Join us for our weekly round-up of what’s got us talking around the coffee machine. This week we’re covering the benefits of using social media listening tools, and why getting drunk to review website UX might not be as absurd as it sounds.
What is the benefit of using Social Media Listening tools?
With so many Social Media platforms available, the biggest challenge for many businesses is knowing which platform/platforms they should be using. Once a platform has been chosen, it’s important to invest in Social Media Listening tools.
Why? Well Social Media Listening is a process of analysing the online conversations that are occurring to give you an understanding of how customers interact with your brand, what they say about your brand and your industry. It is also used to receive feedback that could help your business to differentiate itself from your competitors.
Some key main objectives of Social Media Listening:
- Improve customer service
- Reach new customers
- Stay ahead of competition
- Manage online reputation
- Identify new business opportunities
- Understand customer sentiment
- Monitor industry influencers
Some key benefits of Social Media Listening:
- Receiving feedback to improve products/services
- Attract new customers
- Improve customer service
- Monitor how different content performs
- Recruit new staff
- Learn about competition
Social Media has transformed the way we market our businesses. But regardless of what we have to say about our products and services, people are going to have their own opinion on them, and they may turn to social media to express that. There are many listening tools out there to help drive your Social Media strategy in the right direction.
Sian, Creative Strategist
We all know that drinking a little too much isn’t always the best thing to do. But what if being drunk was a legitimate form of A/B testing for websites?
Hear me out.
This is Richard. For a price, Richard, a UX professional, will get drunk and review your website.
Yes, it’s hilarious, and yes, it’s partially a joke. But also, it’s not really a joke. In fact, it’s actually a very serious test for some brands. Again, hear me out.
When building any site, it’s important to put usability, consistency, and accessibility at the forefront of any design decisions. Each of these form the parameters of UX best practice, and each is fundamentally dependent on the other. For a site to be accessible, it should be consistent and usable. For it to be usable, it depends how consistent and accessible it is.
Accessibility forms the basis of any web design project. It’s a place to start, and a yardstick to measure against throughout the whole process. Often, best practice for accessibility revolves around ensuring people with disabilities can use sites. This means accounting for anyone with vision, hearing, movement, cognitive (i.e. memory), or communication problems. Furthermore, we can diversify our users into how might they act in certain situations, how old they are, how experienced they are (are they casual users, or tech experts?), and by culture (here, this means making sure your user experience isn’t impaired by poorly translated copy or terribly researched semiotics, both of which can be culturally jarring as explained here and here, respectively). Suddenly, we’re dealing multiple demographics within our target audience.
And this is the problem many sites have: they target a specific audience, but they fall flat in failing to recognise audiences are often filled with different types of users.
So, what can we do? The best place to start is research and personas. The second is testing, testing, and testing again. And the third is making use of design languages that have been thoroughly tested to provide accessibility standards that try to solve the issue of a varied demographic makeup, such as the idea that the contrast ratio between text and a text’s background should be at least 4.5 to 1.
But what about being drunk? While the idea of testing a site drunk is laughable, it’s actually surprisingly important in two ways. Firstly, being drunk affects us in ways that impact how we intake and process information—thought, speech, and movements slow down, our attention spans decrease, we react to stimuli far slower, and we lose our sense of judgment. We’re more likely to do something unpredictable, not see what we might otherwise think to be obvious, or get distracted. We might have difficulty understanding something, or remembering what just happened. All of this puts accessibility to the test, meaning any issues are likely to be flagged much quicker by a drunk person. It’s also worth noting that we’re less inhibited and more likely to say what’s not working instead of persevering, as you can see in Richard’s review of Gizmodo:
Anything you can do to improve the experience for a drunk person, will enhance it greatly for a sober one.
Secondly, and perhaps more seriously, drunk people may well be a demographic in your audience. Brands like Just Eat have both recognised and embraced this, testing with drunk users to simulate the very high probability that some users will be walking back from the pub at 2am in the morning ordering food on their mobile.
It’s surprising how many sites aren’t accessible. Many sites make the mistake of following the latest trends in web design, often sacrificing usability for aesthetics. This isn’t a bad thing in itself—delightful visuals can add value to any user experience—but trends should be tested and proved to be universally understood (at least to the array of demographics in your target audience) before hitting that live button.