All Writing

Emotional Design
In his afternoon workshop at UX London, Aarron Walter shares how to design products that evoke positive emotions in the user. Man vs machine Industrial Revolution was a massive change for our species, started in UK Core theme was man vs machine Before, things were hard to come by – books, clothes, household items etc […] Read more – ‘Emotional Design’.
User focus groups in developing nations
In her talk at UX London, Nokia’s UX Research Lead, Younghee Jung discusses some unconventional ways her team have approached focus groups in developing nations. Lots of departments need info from research Research can’t serve everyone. Not a crystal ball to predict customer behaviour At Nokia, the demands of different departments meant user focus groups […] Read more – ‘User focus groups in developing nations’.
Redesigning for millions of users
In his talk at UX London, Aarron Walter explains how MailChimp redesigned their interface from the ground up, despite having over 5 million users. When you redesign a system, often it’s the pro-users that suffer due to their muscle memory interactions MailChimp had technical debt dating back to 2001 There was also a shift in […] Read more – ‘Redesigning for millions of users’.
Remaining perpetually creative
In his talk at UX London, Pete Smart explains how he trained himself to remain creative by solving 50 problems in 50 days, and redesigning the airline boarding pass. Advocates thinking disruptively Spent over 80 hours in air in 2 months, solving 50 problems in 50 days Challenge to remain perpetually creative Boarding pass redesign […] Read more – ‘Remaining perpetually creative’.
Designing the Good Life: morality in UX
In his talk at UX London, Sebastian Deterding asks whether we are designing for The Good Life, and explores morality in user experience design. Work life feels overwhelming. We are overworked and stressed Our generation has digital stress and distraction addiciton We check our smartphones 150 times a day (every six minutes) Each time we check […] Read more – ‘Designing the Good Life: morality in UX’.
Designing for evolutionary human behaviour
In his talk at UX London, vice chairman of Ogilvy, Rory Sutherland, discusses how neo-classical economics is mis-informing businesses in their product development and marketing. Psychology > Economics Finding patterns in human behaviour is most important thing for a UXer. Second is to improve product’s UX based on those findings Neo-classical economics mis-informs businesses. Psychology […] Read more – ‘Designing for evolutionary human behaviour’.
TUI Marine is the leading marine leisure and tourism business in the world, with a global reach spanning five continents. Their five brands provide luxury yacht charter and boating holidays in the most beautiful islands and coasts that exist, and to their customers the brands are synonymous with experience, expertise and excellence – three characteristics that […] Read more – ‘TuiMarine.com’.
Using gamification to persuade users to purchase more deals
Everyone loves catching a bargain. It gives you a sense of accomplishment, like you’ve beaten the system. Recently, I’ve been discussing ways (1, 2, 3, 4) to improve the customer experience of eBay, particularly in their daily deals section, and I’ve realised that there is no reward system for frequent and clever shopping on the […] Read more – ‘Using gamification to persuade users to purchase more deals’.
Promoting deals based on previous searches, user interests and gift lists
I found another improvement that can be made to eBay’s Daily Deals section, to go along with the improved search bar discussed in my last post – personalised deals. Currently, the deals hub is the same regardless of whether the user is logged in or not. There’s a great opportunity for personalising deal suggestions based on […] Read more – ‘Promoting deals based on previous searches, user interests and gift lists’.
Helping users search for specific items within eBay’s deals hub and its categories
And so my eBay nit-picking continues. As well as promoting the list feature and allowing users to start their purchase journey earlier, I think the fact that users can’t search within the deals hub using the search bar is a missed opportunity. Customers that are looking for a particular product have no way of checking if […] Read more – ‘Helping users search for specific items within eBay’s deals hub and its categories’.
Helping customers add items to the cart (and lists) earlier in the user journey
In my last post, I discussed the merits of eBay’s list feature, and how it should be promoted to its customer base more heavily. Well, to continue picking on eBay, I also think the site should allow users to carry out more tasks outside of the product pages. Let me explain. Give more power earlier […] Read more – ‘Helping customers add items to the cart (and lists) earlier in the user journey’.
