Blog


Bad UX Design Can Be A Deal Breaker

Bad UX Design Can Be A Deal Breaker


Posted By on Feb 26, 2018

Maybe it’s just that life is too busy for delays. Maybe it’s my millennial nature, or that my life is all about design. Whatever the reason, I know I’m not alone in bad user experience being the reason behind abandoning business or consumer relationships. Here’s my story. I had been a policy-holder for several years with an insurance company, paying my monthly bills, and using their card to claim benefits without an issue. Sure, finding out I wasn’t covered for as much as I thought left a bad brand-taste in my mouth, but that was more my fault than theirs. But it was when I had to accomplish a simple task on their website that I made the decision to seek another insurer. What I thought would take me five or ten minutes, ended up being a 40-minute time waster. Then I got mad. Then I got out. The problem is that there is so much good design. You may eye roll and denounce fickle millennials for their inability to wait or work through frustration, but the truth is we’ve become familiar and even dependant on great design. Every day we use dozens of apps and services in the digital space and know these apps simply can’t survive if they have poor user experience. In addition, organisations like airports, churches, shopping centres and music festivals have been gleaning data from user habits and preferences for decades, and most are beginning to learn what customers are trying to tell them. When you are able to glide effortlessly from an Uber into an airport check-in while checking your Bitcoin balance and texting your loved ones – suddenly hitting a website or app with clunky and cumbersome user-experience design really jars. Walk a mile in your customer’s shoes. Please. If you don’t want your brand associated with feelings of anger and dislike, then it’s a good idea to stop and take stock of your customer processes. It’s a great idea to try putting yourself into your customer, client or prospective customer’s shoes. Write a list of tasks they need to complete in their dealings with your business, and then try to complete those tasks. Even better, get a family member or someone unfamiliar with your business processes to do the tasks. Make some observations about the process: How easy do they find the tasks to accomplish? How long do they expect this process to take? How long did it actually take? Which parts of your process were unclear? We’ve seen the future, it’s well designed and it’s not too late or too expensive to get on board. —– Originally published at The...

Read More
5 Ways To Improve your User Experience

5 Ways To Improve your User Experience


Posted By on Oct 10, 2016

User experience is about being curious, asking a lot of questions and challenging assumptions. You can ask yourself these 5 things to help you identify how better to improve your user experience. 1.Have I Got Quantitative Data To Backup And Challenge Assumptions? This is absolutely crucial. To avoid making incorrect assumptions, real data is needed to detail how people use your site. Services like Google Analytics are very useful in tracking the behaviours of your users and finding key demographics. It’s also a good idea to have social media monitoring to track mentions of your brand; hard evidence can better inform your responses and improve your customers’ experience of your interfaces and brand. 2. Have I Got Qualitative Data? This is also very important. The team members who have their fingers on the pulse of your user group should already be listening out for their needs and frustrations. But it doesn’t hurt to ask them to rate how you are doing both informally and formally. Surveys are useful in giving your users a chance to be heard above the background noise generated by the day-to-day of everyday business. Being seen to listen to them, and then acknowledging that you have heard what they said will give your customers greater buy-in to your brand. It also gives you a chance to innovate and meet your users on the platforms they use. Happy users are referring ones. 3. Who Are The User Groups Coming To My Business Portals? The better you know the user groups coming to your site or portal – the better you can meet their needs. There is almost always more than one user group, and each one will have subsets. At Cannings Purple for example, we have investor relations, corporate communication, government relations and prospective users; but we can even go further and identify sub-groups within these or across them. From the data garnered it is helpful to create user-personas with a background, name and bio to represent each group. We do this because It helps to think of an actual person rather than a collection of data. 4. What Are The Goals Of Those User Groups And How Do They Accomplish Them? Some groups require immense amounts of detailed information, whilst others just want to skim through bite-size chunks of information. Investors will want to access results; customers may want to access their account details, or orders online. When and where are they most likely to need to achieve these goals? Is it outside office hours, or from their mobile at lunch time? Are they sitting at desks, commuting home by train, or on the road? Millennials often...

