UX Cambridge Crafted round-up
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UX Cambridge Crafted round-up

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The Crafted Creative Team was lucky enough to attend UX Cambridge, a community-driven, practical User Experience conference. All of the team found both days extremely useful, with some strong themes ...

The Crafted Creative Team was lucky enough to attend UX Cambridge, a community-driven, practical User Experience conference. All of the team found both days extremely useful, with some strong themes running across the two days.
If you weren’t able to make this year’s conference, or just want a recap of the main topics covered, our Creative Team have put together a detailed round-up of the event for you to download and share.

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    UX Cambridge Crafted round-up UX Cambridge Crafted round-up Presentation Transcript

    • Photo: © Andrew Dunn, 19 December 2004. http://www.andrewdunnphoto.com/ November 2012 UX Cambridge INFORMATION Crafted
    • Crafted CraftedINFORMATION INFORMATION UX Cambridge www.uxcambridge.net | #uxcam The Crafted creative team was lucky enough 1.0 The Power of Imagination to attend UX Cambridge, a community-driven, 2.0 BeCurious: helping patients manage chronic disease practical User Experience conference. All of 3.0 New, Smarter Defaults in Web Design the team, without exception, found both days 4.0 UX in SwiftKey: Why, When and How extremely useful with some strong themes 5.0 Rapid Product Design in the Wild running throughout the conference. Here is 6.0 From Print to Digital: designing The Week Magazine’s iPad app a quick round up of what they saw. 7.0 Better Product Definition with Lean UX and Design Thinking 8.0 People, not process: The craft of being heard 9.0 User Experience Does Not Exist 10.0 Small Business Owners and Perceived Website Mysteries 11.0 From Darwin to Design 12.0 Small Cognitive Psychology for Big Interaction Design 13.0 Photos - The unsung heroes of user experience design
    • CraftedINFORMATION 1.0By Barnie Mills, @basscake The Power of ImaginationHead of Design, Crafted Richard Caddick – CX Partners. @richardcaddick Richard’s presentation centered around how • The baker Christina Tosi spent her Empathy & Insight“See the value of we can apply the power of our imagination to childhood experimenting wildly with food Richard spoke about how empathy and insight better understand our audience and create more which allowed her to develop a unique flair work together to develop a deep understandingimagination,” said powerful user experiences, or how we can better for combining flavours. of a subject. However, it is important when using use our imaginations to solve problems. empathy to solve problems that we are wary ofHolmes. “It is the one • Felix Baumgartner, who recently jumped making assumptions. Richard used an example Richard began his presentation by talking about from space, was drawing pictures of himself where researchers gave subjects two cameras,quality which Gregory imagination itself and how it can be defined as parachuting while his family looked on as one with a happy face on to record things that a venn diagram, imagination being the point at early as age 5. made them happy and one with a sad face onlacks. We imagined which what has been, what is and what could to record things that made them sad. Although be, overlap. He also spoke about how a similar The fact that imagination and creativity are the photos helped to greatly increase empathywhat might have diagram consisting of creativity, empathy and shaped by experience means that we can in fact for the users, the researchers had made insight could be applied to the UX process. continually and actively develop them through: assumptions about the meaning of some ofhappened, acted upon the photos and so misinterpreted them until Creativity • Practice they interviewed their subjects.the supposition, and Richard used examples to demonstrate the power • Experimentation of creativity and imagination and how they are • Observation Richard also used a personal example offind ourselves justified.” shaped by experience: • Reflection a cancer scare to illustrate the same point. • Questioning Having first hand experience of cancer moved~ Arthur Conan Doyle • The artist Turner changed the style of his • Teaching him from empathy with cancer sufferers to a painting considerably over the course of his real understanding of how it feels to be in that life as he learned from his tutors, travelled Richard admitted that for him teaching and situation, and also a realisation that it’s easy and as newer materials became available. His presenting to others is a process of learning to forget patients as people with lives, not just imagination also inspired to him to work with for himself, an opportunity to explore his ‘cancer sufferers’. In the same way it can be easy immense rigour, producing over 19,000 works own ideas. to forget our users as people with complex lives over his lifetime. and needs.
    • CraftedINFORMATION As humans our ability to feel empathy for Constraint, Freedom – Sometimes constraints can pick up, Richard’s final case study was one that complete strangers is a huge part of our makeup. be more useful to a designer than freedom as they was obviously drawn from one of his own loves, Advertisers play on this all the time and as UX force us to look at things in a way we perhaps cycling. The inventor of the Brooks cycle saddle, professionals we can make use of it too. Richard normally would not. John Brooks, was a leather manufacturer whose spoke of his first hand experience working as a horse died. He ended up borrowing a friend’s consultant for a local council website. Rather New, familiar – Designers are always trying to bike. At the time all bikes just had a wooden than going through a superficial process of simply come up with something new and creative but plank for a saddle. Brooks used his creativity making text and calls to action clearer, the team actually sometimes users need to see something and experience as a leather manufacturer to used empathy mapping to build a more detailed familiar. We need to use both in design. patent a comfortable leather cycle saddle. picture of the user. The saddles are still made today, they need Not only can all these ideas span a single project, breaking in but this means that they actually Project Dynamics the same fluctuations can continue across get better with time. This is what we should all Moving on to how we approach projects, Richard multiple projects. be striving for - to design experiences that described them (suitably festively) as a Christmas improve with time! tree on its side – multiple, gradually shrinking, Play periods of creativity and imagination focusing It is important to remember that we are not Richard concluded his presentation with a to a point of refinement until project conclusion. the only people that possess creativity and quote by Oscar Wilde “Be yourself, everyone Within this pattern the dynamics of projects imagination, users do as well, they want to else is already taken.” often tend to fluctuate between periods of think and imagine. By designing interfaces fast paced activity followed by a period of with hooks and levers for users to pull on and Key takeaways slower refinement. explore, we can engage and inform the user All of the ideas Richard shared came back often better than if we try to restrict them and to using our creativity, the experience we build Taking this idea of fast and slow Richard also force them down a route they do not feel they up on a daily basis and our inbuilt empathy talked of different ways to stimulate creativity have imagined for themselves. with other humans to build a better picture using the following examples: of the end user and not just blindly following Richard gave several case studies that illustrated a set of design principles. Zoom In, zoom out - look at the detail but also how users often use sites and apps in ways that be able to step back and look at the whole. were not imagined by the designer. Encourage, Challenge – having someone who Is this it is able to do both is hugely important in order Reiterating that we should always be moving to give us perspective. forward, applying the skills and experience we
    • CraftedINFORMATION 2.0 BeCurious: helping patientsBy Barnie Mills, @basscake manage chronic diseaseHead of Design, Crafted Dr Rachel Jones, Instrata, Cambridge“BeCurious is a mobile app being developed Rachel described how initial search phases In scoping the functionality the team needed The brand for the app was developed early into help patients manage chronic disease by were informal, for example workshops with to decide what to build first by deciding what the process to help secure funding from VCs,integrating a care treatment plan with a person’s patients to help define the product feature. was critical to the app DNA. High-level to give users a better feel for the product duringmood, thereby customising the proposed activities The team also carried out desktop research functionality included the following: the testing and also to help the team feel moreand improving the person’s motivation based on into academic evidence and alternatives motivated about the product.the stage of their condition and on an behind chronic disease care, how social • Support – social and emotionalunderstanding of their emotional state.” influence could be leveraged and also around • Tailored care The design of the app ran parallel to and our increased access to health information • Managing help juggled alongside the research, analysis andDr Rachel Jones talked us through the process (who hasn’t looked up their symptoms on • Information seeking value proposition. Icon styles for users to rateundertaken in the development of the app and Google?!). The main emphasis for the design • Physiological input mood, pain etc within the app were developedsome of the following design techniques: process was to design early, sketch test and • Clinical advice and tested. Options included happy and sad explore the scope and look at potential USPs • Carer support faces and weather themed options (sunshine• Scenario-based design through lots of iterations. for positive, dark clouds for negative).• State descriptions Rachel explained how these decisions were Considerations such as cultural perceptions• Mockups and testing The team also looked at how ‘Persuasive Design’ supported and validated with early Balsamique of weather were taken into account.• Persuasive design sometimes called ‘Nudging’ could be used to mockups. Early prototypes were built with change behavior around disease management interchangeable graphics to ensure that Key takeawaysThe main objectives of the product were to: by making the care provided by the app person changes could be easily made without the • The link between the emotional and centered and looking at how to manage the need for a high workload. the functional• Provide a support network and help patient’s emotional well being. • Concentrate on user need rather than user to manage chronic disease Market analysis was carried out to define the state (understand what is ’core’)• Provide tailored care to offer better value proposition of the app. Areas covered • Scope the feature set health outcomes included the cost of chronic disease to the • Remember to prototype and iterate early• Focus on mobile to increase patient access NHS/ Government and segmentation of• Allow the app to be configurable for consumer health apps. different diseases
