Usability

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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No one ever got fired for buying IBM

September 13, 2016

Remember the adage “No one ever got fired for buying IBM”? While that may be true, it did not mean IBM knew what they were doing – look at them now! We have worked alongside dozens of website developers over the years including a number of big household names. They all have their own preferred […]

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Tell them about the drill, not the hole

September 5, 2016

I recall being taught about features & benefits in the marketing part of my MBA. We were told nobody wants a drill – they want a hole. The drill is just a means to an end, so you have to talk about the benefits of the hole not the features of the drill. However, often this does […]

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Supplier portals – a UX nightmare!

August 25, 2016

  Supplier portals must rate as one of the worst areas for UX experiences. Have you been unfortunate enough to have to use the Bravo portal or the ProContract service – horrid, yes? I can only assume they think we will jump through any number of hoops to get their business so they don’t have […]

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Building sites you can’t usability test

August 9, 2016

We seem to end up working with a lot of different digital design agencies in spite of the fact that, most of the time, we get appointed by the client. Our experience is that many agencies do not include usability testing as a matter of course, and anyway clients like the idea that their redesigned […]

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Open v closed people

August 4, 2016

  Interesting article in this week’s Economist (‘Drawbridges up’ 30/7-5/8/16) arguing that the divide in rich countries is now not between ‘left and right’ but between ‘open and closed’. We are either ‘drawbridge up’ or ‘drawbridge down’. Are you someone who feels your life is being encroached upon by criminals, gypsies, spongers, asylum-seekers, Brussels bureaucrats? […]

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Hamburgers don’t give off scent!

August 2, 2016

Like many commentators we think the increasing trend of using hamburgers at desktop screen resolutions is a triumph of bad design over good usability. Primarily because it hides the links. Hamburgers give off no scent for users’ goals, it makes them think – not a good idea – rather than just word match. This example […]

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Martha Lane Fox and a vision of a united and robust digital economy

July 6, 2016

Martha Lane Fox wrote a thoughtful (as ever) piece in The Sunday Times last weekend in which she talks about spreading “digital skills to unite the nation”. In the wake of the Brexit vote she argues for an inclusion agenda in which the 12.6 million adults in the UK with no digital skills must have […]

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