The patterns evident in Top Tasks research

In 2014, we completed our largest ever Top Tasks identification project for the European Union. It was in 28 countries and 24 languages. Almost 107,000 voted. After 30 voters, the top three tasks had emerged. Yes, the top three tasks after we closed the survey with 106,792 voters were the same as the top three… Read More »

Fallible data

Data is not fact and fact is often just a hypothesis anyway. We humans design how data is created and we humans are the ones who interpret data and draw conclusions from it. Therefore, data will always be inherently fallible. Unless we approach it with a sense of humility and a willingness to acknowledge our… Read More »

The three elements in understanding your customers

Let’s say you’re trying to deliver an excellent customer experience for a health website or app. You start by truly knowing your audience. Let’s say, for example, that you have statistically reliable data that tells you that mental wellbeing, which includes stress reduction, mindfulness and positive thinking, is particularly important to those under 24. That… Read More »

Are your customers low or high information?

Low information people tend to be highly emotional, impulsive and habitual. They hero worship. They blindly trust their instincts and fiercely distrust everything and everyone else. Much traditional marketing and advertising was designed to pull the emotional triggers of low information people and get them to hero worship brands. This reached its perfection where low… Read More »

Mental strain of delivering excellent service

People tend to avoid feeling empathy because it requires too much mental effort, according to a study published by researchers at Penn State University and the University of Toronto, in June 2019.  “Across all of the experiments, participants on average chose the empathy scenarios 35% of the time, showing a strong preference for the scenarios… Read More »

As the Web matures, search behavior changes

As the Web matures, we search less for our top tasks, and we search more for our tiny tasks. When you move to a new city, you’re going to do a lot of searching. You’re going to search for supermarkets, local shops, local cafes and restaurants. The longer you live in the city, the less… Read More »


Shortlisting is the process of moving from a long list of often poorly worded statements to a clear list of tasks that might matter to people in a decision-making environment (buying a car, choosing a university, using a piece of software, etc.) Typically, it takes about three weeks to collect all the potential tasks from… Read More »

Words still matter (even in IT)

Did you hear the joke about the Danish medical system for the amputation of legs? It gives you two choices. To amputate the “left” leg or to amputate the “correct” leg. Actually, it’s not a joke. It’s an actual IT system installed by Epic Systems (what a name!).  The Epic health system is most definitely… Read More »

Net Promoter Score (NPS) metrics are not enough

Anything that focuses on customers is heading in the right direction. Jeff Sauro calls the Net Promoter Score (NPS) “a reasonable proxy for historical or current revenue in some industries and potentially for future revenue and likely self-reported customer retention”. Conversely, Jared Spool believes that the science behind NPS is “wacky” and that NPS’ biggest… Read More »