Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Attended User Experience Metrics workshop

Being Effective in HCI Work through User Experience Metrics by Anirudha Joshi at Hyderabad.
Anirudha Joshi is a faculty member in the Industrial Design Centre, IIT Bombay. He teaches and does research in the field of Human-Computer Interaction (HCI) design. He has organized a tutorial on User Experience Metrics (Measuring User Experience) full day training. I have attended this in Hyderabad and it was a great learning. ~25 people were registered for this but we were hardly 10 people who have attended. That is only because it’s a "VALENTINES DAY" (Feb 14th).

During the course, we worked on hands-on sessions calculating some metrics for different products, defining UX goals, etc. We had lot interactive, Q&A, idea sharing, brainstorming, and discussed other UX related topics.
Anirudha finished a round of one-day tutorials on user experience metrics in Mumbai, Pune, Bangalore, Hyderabad and Chennai. These tutorials went off smoothly without exception every where. The user experience management (UXM) team of Satyam has provided the venue and local support in Pune, Bangalore,Hyderabad and Chennai.

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Free Ride in a POLICE car..!

Free Ride in a POLICE Car "If you Shop Lift" :)
Interesting sign board I have came across in Astoria, Oregon. I just found one store which is closed and there is a sign board "FREE" Ride in a "Police Car" ...If you shop lift. This was very neatly designed and very highlighted words separately. I thought its some great offer and went near by to read this... and went ga gaaaa! “Some small cartooned stars jumping on my head!
This is distributed to all the stores by the Astoria Police Department. :) Great idea! Very interesting..!

By the way, did you notice my reflection on the glass?

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Brand vs. Usability

The importance of brand vs. usability ..."Which is more important: brand or usability? Does there have to be a conflict between the two? Today, we'll tackle the subject and try to find a middle ground between form and function. On one hand, best practices enable better usability.

But adhering to them too much stymies innovation and possibly brand differentiation.Does your site represent a strong brand? If not, you've probably built one that looks like every other site on the Web. If your brand doesn't have a strong voice, your site's voice is generic. If you don't have a strong visual brand, users probably can't tell your site from anyone else's. You don't want your company's services and products to become a commonality, but you don't provide enough brand experience to generate any real loyalty.On the other hand, maybe your brand is carefully guarded and has very clear style guides and rules about its look, voice, and feel. In this case, your site has probably eschewed accepted standards of common sites in an effort to make it stand out. If you have a strong offline brand (e.g., luxury brands, highly differentiated retail brands), you may have striven to adapt that offline brand to online. While it may make complete sense to your current customers (who get your brand, voice, and nomenclature), how does this experience work for new customers who aren't brand loyalists?A Strong Brand Equals Loyal CustomersFirst things first: if you want to have loyal customers, you need a strong brand.

Customers are attracted to the things that differentiate you. I spoke at a corporate conference a couple years ago, and Gary Hoover (of Hoover's) was on the panel with me. In a discussion about brand, he mentioned the supermarket test. It's simple: if you're knocked out and wake up in the frozen food section of a supermarket, can you immediately tell which supermarket you're in? In general, the answer is no: all supermarkets look the same.But if you're in a Whole Foods or a Trader Joe's, the answer is yes. Their brands aren't just the signage they use. They're embodied by everything in the store. Mind you, those two companies follow best practices for grocery store layout. But they do it with their own flair and attention to detail; every shelf and aisle reflect their brands."

Monday, February 16, 2009

Will the Real Information Architect Please Stand Up?

Check out this SlideShare Presentation about information architecture.
View more presentations from Gail Leija. (tags: design interaction)

Sunday, February 8, 2009

Bad Usability Calendar - 2009

NetLife Research has released 2009 version of the bad usability calendar and it’s now available online. Learning by bad examples is often a good way in discussing usability with people that are not hardcore usability people. I’m currently taking few A3 digital prints and want to put on my desk.

I really like the concept of "BAD USABILITY CALENDER". I am collecting all these calendars from past 3-4 years, I think from 2005. You can also see yearly calendar in my desk too... :)
Most of my friends / colleagues ask me "Ranjeeth .. what's this- bad usability?" Why do you like bad usability concepts...? Blaw..Blaw..Blaw..!

Hmmmm.... I realized that people points only different things much.. Also trust me they feel interesting..! and they will also start thinking.. Why are these called "BAD" and "NOT USABLE"
GET YOUR COPY TOO- Download from:

Saturday, February 7, 2009

Google User Experience

Ten principles that contribute to a Googley user experience
  1. Ten principles that contribute to a Googley user experience

  2. Every millisecond counts.
  3. Simplicity is powerful.

  4. Engage beginners and attract experts.

  5. Dare to innovate.
  6. Design for the world.

  7. Plan for today's and tomorrow's business.

  8. Delight the eye without distracting the mind.

  9. Be worthy of people's trust.

  10. Add a human touch.

Google doesn't know everything, and no design is perfect. Google products ask for feedback, and Google acts on that feedback. When practicing these design principles, the Google User Experience team seeks the best possible balance in the time available for each product. Then the cycle of iteration, innovation, and improvement continues.

