Cognitive psychology, design thinking, usability, usability testing, User Behaviour, User Experience, User Psychology

When Don Norman talked about my “How I explained the solar system to my mom in Hindi” story in his speech

Tales of UX in childhood:

As soon as I shared a childhood episode with Don over lunch, he immediately called out his colleague and asked me to repeat what I said, with a confused face I thought I said something unsuitable,  nevertheless I repeated and said “One day when I came back from school, my mom asked me “What did you learn in school today? I was wondering how do I explain to her the Solar System in Hindi today? And in a way which is digestible to her? Hailing from a village, my mother had never been to school but she was always curious to learn. That was probably my first step towards simplifying ideas into bits of chewable information for the right target audience.

Sharing stories of my childhood experiences with UX

Stories are exciting

Don Norman and I share an immense passion for education, as we believe that is one important aspect is shaping the future of this world and after hearing my story he quoted “We need curiosity in our education system, a learning form which can never be replaced”

Who is Don Norman?

Don-Norman

Don Norman

Recently I had the opportunity to host world famous Donald Norman – a cognitive scientist who joined the team at Apple in the early 90s as their User Experience Architect – making him the first person to have UX in his job title. He came up with the term “user experience design” as a way of encompassing all that UX is. By this time Don had also written his classic book, “The Design of Everyday Things,” which championed design for usability and functionality rather than aesthetics. it remains hugely influential for designers today. At the heart of his approach is human and activity-centered design, combining knowledge of cognitive science, engineering, and business with the design.

Hosting Don Norman in India

Being an active member of the Ispirt Volunteer team and having shared my usability expertise on mega projects like Bhim, UPI, EkStep and DigiYatra, It was time for the next big thing for Ispirt.

Ispirt works to transform India into a hub for new generation software products, by addressing crucial government policy, creating market catalysts and grow the maturity of product entrepreneurs.

The conversations started with the living legend with an exclusive closed-door meeting at [24]7.ai situated in the Silicon Valley of India, Bangalore where various solutions/products were discussed to get his unbiased feedback.

Public Speech by Don Norman had for over a hundred designers, developers and product folks. I remember before the talk Don asked me a peculiar question, “Shaheena; should I use a presentation?” and I said yes sure. But then an entire conversation went around why presentations are needed or why they are not. Well, eventually I was of the opinion how about experimenting and not using one? Well to my surprise he did not use one.

During lunch and coffee, we shared stories and spoke about cultural behaviours from an Indian perspective and hearing his insights too. As we walked to meet the press and waited at the elevator area he looked at me and said “how does one know which elevator to call and how to do these buttons function” and we had a sneered at each other like we knew what we were referring too.

A complex problem does not have a simple solution: The Talk of the Legend

20190222_160343(1)Don started off by imploring designers to ask a question to themselves, what is the problem that they would want to work on? Healthcare? Education?

A complex problem does not have a simple solution, it is solved bit by bit because in the process of helping some people it might harm some other people. Hence it is important to test the solutions on a smaller set of people and then learn from that and iterate and keep iterating.  We learn from testing and its important that we tell ourselves that we have not been proven wrong if we fail but we have learnt a lot more than what we knew before. This term was fondly called “Muddling Through” because as per Don, Experts do not always understand cultural nuances, behavioural biases and deeply hidden insecurities of the people the solution is eventually built for.

He is a strong advocate of “Community Driven Knowledge” i.e Citizen-Based Knowledge Systems, this is the most sustainable form of design solutions because they are conceived by the people for the people.

This is the role of a designer to get people together for a common cause.

Understand the Problem Deeply:

Helping Don sign the booksA designer is someone who designs something that has an impact on society. A solution that is aimed at technology first is a good recipe for failure, we will never to able to start by finding technology solution. What we must do is understand the problem deeply.

A designer must understand which discipline is necessary for designing a solution. They must know a bit about every aspect of the ancillary problems associated with the core problems. It’s important to know about the other fields that he is exposed to as opposed to just blinker focus on your core area. We must not simply design solutions, they must be accepted by the society that’s the goal of every solution. A human mind understands the cause and effect of the actions he will be doing. Hence it’s easier to build for behaviours of people as opposed to changing the behaviour because behavioural change eventually happens on its own. Human mind understands the cause and effect relationship, hence give them a problem they care about that’s when they learn and change. Build something first quickly, and give people to try also called “Research Through Design” is the way by which you learn much faster. Ending the session with autographs on his books, it was now time for the press.