Encouraging customers to create gift lists
In the lead up to Christmas I spent time browsing for potential gifts on eBay, and I found myself using the list feature for the very first time. I hadn’t noticed it before, but you can create as many lists as you need and add items of interest from anywhere on the site. It’s a […] Read more – ‘Encouraging customers to create gift lists’.
How to show your brand values to your audience, like a pro
Chipotle, a well-known Mexican restaurant chain from North America, has served up a masterclass in brand storytelling, with an animation short that has since gone viral. The video features a scarecrow who works for a large food corporation, one that claims to use fresh produce and free-range animals, but is in fact a giant assembly […] Read more – ‘How to show your brand values to your audience, like a pro’.
Instil trust and confidence in your target audience
For many businesses, getting noticed by your target audience will rarely generate an immediate sale. Unless they are an impulse buyer, anyone interested in your product or service will want to shop around and compare your value against your competitors. They may not even be ready to make a purchase just yet, and are just […] Read more – ‘Instil trust and confidence in your target audience’.
Getting noticed by your target audience
At the beginning of any client/customer relationship a potential buyer has no idea that you even exist. This state of unawareness marks the first of five steps in The Buying Continuum, and is arguably the most difficult to overcome. Why? Because you must rise above the noise of every other business (competitor or not) that […] Read more – ‘Getting noticed by your target audience’.
If you don’t ask, you won’t get
With thousands of businesses (and individuals) vying for your customers’ attention, it’s a tiny miracle whenever you connect with someone who is interested in your services. For a brief moment, you have risen above the noise and managed to occupy some real estate in their mind, so it’s vital that you seize the opportunity before […] Read more – ‘If you don’t ask, you won’t get’.
How the chain came off Surbiton Cycles’ recent ad campaign
Nick has previously written about how Evans Cycles effectively targeted their audience through clever placement and timing of their advertising — their flyers hooked to the handlebars of bikes in the racks outside Waterloo station was a perfect example of “talking to your customers where they live”, and timed to coincide with the beginning of Spring […] Read more – ‘How the chain came off Surbiton Cycles’ recent ad campaign’.
Automate your social media activity to save company resources
Here at Tribus, social media management plays a big part in our integrated marketing campaigns. Being able to monitor what people are saying about our clients (and more generally our clients’ sectors) allows us to reply to questions, offer recommendations, mitigate against negative comments, offer promotions, market products and services, post useful content, and project […] Read more – ‘Automate your social media activity to save company resources’.
The importance of building your tribe
A lot of people ask us where we got the name Tribus (pronounced try-bus) from, and we explain that it refers to the three ethnic divisions of Ancient Rome, and is the Latin root of the word tribe. They normally follow up by asking what a tribe has to do with what we do – […] Read more – ‘The importance of building your tribe’.
Small Business Marketing: How do you measure return on investment?
At some point, every small business owner asks themselves whether their marketing activities are making a difference, and they wonder if the time and money they are allocating to a marketing channel is yielding any kind of return on investment (ROI). The most effective way to measure return on investment is to build a system […] Read more – ‘Small Business Marketing: How do you measure return on investment?’.
Is your value proposition clear to your customers?
Our end-to-end solutions deliver a continuous stream of personalized messaging opportunities that craft a customer conversation in which information is captured, analyzed, enhanced and influenced in “real-time” to deliver authentic brand experiences that drive loyalty and positive business outcomes Did you understand that? We didn’t either. It came from a website we came across recently, […] Read more – ‘Is your value proposition clear to your customers?’.
For a hotel like The Idle Rocks, it was important to extend the guest experience onto the web so that all brand touchpoints remain consistent. The hotel positions itself as your home away from home which is why the system needed to feel familiar, simple and calming – all of which I believe are successfully executed. Read more – ‘IdleRocks.com’.
Craft a four-word story for your brand
You should be able to articulate what your organisation is about in just four words. It’s not easy, but four words is concise enough to allow your audience to process, understand, and then engage with you immediately. More than four words means there is more to process and understand, and any engagement is likely to […] Read more – ‘Craft a four-word story for your brand’.
