In the Times – investing in a simpler e-commerce UX

The Times Raconteur supplement wrote another forward thinking issue on the future of retail and approach me to contribute from a user experience perspective.

The focus was on how the leaders in the field opt for a simplified UX in order to build customer confidence and in turn increase profits and stickiness. I recommended they focus on ASOS as an a example of a large scale retailer doing things right – a surprisingly rare thing.


ASOS’s active customer base in the UK broke the five million barrier in early-2017, up by almost 30 per cent year on year, with no sign of slowing down. “By focusing on making search really easy to use, making product discovery easy and heavily investing in a strong mobile UX [user experience] strategy, ASOS have been able to grow to the juggernaut of fashion retail they are today,” says Jon Darke, UX director at Every Interaction.

Read the full article.

To expand on the quote I provided; it’s rare to find innovation in UX for online retail as to operate at scale you need to rely on a 3rd party platform. Often investment in a new store is expected to be a smaller investment because these options exist. You can build your own solution but the outlay would be comparatively enormous and you would need a very good reason to take this path.

It’s not that the platform providers aren’t good, but that try to target a wide range of customers to maximise their market fit. As such the experience is limited to those features and the way they have been implemented.

There is plenty of innovation in e-commerce, but the majority is happening at the really small end of the spectrum where a bespoke solution that allows for experimentation is more viable. ASOS are an exception to the rule and really invest their customers user experience, and judging by their success, it’s paying off.


Every Interaction September 21st 2017

You might also be interested in...

  • Quote in the Times – How AI will change buyer behaviourQuote in the Times – How AI will change buyer behaviour I was quoted in The Times newspaper Raconteur Digital Economy Supplement on Thursday 19th January 2017. The article was about 'How AI will change buyer behaviour'The piece talks about how websites powered by artificial intelligence are […]
  • What is User Experience Design (UX)?What is User Experience Design (UX)? This is a hot topic and widely discussed online with diverse variety of opinions and so we thought it about time we shared how we explain 'what is user experience'. Everyone has an idea of what they think User Experience (UX) really is. […]
  • Property Detective homeProperty Detective on the telly box with Family Friendliness Our good friends at Property Detective recently launched some new features that landed them attention on TV. See the founder Barry Bridges talk about the new Family Friendliness feature launched this week on London Live. Read our full […]

Product Design

The ‘Product’ is the website, service, application, interactive thing being worked on by the business. The practice of Product Design is similar in a lot of ways to UX Design. It involves the coming together of many specific design disciplines...

Call to action (CTA)

A call to action is a marketing term that refers to a prompt that invokes a response leading to a sale. When referring to a call to action (CTA) in the digital design world we usually mean the interactive element that leads to the next step in the experience - something that needs to be clicked or tapped.

User testing

User testing refers to a technique used in the design process to evaluate a product, feature or prototype with real users. There are several reasons why you might want to undergo usability testing, the most common is that it allows the design team to identify friction in a user experience they are designing, so that it can be addressed before being built or deployed.


WYSIWYG (pronounced WIZ-ee-wig) is an acronym for "What You See Is What You Get". It helps identify an an interface that allows user input resulting in an output that is rendered in a similar way. For example; a word processor application interface might resemble a piece of paper,so when printed the user can see how the output will appear.

Content Management System

A content management system (CMS) is an tool that allows a website editor/administrator to manage the content that is displayed. Websites are made of HTML and CSS to create pages. Pages can be hard-coded but would require technical development skills to make changes. A CMS usually allows a person without coding knowledge to amend existing and add new content to a website using a WYSIWYG interface.

Responsive Web Design

Responsive web design refers to a web page that dynamically adapts its layout to fit the size and orientation of the device on which it is viewed. A responsive design allows for a more optimised user experience across desktop and laptop computers as well as smartphones and tablets of varying sizes.

User Stories

User stories allow the functionality of a product or service to be expressed as written descriptions of an experience as seen from the users perspective. The writing of user stories creates a list of design and development tasks to complete in order to create any required functionality.

User Interface

A user interface (UI) is a conduit between human and computer interaction - the space where a user will interact with a computer or machine to complete tasks. The purpose of a UI is to enable a user to effectively control a computer or machine they are interacting with, and for feedback to be received in order to communicate effective completion of tasks.


A persona in UX Design is the characterisation of a user who represents a segment of your target audience. On a project you might create any number of personas to be representative of a range of user needs and desires. The solutions you design must answer these needs in order to deliver value to your target audience.

Card sorting

A great, reliable, inexpensive method for discovering patterns in how users would expect to find content or functionality. Card sorting is used to test the taxonomy of data with a group of subjects, usually to help inform the creation of the information architecture, user flow, or menu structure on a project.


A technique used to generate ideas around a specific topic. Often done in groups, but can be done individuals. The process usually involves writing down all ideas around a topic onto paper, a whiteboard or stickies often implying some kind of association.

Minimum Viable Product

An MVP is a product that has the minimum set of features to prove the most essential hypothesis for a product. Businesses building a new product can create a Minimum Viable Product to prove that an idea is viable and warrants further investment. A further benefit being that the next stage of development can be informed by feedback obtained from testing that MVP.


A sitemap is a diagrammatic representation of a hierarchical system. It usually depicts the parent-sibling relationship between pages in a website, showing how sub pages might be arranged underneath their parent groupings. This arrangement forms a map of the site.

User journey

A user journey represents a sequence of events or experiences a user might encounter while using a product or service. A user journey can be mapped or designed to show the steps and choices presented as interactions, and the resulting actions.


A prototype is draft representation built to test ideas for layout, behaviour and flow in a system. Prototypes are an indispensable tool for resolving a large number of potential issues in a concept or business before too many resources are deployed to put a design into production.


A Wireframe is a visual schematic that conveys a basic level of communication, structure and behaviour during the design of a system. Wireframes are low-fidelity designs that bypass including a detailed user interface or visual design, conveying just enough to get across the core idea.


To say something is usable is a qualitative statement about how easy that thing is to use. Usability is an assessment of how learnable a system is and how easy a user finds it to use. The usability of a system or product is a key factor in determining whether the user experience is a good one.

Information Architecture

Information architecture is the design and organisation of content, pages and data into a structure that aids users understanding of a system. A more organised system enables users to more easily find the information they require and complete the intended tasks.

UI Design

User Interface Design is the discipline of designing software interfaces for devices, ideally with a focus on maximising efficiency, responsiveness and aesthetics to foster a good user experience.

UX Design

The practice of User Experience (UX) Design is the coming together of many specific design related disciplines to improve the usability, responsiveness, uptake and aesthetics of a product or service.

User Experience

A general term that covers all aspects of a user's participation while engaging with something that has been designed. Usually when talking about User Experience in the digital design field it refers to the interactions, reactions, emotions and perceptions while using an app, service, website or product.