All decisions (e.g. deciding a site strategy, developing an information architecture, writing content, improving usability, etc.) should be informed by user evidence. If you find you are disagreeing about an aspect of your site it means you don’t have a shared understanding of how users will behave. We involve users in all projects to provide user evidence and ensure decision making is user focused.
Our experience in change management consultancy means we have the understanding and skills to do this. Just writing a report will often fail to bring about action because individuals don’t accept the results, or there is no ‘shared understanding’ of these, or recommendations may not ‘fit’ the client context. A key element of our approach is to encourage all those who can influence the implementation of the research outcomes to actively observe at least some of the research and take part in a discussion facilitated by Web Usability. This discussion facilitates the process of ‘sense-making’ enabling the development team to take ownership of the research results, develop a collective view of the issues to be addressed, agree the appropriate actions that can be implemented by the client, and speed the process from research to action.
We are not encumbered by concerns or other commitments involved in the construction of web sites, and we don’t have a rigid solution based on a proprietary design approach or software. We provide objective, unbiased and user based assessments of the effectiveness of web sites and recommendations tailored to specific client situations.
We have a large database of potential testers and respondents (5,000+), including general public with a wide range of e-commerce needs and interested in a wide range of topics, academics, students, journalists, business owners, engineers, professionals in many different sectors and specialisms, etc.
All potential testers and respondents undergo a detailed screening to ensure they match the tester profile – profiles of the testers are sent to the project manager prior to the research sessions for approval.
Testers and respondents are paid an incentive for their participation in the research: this ensures their participation and demonstrates appreciation of the value of their involvement.
We have a well established process for ensuring testers and respondents attend their research session – our ‘no-show’ rate is less than 1% (normal market research no-show rates are about 10%). We ensure testers and respondents receive the right information (e.g. they need to be aware they are being observed – if relevant -and recorded, and have consented to this) and manage testers’ and respondents’ expectations to ensure they arrive in a positive frame of mind to take part in the research.
With all projects we try and ensure that we:
- Challenge clients’ views about user goals & behaviours and appropriate research methodologies to ensure all projects meet our clients’ objectives and provide value for money.
- Don’t undertake projects we don’t think will provide the client with value for money or for which we do not have the right skills and experience
- Transfer our knowledge and skills to clients’ staff to reduce ‘consultant dependency’
- Work closely with the client to ensure that recommendations are framed within the client’s technical, financial, political and resourcing constraints and are, therefore, practical and actionable
- Continually improve our services by formally seeking feedback on our performance following each research session