Spotless updates.

Here you’ll find our latest news, company updates, and events as well as some reviews of the latest trends and technology.

Tim Fidgeon
7 February 2011

Meeting user expectations throughout a site normally delivers good usability. Ways to make sure you meet expectations: user research, reviewing competitor sites and following usability guidelines. Meeting expectations improves usability A key principle within usability is that people carry around a ‘mental model’ of how we expect the world to behave1. These models are based on past experiences and can be a very powerful factor in influencing how people behave in certain situations. In our experience of usability testing, usability suffers when a site does not match users’ expectations. Indeed, our usability testing sessions have repeatedly shown that breaking expectations makes…

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Henny Swan
7 February 2011

This article is not about testing with screen readers as such (I’ve written about this elsewhere) but rather what needs to be considered in order to establish a good screen reader testing plan within larger overall accessibility and general quality assurance plans. Its written in such a way that I hope organisations of any size or budget can adapt and use it. What are screen readers? Screen readers are a text-to-speech software that work on top of a web browser (and other applications) to read screen content out to users who have severe sight problems, reading problems or learning disabilities….

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Tim Fidgeon
10 January 2011

Users are impatient, so sites should load quickly. Most users only scan web pages, so they should be specifically written for the web. User behaviour drives usability Over the past 12 years of working on usability projects, we’ve had lots of opportunity to observe user behaviour (from activities such as usability testing, paper prototyping and web analytics). This has shown us lots of examples of a basic usability principle:users are impatient and don’t pay attention. Most of us know this intuitively from the silly mistakes we’ve made ourselves (“How could I not have seen that?!”). At its heart, the field…

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Spotless
25 March 2010

Mark McElhaw – Published: 25th Mar 2010 10:09 GMT User experience (UX) and Agile haven’t had an easy working relationship–in part because their origins lie in different stages of software development. User experience focuses on research, planning, design and testing; Agile is about building better code. This article looks at ways to apply an Agile approach to research and planning. And if you’re one of the many who didn’t get enough time for planning and design, we have some recommendations for different types of user research during the build phase. How does Agile differ from UX? UX and Agile are approaches, and…

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Ben Logan
25 February 2010

Navigating large websites has always been a design problem not just with regards to information architecture and taxonomies but also specifically how that information is presented visually on the page. Web navigation is a key area for usability and new navigation methods are introduced frequently as web programming languages evolve. The last twelve months has seen several large retail sites using ‘mega menus’ as their primary navigation structure. In this article we have reviewed five popular retails sites in the UK with regards to the usability of the mega menus in the site, and we have developed our own check…

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Spotless
25 February 2010

Mark McElhaw – Published: 25th Feb 2010 13:42 GMT Over the last 10 years, practitioners have been debating whether and how eye tracking fits with usability research. But how can you compare a method with a technology? Perhaps if we understand some of the real issues of this debate, you’ll be in a better position to find the right method, tools and media to measure your user experience. You can get the same results at a fraction of the cost. A colleague once told me traditional usability testing can uncover as much as 95‰ issues at a third the cost…

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