevent securing conversions, as frustrated colour blind customers may simply abandon the booking process altogether.</p> <blockquote class="twitter-tweet"> <p lang="en" dir="ltr">Hi <a href="https://twitter.com/V_and_A?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@V_and_A</a>, your ticketing website is very unfriendly to <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/colourblind?src=hash&amp;ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#colourblind</a> users. Please consider fixing it <a href="https://t.co/4zmtm4weZB">pic.twitter.com/4zmtm4weZB</a></p> — ☞Ⓖⓐⓡⓨ Ⓟⓐⓡⓚⓔⓡ☜ (@WiteWulf) <a href="https://twitter.com/WiteWulf/status/914825089463590917?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">2 October 2017</a> </blockquote> <p><strong>Normal colour vision:</strong></p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0009/5160/VA_nv.png" alt="V&amp;A Booking Form - Normal Vision" width="615" height="186"></p> <p><strong>Red-blind protanopia:</strong></p> <p> <img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0009/5161/VA_rb.png" alt="V&amp;A Booking Form - Red-Blind Vision" width="615" height="186"></p> <p><strong>Green-blind deuteranopia:</strong></p> <p>  <img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0009/5162/VA_gb.png" alt="V&amp;A Booking Form - Green-Blind Vision" width="615" height="186"></p> <h3>Interactive maps</h3> <p>Interactive maps are useful and informative tools used to track (often in real-time) changes in traffic, weather and lots more. However, they are not always designed with colour-blind users in mind. Let’s take this <a href="http://www.mapping.cityoflondon.gov.uk/geocortex/mapping/?viewer=streetworks">map from the City of London</a> as an example, which allows individuals to check severe (red), moderate (yellow) and minor (green) delays in their area caused by roadworks.</p> <p>The vertically stacked design of traffic lights aids colour-blind drivers to identify a command through the position, rather than colouration, of the lights. Why, then, use the same three colours on this muddled map?</p> <p><strong>Normal colour vision:</strong></p> <p> <img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0009/5163/Map_nv.png" alt="Map - Normal Vision" width="615" height="430"></p> <p><strong>Red-blind protanopia:</strong></p> <p><strong><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0009/5164/Map_rb.jpg" alt="Map - Red-Blind Vision" width="615" height="430"></strong></p> <p><strong>Green-blind deuteranopia:</strong></p> <p><strong><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0009/5165/Map_gb.jpg" alt="Map - Green-Blind Vision" width="615" height="430"></strong></p> <p><strong>Blue-blind tritanopia:</strong></p> <p> <img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0009/5166/Map_bb.jpg" alt="Map - Blue-Blind Vision" width="615" height="430"></p> <p>Contrasting symbols (e.g. smiley/neutral/sad faces) would be more user-friendly in this instance. Using alternative colours would probably confuse the remaining ~92% of users who have come to associate green with ‘good’, yellow with ‘OK’ and red with ‘bad’. </p> <h3>Social media</h3> <p>If you suffer from protanopia or deuteranopia (forms of red-green colour blindness), you might have some trouble using Twitter, as Jason Baldridge found out:</p> <blockquote class="twitter-tweet"> <p lang="en" dir="ltr">Hey <a href="https://twitter.com/Twitter?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@Twitter</a> @support: I'm colorblind and can't see whether I've favorited a post when looking just at that post. (It's clear on timeline.)</p> — Jason Baldridge (@jasonbaldridge) <a href="https://twitter.com/jasonbaldridge/status/861276096209104896?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">7 May 2017</a> </blockquote> <p>This proves how even the most well-established and widely used websites and apps fall short when catering for the colour-blind. Although this example does not interfere with more important actions such as completing a transaction or reading infographics, it certainly makes for a frustrating user experience.</p> <p><strong>Normal colour vision:</strong></p> <p><strong><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0009/5168/Twitter_nv.png" alt="Twitter - Normal Colour Vision" width="292" height="340"></strong></p> <p><strong>Red-blind protanopia:</strong></p> <p><strong><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0009/5169/Twitter_rb.png" alt="Twitter - Red-Blind Vision" width="292" height="340"></strong></p> <p><strong>Green-blind deuteranopia:</strong></p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0009/5170/Twitter_gb.png" alt="Twitter - Green-Blind Vision" width="292" height="340"></p> <h3>Infographics and charts</h3> <p>An example highlighted by <a href="http://wearecolorblind.com/example/bbc-online-football-tables/">WeAreColorblind</a> shows how confusing infographics can be when the designer relies solely on colour to represent variables. The below table was captured in 2012 from the BBC Sport football tables, and presents the latest results match by match (green=win, grey=draw, red=loss).</p> <p><strong>Normal colour vision:</strong></p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0009/5173/football_nv.png" alt="Premier League Table 2012 - Normal Vision" width="615" height="303"></p> <p>Now let’s take a look at how colour-blind users perceive the table.</p> <p><strong>Red-blind protanopia:</strong></p> <p><strong><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0009/5174/football_rb.png" alt="Premier League Table 2012 - Red-Blind Vision" width="615" height="303"></strong></p> <p><strong>Green-blind deuteranopia:</strong></p> <p><strong><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0009/5175/football_gb.png" alt="Premier League Table 2012 - Green-Blind Vision" width="615" height="303"></strong></p> <p><strong>Blue-blind tritanopia:</strong></p> <p>Although it is certainly easier for a tritanope to distinguish between win and loss, the grey ‘draw’ shade is still a bit too similar ‘win’ to read the table effortlessly.</p> <p><strong><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0009/5176/football_bb.png" alt="Premier League Table 2012 - Blue-Blind Vision" width="615" height="303"></strong></p> <h3>Don't rely solely on colour in UX</h3> <p>When designing UX for accessibility, it is important to adopt multiple identifiers for any given variable, especially when it comes to infographics and charts. As a result, those with normal colour vision will typically interpret information via colour association, and those with colour blindness via corresponding numbers, letters or symbols instead.