2012/02/20: Mobile UX: Eye of the storm

by Gene Kim on


@dayn: T-minus 1 hour to @jmspool Mobile & #UX talk #inPDX tonight. http://t.co/ySqWJSn7

Talk title: (Mobile & UX: Inside the Eye of the Perfect Storm)[https://jaredtalk.eventbrite.com/?nomo=1]
Presenter: Jared Spool [(@jmspool)](http://twitter.com/jmspool)
Hosted by: University of Oregon and ZAAZagency (@zaazagency)

Talk abstract:

The world of web application design is expanding at a rapid rate. We’re now expected to design great experiences across a huge variety of platforms, from small screens to large displays. The flood of iPad applications and successful online businesses are showing our executives that design matters.

Why is all this happening now? Where is it all going? User Interface Engineer’s own Jared Spool will show you how four driving forces—market maturity, the emergence of experience, Kano’s model, and Sturgeon’s Law—are increasing the visibility and value of design in organizations everywhere. He’ll show you what the next generation of design teams will look like and how you’ll get there.

His bio:

Jared M. Spool is the founding principal of User Interface Engineering, a leading research, training, and consulting firm specializing in website and product usability.

If you’ve seen Jared speak about usability, you know that he’s one of the most effective, knowledgeable communicators on the subject today. What you probably don’t know is that he has guided the research agenda and built User Interface Engineering into the largest research organization of its kind in the world. He’s been working in the field of usability and design since 1978, before the term “usability” was ever associated with computers.

Jared spends his time working with the research teams at the company, helps clients understand how to solve their design problems, explains to reporters and industry analysts what the current state of design is all about, and is a top-rated speaker at more than 20 conferences every year. He is also the conference chair and keynote speaker at the annual User Interface Conference, is on the faculty of the Tufts University Gordon Institute, and manages to squeeze in a fair amount of writing time.

  • Jared giving kudos to Vitamin T, stating that they're really at finding designers -- so if you're looking for awesome designers, or are one, make sure you're talking with them
  • And the hosts at ZAAZ are describing their digital marketing agency

  • @ZAAZagency is digital marketing agency & looking for developers, proj mgrs, analytics, SEO. Contact them!

  • Showing litany of bad experiences in mobile

    • In Coke campaign, under bottle is a code: goto site, enter code for rewards programs: iPhone users got "don't have Flash" error
    • What are odds that you have Coke, and are closer to desktop vs. phone.
  • Often mobile content has "put content here"

  • QR code in corner of campaign poster: what does it bring up? a website that doesn't fit on mobile screen

  • In bank, shows ad of old 1990 Nokia phone w/fully rendered site -- when you go to site, you see unrenderable site

  • Sturgeon's Law: Theodore Sturgeon on SciFi panel

    • Reporter: how come 90% of all scifi writing is crap?
    • Sturgeon: because 90% of everything is crap
  • "It's easy to generate crappy stuff. It takes no skill at all. Remove quality as a requirement, everything is easy"

  • In Coke campaign, several problems on mobile: you need to log in, or create an account -- all jammed up on top of web page

    • Lauding boston.com as well laid out page; NYTimes.com does it well
    • When there's a lot of good examples out there, people will demand better user experiences
  • The perfect storm

    • Sturgeon's Law
    • Market maturity: technology, features
      • Showing 1977 Wang word processor: cost $14K: 4 Z80 processors
      • People who wanted to learn how to use it would have to fly to Lowell, MA to attend 2 wk training at the Wang Towers
      • Week 1: file open, save, print; Week 2: bold, italics (had to change printer wheels)
      • Using Wang word processors made you so much more productive, 20% higher salary
      • Then came Word Perfect (hundreds of dollars), cardboard key templates that you put in front of keyboard: 1700 discrete features
      • Microsoft Word for DOS and then Windows: only 70 features, but the right 70 features
      • The pattern? Technology solution (big bucks), features (add features galore), and then to expierence
      • The talking paperclip was just another feature that people make up to have more features
      • And then come more features
    • More examples:
      • phones: Gordon Gecko phones, small feature phones, and then experience
      • web: alta vista, Google (experience)
      • Accuweather.com (features), vs Umbrella Today ?
      • Air Canada (features) -- screenfuls!
      • On mobile, you get nine things: m.aircanada.com: a very usable experience
      • BART website
      • Amazon: looks like desktop, but optimized for phone: optimized for search
      • "Amazon has trained people that there's nothing useful on their home page except for search"
      • Praising Amazon iPhone web experience: "doesn't look like desktop, but mirrors experience, optimized for mobile"
      • "BestBuy mobile experience is even better than desktop: certain widgets not available on std browsers. Mobile is playground"
      • @jeffreyrbunch: @jmspool: You don't have to design the same experience everywhere (desktop/mobile), just design a great one everywhere.
      • "You don't have to focus on user experience: you can stick to features: but competitors will be happy to deliver it for you"
    • Activity vs. Experience
      • Showing Six Flags map: it's all about rides: get in lines (long time), ride the rides (short time)
      • Contrast this to Disney Magic Kingdom: rides are not drawn out: often the days will start with the character breakfast: the kids will love it
      • Then you have adventure after adventure that the park has created, like 2pm parade
      • He worked on Epcot Center design: rocks and flowers are actually speakers, playing thematic music based: when parade nears, music tunes out
      • Most people don't put this level of thought when designing things
      • Six Flags: activities (discrete); Disney: experience (continuous: even looking at the gaps between the activities)
    • The Kano Model
      • Kano: Japanese economist: Y-axis: frustration <-> delight; X-axis: investment
      • Performance payoff: creation of features -> creates satisfaction
      • Basic expectations: reduction of frustration; best you can get is not be frustrted
      • Excitement generators: small investments delight users
      • Examples:
        • Shazaam: "I like this song" and within a minute, here's the song, want to buy?
        • Citing landing at IAD, tweeting about it: got tweet from @LimoRes" offering ride and discount code
        • Google Apps: sharing is awesome, but iPhone app can do anything except for share
  • Examples