    • CraftedINFORMATION 3.0By Ally Wright, @allyrara New, Smarter Defaults in Web DesignSenior Designer, Crafted Vasilis van Gemert – Mirabeau. @vasilis. Slides Vasilis van Gemert is the Principal Front-end increasing the width of our designs to Everybody has Broadband – Although thisThe web looks different Developer at Mirabeau in The Netherlands. With accommodate large screen resolutions for is improving all the time, many areas are still his knowledge of what’s possible in the browser he monitors and televisions many designs seem without high speed broadband. We also havefor everyone. advises clients like KLM and ING about current to neglect the fact that these sites still need to to consider the use of mobile devices using the and future web design solutions. He writes articles work on much smaller screens. Smart phones sometimes painfully slow 3G. For example, on for Smashing Magazine and the Dutch edition of and tablet devices are increasing in popularity a 3G connection large images on a site could Web Designer Magazine and is also connected as and the average user’s interaction with the force the page to timeout. In an age where we a teacher and advisor to the University of Applied Internet needs to work on multiple levels want bite-sized information fast, page loading Science in Amsterdam. Needless to say Vasilis and screen sizes. time is very important. This is a strong case knows what he is talking about. towards designing for smaller devices, perhaps Although ‘Responsive design’ seems to be a unique m. site or a reactive/responsive layout. In his talk Vasilis looked at some practical discussed as a new method to accommodate design patterns, but also highlighted some of the new technology, it has actually been around for Monitors collaborated – As designers we are possibilities presented by new web technologies. a long time. ‘Fluid’ page templates have been often lucky enough to have the best equipment His talk aimed to help designers and developers used in the past. So are we going back a step? and technology at our disposal. However, not get rid of old habits and to raise the issue that we everyone does. Although retina displays and need New Defaults for the rapidly changing web. Everybody has a mouse – This is no longer true. HD graphics are becoming the norm in terms Touch screen devices such as smart phones and of new product releases we still need to consider The web has changed… or has it? tablets and even televisions are in widespread the average user is likely using a much lower Vasilis re-introduced us to many of the design use. Therefore we need to consider how design quality monitor. patterns we as designers, for the most part, adhere elements work alongside across technology to to and explained how the assumptions we often improve usability. For example, a drop down This difference in calibration and quality make are incorrect. For example: navigation that is activated on rollover using a can impact web sites design and effectiveness mouse will behave differently with a touch dramatically. For example, if your calls to Screen size/resolution – Gone are the days of the device and may even break to some extent. action are a certain colour and a users low 800x600 layout... or are they? Although we are From a usability point of view this is a problem. quality machine cannot render the colour
    • CraftedINFORMATIONcontrast the key information could potentially eloquently and produced the ‘Future friendly occur is with the layout. Therefore we should hand widgets) we should let the content lead thebe invisible. manifesto’. be designing for the smallest screen size first. layout. For a more refined design solution begin It is much easier to grow than it is to shrink! to ask:Computers get faster every year – Although this is With this philosophy in mind Vasilis continuedtrue to some extent, great strides in technology are on to propose a set of ‘New defaults’ that we as By focusing on a smaller screen size and how • Do we need widgets?happening all the time, pushing our capabilities in designers and developers should use moving content is displayed, key usability issues are • Do we need a subnavigation?web design and development. However, we must forward. highlighted early on in the design process. For • Do we need a header?also consider that generally people cannot justify example, forms on a smaller device are easier to • Do we need a logo?updating their computers or devices every year. Touch First complete if the labels are above the fields ratherAs a general rule consumers want technology to Design for touch first and foremost. This will than on the left, which forces the user to scroll CLI (command line) firstlast longer, be value for money, have a longer mean that functionality will work for both touch back and forth. Another key point raised was that we should bebattery life and so on. screen and mouse interaction. It is also worth testing functionality before we design it. Making considering keyboard navigation and tab Vasilis illustrated how we can use the typography sure that the idea works, by testing the coreTherefore we have to consider that that the average navigation; these can help the user navigate the as a guide to where breakpoints for responsive function of the app first, should be a priority. Thisuser is on a slower, older machine compared to site with only a keyboard and are often neglected. layouts should be, rather than trying to keep allows for flexible design and flexible interactionwhat we may be using. track of the myriad of possible resolutions and and raises issues earlier in the process so Layers of Progressive Enhancement screen sizes. Typography is a common element, alternatives can be decided on. The key pointRemember: The web looks different for everyone. When designing we should be thinking about it works on all browsers and can be seen on all being that the development team should beWe should as a matter of course test our design the technology the user is viewing the website screen sizes. There are also hundreds of years of involved at an earlier stage in the design process.and development projects on a range of outputs, on. We need to consider tried and tested typographic rules that we canincluding lower quality technology. use to help legibility. For example, any more Takeaways • Old browsers than 72 characters in a line of type becomes Remember that ‘The web looks different forOn reflection many of these points seem obvious, • Mondern browsers hard to scan and read easily – why not use this everyone’ . Design with these ‘new defaults’but for some reason the majority of projects run • Future brwosers ‘measure’ to define breakpoints for our responsive in mind:on as they ever have and we tend to think that we • Robots layouts and adjust the layout once we hit this lineare original and creative while often we fall back • Humans length limit. 1. Solid API/Functionalityto old habits because of lack of time or budget. • Small screens 2. Focus on content • Fat fingers! Content First 3. Small screen firstVasilis made it clear that this way of working will • Etc… We should consider other elements of our design 4. Design for touchnot hold up in the long term, we as designers and such as hierarchy of content, what does or doesn’tdevelopers need to evolve with the internet and Small screen first add to the design or function of the site. Ratherdesign for the future as well as for now. A group We need to be more aware in the design process than following formulaic layouts (logo top left,of respected peers have put this far more that the key stage where restrictions and issues full width header, left hand navigation and right
    • CraftedINFORMATION 4.0By Charlie Gordon, @cbg UX in SwiftKey: Why, When and HowJunior Designer, Crafted Nikiforos Karamanis – TouchType. I went along to this session to learn about user When Swiftkey VIP was launched, a more private One of the key outcomes of the talk wasSwiftKey is a smart experience from the perspective of another forum where only a small group of trusted users that teams need to be adjustable, patient, company. Niki from Swiftkey delivered an were able to earn the privilege to read and post collaborative and constructive whenkeyboard app for interesting presentation about how he and his was used. This enabled the team to release thinking about UX in their products. team implemented UX principles to deliver a exclusive new features to these users and getAndroid devices that great product. feedback before releasing in the wild. It also Key takeaways allowed them to maintain a close relationship • Communicate with your audience, useprovides word The SwiftKey product is a smart keyboard app for with their users by responding to their feedback. feedback to make design decisions Android devices that actually learns and provides • Create good relationships with your mostpredictions as you type. predictions as you type. It has achieved the top They focused on language related feedback as loyal users paid app in Google Play in multiple countries, this was high priority. As users reported issues • Focus on the highest priority issues first.Why, when and how rave reviews, and has been downloaded more with the different keyboard layouts across than seven million times! different languages, the team were able to rectifywere UX principles the issues quickly. Niki explained how they formed a close-knitappled to improve community, that communicated via forums, By organising language-based focus groups, around their product. Users would post feedback one-to-one sessions and observations the teamthe product. and the team were able to use this feedback to were able to get up close and personal with their make major design decisions. Getting feedback users. By standing behind someone and watching directly from the community is great because how they used the app they were able to see any you’re getting feedback from users who are issues with the product directly and also how actually using the product, in real situations, on a user reacted. daily basis, rather than dedicated testers navigating through the app. The company also performed traditional usability testing. They also found sketching to be a very useful way to improve their product.