</p> <p>… Just make sure you can discern between the symbols you use!</p> <blockquote class="twitter-tweet"> <p lang="en" dir="ltr">Time to take pot luck on the strength of the chilli in my lunch. <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/HungryHorse?src=hash&amp;ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#HungryHorse</a> <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/colourblind?src=hash&amp;ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#colourblind</a> <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/1in12?src=hash&amp;ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#1in12</a> <a href="https://twitter.com/colourblindorg?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@colourblindorg</a> <a href="https://t.co/qYHEGSLk8x">pic.twitter.com/qYHEGSLk8x</a></p> — Phillip (@PhiIIipBlackman) <a href="https://twitter.com/PhiIIipBlackman/status/988762602925895681?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">24 April 2018</a> </blockquote> <p>It is encouraging to see that BBC Sport has since added lettering to its table to enhance legibility for both colour-blind users and those with normal colour vision. Customer experience is as much about being heard as it is about usability, and after being notified of the issue BBC Sport has adapted its design accordingly.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0009/5171/PL_table_2018.png" alt="BBC Sport 2018 Premier League Table" width="615" height="517"></p> <p><strong>Where it is not practical to use symbols, consider:</strong> </p> <ul> <li>Adding texture (e.g. hatching) to differentiate sections of an interactive chart or table. </li> <li>Resizing and/or relocating call to action buttons to ensure they still seize attention, regardless of its brightly coloured background.</li> <li>Using a distinctive border to highlight an active item on a navigation bar.</li> </ul> <h3>When using colour in UX, consider the contrast</h3> <p>When designing a website or UX platform, be mindful of the contrast between various elements onscreen. This is particularly important when it comes to text placed on backgrounds. If important information is illegible on screen, you will alienate any colour-blind individuals as they will not be able to navigate your website properly. Bear in mind that weight and emphasis (italic, bold etc) are also factors that affect the amount of contrast between a type and its background colour.</p> <p>Try to avoid certain colour combinations in your design: red &amp; green, green &amp; blue, blue &amp; purple and green &amp; brown are a few of the most troublesome. If you are unsure about a colour combination you have chosen, implement one of the simulation tools below to check.</p> <p>It is acknowledged that the best colour contrast ratios are 7:1 (normal text) or 4:5:1 (large text). Further contrast guidelines can be found via <a href="https://www.w3.org/TR/UNDERSTANDING-WCAG20/visual-audio-contrast-contrast.html">via W3C</a>.</p> <h3>Colour-blindness tools for designers</h3> <ol> <li> <a href="https://userway.org/contrast-checker">Userway Contrast Checker</a>. Select both a background and a text colour and this tool will tell you if they pass AA &amp; AAA colour contrast requirements.</li> <li> <a href="http://colororacle.org/">Color Oracle</a> is a free desktop colour-blindness simulator compatible with Windows, Linux &amp; Mac.</li> <li> <a href="https://chrome.google.com/webstore/detail/nocoffee/jjeeggmbnhckmgdhmgdckeigabjfbddl">No Coffee</a> is a Chrome and Firefox add-on which can simulate many forms of visual impairment including colour-blindness.</li> <li> <a href="https://helpx.adobe.com/uk/photoshop/using/proofing-colors.html?origref=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.google.co.uk%2F">Guide to Soft-Proofing for Adobe CC Software</a>. Most Adobe design software is now able to simulate red-green forms of colour-blindness.</li> <li> <a href="http://www.color-blindness.com/coblis-color-blindness-simulator/">Coblis Simulator</a>. This old-school simulator lets you upload an image and cycle between different types of colour-blindness, which is excellent for checking standard graphics.</li> <li> <a href="https://betterfigures.org/2015/06/23/picking-a-colour-scale-for-scientific-graphics/">BetterFigures</a> have created some useful guidelines on how to pick better colours for scientific graphics.</li> </ol> <p>Have you used any useful colour-blindness simulation tools? Let us know which ones in the comments below!</p> <p><em><strong>More on accessibility:</strong></em></p> <ul> <li><a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/67751-it-s-time-to-make-web-accessibility-integral-to-your-project-lifecycle">It's time to make web accessibility integral to your project lifecycle</a></li> <li><a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/64846-five-quick-checks-for-your-website-s-accessibility">Five quick checks for your website's accessibility</a></li> <li><a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/68808-uk-retailers-still-failing-to-meet-web-accessibility-standards">UK retailers still failing to meet web accessibility standards</a></li> </ul> tag:econsultancy.com,2008:BlogPost/70061 2018-05-30T12:20:00+01:00 2018-05-30T12:20:00+01:00 A day in the life of... a principal UX researcher Ben Davis <h4> <em>Econsultancy:</em> Please describe your job: What do you do? </h4> <p><em><strong>Terika Seaborn-Brown:</strong></em> I am a UX researcher and consultant. I study how people interact with things (like websites, mobile phones, medical devices, video games) in order to make the experience as simple and intuitive as possible. </p> <h4>E: Whereabouts do you sit within the organisation? Who do you report to?</h4> <p><em><strong>TS:</strong></em> As a Principal, I sit in the middle of the organisation. I have the opportunity to mentor and work with seniors, middle-level, and junior researchers who report to me. I report to a Head and the Executive Director. As an agency it’s a great opportunity to learn from and work with people who have a wide breadth of skills.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0009/4857/DITL_terika_Seaborn_Brown.png" alt="terika from foolproof" width="615"></p> <h4>E: What kind of skills do you need to be effective in your role?