Combining Traditional Customer Research with Current UX Techniques


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Wonder what it’s like to execute a user experience project in a sector that’s just getting to grips with the concept of customer experience?

Settle into the afternoon as Beth and Stuart share their experiences of the University of Brighton’s – and also their – first major UX project. They’ll talk about how they are combining new methods with traditional research and how those methods are helping to bring about a cultural shift.


This presentation is from Camp Digital, a free, one-day event in Manchester exploring some of the most important and emerging themes in the digital industry. To see more presentations and videos from the day visit:

Camp Digital was brought to you by Sigma. We are a leading specialist in User Experience consulting and design, information management, and web technologies. We provide research, analysis, design, development and support services, with specific expertise in usability, accessibility, content and document management, websites, intranets and online applications.

If you think we can help you call us on 01625 427718 or email

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Combining Traditional Customer Research with Current UX Techniques

  1. 1. Combining traditional customerresearch with current UX techniquesBeth Leese and Stuart Elliot
  2. 2. Our website through the ages…
  3. 3. 1998
  4. 4. 1998
  5. 5. 2001
  6. 6. 2004
  7. 7. 2005
  8. 8. 2009
  9. 9. 2012
  10. 10. 2012
  11. 11. This afternoon we’ll talk about:• A UX project in the higher education sector• How traditional audience research and UX methods have worked for us• What we’ve achieved so far
  12. 12. Setting the scene…
  13. 13. Badly drawn graph
  14. 14. Our ‘customers’,our ‘product’and our ‘market place’…
  15. 15. Our website in 2010…
  16. 16. Oh, I’m on a different website now –that’s weird…
  17. 17. Why so serious?
  18. 18. A background oftraditional research
  19. 19. I find I don’t really take in informationwhen I’m looking at the screen. Facts andfigures and stuff, yeah, it’s good for that.But deciding on a course, that’s more thanjust statistics. It’s like catalogues – I hatecatalogues online. I like to see it on paper.
  20. 20. Some key observations…• Visual preferences and tone of voice – always challenge your assumptions• Usability and information architecture apply to publications too• Information needs (and the best vehicles for delivering information) change at different stages in the journey
  21. 21. Gill and the student journey
  22. 22. Our positioning project:hard work but perfectly timed.
  23. 23. What we learned fromtraditional audience research…• Take time to be robust – choose your sample and source participants carefully• Expect surprises – challenge assumptions• Revisit questions – one day there may be a tipping point• Use your evidence to take stakeholders with you – share your findings
  24. 24. 2010: an appetite for change
  25. 25. Say it quickly, and it doesn’t sound like much…
  26. 26. Starting a UX project
  27. 27. What we did• Online surveys• Telephone/face to face interviews• Card sorts• Used existing analytics (we had a lot)• Heat mapping• Call tracking• Task based testing – of the live site and also prototypes• Content audit…
  28. 28. Call tracking
  29. 29. Quick wins for clearingA UX project inside a UX project
  30. 30. 2012
  31. 31. Top = old navigation, bottom = new labeling + text
  32. 32. Unused homepage content
  33. 33. Replaced with student targeted content
  34. 34. Strong and clear calls to action
  35. 35. Course pages
  36. 36. Remember me…?
  37. 37. Old and new – how traditional audienceresearch and UX work together for us.
  38. 38. It’s all about establishing needs…
  39. 39. It’s all about establishing needs…and then observing real behaviour andinteractions – and iterating accordingly