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Thomas Cook Airline has launched #CatsOnAPlane, a campaign featuring a team of furry testers trying out Thomas Cook Airline’s newly refurbished fleet. The animals were used to test the interiors of both Thomas Cook Airlines’ planes and those from sister airline, Condor, playing on the perception of them being creatures of comfort. The filming involved a 24-hour shoot with 10 cats – each with their own distinct personality – on an Airbus A330 and Boeing 767 at Manchester airport. Each short video features the cats exploring different areas of the planes, including Premium Economy for Thomas Cook Airlines UK and Business Class for Condor. The Thomas Cook Cats on a Plane campaign is designed to highlight the airline’s belief that customers “deserve better” when flying on their hard-earned holidays.
To ensure no cats came to harm on the shoot, vet Aniket Sardana was onsite for the full duration of filming.
Speaking of the campaign, Senior Group Marketing Manager at Thomas Cook Airlines, Tom Morey said: “No-one can assess comfort like a cat. They’re the hardest customers to please, which is why we wanted to test our new interiors with the best. And the results left the cautious kitties feline great.”
Discussing the launch, Catch’s Creative Director, Sam Chatwin added: “Cats are the undisputed champions of the internet. They’re fussy, demanding and know exactly what they want. What better way to put the airline’s service to the test. We love working with the team at Thomas Cook Airlines, they’re fearless and you can’t ask for more than that in a client.”
Thomas Cook Cats on a Plane Team
Quality Ken, 42, from Bristol
Favourite holiday activity: Lounging in the sun all day
Special skills: Looking grumpy no matter his mood
Testing brief: Lasting comfort on long haul direct flights
Quality Ken is a total cynic, he’s hard to impress and he knows it. He plays his cards close to his chest – he hates to show anyone what he’s really thinking… even if it’s good! Ken’s lived a quiet life, he’s the eldest of 18 brothers and sisters…always the most reliable. He doesn’t often let his hair down. Ken is one of those cats who’s ashamed of his feline instincts. Behaving cat-like demeans the air of authority he has worked so hard to achieve.
Princess Pamper, 24, from Manchester
Favourite holiday activity: Pool side grooming
Special skills: Different eye colours for extra cuteness
Testing brief: Spacious wider seats
Princess Pamper (Pamps to her friends) is a lover of the finer things in life. She was chosen because she’s renowned for her demanding demeanor. For Pamps to be happy she requires a certain set of guidelines to be adhered to. If all her needs are met, it’s a smooth ride for everyone.
The Stray Siblings, 10, from Glasgow
Favourite holiday activity: Making new friends and the cat club
Special skills: More energy than the Energizer bunny
Testing brief: Friendly and helpful cabin crew
Ben, Jane and Alice Stray are 3 siblings. They’re well known as the toughest, most challenging and rowdy bunch of testers… and they know it. They know how to push the buttons of Cabin Crew staff and truly how to stress test the friendly customer service.
This is such an amazing invention, and I know a few groups have been playing around with the technology, but this latest iteration from SignAloud really steals the show. Gloves that turn Sign Language into Speech in real time. There really isn’t that much more to say, other than please do spend the 2-3 minutes […]
CANAL+ is known as the number one movie channel in France and has a long tradition of backing moviemakers. The broadcaster prides itself on supporting all types of genres and is a regular sponsor of various cinema festivals over the course of the year. The idea of this print campaign, created by BETC Paris and launched in specialized cinema press, was to use the form of a script to show just how difficult it actually is to make a good film! Different trades representative of the industry, sound designers, art directors, props managers, editors, are illustrated through funny short stories, highlighting classic movie making fails – because there is a story behind every story.
The Canal+ Story Behind Every Story campaign was developed at BETC Paris by executive creative director Stéphane Xiberras, creative director Olivier Apers, art director Sophia Bouadjera, copywriter Lucas Bouneou, strategic planners Fabien Le-Roux and Sarah Lemarié, art buyer Stéphanie Giordano, with photographer Ben Stockley, account supervisor Guillaume Espinet and account director Elsa Magadoux working with Canal+ marketing team Guillaume Boutin, Audrey Brugère, Jordane de Villeret and Coline André. Print was produced at Rita.
