Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Chat Support Competitive Analysis

This article is intended to provide you with some up-front UX advice before you undergo a "Chat Support" integration AS WELL AS provide you with some time-saving Chat Implementation Competitive Analysis.

The first thing to consider when determining if chat is right for your side is whether or not it is going to solve your business problem. For example, if you are trying to cut call volume to your customer service site, then you may want to implement chat in such a way that users are more prone to see it rather than the phone number. On the other hand, let's say you are looking to simplify your business complexity due to man (or woman) power. Maybe adding chat is just going to muddy the mix... If that's the case, maybe it's just simply not right for you.

If after some thought you have set your mind on setting up chat, then it's time for Research. Researching how others are doing this is going to be key to coming up with a solution that works best for your website.

Lucky for you that I've already spent a day researching some of the more popular sites (as of 2015-01-26) and have jotted down a brief description of the implementation, provided a usability rating, experience rating and some ux notes... As well, I've provided links to screenshots...

Chat Competitive Analysis


I'd love to hear what you are trying to do. If you have further questions, concerns, or comments, please feel free to leave a comment.

Friday, December 19, 2014

Usability in the Movies

Usability is one of those characteristics of technology that has always been there. We need not look far for difficult tech, poor design, or confusion or over elaborate clock-work. This article is really just for fun. Let's find those funny tech moments in the movies and watch as we are blissfully reminded of what we must deal with on a day-to-day.

Christmas Story
When it comes to getting your document to stand out more prominently than the competition, Ralph has it right with the red cover (attention to detail). How could Miss Shields NOT give Ralphie and A++++?

Transformers: Age of Extinction
Sometimes it's difficult to fine tune your design. Especially when there are multiple other people with their own variations of your vision. Good communications through words and visuals can help. When dealing with sound though, it might be a bit more difficult. The right combination of communication channels can 'transform' your design! :)

Sister Act
Sorry that this isn't a movie clip. I'll keep looking until I can find it. Basically the usability point being made here is that even a service such as 'church' has room to improve in order to better meet the needs and expectations of their audience.

Batman Begins
Great example of designing in a box Batman! How do you know the common criminal is going to be afraid of your personal childhood fear?

I actually had this experience one time. These guys are trying to figure out how to turn on an Apple Computer. So embarrassing.

Men In Black
Poor chair usability, poor test packet experience, poor Will Smith!

If a user can't figure out what the purpose is from a quick glance... Well... duh.

Galaxy Quest
Even with the bests quantitative information, a design can miss the mark. It's important to always have the conversation with your users... Otherwise you may end up with a response similar to what is happening in this clip. Check out nngroup.com's article titled Risks of Quantitative Studies

The Incredibles
You know it's a dark pattern in Iterative Design when the human/computer interaction perpetually gets worse.

Catch Me If You Can
This is a great example of using the "Halo" affect to con people. Bad ethic, but great example.

The Little Mermaid
Although this isn't a movie clip , it does elude to a usability topic. Sometimes we think we have a good grasp of the main problem of a design. In order to really know where the pulse of the issue is, it's important to do rigorous up-front usability testing.

Hope you enjoyed. ~e

Thursday, December 11, 2014

Handy Google Sheets Templates for UX Designers

One tool set we use at the company I work for is Google Sheets. Sometimes I find myself doing similar tasks repeatedly. Just like anything, when you have to do something repeatedly, you find yourself creating "molds" or "templates" to hopefully speed up the process. This is especially true when it's stuff that is in-and-of-itself monotonous. The purpose of this blog entry is to have a place where I can share out my Google Sheets templates to other UXers. Open the sheet and follow the simple instructions on the first tab of the sheet. Let's work together to make this world a better place! Happy Holidays!!!


Experience Blueprint Sheet

Open the Experience Blueprint Sheet Template
The purpose for this template is to help map out all the various touch-points in a service offering that a team or a company has.  It's an adaptation of the Service Blueprint described in the book "Service Design - From Insight to Implementation by Andy Polaine, Lavrans Lovlie, and Ben Reason forward by John Thackara. A Rosenfeld Media production.


Reference Sheet

Open the Reference Sheet Template
The purpose for this template is to help map out all the various touch-points in a service offering that a team or a company has.  This template is intended to provide you with place to track reference material for your research efforts. It's been robust enough for my needs. You may want to adapt it to your projects needs though. Enjoy!


Search Terms Sheet

Open the Search Terms Sheet Template
The purpose for this template is to help map out all the various touch-points in a service offering that a team or a company has.  Sometimes conducting 'online search research' can become tedious, or at the very least confusing. It may be helpful for you to track those terms that you've already used to search on. See the templates example for usage. Hope this one is just what you were looking for.


UX Assessment Planning Sheet

Open the UX Assessment Planning Sheet Template
The purpose for this template is to help map out all the various touch-points in a service offering that a team or a company has. 

If you are like me, you do a lot of UX Assessments for various teams. I also tend to find myself working collaboratively with members of my team.

If you have a Heuristic Evaluation you need to conduct, consider using this sheet to stay organized and to help identify all the screens that you need to remember to keep in scope. You may also consider looking into the article titled Creating a UX Assessment. When you are all done with your work and you need to present, well consider also reading Presenting a UX Assessment.


Questions-Answers Tracking Sheet

Open the Questions-Answers Tracking Sheet Template
The purpose of this sheet template is to track questions, answers, dates and sources for the project you are working on. Modify to your liking! :)


User Info Tracking Sheet

Open the User Info Tracking Sheet Template
Use this template to track User Types and User Type Attributes such as user goals, frustrations, job activities, competency levels and the like.