Been considering animation a lot lately as a way to covey the right personality during interactions. This is a great review of Disney's 12 principles of animation.
I've been working on a project where I'm trying to determine what visual designs resonate the most with users, are easiest to parse, and feel the way we want them to feel. It was a tricky problem, but in the process, I came across a great toolkit by Microsoft that uses reaction cards to gauge whether a design is successfully communicating what it's meant to.
More great resources on this technique:
- Rapid Desirability Testing: A Case Study by Michael Hawley
- Microsoft's Desirability Testing Toolkit (.doc file) by Joey Benedek and Trish Miner, Microsoft Corporation
- Measuring satisfaction: Beyond the usability questionnaire by Dr. David Travis
- Userfocus' Word Choice toolkit (.xls file)
I don't own a car, but I rent cars on vacation and use Silver Car and City Car Share when I need one. Since I end up getting whatever car is available, I have to learn a new UI every time I drive. I also end up frustrated with how complex and distracting car UIs are. Even when I tinkered with Tesla's UI, which has gotten a lot of praise for being a huge step up from existing car UIs, I was frustrated by how much attention I needed to give to small tasks like changing the volume.
While I still think voice is the ultimate UI for cars, this concept presents a great easy-to-use interface that takes a lot of thinking and finding out of existing car uis. I’d love to see this concept paired with a second display in front of the steering wheel so the driver doesn’t have to look over. Some sort of gesture key to replace the empty black screen would help learnability too (as well as present a reminder for how to find less commonly used controls). It could disappear when the user begins to interact with the screen. Software like this could be open and plug into lots of different cars (kind of like Android does with phones) so that people aren't learning new UIs for every new car.
Next open-ended design problem I have, I'm going to list out a bunch of these inputs and think about how I can use them to solve it.
I feel like this talk gave me new tools and great information. He covers:
- Two fundamental human desires: The desire to be unique and the desire to be connected
- Humanizing the way we talk about social design.
- How the invention and socialization of smartphones is like the invention and socialization of cars.
- Me, Us, Everyone: a framework for thinking about social design
- How people interact with each other using grouping,
- How humans interact with brands
- Design tips for designing social experiences
- Design processes
A great quick refresher on the right way to conduct interviews for the best insights.
I gave a presentation about my persona research to the creative team at art.com a few weeks ago. It included audio samples from my conversations. Andrew, a front end engineer, did these hilarious illustrations of what he thought the people looked like.
I’m reading this fantastic book called Reality is broken by Jane McGonigal. It’s about how games and game design concepts can be used to reinforce positive behaviors and ultimately change the world for the better. In a chapter about the potential for social good of group play online, she talks about how a british newspaper called The Guardian used crowdsourcing to help expose fraud in the British Parliament. It’s such an inspiring story!
In 2009, information leaked that some British Members of Parliament (MPs) were charging lavish personal expenses to their expense accounts, and that this was part of a larger culture of fraud in the British Parliament. Examples of these personal expenses were renovations to 2nd homes, duck ponds, extremely over reported travel expenses, etc. Taxpayers were naturally upset, and the public demanded that the government release documents detailing all of these expenses. The government obliged, but released the documents in a completely unusable format. There were thousands of image files of scanned receipts, scribbled notes, and post its, making it basically impossible for reporters to parse through it. That’s where the crowd sourcing came in.
The Guardian posted all of the documents online and asked its readers to help it comb through the documents for suspicious looking charges. The interface showed a progress bar and made use of leader boards to encourage users to help journalists scan these documents. Users flocked to the site and made quick work of the documents. In the end, it was discovered that this activity effectively costed taxpayers somewhere around ￡80M/year and more than doubled the salaries of some Mps. These findings caused multiple Mps to resign or receive disciplinary action). Here’s a piece of info I really liked from The guardian’s post-mortem What we learned:
David Clelland, Labour MP for Tyne Bridge, has a robotic vacuum cleaner, the iRobot Roomba 560. The £224.99 robot vacuum cleaner contains an automatic sensor to guide itself around the home - a tool that could prove useful in delving through the 40,000 pages of expense claims. According to the promotional material, it “reaches deep into corners to remove and detect” dirt.
The crowd sourcing interface has since been taken down, but I was able to find some screen captures of it. Heres a few more links if you’re interested:
What a great piece of history.