Well, usability blogs where are we go from here?


After a great semester of blogging about UX, and reading many interesting blog posts from all my friends in class. I think I will really miss the interaction in class, as well as everyday try to check it there are any comments to reply.

But now come to the end of this course, it this the end of our blog? To many of you maybe, but you can choose to continue this journey on UX research and discovery. If you are passion about UX design, this definitely a great start and addition to your career portfolio.

Other things can make our blog more user-centered after the grading of our blog:

1.  Change our categories name to more user-centered, like Class RAA can be called User-experience Research Article. [Don’t confuse our readers, especially our potential employer]

2. Add a new useful resource tab to show readers some useful UX blogs, tools, websites, and etc. [Help reader to quickly locate useful information, and this can help other to search our blog]

3. Continue finish reading all the blog posts from our classmates which we had missed and leave comments. [Learn more, encourage everyone to keep blogging outside of the class]

OK, enjoy finals and keep on blogging on!!

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Discover secret message from WordPress, it this user-centered? Or an April fool joke?!


Have you ever use the revision function in WordPress, when I was trying to compare revision but suddenly,

Compare Revision

A secret message appear, it is Danger!?

Danger!01Danger!02Danger!03 Danger!04 Danger!05 Danger!06

Is this part of the April fool matrix joke, and why I have to wait for the message to type out?

Try it yourself, scare your friend, maybe! I don’t think this is user-centered, maybe designer think this is funny, but this can make the user feel bad and helpless.

RAA5: Usability of interactive systems: It will get worse before it gets better.


Johnson, J., & Henderson, A. (2012). Usability of interactive systems: It will get worse before it gets better. Journal of Usability Studies, 7 (3), 88–93.

I think what will be a better article to end this semester than an article about the history on Usability of interactive design and what is the trend for future interactive system. I never think this could be the case for Usability, but the result is surprising to me.

After 30 years of first CHI (Computer Human Interaction) conference, we can assume the world, especially in industry should clearly see the important of user-centered UX design. Many company are rushing to create these own UX design department over the decades. But this article’s literature indicates more and more cases company roll out new product with little or no consideration of interaction between the users and the company products.

Why would company do that? One good example the author listed, a brand new toaster with 14 different button and LED display. Really?! Companies need to roll out new product to drive sale, but companies do not need to scarify the user’s need. Users are not coming to buy a computer, but an useful product to fit their needs. Instead companies are trying to reshape the user’s thinking, if the product is hard to use, oh well it is assume that user made a mistake.

Top or Bottom: Your Choice?

Another cause of producing bad interactive product directly relate to UX designer’s decision making power in the company. In many companies decision making rely on manager or executive level, without a great support on UX design is hard for company to create pleasure to use product. And I can speak from my own experience, many time manager or maybe a project team comes seek help for advise on interactive design, but at the end, most of the suggestions are ignore and create product in their own opinion. Sometime even the same people come for help end up angry on the UX designer.

We should be a team, let UX designers do their part to help creating greater user experience, so that other team members can do what they are best. A great product can become a better product at the end.

[Images thanks to http://4.bp.blogspot.com/__GzFWVCm8Rw/SyjIGa20AdI/AAAAAAAADAY/J58pEVq-fU4/s1600/toaster3.jpg

http://www.cuisinart.com/share/images/products/zoom/cpt-440.jpg%5D

RAA4: Developing a useful, user-friendly website for cancer patient follow-up


BARTLETT, Y.K., SELBY, D.L., NEWSHAM, A., KEDING, A., FORMAN, D., BROWN, J., VELIKOVA, G. and WRIGHT, P. (2012), Developing a useful, user-friendly website for cancer patient follow-up: users’ perspectives on ease of access and usefulness. European Journal of Cancer Care, 21: 747–757. doi: 10.1111/j.1365-2354.2012.01357.x

It is so great to read that people who care about usability, and they are work actually help people, especially people in need. The research shows with the right approach even user with preferably physical follow-up by clinical specialist finds the website have many benefits to them.