Ending the day discussing some social projects that affect the medical and education sector of the country, it was amazing to share the table and discuss hypothesis, assumptions and biases with Don.

Advice to Designers: Be curious

The 82-year-old Don Norman is anything but an old, he is curious and would always like to be that way. He tries anything that is different. Humble and asks tonnes of questions.

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the-design-of-everyday-things

An Autograph as unique as the man himself

 

Cheers,

RuthlessUX

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design thinking, FuckedUpUx, Interface Design, Product Design, usability, User Experience, ux review, Video Review

When networking is over friendly : Linkedin UX & Usability Review

Linkedin has always tried to make networking fun and engaging. But even the monopoly in this field does not deter them to make some silly usability and Ux glitches. I mean before they implement such functions and features what do they even think?

This is one reason why i love to dig down and critique them. You are never short of content here 🙂

In one of my previous articles about linkedin regarding their ui revamp on the design i had pointed out some very basic design changes which were not really necessary and more over changes which degraded the ux from the then existing ux.

But then thats LinkedIn for you.

Cheers,

Keep it Ruthless

 

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design thinking, FuckedUpUx, Product Design, Product Review, User Experience, ux review

Re-invent the user behaviour pattern wheel Or Revise it?

Today the need to look different and be different all the time has become more like a necessity for social acceptance, be at work or personal. We want to be seen as innovators and be applauded all the time. The subtle societal notion of ‘if you’re not doing anything different, is equivalent to you’re not doing anything valuable’ is actually taken very seriously today. But at what point does one decide what is actually and truly different and what is valuable? Because sometimes you could be doing something that’s different but it turns out that it’s not valuable.

The clear answer lies in the adoption curve of the eventual users of such the product or service. Because technology changes quickly compared to the peoples’ adaptation habits and learning curve, which is comparatively slower.  Because as humans we have over the years learnt and formed a collective pattern of behaving in a similar fashion towards some of the most generic situations. And our reactions to those are more or less same if not drastically different.

Anything we design is eventually doing either of the two things – displacing the old user behaviour pattern or simply extending them.

Changing the collective user behaviour pattern is nothing short of what I would call as a Digital Evolution today.

User Behaviour Pattern is not just limited to Humans but animals as well have an accumulated and evolved learnt behaviour over generations that make them behave in a collective way. I recently read a case study about “Mountain lions fear humans, flee when they hear our voices”. It reveals how human behaviour as a predator to the felines – which is a predator to other animals – has eventually caused these species to develop a type of a fear based learning mechanism to protect themselves from humans.

Designers are often reluctant to take advantage of the already existing conventions that have been followed and over the period and which has been subconsciously well learnt by the users.

But the designers get tempted to try and reinvent the wheel because they feel that they always need to do something new and different that has not been done before. While that’s a good thought to start at but as designers there are certain start points and basics that need to be adhered to. Like you clearly need to define the learning curve vs. the value you are trying to replace of the already existing solution or convention.

How to make the users learning curve as minimal as possible and yet achieving the eventual product and business goal is something that a designer must always strive to do.

So what needs to be kept in mind is to ask yourself that do I really need to reinvent the wheel or revise it?

A quick and literal litmus test here is that all automobile companies use the same shape of wheels, which were invented way back in circa 3,500 B.C. They have all the resources and funds to make a square wheel, a trapezium shaped wheel and so on.

Point is they don’t shy from using existing conventions and technology because by leveraging the existing they make their own innovative part of the product better. And that’s what the people need -a better version of anything existing. Nature adapts and evolves and so do we as humans. We build on the existing to make the present much more delightful.

A Quick example would be corporate parks having unnecessary complicated design for the most simple of the things. Eg: Elevator Call buttons

This is the mot simple and easy to understand elevator call button

The button you see here is the easiest way to understand a elevator call button without any ambiguity.

Now most of the corporate park utility designs are complicated for example the images of buttons below.

Conventions which have been used and already learnt by the users is a great way to kickstart design thinking process as it puts less cognitive load on their minds and also makes them feel less dumb. We have to as designers or utilities keep in mind that if the user is finding it difficult to use the service or object designed its our fault and not the users. 

 

Revising or enhancing user behaviour is a better option than completely reinventing because unless it really displaces the value of what is already existing its adaptability and scalability is highly  questionable.

