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At IconMedialab, I was lucky to work with some of the most talented user experience designers and researchers I have ever met. Too many to acknowledge here unfortunately. But if you really want to know who they are have a look at my IconMedialab contacts in Linkedin. IconMedialab merged with The Lost Boys to form the LBi Group.

Many of our assignments were early generation web sites improvements for web sites that performed well below expectations in terms of acquisition, retention or conversion. We approached these assignments in a user experience-focused, structured way. The first step was a thorough analysis of the current user experience combining usage data, usability testing and online surveys. The second step was a description of issues with and opportunities for user experience improvement, prioritized in relation to the web site specific business objectives. The third step was the redesign plan, focused on the changes that would produce the most significant user experience improvements and its execution. In some cases, the redesigned site was usability tested prior to launch, to assess the overall improvement level achieved and make some additional changes. The approach was extremely effective, and successful with our clients.

Some of the cases were documented and used in seminars and presentations, with the clients’ accord. When you read them, please keep in mind that these projects took place in the early days of the web, around 1999 – 2001. Today, the issues and opportunities for user experience improvement are of a different nature, but the approach, I believe, is still very much valid.

http://www.assurland.com/ is a French insurance broker. Usage data indicated that most of the users who initiated a request for quote abandon before getting a quote. We redesigned the form and process breaking it up in smaller sections; grouping and reducing the number of questions; simplifying the terminology and providing contextual support. After redesign on average 75% of the users who initiated a request for a quote got it.

http://www.bokkilden.no/ is one of the first online bookstores to be established. It was then very popular with visitors, but made relatively few sales. We analysed usage patterns and found that people followed very distinct paths: some were very task-oriented; while others explored and browsed. The site design was then generic and didn’t support well any of the usage patterns. We focused on providing both very effective search capabilities and greater visibility on the content available with multiple navigation systemes and dynamic content bubbling up on the home page. The redesigned site had an immediate impact, increasing the conversion rate six-fold.

http://www.gazzetta.it/ is the reference source for sport in Italy. In May 2000, it had 4M monthly views (350k for football). We run a user satisfaction online survey, qualitative usability tests and usage data analyses to identify the main opportunities for improvement and worked on flattening the information architecture, providing a simplified navigation system, increasing consistency and offering richer content on the homepage. A month after launch, the redesigned site had monthly views up 10M (4.5M for football alone).

http://www.opentv.com/ offers intuitive and personalized viewing experiences for consumers of television content worldwide. We worked together to improve the user experience of some of the earlier applications (program guide, email, browser, viewing angle control). We first combined a qualitative usability testing with a quantitative analysis of usage data, and, because of low satisfaction and success rate, concluded that the applications had to be radically simplified in features and flows, and given a more homely visual interface. We then redesigned the applications around tighter concepts, fewer core functionalities, consistent object-action logic, fewer steps and a new front-end. Before launch, we run a user experience quality check with 100% success in the main tasks.