Business Networking: An often overlooked brand touchpoint for B2B
In the B2B marketplace, good business is built on strong relationships. This is because we buy into the people we are doing business with just as much as the service that they deliver. Face-to-face dialogue, where you shake hands and make eye contact, is arguably the most powerful way to market your business, and that […] Read more – ‘Business Networking: An often overlooked brand touchpoint for B2B’.
Two compelling reasons to adopt video in your marketing
Video marketing is a hot topic at the moment, but amidst the talk of search results, conversion rates, mobile adoption etc., the reasons video can be such a persuasive marketing tool often get overlooked. In 1971, Professor Allan Paivio developed his Dual-Coding Theory, which proposes humans can understand and retain information better if it is […] Read more – ‘Two compelling reasons to adopt video in your marketing’.
The Buying Continuum: How to turn your social media followers into buyers
Have you ever seen those Twitter accounts that are following tens of thousands of people, and are being followed by roughly the same number? It seems to be a growing trend with users of the social network to follow any and every account they come across, in the hope that they receive the same in […] Read more – ‘The Buying Continuum: How to turn your social media followers into buyers’.
The Grand Visual website posed some interesting challenges due to their market position and service offering. The digital production company are engaged to produce activity for campaigns by creative agencies, media owners, and brands, and their work often goes uncredited in the accompanying media coverage. This was a compelling reason to push their case studies […] Read more – ‘GrandVisual.com’.
The constraints of user experience design
I often find user experience design to be a profession abundant with idealism. Many of us preach about the importance of making websites and web apps that cater to user needs, and we rally behind usability tests, interviews, surveys, content audits, heuristic evaluations and expert analyses, because they help us design systems that bring us […] Read more – ‘The constraints of user experience design’.
How I raised almost £500 with just 5 emails – part 2
In part 1, I wrote about how compelling content, bold calls-to-action, and landing pages, can go a long way in persuading someone to donate to charity. Here, I’ll explain the importance of measuring success (or failure), and how to react and build momentum in your email campaigns. Measure Using an email marketing tool can give insights […] Read more – ‘How I raised almost £500 with just 5 emails – part 2’.
How I raised almost £500 with just 5 emails – part 1
For any charity or non-profit organisation, fundraising plays a key role in their survival. It’s absolutely vital for staff, volunteers and supporters, to generate enough cash-flow for them to be able to carry out their mission, and the only way to achieve this is through effective, targeted marketing. Although it’s been around a long time, […] Read more – ‘How I raised almost £500 with just 5 emails – part 1’.
5hrs 45min 9sec
I am pleased to inform everyone that I managed to complete the London Marathon, crossing the finish line at 3:54pm. What started off as a fun, leisurely jog through south-east London turned into a gruelling mess of mind verses body. As my stupid app didn’t post anything to Twitter, below is a post-marathon report – […] Read more – ‘5hrs 45min 9sec’.
Kingston University
This website redesign not only came with the challenges of building a user experience for an international audience, but also involved multiple stakeholders across many departments. Website analytics and user interviews indicated that students looking to enrol in a course cared less about internal faculty structure and department labelling, and more about the student experience […] Read more – ‘Kingston University’.
London 2012 opening ceremony: A triumph in experience design
Seven years of planning, £11billion spent, an East London transformation, and the 2012 Olympic games are finally here – introduced to the world through the imagination of film director Danny Boyle. And what an introduction it was! After a slow, growing Tsunami of media coverage in the last six months, British cynicism was bursting at the seams – […] Read more – ‘London 2012 opening ceremony: A triumph in experience design’.
Protecting your Brand Identity Ecosystem
In my last post, I wrote about how we have recently established a web strategy that aims to develop, nurture and evolve an organisation’s online presence – we call it the Brand Identity Ecosystem. Fig 1: The Brand Identity Ecosystem with all of its possible elements. Building a successful ecosystem is not possible without measurement. Organisations must […] Read more – ‘Protecting your Brand Identity Ecosystem’.
