Archive for the ‘Interaction Design’ Category
June 26th, 2012
Kick Off Auckland Design Coffee Morning:
Imperial Lane Cafe at 7 Fort Street
at 7:30 am, Tuesday the 3rd of July
Lushai’s Matt Gould and service design force of nature Penny Hagen have started a before work coffee group in Auckland as a chance to caffeinate and have a bit of a design yarn before we all slope of off to our various places of work. There’s no agenda, we are assuming that if a bunch of people who are interested in design get together the conversation will take care of itself. It’s a great chance to meet some interesting people and start our days with a bit of a break out of our usual boxes.
You don’t need to be a designer, anyone who is interested in, purchases, consumes, or is bothered by design is welcome to attend. We are also keen not to box it into just user experience or service design. If you can drag yourself out of bed on time then the kind of design that concerns you is the kind of design we will talk about.
The kick of event is at Imperial Lane Cafe at 7 Fort Street at 7:30 am on Tuesday the 3rd of July.
If you want to attend either just turn up or even better either RSVP to our twitter (@AKLDesignCoffee), to Matt (email@example.com / @mattsbrain) or Penny (@pennyHagen), or sign up on our meet up page: http://www.meetup.com/AKL-Design-Coffee-Morning/
We will also use the hash tag on twitter #aklDCM, so keep an eye out for that. Hopefully see you there!
October 20th, 2011
The other night, I was up till quite late reading up on a popular portal solution. In the beginning, I thought everything made sense, and I was pretty happy that I “got it”. But after a while, probably about two hrs in, found myself googling or going to wikipedia to find the definitions of every other technical word, even the terms I thought I understood at the start. I found myself getting more and more confused about the thing I was reading. I was unsure of myself. This was because some generic terms you and I would use were taken to be part of the systems “default” term and concept and had given them their own definitions.
I don’t know about you, but I think terminology and jargon sessions need to be part of the process of any web project, particularly large ones. With new and different roles in the development lifecycle of software/online products, and different companies playing those different roles for one client, it becomes crucial to spend some time on being on the same page with everyone. If you don’t take time to flesh out the terminology to be used for that project it can create a sense of distrust and second-guessing amongst project members from different teams especially between the tech and the design team.
Since we all come from IT and read similar books and blogs, we tend to use the same words but interpret and use them slightly differently. This often leads to a debate on semantics. But in the end, we are all probably talking about the same thing.
Communicating design is one of the key skills a designer needs to have and part of the design process. I believe this must include a communication or explanation of the terms you use and the naming convention you will be using for your documentation for that project.
The benefits? If you have everyone understanding what you mean, people (like your clients and stakeholders) can give you better feedback and input without getting stuck on what something means. In fact, people want to understand more of these things, which means they are more curious, more involved and more aware of the process and are therefore less in the dark about what they are paying for. This can only lead to a successful project and more importantly the design.
November 17th, 2009
Ux stands for ‘user experience’. It can be applied to a wide range of disciplines and we, at Lushai, work it in the online or web space (so far) and work it good.
It is about the experience that you create for your users (these are your customers and other interested visitors or people who stumble across your site from Google). It permeates every facet of web design from your idea to content to code.
To me a great user experience is one you don’t notice, (it’s only us webby folk that would rave about it) but to your average user they are just satisfied the tool (website) has successfully enabled them to complete their task. Be it book tickets, find the content or article they were looking for or navigate through a photo album.
As the web becomes richer with multiple channels and levels of visual and physical emphasis it is sometimes best to step back and keep it simple. We like to solve problems. We like to know what your users face as a challenge online and we want to solve it, preferably with you. We enjoy solving complex problems (and sometimes the not so complex problems) with simple solutions.
For us good UX equals smart business. How could it not be? You are discovering what your user needs to solve their issues and problems.
How do we find out what their problems are?
We use a range of techniques. One could be trailing them in their work place or their natural user environment. Asking them probing, to-the-point questions, leading questions and vague searching questions (you name it we ask them!) Then once we know your users and their problems we use this to inform our design and create the solution.
- You: You are a business, so you want insight into how the people that visit your site (your users) will think, act, and react when using your site right?
- Us: We’ll use UX research techniques to gather information from your users, yourself & your business.
- Users: What are their goals when they come to your site? How can you achieve these gracefully and successfully?
- Business: what are you wanting to achieve with your site? What are the business goals for your site?
- Together: We will work with you to create a site that reflects your business needs and your users needs. Design and wireframe the concepts we will walk through together. We’ll apply best practice principles, creativity and kick ass design to solve the problems and needs of both parties.
With good UX you can get your product or service connecting with your user and answering their needs.
