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 […]


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? […]


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 […]


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 […]


When usability testing goes strategic

June 27, 2016

Recently we have been working with a start-up business developing a new website. They were working on tight timescales and budgets so it was essential that the research delivered added-value: it went well beyond ‘usability testing’ and significantly informed the strategic USP and brand proposition. The client, a provider of business finance, assumed that processing […]


So you think you know what is ‘normal’

May 26, 2016

I was reading an article in the Sunday papers about middle aged men drinking too much. This was accompanied by pieces by people who drank more than 50 units per week. These were not raving alcoholics but people with good jobs and happy family lives that you might meet in the course of your professional […]


Should you take content off your website?

May 24, 2016

We have recently completed a number of usability testing projects for clients with large information sites i.e. non-transactional sites. These have included organisations as diverse as a major UK charity, a manufacturer of precision measuring equipment, and an EU institution. A common issue with all these sites (and many large information sites) is a lack […]


Hall of shame – 17 steps to get my Vodafone bill

March 30, 2016

Every month I need to go to the Vodafone website to print a copy of my mobile bill in order to submit my expenses. Every month I have to click 17 times to get this bit of paper. Every time it infuriates me. So that is 12 times a year I have a bad user […]


Have your competitors got it wrong?

January 25, 2016

We have just completed an interesting bit of user research for a client looking at a financial service. The client was building a new site and wanted to check out the competition to see what learning they could gain. What was notable was that most of the websites emphasised a particular benefit – speed of […]