    • CraftedINFORMATION 5.0By Ally Wright, @allyrara Rapid Product Design in the WildSenior Designer, Crafted Michele Ide-Smith – Red Gate Software. @micheleidesmith. Slideshare Michele is a User Experience Specialist at Red market and approaching them at an appropriate involved with the projects progress. TheseMichele Ide-Smith Gate, working on tools for SQL and Oracle time and location any data gathered would be included: developers. She enjoys collaborating with valuable in terms of developing the concept.share what we learnt Agile development teams and encouraging • Agile feedback sessions (simple yes or no team ownership of User Experience. Michele is Continuing this targeted approach the team, questions, postit boards for comments)about using rapid, active in the UX community, co-organising the rather than bombarding people with information • Empathy maps Cambridge Usability Group talks and blogging and questions, approached attendees between • Affinity maps (which help to analyseiterative prototyping at www.ide-smith.co.uk and ux.red-gate.com. talks with clear and simple ‘bite-sized’ questions feedback and prioritise data) Michele’s talk was a case study on creating a such as “are you an oracle developer?” and • Newsletter sign uptechniques and prototype for a software tool, in three days, at “would this software be something you would • Bite size surveys a trade show. find useful?”. This approach didn’t wastecustomer feedback anybody’s time if the project wasn’t applicable After the event, Michele highlighted the Michele deconstructed the task that her team but allowed the opportunity to gather relevant importance of ‘Keeping the conversationsessions ‘in the wild’ underwent and shared the Agile and Lean data where available. going’. Having engaged the potential users/ User Experience methods utilised in the clients at the early stages of the conceptat a trade show, to process, as well as highlighting the learning By engaging with the attendees in this fashion, development it is important to keep them outcomes of the experience. real world scenarios could be developed and informed and involved in its progress.develop a minimum potential users/clients could provide insight This was achieved using: Research into exactly what was needed and any painviable product. Michele’s team had obviously gathered enough points or issues that they may come across. • Interviews and remote usability testing information to support their concept before flying • The opportunity to join a beta program members of the Redgate team to a conference Feedback • The release of updates as they materialised, held in Texas. The conference selected was perfect As data was gathered it was important that all no matter how small. (This kept the user / for the ‘Live Lab’ task, as it would be teeming members of the team, and indeed the conference client interested and up to date with the with potential users of the software that they attendees, were aware of it. Several Agile methods progress of the project) were proposing. By getting to know the target were used to keep everyone up to date and • Newsletter sign-ups
    • CraftedINFORMATION Design & Development allowed tangible results for the potential users working that could prove successful; whatever Michele used paper prototyping to develop the UI to feedback on. the environment. and design of the software. The environment was very fast paced and changes and ideas needed to Communication methods Key Takeaways: be explored quickly. Rather than the usual design Throughout the process the communication • Targeted research – speak to the users process consisting of wireframes on a screen, the between the team and the attendees was the key • Listen to feedback – Put your work up for all team instead printed out UI elements that could to the success of the task. to see, comment on and be open to change be moved and adjusted quickly and tested by the • Paper prototyping – Save time and iron out team and potential clients/users. The Redgate brand stood out clearly to those any issues before you go in to development at the conference, the stand itself was adapted • Sprint development – Develop in bite sized This produced a ‘working’ prototype for the to suit the project with clear areas for specific tasks, and be ready to change requirements developers. The approach highlighted issues information, seating for discussions and testing at any stage early on and allowed them to be resolved and a large screen showing the development of • Transparency – Show your progress! quickly rather than amending code once it the concept. had been implemented.   Team meetings were regularly held throughout Sprint based development was used to manage the process, making sure everyone was on the the project – small chunks of work that kept same page and keeping productivity and team members and other participants interested. enthusiasm going. Michele commented that It also made it easier to track progress through many times during these meetings the the workflow, allowed flexibility for changes in conference attendees would join in and requirements or strategy and aided in the further add ideas and feedback. prioritisation and assignment of tasks by displaying the progress of the project on a Over all the process was very effective, the board split between pending → in progress → methods used by the team worked well and resolved → closed. helped to develop a very strong concept. Although it is unlikely that many agencies The developed prototype itself was built in css/ would be able to go to the lengths in this case html using twitter bootstrap for speed. This study, it does highlight some key methods of
    • CraftedINFORMATION 6.0 From Print to Digital: designingBy Chris Plowman, @cplowman The Week Magazine’s iPad appDesigner, Crafted Harry Brignull – Clearleft. @harrybr “We are all big, fat liars.” Was the first thing that meaning that once a content strategy was finalised the app. They decided upon an existing iPadHarry Brignull of Harry Brignull told us in his talk. He pointed it could be easily adhered to. Each subject is split user who finds the app with no, or limited prior out that we pretend our designs happen in a clear into event, editorial, commentary and future. This knowledge of The Week and an existing printClearleft explores, linear process, from concept to solution and this layout is always the same to meet the main aim subscriber who will get the app bundled as part is normally how we present it to our clients. In of the magazine; to allow the user to scan and of their subscription.very honestly, how the actual fact we have no map and we have to explore process information quickly. to find the solution. The process is less of an A to Once they had produced an initial workingprocess of designing the B route and more like a treasure map, where we The main issue was that the available real-estate prototype the team tested it using a group of must explore different points to find the treasure. on an iPad screen is much less than that on a likely users. It was a huge failure! The prototypesuccessful iPad app for printed page of the magazine itself. This meant had articles split into sections with full screen To illustrate this point he took us through that mimicking the print issue design directly ads that only appeared when the user switchedthe magazine ‘The Week’ Clearleft’s process in designing the iPad app made readability an issue, squashing content actions. The team didn’t realise that users would for The Week. The Week is a magazine that into a small space and making it impossible to skip readily between sections and therefore werewent and why we should summarises the week’s news into one magazine scan-read an issue in the same way that print seeing an advert every couple of screens which making it easier to digest. Unlike a lot of print readers are able to. led them to complain. The navigation also hadbe more honest about magazines it actually has a steadily growing problems, section pages and article pages were subscription. This meant that the brief for the One issue that the team made sure they avoided too similar so the user often didn’t noticehow design works. iPad app from The Week was very clear, unlike was adding too many bells, whistles and there had been a change and that they had many magazines which are wanting to claw interactive elements to the app. They identified to navigate back a level to return to the readers back via the iPad, The Week simply The Mail Online iPad app as being particularly sections menu. instructed Clearleft to ‘not screw it up’! guilty of this, it requires a 19 page in-app tutorial before the user arrives at any content. The team revisited the entire design, settling on The initial research into the challenges and a two pane layout like those used in many email benefits of The Week brought up a few things. The team decided to create two user personas to clients. This layout made the article and section The Week’s layout is almost identical every week identify how key markets would feel about how selection easy and made the navigation clearer.