</h4> <p><em><strong>TS:</strong></em> At this level, my role requires me:</p> <ul> <li>to have deep, expansive knowledge and experience of UX research - the various methodologies, when they apply, the pitfalls to avoid</li> <li>to teach and manage UX researchers - not just in the execution of research but how to negotiate relationships with clients and people in other disciplines, to deliver and demonstrate value and speak with authority</li> <li>to lead multi-functional teams on complex projects</li> <li>to manage client relationships and help develop their UX maturity </li> </ul> <h4><em><strong>E: Tell us about a typical working day…</strong></em></h4> <p><em><strong>TS:</strong></em> A mix! Meeting with project team members to discuss updates, helping to determine which researcher should be assigned to which project, reading up on the latest technique in the field, talking to clients about upcoming research, stepping in to support other project teams, and (today) answering questions about my role and my job.</p> <h4>E: What do you love about your job? What sucks?</h4> <p><em><strong>TS:</strong></em> UX research is really methodical people watching, and I love people watching. I think people are endlessly fascinating. I love it so much that I teach other people how to people watch.</p> <p>Timesheets are what suck. I just want to work! </p> <h4>E: What kind of goals do you have? What are the most useful metrics and KPIs for measuring success?</h4> <p><em><strong>TS:</strong></em> My goals are two-fold:</p> <ol> <li>Making sure that things that people interact with are intuitive. There're so many interesting and compelling topics to think about. Why spend effort figuring out how to turn your new mobile on?</li> <li>Constantly learning - both that I am always learning, but also that I am actively passing on that knowledge.</li> </ol> <h4>E: What are your favourite tools to help you to get the job done?</h4> <p><em><strong>TS:</strong></em> My best (and most useful) tools are my eyes and ears. If I can see what people are doing, then I can understand when things go wrong (even if they themselves don't think anything is wrong). If I can hear their stream of thought, then I can understand why things go wrong. </p> <h4>E: How did you land in this role, and where might you go from here?</h4> <p><em><strong>TS:</strong></em> I knew about Foolproof and had met Leslie, executive director of practice at Foolproof, a few times - I was so impressed with her passion and vision for the field, I knew I wanted to work with her. I'm hoping to continue to grow and expand my knowledge and teaching of the field. </p> <h4>E: What new user experiences are you most excited by? And which brands are making strides in UX?</h4> <p><em><strong>TS:</strong></em> Honestly, the fields I'm most intrigued by tend to be the forgotten populations. For many companies, it's actually their own employees that they forget about. EUX (employee user experience) is one of those fields that I think should explode. Once companies get wind of the improvements in retention, productivity, and employee feedback, it just makes sense that they would invest in the things their employees interact with every day.</p> <h4>E: Do you have any advice for people who want to work in UX?</h4> <p><em><strong>TS:</strong></em> If you love people-watching, if you have interest in making things that people actually enjoy using, if you like working in teams, join this field. It's awesome.</p> <p><a href="https://econsultancy.com/training/courses/topics/user-experience-and-usability/"><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0009/4856/UX_training.png" alt="ux training" width="600" height="209"></a></p> tag:econsultancy.com,2008:Report/3008 2018-05-29T11:30:00+01:00 2018-05-29T11:30:00+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/70043 2018-05-29T09:48:52+01:00 2018-05-29T09:48:52+01:00 How the British Red Cross revamped its website, from 4,000 pages to just 400 Nikki Gilliland <p>As a result of its broad remit, conveying brand purpose (and faciliating consumer understanding) is crucial for the British Red Cross. Its website has recently been refreshed with this in mind, aiming to help users to learn about the different services it offers - from assistance with social isolation to fundraising for victims of global conflict.</p> <p>I recently spoke with Gemma Hamilton, head of brand and strategic marketing for the British Red Cross, to gain more of an insight into the reasons behind the new site, and the importance of web experience for the charity.</p> <h3>Reasons for the refresh</h3> <p>Gemma began by explaining that it had been seven years since the British Red Cross refreshed its website. This, coupled with research uncovering the fact that people weren't finding what they needed from the site, led the charity to conclude that the time was right for a revamp (launching the project with creative agency Rufus Leonard).</p> <p>“We discovered that a large portion of the content on the site wasn’t being used,” Gemma explains. “And at the same time, we took a closer look at who we are as a brand, to really get to the core of what we deliver as an organisation.”</p> <p>A big part of this is also based on the realisation that people might be unaware of what the British Red Cross actually does. It is a charity perhaps better known for its global fundraising, such as its Syria crisis appeal, but it also provides help for people in the UK who are dealing with issues like social isolation, money problems, as well as the tangible need to hire a wheelchair or commode.</p> <p>Gemma went on to explain the charity’s two-pronged approach to its website refresh: </p> <blockquote> <p>We’ve built everything with our brand vision in mind (which is that everyone gets the help they need in a crisis). Essentially, we needed to ensure that we have the best possible platform to enable us to deliver that mission, both in terms of making our web experience simple and accessible enough for people who might want to use our services - such as borrow a wheelchair or access some of our independent living services. But equally, we’re looking to mobilise the support of the great British public and beyond, to contribute to the movement and help people in a crisis in a way that suits them.</p> </blockquote> <p>In order to do this, the site has been significantly streamlined. “We’ve gone from almost 4,000 pages to just around 400,” Gemma says. “The way that it is designed now is not just talking about our services, it’s actually a service in itself. For example, at the top of the page we have tabs like ‘get help’, ‘get involved’ and ‘shop’, meaning it’s very much geared around what an individual might want to do on the site.”