BC tip: LVMH and Mercier Champagne – Sustainability messaging lacks fizz

Parent and subsidiary companies fail to keep their offline and online communications consistent

Champagne Mercier website - cellar tour page

Champagne Mercier website - cellar tour page

The feature

Mercier Champagne, based in Epernay, France, offers a charming train tour of its impressive caves (cellars), which we were lucky enough to experience recently. The audio guide talks about the brand’s sustainability efforts, including the reduction of herbicides and pesticides through the use of natural alternatives, such as bugs. It also references its parent brand LVMH’s commitment to sustainability.

The Mercier website does not evidence the sustainable activities, even on the page dedicated to the tour , nor does it link to the LVMH website. The Mercier page on that site is engaging, but also fails to mention sustainability – and the main area of LVMH’s site dedicated to social and environmental responsibility is sparse too.

The takeaway

We often encounter organizations which fail to ensure that the messages on their global corporate and brand or subsidiary sites match up. In this case the sites themselves are not linked together well either – at least from the subsidiary to the parent site.

It is also important that offline and online communications are joined up. When they are not, the impact of messaging is diminished, and inconsistency can undermine authenticity. In our experience, governance is often at the heart of such problems: digital managers and teams must not be in a silo.

For more commentaries, tips and downloads for online corporate communications professionals, visit our website.

If you have a query or for more information about Bowen Craggs, please contact Dan Drury: ddrury@bowencraggs.com.

BC Tip: Levi Strauss & Co - the wrong sort of 501

Levi Strauss & Co returned to the stock market recently, but its IR site was not dressed as properly as it could have been

Levi Strauss & Co IR site home page

Levi Strauss & Co IR site home page

The Feature

Levi Strauss & Co shares started trading again on the New York Stock Exchange recently, after an absence of over 30 years.

The company’s Investor Relations site, separate from the other areas of its corporate web estate, carried regulatory news items relating to the IPO, including the final prospectus filed on flotation day.

Its Events & Presentations section was and remains, at the time of writing, totally empty. The section is promoted on the IR site landing page, leaving error messages visible to users arriving at the site.

The Takeaway

An IPO is a stressful time for any IR department and digital manager, and it can be easy for things to slip through the cracks on the IR site – especially if the site, or part of it, is new, and laws about what can and cannot be shown must be navigated.

But that does not mean that companies cannot do more to prepare for the day that shares float.

We suspect that the Events & Presentations section on the Levi Strauss & Co site was simply part of a standard template, but clearly it would have been better to remove it until the company had something to put in it; or to create a more elegant message advising users when materials would be available.

The prospectus is largely hidden, only available from the SEC Filings area of the site and not in, for example, Financial news. The company should at least point investors to this more obviously now the shares are trading. We would also expect material from the prospectus to be adapted for the website, to state the company’s investment case, in the near future as regulations allow.

Sometimes the IPO company has not thought about its IR site and who is going to run it, so that planning should be part of the overall preparations. We know that US companies, encouraged by their legal departments, can outsource their IR sections or sites. If this is the case, it should still be closely overseen by the in-house digital and IR teams.

For more commentaries, tips and downloads for online corporate communications professionals, visit our website.

If you have a query or for more information about Bowen Craggs, please contact Dan Drury: ddrury@bowencraggs.com.

BC Tip: The Independent Group – lacking visibility

A new UK political grouping launched in a blaze of publicity recently, but their website was left in the shadows

The Independent Group’s website

The Independent Group’s website

The Feature

The UK’s proposed exit from the European Union is having profound political effects, and one recent development has been the formation of a new political alliance by defectors from the main parties.

The politicians have called themselves ‘The Independent Group’, and launched their venture with a great deal of attention in the UK.

While they have amassed significant numbers of followers on various social media networks, their brief website https://www.theindependent.group/ has come in for some very public criticism in the mainstream press and broadcast channels. Images are repetitive, and often of low quality.

It is not very visible on search engines: a search for ‘the independent group’ only revealed the official site on the fifth page of Google results. Results for news coverage of the group, and for sites about a movement of artists in the 1950s with the same name, dominated the results listings.

The Takeaway

It is unsurprising that such a controversial project should come in for criticism, and perhaps the group should not be judged too harshly for having a website without a lot of material on it at this early stage in their existence - but undoubtedly it could have been slicker.

