This Product Sucks! for Midwest UX Conference


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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
  • This Product Sucks! for Midwest UX Conference

    1. 1. “ This Product Sucks!” A Sampler of Product Design Issues 20-minute version for Midwest UX 10Apr2011 Darren Kall [email_address] @darrenkall #midwestux KALL Consulting Customer and User Experience Design and Strategy © Kall Consulting 2011
    2. 2. Where was this?
    3. 3. Audience Test <ul><li>Does this product suck? </li></ul>
    4. 4. This product is disturbing but does not suck. Photo Credit
    5. 5. This product is broken but does not suck. Photo Credit
    6. 6. This product is annoying but does not suck. Photo Credit
    7. 7. This product is ugly but does not suck. Photo Credit
    8. 8. <ul><li>. </li></ul>This product is a lie but does not suck. Photo Credit
    9. 9. YES. This product sucks . Photo Credit
    10. 10. Photo Credit
    11. 11. One Dozen Products that Suck <ul><li>Problem </li></ul><ul><li>Root Cause </li></ul><ul><li>Prevention </li></ul>Photo Credit
    12. 12. Problem 1: Triathlon scenario = running, biking, swimming. Photo Credit Watch is ruined if you press buttons underwater.
    13. 13. Root Cause: Implementation or technology did not meet up with user scenario. Photo Credit
    14. 14. <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
    15. 15. Photo Credit Problem 2: Adaptive transmission not designed for a shared car or variable driving style.
    16. 16. Photo Credit Root Cause: Designed for ideal-world case not real-world case.
    17. 17. 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.
    18. 18. Photo Credit Pull or Push? Can you tell?
    19. 19. Photo Credit Problem 3: Even with signs users bang into doors.
    20. 20. Photo Credit Root Cause: Handle affordances not distinguishable.
    21. 21. 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>
    22. 22. Photo Credit
    23. 23. Photo Credit Problem 4: Frustrating experience to pay for parking.
    24. 24. Photo Credit Root Cause: Bad information architecture, bad visual design, bad task flow …
    25. 25. 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>
    26. 26. Photo Credit Problem 5: Scalding or freezing shower.
    27. 27. Photo Credit Root Cause: Fixing bad UI in help, the manual, or in training.
    28. 28. Photo Credit Prevention: Fix the product, not the user.
    29. 29. Photo Credit Problem 6:
    30. 30. 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>
    31. 31. 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>
    32. 32. Photo Credit
    33. 33. Photo Credit Problem 7: Believing “Don’t worry, we’ll fix it later.”
    34. 34. Photo Credit Root cause: “Later” never happens.
    35. 35. Photo Credit Prevention: Prioritize user-impacting “bugs”.
    36. 36. Photo Credit Problem 8: Breaking user trust.
    37. 37. 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>
    38. 38. 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>
    39. 39. Problem 9: The self-locking hotel internal bedroom suite door. Photo Credit: Darren Kall
    40. 40. Root Cause: Things are not used in a vacuum – missed system design. Photo Credit: Darren Kall
    41. 41. 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>
    42. 42. Photo Credit
    43. 43. Photo Credit Problem 10: No sidewalk where people want to walk. “ I’m the user damn it!”
    44. 44. Photo Credit Root Cause: Prohibition does not work.
    45. 45. 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>
    46. 46. Photo Credit
    47. 47. Photo Credit Problem 11: Can’t set alarm. Can’t follow directions. Don’t trust product.
    48. 48. Photo Credit Root Cause: Product not designed for use. Instruction is a poor substitute for good design.
    49. 49. Photo Credit Prevention: Usability test. Products should be easy to use.
    50. 50. Photo Credit Problem 12: Unintended Acceleration
    51. 51. Photo Credit Root Cause: “We lost sight of our customers” James Lentz
    52. 52. Photo Credit Root Cause: “Complaint investigations focused too narrowly on technical without considering HOW consumers USED their vehicles.” James Lentz
    53. 53. Photo Credit <ul><li>Prevention: </li></ul><ul><li>Listen to customers </li></ul><ul><li>Check if solution explains the user data (70% not the pedal) </li></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>
    54. 54. 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
    55. 55. Don’t design products that suck. Photo Credit
    56. 56. Don’t design 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>
    57. 57. <ul><li>Darren Kall </li></ul><ul><li>[email_address] </li></ul><ul><li> </li></ul><ul><li>@darrenkall </li></ul><ul><li>+1 (937) 648-4966 </li></ul><ul><li> </li></ul>Thank you. KALL Consulting Customer and User Experience Design and Strategy <ul><li>Darren Kall </li></ul><ul><li>[email_address] </li></ul><ul><li> </li></ul><ul><li>@darrenkall </li></ul><ul><li>+1 (937) 648-4966 </li></ul><ul><li> </li></ul>