</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0009/4640/british_red_cross_about_us.JPG" alt="british red cross website" width="615"></p> <p>Indeed, the site now looks and feel much more streamlined, with sections based on whether people are looking to get help or offer it. What's more, the quality of the content on the site has also been improved. Gemma explains how the charity “looked at the content that was most commonly read and deemed most useful from an audience perspective, and really honed that to ensure it is current, simple, and as valuable as possible.”</p> <h3>Results and what’s to come</h3> <p>Gemma also emphasised that the website is far from finished, with many improvements apparently still to come: “So far the feedback from users has been very positive, but we are constantly monitoring how people are using the new website, and in quite an agile way, using this information to continually refine it”. </p> <p>Last year, the charity also launched a new donation platform, which has resulted in a 17.5% increase in mobile donations and a 12.4% increase in tablet donations.</p> <p>Gemma explains the timing was ideal. “It was brought in just before the Manchester bombing appeal, and of course the very high profile ‘One Love Manchester’ concert. It proved it was able to handle an unprecedented level of traffic during that time, which helped us to raise millions.”</p> <p>So, what other changes are yet to be made?</p> <p>“We’ve introduced a new feature on the site simply called ‘is this page useful?’ at the bottom of every page,” Gemma says. “It invites users to tell us if what we’ve built for them is useful or not. If not, they can tell us why, and we can use that insight to continually improve.”</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0009/4798/Is_this_page_useful.JPG" alt="is this page useful feature" width="600" height="346"></p> <p>This test and learn approach appears to be key across the British Red Cross' digital strategy.</p> <p>“Other plans we have for the future are to digitise more of our services, to ensure that they are user friendly and as accessible to as many people as possible, so wheelchair hire, for example. This will enable the website to have even greater utility.”</p> <p>Meanwhile, Gemma also stresses the importance of a website that aligns with other digital channels. She says it’s not about one channel versus another (i.e. website over social or email), or even that the website is more geared for a particular audience, i.e. fundraisers or beneficiaries. Rather, Gemma says that “It’s about building insight and an understanding of audiences, and having a presence wherever they are. It’s about having a consistent and coherent offering that people recognise across channels, which in turn means they are motivated and able to contribute in a way that suits them.”</p> <h3>Building consumer trust</h3> <p>So, when it comes to donations, what about the issue of consumer trust? Gemma states that this remains a big challenge across the voluntary sector.</p> <p>“Trust is a hugely important issue," she says. "It’s critical that we take every step necessary to retain the trust and confidence of the public. We’ve implemented new procedures and robust safeguarding measures to ensure that, for anyone who supports us, they can do so with the confidence that it is in the best interests of the people the charity is supporting.” </p> <p>I also asked Gemma whether other technology might be on the horizon, such as artificial intelligence for customer service. After all, it appears to have become a bit of a <a href="https://www.econsultancy.com/blog/69808-five-examples-of-charity-chatbots" target="_blank">trend for charities</a> in particular, with the likes of Shelter Scotland and Watercap investing in the tech.</p> <p>Gemma was slightly less sure of the British Red Cross following suit, instead emphasising the charity’s willingness to improve upon what they’ve already got. </p> <p>“The development of our site was a very involved and significant project for us, and we’re very much looking at what’s next. If there are more innovative ways to improve our services and make them as accessible as we can, we’re absolutely open to that. The key thing for us is to ensure we’re building everything from solid insight and understanding of our audience.”</p> <blockquote class="twitter-tweet"> <p lang="en" dir="ltr">We are proud of the our volunteers who worked alongside the emergency services and in solidarity with local communities during the 2017 emergencies in London and Manchester. <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/PowerOfKindness?src=hash&amp;ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#PowerOfKindness</a></p> — British Red Cross (@BritishRedCross) <a href="https://twitter.com/BritishRedCross/status/997498490598150144?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">May 18, 2018</a> </blockquote> <h3>A tool for brand purpose</h3> <p>Finally, Gemma finished by speaking about the charity’s tone of voice, and moreover, how this emphasises its brand promise. Alongside social and other marketing channels, the British Red Cross looks upon its website as central to promoting this, using it as an opportunity – not only to provide a service – but to promote what it stands for:</p> <p>"We are the movement that connects human kindness with human crisis, and our new website is one of the most important and powerful tools for us to be able to fulfil that purpose. To deliver a site that’s now a service in itself is really critical – it’s an expression of who we are and what we want to achieve.”</p> <p><strong>More on charities:</strong></p> <ul> <li><a href="https://www.econsultancy.com/blog/69706-charity-websites-must-tackle-content-design-information-architecture" target="_blank">Charity websites must tackle content design &amp; information architecture</a></li> <li><a href="https://www.econsultancy.com/blog/69412-six-charities-with-excellent-online-donation-user-journeys" target="_blank">Six charities with excellent online donation user journeys</a></li> <li><a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/69391-how-five-charities-convey-purpose-through-tone-of-voice" target="_blank">How five charities convey purpose through tone of voice</a></li> </ul> tag:econsultancy.com,2008:BlogPost/70015 2018-05-14T09:00:00+01:00 2018-05-14T09:00:00+01:00 Anorak will use Open Banking to sell life insurance Patricio Robles <p>For obvious reasons, some banks have not made it easy for these upstarts to operate. In response to this, Open Banking, a UK regulation, and PSD2, its EU cousin, essentially require that banks open up their data to vetted third parties.</p> <p>Both officially went into effect earlier this year, and while institutions have been granted extra time to become fully compliant, already, some fintechs are gearing up to take advantage.