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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An Autograph as unique as the man himself

 

Cheers,

RuthlessUX

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usability testing, User Experience, UX Mentor, ux review

Mentoring Startups @GoogleDay Mumbai supported by Google. #Gday16

Mentoring some great upcoming start ups curated by Google Business Group Mumbai which is supported by Google.

Google Day which was on Dec 17th 2016, The agenda was overall revolving around the theme of Tech Carnival.

 

 

 

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In the Pic: Mentoring Piconergy Social Enterprise – Clean technology Picoenergy exists to address the pressing issue of energy poverty in rural and urban India.

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Further Details can be found in the below link:

https://gbgmumbai.org/gday16-agenda/

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Branding, design thinking, Interface Design, User Experience, Visual design

It’s a website not a candy shop dear www.makaan.com

 

Reviewing the new www.makaan.com revamped website. Below is the RuthlessUX video review

Alot of products today are as confused about their branding as a woman who is unsure about what lipstick color will compliment her dress? *no sexism here. this is pure humor*

Makaan.com seems to have hit the same space looks like. And looking at their candy shop look this is how i reacted:

How the site looks? giphy1

How i feel looking at it?

giphy

Candy Shop look:

Alot of brands like to be perceived as young and vibrant but this is the first of its kind attempt to look like a kid. Overall look gives me feel like im going to buy candies.

Logo:

logo is black which is difficult to read and not visible

Continue reading

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In the image below Can you figure which one is the door?

and how to open this door? Push? Pull? Slide?

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Entering the door of your office is the first th
ing most of the working class does before they start off and reach their desk for work.

Sounds simple ?

Recently i went to a Networking event at a posh corporate park in Bombay and had a great time. But B
eing the “paying attention to the details” kind of person that i am i figured that this entry door nothing
less than an algebraic  equation which i might not have been taught in school.

 

ruthlessux-door

 

So many of our doors are designed in a way that send confusing signals. Look at the doors in malls, Washrooms, Coffee Shops, Corporate offices etc.

I’m so sure we have all faced this one situation where we are pushing a door and someone at the opposite ends gets hit on the nose.

And worse is when we are using the revolving doors. There is a 100% possibility of you fumbling with your own-self and feel dis-balanced.

We are habituated instinctively to pull doors that have handles and  push doors that are flat or have no handles, so whenever a door does not fit in this regular realm of design, a sign or symbol of help is required. But then again it is not a guarantee that the door will be used as desired by the designer.

What may seem like a clever or minimal design soon seems as a design failure. I very often say “Simple and Minimal does not mean Kill the Utility or Make it Non-User Friendly”

Sometimes we might see handwritten arrows or signs or text indicating direction or action that needs to be taken.

For Eg: Toilet out of order! Yes that’s the sign i mostly see around

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At times the stickers are also insufficient to override what those handles are saying.

And sometimes signs alone cannot act as a solution in itself and hence there still must be some way of knowing what action and where it is to be done. Mostly a single word labels fail to signify or rather say build that intuition in a user to take action

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How many of us subconsciously land up pushing the door when it’s written Pull?

Words can be ambiguous when it comes to universal function and understanding. Hence we see Road signs use graphic illustrations. But words and graphics are together are understood much better.

“Doors do not need an instruction manual they should simply be “KISS” – Keep it Simple and Stupid” 

 

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And finally when you figure the way the product or item works user has a sense of achievement!

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Cheers

http://www.RuthlessUx.com

User Experience is a facet of design that touches human lives in more than one ways. Its omnipresent. Physical or Virtual “experience” is something people remember more than the product. People remember how they “felt”. Many a times i see a lot of sites or for that matter even physical objects put so much effort in making a product or services complicated that the reaction users subconsciously feel is exactly how Deadpool describes in this reaction below!

 

WHYS USERS FEEL THIS WAY?

Let’s see an example!

What i am reviewing today  the tea cup you see below which is  an apt example of putting the user under stress for no reason. There is a considerable amount of effort gone into making this cup a complicated one!

 

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It’s what we call a bad execution of #productdesign and lack of #ux sensibilities. The cup is difficult to use. So clearly #user and #usability aspects of #userexperience have been blindly ignored here.

Even though the idea of the amalgamation of a wine glass and a coffee cup seems artistic and exciting but not good in terms of #industrial #design — at Khar Social.

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To the designer who took the trouble to make this  cup!

Being a good user experience designer definitely involves creative imagination but it must be an enhanced version that’s not too far from usability if not reality itself. Imagine this the tea is hot, the upper portion occupies 75% of the hot liquid. Holding the cup with one hand is like trying to balance a Pyramid upside down on your finger tip. This might help you feel what i’m trying to convey.

Cheers,

RuthlessUX

Andy Kucharski-  Chicago

India is now moving ahead with the brilliant  #digitalIndia  campaign and now that alot of new ideas and technology are being embraced to make this campaign a successful  one, the first being the #netneutrality victory!

During the Drupal Con Asia Summit 2016 held at IIT Bombay – Powai I put forward my concerns on to some IT govt officials as to why our indian govt websites for eg: http://incometaxindiaefiling.gov.in/ , http://passportindia.gov.in/AppOnlineProject/welcomeLink and some more and lacking behind in terms of user experience and usability.

A healthy discussion with some Govt officials and Public Private Partnerships representatives, SME’s assured a better ux in the near future. They also asked me to send my feedback on how we can make things better on that front. Its a good start!

I also managed to collect alot of user feedback on the experience  they hav had using some of these websites.  Posting one of the Video Review i collected from

A Little About the Event:

The #drupalGov & #drupalcon summit at IIT Bombay ( https://events.drupal.org/asia2016 ) was an amazing journey filled with vouching for the free open source softwares, drupal as a FOSS, tech, platforms, etc.

Interacting with members of DIETY (Department of Electronics & Information Technology  and National Informatics Centre Services Inc. (NICSI) India during the sessions was a great experience.

 

Review by

Shaheena Attarwala (UX & Usability specialist Mumbai)

 

Reviewing the www.quikr.com website (Add to Favourite Feature)
Apparently even after the the user adds products he likes and might wish to later on re-visit them this feature is handy but unfortunately this feature seems to be working JUST NOT FINE on their site.

There is no such list that allows users to go back and view the saved items. So the purpose of ADD TO FAVOURITE on every product page gets totally irrelevant beyond this point.

 

Review by

Shaheena Attarwala (UX & Usability specialist Mumbai)