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  • The challenges of B2B User Experience
    market is dominated by traditional IT companies who do not fully understand user experience design For them this means little more than drawing the user interface usually as little more than an afterthought The myth of the captive audience B2B customers are unlikely to be able to exercise the same freedom of choice as a consumer If they don t like your website for some reason they can t simply choose to order from another supplier They may not have this kind of authority or you may be the only people they can do business with for a variety of reasons anyway This is dangerous stuff as it breeds complacency and an attitude that there is no reason to provide better experiences for customers Accepting that this is true let s get on to the real reason why UX has failed to make an impact in B2B systems a collective failure as an industry to look beyond B2C The real reason It s our fault Most user experience professionals cut their teeth working in B2C environments as this is the more likely market for UX skills As a result the knowledge base we have amassed as a field is mostly based on user insights and design examples from consumer facing products So why is this a problem To try and answer this it might help to provide a purely fictional example Johnny joined an agency as a UX designer six months ago having graduated with a top degree in interactive design Since then he has worked on ecommerce sites for retail businesses performing user research and creating wireframe solutions for his clients who have all been delighted with the results Johnny s latest client is a business which sells parts to manufacturers of engineering equipment Johnny is confident that armed with his knowledge of ecommerce best practices and a set of proven design patterns he will be able to design a workable solution fairly quickly However having created a prototype and getting access to users he discovers that the similarities with retail sites he has worked on before are largely superficial The orders in this system are generated by the manufacturer s clients as the products are bespoke and only created on demand The supply chain and logistics for order fulfilment are far more complex than he realised and even providing simple information such as stock quantity lead time and delivery options is reliant on a complex set of variables The users of the site are mostly engineers and they speak a language that Johnny finds incomprehensible He is also surprised to discover that many aspects of the design he predicted would be problematic pose no problems for users Generally the customers he speaks to are dismissive of his prototype they feel his proposed solutions are over simplistic and reduce the usefulness of the system for them In this example the UX consultant has effectively derailed themselves with one major assumption that insights garnered from end consumer design projects will

    Original URL path: http://www.foolproof.co.uk/thinking/the-challenges-of-b2b-user-experience/ (2016-02-14)
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  • your customers will interact with your site you could end up designing something that will cause more problems than it solves It is good ergonomics to understand job design and physical environmental factors when designing any staff tools or systems so they integrate rather than conflict with the existing infrastructure Such factors include constant distractions large scale multi tasking and working across multiple channels all of which require a lot of organisational skill and patience to design My experience from research with insurance brokers backs this up and adds these considerations for design Users are time pressured and deal with multiple sites systems on a daily basis For example brokers use multiple provider sites in a single day Users aim to get in and out of your site as quickly as possible with the desired information for their clients Provider sites contain similar content but different ways to navigate to it this is frustrating and time consuming What does this mean for providers sites Your site is a tool therefore Ensure clear signposting and routing on the site Don t waste time creating a graphically thrilling experience The experience is about getting results as quickly as possible Don t try and hand hold them through processes that are basically the same regardless of the site being used What else needs to be considered Not every journey can be done completely online e g some quotes or claims can be too complex for an online solution Brokers have built relationships with providers and generally have their phone number to hand and will at some point want to deal with them directly In summary ergonomists should think about the wider environmental factors when designing a tool not just the user and should uncover this through research 0 0 0 0 Related content

    Original URL path: http://www.foolproof.co.uk/thinking/b2b-site-design-and-context/ (2016-02-14)
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  • this year Eight speakers had 5 minutes and 20 slides 15 seconds per slide to share their unique perspectives on content strategy this promised to be the perfect recipe for an action packed night and fast moving discussions and it didn t disappoint Each speaker elaborated on their own personal experiences around producing delivering and sharing content with the rest of the world providing best practice tips and tricks for a keen audience After listening intently to all eight speakers I started to notice three distinct themes Be original make sure your brand has a distinctive voice Brands need to stop copying innocent and trying to be cute enlarging the logo won t help either Think about your brand values and purpose and start to develop content from there Collaborate work as a team to produce delightful content for your audience don t take ownership share ideas throughout the project for the best results Capture real data don t just make up facts and figures that you think people want to hear Real data will guarantee that the content you produce will resonate with your users and potentially increase convergence and brand loyalty View sketchnotes from lightning talks at The