Read More

It used to be true that creativity was confined to designers, copywriters, art directors and videographers. Businesses would hire a creative agency because they were creative and you were not. However, creativity is never siloed within the few, and has increasingly become acknowledged as vital to the success of businesses competing for clients in our new economy of innovation. Working in a creative field is no different from any other. It involves identifying challenges (in our case, visual communication problems) and solving them.  “Creatives” just have a specific skill which helps solve those problems, and I believe that most people can have their creative skills nurtured and developed like any other talent. Creativity in the real world Creativity can flourish in the most unlikely places. Reportedly there was once a city in the Netherlands that had a litter problem. Raising fines for littering was the local authority’s first course of action, but it had little effect. As is often the case, a creative solution was needed. After a failed suggestion to reward people with money to be good citizens, somebody floated the idea to modify the bins with small speakers to tell jokes whenever someone deposited rubbish. The jokes were changed every two weeks. As a result, people went out of their way to dispose of their rubbish correctly and the city became clean once again. (This is purportedly the origin of the phrase “throw-away line”).  The city transformed by a simple creative idea. Creative tools Ideas aren’t as nebulous as we think. There are some practical methods which can be applied to problem solving to come up with better ideas. Some are listed below: 1.      Compare and Contrast. Take your problem, compare it with both a previous success, and a previous problem you have problem-solved. Look for unusual similarities or differences between them; do they mean anything? 2.      Play with your problem. Don’t just take the most direct path, or stop at just one proposed solution. Allow yourself to play with a brief or a problem by interpreting it ambiguously. Brilliant unorthodox solutions are used everyday for all kinds of problems, but they have to be allowed time to be discovered and explored. 3.      Permission to fail. Creativity is a lot like playing. Bad ideas that are a little unusual can lead to brilliant ones. When brainstorming ideas, it’s a good idea to leave critiquing and filtering until later. 4.      Take a break. After you have exhausted all your ideas, work on something else or even take a nap. Our brains work while we are sleeping to make sense of our experiences for that day and can help us see problems in a fresh way. 5.      Try different angles. Skip the linear...

Read More

Humans can be a precocious bunch, especially when it comes to their perception of brands. Companies spend tens and sometimes hundreds of thousands of dollars making sure their brand appears consistently across signage, products, marketing and customer service.  Having a consistent brand speaks volumes about your company, and contributes to your brand’s public perception, which in turn impacts your bottom line. What is true for the more traditional brand interactions mentioned above, is also true online. Here’s a checklist for the major areas that might need some scrubbing up! Google Search It’s easy to neglect thinking about your brand in the terms of a Google search. According to Google, 38% of your customers begin their purchase path with an organic search, and how Google chooses to display your company – amongst the 20 million other results – really does matter. Has your company (and all it’s offices) confirmed their address details with Google? Confirmed addresses mean a greater exposure in search results, and your business name becomes searchable in Google Maps. People generally trust Google – and if Google trusts your business, that trust is transferred. Have you uploaded a site map for your website to Google Webmaster, and are you tracking your website with Google Analytics?    Uploading a site map gives users a chance to dive deeper into your site, to find the information they want more expediently, without having to search manually through the site. Google Webmaster and Google Analytics accounts give you a lot of data from which you can extrapolate the key search terms used to find your business, and the habits of users on your site. This is what a verified business location with an uploaded site map looks like Social Media Firstly, if your company is not on social media, it’s never too late. Make sure that all your social media channels have up to date content, and imagery (like your Facebook cover image) which displays the right information on mobile, desktops and tablets. Your cover image is also a good place to advertise to new engagers with your brand – you could encourage them to sign up for your newsletter, or view your latest annual report for example. You may also want to consider giving your page a (for example) a Christmas theme for December. Sure, it’s not appropriate for all types of brands, but it communicates a brand that is active, and current – with fingers on the pulse of social media. If you’re still to take the plunge into social media, our resident expert, Jamie Wilkinson runs some fantastic Social Media Master Classes designed for senior executives, or we can...