What Ux means to me: An overall experience that is as smooth as a baby’s bottom. Gracefully taking me from one useful piece of information to the other. Anticipating my needs, meeting then and every now and then surprising and delighting me.
October 15th, 2009
Well this is my first blog post to Lushai and I’m happy to be on the team! Instead of writing about me I thought i would share something a friend forwarded onto me recently.
So there is a guy who is writing a book on Interaction Design and he’s breaking the mold a little on this one by asking the user to fund the end result (that’s the book). Usually this sort of stuff annoys me a little but after having read the intro I think I am starting to understand why he already has a fair few people backing him.
The book is called Cadence and Slang. Have a read of the ‘outline of the book’ (scroll a little down the homepage to the link to it) and see what you think. I am relatively impressed with the few snippets that stood out to me such as:
“An interface should be understood at a minimal cognitive cost, which vanishes after enough practice.”
“Expectations are always multifaceted, and they are usually moving targets. It takes a sensitive, continually adaptive understanding of what those expectations are to make a good interface.”
It seems like it might be worth throwing him a dollar or two his way so he complete the thing. See what you think yourself.
October 15th, 2009
I’m back and I’m bad. It’s been like weeks and weeks since my last one. All due to large projects mixed with the small bread n butter plus all the usual distractions that come along.
Our current major project is for a large educational institute so it has brought up a host of challenges around all the facets of user experience (UX) design – visual design, information architecture, interaction design and all the smaller interactive components. The design needs to break the conventional mode for the sector (we wanted this one to pop). The UX has to be fun, easy and exceptional. Finally the interactive parts such as a course finder needs to be solid yet flexible, media galleries and landing pages all need to flow with ease as I like to say. The whole site needs to be quick, intuitive and fun.
Anyway we’ve swum through a large pool of research to help us get this far and here are some of the highlights.
UX and interactive
The techy stuff. Still if you’re in the web design business you should know it.
And when you have to present it all: Make Yourself Presentable
July 13th, 2009
Like most designers I end up becoming almost subconsciously critical of the things I love. At Lushai its usually my latest ‘user experience’ and most of the time it’s not even digital, it’s anything from door knobs & potato peelers to cell phones and this weekend a new car. All of these experiences adds to the perception of a brand.
Every action builds on the experience of the brand as if it were a person. Recently we have been frequenting a certain drive thru and every time the same branch forgets the same thing. Every time! So much so that I’m beginning to think they just don’t care about me or my family – their customers. Do I really want to mix with this person anymore? Nope, not me.
I’m sure the user experience of a brand is old in branding circles but in the online world it seems so many companies and their branding partners just don’t get it. Their ‘brand’ goes as far as guidelines for logo placement, colour and typography but very rarely do they follow through to the actual experience of their end-users. So the perception of the company is someone who cares a lot about how they look but could care less how they interact with customers. They just don’t get how their persona(lity) is experienced, and ultimately perceived, online.
Try finding anything on a certain online yellow phone directory. The key words ‘Turkish’ and ‘Petone’ should surely bring up the most popular Turkish restaurant in my area. Hmmmm brezelmania anyone? Google does it with a snap but not the big yellow. Guess which one I never use?
That’s a big user experience fail, therefore brand fail. On a side note maybe Yellow need to do something about their SEO, they should be first on the list for New Zealand businesses in any Google search.
That’s only one of many examples where the experience and interaction just lets the brand down big time. How about online banking? My own bank makes everyday business a chore. As if the teller didn’t speak English and had to travel great distances to do anything. The whole experience is slow and unforgiving. If it wasn’t so hard to switch I would have moved out a long time ago that’s for sure.
This is just a tip of the iceberg post. I will be doing plenty of ux brand reviews over the next few months so let me know of your own experiences.
What online experience has hammered your brand perception recently?
January 30th, 2009
in the last few weeks I’ve been looking at a lot of homepages – good and bad ones. Looking at the ones I rated as good seem to have a similar pattern. I would like to call these principles of good homepage design and share it with yous
Your homepage – whether you’re selling something or just wanting to attract people to participate should have answers to the following questions in the following order:
- What is it? what am I looking at? – give me very clear, short description
- Why should I use it? – try to relate to me in some way
- Why should I use it? – give a bigger picture of why I should use it. Tell me the benefits.
- Who else is using it? What are they saying about it? – customer testimonials, news clips, etc that give credible raves about you
- Ok.. how and where do I start? – I’m sort of interested now, what do i do. Following the user’s eye and flow here is pretty important.
These principles are pretty much across websites that support popular and successful online tools and products now including:
and so on…
Does your homepage follow these?