Procter & Gamble brand Always is continuing the #LikeAGirl campaign with Always Girl Emojis, a project encouraging the development of more emojis featuring women. Research run by P&G revealed that while girls are likely to regularly use emojis on their phones, there are few emojis that truly represent girls beyond the stereotypes associated with femininity. The Always Girl Emojis commercial interviews girls about their experience of emojis, career aspirations and their suggestions for the future. The gender bias campaign is part of the brand’s focus on stopping the drop in confidence girls experience at puberty.
“72% of girls feel that society limits them, by dictating what they should and shouldn’t do. Sometimes, these limiting messages can be found in unexpected and subtle places – like on your phone. They may seem small, but emojis are more than just funny faces. They’ve become how girls express themselves in text and online. But do emojis truly represent girls? Always asked, and it turns out 67% of girls feel that even emojis imply that girls are limited. Together, we can change that! Let’s make girl emojis as unstoppable as the girls they represent. Tell us yours with #LikeAGirl.”
The Always Girl Emojis campaign was developed at Leo Burnett Chicago by executive creative director Nancy Hannon, creative directors Natalie Taylor and Isabela Ferreira, art directors Jin Yoo and Amanda Mearsheimer, copywriter Garrett Vernon, executive account director Annette Sally, account director Katie Nikolaus, account supervisor Sarah Kaminsky and assistant account executive Susanne Sward.
UNICEF has partnered with Bridal Musings, a wedding blog, to raise awareness of the impact of child weddings on young girls who are forced into marriage. “Weddings are supposed to be joyous and festive occasions, but this one is anything but a fairytale. About 15 million girls will be married as children this year – their right to a childhood ripped away.” The campaign is hosted at Bridal Musings and includes Instagram images, Twitter posts and the following YouTube video. The UNICEF Storybook Wedding campaign was launched in anticipation of International Womens Day, and includes stories of women who were married at a young age.
“We’re so excited to feature our first ever child wedding on Bridal Musings today! Blushing bride, Lilly, is just 11 years old while her husband, John, is 35. They were wed in a beautiful ceremony filled with roses, ribbons and tears. Lilly took the day off school so that the couple could make use of the mid-week discount at their wedding venue – not that disrupting her studies really matters as Lilly won’t be going back to school this September. She’ll have far more pressing matters to deal with such as keeping house and rearing children in her new role as John’s wife. On the day of the wedding, John beamed proudly at his new bride, while Lilly waved goodbye to her family, her education and her childhood.”
UNICEF’s Child Marriage page reveals that worldwide, more than 700 million women alive today were married as children. More than 1 in 3 – or some 250 million – were married before 15. Girls who marry before they turn 18 are less likely to remain in school and more likely to experience domestic violence. Young teenage girls are more likely to die due to complications in pregnancy and childbirth than women in their 20s; their infants are more likely to be stillborn or die in the first month of life.
Filming was produced at Studio 1208 by Nick and Maria Bentley with shoot coordinator and stylist Always Andri Wedding Design. Photography was by Claire Graham Photography. Art direction was by Bridal Musings bloggers Elizabeth and Claire. Music is by SuRie and Nick Bentley of Studio 1208.
So how do we know that a website offers a good user experience? We may think we’ve done everything right, but how can we really know without some measurement? Eyeball testing can be a very useful method, but it shouldn’t be the only one!
So here are 7 effective ways to measure your website’s UX:
1. Track the amount of time users spend filling out website forms
Website forms allow customers to get in contact with you, sign up for further information, ask for quotes, and so much more. If they’re not easy to fill in, or if they take too much time and effort, people will likely abandon them before getting to the end.
Measuring your UX in relation to forms is easy with Conversion Optimization (CRO) tools like Hotjar, which can (among many other things) track how users interact with the forms on your site. There are two tools within Hotjar that are useful when tracking form usage:
Hotjar’s forms feature gives you all the information you would ever want to know about how the forms on your website are performing. It’ll let you know which ones aren’t being completed by users, and which fields people are skipping over. Some of those fields may not need to be in the form at all.
Hotjar’s video recordings will also help show you how you can improve forms. With recordings from pages on your site, you can actually watch anonymous users filling out fields and see their interactions for yourself.
