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Martin Lewis: 'UO is just as important as UX: A tip for anyone developing their website or app'

This is the discussion to link on the back of Martin's blog. Please read the blog first, as this discussion follows it.
Please click 'post reply' to discuss below.


  • chubster
    chubster Posts: 58 Forumite
    First Post First Anniversary Combo Breaker
    I usually find what I am looking for on the main site but I find the search facility particularly on the forums to be far from satisfactory, it's really difficult to search the forums effectively.
  • trient
    trient Posts: 170 Forumite
    First Anniversary First Post Name Dropper
    Don't know what Martin's definition of UX is, but I have a pet peeve with the forum - when it refreshes the topic list after you come back from a post.  I assume it does this to update the unread count, but it's infuriating because a) it's slow and b) it loses your scroll position (takes you back to the top of the list).  Not an issue with other lighter forums e.g. HfP.
  • mikeys4u
    mikeys4u Posts: 7 Forumite
    Name Dropper First Post First Anniversary Combo Breaker
    Maybe they should look at their own emails. Font size that is so small you cant read it. Their emails remind me of 1995. With all that money you would think they could produce readable emails especially for that target age group and helping the elderly.  Your only output to your followers, and its unreadable !!! Martin you should be ashamed.  (Web developer for over 25 years)
  • mikeys4u
    mikeys4u Posts: 7 Forumite
    Name Dropper First Post First Anniversary Combo Breaker
    @trient Re: when it refreshes the topic list after you come back from a post
    This is very easy to do using a few lines of code (Ajax) to refresh count, and a few other ways too. Just pure laziness on the web team to add it.

  • BaggyAndrew
    I thought it was an excellent article. We train professionals to run programmes to help women who have suffered domestic abuse - nothing like the MSE site! BUT the tips Martin has given will shape how we develop and think about our 4 websites in the future.
  • rufford155
    rufford155 Posts: 77 Forumite
    Name Dropper First Anniversary First Post Combo Breaker
    The website is generally fine but not the forums, I agree with "trient" about the refresh problem. 
    And why can't we ask for the latest posts to be at the top of the list - every other forum or comment site I have ever used does this. A good example is Trip Advisor.
  • Dr_Madvibe
    Another good maxim to follow when building a site is KISS - Keep it Simple Stupid

    And don't don't get in the way of the user doing what they want to to, which I guess is part of the UO. A 'nice' example of which is popping up a window/modal when the site 'thinks' you're heading for the close tab button. Very annoying.

    I'm another web dev for many a long year now.
  • 400ixl
    400ixl Posts: 2,933 Forumite
    First Anniversary First Post Name Dropper
    Why do people find a need to create yet another name for something that already exists? UO in this case is just User Journeys by another name.

    They are indeed a critical component, often overlooked, and worth reminding people of. 
  • tastyfish
    tastyfish Posts: 78 Forumite
    First Post First Anniversary Combo Breaker
    As a business analyst who works in digital design and development industry this is music to my ears. The industry is gradually moving away from what the company wants and/or what the techies want to what the user actually wants and now to what the user actually wants to achieve. It's been a big bugbear of mine for years that too many services are created by companies for companies and not their customers (the worst services seem to be those who use that cringey 'we put the customer at the heart of our business' mantra - no they do not).

    Having said that I think MSE could do with a bit of a revamp, the site is enormous and often it's difficult to find the right answer when scrolling through the multitude of search results. That being said, the guides seem to be a good place to start on any subject so I would suggest directing users there first and let them then explore organically as they become more familiar with the subject and develop their knowledge and they may learn something that they weren't expecting.

    And, as someone's mentioned above, the emails could do with a revamp, even if you begin by making the 'view in browser' link (us on Gmail receive a truncated email) go to that email and not the latest one! Or colour code the sections so travel is in yellow, debt management in red, eco tips in green, insurance in... well, grey maybe! But what to do with over-lapping subjects, don't know. Big, bold, clear sections I think are a good way forward, we're now in an era where people's attention-spans are ridiculously truncated.
  • GraceCourt
    GraceCourt Posts: 317 Forumite
    Name Dropper First Anniversary Combo Breaker First Post
    edited 28 May 2022 at 3:10PM
    The most important part of Martin's article is this one:
    One former senior colleague, from a highly commercial background, and I would violently agree that protecting 'trust' in the site was always our number one priority. Me, simply because my vision for the site has always been for it to act in a trustworthy way (and is the driving reason I'm still here, when I don't need to be). Him, because he believed trust in the site was 'our most valuable commercial asset'. Whatever the reason, the outcome was the same.
    In short, "building trust is not only good, but it pays".   It's time that the "greed is good" driver in business was debunked forever.
    For example, there are still many people that don't realise the John Lewis Partnership is effectively owned by its staff - there are no "private" profits.  We never buy goods from any supplier that practises "geographical discrimination", i.e. charges additional delivery supplements to addresses in certain parts of the UK mainland, and when we found that John Lewis could not only provide a large electrical item at a competitive price, but that delivery was free for the entirety of the UK, they got the business - and they were welcome to the profit that ensued.
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