    • Ex: Uber Cab experience: download the app, create account, hail cab by pushing button, can call driver, push button to pay
    • Uber Cab: you rate driver. And driver rates you! (So other drivers know whether to pick you up in future! Awesome!)
    • Ex: Groupon app: lauds fact that you can scan your phone at vendor: "thought of everything"
    • "Activities are discrete touchpoints w/users; experience fills in the gaps; mobile almost always in the gap"
    • Anti-experierice: Coke: Going through all the steps to register and see if your bottlecap won: stuck in land of Basic Expectations
    • Groupon: 4 fields: that will soon be a basic expectation
    • Excitement Generators over time become Basic Expectations (eg, Hotel Wi-Fi: long ago, happy to pay; now, pissed to pay)
    • @rlhughesPNW: That which is a delighted today becomes a basic expectation tomorrow @jmspool in #pdx: Mobile & UX
  • Experience Design

    • Necessary elements: Interaction Design, Copy Writing, Information Architecture, Design Process, User Research, ...
    • Necessary elements: Information Design, Visual Design, Editing & Curation
    • Other core skills: Ethnography, Domain Knowledge, Business Knowledge, Analytics, Marketing, Technology, ROI, Social Networks
    • Other core skills: Use Cases, Agile Methods
    • "Holy cow. All these skills are needed, but teams are getting smaller. So, these aren't role-based skills."
    • More skills: Storytelling, Critiquing, Sketching, Presenting, Facilitating
  • Three questions

    • Compared Apple, Netflix, Cirque de Sole, Virgin America vs. Dell, Blockbuster, Barnum Baily, United. Found 3 questions..
    • Vision: "Can everyone on team describe the experience of using your design 5 yrs from now?" (Everyone gives same answer)
      • Rule: the vision helps everyone where we're trying to go. make sure we're walking towards the flag.
    • Feedback: "In the last six weeks, have you spent more than 2 hrs watching someone use your design or competitor's design?"
      • Feedback methods: usability testing: 5 second tests, tradeshow/cafe testing, remote usability tests
    • Culture: "in the last six weeks, have you rewarded a team member for creating a major design failure?"
      • Must learn from mistakes
      • Intuit ex: big party: gives ceremonial life-preserver, recipient signs it, then presents all the incredible data they learned
      • Keeps organization from being risk-averse: risk-averse orgs produce crap
  • Lessons

    • Invest to avoid Sturgeon's Law
    • Focus on exp over technology and features
    • Fill in the gaps between the activities
    • Ensure you meet Basic needs while you search for delighters
    • build in a feedback process
    • create your experience vision
    • Celebrate learning from taking risks
  • Sturgeon's Law: Q: How come 90% of all scifi writing is crap? A: because 90% of everything is crap

  • Cirque de Soliel tickets go for $200 vs. $35 for typical circus; shows the premium that user experience can create

  • Q: how do convince execs to be top 10%? A: don't try. say it's ok to be 90%. it's cheaper. our people too expensive as it is! :)

    • "To agencies: is the client the client you want to have? To in-house designer: is the company where you want to be?"
    • "My email is like playing Tetris: emails come from above, try to clean up below, but you always lose." (har har)
    • "Best way to get execs & designers care: take them into the field, and watch how their users work with their product"
    • Relating story of watching hair salon software users: receptionists are most powerful people: schedules, chooses stylist...
    • "Rescheduling hair appt is most complex process on planet; receptionist had to write down all the steps, reenter everything"
  • Our best clients are customers who are stuck on the technology phase, competitors are eating their lunch, but no one can figure out why. Sales people say "how? they don't have all the features?"

  • "Best advice I've ever gotten: You can't stop people from putting beans up their nose"

  • You'll meet people and execs who are intent to keep sticking beans up their nose. They have a bean and a nose, and you can't stop it.

    • Ask "what are you hoping from doing this? what is the experience you want out of this?" Let them elaborate
    • Ask "How's that working for you?"
  • @jmspool is coming back to PDX to do world-class full-day workshop on doing Agile and Mobile design. Someone have link?

  • Quotes

    • @pedstrom: RT @bmf: Burnout is not caused by working hard. Burnout is caused by not shipping. via @jmspool
  • Flynn commments

    • After tweeting, focus needs to come back to where we were editing
    • copy/paste results in * * *