Tag Archives: usability

Test, Test, Test it all

September 10th, 2009

You can virtually test anything and everything online… there is amazing amounts of tools available to measure different things.

Measure traffic? Use Google Analytics (#1 if you don’t have basic traffic measurement installed please bang head against wall – it should be an assumption.)

Want to do Brand Monitoring? Check out Techrigy (Google Alerts on steroids)

Usability and heat maps? Use CrazyEgg (it beats Google Analytics Heatmaps hands down.

Measure E-Commerce? Set up Google Analytics Goals (and figure out where your business comes from).

Measure blog subscribers? Use Feedburner.

Find out more about your audience demographics? Use Quantcast & Crowdscience.

Want to find out which design / slogan/ offer creates the most business? Use A/B testing with Google Website Optimiser.

Use these to test your assumptions, tweak and improve again.  The web is a huge incubator for evolution or products to happen, so get evolving.

If you have any others feel free to share below in the comments…

You have the data now help them!

November 30th, 2008

Toying around with MySpace earlier today with someone else I noticed a couple of things.

1) I instantly knew which sections of the webpage contained relevant information and focused on those areas.

2) My friend did not, they read all the text.

3) They were logged into MySpace and have been using it for a long time.

A few things ticked into place.

If you have a user, and you know how they behave on your site and you wish them to invest heavily in it, why not invest in them?

Monitor users use of the site, complete A/B testing and figure out what users ‘capabilities’ are.

Then give them a slightly different experience, experienced users get the full html view, inexperienced get the easy to use editor with instructions.

We now have the data to do this, on a huge scale, why aren’t we doing it?

So my idea is to provide this as a service, conduct usability studies, suggest segments and build around them.  Migrate users over time.

This way you can give me everyone a more personalised service.

We already do it for Marketing Campaigns (based on keywords) why not the user experience?

You are wrong. Offline and Online all the same.

September 7th, 2008

Every Monday I like to throw some ideas out there and see what happens.

They return to me in the form of ‘I’ve tried that and heres why it didn’t work’ or ‘that’s already been done’ or ‘feedback’.

This one I have been throwing around for ages and talked to a lot of people so I thought now was time to unleash it.

Think about the mass of learnings we make online, monetisation models, usability

Now let’s apply them to an offline situation.


Fundamentally we are all humans interacting with your website or service.  We all have the same basic needs and wants.  We engage with your product sometimes with an end goal in mind othertimes we get sold on that end goal.  

Imagine I have taken over the local cafe.


Hmmmm ok, immediately I think of two things.

  1. Offer coffee for free or very low cost to boost volume. (adsense model)
  2. Offer coffee for free but charge for the experience (freemium)
  3. Offer unlimited coffee at a monthly charge.  Different plans better coffee (saas)
  4. Offer a special coffee that comes nicely packaged with chocolates on the side. (price discimination)


I like this one

  1. Remove barriers to your end goal.  Buying a coffee.  Have a sliding door, efficient ordering system. 
  2. Rather than volume (above) make it usable, friendly help user have a compelling experience (create flow), they are likely to spend more. (something online world hasn’t tapped yet).
  3. How quickly can i read your menu? how does the language affect my selection? do you have a top 10 list or ‘most popular’ items.  

I’d better stop you get the idea using usability you can keep going for a while.


This one is already applied somewhat

  1. Create a community of coffee lovers, run a coffee course, teach them how to make coffee.
  2. Setup a monthly newsletter for your loyal fans
  3. Give your loyal fans cards valid for a free coffee for there friends (help them spread your idea)
  4. Offer free wifi and organise tweetups / meet ups (via meetup.com)

You get the idea.

Other filters you can view your cafe through: 

  • Conversion Rates: Optimise your entry points and languages for certain products.  
  • Authenticity: Have nice personable people greeting you, I’m more likely to open my wallet if I’m feeling good about my experience
  • Colours: Colours affect my perception of the store.
  • Analytics: Do you know what type of customers come when? how long they stay? what they buy? Most effective source?
  • Leaking links: Do you advertise / have signs that are building others brands not your own?

Conclusion: Ben should buy a cafe!

You can see that we have this great platform of learning online, we should all be looking at how we can apply these learnings into new contexts.

What are you doing all the way down here? You could:
- View my about page
- Or for first timers the New Here? page
- Or maybe email this to a friend
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