Read More

Following our recent examination of Labor’s party branding, In my position as Senior Designer at Cannings Purple, Jamie Wilkinson and I investigate the roles that branding has played in the Liberal Party over the past five decades:     Video Notes: Welcome to Party Branding, where here in the Cannings Purple take a look at Australian Political branding over the last five decades. Welcome and thanks for watching. This week, we’re taking a look at the Australian Liberal party. 1970s Liberal Branding The modern idea of branding had not yet reached the Australian Liberal Party in the early 1970s. Possibly they had a logo, but hours of searching through archive photos libraries do not reveal a logo used anywhere, in their marketing collateral, or in photos. This, however, does not mean they did not have a brand. It was just not unified or consistent, at least on a campaign front. It was just a bit… Gunn ho. (sorry) Here we see a poster from 1970 for David Gunn. And a decidedly different looking selection of flyers from 1975 still with no logo or consistent branding. The first time we see some form of consistency in branding is this bumper sticker from 1975, and on the back of a young and spritely Alan Jones’ flyer from 1977. So it seems that by the mid 70s, the Liberal Party had the beginnings of a look for their collateral. Although it was piecemeal in its use at best. The early 1970s saw a plethora of leaders come and go. John Gorton resigned as Prime Minister in 1971 and was succeded by William McMahon – who lost the 1972 election to Labor’s brand powerhouse: Gough Whitlam and the ‘It’s Time’ campaign. The Liberals were hopelessly out branded in this campaign. Their response to the “It’s time” campaign was…  Wait for it… “Not yet” although they also used “Right today. Right for your future.”  Not surprisingly, they lost that election emphatically. But they learned from their errors. In the 1975 election, they launched their “Turn on the lights” campaign videos, copying the celebrity filled Labor brand strategy from the previous election – complete with Peter Brock; but without the personal focus on their leader, Malcolm Fraser.  The anti Labor slogan “This is the mess we’re going to clear up“ and “Think again. Vote Liberal. Your future depends on it” appealed to disillusioned Labor voters, and also perhaps the governor general. Malcolm also went onto win the last election of the decade, with slogans such as; “Liberal, doing the job” and “Let’s never forget”. 1980s Liberal Branding In 1980, we see the first images of the modern Liberal...

Read More
The Australian Labor Party: #BrandParty

The Australian Labor Party: #BrandParty


Posted By on Oct 10, 2016

In my position as Senior Designer at Cannings Purple, I investigated the roles that branding has played in Australian Politics and elections over the past five decades:   Video Notes: Welcome to Party Branding,  Where we at Cannings Purple, take a look at Australian Political branding over the last five decades. Welcome and thanks for watching. This week, we’re going to take a look at the Australian Labor party and it’s branding over the past five decades. 1970s Labor The earliest logo I could find for the Australian Labor Party was the one here in the background, behind Gough. It’s utilitarian to say the least. A conservative early 70s Labor Party with quite a plain brand. But in the foreground, we see another brand: one much more exciting. Gough Whitlam. Gough Whitlam was the Kevin07 of the 70’s. He was Gough72. Gough americanised his campaign bringing youthful exuberance and celebrity endorsement and his famous jingle to Australian Politics. For the first time, an election campaign looked more like an advertising campaign. The Labor Party’s “It’s time” campaign and jingle was filled with celebrities. Repositioning the Labor brand from old-fashioned to modern, cutting edge and optimism for the future. The “It’s time” campaign was adapted from Sir Robert Menzies of the Liberal party, but Other campaigns in this decade include. “Whitlam: He’s so much better” , “Give Australia the go ahead” and “Get Australia Working” Messages and branding targeting women voters started to appear from this era onwards. The popular Gough Whitlam brand (together here with Little Patti) propelled the Labor brand to great heights in the early and mid 70s – but the Labor brand crashed with him as Malcolm Fraser and the LNP rose to power. 1980s Labor New decade, a new brand for the Australian Labor Party. In early 80s they ditched their initials for their full name in their logo, above the flag. The use of the flag initially raised quite a few eyebrows. Now of course, it’s been done to death and I’ve seen many brands with the Australian flag in it somewhere – but only political parties can really pull it off, and labor were the first. The branding became consistent in look and message. Big, bold, block type in their campaign flyers and bumper stickers helped create a brand that was solid, consistent and strong. Campaigns of the Hawke era include, “Bringing Australia together” “Put Australia First” and “Lets stick together. Let’s see it through”. Catchy headlines and slogans are great, but they can backfire. Liberal’s Andrew Peacock once stated: “The Answer is Liberal” and the Prime Minister Bob Hawke shot back “If the answer...

Read More