    • CraftedINFORMATION They made sure there was a clear difference Key takeaways between contents and articles and then tested • Design is a process that very rarely goes the prototype again. straight from inception to solution. If we tell our clients this from the start we can have a The usability tests were much better. The product better working relationship was launched and recieved great reviews. • Don’t panic when things go wrong. The feedback you get is invaluable to getting to Harry made it clear that the success of this project the right answer was due largely to the reaction to the usability • Don’t be afraid to make mistakes. testing from both the team and the client, both of whom didn’t panic. The client understood that getting to the final product was a process and that it would take time and possibly some false starts to get to the right solution. To have this relationship with clients’ it is important that your sales team understands how the design process works and that this is passed on to the client from the very start of the project. We should not be afraid to make mistakes in our work, if you don’t make mistakes you aren’t exploring and will never do anything new.
    • CraftedINFORMATION 7.0 Better Product Definition withBy Barnie Mills, @basscake Lean UX and Design ThinkingHead of Design, Crafted Jeff Gothelf – Neo. @jboogie Having read quite a bit about the idea of Lean To achieve this we can apply: In the same way that we need to shift ourRequirements-driven UX Jeff Gothelf ’s presentation was one of the thinking about requirements we also need to shift real draws for me when we signed up to UX • Empathy for our customers our language to ‘we believe’ rather than ‘we know’.product definition is Cambridge and it really helped to confirm • Creativity in generating insights the validity of the ideas I had read. • Rationality to analyse context We believe [this assumption], will achieve [thisa sure-fire way to get outcome], we will know we are successful when Jeff opened with a case study about Plancast a (all three of which tie in neatly with Richard we see [this signal from the marketplace]100% of the wrong social platform for sharing events. The product Caddicks keynote form the previous day) was initially very promising with lots of interest Jeff used a case study of a company calledproduct launched. from users and investors and a had a huge number Lean UX ‘The Ladders’. Based on an assumption the of sign ups when it launched. However, retention Lean UX is an approach that places less emphasis company changed its approach to customerThe assumptions that was not good and users were not using the key on deliverables and greater emphasis on shared service, giving each of its customers their own features of the site, this ultimately led to it failing. understanding. We should prioritise learning over personal assistant, in order to improve customerrequirements are The founder of the site published a post-mortem growth. In other words don’t spend five months service. This required a huge, and expensive of the site after its failure in which he stated that building the finished product. Spend five hours change in the way the company worked. Thebased on are usually the reason it failed was because the whole idea building a prototype, test it, decide what works idea failed and the investment was ultimately was based on an assumption that ultimately was and then spend five months refining it. wasted. If Lean UX had been applied to thenot accurate enough proved to be incorrect. process then tests could have been devised In order to do this we need to consider: to prove the initial hypothesis that the changeto determine the Requirements are actually Assumptions! would improve user experience at a fraction We can’t know what users requirements are, • Who the customer is of the cost.exact solution those we can only make assumptions until we get • What pain points do they have user feedback. By building a culture of • How will the product solve those pain points Outcomes not outputrequirements dictate experimentation and embracing failure we • What features are important Teams should be driven from managing output can create better user experiences. • What is our differentiation to managing outcomes – even though this can be
    • CraftedINFORMATIONmore challenging to manage. When working PDF content test - The team put PDFs of example that there was demand for such an event down walls within the office to help teams workcollaboratively and iteratively in multi-disciplinary content on a tablet and watched them being used they conducted a series of tests mitigate risk together more easily.teams to brainstorm ideas and testing the ideas and the interaction in class for two days. before commiting and investment to bookinggenerated we can make decisions based on venues etc… Key takeawaysobjective observations. This allows us to make Card sorting – teachers were asked to sort cards Jeff summed up his presentation by reiteratingdecisions about the success of an outcome gives with proposed content and features into buckets To start with they spent a couple of hours that defining the product upfront:us the opportunity to: to help define content grouping building a simple landing page to capture interest. In the space of a weekend 250 people had signed • Reduces time spent building the wrong productKill it – the outcome and approach are not Clickable prototype – a clickable wireframe up to register interest. • Builds team-wide momentum and sharedworking, don’t waste anymore time on it prototype was built. understandingPivot – The outcome is sound but the approach Taking this as a good sign they then set up • Ensures resources are spent on the right thingsisn’t working so let’s try a different approach During all of these tests not a single line of an Eventbright page to sell tickets, still havingDouble down – the outcome and the approach code was written, but the team was able to only commited to a date. The tickets sold and In order to achieve these benefits we need to:are both working focus resources here gather information on what features and it was decided that it was probably time to book content actually worked without the risk a venue! • Admit that requirements are actuallyBy taking this approach we can mitigate risk of building the actual product. assumptionsby testing early to prove a hypothesis before Lean UX isn’t just for designers • Focus on outcomes not outputwasting resources on it. Jeff gave some examples Jeff also gave an example of a company trying to Lean UX is not just an approach for designers, by • Work together to come up with ideasto illustrate this point: revitalise its subscriber base after it had flatlined. applying it across the whole team it can bring the • Test ideas ruthlessly To launch a redesign would be a big investment following benefits:In