Digital managers preparing for the launch of sites at short notice – for use in a crisis, perhaps – would do well to note the effects of an obvious lack of preparation, and in particular poor image choice.

Clearly social media has been the focus for The Independent Group, but the lack of attention to the website’s search engine visibility is questionable – especially if the group becomes a party, as it is likely to do so, and needs to attract donations and publicise its policies. Any company will be unable to rely on social media visibility alone.

How visitors will find you is a key question for any new website – especially if you do not have control over your name or even URL, and/or you do not have a lot of material to start with. Paid search marketing may well be worth considering in this case – but long-term, a good organic search presence is essential.

For more commentaries, tips and downloads for online corporate communications professionals, visit our website.

If you have a query or for more information about Bowen Craggs, please contact Dan Drury: ddrury@bowencraggs.com.

BC Tip: IBM – A smart campaign page?

IBM has a sprawling web estate with many blogs dotted around it – and a page which tries to bring order to the disorder

IBM’s ‘Let’s put smart to work’ page

IBM’s ‘Let’s put smart to work’ page

The Feature

IBM created a portal page as part of its 2018 ‘Let’s put smart to work’ brand campaign to help direct users to relevant material around its large digital estate.

The portal has several videos, presumably created as part of the campaign, as well as links to upcoming events.

An ‘Industries’ area on the page collates links to case studies and blogs in other parts of IBM.com, such as its Internet of Things Blog.

What appears to be a navigation bar at the top of the page takes users to dedicated IBM sites for products or services, such as Watson.

The Takeaway

The creation of a page to support a campaign by making use of existing materials is, in many cases, a sensible idea, especially if the campaign itself directs users there.

IBM’s page certainly gives users a good idea of the wide range of engaging stories it has produced, which demonstrate how the company’s services can help its customers in many different industries.

But the problem with this particular page is that it has no obvious home in the IBM estate – indeed we stumbled across it rather than finding it through IBM’s navigation.

It is still being updated, as the advertisement for an upcoming event shows, and the information it showcases is still relevant, but we suspect that few users will be finding the page now, some months after the campaign’s launch.

None of the links we found on the page - including the ‘navigation bar’ - indicated where the user was being taken, even though IBM.com is effectively a vast federation of microsites and blogs with at best loose connections to each other. So users who follow the links will likely end up disorientated in one part or another of the estate.

For more commentaries, tips and downloads for online corporate communications professionals, visit our website.

If you have a query or for more information about Bowen Craggs, please contact Dan Drury: ddrury@bowencraggs.com.

Corporate website usability: more vices…and some virtues

As we did last year at our annual conference, we conducted some user testing in partnership with the Bunnyfoot user experience (UX) consultancy at our recent event in Lisbon. Here, Andrew Rigby reports back – once again some familiar themes emerged, along with some new insights into corporate web usability.

We tested 14 different websites over the course of two days, with conference delegates asked to carry out a relevant two-stage task (or tasks) on each site. Jon Dodd, CEO of Bunnyfoot, oversaw the sessions with assistance from me.

Eye-tracking added to the insight that the tests provided. Of course, with such a small test sample, and the familiarity of our users with corporate sites in general – although not the sites they were testing – any conclusions drawn can only be indicative of possible results from more comprehensive user testing.

But we think that, as we explained last year, the tests did show the value that can be gained from real usability testing on corporate sites – something that a couple of presentations at the conference also touched on.

Search to the rescue – or not

Once again we saw users either resorting to internal search to find pages, or simply using it instead of attempting navigation. Yet few internal search engines were truly helpful, and some were very poor.

It was suggested that, in at least one case, this was because the corporate site search engine was being shared with customer-facing sites, and set up to rank results on keyword density rather than relevance. This resulted in older, less useful results being surfaced - such as old quarterly results announcements, rather than the latest ones.

It should be possible to adjust search engine behaviour across corporate and customer-facing sites, to ensure corporate sites return relevant, recent material for their audiences.. If this is not possible, consider circumventing the search engine with promoted results for popular searches, and in any case use keyword/phrase completion tools to help users.

Navigation sometimes needs help

Although our small 2018 sample showed generally improved navigation and orientation from last year, there were still some sites on which users became lost because helpful location cues such as breadcrumb trails, or a menu highlighting indicating the current section (or indeed menus themselves), were missing or obscured.

Another persistent trait we saw was the eagerness of users to identify themselves as a certain audience, and look for a similarly-named section, such as Customers or Patients. If your site does not have sections for each potential audience, pay attention to where they might end up or what they may be looking for – and provide effective cross-linking to their desired destinations.