The Brand Identity Ecosystem
The World Wide Web has come a long way in the last decade. As a species, our drive to connect, communicate and explore has given rise to a number of revolutionary online environments that have allowed people separated by thousands of miles to communicate at any time of the day, and with little cost. Facebook […] Read more – ‘The Brand Identity Ecosystem’.
BBC’s The Apprentice is hurting design and branding professions
I have watched BBC’s The Apprentice for quite a few years now. I enjoy the problem solving aspect of each episode, perhaps because it mirrors the brief-to-solution journey we undertake in design, and I appreciate, much like any user experience designer, the feedback and analysis that takes place in the boardroom at the end. The case […] Read more – ‘BBC’s The Apprentice is hurting design and branding professions’.
Jakob Nielsen needs to embrace responsive web design
Recently, the well-known usability consultant Jakob Nielsen published an article entitled Mobile Site vs Full Site, in which he put forward his recommendations for designing websites for mobile devices. To be completely honest, reading this article was very disheartening, and I was left wondering how there was not one mention of responsive web design. A separate […] Read more – ‘Jakob Nielsen needs to embrace responsive web design’.
Facebook’s acquisition of Instagram is bad news
This Monday came the somewhat surprising announcement of Facebook’s acquisition of Instagram, the photo-sharing mobile app. I say ‘somewhat surprising’ because, while their decision to buy a hugely popular online community with 30 million users makes business sense, the price tag of $1billion is very surprising. Instagram has only been around for a couple of years, […] Read more – ‘Facebook’s acquisition of Instagram is bad news’.
Why we can learn a thing or two from the Government Digital Service
Exciting things are happening over at Government Digital Services (GDS). They are revolutionising the way online services are being delivered to UK citizens, and their approach to this mammoth task is spot-on. They are tasked with slowly transferring the Directgov information portals to a single domain website at gov.uk, and redesigning the user experience to better deliver […] Read more – ‘Why we can learn a thing or two from the Government Digital Service’.
Astar Minerals
Astar Minerals (previously known as Pan Pacific Aggregates) are an AIM listed natural resources investment company, but when this site was built they produced crushed aggregate materials for the construction sector, from a quarry in British Columbia, Canada. A qualitative audit revealed that the website content lacked an intuitive structure. Much of the content was only […] Read more – ‘Astar Minerals’.
Responsive web design with Drupal: Some early thoughts
In the last few months we at Joy and Revolution have begun to change the way we design websites. In a nutshell, we have decided that all of our future client projects will be built as responsive websites, as long as there is a valid business case. We’re pretty excited about this, as it means […] Read more – ‘Responsive web design with Drupal: Some early thoughts’.
Good UXD isn’t just for users, it’s for website owners too
Last Monday marked the launch of a website for one of our favourite clients. Reader, I’d like you to meet www.ajbam.co.uk, fresh out the oven! A J Buckley Asset Management is a small investment management firm in Surrey who we have been working with for over a year now. For the last few months we have been […] Read more – ‘Good UXD isn’t just for users, it’s for website owners too’.
Empower your clients with open source
In my quest to cure insanity one website at a time, I have come to realise that we in the web community are not doing enough to empower our clients. We all need to make a living – that is obvious – but some of us, in our desperation to guarantee income, have resorted to the dark […] Read more – ‘Empower your clients with open source’.
One Web, Multiple Experiences
The whole industry seems to be neck deep in responsive web design at the moment, with sites popping up all over the place. It’s been almost 18 months since Ethan Marcotte’s infamous introduction to the concept, and the launch two weeks ago of the Boston Globe responsive site is its first real test on a […] Read more – ‘One Web, Multiple Experiences’.
Mobile First: A shift in thinking
Having just reached the final few pages of Ethan Marcotte’s book on Responsive Web Design, I was completely thrown by his suggestion to design websites for the mobile platform first, and then cater for larger screen sizes afterwards. I had just spent the better part of two days wrapping my head around fluid grids, flexible […] Read more – ‘Mobile First: A shift in thinking’.