launching a tablet based learning platform and also run the risk of cannabalising the existing Although I had heard about Lean UX priorfor Sesame Street to be used in classrooms the members with no guarantee that the relaunch • Bring perspective to product definition to UX Cambridge, hearing Jeff ’s presentationwhole project was treated as a hypothesis. Tests would have the desired effect. Instead of diving • Bring increased empathy for the user really helped me to see the true benefits to bewere conducted to test the hypothosis in the into an immediate relaunch a prototype was built • Help teams understand the why behind had from taking this approach and also that itclassroom. In the first instance the researchers and feedback was gathered at a user convention. every initiative doesn’t have to be something that is only appliedobserved classrooms to see if teachers would Based on five days of effort the original scope was • Help teams to learn more, faster to large projects. Testing hypothesis can be aactually have the time to effectively use the vastly reduced. quick cost-effective process suitable to any sizeplatform. Once they had established that this Working as a consultant for Paypal Jeff has of project.was the case then other tests were built. The final example Jeff gave was of launching encouraged them to take this approach to the UX NYC. The team had made an assumption point at which they in fact physically breaking
    • CraftedINFORMATION 8.0 People, not process:By Ally Wright, @allyrara The craft of being heardSenior Designer, Crafted Ian Fenn – Chopstix Media. Ian Fenn is an award-winning UX consultant To illustrate this point, Ian showed statics for Show your HRT (heart)A designer solves with a career spanning 16 years. For the past why “Most frequent usability issues go unfixed”. Humility – You are not center of the universe seven years Ian has worked as a consultant for The main reason being that they conflicted with Respect – You genuinely care about others thatproblems, that they clients such as BT, Virgin Media, LexisNexis, the decision maker’s belief or opinion. you work with and agencies such as M&C Saatchi and Conran Trust – You believe others are competent andoften have to help Design Group. In an attempt to help us be heard as designers will do the right thing and UX experts, Ian urges us to consideridentify, within a Ian’s talk focused on his years of experience the following: Meet the project sponsor in dealing with different kinds of people. He Ian highlighted a quote by Rudyard Kiplingset of ever-changing asked us questions such as “have you ever had Start with people not process from his “Just so Stories” (1902): the feeling you’re pounding the closed door Consider why a particular client has chosenconstraints. Without of common sense?” and “Have you been left us over other agencies or designers. I keep six honest serving-men crestfallen after stakeholders over-ruled your (They taught me all I knew);Authority. thoughtful and heavily researched Arrive armed with knowledge Their names are What and recommendations?” As designers, I am Read up on UX design so that you can back Why and When sure we have all felt that way! up your design choices and suggestions. and How and Where and Who. Ian highlighted a quote from a well-known book Be dressed for success (Design is a job, by Mike Monteiro) “A designer You don’t have a lot of time in meetings for your Get to know your client and begin to develop solves problems within a set of constraints” client to get to know you, although they are more a relationship based on trust. Make sure you interested in what you have to say rather than ask key questions such as: The reality, as Ian points out is: what you look like it is important to show the ‘best version’ of yourself and your company. Why are we doing this? – Address the “A designer solves problems, that they often have Being well dressed goes a long way in portraying business needs to help identify, within a set of ever-changing professionalism. Make sure you stand out for What do the users need? – Supplying these constraints. Without Authority.” the right reasons. needs generates turnover
    • CraftedINFORMATION Where do they want it? - Website, device, Developers and designers Respect television • Involve them early on This speaks for itself. ‘Who is doing it?’ – Establish a dedicated point • Share your work and collaborate often of contact you can deal with • Understand their constraints Being aware of members of your team as ‘How long do we have?’ - Manage the clients individuals is the key in helping a project run expectations carefully Relationship Principles smoothly. Everyone is different and reacts ‘How will we measure success?’ – Establish a Ian went on to highlight a few key points that differently to certain situations or experiences. goal to track progress we can address when working on a project Getting to know your team will help you learn across multi disciplinary teams. These how best to speak to and work with them on an Meet the team members relationship principles were as follows: individual basis. Get to know the team that you will be working with, this will help the project run smoothly. Integration Personality Types Consider asking the following questions: Breaking down walls… literally. If at all possible Ian proposed that we all complete a personal work as close as you can to other members of assessment based on the theory that there are four • What’s their history? the team. A large open space where collaboration core types of personality. These types, set out in • How do they work? is encouraged is an ideal solution for Agile and ‘Personal styles and effective performance’ by • What has been useful in the past? Lean UX implementation. David W. Merrill, are: • What has annoyed them? • What are their expectations? Communication • Analytical • How do they like to communicate? Don’t be afraid to ask stupid questions, getting • Driver to know team members and developing a • Amiable Ian split out different members of the team relationship across disciplines will make • Expressive and provided tips when dealing with them: work flow run smoothly and hopefully provide a better overall product or solution. A number of questions were asked and we Project managers chose which was closest to our own personalities. • Treat as you would a project sponsor Flexibility The data collected from the answers provided • Be honest about timings and try to Be open to adapt your techniques, your design an insight in to our own personality types. stick with them or processes. Do your best to promote • Keep them informed transparency, share your process with Based on these personality types Ian provided a • Ask them to coordinate feedback everyone involved and show your work few tips on how to deal with these types of people, and its progress. based on his experience.
