Usability solves some of the biggest headaches in marketing today

At the end of June, we packed up an eyetracker, a ton of leaflets and our stand and headed to the Online Marketing Show, part of Marketing Week Live.

I wasn’t just there to sell our service. Yes, I wanted people to know we exist and end the sleepless nights I used to have over design, but mostly I was  interested in the challenges marketers face these days. When we were asked “what is usability” our first reaction was to ask “well, what do you do and I will tell you how we can help”. This is what we learned:

You want to reduce drop outs across channels

There are so many channels these days, marketers are keeping their fingers crossed that customers are able to make a smooth transition between all communications to a sale. To add to the complication, there are online and offline teams and it’s just so hard to keep focus.

Personas are a tool which will help you focus on the client across teams and across the business. User testing, starting from multiple entry points, will help you to find improvement areas that will make the journey smoother for the customer, and get them to that shopping basket and beyond!

Your are nervous about entering international markets

We heard a few people talk about their thoughts and feelings about being in charge of launching into a new market. It’s understandably nerve wracking! You want to make this a success the first time, especially as the costs will be high.

International testing is not as hard as it may sound. We have built up a network or partnerships to make in country testing quick and simple. Technology even allows us to test internationally from right here in the UK.

You are looking for advice on how to design apps

We expected quite a surge of people being set to launch apps and mobile sites, but what we found was that many marketers are waiting for best practice to emerge as they want their app to be immediately adopted.

Make your own best practice with mobile usability testing. Start simple with some sketches and wireframes and test at every stage. You will find that your audience not only validate your designs, but bring in new ideas for features they would like.

Intranets are the biggest, scariest projects you face

I found a guy in the aisle, looking absolutely bewildered. When I asked what was wrong he told me he had an intranet to build and he had no idea where to start looking for help. Just the amount of people who had to use it, their abilities, their different roles. How was he going to make sure it was useful enough to be adopted?

I  talked to him about all the work we have done on intranets. How we have helped with the information architecture, facilitated the workshops, worked with the designers and tested at every stage to make sure it would be adopted. Well…I thought he was going to cry with happiness. That’s the look I aim for at these shows!

There is more of a need for user centred design than ever

Marketers have more responsibility than ever, and yet more demands on them to provide bigger and better experiences.

Although usability and user centred design have been around for over 10 years now, it’s still a service that surprises and delights marketers when they hear about it. Knowing there is a support for structuring content, language and design before it gets to market takes a huge weight off the marketing shoulders.

There’s still a lot of work to be done on communicating our service to the world. The massive range of services we offer are usually far too great to distil into a quick pitch – that’s why we want to hear from you! Drop us a line, let us know what keeps you awake at night and I am sure we can help.

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Contact Caroline Bentley to discuss your needs:
0207 608 1670

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