Posts Tagged ‘User Experience’

United Airlines and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Experience

Tuesday, August 9th, 2011

Last night my mom needed to buy a ticket for my 17-year-old brother to fly from Minneapolis back to San Francisco where they live. I was on the phone with her twice, walking her through the United Airlines website for over 20 minutes each time.

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This is unacceptable. My mother, who is 55, isn’t very computer savvy but she does own a computer with an Internet connection, has taken programming classes, has done online dating, and has even managed to book

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a ticket on Orbitz once… maybe twice.
(more…)

A Hole Is to Dig: Google+ Is Cool, But How to Fill It?

Tuesday, July 19th, 2011
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few weeks since Google rolled out Google+, its latest attempt at social media, to a significant number of users. If estimates are to be believed, there are now well over 10 million interaction designers using it right now, “just to

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see where this all goes.”

My view of Google+ is admittedly colored by the crowd I’ve fallen in with, but the impression is hard for me to shake. Most of the conversations in my stream are still about Google+ itself. The consensus opinion, which I share, seems to be that Google has created something pretty exciting, and that people can’t wait to see how it will be used. One friend exclaimed, “I had somewhat figured my pattern of sharing on FB and on Twitter, and now I’m staring at this Google+ ‘Share what’s new…’ box thinking, this doesn’t fit into my content strategy yet!”

These “what is essay service it” reactions remind me of the reaction to Google Wave, but with a difference. Wave was complex and offered a capability that most people didn’t need on a daily basis, whereas Google+ is instantly recognizable as something similar to the social networks used by millions of people every day. It has status updates, and connections, and profiles. The obvious comparisons to Facebook and Twitter, however, gloss over the fact that Google+ is more complex. Social networks are generally designed to be used in specific ways—ways that reinforce or emulate offline relationships—and there are clues within their designs that suggest what that use is. Google+ lacks these clues, however, which makes it interesting, powerful, and confusing all at once. (more…)

The Most Dangerous Game

Wednesday, February 23rd, 2011
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information and a complex algorithm for selecting the most probable answer, Watson all but ran the board on its way to a $1 million prize for IBM, which the company pledged to donate to charity. Yet the hype around Watson’s

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victory obscured a more important contest—that between humans and our ability to understand our own technology—and we’re not doing so well in that one, either. (more…)

Does your website legally need to be accessible?

Wednesday, September 8th, 2010

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The other day I was asked the question

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“To what level does any website legally need to be made accessible?”

    “The influence of web accessibility on business and industry is more significant when the demands of a client, or potential client, like the US federal government, must be met.” (WebAim.org)

The law that exists today says that if you are the federal government or supply electronic and information technology goods and services to the federal government, then yes, you must comply with Section 508 of the Rehabilitation Act (Section 508 Standards). This law requires “Federal agencies to make their electronic and information technology (EIT) accessible to people with disabilities.” (section508.gov)

(more…)

Insecure Footing: How Bad Usability Endangers Internet Users

Wednesday, July 21st, 2010

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How do you communicate danger to people who don’t speak your language? How do you not only alert them, but give them enough information to act even though you will never meet face-to-face? These questions were behind an effort to design a warning for the proposed nuclear waste storage facility inside Nevada’s Yucca Mountain, and they’re similar to the ones you face when trying to design for user security online.

In 2003, the Desert Space Foundation, a Nevada arts organization, hosted an exhibition that showcased novel ideas for a warning sign that would retain both its meaning and its structural integrity for the 10,000 years that Yucca Mountain was projected to pose a hazard. The difficulty of the task manifested itself in the variety of entries. Several artists assumed that familiar symbols like the yellow and black radiation icon would carry the scent of danger across the divide, but not everyone agreed, according to a Los Angeles Times article at the time.

