Tag Info

Hot answers tagged

129

Users are bad at asking for what they need and great at asking for what they want. Anecdotal evidence from my own recent experience: We have a department that asked for a button that would generate a PDF report about some data. A few months later they asked for the report in the form of a spreadsheet. A few months after that they asked for additional ...


117

Here are two examples, one online and one offline 1. Train arrivals Subway passengers frustrated with waiting for trains routinely ask for more trains on the track. For metropolitan transit agencies globally, this is obviously a very expensive request. Analysis of passenger needs reveals that the uncertainty around the wait is as important as the ...


67

If you've seen The Simpsons episode "Oh Brother, Where Art Thou," you should remember what happened when Homer's half-brother gave him free reign over designing a car "for the average schmuck." The end result was expensive and looked ridiculous and didn't truly meet the user's needs, even though it had all the features he wanted. If the company truly ...


41

Let's start with an old one from the Ford's founder: (Although there isn't actually any evidence Ford ever said it. Thanks to user Evil Closet Monkey for the disclaimer.) The UX Designer View Why is it important to know why they want what they think they want?: Simply because as a UX designer you should be the one designing the best solution and in ...


33

There are two issues that make focusing on user requests at face value problematic. The first is known as The Einstellung Effect This is a negative effect of pattern-following on finding optimal solutions: Einstellung is the development of a mechanized state of mind. Often called a problem solving set, Einstellung refers to a person's ...


30

I usually use brainstorming techniques to get to the terms/ideas. One example of such a process is: Find a large piece of paper. Draw 3 columns First column: Use free association to produce a list of words that come to mind when you think of the original concept. Set your mind to generating without judging, and set your goal to generate as many words as ...


27

Siri seems to be the spiritual but not functional successor to Clippy. A major difference is that people request Siri's help whereas Clippy imposed help upon you. Another interesting thing is that Clippy is an Embodied Agent. For decades people have thought "How cool would it be if using your computer was like talking to a person". From that thought they ...


21

Try to distinguish between what users want and how they want it done. Taking your example above, users wanting one vs. two input boxes is all about the how. The what is being able to paste comma-separated coordinate pairs vs. not having to press comma. (Or, for some users, being able to simply press comma rather than having to click a second input box.) In ...


16

I've been there and I approached it like this. I prefaced my pitch with some strong relevant examples of successful products that really illustrate the 'less is more' principle and some of the obvious usability issues that come with clutter - Steve Krug 101 stuff would help. I presented factual data that showed that certain features weren't even being ...


16

My anecdote: We were bulding a new version of a computerized machine. One requirement was to boot it in 30 seconds. We failed it by orders of magnitude. It created a big outcry. We asked why and heard that they had lost a lot of production time with the last version, because it crashed so often and needed to be rebooted quite frequently. Our new version was ...


15

You can't please everyone Most changes or additions will leave some people behind. They may catch up later, they may hate you forever. Shoot for net gain in the experience. If you avoid negative feedback, you avoid progress. It helps to keep a destination in your sights. Focus on an established list of goals for the long term vision of the product and the ...


13

Try using psychology. We've been exploring social proof and set completion in our app to get people to try out more stuff. It boils down to keeping track of features they use and then suggesting that if they use one more, they'll complete some visible metric (like a badge, or a LinkedIn-style profile completion meter). We don't actually give them anything, ...


10

As engineers we were given the example of the newly-opened office tower block. It was fitted with 3 lifts. As the tenants filled the building complaints arrived that the office workers were having to wait too long for the lift. Cue expensive consultants to revise the lifts' queuing algorithm. No reduction in complaints. Cue assessment of building an ...


9

To me, the biggest problem with Clippy was that it was so damn patronising. As if it knew what you were wanting to do, and just had to help you. I did have it running, mainly because the animations kept me amused ( I am a simple person really ), not for the advice or comments, which I turned off. And, as @Ben says, it interrupted you doing x to tell you it ...


8

Usability is per user, per situation. The goal of UX is to maximize the quality of experience for the highest percentage of users. You can never please everyone with a particular choice; there is no single application interface that is perfect for everyone. The goal is to be good enough for the worst case, without hindering overly the best case. An example ...


