The 6 ways AO.com improved online conversions

27 May

Appliances Online, or AO.com, as they are now known, have recently listed their shares on the London Stock Exchange and reached a staggering company value of almost £1.6bn.

 

AO Homepage

 

How has this business, that was virtually unheard of a few years ago, become the leading supplier of white goods in the UK, while previously big names like Comet no longer exist? According to Matthew Lawson, Head of Conversion at AO.com, one of the reasons for their growth was introducing a user centred design approach to the business.

 

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5 of the best new UX presentations on Slideshare

14 May

In the past couple of months we’ve found ourselves so wrapped up in office moves and project work that we’ve not managed to attend any UX events. So in an attempt to stay up to date, we’ve been keeping an eye on Slideshare for new UX presentations. Here’s five presentations that have been uploaded recently that we feel are really useful for inspiration.

Best Practice for UX Deliverables


This presentation from @annadahlstrom provides some excellent guidance on how to ensure your UX deliverables are adopted and understood both internally and externally.

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Interactive Ecommerce Videos: Good UX or Gimmick?

29 Apr

Interactive Ecommerce Videos: Good UX or Gimmick?

When customers are comparing different products, we often find that product pages with videos give people more confidence in their purchase. It’s no surprise to see online retailers try to integrate more videos into their sites. In an attempt to convert more visitors to buyers, some brands have turned to interactive videos as a tool to inspire customers. So what’s the experience like from a user perspective? Does it add value? Or is it just a gimmick?

We reviewed some interactive videos which showcase a selection of products. Each product shown in the video has a clickable hotspot which allows users to click through to the product page and buy that product. Whilst this sounds like an excellent way to engage with consumers, we found the user experience to be clumsy and irritating. In this article we show some examples to demonstrate the user experience of each interactive video.
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Trust, focus & upsell – 3 UX lessons from online florists

26 Mar

Trust, focus & upsell - 3 UX lessons from online florists

Recently I read a really interesting article on how airlines are looking to other industries like retail, automotive, and hospitality in an attempt to improve the passenger experience.  About time too!

Looking at other industries is good practice

It’s a common approach in business to look sideways at other industry best practices to generate ideas for improvement. Rather than just look at the quote form for an insurance provider for example, we would commonly also look at airlines, ticket booking sites, and hotel booking sites to see how they deal with the quote and buy process. We find that this approach typically sparks great ideas, which would have been missed if we had only looked at direct competitors.
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5 alternatives to CAPTCHA that won’t baffle or frustrate users

19 Mar

5 alternatives to CAPTCHA that won't baffle or frustrate users

We spend several hours every week conducting usability tests on a variety of different websites. In our research we often see people struggle with CAPTCHA, the anti-spam solution designed to differentiate between a human and a spambot. It’s easy to see why web teams adopt this tool to avoid spam – it is clearly an effective tool. However, they are probably not aware of how frustrating users find it! We regularly hear users say things like “oh I hate these things”, “not this thing again”, “why are they making it difficult for me?” In some cases we have seen users abandon a site altogether when faced with a CAPTCHA tool.

As a result of our observations we recommend that our clients remove the CAPTCHA tool from their site. In a recent client meeting we had a long discussion about the UX implications of anti-spam tools, and they challenged us to find a better alternative, that protected them from spam but didn’t frustrate users in the process. We accepted that challenge and thought we’d share the findings with our readers. In reverse order, we provide our top 5 CAPTCHA alternatives.
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21 things we like about the new M&S website

21 Feb

We noticed yesterday that the new Marks & Spencer website redesign went live. Here’s a quick summary of the changes we felt were most interesting. More research would be needed for us to give a thorough UX opinion but our first thoughts are that it’s a positive redesign.

M&S website redesign

In this article, we highlight the 21 UX improvements made to the new Marks & Spencer website and why we like them.
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How to turn social media engagement into ecommerce sales

18 Feb

We often receive requests from companies in need of UX advice, and thought this would be relevant to share with our readers. The founder of Isabel and I, a relatively new Australian clothing brand, got in touch asking how to convert a growing social media following into increased paying visitors to the ecommerce site. Her ultimate goal was to ‘convert likes into sales’.

We conducted a user experience audit of the site, where we place ourselves in the shoes of users and travel through the site attempting to complete common customer goals. During our audit we identified several areas where we felt the site would benefit from improvements to the user journey to increase conversions. After sending our report of Isabel and I, Aundrea the owner found our findings really useful. We wanted to share them on our blog in the hope that you would find them useful too.

 

Isabel and I

Aundrea Quote
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14 leading insurance providers’ quote processes and what you can learn from them

24 Jan

According to Insurance Business Online, last year 69% of insurance policies* were acquired online, yet we see many users struggling with the usability of quotation processes in usability testing. Insurance companies still neglect the quotation and application process on their websites and present poorly designed, unintuitive and confusing forms to their prospective customers which in turn could see them missing out on conversions.

14 leading insurance providers' quote process and what you can learn from them

We reviewed the usability of these sites to see which one offers the best life quotation experience

 
In this post, we analyse the life insurance quote process of 14 leading insurance companies and comparison websites to see which sites offer the overall best usability and user experience.  We also provide explanation as to what makes a good quote form and how insurance companies can consider implementing changes on their website.
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