"This Product Sucks!" Better Experiences, Better Business, Better World


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This Product Sucks brings awareness that the things we design could suck unless we are intentional and conscious of the impacts on users. Examples include the distinction between a bad product and one that sucks. Principles are supported by abstracted examples. The problems and root causes can (and should) apply to any product that people interact with. Please don't design any more products that suck.

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  • Though both of these could arguably be products that suck I’m only looking at one kind of sucky product
  • I recommend a tiered approach to introducing a user experience approach into your company. Do things at every level. Scale your investment to what you can afford. Step 1: Do something yourself – today: HAND OUT ********<<<<< Golden rule. All disciplines touch customers. Approach from start. Talk TO customer not FOR them. Step 2: Learn more on your own: Easy for customer not easy for you. Learn design rules. Workshops. Reading books, blogs, etc. Conferences. Become local expert. Step 3: Get a coach to teach you: Advice and counsel. Expert reviews. Coaching on techniques. Analysis before teaching. Teaching practical workshops. Step 4: Rent UX help through vendors: Credentials. Disciplines. Recognized standards. Breadth offering vs specialization. Personality fit. Neutrality. Clear goal setting. Step 5: Hire UX employees: SW Ohio difficult. Limited pool already in companies or vendors. Relocation. Many disciplines. Newcomers. Step 6: If you already have UX – Use them: Many companies already have staff. Go find them, engage them. Many not integrated into the places where they can help business and development processes. But that’s a whole other talk.
  • "This Product Sucks!" Better Experiences, Better Business, Better World

    1. 1. “ This Product Sucks!” Better Experiences, Better Business, Better World 25-Minute version for Centerville Rotary 12May2011 Darren Kall darrenkall@kallconsulting.com @darrenkall #thisproductsucks #Rotary © Kall Consulting 2011 KALL Consulting Customer and User Experience Design and Strategy
    2. 2. <ul><li>“ This </li></ul><ul><li>product </li></ul><ul><li>sucks!” </li></ul>Allen the Customer
    3. 3. <ul><li>Stealing money from his company </li></ul><ul><li>Ruining productivity across the enterprise </li></ul><ul><li>Impacting Allen’s health </li></ul>Allen was right We had made a product that sucks <ul><li>Target users happy, but we missed Allen </li></ul><ul><li>Missed the whole Allen persona </li></ul><ul><li>Missed that the product fit poorly in an existing business system </li></ul>Allen’s User Experience (UX)
    4. 4. Where was this?
    5. 5. Where was this?
    6. 6. <ul><li>My point is . . . </li></ul>It could have been any of these companies It could be your company Not just software, Internet, mobile, etc. It could be your product
    7. 7. To avoid making products that suck: Distinguish between bad UX and one that sucks Know how to prevent products that suck
    8. 8. Audience Test: Does this product suck? Distinguish between bad UX and one that sucks
    9. 9. This product is disturbing but does not suck Photo Credit
    10. 10. This product is broken but does not suck Photo Credit
    11. 11. This product is annoying but does not suck Photo Credit
    12. 12. This product is ugly but does not suck Photo Credit
    13. 13. This product is a lie but does not suck Photo Credit
    14. 14. YES. This product sucks Photo Credit
    15. 15. <ul><li>The people who design products that suck </li></ul><ul><li>don’t think about, or don’t know about, </li></ul><ul><li>the people that have to use them </li></ul>Products suck when they can’t be used for the purposes they were designed for But this worst type of user experience breakdown is preventable
    16. 16. Photo Credit
    17. 17. Photo Credit One Dozen Products that Suck No Internet or Mobile Examples Even Though they Exist General Principles to Apply to your Product Problem Root Cause Prevention Know how to prevent products that suck
    18. 18. Problem 1: Triathlon scenario = running, biking, swimming Watch is ruined if you press buttons underwater Photo Credit
    19. 19. Root Cause: Implementation or technology did not meet up with user scenario Photo Credit
    20. 20. <ul><li>Prevention: </li></ul><ul><li>User scenarios </li></ul><ul><li>Task flow analysis </li></ul><ul><li>Usability test </li></ul><ul><li>Beta test </li></ul><ul><li>Customer concept validation </li></ul>Photo Credit
    21. 21. Photo Credit Problem 2: Adaptive transmission not designed for a shared car or variable driving style
    22. 22. Photo Credit Root Cause: Designed for ideal-world case not real-world case
    23. 23. Photo Credit <ul><li>Prevention*: </li></ul><ul><li>User research </li></ul><ul><li>Workflow </li></ul><ul><li>Task flow </li></ul><ul><li>Activity cycles </li></ul><ul><li>Beta test </li></ul>* To credit VW, they redesigned and eventually dropped this feature
    24. 24. Photo Credit Pull or Push? Can you tell?