8

Creating recognizable icons is a supreme royal pain in the boo-tocks. There is no analytic Process to follow that consistently yields decent icons. All you have are some vague guidelines from the usual style guides (e.g., Windows and Mac), which cover more the graphic style of the icons than the semantics. In my experience, if an immediately obvious icon ...


8

If the exams option is always empty, then the users will (at some point, depending on the individual person) give up checking that menu option. If there is no mechanism in the application to draw the attention to new exams that appear, then you have a usability issue. Your suggestion is one way to indicate the "new items" idea, but it is not necessarily ...


8

I am a software designer and run into this problem all the time. The problem with many non technical people is they don't get abstraction. They truly cannot step back and articulate the functional requirement. Their perception is I have a problem I need this button. When they are asked to describe the problem they either can't or won't. The people least ...


7

Just to be slightly contrary... is there a possibility that the users aren't using them because they're not the right features? Where do the features come from? Who are they targeted at? What needs are they addressing? Can you tell a story to the users about the new feature where it's solving a problem that they have? If there are more features coming ...


7

I cant find any study which states that its the second most used navigation feature,but according to this study from Mozilla What is the most clicked Firefox button? in 2010, it was the most used navigation feature To quote the study By a landslide the 'Back' button was the most clicked of all navigation buttons which include the Back, Forward, ...


7

My anecdote: Maybe 25 years ago, I was doing contract work for a municipal Utilities Billing group. The existing package was good, but primary inquiry into customer accounts required too many screens to get many customer questions answered quickly. Since I did almost all troubleshooting over a couple years and I regularly needed some kind of overview into ...


7

User requests are usually formed based on what the user perceives to be a solution to their problem. The thing is, their solution may not be the best solution, and in fact, it may not even solve their problem at all. Many questions on StackExchange are asking how to fix a partial solution, rather than asking for a better solution to the actual problem they ...


6

If you want to let people know that there are new features in a subtle way, simply mark them with something that lets them stand out from older features. That way you make use of a person's natural curiosity to get them to see what it is that makes it different. I would suggest using a sash / ribbon on the corner of whatever someone has to select to see ...


6

What a great question! Absolutely. UX is not an inherent quality of a tool, be it a pen, a computer system, or anything else. It is an emergent quality of the tool in its interaction with a specific user population, in a specific context. So your friends pen was great for him/her in a normal setting, but would have been awful if they were trying to use it in ...


6

Three things: 1) If your premise is true (IE users are less sophisticated) then it seems like you should draw the opposite conclusion - that you need the editing bar. An unsophisticated user will have less trouble using it than writing raw HTML in a text box. 2) I'm not sure what you're talking about when you refer to "complexity". Complexity of ...


6

Duplicating actions isn't always bad in my opinion. Especially not if they are not exactly the same from the users perspective. I think in the end, there is not one way to follow for everything. It is not do-not-duplicate versus duplicate-as-much-as-possible. Look at the case at hand and decide what the user might think here, what is their usual pattern, ...


6

This is a difficult one to answer but there quite a few myths out there. For example the previous answer says... "For example, you may want people to use the mobile site to view all the products, but not necessarily to purchase or rate/review the products." This is based upon the idea that people browse products but don't go through the whole checkout ...


6

A component is a tool, in this case it's a piece of software. Many components and their relationships make a system. A feature is some functionality, that is what the tool does. E.g., "My system has a share-to component; it's written in python. Its features include sharing to personbook and whistler." Typically, you can install a component, as it's a ...


6

I think this classic software engineering image is worth adding in. It's not just a problem with the customer - you get confusion everywhere. Plus it's not even really a UX job to figure it out. My experience has been that it is where decent project managers are worth huge amounts from the time saved by clearing out the confusion and being able to talk ...


5

99% of the users didn't know how to use the features that were already there in the previous version, and had ZERO desire to learn something new and different much less get bugged constantly about how they were doing things that were wrong to begin with. They knew what they wanted to do and were doing how they wanted to do it. In their minds, Clippy caused ...



Only top voted, non community-wiki answers of a minimum length are eligible