UX and stuff

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Google Design Sprint Method and here.

MailChimp’s the UX reader

UX Myths

Product Design Sprint

Google+ #webWednesday

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This page is too beautiful it left me speechless for 5 minutes.

IA vs. Site navigation #webWednesday

Once upon a time, I freelanced for a digital agency and there was a minor incident that has been bugging me since then.

At some point during my short tenure there, I was roped into a client’s meeting to go through some of the evaluations and recommendations the agency has made for the client’s work. It was all documented in a thick stack of papers.

I was told that we would go through the document and discuss the pointers with the clients accordingly, therefore I didn’t have to really prepare anything. Plus, I was told it should be a short meeting of roughly an hour.

Looking at the thick stack of paper, I could not barely imagine how we could cover all the points within a hour of meeting. Perhaps my agency folks were a little too ambitious.

Given that I had some down time then, I took it at my own effort to compile a list of recommendations indicated in the document. Basically, I picked up points in a Word document and listed them out in an Excel sheet. Simple as that.

There came the meeting.

I was praised for the awesome list I drawn out. To this day, I am still amazed how a simply house-cleaning action could have got me so much attention. But that’s not the point of this post.

Among more than 10 pointers of how to improve the work, we’ve got 2 particular points:

  • Improve the information architecture
  • Improve the site navigation

So the client asked: What is IA so different from site navigation? Can’t we combine these?

The next thing I knew, everybody was trying to chime in.

Account Director: Oh yea, what’s so different?
Planner: I would think as much.
Client: Architecture is navigation and vice versa right?
Account Director: Ah right. Don’t worry about it. ‘IA’ is just another flash word of Jenny’s.

At that very moment, I felt literally lost, couldn’t comprehend why I was sitting among ‘digital’ folks who could simply laugh through ‘IA is navigation and navigation is IA‘ without a second doubt.

I would have already spoken up if not the topic wasn’t immediately overshadowed by the next point in the list.

Frankly speaking, I wasn’t so much turned off by lack of knowledge or however more nicely one would put it. Neither was I totally disappointed by at the fact that the situation became me Jenny showing off ‘flash words’. It was exactly the ignorance of people who consider themselves ‘digital experts’, who could write endlessly about Advanced Digital everywhere on the Interwebs, yet couldn’t grasp the difference between IA and Navigation. Seriously, guys?! That was totally uncool.

So to put this on record, Information Architecture is different from Site Navigation.

Let us all get our shit together, shan’t we?

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Disclaimer: My ex-colleagues then were super nice people. And I had zero personal or work-related conflicts towards them prior to this event, which may or may not result in this post. All views were mine alone. Happy to discuss the topic further if you please.

Facebook Paper #webWednesday

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Best login screen ever?

Coincidentally, Paper’s website is also a favourite one of mine.

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WordPress.com landing page

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I have only noticed today that WordPress has just revamped their landing page. Absolutely fabulous.

If there’s something that itches me for ages about websites in general, it’s about how site owners typically expect users to do some multiple things when users land on the landing page. Some have too many call-to-actions, while others don’t have one at all.

I wish all site owners could just button down to one single individual thing that they want most of their users to do when the users land on the site.

Think of Google Search, clean, neat, simple and straight to the point. Plenty of white space, yet not flooded with umpteen of irrelevant ads.

Google

Google Search is my single-mindedly most favourite site of all time. But I’m glad to see more sites picking up this practice.

TripAdvisor

GoDaddy

It looks like not a lot of people can really let it go with blank white spaces. But one step at a time, they just need to figure out a focus first.

Example of bad UX

Dear the famous Casio,

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you are an example of bad UX.

Here’s why:

Ft. #rollen.

today’s realisation

I feel like I haven’t been really ‘living’ for the last 2 months. Such a scary feeling when I have been deeply focusing on something for a while, for a minute I stop and look around, I realise I don’t know what’s happening around me.

