Empathy is what separates us from the rest of the animal kingdom. We have an ability to imagine things the way that others see them and how it makes them feel. We don’t even have to have a disability ourselves. Accessibility is NOT a checklist. Accessibility is about usability. Accessibility is a paradigm shift. Accessibility is a personal issue.
Audio signals also help us interact with our environment. Some of these signals are designed: We wake to the buzz of the alarm clock, answer the ringing telephone, and race to the kitchen when the shrill beep of the smoke alarm warns us that dinner is burning on the stove. Other audio signals are not deliberately designed, but help us nonetheless. For instance, we may know the proper sound of the central air conditioning starting, the gentle hum of the PC fan, or the noise of the refrigerator. So, when these systems go awry, we notice it immediately--something doesn't sound right. Likewise, an excellent mechanic might be able to tell what is wrong with a car engine just by listening to it run.
Your customers are the reason your company exists: serving and retaining them is essential. Results from a recent JD Power retail banking satisfaction study show that poor customer service is the most common reason why customers switched banks in 2010. Of respondents, 37% who changed their primary bank did so because of poor customer service at their previous bank. If you don’t recognize the value of your customers, they leave. If you treat them with compassion and respect, you can inspire their loyalty.
The shortcomings and limitations of user-centered and user experience design are considered and contrasted with usage-centered design. The iterative, trial-and-error approach of traditional user-centered approaches is argued to lead to excessive dependence on user testing and user approval, leading to overly conservative designs. By contrast, model-driven approaches based on fine-grained task models have a proven record of leading to dramatic improvements in user performance through innovative designs.
All of the members of the best teams could tell us, with relative ease, the top five business goals of their application, the top five user types the application was to serve, and the top five platform capabilities and limitations they had to work within. And, when questioned more deeply, each team member revealed an appreciation and understanding of the challenges and goals of their teammates almost as well as their own.
As UX professionals, we practice user-centered design—which means we stay focused on users and their needs when designing a Web site, product, or service for a client. We may spend days, weeks, or sometimes even months surveying or interviewing users or conducting diary studies or focus groups. Often, we create personas to crystallize our understanding of users and their needs. Ultimately, a Web site exists for the sake of its users. If users are not able to find or comprehend the information or functionality that a client’s Web site provides, it won’t be useful to them. On the other hand, if we endeavor to consider the user’s perspective in making every design decision, we can help to ensure a meaningful and successful experience for the users of a client’s Web site.
If all Cordell Ratzlaff had done was design the interface for Apple’s OSX, he’d still have a place in the pantheon of UX luminaries. But in the ten years since that ground-breaking design, he’s gone on to high-profile positions at Frog Design, a variety of independent projects, and most recently, Director of User-Centered design at Cisco.
When writing software, *please* don't give error messages that are only meaningful to developers of the software. Microsoft used to be awful for this: "System fault at DEAD:BEEF, please contact your system administrator". Which would've been cool, except that I *was* the system administrator.
It isn’t often that one has the opportunity to create a course about user experience, let alone an entire sequence of user experience courses. Jason Withrow's opportunity forced him to examine his perceptions of the user experience industry.
The experience profile of a product can be described in terms of these experiential components. Once such an experience profile has been properly defined, it must be translated in all product properties the designer can affect. It has an effect on the sensorial aspects of the product, but also on the way it functions, it affects the way people operate the product and even the way the product is marketed. In sum, the profile has an impact on all aspects that together shape the human-product interaction.
After the eras of the Commodity Economy, the Manufacturing Economy, the Service Economy and the Information Economy, we have now entered the era of the Dream Economy. The key to success in the Dream Economy is an in-depth and holistic understanding of people. It's not only about meeting people's practical needs, but also about meeting their aspirations and providing a positive emotional experience.
Defining 'the user experience' is difficult since it can extend to nearly everything in someone's interaction with a product, from the text on a search button, to the color scheme, to the associations it evokes, to the tone of the language used to describe it, to the customer support. Understanding the relationship between these elements requires a different kind of research than merely timing how quickly a task is accomplished or testing to see how memorable the logo is.
It's not uncommon to hear people complaining about the poor user experience of some B2B and enterprise applications. Read through these top tips to help you design enterprise applications that offer a better user experience and increase productivity.
To improve your product’s out-of-the-box experience, you must first define the experience that you want your users to have. The next challenge is to design the specific elements that will achieve that experience. These elements must be designed harmoniously with each other and with the functional improvements planned for the product. By enhancing those improvements, the overall experience will draw the customer into the product. If designed appropriately, these elements can improve not only the out-of-the-box experience but also the marketability of the product.
No matter how motivated we are or how much effort we invest in our work, it doesn't change the fact that we devote a sizable chunk of our careers to working on brands no one truly cares about. In the 25 years that I’ve worked as a designer, brand consultant, and creative director, I've experienced the good, the bad and, most often, the mediocre. There are myriad reasons for mediocrity, but unfortunately, the one that’s the most detrimental is also the most prevalent.
As UX professionals, we strive to design engaging experiences. These experiences help to forge relationships between the products we create and the people who use them. Whether you’re designing a website or a physical product, the formation of a relationship depends on how useful, usable and pleasurable the experience is. Ultimately, we form relationships with products and services for the same reasons we form relationships with people.
These days, the idea of customer engagement is almost as hot as Web 2.0--and almost as controversial. As busy UX professionals, should we invest our time and energy in caring about engagement, or is it just another buzzword? I think we do need to understand customer engagement, so that, at a minimum, we can respond intelligently to questions about it from marketers or executives. We might even glean some useful insights from thinking about engagement. This column aims to cut through the hype and reveal the potential value of engagement.
With so many choices as to how we can spend our time in the digital age, attention is becoming the most important currency. In today's splintered media environment, new digital products and services must compete with everything under the sun, making differentiation key to developing an audience that cares, invests, and ultimately drives value.
Jesse James Garrett’s 'The Elements of User Experience' diagram has become rightly famous as a clear and simple model for the sorts of things that user experience professionals do. But as a model of user experience it presents an incomplete picture with some serious omissions—omissions I’ll try address with a more holistic model.
How do UX designers tell their story in a relevant, meaningful way, to audiences who have no exposure to UX? UX practitioners are keenly aware that everything we use in our lives was designed by someone. But outside of our industry (and related ones), most people aren't aware of the many decisions that were made (or not made) on their behalf when a product or service was designed. So I approached my friend Ben Chun about doing a presentation to his Introduction to Programming class at Galileo High School in San Francisco. He thought this would be a great start to a project they'd embark upon this year: designing an educational computer game for 5th graders.
I’m part of the AEC User Experience Team at Autodesk. Our goal is to design a great user experience for our customers, but just what does that mean? Our definition of user experience focuses on all the touchpoints that current or new users have with our product. For example, the downloading of software trials is often the beginning of one’s user experience with a product. If you have to fill out forms that ask for too much information, (should “cell phone number” be a required field on a trial download form?) or present you with too many obstacles, the likelihood of a positive user experience will be low. Your interactions with technical support, documentation, the product, and even other products that you use, are all aspects of the user experience.
At this point in experience design's evolution, satisfaction ought to be the norm, and delight ought to be the goal. As design professionals, how do we create opportunities for customer delight?
In the current discussion of where design is going and what matters, there is an emphasis on the user and his or her (emotional) experience. It is a hot topic in books, blogs and the minds of industrial designers and interaction designers, worldwide. The importance of a focus on (emotional) experiences in addition to a merely technological or functional focus is being stressed by professionals with many different cultural backgrounds.