    • CraftedINFORMATION Analytical 5. Don’t push for too much detail Ian’s presentation offered an interesting method Slow, quiet thoughtful, someone who prefers 6. Don’t hurry them of moving forward with a team and or project. to be on their own. 7. Don’t confront or attack them The title ‘People, not process’ sums it up nicely. 8. Don’t be dictatorial or autocratic When dealing with individuals whether a client, a 1. Focus on the past project manager, a developer or designer we need 2. Talk facts Expressive to remember that we are all people. We are not 3. Focus on detail and accuracy An animated, impatient, creative who has the robots, and we are all different. Being aware of 4. Be logical, well organised and serious focus of attention and a sense of humour this and managing the way we communicate is 5. Tell them exactly what you will do and when vital in the success of a project. 6. Don’t rush things 1. Focus on the future and the big picture 7. Don’t be too personal 2. Illustrate concepts with stories Ian closed his presentation with a great quote 8. Don’t be overly casual 3. Seek their idea and input from the stand-up comedian, Sarah Millican: 4. Show personal interest and involvement Driver 5. Stimulate their creative impulse “This is Millican’s Law. If you have a hard gig, Fast, intense, formal, a risk-taker and someone 6. Compliment them quiet, a death, a struggle, whatever, you can only who likes to be in charge. 7. Don’t be too serious be mad and frustrated and gutted until 11am the 8. Don’t talk down to them next day. Then you must draw a line under it and 1. Focus on the present forget about it. As going into the next gig thinking 2. Get to the bottom line Ian moved on to discuss potential cultural you are shit will mean you will die. 3. Speak in terms of short-term concrete results issues that may play a part when communicating 4. Give them options with people. For example in the UK Ian states Equally, if you nail it, slam it, destroy it, whatever, 5. Don’t get too personal that “Humour is regarded as one of the most you can only be smug about it until 11am the next 6. Don’t get in to a control contest effective weapons in a British citizen’s arsenal” day (in the past, I have set an alarm so I could get 7. However, don’t back down if you believe but with certain cultures such jokes could up and gloat for an extra half hour) as if you go you are right potentially offend or confuse a person. into the next gig thinking you are God’s gift to comedy, you will die. That is Millican’s Law and it Amiable Ian went on to provide us with some useful totally works. It means you move on quickly.” Slow, easy-going, quiet and friendly, both inviting tips on how we can use language to be clearer and forgiving. and more positive. Useful phrases include: 1. Be flexible “What we might do is…” 2. Be easy and informal “We could do…” 3. Be personal and personable “Would you…” 4. Emphasize a team approach “I appreciate it when you…”
    • CraftedINFORMATION 9.0By Charlie Gordon, @cbg User Experience Does Not ExistJunior Designer, Crafted Adrian Howard – Quietstars. @adrianh Adrian began with a quick history lesson! In the There are now a number of ways to define UX Adrian went in to detail about how the currentCan UX survive into late 1950s and early 1960s computers were only roles. Such as architects, designers, strategists, models we work within involving just UX work used by governments and large businesses, they and champions. Adrian even met someone who are not sustainable. The rate at which people arethe middle age - or will were too bulky and complex for use in the home. was an “Experience Modeller”! building software is increasing and there aren’t In 1977 engineer Ken Olsen stated “There is no enough UX professionals. He also explained thatnew communities of reason anyone would want a computer in their Adrian went on to discuss how UX is just a the ‘fuzzy border’ around what we define as UX home”. At the time this was true but soon in the Reification. Much like the economy, we talk doesn’t exist and unless we start bringing in newpractice take over? 1980s normal people were beginning to use about them like they are real things but they skills we need to build better user experiences or them everyday. We started seeing more planning, are not, you can’t grasp or hold them, they are they are going to suffer and fade away. We need toDo we want a future of prototyping and user observation and today we just a set of concepts. When we start treating start building a community that will be able to define this thinking as user experience. this concept as a real thing, odd things start to succeed into the 21st Century.UX professionals - or a happen. Doing this has good and bad aspects. In 1993 the “User Experience Architect” job On one hand it brings us together, at conferences Key takeawaysfuture where everybody title was born, coined by Don Norman while he for example. But it can also exclude people. • UX is just a set of concepts that can be changed. was Vice President of the Advanced Technology • Don’t be defined by a job role, pretend youis doing UX work? Group at Apple. He invented the term because he Job roles are not discrete, he explained how you don’t have a job title. thought user interface was too narrow a term to shouldn’t be defined by a job title and UX itself define the role. shouldn’t be defined. What if we pretended that we didn’t have job titles, how would you define In 2000 Jesse James Garrett created a diagram yourself to your organisation? How would it called “The Elements of User Experience”, Adrian change your conversations? Job titles can ignore talked about how nobody discusses the small the other skills that somebody has that don’t fall print, how the picture is incomplete and does not under their job role. For example, Adrian account for secondary considerations such as the explained that when hired as a designer the development process and the roles within a UX employer didn’t want to know about the development team. development skills he had and vice-versa.
    • CraftedINFORMATION 10.0 Small Business Owners andBy Chris Plowman, @cplowman Perceived Website MysteriesDesigner, Crafted Inga Spouse – Websites Working Wonderfully. @IngaSpouseThere are two things that ultimately make The websites of small businesses largely exist anything, first impressions count. The site needs The users reaction time and their willingness toa website work. It makes money for the for two reasons: to be looked at from the perspective of a brand abandon the site is remarkably fast. Inga refers tobusiness and it gives the users the answer new user who arrives there via Google and has no this as the ‘toe dipping rule’. You’ve got 2 secondsthey were looking for. The best result is that 1. To sell more product – whether that be a idea what they are going to see. As with all people to get a user to engage. After two seconds, if theboth are satisfied. physical product or a service this user has clicked on a search result that they user hasn’t abandoned the site, they begin to ask 2. To grow the business – Where this is linked to believe will be directly useful to them, you never themselves why am I here? At which point theInga Spouse helps small businesses get the most the first it could be that the growth comes from click a Google result that you don’t think is going content of the site must take over the job ofout of their websites by making sure that they advertising opportunities or something similar. to be useful. keeping the users interest.work for them, for their users and prospectivecustomers. She outlined the challenges involved in If the website isn’t doing either of these then the It is like stepping out from the tardis, you know There are two things that ultimately make athis from both sides. strategy of the site needs to be reassessed. roughly where you are but you don’t know what website work. It makes money for the business and you are expecting. it gives the users the answer they were looking for.The first thing to define in this subject is who are To have an effective website for a small business The best result is that both are satisfied.‘small business owners’? They are usually solo the builder of the site needs to clearly translate the There are 3 key factors that help this initialtraders, non-technical people, who know all there business into a website. Consultation needs impression The designers need to look at websites from bothis to know about their business because they have to be had with the client to get to the bottom perspectives, and ultimately the users issues mayto manage all aspects of it. of what the business does and how they can • Colour – Colour creates a feeling that can be more important than how the business owner work online. In some cases however the straight welcome the user into the site. What the wants to make money.With regard to their websites they usually fall into translation of exactly what they do in the real client’s favourite colours are is irrelevant!two categories; either over confident or under world may not be appropriate and the business • Layout – A familiar layout will help the users Key takeawaysconfident. The over confident have built the site model needs to be adjusted to accommodate navigate quickly and easily allow them to get to • The website must work for both the businessthemselves or had it built by a friend and love the website. the information they want owner and the users/customer.everything about it. The under confident will • Images – The images must be carefully chosen • First impressions are all important, youclaim to know nothing about the web and claim The site builder must also take into account that and appropriate to the business. Always ask may have as little as 2 secs to get and keepto have no idea about what they want from the website will often be the prospective clients what does this image say about the business? the users attention.their website. first ever contact with the business and, as with
    • CraftedINFORMATION 11.0By Barnie Mills, @basscake From Darwin to DesignHead of Design, Crafted Stuart Church – Pure Usability. @stuchurch An understanding of evolutionary theory being the gradual change of characteristics over so does not pass on the genes containing thatWhat can models (particularly in the fields of evolutionary successive generations, or survival of the fittest. design to the next generation. Likewise cultural and behavioural ecology) can provide us It can be split into two areas; biological evolution ideas that do not work are forgotten.of evolutionary with rich new ways to think about and frame (genes) and cultural evolution (memes). questions about design. Can an understanding Implicationscooperation tell us about of animal communication inspire the way we Biological evolution or genes are influenced Evolution can be thought of as one big A-B test design products? and under pressure from: with different variations on a theme beingcustomer relationships constantly tested and discarded or developed. Stuart started his presentation by explaining his • Prey This experimental approach ties in neatly with theand service design? background was originally in Academic Research, • Mating experimental, iterative approach of Lean UX; specifically animal behaviour before he moved • Competition generate more ideas to see which work. ThisCan there be too much into the field of UX. He explained how he felt that • Physical environment approach will inevitably lead to more mistakes the two fields are actually very similar both • Disease than successes. 99.9% of all the species that haveinnovation? What essentially dealing with behaviour (UX dealing • Predators ever existed have failed. Similarly 80-90% of all with human behaviour). products fail in their first year.lessons can evolutionary Cultural evolution or memes are influenced Biomimicry, taking design cues from nature, and under pressure from: Stuart raised the point that when we thinkinteractions teach us has always been used in design; turbines based about innovation then we should also take a on the shape of whale fins, material for swimming • Motivation cue from evolution. Innovations don’t have toabout design processes? suits based on shark skin, lizards feet that inspire • Social factors be radical they can be familiar. He then talked adhesives and sticky burr seed that inspired velcro • Utility / function about ‘The Adjacent Possible’, taking the next for example. The link between the animal world • Meaning feasible closest step to solving a problem and an UX is not perhaps so immediately obvious. building innovation incrementally rather than Good designs stay and bad designs are forgotten. looking for a huge leap. The most successful Richard gave a brief overview of evolution and In evolutionary terms the idea design that doesn’t ideas tend not to be that different from what adaption. Evolution as most people are aware, work will mean that animal does not survive and already exists.
