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.

What not to say to your customers

What was it you ordered again? Sorry, I’m a little clumsy today. You see, I got a strange telephone call this morning, while I was still asleep. This whole day has been weird.

I was fortunate to be the target audience of this pearl of customer communication in a diner this week. It reminded me that there is a fine line between being friendly and disclosing just about too much.

Interaction with customers seldom constitutes quality time in a familiar setting. It’s comfortably abrupt, moderately open, generally synthetic. Your customer dictates the mood and direction. You just play your part.

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

UX is about user advocacy

User experience can have an influence on the potential profit a company can get. They only ought to start with users’ needs and desires before creating their product and focus on them while building it, right? They would then be able to sail into the sunset with full pockets and squillions of happy new customers.

Yet, UX is not about what your company can get by means of users. It’s what users can get by means of your product. It is about advocating users’ delight, empowering them to go beyond the impossible. Even despite your empty pockets and broken sails.

This post is part of a blog writing challenge #blogg100 – 100 blog posts in 100 days

Tightening the rules of #blogg100

After last year’s blogging challenge, #blogg100, by Fredrik Wass, there were only a couple of posts seeing the light of day on this blog. For different reasons, too: my second daughter born in August, my work keeping me busy as a beaver, my requirements for a “real” blog post being high.

I’m now on a five-month paternity leave. Being so considerate of my time, Fredrik thought #blogg100 wouldn’t hurt this year either. So what can possibly go wrong with struggling to produce a blog post a day for hundred days in a row in between feeding two mouths, pram walks in the parks and smelly diaper changing? Nothing right?

I like challenges, so I accept it. As though this text production enterprise wasn’t challenging enough, I thought of a new rule, for me. I will limit my posts to 100 words—no more, no less. I will most probably not limit myself to seven topics, however I will try to keep some kind of a progress plan. A couple of blog posts are already in the drafts, so I’m anxiously looking forward to how this will turn out this year, starting on the March 1, 2014.

Thank you, Fredrik. Let’s do this.