For example, a pharmaceutical company had some information on a new drug in its Pipeline area, and not under Patients, as it is not yet licenced or in production. All very logical, except a user looking for that drug might not know its status and so simply head to the Patients area. In this case, cross-linking from the Patients section is essential.

Avoid ads, signifiers and page furniture

We also noted that users could easily ignore design features which companies were relying on as links. For example, on several occasions visitors missed hotspots or panels with text over an image. Jon Dodd says is this is common and results from our increasing tendency to ignore anything that looks like an advert.

There were several examples of carousels or images filling an entire browser window, and fooling users into missing the information they wanted further down the page. While some companies tried to avoid this by adding downward arrows or ‘Scroll down’, the need for such signifiers indicates the design is not working well enough. The design itself should communicate that more valuable material is available down below.

Components which looked like parts of the page furniture could equally be overlooked, so be wary of enclosing important links or calls to action in full-width bars or areas that could be mistaken for the top or bottom of the browser.

Lack of information ‘scent’

Users missed some clear onward links because the information ‘scent’ was weak. For example, brand carousels that did not explain why users should be interested in the range of brands, or the information users would receive on brand pages; or adverts for annual reports which did not pull out an interesting key headline or message. 

Surface some of the valuable content from below to inform and entice users to follow – avoid just another bland title with a corporate stock picture.

The state of tabs and filters

Tabs and filter mechanisms need clear labelling and ‘selected state’ indicators. In a few instances users were confused by the presence of just two tabs, where it was not clear which of the tabs had been selected. Another hindrance to usability was hiding information in open and close mechanisms, without an ‘Open all’ feature, which is common on FAQ pages.

Cross-country routes

In keeping with the theme of the conference, communicating effectively across cultures, we tested routes between country and global sites – and they were often found wanting. Country site selectors, like any call to action, need a visual cue, such as an icon or arrow, to attract users’ attention, and they need to be consistent across the estate. Also avoid the common error of using flags to denote language and risk offending for example French speaking Belgians - some of the sites we saw got this right but others did not.

Register for the ‘Best of WEC 2018’ web meeting on September 26th, 2018

Were you unable to join us at our Web Effectiveness Conference in Lisbon last week? Did you attend and are keen to share the learnings with your team after the event? Join our web meeting and relive the Best of WEC 2018.

To register, visit our events page (and scroll down to September events)

For more commentaries, tips and downloads for online corporate communications professionals, visit our website.

If you have a query or for more information about Bowen Craggs, including the visitor profiles* Bowen Craggs uses when evaluating websites and social channels for our Index of Online Excellence, please contact Dan Drury: ddrury@bowencraggs.com.

*Eligible recipients only – usually senior digital communications professionals working for large corporate or public sector/non-governmental organizations.

MiFID II: Rise of the websites?

Much has been written about MiFID II, the EU’s revamped Markets in Financial Instruments Directive, which comes into effect on January 3rd 2018. Andrew Rigby takes a look at the potential implications for digital managers.


MiFID II is a package – a very long one at almost 1.5 million paragraphs – of EU legislation that aims to bring greater transparency to financial markets. Ultimately the EU wants to make it easier for investors to see what they are paying middle-men (brokers and asset managers) for: research on and meetings with companies and their management teams in particular. The costs for these will have to be unbundled from charges for buying and selling shares, which has not been the case to date.

So while the bulk of the impact will be felt by financial institutions across the world – because any transaction that touches the EU is affected – there are likely to be implications for IR and communications teams.

If research and corporate access now has to be paid for in a more transparent way, it is reasonable to assume that there will be much less of both from analysts in the post-MIFID II landscape.  And what is produced and paid for, will have to be of high quality. IR teams will also need to work harder to communicate the company’s investment case directly to investors: produce more information themselves, and arrange and deliver more meetings.

It seems to us that this is where the corporate website can help, in two ways.

It can fill the gap created by the decrease in freely available research, by providing free access to company information for investors, journalists and other audiences.

And it can provide more detailed information for those producing paid-for research. This might be especially useful as the effects of MiFID II begin to become apparent. IR teams may need to scale up to deal with the increased workload, but this may take time to achieve. In the meantime, the website can be used to deliver information at scale, so it is worth talking to the IR team to see how the company website can help them.