</p> <p>Take, for instance, <a href="https://www.anorak.life/">Anorak</a>, which <a href="https://www.finextra.com/pressarticle/73815/anorak-uses-truelayers-api-to-open-up-life-insurance-market">just announced</a> a partnership with TrueLayer, one of the first UK companies authorized to provide APIs under Open Banking and PSD2.</p> <p>Founded in 2015, Anorak says it's "on a mission to build the world’s smartest independent insurance adviser."</p> <p>Its service allows individuals to perform a life insurance evaluation that takes into account each person's family and finances. Based on the evaluation, Anorak provides advice on the type of plan it believes the individual needs, as well as three life insurance policies that its algorithms believe are aligned to those needs.</p> <p>Anorak's service scans eight major insurers and the company says that its process takes "just minutes."</p> <p>The way it accomplishes so much in such little time is that, where available, instead of having users manually supply information about their finances, it allows users to share their data from the financial institutions they have accounts with.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0009/4388/anorak.png" alt="anorak life insurance" width="615" height="295"></p> <p>In a nutshell, this is what <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/69779-how-will-open-banking-affect-ux">Open Banking</a> and PSD2 are all about. By giving individuals the ability to control the information associated with their accounts, third parties, including startups like Anorak, can help them better understand their finances, and obtain recommendations for products and services that are useful to them.</p> <p>The impact of this can't be understated. In Anorak's case, for instance, the company says that 8.5m people in the UK don't have life insurance, and many of them could be leaving their families vulnerable as a result.</p> <p>While major banks, such as HSBC, RBS and Barclays, offer life insurance, it's not a central focus for most of them. From this perspective, fintechs like Anorak might not be as much competition as they are market expanders, and for this reason, <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/69680-fintechs-and-banks-to-partner-in-2018-thanks-to-open-banking">it's expected that banks will increasingly partner with fintechs,</a> instead of compete with them, because in many cases they will be able to help them provide better overall experiences to their customers.</p> <p>To that end, Anorak's website indicates that it's open to partnerships with financial institutions, as well as independent financial advisers (IFAs), mortgage brokers, real estate players and even retailers.</p> <h3>How will the GDPR affect Open Banking?</h3> <p>While companies like Anorak are demonstrating the value of Open Banking and PSD2, it's worth noting that the <a href="https://econsultancy.com/hello/gdpr-for-marketers/">GDPR</a>, which goes into effect later this month, could complicate matters. As some have noted, the GDPR's rules are, in some instances, seemingly in conflict with the principles of open banking and leave open questions around consent. If unresolved, these could jeopardize the implementation of Open Banking and PSD2.</p> <p>Complications such as these are obviously of concern and it will be interesting to see how they are resolved but in the meantime, there's every reason to believe that open banking regulations are going to fundamentally alter the way consumers interact with financial services in the very near future.</p> tag:econsultancy.com,2008:BlogPost/70000 2018-05-08T12:00:00+01:00 2018-05-08T12:00:00+01:00 Walmart's website redesign: Five first impressions Patricio Robles <p>In an effort to maintain its position, Walmart has completely redesigned Walmart.com. Here are five of the aspects of the redesign that stand out most.</p> <h3>It's mobile-centric</h3> <p>One of the first things that stands out about the new Walmart.com is that, even on desktops, it looks like a mobile site.</p> <p>Instead of a standard desktop navigation bar, the header of the site features a hamburger menu, a design pattern that was originally developed specifically for mobile experiences. When expanded, the menu contains links to major departments, as well as quick links to features like grocery pickup, item reordering and order tracking.</p> <p>While Walmart isn't the first company to employ a hamburger menu on a desktop site, Walmart's move to ditch traditional desktop navigation is a bold move. The question: is it a good one?</p> <p>Despite their popularity, <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/68673-five-apps-websites-that-ditched-the-hamburger-menu">the hamburger menu design pattern has been controversial</a> and using one on a desktop site is bound to spark discussion and debate. Even assuming that users are now so familiar with hamburger menus that there's no reason to worry about what it is, one of the potential pitfalls of Walmart's use of this design pattern is that it arguably makes desktop navigation less efficient. </p> <p>To even see a list of departments, Walmart.com users now need to click on the hamburger menu and, depending on the resolution of their screen, might have to scroll down to view all of the menu's contents. When clicking on a department, another menu is displayed, listing the sub-categories within that department and sometimes a “shop all” link. This means it takes three clicks just to navigate to a department's front page.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0009/4196/wmhamburger.png" alt="walmart menu" width="615"></p> <p>Contrast this experience with the Amazon site, which has a traditional navigation that contains a Departments drop-down. The drop-down is activated on hover, not click, requiring less effort on the part of users.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0009/4197/amzndrop.png" alt="" width="457" height="301"></p> <h3>Walmart.com is now a lot more visual </h3> <p>Walmart.com's new look is designed to be cleaner and more modern. A hallmark of modern websites is an emphasis on imagery and to that end, the new Walmart.com is a lot more visual. The homepage features a large image slider that takes up much of the screen. Similar image sliders are also used extensively on the front pages of individual departments.</p> <p>Large images are also used to feature products and content that Walmart wants to highlight.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0009/4211/walmart_visual.jpg" alt="walmart visuals" width="615" height="335"></p> <p>According to Marc Lore, Walmart's ecommerce chief, “To bring a more human element to the site, we're featuring relatable photography that showcases real-life moments.”