Ensuring a flawless online customer experience is a pretty big deal to us at Bunnyfoot. On 14 June 2012, we hosted an event for our clients to highlight this message while looking at the online experience across all channels.
The theme of the day: Joined Up Interactive Customer Experiences (JUICE).
Jon Dodd, CEO of Bunnyfoot
On hand to help our cause was outspoken and inspiring Rory Sutherland – Vice Chairman of Ogilvy Group.
Two of Bunnyfoot’s clients, Jamie Seedhouse of Kingfisher, and Sarah Blair Gould of Boden, also spoke about the lessons they learned from the user testing process.
Comedian Tom Wrigglesworth took to the stage as well, to not only draw some belly laughs but share how audience feedback has shaped his Edinburgh Fringe Festival show. It’s stand-up comedy as a metaphor for good web design.
Watch our video of these enlightening talks, and get some great tips on how to improve the customers’ experience on your site. Or short on time? Keep reading to see the key points from the day.
Rory Sutherland, Vice Chairman of Ogilvy Group
Rory Sutherland, One of the marketing world’s most original thinkers, spoke about the necessity to cater to customers’ conscious and unconscious behaviours.
How you present information has a huge effect on how people make a decision
The current marketing model is inadequate. It caters to measurables and sacrifices human concerns for financial and mathematical neatness. Humans don’t think this way – cater your sites to elements that are harder to measure but are more important like pleasure, enjoyment and ease of use.
Human behaviour is far harder to measure than expected
When considering the customer’s experience on your site, don’t overlook their unconscious decisions. The human brain makes instinctual choices – a process called heuristics. Heuristic choices aren’t logical but highly intelligent. We need to encourage the testing of illogical things because they might just end up working.
Behavioural usability tests are the most effective way of giving your customers what they want. You need to watch what they do on your site without them knowing why they’re doing it – you can’t just research these things, you can only observe and look at pattern frequency of multiple users.
You can’t override instinctual revulsion
The human brain is like a man riding on top of an elephant. The rider is our conscious brain, the elephant our subconscious. The rider can nudge the elephant in the direction it wants to go, but if the elephant doesn’t want to do something, it won’t.
Dare to be trivial!
It’s baffling why so many organisations overlook their customers’ experience, especially when all it takes are very small changes to have an enormous effect – one example is with the usability of forms: pre-populated fields can be the difference between a user completing the task or abandoning it.
Respect for failure is an incredibly important thing
Rory emphasised the importance of continually adapting your website to fit your customers’ needs. Human evolution has fit into the model of “tinkering until it fits”, website usability should fit into the same model – continually focusing on what customers want and adapt your site if it isn’t working.
Jamie Seedhouse, Digital Strategy Manager, Kingfisher
Bunnyfoot has supported Jamie through card sorting, mobile-optimised web design and on-going improvements to Kingfisher owned Screwfix.com. Jamie talked about the benefits of testing early in the process of building a site.
- When creating a new site, think like an architect designing a building: it’s costly to make structural changes after a building has been constructed so pick up any issues in the blueprints.
- An onscreen prototype of your site will bring the project to life and give stakeholders an idea of how it will look and function.
- When testing your prototype, set goals for the users to complete. You can uncover if a feature of the site will work as you intended.
- Even after launching a site, keep on testing. Check for speed and performance issues and errors across different browsers – it all makes a difference.
- Customers will always surprise you. After recently launching a mobile version of Screwfix.com, Jamie found customers used it in unexpected ways. They would check stock and order via mobile when in store to avoid queues at the checkout. See how your customers use your site and cater to them.
Sarah Blair Gould, eCommerce Manager, Boden
Sarah, eCommerce Manager for international clothing retailer Boden, puts a premium on understanding her customers’ experiences. Here is a round-up of her presentation:
- Different users have different needs – make sure you know what they are. Sarah found through user testing that the customers of Boden’s German site had very different needs to those of the US one. Make sure you cater accordingly.
- User testing gives you clout when justifying changes to your bosses. Bunnyfoot eyetracking tests on Boden’s marketing emails found that customers were more interested in Boden’s products over the branding. User testing provided evidence to support the case for a redesigned email.
- Use multiple forms of testing – multi variant tests, online surveys, focus groups, and more. This will uncover, and compensate for, inconsistencies between testing models.
- Cover all angles: get a wide range of people to test your site including new and existing customers, and people who are web and non-web savvy.
Tom Wrigglesworth, Comedian
Transcript of Tom Wrigglesworth at JUICE 2012
Good customer experience isn’t just limited to the web, but techniques in other fields can still be applied to our own. Tom Wrigglesworth, a comedian with a show in the Edinburgh Fringe Festival explained how audience feedback improves his act.
- The first step in preparing an act is knowing how people behave – they always react well to jokes about familiar, relatable situations that they are too embarrassed to actually share with others.
- It takes hard work to refine an act through audience feedback. There is no substitute for testing new jokes and seeing the reaction of real people to see if they work or fail.
- You can have a theory about how greatly a new joke will work, but if you’re proven wrong when presenting it to an audience, you need to keep altering it until it does work.
Not to blow our own horn, but we think we put on a pretty good show (and the spectacular view from the 31st floor of Centrepoint tower didn’t hurt either). A huge thanks to our speakers and guests for making JUICE 2012 so thought-provoking and entertaining.
If you weren’t able to make it, catch up with the video above, and look out for further Bunnyfoot client events in the future.
Suggested reading by Rory Sutherland
- The Black Swan: The Impact of the Highly Improbable
by Nassim Nicholas Taleb
- Simple Heuristics That Make Us Smart (Evolution and Cognition)
by Gerd Gigerenzer
- Anti Fragility
by Nassim Nicholas Taleb
- Butterfly Economics: A New General Theory of Social and Economic Behavior
by Paul Ormerod
- Debunking Economics
by Steve Keen
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