More hard financial data might be useful, but so will a clear statement of the investment case, and ways to make senior management more accessible may be important – videos and webcasts. Our recently published ‘Explain Yourself’ index may be useful here. It highlights some of the companies which are best at telling their stories and presenting their leadership teams.

One particular aspect worth considering will be consensus estimates. With less research, it is not clear how the likes of Bloomberg will compile consensus, and consensus based on algorithms or crowd sourcing is still in its infancy. Once again, the onus may be on companies to manage and distribute consensus – so the website comes into its own. Barclays has a good example of a consensus estimates page.

screenshot-www.home.barclays-2017-12-04-13-21-19-789.png

Finally, with IR teams potentially needing to target investors more directly rather than through brokers, website measurement may assume greater significance to IROs. Building a picture of who is coming to the website, from where, and what they are looking for, could be very helpful…even if other pieces of EU regulation, both existing and future, limit how forensic you can be. But that is a topic for an upcoming blog…

For those who would like more background on MiFID II, we have prepared a short Q&A.

Google Analytics Benchmark 2017 – Trends and highlights, Part 2

We presented the Bowen Craggs Google Analytics Benchmark 2017 in a web meeting earlier this month. Here, in the second of two posts, Andrew Rigby looks at how to examine web analytics in context, and the value of different data sources.
 

In the first part of our summary of the Bowen Craggs Google Analytics Benchmark 2017, which we presented via a web meeting recently, we highlighted some of the trends in user behaviour we are seeing develop across corporate websites.

But we also noted that meaningful comparison of a single site’s data against trends needs context, largely because of the variation we see in analytics between sites.

During the web meeting several examples of this were highlighted:

  • The ways that users reach corporate websites can vary widely. For example, organic acquisition varied from 16% to 71%, but there could well be a valid reason for sitting at the lower end of the range – such as a high level of referrals from a parent site or direct traffic because the company is well-known. Or of course the site may be performing poorly in search engines, which would be a cause for concern

Screen Shot 2017-11-22 at 12.13.37.png

 

  • The amount of traffic referred to corporate sites from social media also shows a lot of variation. Only two companies in the benchmark received over 5% of their traffic from social networks, but one participant in the webinar reported social referrals of over 13%, an unusually high figure due to a very active – and successful – strategy to use social media to direct traffic back to the website. Those at the lower end of the scale may have taken a conscious decision not to pursue such a strategy. Or if they have not, they might use this comparison to show what is possible and adjust their strategy and resources accordingly

  • The site with the shortest average visit lasted 1 minute and the longest was 3 minutes

  • Mobile visits to corporate sites are much more likely to bounce than those made on desktop. Visits from organic acquisition are most likely to be deep and long, while direct visits (where the site has been bookmarked or the URL typed) are the shortest, view the fewest pages and are most likely to bounce. But a high bounce rate might indicate that users are simply coming to a site for one thing, finding it, and immediately leaving, having had a successful visit. And a long, deep visit is not necessarily a productive one. Closer analysis is vital, and knowing where your visitors exited to can be very useful, so tagging exit links is a good idea – and often overlooked.

Insight through combined measurement data

As well as looking more deeply at the specific analytics of the site in question, it can also be very helpful to add context through other measurement, and in particular visitor surveys and user testing. By piecing together qualitative and quantitative data, you should be able to tell if that long, deep visit was in fact indicative of an engaged user, or in fact someone becoming frustrated at failing to find what they wanted.

We looked at one example where we had connected data from Google Analytics with survey data to gain some real insight into user behaviour.

On this particular site, looking at the survey data and cross-referencing it with the analytics, we noticed that referred users were less likely to achieve their goal. Further investigation revealed that a page in the careers section was the top landing page for those visitors who had answered the survey question about goal achievement. Delving deeper still, we could see that those referred from Facebook to this page were the least successful in achieving their goal, and especially those coming from Facebook on desktop machines.

While this has prompted the company in question to concentrate on its Facebook referrals, adding Google Campaign tags to Facebook links would help to identify which posts referred successful visits; in measurement, the deeper you dive, the more insight you can find.

– Andrew Rigby

You can be part of the analytics benchmark, and enjoy a host of other benefits, by joining The Bowen Craggs Club, an exclusive network for the most engaged online corporate communications professionals. It is aimed at individuals and companies who believe in the need for world-leading corporate web estates. Although most group members work in Fortune 500 corporations, we welcome senior managers from public sector and non-governmental organizations with responsibility for large web presences.

