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The Usability Blog
A Practical Guide to User Experience Insights

Harvard’s KISS up

Earlier this month, the Harvard Business Review published an article by two managing directors from the Executive Board: To Keep Your Customers, Keep it Simple.  The title serves as both advice and warning to today’s marketers. The research is deep and detailed, and the recommendations stand in contrast to marketing practices that call for ever… read more

Back Me Up

According to Jakob Nielsen, “The Back button is the lifeline of the Web user and the second-most used navigation feature (after following hypertext links). Users happily know that they can try anything on the Web and always be saved by a click or two on Back to return them to familiar territory.” Although Nielsen gave… read more

Behold the New Retail Persona – the Two Handed Shopper

Based on a 1,000 respondent survey of Smartphone users, Wave Collapse, a Washington D.C. research company, recently asserted that 93% of in-store app users make a purchase in a physical location. I can believe it. These people can flat out shop. App-accessing shoppers behave differently from “regular” shoppers, in that their Smartphone sits in their… read more

A Pay Wall? That’s Just Dumb

Pay walls in the websites of US print media drive me nuts.  Rupert Murdoch built his media empire on the ability to make money in newspapers when everyone else was losing it.  The Wall Street Journal may have pioneered the practice of erecting pay walls to protect content in the US, but Murdoch has systematically… read more

Trust Is the New Black… Again

In May of 2010, I published a white paper entitled “Trust is the New Black.” I’ve been measuring, training, speaking, and writing about trust for decades; it’s the best indicator of health in one-to-one relationships. These days, every brand is all about building one-on-one relationships with its customers, so trust has become a marketing imperative.… read more

What’s the Conversion Cost of Ineffective Site Search?

Usability Sciences presents the Solutions Series of webinettes, the second of which focuses on “Site Search”—the process by which website users arrive at what they seek. A survey of 22,000 retail shoppers shows that visitors who use a site’s search function convert at three times the rate of visitors who browse. Site search can be… read more

Jakob Nielsen, Responsive Web Design, and Compromise

Arguably nobody on the planet stirs up the design community better and more frequently than Jakob Nielsen.  His recent article, Mobile Site vs. Full Site, has already generated a lot of controversy. Designers and content strategist have leveled numerous criticisms (here and here for example) of Nielsen’s recommendation to provide separate mobile-optimized sites that cut features and cut… read more

The Usability Blog

As you may have noticed, our site looks different. Over the past two weeks we’ve been overhauling the blog. Not only did we change the look, but we chose a new name, The Usability Blog.  Our purpose is still the same, to provide a practical guide to user experience insight, but our methods are evolving.… read more

Fundamental Best Practices of an Online Survey

Online surveys can be a valuable and effective part of your research efforts. Often used as a way to gather quantitative data, online surveys provide the means to gather participant demographics, opinions and ideas. These surveys are self-administered and provide an alternative to using a more structured, moderator-based methodology. Last year, we conducted a Webinette… read more

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