</p> <p>While the heavy use of photos and other attractive visual elements, is pretty and impactful, it comes at a cost: a lot of real estate is taken up by visual components. On mobile in particular, it feels like a lot of scrolling is required.</p> <p>To address this, Walmart doesn't necessarily have to eliminate a lot of imagery. Instead, it could tighten up and in some cases rethink its use of space, particularly for visual components like product features.</p> <h3>Walmart still needs to revamp its online grocery shopping experience</h3> <p>The retail giant clearly wants users to take advantage of its grocery service. One of the icons on the site's menu is for Grocery and the top link in the expanded hamburger menu reads “Free Grocery Pickup”.</p> <p>There's just one problem: Walmart's grocery service is operated on a separate website and it doesn't have anywhere near the same look and feel as the Walmart.com site. It's an entirely different experience and it can be quite jarring to jump from the new Walmart.com experience to Walmart's grocery shopping experience.</p> <h3>There's an interesting dark pattern on the account creation page</h3> <p>Walmart is employing a subtle dark pattern on its account creation page. A checkbox for opting in to marketing emails is checked by default and it is located after the <em>Create Account</em> button. It's fairly easy to miss, especially on mobile, and that is almost certainly intentional as a checkbox asking users if they would like to remain signed in is located above the <em>Create Account</em> button.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0009/4194/wmdarkpattern.png" alt="" width="390" height="347"></p> <h3>Walmart is betting big on personalization</h3> <p>According to Walmart's Lore, “One of the changes we're making is adding more local and personalized elements, something that we're especially well-positioned to do in light of our more than 4,700 stores across the country.” He added, “In fact, the majority of the homepage will be personalized in some way.”</p> <p>This personalization is already evident. The homepage features items that are trending in the user's geographic area and items that had been viewed previously. And individual product pages contain a section, 'Inspired by your browsing history', which lists items Walmart thinks might be of interest.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0009/4198/wmpersonalization.png" alt="walmart browsing history" width="800"></p> <p><em><strong>Related reading:</strong></em></p> <ul> <li><a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/69364-walmart-signs-ecommerce-deal-with-google-to-fight-amazon">Walmart signs ecommerce deal with Google to fight Amazon</a></li> <li><a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/68188-walmart-buys-jet-com-in-a-bid-to-keep-up-with-amazon/">Walmart buys Jet.com in a bid to keep up with Amazon</a></li> <li><a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/69641-target-is-the-latest-retailer-to-launch-a-mobile-wallet-will-it-work">Target is the latest retailer to launch a mobile wallet: Will it work?</a></li> <li><a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/69223-five-ways-retailers-are-helping-in-store-shoppers-using-digital-channels">Five ways retailers are helping in-store shoppers using digital channels</a></li> </ul> <p><a style="color: #2976b2;" href="https://econsultancy.com/reports/ecommerce" target="_self"><em><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0009/3439/Ecommerce_Best_Practice_Widget.png" alt="ecommerce best practice guide (subscriber only)" width="615" height="243"></em></a></p> tag:econsultancy.com,2008:BlogPost/69968 2018-04-30T09:53:34+01:00 2018-04-30T09:53:34+01:00 A day in the life of... a head of experience design Ben Davis <h4> <em>Econsultancy:</em> Please describe your job: What do you do?</h4> <p><em><strong>Hannah Locke:</strong></em> I look after the Experience Design team, which represents, researches and designs for the user or customer - no matter the experience or channel. This can be interface design (UX), multichannel/physical (CX) or new digital tools and products (<a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/67420-what-is-service-design-who-uses-it">service design</a>), so my team has a combination of all UX research and design skill sets.  </p> <h4> <em>E:</em> Whereabouts do you sit within the organisation? Who do you report to?</h4> <p><em><strong>HL:</strong></em> I report to Joe Braithwaite (the Managing Director) who, with a background in product design himself, understands that the customer/user must be central to all our work - hence our involvement throughout the creative process, from initial customer understanding and user research, to creative execution.</p> <h4> <em>E:</em> What kind of skills do you need to be effective in your role?</h4> <p><em><strong>HL: </strong></em>Experience Design at Proximity is different from most traditional UX roles, due to the integrated and multichannel nature of the experiences we design. Therefore, in order to be effective you need to be able to work at both macro and micro levels of projects, solving detailed UX problems one minute, and planning wider CX strategies the next, all the while communicating with stakeholders of all levels.</p> <p>I’d say 70% of Experience Design is socialising the work. You also need a lot of patience. Something I’m working on..</p> <h4> <em>E: </em>Tell us about a typical working day…</h4> <p><em><strong>HL: </strong></em>As is traditional, I have to say “no day is the same” however…  a week normally starts with a team stand-up to ensure that all roles and projects are assigned for the week. The rest of the week is a combination of oversight of the day-to-day project work, leading strategy across client accounts, working on pitches or developing new methodologies or training materials.</p> <p>I’m lucky in that I have a couple of international clients, so I get to travel, but my priority is to be available to the Experience Design team and be focused on their development.</p> <p>I often start work early - that’s when I get my best thinking and problem-solving done. Also there aren’t any meetings when there’s no one else in the office.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0009/4008/Hannah_Locke_615.png" alt="hannah locke" width="616" height="306"></p> <h4> <em>E: </em>What do you love about your job? What sucks?</h4> <p><em><strong>HL: </strong></em>Experience design allows you to really understand and solve problems - both for users and for clients. However, this often involves creating additional problems up front by asking “why?” (sometimes an unpopular question). It’s about supporting decisions with evidence, not guesswork.