Peter Collins

Recent Posts

Personas: what are they and how can you use them

Posted by Peter Collins on Sep 18, 2018 12:43:54 PM

Is your website redundant?

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

How people interact with your organisation is likely to change radically over the next few years. The maturing of some key technologies, most notably machine learning and conversational interfaces, means your users may no longer be using your website.

‘Can they use it’ v ‘Will they use it’?

Posted by Peter Collins on Jul 28, 2017 11:29:45 AM

One of the problems of usability testing websites is trying to get testers to behave as they would in the real world. It is a very ‘unnatural’ process. We recruit people into the lab, pay them money and ask lots of questions about the site and why they have done what they have done. Testers focus on the task they have been given, think about what they are doing, try and give rational explanations for their behaviour, and are not distracted by the kids or their phone. This is not what happens in real life where users click through most of the time not thinking very hard about what they are doing. To use Daniel Kahneman terms, in the lab users do more ‘slow’ thinking whereas in real life they are doing a lot of ‘fast’ thinking. doesn’t work for some users

Posted by Peter Collins on Jul 10, 2017 3:09:20 PM

I have always been a bit of a fan of From a citizen’s point of view, it has transformed many aspects of transacting with Government. Whether it is re-taxing the car, applying for a passport or applying for a patent it is now quick and straightforward. clearly deserves many of the plaudits it has received. The principle that users don’t care about which government body a service is being delivered by - they just want the service - is both sensible and user focused.

Alzheimer’s Society new web site

Posted by Peter Collins on Jan 27, 2017 1:50:57 PM

Web Usability has been heavily involved in helping to develop a new website for the Alzheimer’s Society that has just been launched. We are very chuffed with this and think the Society’s web team and their design agency have done an amazing job. Take a look at

Can good UX ever be bad?

Posted by Peter Collins on Jan 20, 2017 11:44:44 AM

We were recently approached to do some usability testing on the Financial Conduct Authority website. In order to prepare the proposal I spoke to a stockbroker friend to get some idea of users' goals and the effectiveness of the site. I was rather surprised to learn that he would never dream of going anywhere near the site. Apparently their business has a staff of 40 specialists – mainly lawyers - whose sole job it is to understand the FCA rules and develop policies and procedures for ensuring they don’t run foul of these.

Cognitive biases, gorillas and wine buyers

Posted by Peter Collins on Nov 1, 2016 9:21:10 AM

Cognitive biases are the life blood of psychologists. These are ‘ways we think’ that mean we can make less than ‘rational’ decisions. Dozens of these have been identified from ‘Loss aversion’ to ‘Anchoring’ and I find it very satisfying when we find a good example of a bias. I noticed one recently when testing an on-line wine buying site. We identified that users did not understand how they could buy on this particular site i.e. a minimum of 6 bottles but then as many as they liked. Some felt they could buy less than 6, others that it was multiples of 6. The designers came up with lots of different ways to ensure the messaging was clear and prominent but still many users didn't get it.

No one ever got fired for buying IBM

Posted by Peter Collins on Sep 13, 2016 4:07:58 PM

Remember the adage “No one ever got fired for buying IBM”? While that may be true, it did not mean IBM knew what they were doing – look at them now!

Tell them about the drill, not the hole

Posted by Peter Collins on Sep 5, 2016 3:55:17 PM

I recall being taught about features & benefits in the marketing part of my MBA. We were told nobody wants a drill - they want a hole. The drill is just a means to an end, so you have to talk about the benefits of the hole not the features of the drill.

Supplier portals - a UX nightmare!

Posted by Peter Collins on Aug 25, 2016 3:10:51 PM

Supplier portals must rate as one of the worst areas for UX experiences. Have you been unfortunate enough to have to use the Bravo portal or the ProContract service – horrid, yes? I can only assume they think we will jump through any number of hoops to get their business so they don’t have to care, but it is indicative of a certain mindset.

Want to know more?

If you’d like to talk to someone about how you can optimise your digital media with user research and advice, please get in touch!

We would love to hear from you.

Contact us

Subscribe Here!

Recent Posts