    • CraftedINFORMATIONMixing things up Can innovation be too fast? different behavior. Prisoners questioned ‘nutritious’ or like an ‘easy catch’. Giving usersMixing things up can drive innovation too. In In nature some viruses mutate very quickly separately about a crime. They can give the same these teasers to allow them to get the ‘informationthe animal world mating allows new combinations but at an optimum level that prevents immune answer as each other, say the other prisoner did it, scent’ can help us to guide the user throughof genes to be experimented with. Although there systems from wiping them out but still allows say they did it. The different outcomes have been content. However, users will leave if it is toois a risk in this approach that sometime you risk them to keep their identity (known as Error well documented but the main question that the hard to find the content (even if it is good) orloosing good traits rather than gaining them. Catastrophe). In design we need to be wary problem addresses is that of a quick pay off vs if the content is easily found but offers onlySome species actually use a tactic known as of innovating too fast, users need to be able long term benefit. Reward points offered by ‘empty calories’ (nothing of value).optimal inbreeding where they will try to mate to keep up with innovation otherwise it will retailers are a good example of this rather thanwith relatively closely removed individuals (ie not be adopted (gadget fatigue) having the quick fix of lower prices they reward “The two main strategies are to make your ccousins) to ensure they keep similar traits while loyal customers long-term. ontent look like a nutritious meal and signalmaking sure the individual is far enough removed Geographical Isolation that it’s an easy catch. These strategies must beto avoid problems caused by inbreeding. In terms Many advances in evolution in the natural Signalling and Status used in combination: users will leave if theof design innovation many ideas are created when world are made when species are separated In nature animals use signaling to indicate content is good but hard to find, or if it’s easygroups of individuals come together rather than geographically. A good example of this is the status. The peacock is the most obvious example to find but offers only empty calories.”when an individual is working alone. different species of tortoise that have evolved of this. Although there are benefits to the peacock ~Jakob Nielsen in the Galapagos islands. Those living on drier signaling in this way to attract a mate it can alsoIs it possible for ideas to be too innovative? islands where there is very little grass and low be a handicap to have invested all its energy in Key takeawaysThe Apple Newton handheld device was launched vegetation for thm to feed from have evolved a looks, for example a peacocks looks come at the Thinking of the design process in the wayin the 90’s. Despite being a forerunner of the shell shape that allows them to lift their heads cost of losing the ability to fly or camouflage described by Stuart, raised lots of interestinghugely successful iPad the Newton ultimately to feed from higher vegetation, those living on itself. Smoking humans can be used as a similar points and certainly made me think about thefailed because the infrastructure to support a islands with abundant grass have not evolved example in humans, it inevitably starts as a status design process from a very fundamental level.mobile device of its kind was not available at the this feature as it is unnecessary to survival. symbol, the risk being that it is incredibly bad fortime. Because it was ahead of its time (potentially Designs often manifest themselves or evolve your health. • Mistakes are part of the design process, trytoo innovative) it failed. differently depending on where they are ideas out to see what works developed. For example an operating system Optimal foraging theory • Small innovations are often more succesfulEvolution is not gradual from the US will be different from one in Asia Animals naturally forage optimally ie the than huge leapsEvolution is not a steady, gradual process it runs to account for the cultural differences and amount of energy they use does not exceed the • Working as a team can help create a greaterin fits and starts, with periods of relative calm norms of each area. amount they gain. Prey and ‘patch’ choice can volume of ideasfollowed by bursts of opportunity and innovation. be predicted scientifically. • Make content attractive and easy to digestThis is known as ‘Punctuated Equilibrium’. Stuart Evolution and Behavioragain used the iPad as an example to illustrate this Behavior is also subject to natural selection. To By thinking of humans as information (orin relation to design, comparing the evolution of illustrate this Staurt used the case study of ‘The informavores!) and applying the idea of optimalthe tablet before and after the success of the iPad. Prisoners Dilemma’ a game theory problem that foraging we can predict what will attract users highlights the advantages / disadvantages of to pieces of information by making it look
    • CraftedINFORMATION 12.0 Small Cognitive PsychologyBy Chris Plowman, @cplowman for Big Interaction DesignDesigner, Crafted Jan Srutek – Flow Interactive. @JanSru. Slideshare Jan Srutekis looked at applying how our minds Short-term memory pop ups isn’t helpful, it doesn’t allow the user toCognitive psychology work to how we design. What capabilities and The most important area for designers. It is often see both the error message and the error at the limitations of the human brain should we be said that people can hold around 7(+/- 2) things same time. Inline validation displays the erroris the study of the how taking into account when we design interactive in their short-term memory but this is ‘rubbish’. next to the form, helping users associate the systems for users. In fact humans have the ability to hold 4(+/- 1) error message with the actual error allowingthe human mind works. chunks of information. This is the reason we them to easily correct it without having to retain Cognitive psychology is the study of the how the often group phone numbers into smaller any information.The systems that we human mind works and as the systems that we chunks, groupings and patterns help us to build are used by humans then we should be retain information. Long-term memorybuild are used by looking into how our users function. Cognitive Long-term memory is for more permanent psychology helps us understand human cognitive Short-term memory is limited but these memories, ones that can last for an entire lifetime.humans so we should abilities and limitations, knowing the basics of it limitations only apply when people are trying How well a memory is stored and retrieved is can help us evaluate our designs and design to remember things or when they are problem based on the level of processing involved.make sure we are patterns more meaningfully. solving. This means that if users are being Information that is analysed deeply is recalled presented with items on a screen these issues more easily than information that is analysedlooking into how There are three relevant parts of the brain for UX don’t apply, for example there is no reason to superficially. We can use this in our designs to and interaction professionals to look at: memory, limit the number of navigation items on the help people engage and remember our productour users function. learning and attention. Jan explained how each scree, the user doesn’t need to remember them, more easily by ensuring our content is either: affects how we should be designing. they are on screen to be read when needed. • Relevant Memory The main problem with short-term memory in • Emotional Memory is split into two types, the short term the context of design and UX is that it is easily • Humorous memory and the long term memory. disrupted. Whenever possible users should not • Surprising or shocking be interrupted from the flow of what they are • Requires elaboration & reflection trying to do. For example obscuring errors with
