Understand what makes people stay on your site – and what makes them run away

When you make a website, you want it to succeed.

You want your customers to buy your stuff. You want your students to learn (and sign up!) You want lively, useful discussions.

Too often, it doesn’t happen: you get tumbleweed.

Build a great customer experience, and people will stick around.

It’s not about manipulating people, it’s about understanding and good design.

This site is for you if you want to find out what makes people tick online, what makes them stay and what makes them run away.

I provide simple, practical advice based on years of website testing and customer research. (The human element? That’s the messy bit.)

Sound useful?

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About Alison MacLeod

I work with organisations to test and develop websites, training and communication that their audiences will love. I see a lot of awful online experiences. I want to help people to create a great online environment. It’s actually fairly straightforward – but it’s not always easy to do it entirely yourself.

Why do you do it? Do you love it, or do you just have one of those creepy knacks?

I love it.  I believe that great conversation design is the foundation for success, however you want to measure it;  I love to see communities that hum with discussion, or retail sites that are a pleasure to shop.  I’m constantly looking at good stuff and figuring out what makes it work.

Who are your customers? What kind of people would need or want what you offer?

I tend to work with organisations who know that things aren’t working but don’t know why and don’t know where to start. I do reviews, research and strategy to help them get clear.

Why me?

Everything I produce is practical, enjoyable, and if possible evidence-based.

I trained as an academic psychologist.  As a result I’m a semi-professional sceptic.   I don’t take things at face value. I like evidence. (Maybe you’ve heard in a training session that only 7% of communication is verbal? Bullshit. Sadly.)

I’m also hugely committed to getting the customer heard.   Too many organisations seriously underestimate the value of understanding their people, whether those people are customers, users, or staff. I was a market researcher for 15 years, conducting focus groups on everything from snacks to insurance to genetic testing.  You will learn so much more by going out and talking to people.

I’m passionate about the internet as a force of nature.  Most organisations have a long way to go before they match the verve, passion and sheer know-how of the best amateur users.  I use techniques modelled after natural online groups to help organisations build their online enterprises better.