A huge thanks and shout out goes to Sabina Idler, from Usabilla, for taking the time out of her day to chat with me about user experience issues and Usabilla. Let’s get straight into it – check out this great conversation I had with Sabina and discover how Usabilla keeps true to what user experience is all about – building emotional connections between websites and users.
There is this whole issue circulating in User Experience blogs – marketing being product-focused and how it should shift to be more user-focused. What’s your take on this?
I think it is important to be both product and user-focused because eventually you want to communicate what you are selling to your users and eventually sell your product. Today, users have changed in a way that they have higher expectations towards a brand or company. They don’t just want to be informed about a product; they want to be addressed personally and get involved. There is a lot of competition, so you need to give people the feeling that they are special, and that they can relate to you and trust you as a company. Don’t give them the feeling that you are selling to them. People have changed the way they want to be approached.
Usabilla – what do you do specifically, what are the benefits of the tool, goals of the company?
Basically, we help our clients to listen to their users — all with the idea to optimize the user experience and increase conversion. We have two products that we focus on at the moment (1) Usabilla Survey: A visual online survey tool, which allows you to gather both quantitative and qualitative user feedback at any stage during a design process. The tool is perfect for large scale user surveys, A/B testing, or for validating design ideas. (2) Usabilla Live: A popular feedback mechanism that allows you to gather visual feedback on your live website. Visitors simply select and rate any element of your site to give feedback.
What are the main fields that your clients are coming from?
Our clients are mainly Usability and UX experts, designers, developers, marketers and product managers. Anyone, who is interested in their users and creating the best possible experience for them will benefit from our tools.
How do you think the UX can improve online financial usability and user decision making?
In any online decision or task that involves financial transactions, the context plays a central role – what are users really trying to achieve? If it comes to spending money online, it all comes down to whether or not users trust you as a company, but also the appearance of your website. There are a couple of things you can do to build trust into your website. For example, you can make your design more personal and provide sufficient contact information so people know you are real. Be sure to offer detailed information on any topics of interest as well as reliable customer support. Highlight the benefits of your product, or service and share testimonials of other clients to ensure people they are making the right choice.
In general, check out interfaces get complex because of this urge to include lots of information and different options. Still, you should consider this basic design rule: keep it simple. Just show the most basic information that is necessary to get through the process. Anything else should be available, but hidden in a way that the user can access it only if needed. You may also guide the user through the process step-by-step, and show them how far they are. You could come up with something fun to encourage them to get going. This way it does not become an annoying and obligatory process they have to go through, but something fun, maybe something they can tell their friends about later, or maybe just something they don’t mind doing.
How would you go about doing that?
I think it is difficult to come up with something nice and at the same time effective within a second, especially if there is no context to place it in. There is no golden rule, it honestly depends on the entire site, the brand, and what you want your users to do.
Tell me a little bit about your second product, Usabilla Live.
We introduced Usabilla Live four months ago and we are happy to see that the tool is very popular already. WIth Usabilla Live, you can gather continuous visual feedback on your live website. You listen to your website visitors and give them an easy and fun way to get in touch with you while browsing your site. All feedback is highly context sensitive, given by real users with real motivations, trying to accomplish real tasks on your site. The visual context makes analyzing and interpreting the feedback a natural task and together with rich metadata, such as operating system, or browser version, you can take instant action to improve the experience for your users. Continuous, user-inspired improvements lead to higher conversion.
I think this is one of the more effective usability tools, you have heat maps, but this is so much more efficient to what usability and UX is all about – it’s about how the user feels and this service gives the actual emotion the user feels about a specific element on the website or application.
True, there are so many different tools you can use to measure usability and performance. However, with new web standards, we believe that usability has by now become a commodity. In order to stand out from the crowd, to be remembered by your users, and to get users to tell others about you, you need to focus on the overall experience that comes with your brand. The user experience of your website plays a very important role here and we believe that the emotional connection between users and your site is key to a positive experience. That’s why we built Usabilla Live — to ensure a continuous improvement of the user experience based on emotional real-time feedback of your visitors.
Sabina is community manager and UX Specialist at Usabilla. Her education focused on usability, her passion is the user experience and design is her key to both of them. Sabina writes regularly on design and UX related topics on the Usabilla Blog.