KISS - Keep it simple stupid

Posted by Lucy Collins on Dec 1, 2016 12:44:49 PM

Panic call from an 87 year old relative of mine last week – the TV had stopped working! For 87 she is pretty hale and hearty, she lives independently, drives, goes out walking the dog each day and attends lots of WI, Probus and U3A events so she is not stupid – indeed probably well above average for her age. However the TV had beaten her.

Electricity Shock

Posted by Lucy Collins on Nov 28, 2016 9:40:37 AM

I have been had! I have just been stung for a 52% increase in my business electricity bill and I missed it! After getting over the annoyance at both the electricity company and myself, the lessons to be learnt are about how we all process information whether on paper or screen.

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.

The scrolling debate...continued

Posted by Lucy Collins on Oct 18, 2016 5:32:53 PM

It used to be argued that long pages were a problem as users did not scroll. In 2010 Jacob Nielson found users spent 80% of their time looking at information above the page fold and although they do scroll, they allocate only 20% of their attention below the fold.

Unknown Unknowns

Posted by Lucy Collins on Oct 4, 2016 12:44:43 PM

Donald Rumsfeld famously received a lot of stick for his “Unknown Unknowns” speech about the lack of evidence linking the government of Iraq with the supply of WMD. However, the Intelligence services have long used the Johari Window approach, an idea created in 1955 by two American psychologists, Joseph Luft and Harrington Ingham: ‘unknown unknowns’ is one of the quadrants.

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!

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.

Open v closed people

Posted by Peter Collins on Aug 4, 2016 1:01:56 PM


Hamburgers don't give off scent!

Posted by Lucy Collins on Aug 2, 2016 2:39:13 PM

Like many commentators we think the increasing trend of using hamburgers at desktop screen resolutions is a triumph of bad design over good usability. Primarily because it hides the links. Hamburgers give off no scent for users’ goals, it makes them think – not a good idea – rather than just word match.

Why I got Brexit wrong

Posted by Peter Collins on Jul 20, 2016 9:21:17 AM

I don’t know about you but I found the Brexit vote quite a shock, I did not believe for a moment that the UK would vote to leave. On reflection, one of reasons for this is that I move in circles where most people were remainers. I know few leavers, or people who will admit to it, and this clearly coloured my view of the likely outcome. I noticed a similar problem recently when undertaking some user testing for a grocery client looking at some wine pages: I was surprised to see that 4 out of 6 testers had no idea what a magnum was. They all thought it was part of the name of the wine. How could anyone not know what a magnum was? Both examples are a timely reminders that our own experiences are not a good guide to how others think or behave. Because we tend to mix with ‘people like us’ we see a very narrow slice of the totality of human attitudes. Relying on our own experiences to draw conclusions about how others will behave can, as these examples show, mean we are very wrong. Undertaking research with users means you are much less likely to make these sorts of mistakes.

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