Rebecca Cox - UX Designer
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Now posting over at Medium.com

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Head on over to Medium.com for some more recent posts, Cheers.

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Culture & conversation - Pair work in focus groups

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A quick post to share some reflections on focus group workshops that I’ve run recently which included participants working in pairs to review online resources. 

The workshops were for a specialist audience - teachers, and all needed to include detailed review of content (concepts) and some usability testing (user interface, navigation and format). In all of the workshops, we were looking at non-commercial teaching resources which are available for free to all schools.

Why have participants work in pairs?

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Digital Focus Groups

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Bringing together a group of people whose interests and knowledge are relevant to your website or online service can be a great way to get feedback, identify and solve problems, and increase your understanding of your audience and the impact your product has.

In this post I'll outline some benefits of holding a group workshop with people who are actual users of your website, online tool, service or content; and talk about the type of activities you might include.

I've called these workshops "focus groups" here only because this is something customers and service users are likely to be familiar with.

Unlike a traditional focus group run for market research or to explore brand identity, a workshop to explore web & digital content, functionality and user interface design needs to be strongly focused on exploring the participants real needs and behaviour in use of digital tools - not a discussion centred around their perception and opinions.

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Slicing and dicing with Google Analytics

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GA has a heap of easy to use tools to filter, group and segment the usage data for a website or app. Its really important to use these to look more deeply - by relying on the reports as they're presented by default you treat your audience as if they were all the same, and miss opportunities to identify actionable trends.

Slicing and dicing your data can help you to identify behaviour patterns for specific groups of users, and understand the usage of each type/topic of content within a complex site.

This enables resources (for example advertising, design and content development efforts and budgets) to be targeted where they will deliver the most benefit.

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Tool to visualise international language searches

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I like to create a simple "word cloud" for a site's top 250 search terms (organic or site search). Its a more visual and accessible* way to look at this rich customer data than using a spreadsheet or expecting that stakeholders will view this information within Google Analytics.

user experience, marketing, analytics (x2), 分析論 customers, clientes, الزبائن google analytics, optimisation, improve, 改善 (x2), verbessern, strategy, 戦略 tātari

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Google Analytics for website designers

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If you're designing a new website, its a really good idea to make sure that there's enough data being captured in the site's Google Analytics setup for you to be able to see how well each user interface feature is working.

Down the track, this will help you to understand which features, such as layout styles and call to action wording - work the best, and which need to be altered or even removed. You'll also be well set up to make informed decisions about where and how to add new features.

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