Hence keeping things reasonably simple is more important than making them functionally fancy and ambiguous.

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design thinking, Product Design, usability, usability testing, User Experience

Design Thinking Talk by RuthlessUx

Get a summarised version of my Talk on  on Design Thinking at UpGrad which is an online higher education platform providing rigorous industry relevant programs designed and delivered in collaboration with world-class faculty and industry. Merging the latest technology, pedagogy and services, UpGrad is creating an immersive learning experience – anytime and anywhere.
https://upgrad.comWhat is Design Thinking? 1. Design Thinking is a methodology used by designers to solve complex problems, and find desirable solutions for clients. 2. A design mindset is not problem-focused, it’s solution focused and action oriented towards creating a preferred future. 3. Thinking draws upon logic, imagination, intuition, and systemic reasoning, to explore possibilities of what could be—and to create desired outcomes that benefit the end user (the customer). @RuthlessUx

“Most people make the mistake of thinking design is what it looks like. People think it’s this veneer — that the designers are handed this box and told, ‘Make it look good!’ That’s not what we think design is. It’s not just what it looks like and feels like. Design is how it works.”

 Learn about the audience for whom you are designing Construct a POV that is based on users needs and insights Brainstorm & come up with creative solutions Build a representation of one or more of your ideas Return to your original user group and testing your ideas for feedback The Design Thinking Framework : The Process@RuthlessUx

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Discussing about Design Thinking Frameworks

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Hands on training of Rapid Prototyping

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Ideation Phase of Design Thinking

https://www.slideshare.net/shaheena_a/slideshelf

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design thinking, FuckedUpUx, usability, usability testing, User Experience, User Experience Review, User Psychology, ux review

The new LinkedIn is so bad its not even funny anymore!

With installing the LinkedIn app and then uninstalling in within 3 minutes i knew they cannot get it more wrong than what they already have.

I knew way back im using LinkedIn for UTILITY and not usability.

The recent update in LinkedIn’s UI made me go “What a cheap imitation of Facebook‘s UI! These guys refuse to learn!”

The overall site looks like it has been robbed of its “Freedom of Expression” hope this not the Trump effect.!

There is so much thats hidden and is left for the user to explore and help themselves. Features important are hidden only to make the experience more distasteful.  Amy Parnell, the company’s senior director of experience design,  said it had “too much noise, too much cognitive load.”  But i guess atleast we had something then now we are left with BLANK SPACE to eat!

List of hate items: *not limited to but 5

1) White Space: Its too white spaced for my comfort. Everything looks scattered and hanging. Empty! Amy Parnell, the company’s senior director of experience design, felt it had “too much noise, too much cognitive load.”

Probably she thought users using linkedIn -who let me tell you had already adapted to the previous matrix of your UI – certainly could have put up with a little more.

Sadly underestimating “Users Cognitive Abilities” is the last thing one might want to do especially in terms of user experience.

This only points out two things either you were over confident and landed up doing a bad job or you just lived in a matrix where you felt your users are stupid to handle an upgraded ui.

 

 

 

 

2)Publications / Projects : So you decide to show less and make us click more to see more? what kind of handicapped user experience is this? And then show us less relevant content and shove us with more white space? trying to get the KKK way are you?

Surely you don’t seem like a white spremacist then why is that the0ry adopted in your UI? It’s only making is very difficult to view things at one glance or let us check out a connection’s latest project, publication, or article.

 

 

 

3) Groups hidden too: C’mon why do you think you got it all right? did you even do user testing with real users? or your experience design team went to japan and hired a bunch of robots to get the made-to-order feedback. There are like 4 clicks i need to do before i actually get to My Groups Page.

 

 

 

 

 

4) Menu sticks around like an overfriendly pal: So you have decided to live in the Stone Age time and not improve your icon design or menu? like i totally understand you wanted to copy facebook but then the menu icons look like a garnishing which is more compared to the quantity of food.

 

 

 

 

5) Achievements, Awards, Certifications and Honors  given step motherly treatment:

Why are things just hidden?

In the previous version the awards, certification honors and achievements and certifications were not hidden. Now you can barely see them at all and to add to your Cognitive Load is that your mind has to figure that you keep to keep clicking on the fu***ng “See more” link all the time to well SEE more of things that you should be seeing by default.

