The frustrating microinteraction of discarding a post

It is the little things that make or break the overall experience with an application. Words to be used to interact with users are better left for experts to craft.

Here’s a quick example of a microinteraction—discarding a post—in three Android applications.

Google+ asks if the user wants to “discard this post”, giving them two options—No and Yes.
Google+ asks if the user wants to “discard this post”, giving them two options—No and Yes. The title of the dialog: Google+.
Facebook asks if the user is sure they want to “discard this post”, giving them two options—No and Yes.
Facebook asks if the user is sure they want to “discard this post”, giving them two options—No and Yes. The title of the dialog: Cancel.

“Okay, there’s a yes and a no. I’ll try no. Crap!” Both Google+ and Facebook give me le USB stick. Every single time.

Twitter asks if the user wants to “save changes”, giving them three options—Cancel, Discard and Save.
Twitter asks if the user wants to “save changes”, giving them three options—Cancel, Discard and Save. The title of the dialog: New Tweet.

Of these three, Twitter wins. It is to-the-point. It gives the user a chance to act, not just respond. More importantly, it focuses on the user’s task, not the technology to accomplish it.

This post is part of the #blogg100 challenge—100 blog posts à 100 words in 100 days.

The survival of contemporary pigeon post

Photo courtesy of Jehanzeb Khan
Photo courtesy of Jehanzeb Khan

I am an inbox-zero advocate, because I like it neat and tidy. I used to label my conversations before I archived them, just to be able to find them easier later, but not any more. Too much hassle.

Sometimes I am amazed that e-mail has survived this long. The technology may be exceptional, but the idea is centuries long. (As is my waiting time before the addressees reply.)

No wonder messaging applications have lately seen such popularity among users. Contemporary communication is on-the-spot. When it isn’t required to be prompt, it is flexible—unconstrained by size, location or type of message.

This post is part of the #blogg100 challenge—100 blog posts à 100 words in 100 days.

There is no recipe for excellent customer experience

Photo courtesy of Pasha C
Photo courtesy of Pasha C

Yesterday, I made pancakes. Surprisingly, they turned out pretty good. I did try to stick to the recipe like crazy.

However detailed a recipe can be, your pancakes will never be the same the second time you make them. Factors like slight changes in temperature or the brand of the ingredients you use will always affect the end result.

Unlike for pancakes, there’s no time-tried recipe for designing an excellent customer experience. What you get is a feeble counterfeit, if you think there is one.

Customer experience isn’t a destination—it’s a process. It is a relationship, a journey and transformation.

This post is part of the #blogg100 challenge—100 blog posts à 100 words in 100 days.

Playground swings and user testing

Girl on a swing
Photo courtesy of Joe Pomereneg

Together with my daughters, I’ve been to a decent share of playgrounds to know which swings have defects. The most common problem is not the worn-out buckets, but the unequal number of links in the chain hands.

The full benefit of a certain product arises when someone actually is using it in the intended way and to the intended extent. Though the idea with the swings is great, the execution is poor. So we just leave, because it’s impossible to enjoy swinging.

Test your product on real users before you ship it. Otherwise the end result will never yield profit.

This post is part of the #blogg100 challenge—100 blog posts à 100 words in 100 days.

Why mobile first isn’t dead

I read the article, Neil Mohan. Do you know what mobile first or responsive web design is? Because you are wrong. Mobile first is alive.

Back in 2011, Luke’s idea came from offering users an opportunity to accomplish their tasks “without the extraneous detours and general interface debris that litter many of today’s websites”. Still true today.

Mobile first isn’t just “focusing on mobile” and “solving yesterday’s problems”, as you note. It’s never been mobile only or responsive exclusively. Every device has opportunities to utilise. Designing for device- and audience-specific experience is paramount for achieving complete customer experience. Still true.

This post is part of the #blogg100 challenge—100 blog posts à 100 words in 100 days.

The way of distraction

Children are easily distracted. Give them a teddy bear, they’ll take it. Give them a princess doll, they’ll forget the bear. They see that the princess is shinier.

Can you do anything to keep them interested in the teddy bear? You press on its belly to start the music! “What’s that? Can it dance, too?” the kid’s mesmerised by the animal. Again.

To keep your customers, you must rekindle the love you once shared. Highlight the benefits of your product. Show them how it completes them and fulfills their cravings.

That is if you already know what they desire.

This post is part of the #blogg100 challenge—100 blog posts à 100 words in 100 days.

Free lunches never come without overpriced drinks

Every time we use an app or surf the web, we leave traces of ourselves. Often willingly, we put our lives on display, ignorant of the price tag hanging from our sleeve. We become the product without realising it.

Companies offering “free lunches” are usually good at hiding the fact that the meal is cheese and the plate is a mousetrap. Free lunches never come without overpriced drinks. The mousetrap is constantly hungry for life, demanding your breath.

My searches, reminders and purchases are all the material to be sold, all in the name of convenient personalisation. Just for me.

This post is part of the #blogg100 challenge—100 blog posts à 100 words in 100 days.

Real imagination

Yesterday, I saw a 10-year-old boy shooting imaginary arrows at a tree. He then waddled up to it and started pulling them out vigorously.

When we are young, we are often encouraged to grow up. Being silly is regarded as inappropriate. We are supposed to suppress our imagination. We are discouraged from daydreaming. We are free to entertain the Santa Claus fable for a while, but eventually we are expected to become aware of the “reality”.

Imagination is, however, an integral part of our humanness. Without creative thought, life is crippled. Let us not deprive our children of their reality.

This post is part of the #blogg100 challenge—100 blog posts à 100 words in 100 days.

 

All labour deserves its wages

A customer’s perspective should never encompass getting something for nothing. Your gain is always someone else’s pain—always, without exception. It is amazing how the mentality of all labour deserving its wages got replaced by the how-much-can-I-get-without-losing-a-cent attitude.

The era of digital produce only contributes to the deterioration.

Somewhere along the road to the current freedom of content distribution, someone (we?) decided we all were owners of the collective goods. We all became neighbours, sharing everything from food and clothes to entertainment and love.

We cannot deem the digital world different from the material. We cannot assume any labour is free.

This post is part of the #blogg100 challenge—100 blog posts in 100 days.

UX is about percipience

User experience is ultimately about people. Your perception of them will either bring them closer to your company and product or distance them from you.

Are you percipient to the people behind labels like “customers” and “clients”? Have you taken the time to understand what specific needs drive them to exploring your area of expertise? If not, how can you be sure that what you offer is what they desire?

The discipline of UX helps you find the answer to this important question. The insight can result in your ability to deliver something beautiful and valuable to satisfy consumers’ demand.

This post is part of the #blogg100 challenge—100 blog posts in 100 days.