Scottish organisations seeing the value of web usability

23rd March 2006

The last year has seen in a marked increase in the amount of organisations in Scotland seeing the value of good web usability and the need for specialist consultancy in this area, according to user-experience consultancy User Vision.

Edinburgh-based User Vision has experienced a sharp rise in business from leading
Scottish-based public and private sector organisations in the last year, most of which are bringing in expert consultancy and independent user-testing for the first time. In all cases User Vision’s brief is to improve the user-experience of the web site, in order to enhance its effectiveness. For several of these clients the consultancy is also looking at accessibility issues, in order to make the site in question more usable for visitors with disabilities or impairments which might affect their ability to interact with a web site.

The public sector in Scotland has seen particular growth. In the last 12 months User Vision has been commissioned to work for various departments of the Scottish Executive; Fife Council, Future Skills Scotland, TalentScotland (a Scottish Enterprise initiative), Angus Council, Scottish Legal Aid Board and Learning Teaching Scotland.

Private sector companies in Scotland have also begun to look at web usability more closely according to User Vision – with companies including Prudential, Sainsbury’s Bank, Scottish Life, and the Institute of Chartered Accountants bringing in the consultancy’s specialist services in the last year.

Chris Rourke, Director of User Vision comments:

“The appreciation of good web usability and the need for specialist advice in this area has risen markedly in the last year or so. We’re currently seeing growth from businesses all over the UK and Europe, but Scotland in particular has developed strongly as a market for us. While web site owners have always understood that they need to provide a good user-experience, it is only recently that they’ve really begun to bring in specialist help and to test with external users. Crucially the fact that the increased interest in usability is not restricted to commercial companies shows that web usability is not just about money; it’s about providing a good experience, and therefore good service – whether that be to customers, students, constituents or employees.”

User Vision have provided invaluable advice and guidance at every stage in the process of gaining level A accreditation for our site.  The experience has improved the skills of everyone in the team.  I look forward to working with User Vision in the future to make our sites fully accessible

Digital Communications Manager, Scottish Widows.