The risk of radiation burns is lower for Internet users (especially with modern LCD monitors), but being online can be dangerous all the same. The recipients of the communication are separated not by time but by their lack of technical expertise. However, the complexity of the threat and the jargon used to describe it is at least as opaque to many people as ancient pictograms can be to us.
(more…)

Where business analysis and user experience intersect: the benefits of collaboration

Monday, July 12th, 2010
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According to Harvard Business Review editor Julia Kirby, 2010 may be the year for a resurgence in companies reconnecting with their users and focusing on user experience, but don’t forget about business analysis! It’s the BA’s job to ensure that the issues and business objectives are understood. When the solution involves end users (of a new or enhanced application/website/product), that’s where we need team up with a user experience (UX) professional.

(more…)

Recommendations to Improve iPhone Social Media Apps

Wednesday, June 16th, 2010
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Besides using my iphone as a phone, I also use it to read emails, tweets, facebook status updates, yammer posts and TFLN (texts from last night). Most of the applications I use serve the same purpose—they provide content from various sources/ in

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dividuals, and they all have either an equivalent desktop application or websites. As I’ve become intimately familiar with these apps, I’ve begun to appreciate some of things that one or another does, and I’ve found it increasingly annoying that all of the apps aren’t following suit.

(more…)

Five Web Analytics Metrics for User Experience Professionals

Thursday, April 29th, 2010

My name is Andrew Janis, and you haven’t seen me in this space before because I’m usually wearing the marketing hat at Evantage. That often means I’m knee deep in marketing analytics and occasionally working with someone on our UX team to analyze

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usability test results in the context of real-world behavior.

(more…)

Prototyping iPad Optimized Websites Using Axure

Tuesday, April 20th, 2010
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I have been tasked with creating an Axure prototype that will be demonstrated on an iPad. I’ve seen the iPad, played with the iPad, but this is first time I will be creating a prototype to be displayed on the iPad.

The first question I had was, “How will I get the Axure prototype onto the iPad? Is there an app for that? “

(more…)

#DeltaFail: Customer Experience Affected by Merger

Thursday, March 18th, 2010

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“#deltafail What a clusterf**k! I’d rather crawl over broken glass with Danny DeVito on my back than fly in the USA” (@brucetiffee)

I haven’t been impressed with Delta lately but if I was given that choice, I’d choose the plane over Danny DeVito.

I have been a loyal Northwest Airlines (NWA) flyer since 2004 (mainly due to the fact that I live in or had lived in hub cities, first Minneapolis (MSP) and then Detroit (DTW)). I’ve been a Platinum Elite member since October 2007 which gave me a lot of perks until Delta introduced Diamond status, which makes Platinum mean less on Delta than it did on NWA.

(more…)

User Experience Design Career Development – Part 1: A Formal Career Path

Monday, February 15th, 2010
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User experience (UX) design has a reputation for being both hard to get into and hard to progress from. I talked about how to get into UX design in my last article, so now I want to talk about where you go once you get in. In some ways, this is actually a harder problem. There are books that introduce you to UX design but none that really show you how to branch out once you’ve established yourself as a UX designer. Fortunately, I work at Evantage, where in 2006 Mary Donnelly and I helped management and HR to define a comprehensive UX design career path. I’m going to share it with you here and then discuss some 5 mg original brand cialis other options to consider in a follow-up article. (more…)

Does Your Website Really Need a Mobile App?

Thursday, January 21st, 2010

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Word on the street is that if you have a great site you should create a mobile app. I’ve been hearing it a lot from clients lately that everybody is on their phone and “if users could access our information then our product will be more valuable.” Is this just a fad or is it valid? Well, that depends on your customers and your business goals. (more…)

2010 Conferences

Monday, January 18th, 2010

It’s a new year. Time to start thinking about what conferences to attend in 2010. The following is a list of conferences we at Evantage are likely to attend (or have attended in the past) due to their content and location. This is not a compr

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ehensive list. There are some conferences such as IDEA that I would recommend but they do not currently have information listed about a 2010 conference. Likewise, the Usability Professional Association annual conference is another one I would typically recommend, but due to its location in Munich, Germany this year, it doesn’t appear feasible (unless you have the travel budget). (more…)

Sustainability and User Experience Join Together for World Usability Day

Tuesday, November 10th, 2009

This Thursday marks the fourth year of World Usability Day. Held the second Thursday of November every year, it is an event that celebrates the design

