Recently, there has been heated discussion around whether we can actually create the experience users have with our products. Our take? Sure, experience is ultimately a personal response. However, we do believe in designing robust services that allow users to have a seamless end-to-end experience across multiple channels and touch points.
When trying to consider multi channels and touch points, a service lifecycle is a useful tool. Thinking about a lifecycle asks us to surrender any attachment to a single product and instead consider the role it plays in a larger experience. For example, a modem. A modem is a product, but, more importantly fits within a wider experience of signing up for, receiving, installing and maintaining an internet connection. Read more »
Our mate Jeff Gothelf has spent a 15 year career as an agile product designer, team leader, blogger and teacher. He is one of the leading voices on the topic of Agile UX and Lean UX. In addition, Jeff is the author of the O’Reilly book (2013), Lean UX: Applying lean principles to improve user experience (www.leanuxbook.com). He is a highly sought-after international speaker and workshop leader. Jeff has led cross-functional product design teams at TheLadders, Publicis Modem, WebTrends, Fidelity, and is currently Managing Director at Neo in New York.
Jeff will be visiting our part of the world in a few months’ time (including presenting on Lean UX at UX Australia 2013 in August). Watch this space Optimal friends and clients in New Zealand!
Lean UX in the Enterprise: 5 hills to climb
Expanding on the challenges implementing Lean UX in the enterprise, I’d like to highlight a couple hurdles that most companies will undoubtedly have to go through to build, collaborative, cross-functional and agile teams.
Co-location is a dirty word
Many large companies are distributed across countries, time zones and cultures. Getting employees to work together is tough enough when they’re sitting across the hall from each other. The distance between distributed teams breaks down a collaborative culture very quickly. Read more »
Do you use a smartphone to access important information and services on-the-go? If so, you are not alone: New Zealand is in the midst of a mobile revolution. In a 2012 study, Google estimated that 44% of New Zealanders access the internet using some type of smart phone (http://goo.gl/fYM4o) and this number is only projected to increase.
Have you moved from viewing your smartphone as a gadget for entertainment and communication? Is it now an indispensable tool in your everyday activities? If so, you are part of a growing population of smartphone users that is savvier and more demanding of your mobile experience.
The smartphone revolution presents many challenges and benefits in the world of commerce. Banks epitomize just how difficult it is for large organisations to balance the needs of consumers with security concerns in the mobile environment. They must build user-friendly apps (to attract users) that are robust (to keep users) and secure (to protect users). They simply can’t afford to work by trial-and-error. Read more »
Most of the reading we do now is on a screen. Facebook and Twitter are usually bite-sized chunks of text, but we also read much longer pages of text – from news articles, blog posts, product descriptions, and of course all those terms and conditions. Those of us that are pouring text onto the Internet need to do so in a way that allows users to consume it easily.
Here are 10 tips to help you improve the way text is presented and written on your site. To start with let’s look at the three common user behaviours when reading a page of text online.
- Users read the copy from the beginning
to the end until their attention runs out.
- Users scan across and read the parts that interest them.
- Users scan the text until they find the answer to a single question.
If you’re unsure of those three, just think of the last time you read a news article (1), read a Wikipedia article (2), and looked for an answer on a page after googling a question (3).
1. Choose a comfortable font size
Are you leaning forward as you read this? If you are, then it’s likely this font size is too small. This site currently has a font size of 13 pixels (13px). For comfortable reading online 16px should be considered minimum. Read more »
Twenty Two exceptional international speakers in two days. Brain-food heaven or sheer madness?
This year we had four Optimates representing at Webstock 2013 and if you were lucky enough to be there too I’m sure you’ll agree it was a vintage year. But if you weren’t that lucky (or were and want to know what we made of it), we thought it worth sharing our take on the three most significant UX out-takes for 2013 and beyond.
1) Constraints equal innovation
Innovation is the byproduct of turning a complex problem into an easier one. For example, say you want to build your dream home. Change that to build your dream home in 34 square meters. Gary Chang was able to fit 24 different room designs into a 34 square metre apartment. This shows how adding constraints results in innovation. This can be applied not only to design but most problems you face in everyday life. It’s not so much about thinking outside the box, it’s about choosing what box to think inside.
“Design is the beauty of changing constraints into advantages” – Aza Raskin
2) You are directly responsible for what you put into the world
Self-proclaimed asshole and fiery advocate for conscious design, Mike Monteiro spoke animatedly with many expletives, reminding us to take responsibility for what we help to bring into the world, to exercise our right to say no to things that don’t meld with us as ethical, thinking beings. After all, as he so poignantly pointed out “the monsters we unleash into the world will be named after us”. Mike reminded us of the responsibility we have to ourselves, the world and our craft. If you can already feel your blood boiling with red-hot designer passion I highly recommend checking out his book ‘Design is a Job’.
“We need to fear the consequences of our work more than we love the cleverness of our work.” - Mike Monteiro
3) The internet is dead
And there are five reasons for that: Apple, Google, Amazon, Facebook, and Microsoft. These big five American vertically organized silos are re-making the world in their image. If you’re Nokia or HP or a Japanese electronics manufacturer, they stole all your oxygen. There will be a whole lot happening among these five vast entities in 2013. What will the world that they create look like?