Purpose:

Use the usability finding to create and evaluate a website for cancer patient follow-up to improve the ease of access and usefulness.

Method:

This study split into three parts of study:
1. Develop the follow-up website utilize the feedback from focus groups and interviews of outpatient of the hospital. And along with the help of a clinical IT specialist.
2. Collecting user data from the computer and Internet Usage Survey
3. A crossover study with patient with internet access. Tracking their website usage and finishing web survey, and follow up with telephone interview.

Analyze & Finding:

Part 1: Website development

14 females and 7 males participants, the developer need to combine the user experience with some concern about the bona fide (information copyright) nature of the website. Most important three elements to the user is a personalize login page with their own cancer-specific, a message question and answering system can provide easy feedback on specific question, and chat room to connect with local patients and professionals.

Part 2 Computer and Internet usage survey

Although 67% (238/353) patient consented, find out many participants still will prefer paper and face to face follow-up. And one finding indicate only employment status remained a significant predictor of Internet use. This is similar finding like my last RAA post.

Part 3 Crossover study and interview

Great feedback on the website follow-up system in all aspects of usability, feasibility and acceptability. Usability study from the beginning helps develop a user-centered web site to benefit and encourage user to utilize the web site.

From my stand point, many of these usability data are collected from volunteers patients, many times think about intuitive ways to interact with users, you will find  many resources is available to you.

Sort by Magic, who is using it really!


Did you notice when you use google reader, now you can sort your rss feed posts by “Magic”

What does this mean? Find out this sort option provide a more personalize ranking for individual user by learning what are the most interested posts to individual over time. Does this mean just like google search, you never know what you really will get? (half of the time, you have http://www.ask.com in your first 5 search result, really?)[find more information post]

And this playful name is kind of confuse to me just like other product “I’m Feeling Lucky” button in the google’s home page. Those feature’s name are not only confusing to the user, ironically, it costs the company 100 million dollars a year when 1% user search directly go to the website bypassed all the google ads. Does this means playfulness sometime have great cost? Great idea needs to back up by good user data in order to create great product at the end.

Do you use these features at all? What should we rename them?

Visualize our blog now possible


After Dr. V. emailed me the midterm evaluation. I was very impress about the word cloud, it help me identify what was the most important characteristic other teammates think about me immediately.  Find out it was a web tool call Wordle makes this possible.

Here is my UX blog in a glance

And I create a feed for all our CGT 512 class blog,

Here is the word visualization of it:

I am so happy I found this tool, this way is easy to find users or experts trend about any topic quickly. And maybe change my focus toward more user-centered.

Go try it yourself, but watch the time! Please let me know if you come across other great data visualization tool. Thanks.

Difficult process but where all the value come from: Analysis and Evaluation


UX Book Chapter 16 & 17

Hartson, R., & Pyla, P. S. (2012). The UX Book: Process and Guidelines for Ensuring a Quality User Experience. Waltham, MA: Elsevier Science.

After last week post about preparing and conducting usability testing, this week reading on analysis and evaluation are more difficult but I believe where it make the different in the whole usability study process.

One thing I find really helpful in the book is the author use the metaphor of the process of the diagnostic of a disease, from finding the problem to treatment to cure confirmation. Some time we thing treating the problem is just to fix the problem immediately.  But actually is the more important in life to find out what really cause the problem, and change our thinking instead fixing the problems on the spot.

Another principle for me to live by is don’t just fix problem, make sure the fixes are not causing new problem. So we won’t dive into a endless cycle.

Just one another point (I promise), how to present the data? Pie chart, bar chart on and on. But maybe we can think of better way to visualize of data is very important. A good image worth a thousand word and more. Not only 3D data visualization, but maybe 4D with time changing, this way we can find trend of the data in a boarder scale.

Be wise to use and present the user data you have work so hard to collect!

[image thanks to http://tumrai.com/images/e/e7/Time_where_we_live.jpg]