What the Heck is User Experience Design??!! (And Why Should I Care?)

Some describe it as making things easy and enjoyable to use. Others describe it as all the elements that impact someone’s perception of a product or system. Jesse James Garrett says it’s a lot like going on a great first date.
For those who haven’t heard of it before: You’ll be surprise by how much it impacts your life.
For those who know it well: Believe it or not, the complexity made simple. You’ll finally know what to say in the elevator when someone asks you what you do for a living.
Have a listen to Teresa latest podcast on

Thursday, February 5, 2009

Designer behind the Obama Logo

Thought I would follow up my two previous posts about Barack Obama's campaign logo by highlighting an interview that Steven Heller of the NY Times had with the designer of the logo, Sol Sender. Turns out, Mr Sender never even met with the actual decision makers during the initial presentation of the logo concepts, that was handled by the design firm that hired him, Mode, a motion design studio in Chicago.

The interview is very informative and interesting, especially where Sol Sender explains the thought process that went into creating the logo:
"When we received the assignment, we immediately read both of Senator Obama’s books. We were struck by the ideas of hope, change and a new perspective on red and blue (not red and blue states, but one country). There was also a strong sense, from the start, that his campaign represented something entirely new in American politics — “a new day,” so to speak."
Read the entire interview here.

Design Research Methods for Experience Design

According to Michael Hawley - There is a trend among some in the UX community to take the U out of UX and refer to our discipline simply as experience design. One reason for this change in terminology is that it lets us talk about a specific target audience in terms that resonate with business stakeholders more than the generic term user—for example, customer experience, patient experience, or member experience. The other reason for using the term experience design rather than user experience design is that it recognizes the fact that most customer interactions are multifaceted and complex and include all aspects of a customer’s interaction with a company or other organizational entity, including its people, services, and products. Customer interactions encompass much more than the usability of a particular user interface.

They include all of the social and emotional consequences of a customer’s interaction with an organization or brand, including trust, motivation, relationships, and value. But if the name of the discipline is evolving and the focus of design is expanding, does that mean the design methods are different? Are traditional usability and user-centered design activities useful for gaining insight into the broader implications of the emotional impacts of a design? Or do we need different approaches? To explore these questions, it is helpful to look at the strengths and weaknesses of two existing alternative design approaches: user-centered design genius design.

Monday, February 2, 2009

Thinking Aloud...!

What is this?
Thinking aloud (Nielsen, 1994), may be the single most valuable usability engineering method. It involves having a end user continuously thinking out loud while using the system.

By verbalizing the users thoughts, the test users enable us to understand how they view the system, and this again makes it easier to identify the end users' major misconceptions. By showing how users interpret each individual interface item, THA facilitates a direct understanding of which parts of the dialogue cause the most problems.

Points of Interest
a failure to lend itself well to most types of performance measurement; the different learning style is often perceived as unnatural, distracting and strenuous by the users; non-analytical learners generally feel inhibited; time consuming since briefing the end users is a necessary part of the preparation. Causing users to focus and concentrate is both an advantage and disadvantage since it results in less than natural interactions at times and THA results in being faster due to the users focus.

Sunday, February 1, 2009

Logo Interface -Google's "Simplicity vs Usability"

Logo is one of the important element in the webpage which gives an impact. Yes, google branding with emotional design techniques made google much emotionally attached with users. Users love this because its clean and very simple. They always feel fresh and they know that they will get what they want. I saw many people type for even checking weather the internet is working or not! Hmm...People love google because of usability / simplicity and performance.

Perhaps the people who praise Google a lot (myself being one of them) are simply using the search engine to do just that—search. When landing on the Yahoo! page, the numerous options are distracting, almost to the point that I forget why I came there in the frist place.
Am I a “good user”, and my mother a “bad user”? No, just different kinds of user. Google works well for me, and not well for my mother. Should Google disappear? I hope not (even though I don’t own Google stock).

“clicks vs. clutter”, i.e. you can have a clean homepage that minimizes clutter, but you might have to clickthrough several levels to get the content you want; or you can have a busy page where all the links are visible out front, but then the information gets obscured by all the clutter. In Google’s case, I think they chose the simple interface because that’s what appealed to Web searchers who were getting sick of all the search portals that (when Google went live) were loading up their homepages with ads, irrelevant content and all kinds of junk. Still, people who make generalizations about Google’s UI being superior because it’s “spare, clean, elegant” forget that this kind of UI design, which is fine for search engines (some search engines), does not necessarily work for other site categories.

Google’s popularity is undoubtly due, to a great extent, to its simplicity of use for searching the web : its interface is cognitivly restful, and we “web addicts” often need some rest !

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