So you think you know what is 'normal'

Posted by Peter Collins on May 26, 2016 10:36:03 AM

I was reading an article in the Sunday papers about middle aged men drinking too much. This was accompanied by pieces by people who drank more than 50 units per week. These were not raving alcoholics but people with good jobs and happy family lives that you might meet in the course of your professional life. They saw their drinking as quite normal and they did not feel it was excessive. I was quite shocked that someone drinking this much might think this ‘normal’ behaviour because it is a long way from my experience.

Should you take content off your website?

Posted by Lucy Collins on May 24, 2016 1:28:06 PM

We have recently completed a number of usability testing projects for clients with large information sites i.e. non-transactional sites. These have included organisations as diverse as a major UK charity, a manufacturer of precision measuring equipment, and an EU institution.

Is doing research in London skewing your results?

Posted by Lucy Collins on May 18, 2016 5:12:56 PM

We estimate over 60% of UK, studio-based, qualitative market research takes place in London (*), most of which will use London-based respondents. Londoners accounts for 13% of the UK population and a key question is how representative is this 13% of the whole UK population?

Remote testing - for hard to reach testers

Posted by Lucy Collins on Mar 18, 2015 11:20:54 AM

We always recruit our own testers. By doing it ourselves we get more appropriate testers and we can weed out the ones who try to make a career out of being a respondent.

What’s in a name…

Posted by Lucy Collins on Mar 17, 2015 5:05:47 PM

You may have noticed we have been a bit schizophrenic about what we call ourselves. We started life more than 13 years ago as ‘Web Usability Partnership’, became ‘WUP’ about 9 years ago and reverted to ‘Web Usability’ last year. The change back to Web Usability was driven by various factors, including that nobody ever knew how to say ‘WUP’: versions we have heard included ‘woop’, ‘wuup’ and the letters W-U-P. It didn’t help that we weren’t clear about it either…

Running online discussion groups is like talking to my teenage sons

Posted by Lucy Collins on Jan 19, 2015 4:43:17 PM

As a mum to young teenage boys (writes Sarah Clark) you may think I’d say that conversation is severely lacking in our household…except it’s not! Just so long as I’m not expecting them to be face-to-face, I do have regular meaningful conversations with both my sons. And actually I‘d say these long distance communications tend to be more informative, honest and unguarded than when we’re face-to-face. Less foot staring and fidgeting with more focus on the questions actually posed.

The demise of the left hand navigation...

Posted by Lucy Collins on Nov 12, 2014 4:01:04 PM

Recently, we tested a new, information-provider web site for a well-known brand (the identity of which shall be kept anonymous for reasons that will soon become clear) and were fairly surprised to find the site navigation trailing down the left hand side of the page, rather than sitting horizontally at the top, where we have become increasingly accustomed to seeing it.

The secret of a successful search

Posted by Lucy Collins on Sep 4, 2014 2:44:44 PM

It was recently estimated in the US that Google receives 182 million unique views a month, 9 million hits above its closest competitor Yahoo!, And 20 million views ahead of bronze medallist, bing*. So why is Google the world’s most popular search engine? Firstly, it gets us the results they want. Secondly, as we all know, it is extremely easy to use. On the Google homepage the search box is smack bang in the middle of the page while Yahoo! has squashed it well out the way up the top and thrown the kitchen sink at the homepage.

Do users know what they want?

Posted by Lucy Collins on Jun 7, 2014 10:42:36 AM

Having successfully launched our brand new responsive website we are now big advocates of this method of website design, unless fundamental issues stand in your way. Some of our clients are keen to advance down the alternative adaptive route, which recognises when a smartphone is being used and pushes an entirely separate, mobile specific site onto the screen. However, these sites often have a reduced level of content, based on what are believed to be the key user mobile goals - insights gained from market research. It is thought by some clients that their target audience have different goals on their mobiles than larger devices.

Touchy feely – is the mouse redundant?

Posted by Lucy Collins on Dec 12, 2013 3:02:14 PM

We have recently taken delivery of a Microsoft Surface tablet and a couple of touch screen monitors. For Peter, our director, it was like Christmas had come early. Delivery day saw him happily ripping opening packaging and focusing completely on his new toys. We could have asked him for 100% pay-rises and a week off work and he would have agreed.

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