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Newsletter issue #63 - 1st June 2009

This issue

Welcome to the June 2009 edition of the Webcredible newsletter!

In this issue:

  • Feature article: User experience over usability
  • Top tip: Ensure users can sort & filter product listings effectively
  • Useful program: Firebug
  • Top link: Wolfram|Alpha
  • New articles in May
  • Webcredible news in May
  • Webcredible blog posts in May

Enjoy!

Feature article: User experience over usability

Good site usability ensures people are able to use the site - making purchases, signing up to subscriptions etc. It also reduces points where people get stuck or frustrated. After people finish using the site they walk away with a positive perception of the brand. But how about after they've turned off the computer? User experience focuses on the big picture and this article looks at the difference in focus between usability and user experience.

Read this article in full

Top tip: Allow users to sort & filter product listings effectively

The ease at which users can find, group and view products that are of interest can be the difference between a sale and a drop-off. When search or browsing through an ecommerce site, users may be presented with hundreds of products and will likely not want to go through each individually. Offering filter and sort functionality is a basic yet crucial facet of usability for ecommerce sites, yet it's amazing how many sites still don't offer this. Some key guidelines for sorting & filtering functionality include:

  1. Give users 'sort by' options Users often require the option to sort product listings so that they can view them more easily. However, every user that visits your site is different, so you mustn't assume that they'll all want to sort by price. Depending on the products on offer, you could also offer the options to sort by colour, size, author/artist, date added, etc. It's also important to offer an option on which products come first in the listing e.g. sort by price high to low or low to high.
  2. Allow users to filter out unsuitable products For users that are browsing in order to find a product, filtering within a category is crucial to enhance product findability. You must let users reduce the number of items within any product listing, by filtering out products that don't conform to specific criteria e.g. allowing users to view a list of TVs sized 32-37 inches.
  3. Use filtering to influence purchases You should also consider using filters to influence any undecided customers and upsell purchasing ideas. For example a gift site may offer a 'for him' or 'for her' filter. These additional filters can be used to 'humanise' the online shopping experience matching users' real life expectations and requirements.

Useful program: Firebug

Looking for a tool that lets you develop your web pages while you browse? Firebug is a free Firefox plugin that allows you to edit, debug, and monitor CSS, HTML and Javascript in any web page while browsing. Simply download the Firebug plugin and get access to these live development tools.

Try this useful program

Top link: Wolfram|Alpha

Wolfram|Alpha is a new type of online knowledge engine designed to find answers to questions or calculations. Simply type in what you want to know and Wolfram|Alpha will use its built-in algorithms and collection of data to give you the answer.

Check out this useful link

New articles in May

Read these and many other articles

Webcredible news in May

  • Webcredible launches accessible CMS for local and central government websites
  • Email and social networking most popular mobile Internet activities
  • Internet World presentation slides available now
  • Webcredible gets new head of user experience

Read these news stories in full

Webcredible blog posts in May

  • Privacy concerns vs. the benefits of Google Street View
  • Business blogs - A base for your followers
  • Filters and sorts on a web search?
  • Great online tool to create a mood board
  • CSS pseudo class tip
  • Are e-readers the much needed lifeline for publishing?
  • Internet World 2009 all over
  • Is Labour losing the e-politics battle?

Read these blog posts in full

Usability lab & focus group facilities hire

Hire out our London based, purpose-built, state-of-the-art facilities for usability testing, focus groups, user interviews and more.

Find out more about hiring our facilities

Training courses

Come on one of our training courses and become a web guru! Our 18 courses are run across 5 training streams:

Training courses are held every 2 weeks in London and are fantastic - small class sizes, highly interactive and taught by experts.

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