</p> <p>The best moments are always when you get to talk to clients about who their customers really are and what they need - when you solve a problem because you’ve talked to, tested with and/or observed real users. From web and marketing teams to CEOs, there’s nothing quite like the moment clients see videos of their real customers for the first time and truly understand their needs and pains.</p> <h4> <em>E: </em>What kind of goals do you have? What are the most useful metrics and KPIs for measuring success?</h4> <p><em><strong>HL: </strong></em>In the world of <a href="https://www.econsultancy.com/blog/69760-how-to-stay-safe-when-a-b-testing">a/b testing</a> (i.e. of digital interfaces, open rates, campaigns), the metrics are fairly straightforward; does our work increase engagement? Data and UX teams work really closely blending data and research insights to support creative and design work across every channel and platform. </p> <p>But another goal is moving clients and organisations towards customer-centricity. Our research and deep understanding of customers often leads to organisational change, so hearing clients reference research, quote users or base design decisions on customer as well as business needs is extremely important. </p> <p>Building the experience vision together with our clients allows us to design truly user-centric solutions that get the right content, communication or experience to the right customer at the right time.</p> <h4> <em>E: </em>What are your favourite tools to help you to get the job done?</h4> <p><em><strong>HL: </strong></em>It’s not so much about tools as ways of working that help get the job done.</p> <p>We’re very lucky at Proximity that the space we work in is designed for us; we have a dedicated collaboration space and whiteboard wall, where teams can work together or with clients. </p> <p>The Experience Design team sits together even when working with individual client teams. We have a strong culture of knowledge sharing and working on proactive R&amp;D projects that meet our professional interests as well as digital industry trends.</p> <p>And of course we can’t do our job without access to users so we have testing kit that we’ve built in-house and a lab that we partner with for controlled environment testing.</p> <p>Outside of that, if I have a pen and some strong coffee I feel equipped to respond to any challenge.</p> <h4> <em>E: </em>How did you land in this role, and where might you go from here?</h4> <p><em><strong>HL: </strong></em>I’ve worked in a few different UX, service design and digital agencies as well as client side, and joined Proximity in 2014 at a time when marketing was starting to realise the value of building experience design capability in-house and open to developing new methodologies. I’ve been able to do just that and deliver methods training throughout the global network so hope that I am able to continue building out our offering. I’m not really thinking about where I go from here; there is still a lot of work to do! </p> <h4> <em>E: </em>What are your personal favourite customer experiences?</h4> <p><em><strong>HL: </strong></em>Two main examples:</p> <p>First, there has been a lot of talk about <a href="https://econsultancy.com/search/?only=BlogPost&amp;locale=uk&amp;q=monzo">Monzo</a>, their app and finance industry disruption but what I’ve recently been enjoying is watching the email journey as I am off-boarded from the debit account. The escalation, the targeted messaging answering customer pain points and yes, the poem - made me open every email. Even if I’m not going to “upgrade”, I still have a great impression of Monzo as a human-centred brand.</p> <p>Second, Treehouse (<a href="https://teamtreehouse.com/">teamtreehouse.com</a> - because I’m learning to code) - they’ve really understood how humans learn and the psychology of that process; the pain points, and highs and lows of the journey. Not only have they designed that into the interface and their communications, but they use it as part of the on-boarding experience so that the user is prepared for the barriers they will encounter; increasing the likelihood that they will stick with it.</p> <h4> <em>E: </em>Do you have any advice for people who want to do what you do?</h4> <p><em><strong>HL: </strong></em>If you want to lead experience design work and teams you need massive amounts of passion and resilience, in equal measure. Passion keeps you fighting for the best work for clients and users, and resilience keeps you going on occasions when things don’t go to plan.</p> <p>My role is about supporting the work and the team and turning every challenge into a positive experience that we can build on.</p> <p><a href="https://econsultancy.com/reports/a-guide-to-customer-experience-management/"><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0009/3592/Customer_Experience_Management_Best_Practice_Widget__1_.png" alt="customer experience management best practice guide (subscriber only)" width="615" height="242"></a></p> <p><em><strong>Econsultancy also offers a <a href="https://econsultancy.com/training/courses/usability-user-experience">Usability and UX training course</a>.</strong></em></p> tag:econsultancy.com,2008:BlogPost/69978 2018-04-27T10:40:34+01:00 2018-04-27T10:40:34+01:00 How Shazam is using augmented reality to help brands come to life Nikki Gilliland <p>Last December, Apple announced it had bought Shazam for a reported $400m. This has now led the EC to launch a <a href="https://www.theguardian.com/technology/2018/apr/24/apple-eu-investigation-shazam-takeover-data-regulators-music-recognition" target="_blank">formal investigation</a> into the deal, due to concerns that Apple will have an unfair advantage through access to user data.</p> <p>Putting this news aside, Apple's potential takeover looks set to only increase Shazam's investment in new technology, which has become all the more apparent in the past few years.</p> <p>With brands of all kinds capitalising on the demand for visual content, the company has upped its game - branching out from audio recognition into a focus on visual technology. Even more recently, it announced the launch of a new AR platform to connect its audience to immersive and custom-brand visual content via the app.</p> <p>I recently heard Shazam account director Hugo Marshall speak at Mindshare’s ‘Future of AR’ event all about how the company has been running successful campaigns in this space.