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Awesome tips on Usability

over 6 years ago | Lalita Chandel: My View


Visual Design, Information Architecture, and Content in Usability

over 6 years ago | Lalita Chandel: My View

Following up on my earlier post on User experience, I learnt about three highly cohesive parameters of Usability. Concentrating on just one of these aspect does not assure success of the product and it is necessary to have all of them to work in harmony. Lets take a hypothetical scenario with a customer Liz to understand it :- Liz is browsing an e-commerce site to purchase a credit card wallet. Like any other customer, she has multiple questions in her mind and wants to be assured about the product before making the transaction. Now with the information available on the site, let's see if she buys the wallet or leaves the site after being frustrated.Liz is looking at the design pages on the site, but can find only the outer portion view of the wallet. She liked the outer design, but is not able to see the back of the product. She wants to make sure that it would also store small changes with a zippered pocket. But due to a limited visual view, she is not able to make this judgement. The next option, in this case could be to look at the product description, but the description is at the bottom of the page under many unrelated selling items and Liz might not scroll to the bottom of the page. Moreover the description section has many irrelevant facts, like how the wallet is constructed from durable leather and a silk blend and is perfect to store all of our daily essentials. Yet it doesn't answer a simple question of whether it can carry loose changes or not.Next strategy that comes in Liz's mind is "Maybe, if there is a return policy, I'd buy it. Then, if I don't like it, I could return it". Not a bad approach !But this would help,only if she could find the return policy in the site, which she couldn't. There was no link to it on the product page. That's when she tried searching. Typing "Return Policy" into the Search box produced the error message, stating no results found. Poking around on the site did uncover a link labeled "Help" which produced an unordered Frequently-Asked Questions list. However, apparently returning a credit card wallet is not something frequently asked, because there is no helpful information on that topic.Liz is frustrated and leaves the site. The sale is lost.So what did we observe here ? There is a three-way failure to communicate what the shopper needed to make her purchase. It was a simultaneous failure of the site's visual design, the information architecture, and the content design.When Liz couldn't easily see the design of the product and she didn't locate the product description, she encountered visual design issues. When she couldn't find the page with the return policy, she bumped into an information architecture issue. And the inadequate product description and unclear policy issues were the content design issues.Fixing just one of these would not help as the real solution comes from the interplay of these three areas and it is worth giving a thought.

FLEX: Modular Application Development Using Cairngorm Architecture

over 6 years ago | Karan Nangru: Karan Nangru

Delimiting the scope of work involved in merging Cairngorm based Flex Modules and Applications.....

Why cant we deliver "wow" instead of just the project?

over 6 years ago | Biju Bhaskar: Thoughts on enterprise application development and more...

I am a big fan of Tony Hsieh, the CEO of Zappos. One of their company values is to "deliver wow through service". Isn't that amazing?Here is a great post on how Zappos scales customer satisfaction. If you don't have time to read the whole article, skip to "I just want a Pizza" story at the end. Its a must read..Why cant we deliver "wow" instead of projects, applications or services like Zappos? May be not to the level Zappos does. But we definitely can make our users say "wow" if we go an extra mile on anything we deliver.Thoughts?

Configuring delayed_job 2.x

over 6 years ago | Sanjeev Mishra: Sanjeev Mishra's Blog

I was configuring the delayed job and I got problems like : `method_missing_without_paginate': undefined method `destroy_failed_jobs=’ This is because I have 2.0.3 version of delayed job… The configuration parameters have all been moved to Delayed::Worker now and thus the following works for version 2.x: Delayed::Worker.destroy_failed_jobs = false Delayed::Worker.sleep_delay = 60 Delayed::Worker.max_attempts = 3 Delayed::Worker.max_run_time = […]

What is User Experience ?

over 6 years ago | Lalita Chandel: My View

I have been reading a lot about usability and user experience. Just trying to develop user's perspective about different system's.The success ratio of any system majorly depends on its usage and that would be high only if the users find it efficient, effective, easy to learn, engaging and error tolerant. These are actually called the 5 E's of Usability.User experience is all about how does a user feels about a system, which could be a product, service, application or combination of any of these. As soon as user interaction starts with the system, an experience is developed based on the perception and response that results from the interaction. Other definitions of user experience mention that it includes all the users' emotions, beliefs, preferences, perceptions, physical and psychological responses, behaviors andaccomplishments that occur before, during and after use.A greater user experience means increased site success and here are the benefits, that we get with itUser Effectiveness * increased success rate and reduced users errors * improved ease of use and learning * increased user productivity and user satisfaction * reduced support and training costs * increased user trust in the systemDevelopment Costs * reduced development costs and time * reduced maintenance costsRevenue * increased product sales, revenue and market share * increased site traffic and transactions/purchases * attract and retain more customersSo how do we get started ? How do we get beyond "user friendly" to the true goal of all usability work i.e. to improve the final product.The first step here is to define the problem statement with a clear objective of what we want to achieve. To be able to do that, we need to perform some user analysis using methods like user interviews, site visits , usability tests etc. Focus should be to learn about who our users are, what are their tasks and goals in using the product. Using the 5E's to understand users:For each of the five dimensions of usability (the 5Es), we think about how it is reflected in requirements for each of the user groups. The 5Es are: Effective: How completely and accurately the work or experience is completed or goals reached ? Efficient: How quickly this work can be completed ? Engaging: How well the interface draws the user into the interaction and how pleasant and satisfying it is to use ? Error Tolerant: How well the product prevents errors and can help the user recover from mistakes that do occur ? Easy to Learn: How well the product supports both the initial orientation and continued learning throughout the complete lifetime of use ?In my next blog , I will be sharing more about the techniques of implementing usability in new and already existing sites....