Another annoyance is that t is a full-width arrangement and one column instead of two, which drastically increases the page length as well as it ceases to show you less information which you could have probably viewed at a glance.

It’s like placing the refridgerator in

 

 

Bummer!!!

There isn’t a way to go back to the old version of LinkedIn. Sadly you can’t throw rotten tomatoes on your screen for a mistake thats not even yours. However, If you are still enthusiastic about nagging go follow this thread https://www.linkedin.com/help/linkedin/forum/question/474766 and give your feedback

Thank me later.

RuthlessUx

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design thinking, User Experience, UX Seminar, UX Workshop

UX Workshop for #Startupbootcamp #Fintech

Because playing with #data is no child’s play,  Because playing with #data is no child’s play, Conducting an intensive UX Seminar for top 10 selected FinTech startups from across the globe by www.startupbootcamp.org (Startupbootcamp FinTech) which is one of the worlds leading accelerator focused on financial innovation.

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It’s important to understand as entrepreneurs the kind of users we are dealing with. And when it comes to numbers the job gets tougher by the hour. Trying to share insights on how data is the key and numbers need to be made chewable and more intuitive so that users don’t get intimidated by the service thats being provided.

 

RuthlessUX1

RuthlessUX2

Mentoring startups focusing on

Key Focus Areas Like

Blockchain

Advanced Analytics

Mobile Security

Investments & Personal Finance

Payments

Financial Inclusion

Identity & Authentication

P2P Lending

You could checkout the Seminar Content in the below section.

“>https://www.slideshare.net/shaheena_a/slideshelf

 

Seminar on  UX 101 Workshop – Context to Fintech conducted on Friday, March 10 – 2017

 

Cheers,

http://www.RuthlessUx.com

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design thinking, Interface Design, usability testing, User Behaviour, User Experience, UX Concepts, UX Knowledge, UX Methodology

Fitts’ Law in UX

Paul Fitts:

One of the founding fathers of Ergonomics, his famous “Fitt’s Law” (which predicts the time required to rapidly move to a target area, such as a button or control) is still in use today. Fitts was a psychologist who later served in the Air Force, where his work redesigning cockpits did a lot to improve aviation safety.

Relevance to UX:

It tracks the time it takes to point at something. Taking into consideration the size and distance of the target. Fundamentally it proves that its faster for you to hit larger targets closer to you than it is to hit smaller targets that are farther away from you.

If you look at the keys on your computer keyboard you will notice that the keys users press more often like the ‘enter’ key the ‘space bar’ and the ‘shift’ key are larger than the other modifying keys. These keys are larger so they are easier to hit.
They are also closer to the alpha numeric keys.key-board

Keys that are used less often like ‘alt’ delete’ ‘esc’ are farther away from the alphanumeric keys.

Similarly when designing an interface when a designer wants users to interact with their website interface or product they make sure they make it obvious. Targets or Buttons are easily located and easy to use. (Refer Below Image)

homepage.png

Its also signifies that the farther away a users mouse is and the smaller the onscreen target is the longer it takes for a user to move the cursor and click on target. (Refer Below Image)

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Fitts Law of Curve:

For Small Size Objects:

The size of the target matters. The larger the target the easier it is to hit.

button.png

This might lead us to think that the larger buttons are always better. However this rule cannot be applied always. Fitts Law works on curve. Which means smaller objects are easier to click if they are made large.

small-to-big.png

For Large Size Objects – The Gutenberg diagram :

However larger objects are already large. So if they are made larger yet they won’t be easier to click. Because of this curve the benefits of increased size begin to decrease. This ensure proper proportions are given to objects and that the purpose is served for the same.

Placement of Objects Onscreen – :

Actual physical placement of your screen elements are very important. The Gutenberg Diagram shows that the users tend to move through the screen from TOP LEFT to BOTTOM RIGHT. Therefore important objects and buttons must be placed in the BOTTOM RIGHT.

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Enter a caption

Designing in proportion and keeping in mind their appropriate usage is critical.

 

Text Links or One Word Link :

Always try and make a phrase a link rather than just one word.  (Refer image Below)

This makes the target link bigger and easier to click and understand.

phrase-link.png

 

Design for Different Devices :

Proper size, spacing and proportion of objects are crucial. Every item must be in sync and proportion to the other designed for serving the usage they are meant for.

 

Cheers,

RuthlessUX.com

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