</p> <p>Here’s more on what he said, the benefits for brands and users alike, as well as more on the general demand for AR from consumers today.</p> <h3>A natural home for branded AR</h3> <p>According to Mindshare’s <a href="http://www.mindshareworld.com/uk/about/trends-2018" target="_blank">latest report</a> on the topic, the demand for AR technology is growing, with 55% of users agreeing that it would be helpful to point their phone at an object to uncover additional information.</p> <p>This is the general aim of Shazam’s AR technology, which acts as a gateway to connect users with valuable and entertaining content in-the-moment – either for sheer entertainment purposes, or to provide valuable information during or post purchase. </p> <p>Again, with Shazam already being a trusted name – one that’s recognisable to users as the ‘home of music discovery’ – it provides an appealing solution for brands wanting to reach a media-hungry audience. It also means that brands do not need to spend time and money acquiring new eyes and ears, as Shazam has a large audience with the existing app already downloaded onto their mobile phones.</p> <p>Netflix was one of the first big brands to get on board with Shazam’s new AR capabilities (built by Zappar), specifically with its campaign to promote the new season of GLOW.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0009/3900/Netflix.jpg" alt="hugo marshall discussing shazam's ar tech" width="615"> </p> <p>The campaign allowed users to scan special codes through the Shazam app in order to make posters and other media come alive. There was also a special ‘Glow’ takeover in the app itself (involving specially-curated 80’s themed playlists), and users could also get involved in the action by snapping a photo of themselves to overlay Glow-like hairstyles and clothing. </p> <p>The value centred around ‘surprise and delight’, with Shazam able to introduce the show to a new and wider audience, as well as give fans a fun and immersive slice of entertainment. </p> <p>According to Marshall, the campaign effectively captured user attention, with AR experiences generating an average user engagement time of two minutes. With most users typically dipping in and out of Shazam to satisfy a specific need (rather than to spend time browsing) – this shows that there is tangible interest in AR.</p> <p><iframe src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/mjk4rAWhdOg?ecver=1&amp;wmode=transparent" width="640" height="360"></iframe></p> <h3>Bringing packaging to life</h3> <p>While Netflix used Shazam’s visual technology to reach audiences at the consideration stage - i.e. to encourage them to watch its latest show – others have used it to provide value at various different points of the consumer journey.</p> <p>Gin brand Bombay Sapphire partnered with Shazam to add AR elements into its physical product. This meant users could scan a special sticker or tag on bottles to make it come to life, with AR imagery and audio including blooming flowers and wildlife. Users could also discover videos detailing hidden recipes and other additional information relating to the product.</p> <p><iframe src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/qcoPlvhi_LI?ecver=1&amp;wmode=transparent" width="640" height="360"></iframe></p> <p>During his talk, Marshall spoke about the importance of UX within the AR experience, specifically the positioning of the code or sensor, as well as in-app instructions on how to access the imagery.</p> <p>He cited one poor example of an AR code being placed on a large cereal box, which happened to include individual (packaged) miniatures inside. In this instance, parents would put the main box away and merely remove the miniatures to give to their kids, meaning that the AR experience was often forgotten about or missed.</p> <p>In contrast, he explained how Bombay Sapphire wanted to make the AR-experience unmissable for consumers, with the hope that the tag would stay on the bottle even after purchase – and become a talking-point within a social context. </p> <p>Another brand to make use of connected packaging in this way is whisky brand Glenlivet. While it is perhaps not the type of company you’d expect to target Shazam’s audience, like Bombay Sapphire, it was keen to provide consumers with an easy, intuitive, and informative entry-point into AR.</p> <p>Meanwhile, Shazam was also eager to showcase its own ability to create brand-centric campaigns, sacrificing its own distinct blue branding on tags to fit the sleeker image of Glenlivit.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0009/3901/glenivet.jpg" alt="shazam and glenlivet" width="615"></p> <p>This particular campaign also involves a gamification element, whereby users are ranked on how well they are able to decode the ingredients inside the bottle.</p> <p>As the campaign is ongoing, and the official tasting notes won’t be released until the end of the year, Glenlivit is evidently hoping it will become a talking point among consumers and fans on social, as well as enhance the consumer experience post-purchase.</p> <h3>Setting consumer expectations </h3> <p>While Shazam looks set to continue its success with AR - using the technology to help brands create and deliver compelling and interactive content – it’s an example that also highlights where brands could be heading in future. </p> <p>According to Mindshare, we could be moving away from using AR for ‘surprise and delight’ into more every day, functional purposes - i.e to make daily experiences smoother and more efficient.</p> <p>As examples like Bombay Sapphire and Glenlivit become more commonly seen, there could be a growing expectation for products (and advertising) to become interactive at the mere touch of a camera button.</p> <p>Of course, like with any type of content, there needs to be tangible value for consumers. But if brands are able to deliver this (as well as make UX slick and intuitive) – Shazam isn’t the only company likely to benefit from it in future.  </p> <p><strong>Related reading:</strong></p> <ul> <li><a href="https://www.econsultancy.com/blog/69960-how-zara-is-using-in-store-tech-to-improve-its-frustrating-shopper-experience" target="_blank">How Zara is using in-store tech to improve its frustrating shopper experience</a></li> <li><a href="https://www.econsultancy.com/blog/69455-five-new-and-innovative-examples-of-augmented-reality-in-retail-apps" target="_blank">Five new and innovative examples of augmented reality in retail apps</a></li> <li><a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/69406-a-day-in-the-life-of-md-of-an-augmented-reality-company" target="_blank">A day in the life of... MD of an augmented reality company</a></li> </ul>