Fired Groupon CEO advises ‘start with the customer’


groupon

Did you read the letter from Groupon’s CEO about his leaving (or rather being fired from) the company? There was one paragraph that particularly stood out to me:

If there’s one piece of wisdom that this simple pilgrim would like to impart upon you: have the courage to start with the customer. My biggest regrets are the moments that I let a lack of data override my intuition on what’s best for our customers. This leadership change gives you some breathing room to break bad habits and deliver sustainable customer happiness – don’t waste the opportunity!

Start with the customer, base your decisions on evidence not intuition. Don’t just redesign your website, redesign it starting with the customer, do research into their lifestyle, their wants and needs from your product or service and how you can best meet those needs. Design the site and test then retest and retest again to get it spot on. Get it right the first time and in the long run you’ll save yourself the huge cost of rework and guesswork that results in lost customers and sales. Do it right, spend a bit more at the outset and reap the rewards.

Ask me about customer research and the design process >>>

 


Free ‘Getting Real’ book by 37signals

Getting Real 37 Signals37signals are most well known as the creators of Basecamp. I love their approach to business and highly recommend you buy their book Rework. It’s packed full of really useful business advice that’s incredibly down to earth and makes much more practical sense than any other business book I’ve read.

They’re now giving away free copies of their book, Getting Real: The smarter, faster, easier way to build a successful web application.

On Amazon this book currently retails at £15.89 for the paperback and £6.99 for the Kindle version, so I recommend you download your copy whilst it’s free!


BBC Home page research and redesign

I conducted a quick piece of research on the BBC Home page as part of an event called BBC Connected. Did you know it’s the third most visited home page? Yet only a very small percent of visitors actually use it? As our research discovered, most people bypass the page completely, preferring to use the navigation bar or a direct url (usually saved as a bookmark). Here, we share our findings and a few of our design proposals to improve the user experience of the BBC Home page, in particular under-served audience(s).

How do you use the BBC website? Do you ever look at or click on items on the home page? Have you used it more or less since the last redesign? I’d love to hear about your experience. Share your story using the comment box below.

Research by Keepitusable.com


20 FREE eBooks you need to design an outstanding user experience / ux

I’ve put together a must-have list of 20 FREE eBooks that anyone who’s interested in improving their design, user experience, creativity and time management should read. Put together, the whole list is perfect for people looking to improve their user experience design, but individually the books can be applied to many disciplines. Have a look, i’m positive you’ll find at least 2 you just HAVE to download right now! Press the button below which will take you to the list of books. You can then choose which to download.

free user experience ux eBooks


Usabilitygal wins Entrepreneur of the Month!

I’m not the type to boast (or ‘headwank’ as my ex-manager used to say!), indeed I left a local group recently as people were throwing their credentials around like a game of tennis to try and score points. I really can’t be doing with that, my passion is usability and design. However, I thought some of you may be interested to hear that I picked up the award for Entrepreneur of the month yesterday.

I’ve been working on several projects over the last 2 years. One I will hopefully be able to divulge the details of very soon! Another is keepitusable which I co-founded with my partner Ricardo in September last year. And more recently I setup catloves a fun site for people who want to enjoy browsing cute pics and vids of cats. Interestingly, I read in the telegraph yesterday that 1 in every 10 uk pets has a social network profile so I think catloves has got a good future ahead of it. People certainly love their animals!

Don’t worry I’ll be back to posting about usability very soon! In fact I started my next post yesterday, so be sure to pop by in the next few days!
usabilitygal x


Intro to persuasion and social influence

Many years ago, when I was a student working as a project administrator in my spare time, my manager asked me ‘If you could have any super power, what would it be?’

I thought about this and decided i’d want the power of invisibility. I guess this makes sense now, considering how much i enjoy observing and analysing human behaviour – you need to be truly invisible to not have an observer effect. My manager however decided upon the power of persuasion. He said if he had the power to persuade anyone to do anything he could do and have whatever he wanted in the world.

Luckily for us, persuasion is something that can be learned, practised and used in our daily lives. Brands leverage many principles of persuasion to convince us of their value and to purchase their product.

Principles of persuasion image

It is no coincidence that the Loreal adverts now show Cheryl Cole as their brand ambassador. She is officially the most liked female in the uk. People are more likely to trust her and be persuaded by her as she has a very high ‘Like’ factor. She also provides ‘social proof’ however there is more resistance now to celebrity social proof as people look more towards their peers for advice.

Sites such as makeup alley (shown below) rely on social proof to work. Users can read what their peers think of products, they can see the rating they gave it, what percentage of people would buy the product and importantly, they can see that the people are real.

Companies often use scarcity to act faster or pay more. Below is an example from a website that sells bedroom furniture. They use both limited time free delivery and a limited number of free drills to try to persuade the customer to purchase their products soon, otherwise they will miss out. People have a fear of loss so the thought of potentially losing something that is ‘free’ (another motivator) can be enough to get them to act.

We all look to experts for advice and recommendations. Even amongst our peers, we have experts who we turn to for advice. For example, if you need a new TV you might ask cousin John as he always knows a lot about entertainment systems. Or if your cat is ill, you might ask your friend Sarah for advice as she’s got 3 cats and is cat crazy! Each person is highly persuasive in their own way.

Persuasion is a fascinating subject area and i’ll be covering it in more depth in future posts, in particular how you can design to persuade.


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