    Original URL path: http://www.foolproof.co.uk/thinking/lightning-talks-on-content-strategy/ (2016-02-14)
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  • will only change when it offers an experience which is a notable improvement upon current experience This experience is the product of three things Short term interaction The ease of interaction the confidence the interaction inspires Reasons for believing The clarity of communication around the money it saves or makes the community feeling it builds the doors it opens and the social capital it builds Context Economic social and environmental pressures Short term interaction These systems support inherently complex transactions both functionally and legally There is no precedent for this kind of peer to peer transaction which means that there is no pattern to follow which users will be familiar with The principle challenge is to find the right balance between hiding the underlying complexity from the users for ease of use whilst surfacing enough to drive confidence Ecomodo has taken a largely handholding approach with strong guidance at every step as well as built in a number of features to drive confidence These include lending circles restricting lending to circles of people with whom lenders have a basis for trust insurance against accidental damage and loss and fuzzy location specification to protect members locations whilst enabling effective local searching All the companies behind the services hope that these kinds of features provide compelling reasons to stay with the service and pay the associated fee rather than bypass Reasons for believing Collaborative consumption is different things to different people For some it is purely a way to drive extra income or to save money for others it is more about meeting like minded people for some it is about getting access to stuff which was previously unobtainable due to cost or access and for others it is about doing good for the environment or for their community Not all of these are relevant to all services although a site like Ecomodo does face all of these This creates a tough marketing challenge Attempt to communicate all and they may communicate nothing Perhaps the site which has achieved this the most effectively is airbnb which needs to communicate the first three They capture their user s attention through the aspirational professional photos of homes which are clearly distinct from the more traditional holiday accommodation providers They prioritise a link to a very effective video which clearly communicates the principle reasons for believing for renters and rentees The experience extends into the face to face conversations between renter and host which airbnb has little control over My host in Iceland not only provided my good value accommodation he also guided me towards unusual places to see and even lent me his 4 wheel drive car so that we could reach off road locations That s an experience no hotel would have offered Consequently I have talked about my experience many times since and now here I am blogging about it The social capital that creates is immensely important to collaborative consumption services Context When a new experience must aim to be a

    Original URL path: http://www.foolproof.co.uk/thinking/design-for-collaborative-consumption/ (2016-02-14)
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  • in mobile Many people think that mobile is an experimental channel but this graphic illustrates the risks associated with having bad mobile apps or services Open full mobile infographic as pdf opens in new window Author Caroline Ahmed 0 0 0 4 Related content Here s a selection of other articles you may like from the frontiers of user experience or view all in Thinking M S fall in online