Anyhoo, leave the emotional drama aside, here’s some realisation of today when I stop and stare.

  • Reunited with my uni friends over a friend’s baby shower, they asked me what I’m doing. I said I’m in an advertising agency. None of them had an idea what advertising is. I thought ‘advertising’ is common sense, obviously it’s not.
  • I find it really hard to explain my work to people in Vietnamese. #justafact.
  • Had some issue with opening a PowerPoint deck on my Mac today. The file appeared somewhere out of the viewport and I couldn’t manage to drag it in by any means. I was literally frustrated. For a minute, I was feeling disappointed of myself for not knowing how to fix this shit. And also scared, for thinking if it was just me who didn’t know how to figure this thing out.
  • Went to Watsons. Oh, mother of discounts and promotions going on. I definitely prefer the price tags that said: “Now $XX (UP. $YY)” than “Buy 1 get 1 free (UP. $YY)”. The difference is I don’t need to deal with my math (that sucks) with the former, as long as I know how much I have to pay.
  • Browsed and bought some stuff online. Some deal aggregator websites do really suck. But the deals were just too good that I braved to make some purchase. This got me thinking: is the user experience that important when your content is good and unique? Most of the time, we are trying really hard to explain something that we think it’s ‘easy to understand‘ to people. Isn’t this ironical? If it’s easy to get, people will get it, why do we have to even explain? Sigh…
  • When I’m unhappy, I don’t want to hang out with happy people. I’m tired of hiding my unhappiness to be in a happy gathering. I don’t want to lie that ‘everything is alright’ and I’m afraid I couldn’t help myself but complaining. Although a part of me wishes to join the fun, I’d rather stay in and get some physical rest. It seemed like a good decision.
  • Cream eyeshadow works amazingly with a finger. I have had this squad for like the longest time and I remember every time i used it with a brush, I created a mess on my face. Not until yesterday when I reorganised my make-up, I randomly used the ring finger to swatch and dab a little cream on my eyelids and woah, the shimmer worked its shimmery and from now moment on, I said I will wear this everyday.Inline image 3 (Src)

Off-track, my ring of the day. Heehee.

of form & data #webWednesday

Question:

How much of personal data should we (brands, agencies, product developers, service providers) collect from customers & end-users?

Considerations:

1. Brands / agencies
I want to get as much of personal data as possible because that would give me insights for who the customers are, what they are interested in, what they are looking for, how we can help them. With these insights, we will be able to segment the customer pool to provide the best products/services applicable to them.

Knowing details such as their age and gender will allow me to communicate with them with more personal and relevant messages.

2. UX people
When I ask someone to fill in a form, I should make it as basic as possible. Filling a long form alone is exhausting and the data validation can frustrate users. Moreover, asking too many questions intimidates users. We should let customers/users try out our product/service as soon as possible. Don’t keep them stuck or their excitement will fade away.

Name (First Name, Last Name) and Email address should be good enough to start with.

3. Web developers / Database in-charge
Oh, we suggest you make up your mind of what data you’d like to collect now. Changes to database are not recommended and should be avoided, especially when you expect a large number of users/customers or a constantly-growing database.

4. Customers / Users
– I hate long forms, especially those papers that I need to fill when applying for a credit card or buying insurance. All these brands should go paperless.
– I hate to fill long forms online. Why do I have to give you so much of info now while I only want to try it first?
– Why do I have to give you my credit card numbers while I’m not sure if I will stick to your product/service?
– I don’t want you to know too much about me.

5. Industry advisers / Marketing gurus
– Personalize your message! Be relevant!

Every time I look at a form, I self-argue with myself. Too often am I put in a position where I have to make a final call given these feedback. And as much frequently, I find myself listening to these similar voices in my head.

As an account servicing person, I want to optimize my client’s money (read: same effort to build a form, how much can my client get out of it?). As a regular user of something, I want to use a smart product, at my comfort and convenience.

So one of those things I’d like to ponder upon…