Most current chatbots are not very good. This makes it very easy for people to be sceptical about them and ignore the whole approach. However, this is often because the user’s needs were not fully understood or because they have not been adequately tested with users.
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.
Over the years we have undertaken usability testing on several University websites. I have blogged before about why so many University sites are so unusable, and concluded that the problems are primarily organisational not technical. Our recent experience seems to confirm that this is still the case.
I have always been a bit of a fan of Gov.uk. 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. Gov.uk 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.
I have a confession to make – one that is a bit embarrassing. As a researcher, I know you must not trust your own opinions but should look at the evidence, because often our instinctive view of world - or of people’s behaviour – is wrong!
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 www.alzheimers.org.uk.
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.
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.
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.
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.