    • CraftedINFORMATION These qualities require the user to use a higher These three things allow people to continually test needed at any given time. Attention can be level of processing to engage with the content and either confirm or adjust their mental model. actived in two ways, top down, where the user and therefore it is more likely to stay in their chooses to focus on a particular thing, or long-term memory. Computer games are a good example of a system bottom up, where the users attention is drawn that promotes exploration but also gives good for example by movement. This ability to detect Learning feedback and guidance. Most have in-game movement means that we can, for example, use People prefer to jump right into using services tutorials so that people don’t have to read animation to draw the user’s attention to where and products rather than read manuals. They manuals, crucially this information is usually we want it to be. form a hypothesis about how things should given when it is immediately relevant meaning it work and then test this by exploring and playing. doesn’t have to be recalled from memory and is Key takeaways We can allow users of sites to do this by allowing instantly more engaging. • Understanding how our user’s brains works them to build a clear mental model of how the allows us to build systems that better serve site works. This is done by giving them a good Another element of learning that can be put to the user and our own needs. starting point that orientates them in the world the users benefit is that the brain is better at • Short-term memory is limited and easily of the site and giving them continuous recognition rather than recall. People are better at disrupted. Don’t make your users do too encouragement to explore. recognising steps rather than recalling how things much work to use your website. have to be done. For example, having an auto • Creating content that engages the users Tests have shown that people perform better when complete function on a website that searches for long term will help you to create a better working out how to use system if they are told train times means that the user doesn’t have to relationship with them from a view of your what the system is for. A good example of using remember the entire spelling of the train station brand and your website. this fact in web design is the use of a stepped just recognize it when it appears, this changes the pattern, often 1,2,3 in forms, quote engines or brains function recall to recognition. checkout processes. This gives people a start and makes it clear how the system works making it Attention easier for people to use. During any one second the brain is receiving one billion items of data just from your eyes, the To encourage exploration the system must do brain must choose which of these data points three things. is important enough to focus on. 1. Prevent error and facilitate recovery As designers we need to use progressive 2. Make things consistent and predictable disclosure to reveal functionality and content 3. Provide clear feedback for all actions in a planned fashion so we only show what is
    • CraftedINFORMATION 13.0 Photos - The unsung heroesBy Chris Plowman, @cplowman of user experience designDesigner, Crafted James Chudley, CX Partners, @chudders. Slides As humans we can’t ignore photos, we have a (It fits in a VW Polo and I have a are friendly. Multiple important messagesPhotographs have a dedicated area of the brain that will scan images, Ford Mondeo so it will fit for me too) all conveyed in one photograph. It is these our surroundings and inanimate objects for intangibles that photos are able to easilymassive impact on patterns that we recognize as faces. We can Photos can also have a negative effect on the convey that are their real power. develop a strong feeling based on the emotion impression your site gives as well. In generalpeople’s feelings and of that face. This ability can be used by UX users have become wise to the use of stock James identifies that photos can be used for professionals to draw people’s attention to areas photos and can readily identify images on a site many purposes:perceptions toward of the page containing calls to action or that are staged or don’t look like ‘real people’. important text. Users identify much better with a regularly shot • Support the primary task – For example largeyour product, brand image of a real person doing real things than a photography on a estate agent website helps In ecommerce photographs are useful to help aid perfectly shot image of a generic model. the user imagine themselves in the propertyand/or website. We a complicated purchase. James used the example • Convey the intangibles - Buffalo Systems, a of a pushchair which can also be known by many The message that the images on the website are company that makes outdoor wear in Sheffield,need to understand other names, stroller, travel system, pram, buggy giving should also be carefully considered. James key selling point is being handmade in etc… Users of a site will arrive at the site knowing gave the example of http://www.theaa.com/ which Sheffield. This sense of authenticity and qualitythe impact that what they want, the one they saw someone else at the time of writing had an image of a single is portrayed in a series of photographs of pushing recently, but may not know which of the female driver stranded at the side of a country workers and the factory.photographs have many names it falls under. A simple image can road at dusk being helped by an AA employee. • Show the benefits – Multi benefits can be explain each category in seconds, in a much While the photo illustrates nicely what the shown in one photograph. For example, byso we can control clearer fashion than paragraphs of text would. company does it also plays on peoples anxieties showing a product in use a user can glean many They can also be used to illustrate other aspects and helps to allay those fears. It shows that the facts about it’s abilitiesthis influence. of the product such as how easily it will fit in the company will come to you wherever you are, • Credibility – Photos of a product can help the boot of a standard family car, the user will most that you can feel safe in their company, that as a user to see its quality. Photos of a credible likely not know the dimensions of their boot but woman driver you won’t be left alone, that you’ll source on the site can give the entire site a they can probably relate its size to a given example be helped at any time of day and that their staff greater credibility
    • CraftedINFORMATION • Show how – Step by step guides can use photos b. Does it have an emotional appeal (do I want point. This will give you a shortlist if you are to show how to do a complicated process and it? Is it entertaining? Is it aesthetically commissioning photography. give the user reassurance and guidance along pleasing?) the way. c. Does it have a reputation/brand appeal? Sketch out the photos you want. If you are getting • Humanising – Showing the faces behind web (Is it appropriate? Does it match the brand? photography commissioned and you have a clear services or businesses helps the user to relate to Is it believable?) idea of the photography you want, sketch it out to the product. 3. Message communicated – What does the photo illustrate how it will work. • Consistency – John Lewis has a consistent and say to you? recognisable photography style that helps the 4. Anticipated user response – Does the photo Key takeaways user focus on the products as each photo is shot change the users behavior or aid their decision • Photographs have a significant impact on in exactly the same way. making? Does it change their opinion? Does it people’s feelings and perceptions towards • Detail – Zoom options help show the detail create a desire? your product, brand and/or website. in a product • We need to understand the impact that • Strategic photos – Emotional photos can be So how do we use all of this in our photographs have so we can control this used to show products in a lifestyle setting, projects going forward? influence and most importantly not make allowing the user to imagine themselves, or Think about photographs at the wireframe stage. the mistake of having a negative impact. their family, with the product. These should be Annotate wireframes with ideas or by placing the • Photography should be thought about at the used on website landing pages or in proposed photography. Photography should not wireframing stage of the design process, it promotional material. Rational photos of the just fill a square on a wireframe, it should be an should be integral to the flow and feel of the site. product itself can be used later in the process integral part of the page and its visual flow. What • Evaluate the photography that appears on your to show a more detailed view of the product. type of photo is going to sit where should be site to see if it is fulfilling all the criteria it considered as early as possible. should be. James discussed a framework he has begun to set out by which the photos on your website should Research what works and doesn’t work on your be evaluated. sites and include photography in this report. 1. Photo fundamentals – Is it in focus, well Evaluate each photo on your site carefully to see if composed, of a good size and quality, properly it is working as hard as it could be. exposed and sensibly cropped 2. Effectiveness Create task models that show how a user will a. Does it have a rational appeal (is it useful? progress through the site and work out what kind Helpful? Constructive? Instructional?) of photo will best illustrate the process at each
    • CraftedINFORMATION Ipswich Studio 32 Fore Street Ipswich IP4 1JU T. +44 (0) 1473 213222 E. hello@crafted.co.uk London Office Clerkenwell Workshops 27/31 Clerkenwell Close London EC1R 0AT T. +44 (0) 20 7061 6216 www.crafted.co.uk