    Original URL path: http://www.foolproof.co.uk/thinking/infographic-mobile-and-brand-perception/ (2016-02-14)
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  • tickets at less popular events like handball in fact the suggestion should have been to go for as many tickets as their card credit limit allowed and for the most popular events If an applicant beat the odds and landed more tickets than they wanted they would have been able to sell back unwanted tickets through the buy back service leaving them only out of pocket to the tune of the handling fee Better information about the ballot would have made more people bolder in their applications increasing their overall chances of getting a ticket and making sure that the maximum number of people secured at least one allocation In the end a disproportionate amount of the best tickets fell into the laps of people with big credit card limits or who had read the site s small print very carefully There s a fuller analysis of the 2011 ticket ballot in the PDF whitepaper we published at the time Semi final In May 2012 a second tranche of 500 000 tickets were offered on a first come first served basis to people unlucky in the ballot The outcome was predictable the site crashed repeatedly Twitter lit up with tales of frustration This was the first time we encountered the strange user experience of being shown tickets that were available only for people then to have them evaporate as they tried to move them into a shopping basket The image shown here is seared into the consciousness of hundreds of thousands maybe millions of people The Ticketmaster platform gives no explanation about why this happens offers no sympathy for the frustration makes no suggestion about how to avoid it other than the three rather fatuous ones shown here Despite the frustration this round was at least effective at putting half a million tickets in the hands of the patient and the lucky For those left ticketless at the end of two confusing and time consuming rounds of allocation the experience was starting to become wearing They had been twice told they were invited to a party but been refused entry at the door Final In last days before Olympics and during the games final reserves of tickets were released and tickets returned through the buy back service were made available on the ticketing site At this point cries of frustration turned into a roar Poor usability made process torture Hopeful applicants had to use a complicated search feature which was increasingly unnecessary At these late stages why not just show a list of available rather than making people play hunt the ticket The phantom ticket effect became even more pronounced at this stage We did some research for ITN which showed that in 111 attempts to buy tickets from the site we were successful only 23 of the time taking a seemingly available ticket through to payment stage Why couldn t the system show availability in real time rather than making people wait up to 20 minutes to discover that

    Original URL path: http://www.foolproof.co.uk/thinking/olympic-ticketing-what-went-wrong/ (2016-02-14)
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  • link to it from the landing page s Look at what others have done Many providers are taking a lite approach whilst they see what competitors are doing and how the ICO enforces the law If this is your preferred approach you need to balance the liteness of your approach with the risk of non compliance Understand what you use cookies for Some will provide a user benefit some a business benefit and some a technical benefit You need to understand all three aspects Generally it s the ones primarily for business benefit which are likely to be the most intrusive and therefore require particular attention Use common sense The law is vague and the guidance contradictory but all based on a desire to put people in control of their data to protect their privacy So try to operate in the spirit of the law If you use intrusive cookies accept you need to be more explicit about gaining consent If you don t then focus on providing information to reassure users and the ICO that you haven t just stuck your head in the sand Involve the right people In defining your solution don t leave it to the legal department or the technical department Involve user experience designers UX designers who will be able to propose ways of making the information and consent usable We ve been helping several of our clients to identify the right solution for their business and their customers The deadline may pass on the 26th but the work on solutions will continue for some time 0 0 0 2 Related content Here s a selection of other articles you may like from the frontiers of user experience or view all in Thinking Design for Collaborative Consumption By Meriel Lenfestey Top down user experience

    Original URL path: http://www.foolproof.co.uk/thinking/top-tips-complying-with-the-eu-cookie-directive/ (2016-02-14)
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  • compliant This has driven a lot of debate within organisations and amongst digital professionals as well as a lot of very different solutions ranging from fully compliant prior explicit consent in the form of light boxes or avoiding placing cookies until consent is given through to opt out statements in barely visible banners Reading between the lines of the ICO guidance it is clear they will focus enforcement energies on cases where no appropriate effort has been made to make users aware and even then they will be reasonable in encouraging and allowing time for upscaling the response Our advice to clients is to understand the spirit of the law and then interpret it in a way which maps to the level of risk the organisation is prepared to take and the context of the business Here are three examples For a highly risk averse company in a domain in which building customer trust is paramount such as financial services this means a more explicit consent route e g interrupt the user s experience to inform them using a light box or overlay and offer a clear choice making accepting cookies the path of least resistance For a less constrained company dealing with non intrusive cookies such as the Foolproof site it means focusing on informing and using an inferred consent route For any company using cookies to track behaviour and target promotions it means accepting that this is the area the law is aimed at and taking extreme care to demonstrate that you are being open and transparent and that your users are therefore informed We believe that clearly stating the benefits that cookies provide to users indicating where content is affected and offering clear instructions on opting out is enough in most cases The ICO s response to

    Original URL path: http://www.foolproof.co.uk/thinking/cookies-update/ (2016-02-14)
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web-archive-uk.com, 2017-12-15