For more information on the Club, visit our website, or contact Lisa Hayward, lhayward@bowencraggs.com.

To discuss our measurement services, including how we can help with analytics and visitor surveys, please contact Dan Drury ddrury@bowencraggs.com or see our website.

Google Analytics Benchmark 2017 – Trends and highlights, Part 1

We presented the Bowen Craggs Google Analytics Benchmark 2017 in a web meeting this week. Here, in the first of two posts (second to follow next week), Andrew Rigby gives the headline findings, including data for referral traffic, device usage and landing pages.
 

The Bowen Craggs Google Analytics Benchmark has been running since 2014, collating and comparing data from a range of corporate websites across a variety of sectors, and representing a range of activity.

Although the constituent websites may have changed, what we have measured has not, so the data is comparable and shows trends over time.

The 2017 benchmark covers the period between May 2016 and April 2017, collecting Google Analytics data from 24 corporate websites.

The growth of mobile, organic and social traffic
 

We noted some clear trends:

  • The growth of organic traffic to corporate sites – with half of the visits to the sites in the benchmark coming via unpaid search – means search engine performance is increasingly important. Visits by users referred to corporate sites from other sites are dropping

  • Users referred to corporate sites from social networks still represent a small proportion of overall traffic at 2.5 per cent, but some companies are starting to see significant social traffic. Facebook is the largest single social source, but those users are the most likely of social referrals to bounce and have the shortest, shallowest visits

  • Mobile traffic to corporate sites is generally increasing and now accounts for an average of one in four visits, but so is the variation across sites in the benchmark: for some sites it is one in three visits

  • The length and depth of the average site visit has dropped slightly. The average visit included 2.42 pages and lasted 2m 1 second, compared to 2.6 pages per session and 2 minutes 12 seconds in 2016

  • The home page is still very important on corporate sites and the most common entry point with 27 per cent of traffic, but over the years the benchmark has been running there is a clear increase in the number of pages on which users enter sites. Understanding the variety of entry points, and where users then go on a particular site, can be very helpful to web managers in ensuring smooth user journeys.

Top landing pages by section, 2014-2017 (click to enlarge)

Nobody is average, so context is key
 

The busiest site had 37 million visits per year; the quietest 530,000, and an average of 7 million.

Yet these headline figures highlight perhaps the single biggest takeaway from the benchmark: the variation in user behaviour between sites. The companies at the extreme ends of the visits range obviously affect the average; many sites in the benchmark attract in the region of 3 million visits per year.

It is important, then, to not just compare the traffic on your site against an average – although that may be useful – but to also drill down into the detail of the comparison. A site with 4 million visits may be below the average, but in fact sits above the median as it has attracted more visits than many of the companies in the benchmark.

Number of visits across the companies in the Benchmark (click to enlarge)

But even then – as many of you will be thinking as you read this – simply comparing figures is often meaningless without the context to understand them.

In next week’s commentary we’ll look at the importance of putting web analytics data in context, and how you can draw company-specific insight from it.

– Andrew Rigby

You can be part of the analytics benchmark, and enjoy a host of other benefits, by joining The Bowen Craggs Club, an exclusive network for the most engaged online corporate communications professionals. It is aimed at individuals and companies who believe in the need for world-leading corporate web estates. Although most group members work in Fortune 500 corporations, we welcome senior managers from public sector and non-governmental organizations with responsibility for large web presences.

For more information on the Club, visit our website, or contact Lisa Hayward, lhayward@bowencraggs.com.

To discuss our measurement services, including how we can help with analytics and visitor surveys, please contact Dan Drury ddrury@bowencraggs.com or see our website.

 

Seven deadly sins of corporate website usability

At our recent annual conference, in partnership with the Bunnyfoot user experience (UX) agency, we conducted some user testing on some of our delegates’ websites. Although the sessions were designed just to give an indication of how this type of testing can help web managers, they provided some real food for thought, says Andrew Rigby.


This is the latest in our series of posts about the conference, following on from our summary of six key takeaways. A guest blog from one of our speakers will follow in the coming weeks.

The sessions we ran with Bunnyfoot involved giving users exercises to complete on a corporate website that they did not know. We asked each tester to put themselves in the shoes of a corporate website user wanting to complete a relevant, two-stage task. For example, a jobseeker looking for information on a particular company’s sustainability policies before searching for a specific job.

