Hey over here…I said we are over here…why can’t you see us….hello….hello?

It is a common theme with many new business start-ups – we can visualise our offer flashing before investors eyes – we can ‘see’ our product on the shelf – we can ‘feel’ our e-commerce CMS cranking under the pressure of new customer confirmations – we can ‘touch’ the car and the yacht and even ‘hear’ the lapping of the waves onto the beaches of our financial retirement!

Open For Business Grafitti

However – it rarely turns out like that – unless like WhatsApp! – you just get it right first time! Early employees of WhatsApp! are now likely to rake in around $160m in shares – and I am sure that the thought: ‘if only we had carried out some early UX and usability testing- we wouldn’t be in this mess!’ is a million miles from the front of their mind.

But for most – the early and frequent engagement of a variety of UX and Usability testing tools and techniques can not only save time and money later down the line – but equally important – it can correct and pivot pathways you thought were sure sellers – but if left alone would only have led your customer / user / best friend / business saviour or investor down a mysterious, overgrown dark and dingy alley to the page entitled “I have had enough – this site is going nowhere and I ain’t got the time to find out where I am!’ 

At WOW-Elite, we are putting together a simple service that will offer some of the best new brains and smart-thinking MSc in UX* dudes coming out of top Universities using critical and proven tools and techniques to give an expert evaluation of new sites, tired sites and even sites that have not even hit the wireframe yet. We can not stress enough how important this can be at all stages of your web/mobile development – and it can throw up some very interesting and potentially pivotal recommendations that may save you bags of time, money and pages that go nowhere or say absolutely nothing!

We are referring to all things that impact on the user experience including interface design, the site information architecture, usability and a critical and hugely important evaluation of key factors such as: ‘Can the user find the product or service? / When they do – do they understand what it is and what to do with it? / Do they really want it? / Who is your customer?….

Eric Ries in his ‘bible’ of a book: ‘The Lean Startup’ talks about business start-ups having their vision or destination – their ‘true north‘. But he also makes the point that products and services change constantly through the process of optimisation – the ‘tuning of the engine’ and that the journey to reach that destination (remember the waves lapping on the beach!) is all about ‘learning what your customers really want…it’s about testing your vision continuously, adapting and adjusting before it’s too late’. It is no great leap to take this lean approach to business startup into consistent and user-centred evaluation and usability smart-thinking on web and mobile platform testing and development.

There is no distinction between large and small business on this – it is simply relative. We have uncovered UX issues and made significant conversion recommendations on the smallest of start-up sites to the largest UK charity sites.

Incorrect preconceptions, wrong assumptions of customer behaviour, saying too much, giving too little, too many options, no clear ‘scent’, dreadful ‘calls to action’ that only push your potential customer to call your competitor, skoolboy spellin and gramar errirs (still awake?) and just not thinking it through at the beginning – these can all just get in the way of the waves lapping on to the beach, the joyous feeling of watching those orders come rolling in or the call from a tentative and rather unassuming Mr Facebook.

So…do it early..do it frequently…keep doing it..and maybe those waves will just come rolling right up to your door (apologies to anyone reading this from the flood-hit Somerset levels – no jest intended!)

 *MSc in UX = Masters Degree in Human Computer Interaction: (they are human and they interact with computers – in a purely professional sense!) 

Contact Us for further information and to discuss your UX/Usability needs.

Alan Stuart

Director / Founder: wow elite crew