    25. 25. Photo Credit Problem 3: Even with signs users bang into doors
    26. 26. Photo Credit Root Cause: Handle affordances not distinguishable
    27. 27. Photo Credit Prevention: Design for affordances. Things that look the same should act the same <ul><li>Heuristic evaluation </li></ul><ul><li>Usability checklist </li></ul><ul><li>Remembering your own experiences </li></ul>
    28. 28. Photo Credit
    29. 29. Photo Credit Problem 4: Frustrating experience to pay for parking
    30. 30. Photo Credit Root Cause: Bad information architecture, bad visual design, bad task flow …
    31. 31. Photo Credit <ul><li>Prevention: </li></ul><ul><li>Intentional IA design </li></ul><ul><li>Task flow analysis </li></ul><ul><li>Usability study </li></ul><ul><li>Participatory Design </li></ul><ul><li>Guerilla UX </li></ul>
    32. 32. Photo Credit Problem 5: Scalding or freezing shower
    33. 33. Photo Credit Root Cause: Fixing bad UI in help, the manual, or in training
    34. 34. Photo Credit Prevention: Fix the product, not the user
    35. 35. Photo Credit Problem 6:
    36. 36. Photo Credit <ul><li>Root Cause: </li></ul><ul><li>Did not anticipate expected user behavior </li></ul><ul><li>Did not prevent fatal errors </li></ul>
    37. 37. Photo Credit <ul><li>Prevention: </li></ul><ul><li>Do not design against engrained user behaviors </li></ul><ul><li>Usability test </li></ul><ul><li>Task flow analysis </li></ul>
    38. 38. Photo Credit
    39. 39. Photo Credit Problem 7: Believing “Don’t worry, we’ll fix it later.”
    40. 40. Photo Credit Root cause: “Later” never happens
    41. 41. Photo Credit Prevention: Prioritize user-impacting “bugs”
    42. 42. Photo Credit Problem 8: Breaking user trust
    43. 43. Photo Credit <ul><li>Root cause: </li></ul><ul><li>Telling lies </li></ul><ul><li>Making mistakes </li></ul><ul><li>Assuming customers can’t do math </li></ul>
    44. 44. Photo Credit <ul><li>Prevention: </li></ul><ul><li>Don’t lie </li></ul><ul><li>Correct even minor mistakes – they accumulate </li></ul><ul><li>Remember users are smarter than you think </li></ul>
    45. 45. Problem 9: The self-locking hotel internal bedroom suite door Photo Credit: Darren Kall
    46. 46. Root Cause: Things are not used in a vacuum – missed system design Photo Credit: Darren Kall
    47. 47. Photo Credit: Darren Kall <ul><li>Prevention: </li></ul><ul><li>Interactive system analysis </li></ul><ul><li>Beta testing </li></ul><ul><li>Fix stuff </li></ul><ul><li>customers </li></ul><ul><li>complain </li></ul><ul><li>about </li></ul>
    48. 48. Photo Credit
    49. 49. Photo Credit Problem 10: No sidewalk where people want to walk “ I’m the user damn it!”