With the help of some clever eye-tracking technology, we – and the web managers of the sites being tested – could see how the users went about trying to find the right information.

We should point out that the sessions were only indicative: we used delegates as our guinea pigs and gave each one just ten minutes to complete the tasks. Real user experience design (UX) testing would involve asking a number of users, who are actually investors or jobseekers or the like, to complete a series of tasks over a longer a period. 

In other words, our tests were not truly scientific. We just wanted to show that UX testing is relatively easy to conduct with the right equipment and the help of experts like Bunnyfoot; and to give an idea of the type insights it can reveal. 

But even allowing for the lack of rigour, seven deadly sins of corporate website UX emerged:

1. Unhelpful search

Users frequently started their tasks on external search engines, or often used the sites’ internal search mechanisms. So not only do corporate sites need to perform well on the likes of Google, but their own searches need to help users find what they want. All too often, internal searches failed to deal with misspellings or synonyms by suggesting alternatives, to search PDFs, or to present results in well-ordered lists.

2. Neglected navigation

Poor navigation meant that many users resorted to the internal search or simply failed to complete their tasks. Sometimes this was due to difficulties in using dropdown menus – some were simply too big to be used on a laptop screen. In other cases, users could not see the sub-sections or sub-pages at lower levels, and so were forced to take leaps of faith by clicking on section headings they hoped would reveal what they wanted. It was noticeable that left-hand menus – something we have championed for a while – were generally more successful and users were quick to use them; but there were poorly implemented examples of these too. 

Aside from the main menu styles, it was rare to find effective cross-linking to relevant content. It meant that if users found a page which was not quite what they were looking for, but perhaps was on the same topic, they were seldom offered on-page links to their destination. This was also true for predictable journeys which took in pages in different sections.

It left an impression that user needs should dictate information architecture and cross-linking more than they sometimes do.

3. ‘Look at me’, not ‘use me’, labelling

There were many examples of users finding what they wanted thanks to clear labelling in menus, or on-page links. Yet there were also instances of users being confused by vague section or page titles, either because several pages or themes were nested under them, or because ‘neat’ company-specific jargon or terms were being used. The absence of format icons or indicators for downloads also created uncertainty. 

Tasks were more likely to be completed on sites where web managers had anticipated the words or phrases which users would be looking for and had labelled pages and sections accordingly, or surfaced important pages higher in the website structure, rather than hiding them under catch-all section titles which did not resonate with users. Users responded well to headings labelled with their audience type, such as Investors or Media.

4. Imperfect page layouts

How a page is presented matters: there were various instances of users finding the correct page, but still missing the right information on it. Big blocks of text - especially ones in capital letters – or crucial information contained a long way down a page or only in a PDF, especially hampered usability. 

Pages with short paragraphs – getting shorter as the page continues – and with signposts to key information on them, such as anchor links or headings, performed well. Users tend to scan long pages rather than read them in detail.

5. Inconsistent images

Given that users often scan pages rather than read every word, images can provide a quick visual cue as to whether users are on the right page. A poorly chosen image occasionally undermined user confidence, to the extent that some left the page that best served their needs. Images which supported page content by reflecting the idea or region being talked about were more helpful. 

6. Painful processes

Whether it was a badly designed search mechanism, or a job application system which required login details too be entered twice, users were quick to abandon journeys – or at least voice their displeasure – if barriers were put in their way. Getting users to the right place is not enough, as they expect a painless process once there.

7. Cookie monsters

Quite a few sites were dominated by very large cookie consent mechanisms when users hit the first page. Many users either failed to dismiss these until several pages into their journey, or became confused by their presence. Of course, these notices need to be presented, but doing so in an appropriate way is important, as they can form an initial impression of a site from the very outset. Another example of something which can easily be overlooked, but can actually be a big factor in a good user experience. 

User testing can be seen as a luxury by corporate web managers, and one which is often omitted from projects in the face of small teams, tight budgets and pressing deadlines. But if time and money can be found, seeing how real users interact with a website can be very helpful – so that the UX can be tailored to their needs.

- Andrew Rigby

Guide to online corporate audiences: Contact Dan Drury (ddrury@bowencraggs.com) for a copy of the visitor profiles Bowen Craggs uses when evaluating websites and social channels for our Index of Online Excellence. Eligible recipients only – usually senior digital communications professionals working for large corporate or public sector/non-governmental organizations.