Web Usability Blog

Peter Collins

Recent Posts

Thoughts from the MD: Digital personas

Posted by Peter Collins on Jan 22, 2019 1:36:59 PM

We recently worked on a number of projects where we have been developing personas. This can be a powerful tool in bringing focus and clarity about what content to develop and how to present this, especially for larger information sites run by teams with lots of stakeholders.

However, some recent experiences suggest organisations don’t know how best to use these.

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Topics: Usability Expert Advice

Effective websites - the responsibility of the whole organisation

Posted by Peter Collins on Sep 28, 2018 1:00:21 PM

Developing effective websites often requires organisational change to a culture where people at all levels in the organisation adopt behaviours that make a 'good user experience' an important goal. A good user experience is one where a user achieves their goals and is highly satisfied with the process; it will encourage reuse and recommendation of the site. If the organisation is not focused on providing a good user experience, they will be unable to build an effective web site. Understanding the user experience, through research methods like usability testing, can be a powerful tool in driving the organisational change needed to develop effective websites.

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Topics: ux consultancy, Usability Expert Advice

Personas: what are they and how can you use them

Posted by Peter Collins on Sep 18, 2018 12:43:54 PM
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Topics: ux consultancy, usability, Blog, User Insights, Info Architecture, Usability Testing

Three elements of effective User Experience research: The Web Usability philosophy

Posted by Peter Collins on Nov 16, 2013 4:05:51 PM

We consider three elements to be key in any user experience research we undertake:

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Topics: Usability Expert Advice, Usability Testing

How many testers are enough?

Posted by Peter Collins on Oct 18, 2013 4:03:04 PM

Introduction

We are often asked 'how many testers do we need for usability testing?'. The answer is 'it depends'. Are you trying to:

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Topics: Usability Testing

Card sorting - is it always useful?

Posted by Peter Collins on Sep 14, 2013 9:58:21 PM

Having been approached by a large national charity to develop a new information architecture for their website, we were about to suggest a traditional user-centred approach - open card sorting followed by iterative testing of a prototype - when we learnt that the client had already experienced a card sorting exercise, along with usability testing, carried out by another agency.

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Topics: ux consultancy, Info Architecture

User experience insights - do they help produce effective websites?

Posted by Peter Collins on Aug 30, 2013 9:59:41 AM

I recently attended one of e-consultancy's roundtable meetings, where a dozen or so corporate members share knowledge: the topic of this one was 'User Experience'. It was an interesting couple of hours with some useful insights provided by the participants, who included benchmarking, analytics, survey and usability agencies like Web Usability. What struck me during the discussion was that most of the participants' activities focused on understanding the user experience rather than helping the clients do something useful with the insights gained from their work.

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Topics: Usability Expert Advice, Views and News

You only need 5 users for a usability study

Posted by Peter Collins on Jul 17, 2013 12:57:04 PM

Glad to see that Jakob Nielsen has recently restated his position about how many users you need to test with in usability studies - the answer being 5.

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Topics: usability, Blog, Mobile Usability, Usability Expert Advice, User Insights, Usability Testing

Why Usability testing can be wrong

Posted by Peter Collins on Jul 6, 2013 9:56:14 AM

We were testing a site the other day for a major retailer that didn't have many of the features that are now considered pretty standard for ecommerce sites. It was not clear what they sold, it had busy cluttered pages, you had to register, there was no persistent basket and much else.

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Topics: usability, Usability Expert Advice, Usability Testing

Responsive design - is it the answer?

Posted by Peter Collins on Jun 18, 2013 4:11:50 PM

Responsive design seems like a brilliant solution for coping with the rise in mobile users but what are its pros and cons, and what has to be considered to make it effective?

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Topics: ux consultancy, Usability Expert Advice, Views and News

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