Usability Expert Advice

‘Can they use it’ v ‘Will they use it’?

July 28, 2017

One of the problems of usability testing websites is trying to get testers to behave as they would in the real world. It is a very ‘unnatural’ process. We recruit people into the lab, pay them money and ask lots of questions about the site and why they have done what they have done. Testers […]

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Gov.uk doesn’t work for some users

July 10, 2017

I have always been a bit of a fan of Gov.uk. From a citizen’s point of view, it has transformed many aspects of transacting with Government. Whether it is re-taxing the car, applying for a passport or applying for a patent it is now quick and straightforward. Gov.uk clearly deserves many of the plaudits it […]

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You see what you expect to see…

June 26, 2017

I have a confession to make – one that is a bit embarrassing. As a researcher, I know you must not trust your own opinions but should look at the evidence, because often our instinctive view of world – or of people’s behaviour – is wrong! A while ago I was caught out ignoring the […]

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Can good UX ever be bad?

January 20, 2017

We were recently approached to do some usability testing on the Financial Conduct Authority website. In order to prepare the proposal I spoke to a stockbroker friend to get some idea of users’ goals and the effectiveness of the site. I was rather surprised to learn that he would never dream of going anywhere near […]

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KISS – Keep it simple stupid

December 1, 2016

Panic call from an 87 year old relative of mine last week – the TV had stopped working! For 87 she is pretty hale and hearty, she lives independently, drives, goes out walking the dog each day and attends lots of WI, Probus and U3A events so she is not stupid – indeed probably well […]

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Electricity Shock

November 28, 2016

I have been had! I have just been stung for a 52% increase in my business electricity bill and I missed it! After getting over the annoyance at both the electricity company and myself, the lessons to be learnt are about how we all process information whether on paper or screen. I thought I was […]

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B2B sites – harder to use than B2C sites?

November 9, 2016

We work with clients in all sectors undertaking usability testing on all sorts of sites with all sorts of users – one day it is wine buyers on an eCommerce site, the next it is process engineers buying steam systems. Inevitably one looks for patterns in all this data. One I see is that B2B […]

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Cognitive biases, gorillas and wine buyers

November 1, 2016

Cognitive biases are the life blood of psychologists. These are ‘ways we think’ that mean we can make less than ‘rational’ decisions. Dozens of these have been identified from ‘Loss aversion’ to ‘Anchoring’ and I find it very satisfying when we find a good example of a bias. I noticed one recently when testing an on-line […]

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The scrolling debate…continued

October 18, 2016

It used to be argued that long pages were a problem as users did not scroll. In 2010 Jacob Nielson found users spent 80% of their time looking at information above the page fold and although they do scroll, they allocate only 20% of their attention below the fold. These days the perceived wisdom seems to […]

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Unknown Unknowns

October 4, 2016

Donald Rumsfeld famously received a lot of stick for his “Unknown Unknowns” speech about the lack of evidence linking the government of Iraq with the supply of WMD. However, the Intelligence services have long used the Johari Window approach, an idea created in 1955 by two American psychologists, Joseph Luft and Harrington Ingham: ‘unknown unknowns’ […]

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