Category Archives: Site review

Designing Self-Service From the Start

PremierInn Check In email - a good example of customer self-service
Premier Inn Check In email – a good example of customer self-service

One of the features of “a digital project”, is that the end user can become self-sufficient without needing to call the organisation offering the service or product. We call this self-service.

The first Internet services had a thin veil of self-service features, enabling companies to experience the cost savings of letting users perform common tasks.

Once this Return On Investment was proven, one of two things happened. Many organisations left the systems alone, stopped any further investment and patted themselves on the back.

Other companies redesigned the service to allow the maximum possible self-service touch points to maximise the future return on investment. They redesigned the self-service experience from the start. Continue reading Designing Self-Service From the Start

Friends Reunited: 5 reasons why it went so wrong

Friends Reunited - 5 things that went wrong
Friends Reunited – 5 things that went wrong. One of which was this poor design

Friends Reunited, one of the UK’s Internet stars, announced yesterday that it will be closing in a month’s time.

In the UK, Friends Reunited was the Internet version of Woolworths – it’s a site which we all had some affinity to, but didn’t use, and are sad to see depart. How could this household name fail to succeed?

There are five reasons why the site couldn’t compete with later social networks. Continue reading Friends Reunited: 5 reasons why it went so wrong

Reading list for 12 October 2015

Kids playing cards
Yes you can play cards on an iPad, but kids don’t enjoy it as much as the real game

In between all these links I’m currently reading LEAN Enterprise – I’ll provide a full review if/ when I manage to finish it.

In the meantime, here are some of the more interesting links I’ve visited over the last week:

Mobile leads first half digital ad surge| warc.com – Ad spend on mobiles increased 51% to £1.08bn during the first half of 2015. Is it a bubble or a natural trend? Continue reading Reading list for 12 October 2015

20 Internet Trends in 2015

One of my favourite annual Internet reports is out. It’s the KPCB report, from the Venture Capital company based in the US.

It’s 196 pages of fact-packed charts, and here are my favourites.

The US makes up ‘only’ 10% of the 2.8bn online users. 73% of the World has a phone, of which 40% are smartphones. So there are 2 billion smartphones.

The top 15 Internet companies (by capitalisation) consist only of American and Chinese companies.

The only company featuring in the top 15 companies in 1995 and 2015 is Apple, which has increased its capitalisation by over 190 times! The combined capitalisation of the top 15 has increased by 141 times.

ARPU (Average Revenue Per User) on Facebook is $9.36, based on advertising alone. Continue reading 20 Internet Trends in 2015

Reading list for June

The latest Marketplace Innovation report
The latest Marketplace Innovation report is available on Slideshare

During the last couple of weeks I’ve been working with clients across different industries – a key advantage for these clients, and something I love about my job.

It’s also been London Technology Week – a series of events showcasing you guessed it, Technology in London’s firms, including a great event at Goldman Sachs.

As well as these links I’m midway through reading Talk Like TED by Carmine Gallo which is easy to read and proven quite useful so far, although it would score high on the American cheesiness scale.

Here’s what I’ve been reading:

Continue reading Reading list for June

The Guardian newspaper Supporter Membership model

The Guardian supporter membership model
The Guardian supporter membership model

This is a neat idea from the Guardian with some clever language – instead of pushing more traditional subscription models, they are offering “Guardian supporter membership” for £5/ month.

Whilst competitors are pushing many more adverts over their well designed pages, or moving to a pure subscription model, the Guardian have sharpened their copywriting pencils (err, keyboards?) and produced a more enticing product offering – as shown here https://membership.theguardian.com/about/supporter?INTCMP=MEMBERSHIP_BANNER_TEST_A

Continue reading The Guardian newspaper Supporter Membership model

Reading list for May

The Buffer outdoor office - customer service Buffer style
The Buffer outdoor office – customer service Buffer style

Lots of interesting links below, across a whole host of subjects from SEO (Search Engine Optimisation), crypto-currencies, Minecraft and an amusing (inept) bank robbery.

Meet the Egyptian Repairman who outranked Google and doesn’t even know! – A lovely story about accidental SEO (optimisation is an understatement)
11 Things About The Apple Watch That May Surprise You – Content Loop – Some of these points are items to look out for in the next few years across other devices
How Big is Minecraft? Really, Really, Really Big – thanks to a colleague for pointing this out. Minecraft really is extraordinarily big

Continue reading Reading list for May

A Review of Google Inbox

New Google Inbox - the names and subjects have been blurred to protect the guilty
The new Google Inbox. The names and subjects have been blurred to protect the guilty

Last week one of my Endava colleagues came over to my desk in the office and caught a glimpse of my Outlook Inbox. The way I organise my email is really simple – unread emails in my Inbox constitute my Items To Do. Once I’ve acted upon the email, or strictly speaking, the item-to-do, I then delete the email. I could just rename the Deleted Items folder as Done – to me it’s the same thing because I keep all the emails in my Deleted Items anyway.

To my Endava colleague, my extra simple organisation of Inbox and Deleted Items was alien – they preferred multiple folders, and Follow Up flags, and categories (which I do use in the Calendar, but not email). In fact, she was most upset that most of her emails appeared in my Deleted Items folder – because I’d acted upon them, and not filed away in a project folder .

Continue reading A Review of Google Inbox

Happy Tenth Birthday to YouTube

This weekend was Valentine’s Day, and it was also the tenth anniversary for YouTube. On 15 February 2005, the domain name youtube.com was first registered.

Today, YouTube has more than 1 billion users, and every day people watch hundreds of millions of hours on YouTube and generate billions of views – and this is growing 50% each year. 300 hours of video are uploaded to YouTube every minute.

20 months after the domain name was registered, the site became incredibly successful and the founders Chad and Steve sold YouTube to Google for $1.65 billion.

Continue reading Happy Tenth Birthday to YouTube

Happy 5th Birthday!

A fifth birthday!
A fifth birthday!

It’s true… as you get older, time seems to accelerate. It feels like only a few weeks ago I was writing last year’s Happy Birthday post.

I started this blog because I found myself telling several people the same piece of news and opinion. I took their advice and created this blog.

Last year I said that there had been “a step change in traffic, with pretty much double the level of traffic as two years’ ago”. This year, traffic almost doubled again, with almost 20,000 sessions on the site over the last year.

Continue reading Happy 5th Birthday!