Science Fiction Author turned futurist, Bruce Sterling is one of those polarising and inconsistent speakers, but when he is on form, boy does he bring the house down. Bruce presented a compelling argument to abandon our attachment to the constructs and concerns of Web 2.0 and embrace the new world of The Stack.
“The internet had users. The stack has livestock.” – Bruce Sterling
With huge thanks to Tash, Mike, Debbie and Ben for another totally wicked event.
Watch out for a selection of speaker videos at http://talks.webstock.org.nz/ in upcoming weeks!
by Eamon O’Rourke et al.
It’s Resolution Season again, so what better time to put our money where our mouth is and test the mettle of our UX obsessed team, than by asking what UX proclamations they made to see in the New Year?
You’d think with User Testing as a core business service we’d be dying to point out all that’s wrong in the world around us, but no, on balance it seems Optimillian’s are tired of hating and would really rather get on with making the planet a more user friendly place.
So if we’re sharing the love, what are we going to do about it?
- Mark says: Look beyond surface improvement and make a product or service inherently better (unless of course you have the perfect product or service, and then button placement may be everything)
- Trent says: Make recommendations for change that delivers the greatest and most immediate benefit (maybe we’ll talk through improvements 11 to 253 once you’ve implemented the first ten)
- Amelia says: Celebrate local and global businesses that embrace user-centred design and reap the rewards (it doesn’t matter who made it, what’s important is understanding what made it so successful) Read more »
Have you read an article recently about the number of Eftpos transactions over Christmas? Every other article about shopping quotes Paymark transaction statistics. No one seems to ever discuss or report the steps leading up to a transaction?
“I’ve always been a fan of EFT-POS (Electronic Funds Transfer at Point Of Sale) since I got my first card in 1992. But just lately I’ve been frustrated with the inconsistency of the whole customer experience.” – Trent
That’s from Optimal Usability’s third ever blog post, from 2003. Has much changed in close to 10 years since that post? Or in over 20 years since Eftpos arrived? Is it still a frustrating, inconsistent experience? Are these three simple steps…
Swipe » Select your account » Enter PIN & press enter
…always that simple?
“You’d think by now that the banks, supermarkets and retail outlets would have it sorted. But I still struggle with the simplest of tasks: how I’m supposed to present my card. Do I hand it to you? Or do I swipe it myself?” – Trent
Sound familiar? I call it the ‘Eftpos nod’. Watch as people nod up and down attempting to figure out from visual cues who is going to swipe the card. The most obvious cue is the cashier holding out their hand for your card, or simply, there’s no reader slot on the terminal. Read more »
It’s a long way to Kyrgyzstan, especially if you’re going via New Zealand. But in the global financial system, anywhere to anywhere is just a click away.
Earlier this year, an investigation by international NGO Global Witness uncovered suspicious transactions worth billions of dollars flowing through Kyrgyzstan’s largest bank. Most of these transactions involve shell companies in Britain, Belize and New Zealand that have little or no real business activities.
In one case, money from a Kyrgyz bank account held by a New Zealand company was used to pay a German vendor on behalf of a Russian company. Why? Through the use of shell companies and a web of transactions around the world, it’s almost impossible to track down the real people and the real purpose behind these transactions. They could be avoiding taxes, laundering the proceeds of corruption or organized crime, or funding terrorism. Read more »
11 sure things that distinguish a consulting business from a corporate:
- Meeting the boss does not require a six week wait for a ten minute speed date (he’s sitting next to you)
- IT Support are people that help, not an adversarial enemy
- Reconciling monthly expenses does not require a degree in accountancy and/or computer science
- Induction is a coffee-centric experience, not an agonising process of bureaucratic indoctrination
- Attendance of a board meeting is not prefaced by the submission of a hundred page report (that nobody reads)
- If you have to ask about the building’s seismic rating, you probably shouldn’t
- Proudly displaying a gifted bottle of hard liquor on your desk will not create an HR incident
- Any internal email can be supported by the inclusion of a relevant LOL Cat, actually it’s kind of expected
- A row of empty desks in the office is a good thing – it means consultants are on site with clients
- The office kitchen is so small you have to step out of it to open the fridge (…and yet the staff bar is cavernous)
- The office dog is actually a dog (Bowie).
*Eamon O’Rourke has recently completed a three-years-brief tour of duty in corporate New Zealand and is still in a daily state of wondrous amazement at the radically different culture of big versus small.
In this absorbing, interactive infographic Optimal Workshop CEO @Andrewfantastic explores quantifying the value of UX design and making the world a better place.
Time. It’s pretty precious. It’s the currency we spend to get things done. And more often than not, things end up taking more time than expected.
In celebration of World Usability Day 2012, Andrew has produced an interactive and informative infographic that illustrates how user experience (UX) designers around the world are winning back time, a most precious commodity for all of us.
Optimal Workshop is a leading vendor of online usability testing tools serving a global community of UX designers, information architects and usability researchers.
Early 2012 saw a significant milestone when an Optimal Workshop customer used the online card-sorting tool, OptimalSort, to rack up the 1,000,000th user test on Workshop’s tools.
The passing of this milestone set Andrew thinking.
“How much time is saved everyday across the world as the payback of UX design and usability testing?” Read more »
Page 1 of 121234510Last »