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around us that makes our lives easier. This year’s focus on sustainability and design.
Having always been an environmental geek, the theme of this year’s World Usability Day is especially important to me. Sustainability and creative reuse

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has been a focus of mine since I was in an organization lobbying for recycling containers in high school. I’ve always focused on how daily actions can affect the Earth. I was one of the few people who used her palm pilot to store directions to friend’s homes and measurements for an ottoman I was building because I did not want to waste paper. My current phone Cialis brand name maps directions, stores measurements and even lets me check in for a flight without the hassle and guilt of paper. Not only does this design create less waste, it also makes me more viagra 100mg england organized.
The last few years has seen a greater consciousness in how we treat the world and how thoughtful design

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of systems and products can improve someone’s day. Instead of jumping into design, we take a moment to study how people use existing technology and how they live their lives or do their jobs and then make recommendations for the systems and products they use. This may result

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savings that resounds with many people in this economy. I realize that this doesn’t work for everyone. For example, my brother isn’t an eco freak like myself, but he loves smaller energy bills and I love that he makes less of an impact on the Earth.
Join the discussion of this year’s celebration. UPA chapters around the world have events focusing on sustainability and user experience. Find your local chapter event.

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Blogging for Thought Leadership: Part 2: Learning’s and Next Steps

Tuesday, October 6th, 2009

It has been over six months since we started the Evantage User Experience Blog, and as Mary mentioned in the earlier post, it’s time for us to pa

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use, reflect and evaluate how we have been doing. In this article, I will discuss the challenges we have faced so far and what we learned from them in our efforts to keep the blog going. I will also share the metrics we collected and analyzed to answer the question we started with – Is a User Experience blog an effective medium to promote Thought Leadership?

The User Experience Team at Evantage hopes that our learnings will help other teams think about similar endeavors and that the combined efforts will foster thought leadership in the User Experience domain.

(more…)

Playfulness, Usability, &amp;amp;amp;amp; Context: The Three Pillars of a Delightful User Experience

Tuesday, September 15th, 2009

When I bought my first iPhone almost three months ago, I also acquired a new obsession with the role of playfulness in user experience design. Recently, a fortunate coincidence occurred that has allowed me to explore this new obsession deeply. Tw

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o iPhone developers each released new measurement unit conversion apps within a week of each other and also documented their design processes on the Web. As if that weren’t enough, both of these applications, taptaptap’s Convert and Tapbots’ Convertbot, were designed with the idea of delightful experience in mind. The two apps are very different despite all these similarities, and those differences got me thinking about the relationship between playfulness and usability in creating delightful interactions. I succumbed fully to my obsession and roped in some iPhone-using coworkers to participate in an informal comparative usability test. What I learned, led me to compelling insights about the relationship between usability and playfulness.
(more…)

A Few of My Favorite Things About Axure

Wednesday, September 9th, 2009

Working on a clickable prototype in the last couple of weeks I am reminded again of how much I can do in Axure that I couldn’t do in Visio. User Experience Design is all about context and while I know I got a lot of great information using pap

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er prototypes, there is another layer of learning I’ve achieved by allowing these users to personalize their experience using a clickable prototype based on where they navigate and what they enter and displaying that information back to them. (more…)

Six Data Points for User Research Documentation

Tuesday, September 1st, 2009

As a user experience consultant, I spend a fair amount of time at the beginning of a project reading existing user research reports. These reports help me understand the user research done in the past, the outcome and what, if anything was iden

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tified for further exploration. For small and relatively simple projects these reports are fairly easy to thread together. But for large and more complex projects that involve multiple user experience professionals conducting user experience activities in parallel, tracing the user research history just six months after the project is complicated and can sometimes be challenging.

Here are the six data points that I think every user research report must include.

(more…)

A look at Healthcare Systems and Web 2.0

Friday, May 22nd, 2009
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urs, policy makers, patient advocates, physicians, corporate and research organizations. The conference discussions highlighted the changing role of patients and physicians and showcased the different ways in which Web 2.0 tools had been used to help bring this change. It was a good platform to get a sneak preview into the future of the digital landscape of Healthcare and evaluate some of our strategies for getting there.

(more…)