    50. 50. Photo Credit Root Cause: Prohibition does not work
    51. 51. Photo Credit <ul><li>Prevention: </li></ul><ul><li>Participatory design </li></ul><ul><li>Catch the user </li></ul><ul><li>Democratize design </li></ul>
    52. 52. Photo Credit
    53. 53. Photo Credit Problem 11: Can’t set alarm. Can’t follow directions. Don’t trust product
    54. 54. Photo Credit Root Cause: Product not designed for use. Instruction is a poor substitute for good design
    55. 55. Photo Credit Prevention: Usability test. Products should be easy to use
    56. 56. Photo Credit Problem 12: Unintended Acceleration
    57. 57. Root Cause: “We lost sight of our customers.” James Lentz Photo Credit
    58. 58. Photo Credit Root Cause: “Complaint investigations focused too narrowly on technical without considering HOW consumers USED their vehicles.” James Lentz
    59. 59. <ul><li>Check if solution explains the user data </li></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>70% not the pedal </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><li>Test for worked “as used” not “as designed” </li></ul><ul><li>Ethnographic research into drivers </li></ul><ul><li>Analytics on real users to build test scenarios </li></ul><ul><li>Listen to experts </li></ul><ul><li>… </li></ul><ul><li>Prevention: </li></ul><ul><li>Listen to customers </li></ul>Photo Credit
    60. 60. UX design prevents products that suck: <ul><li>Meet (advertised) user scenarios with capabilities </li></ul><ul><li>Design for real-world use, not ideal-world </li></ul><ul><li>Distinguish affordances </li></ul><ul><li>Design with conscious intention </li></ul><ul><li>Fix the product, not the user </li></ul><ul><li>Don’t design against engrained behaviors </li></ul><ul><li>Prioritize user-impacting “bugs” </li></ul><ul><li>Correct even minor mistakes </li></ul><ul><li>Remember your product is part of a whole system </li></ul><ul><li>Prohibition does not work – democratize design </li></ul><ul><li>Products should be easy to use </li></ul><ul><li>Don’t lose sight of HOW customers USE your product </li></ul>
    61. 61. <ul><li>Products don’t have to suck </li></ul><ul><li>to create a UX breakdown </li></ul>A UX breakdown can happen if your product is disturbing, unpredictable, difficult, untrustworthy, awkward, broken, ugly, annoying, sloppy, etc.
    62. 62. <ul><li>Customer-centered businesses have insights about the people who purchase and use the system, object, process or concept that they sell </li></ul>And they keep this in mind as they develop products
    63. 63. UX design is a customer-centered approach to the innovation, design, engineering, development, and deployment of a product or service The 12 examples of products that suck could have been prevented if the companies had taken a UX approach UX design is a way to keep customer insight in mind during product development
    64. 64. Photo Credit
    65. 65. <ul><li>Step 1: Do something yourself - today </li></ul><ul><li>Step 2: Learn more on your own </li></ul><ul><li>Step 3: Get a coach to teach you </li></ul><ul><li>Step 4: Rent UX help through vendors </li></ul><ul><li>Step 5: Hire UX employees </li></ul><ul><li>Step 6: If you already have UX people, use them! </li></ul>The Six Step Program to Better User Experience
    66. 66. In Conclusion: <ul><li>Don’t tolerate products that suck </li></ul><ul><li>Don’t buy products that suck </li></ul><ul><li>And … </li></ul>Photo Credit
    67. 67. Don’t design products that suck Photo Credit
    68. 68. <ul><li>Darren Kall </li></ul><ul><li>[email_address] </li></ul><ul><li>http://www.linkedin.com/in/darrenkall </li></ul><ul><li>@darrenkall </li></ul><ul><li>+1 (937) 648-4966 </li></ul><ul><li>http://www.slideshare.net/DarrenKall </li></ul>Thank you. KALL Consulting Customer and User Experience Design and Strategy <ul><li>Please rate my presentation on SpeakerRate.com </li></ul><ul><ul><li>http://speakerrate.com/speakers/15597-darrenkall </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Darren Kall </li></ul><ul><li>[email_address] </li></ul><ul><li>http://www.linkedin.com/in/darrenkall </li></ul><ul><li>@darrenkall </li></ul><ul><li>+1 (937) 648-4966 </li></ul><ul><li>http://www.slideshare.net/DarrenKall </li></ul>