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In this issue
Humans have been keeping their eyes on competitors ever since food became a constrained resource. We have lots of competitive analysis methods that fit our user-centred approach. Here we offer a checklist to keep in mind as you try to define a new strategy, figure out where to start your website, product or service redesign, or address nagging user complaints. Do you feel the need to gather some competitive data? Follow your instincts. Here are some tips to help:
Segment the competitors according to your users’ goals
Look behind the financials and hype
Suspend disbelief - focus on behaviour
Gather firsthand impressions
Track how your competitor got to where they are
Find out your competitor’s competitor
Headline the competitive threat
Reverse engineer what your competitor makes
Gather visual examples of competitive walk-throughs
Ottawa usability practitioners, web developers, project managers and others joined together to celebrate the third World Usability Day on November 8th, 2007. As gold sponsors of this event, and as organizers and participants in many activities, it was a hectic but rewarding day for us.
The showcase was excellent, delivering a series of complementary talks focused on Usability in Healthcare. The exhibit space was full, with government, academic and commercial booths, and we received media coverage which included an interview on Rogers Channel 22 a few days prior to the event.
We would like to take this event up to the next level for the 4th World Usability Day in 2008. If you think you might like to help us organize this event, do join the Ottawa Usability Consortium and email us to tell us how you would like to be involved or to give us feedback on the event.
We were very pleased to have Leonard Lee as our keynote speaker at World Usability Day. Leonard is very well-known in Canada as the founder and guiding light of Lee Valley tools, providing excellent tools for hobbyists and craftspeople for many years. Fewer people know of his latest venture - Canica Inc. His new company produces medical instruments that deliver quite amazing improvements in patient recovery time.
We were able to interview Leonard just before World Usability Day by phone, and hear some stories about his approach, as well as some of the challenges of delivering innovative products to the healthcare industry. Whilst not using mainstream 'usability' techniques, his craft approach informally incorporates similar activities, and the same philosophy of really understanding the needs of the stakeholders (doctors and patients) - in this domain sometimes literally a matter of life or death.
Place your order with us for Morae usability testing software before December 20th, and you will receive a special 25% discount. This applies to private sector, public sector, and educational pricing, including upgrades and maintenance renewals. Email us for a Morae quote or demo, or call us (613 271-3001) to discuss what Morae usability testing software by TechSmith can do for you.
Our workshop “Designing usable Web-based applications”, takes place February 21, 2008. Web applications are becoming as powerful as the ones on our desktop. Join this workshop to explore the challenges of designing web applications, and come away with tips, techniques and current best practices for providing high-value services that enable your users to fulfill their goals effectively and efficiently.
Our one-day workshop “Usability challenges of new Web technologies” takes place on February 28, 2008. We will review many live Web 2.0 examples and explore how to adapt traditional usability techniques to design and evaluate the new generation of web user interfaces.
Early registrants save $100. Save even more for group bookings. Take advantage of further discounts and call us to run either workshop at your location for five or more people: (613) 271-3001.
Quote of the month
“Your information succeeds when you drive the action you intended to drive.”
Gerry McGovern, "Killer Web Content", 2006
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