If people seem to be having difficulties with an interactive part of the form, that’s an indication that the feature needs some work. If users aren’t finishing the form or are skipping certain spaces, there may be too many fields. Ask for the bare minimum amount of information needed to ensure that people complete the process. You can also see whether users are interacting from desktop, tablet, or mobile devices. Tablet and mobile devices should have even fewer fields than desktop because everything is being filled out via touchscreen.
2. Watch how users navigate and interact with the website
Heatmaps are another great way to get insight into what customers are doing on a site. They show where people engage the most on a particular page, with red areas signifying many clicks and blue areas signifying barely any or no clicks. Crazy Egg is another CRO tool similar to Hotjar that offers detailed heatmaps of web pages, along with other features.
If you have a menu option or a CTA leading to a page you would like users to find (for an ecommerce site – that might be the product page for an item), you would obviously want to see most of your clicks to that menu option. If you don’t, it may mean that you need to make the button placement more obvious or the flow more intuitive.
Confetti, another Crazy Egg feature, will show where user clicks originated. For example, if you’re running a Facebook ad that is designed to result in product purchases on a product page, it would be helpful to know if the users clicking the “purchase” button are coming from that ad or from somewhere else. If users are getting to that page and then not converting, it could be a sign of poor direction, confusing language, or odd placement of options.
3. Collect feedback from your customer support/service department
Your customer service department may not seem like an important place to be checking for website UX. But if you’re making changes to your site, adding features, and/or taking them away – it’s highly likely your customers have some strong opinions about it.
Some of them may even call in to let you know just how much they like, or don’t like, what you’ve changed. Customer support personnel should pay close attention to what exactly people praise and what they complain about. See if there’s anything you can do to fix the issues they bring up. You may not have realized that a certain fancy feature is actually a huge pain for your customers to use.
4. Pay attention to customer questions via phone call, social media, and/or email
Websites are there, in part, to answer questions for current and potential customers. If what they’re looking for cannot be easily found, they’ll turn to other informational avenues. This will show you what people are having trouble locating on their own.
Easy navigation is one of the most important aspects of good UX. This is true of every website, not just those with ecommerce elements. If a site’s purpose is to rent out tents for parties, it should be immediately obvious to potential customers how to go about renting a tent. If it’s not, people might call in, tweet at you, or email you. To save time and improve UX, make sure the logical progression of a user through the website is very clear.
5. How many users complete checkout or conversion process?
A website may have many visitors, but what did they do while there? Did they convert in the ways they were supposed to? Websites with ecommerce can track how many people make it all the way through the checkout process with the Google Analytics Checkout Behavior Analysis report.
With this report, you can track the number of users that made it from one step in the process to another, as well as what step people abandoned at. Make sure that there are no particular problems or features that cause users to abandon their purchases. Convenience is a big factor of UX, and any issues that inhibit convenience need to be addressed.
6. Check site load speed
We all know that a website’s load speed is important. It affects search engine rankings, and, of course, UX. Research shows that 3 seconds is the maximum amount of time you can expect people to wait for your site to load.
Check how fast web pages are with Google’s PageSpeed Insights tool. This will not only show which pages need improvement, but also what specifically is causing the delay.
One common and easily fixable issue is image size. Websites with large image file sizes are prone to delays, so compression is needed.
For information on enabling compression for web servers, see Google Developers’ resource here.
7. Do some usability testing
One of the best surefire ways to test website usability is for someone to actually use it. Recruit a large group of employees, friends, coworkers, and maybe even a select group of customers to go through specific actions on the site.
Fill out forms, purchase items – test any action that your real users will have to navigate. This will bring up any overlooked UX issue that your customers would have encountered later.
Those more concerned with the “technical” aspects of a site often overlook user experience. But from what you can see above, it’s about a lot more than just choosing a color scheme. When building or rebuilding a site, UX can and should be one of the most important things to consider. As we can see from the measurement capabilities above, there’s a lot that goes into good UX, and lot that can come out of it as well.
Do you have any other tried and true methods of testing UX? Let us know in the comments!
About the Author: Lauren Marchese is an Inbound Marketing Specialist at Mainstreethost, a digital marketing agency in Buffalo, NY. Mainstreethost offers free UX testing for anyone interested in improving their website!