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Brain bites: 2 min insights

Optimise customer experience on mobile ecommerce sites

Customer experience on your mobile site or app cannot be ignored. Studies suggest that mobile is driving an average of 10% of visits to ecommerce sites, but conversion rates on mobile are generally much lower. By including the customer in the development process you can enhance the experience and increase conversion.

Here are a few tips based on our experience of user testing mobile ecommerce sites:

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:

We love…

February 14, 2011 - This post has 1 comment
Posted by in Brain bites: 2 min insights

I asked for a list of apps and websites we love for a few Valentine’s tweets. I didn’t expect quite such a sea of responses from our consultants across the UK. Have a read here and see what we are using for work, social life and our interests. Maybe you will fall in love with a few too? Do let us know if there are some we should be using!

Making your customer experience amazing can change lives

We had a guest speaker come in to talk to my Brownie Guide group on Monday for their Disability Awareness Badge. In a wheelchair at 21, Anne has gone on to become a successful solicitor who has sailed the Atlantic well before the internet was established. But Anne has offered me a view about how making experiences amazing, beyond simply functional, is the key to her living her life to the full.

We talked about Christmas shopping, working from home, sources of information to improve life with a disability and how charities are behind the times with technology. Nowadays, with the technology available, Anne can be just as able as I am, but she is also more bound to using it than I am. Focussing on just Christmas shopping, this is when it really drills home that when you make an effort to make an experience amazing for your customer, for some you are massively enhancing the quality of their life.

Make sure you do good audience research: observe don’t ask

October 30, 2010 - This post has 1 comment
Posted by in Brain bites: 2 min insights

‘Observe don’t ask’ I seem to bleat endlessly like a broken record (showing my age now, I mean a um… corrupted memory sector) ‘what people do  is often very different from what they say they do’.

When you ask people direct questions (even well formed ones) then they are reliant on their concious executive mind, something they often don’t activate when doing the thing you are asking them about, and certainly not in the way that you are asking them. Also they lie (or confabulate as researchers like to call it) and make stuff up based on their assumptions rather than reality (postrationalise). This is because they don’t remember, don’t want to appear stupid, want to please you, want to appear superior, and numerous other things including they just don’t plain know.

What are you looking at?

I’ve got loads of examples and demonstrations of poor research (not carried out by Bunnyfoot I hasten to add) including disastorous actions that major global companies made because they based their decisions on poor (and expensive and extensive) research – those are for another day. Here  I provide a fun example instead.

pictures of male and female models in swimwear

Above picures shown to 30 men and 30 women whilst individually eyetracked. Results below - can you tell which was from the 30 men and which from the 30 women?

Information visualisation: When it’s good to lie to your audience.

The key to good communication is to know exactly what to communicate to your audience so you can help them do whatever they are doing. This focus on audience needs is more important than being squeaky clean with reality. When backed by clear insight into the needs of your audience this means you aren’t really lying at all (that would be dishonest and despicable) – rather you are ‘enhancing the truth’ and communicating well according to your audiences goals.

Lessons from the London Underground

Geographical and the iconic London tube maps

Last week on University Challenge a set of questions for the students was to identify London underground stations on a map which was drawn with geographic accuracy rather than in the iconic Harry Beck 1931 style.

Appealing to multiple senses enhances your customer’s experience

On the whole, humans are visual creatures, which makes sense when you think about it as sight allows us to perceive, identify, and act on objects outside of our reach. As such, many designers go to great lengths to attract customers by designing displays that are visually appealing. However, if you only consider vision, a number of interaction opportunities to make interesting, impacting and memorable designs slip through our fingers.

New UK driving test – uses more realistic ‘user testing’ to give more valid results

Today the UK Drivers Standards Agency (DSA) announced that there will be a new ‘independent’ driving section of the driving test. This will be 10 minutes in the driving test where the test candidate will NOT receive step-by-step instructions from the examiner, but will rather be expected to drive unsupervised and without prompting.

Road safety minister Mike Penning said: “the independent driving assessment gave test candidates the chance to show they have the “necessary skills to cope with the sort of traffic conditions they will face every day”.

Learner driver plate on the bonnet of a car

Making it real is a good thing!

A good move we think – in testing anything, whether it’s a person’s skills or the usability of a website, it is important to make the test as close to reality as possible (some term this ‘ecological validity’ we just say ‘making it real’). When we do lab based usability testing or testing in the field we always strive to make it as natural as possible, and amongst other things this includes avoiding giving prompts or directions and just letting the person get on with what they were doing without interruption.

How far will they go in making it real?

The driving test candidates won’t be penalised for getting lost and can ask for help with directions if they wish – they are being examined not on their navigation (thank goodness otherwise I know many people who would never pass) but how they drive by themselves. It will be interesting to see how far the examiners will go in making the testing more realistic –  for instance will they allow sat navs? –  if so, would the candidates be penalised for swearing at them (as often seems to happen somehow in my car)? And what about screaming kids, and argumentative spouses….?


Image by tgraham via Creative Commons

Love App-tually. User research on why people prefer mobile apps

Why is it that Apple’s App Store hosts over 200, 000 apps and has served over 3 billion app downloads despite only being launched a mere two years ago? What makes apps so popular and how do you harness that popularity?

Our most recent app testing for a major household name revealed 2 key reasons why apps were preferred to browsing the web: people like apps because they are immediate and focussed.

Dundee based Realtime Worlds – no more.

August 18, 2010
Posted by in Brain bites: 2 min insights

APB game advertIt is sad news this morning to see Dundee based game developers ‘Realtime Worlds’ going into administration. So, what happened?

Read enough? Get in touch...

Contact Caroline Bentley to discuss your needs:
0207 608 1670 more@bunnyfoot.com

Or come visit us, we have offices in Oxford, Sheffield and London.