Posts tagged user experience

I murder plants :(

It is true. I don’t do it on purpose, but it happens. I love plants. I love having them in my house and at work. But over time I’ve somehow become a serial plant killer and I hate myself for it.

Have no fear, redemption is here (at the cost of $168). God has done some UX work and sent us a plant angel on the iOS and web to save us from sinning again, aka the Koubachi Wi-Fi Sensor.

Dear Sheikha Mahboob (my dying palm tree),

Help is here. I shall love and care for you when notified by the plant angel. Look forward to seeing you green again.

Love, Nadeem!

Angel of Plants

Angel of Plants

Minimum Viable Personality

A Rockstar MVP

A Rockstar MVP


A hilarious quick read that perfectly portrays the importance of a product’s personality. Find out more on how to make a rockstar MVP at A VC: Minimum Viable Personality.

Genius Product Design Ideas

Everyone appreciates the fruits of clever product design, where the structure and function is effective and efficient to a biological standard. If that harmony achieves a balanced design, you attain sheer joy! Here are a few of my must have design inventions from A List of Genius Ideas and 34 Cleverly Designed Inventions.

Genius mop home slippers!

Genius mop home slippers!

Life station

Life station

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Easily donate to charities, nonprofits or sponsor a child online within minutes.

You can be Superman now. (Official Marine Corps photo by Cpl. Bobbie A. Curtis)

You can be Superman now. No excuse.

Want to do some good, make a difference but don’t have time to volunteer or find out who and how to help? You can make a difference with just a dollar. Here are a few of my favorite good e-deeds: usable online donation services with a decent user experience that’ll take just a few minutes and paypal, worldpay or credit card.

I dare you to grab a coffee, grab your credit and donate a wee bit to each of them next weekend. It made me feel incredible and remember, we can make poverty history.

Chinar – Sponsor a child from $35 a month. My personal favorite and one I can vouch for as a Kashmiri! I’m an e-daddy!

Kiva – Empower people around the world with a small loan of just $25. Signing up with my link gives you free $25 credit. I love their UX, communication and emotional triggers. I’ve helped people grow food and start businesses!

Philanthroper – Give just a dollar. Each day they have a new charity that you can donate to, its daily dails but daily deeds. The internet at its best. Last Christmas one of my dollars bought two chickens and an education, that has to be the most amazing deal ever !

Sight Savers – Donate various one off ‘gift of sight’s of all budgets or pay monthly from 3 pounds a month. Restore sight and prevent blindness in minutes, yes yes you’ll feel like Superman!

UN Foundation – Various ranges of donations that help in reducing childhood mortality from disease, advocating for the rights of women and girls, improving disaster relief, creating a clean energy future, and ensuring a strong, well-funded UN. Fight for whats right, with plastic!

UNICEF – Various ranges of donations that save the most vulnerable lives, protect childhoods and get children to school… So they can blog one day! :p

UN Refugee Agency – Various ranges of donations and causes. In some of the most unforgiving places on earth, YOUR support can provide protection, shelter, food and clean water, as well as education and health care – all vital and urgent needs for people who have fled persecution or conflict. You’ve got a hell of a lot of power right now, to click or not to click… Who are you?

UN World Food Programme – Just 1 dollar fills 4 cups of food. The WFP fights hunger every day, whether saving lives in an emergency or providing school children with vital nourishment. I was going to order dinner just now – would be about $10 – the WFP would deliver 40 meals for that.

There is no excuse anymore. These sites can make us legendary – you should make a difference now by clicking on any of these links above.

Update:

BetterPlace.org –  You can support various nonprofit projects that help vulnerable people all over the world from as little as you want. This German nonprofit is maximizing the use of internet technologies to connect people who want to help, directly with people who need help. “Direct and transparent” 100% of your donation gets passed on.

Pencils of Promise – “Enabling every person to build a school  and bring education to those that need it most.” 100% of donations goes directly to school building programs. They’ve built 65 schools around the world today, it started with a child saying what he wants the most is a pencil. Make an impact today, from a one time donation from as little as you want through to monthly donations.

Empty Cup by Dennis Bautista via 500px.com

Empty Cup by Dennis Bautista via 500px.com

Mirror, mirror. An extraordinary pervasive AI computing UX vision. – The New York Times, Nieman Journalism Lab

Every once in a while something extraordinary comes along in gadgets. If you’ve got a little pervasive AI computing vision, the possibilites are endless!

Lets say Herbert, your mairror, (ai mirror duh?!), is installed on all your mirrors (bedroom, bathroom, entrance lounge) and displays (tv, lcd, phone, watch, kitchen).

It syncs with your calender, to do list, your news of interest, monitors your health, delivers media status updates from your closest friends and family, reads out important sms/emails/media notes, orders groceries, cleaning services, finds/delivers hints/tips/updates on your hobbies/wishlist, and encourages you to find time for those things you always wanted to learn but never find time to (even reads to you, teaches you interactively), and monitors your progress and gives you feedback. Whatever you want, nothing else. 

Yes, there are many possible risks, fine details that need to be tweaked here, but I’m overlooking that for now and looking at just these few scenarios I thought up of in a minute. The potentials of a truly invisible interface here is amazing and there are a blahzillion enhancement paths for every field of science, living and business. 

This is the start of true pervasive computing, where you’re listening to the radio in your car, like the artist/song, trigger some kind of action word/button, and Herbert finds and books you their next concert, or signs up for email newsletters for itself to one day tell/show you in the future while you’re brushing your teeth. Heck, even the annoying radio guy can be muted and Herbert can fill you in on whats important to you. Maybe even keep in touch with Pedro, your brothers mairror and arrange a call when you’re both free.  

Read on to see how far this prototype has come to date: Mirror, mirror: The New York Times wants to serve you info as you’re brushing your teeth » Nieman Journalism Lab.

UX: Effectively triggering emotional responses with smiles and faces.

Results of an A/B testing evaluation show how triggering an emotional response / connection from user’s vastly increases their response rate, by 102.5% in this case. This seems to have the marketing power of testimonials, but portrayed in one happy smiling customer photo. A picture is worth a thousand wordsBehind the scenes: A/B testing part 3: Finalé – 37signals.

37signals.com - A/B Testing Person Design

37signals.com - A/B Testing Person Design

Results of eye-tracking studies have shown how you can grab and guide a user’s eye using a similar emotional response. You look where they look, people look at other people’s faces – UsableWorld.com.au. But just because their eyes have seen an element on a page, doesn’ t mean that they’ve registered it.

Tobii eye tracker heat map of 106 viewing baby ad - UsableWorld.com.au

Tobii eye tracker heat map of 106 viewing baby ad - UsableWorld.com.au

Further reading:

UX: Data Talks. A/B Usability Testing | UXmatters

Quick read on the process of identifying problems and testing various solutions to find the killer one. Pairing Up Usability Testing with A/B Testing :: UXmatters.

UX: Prettier does not mean better. Seven Guidelines For Designing High-Performance Mobile User Experiences | Smashing Magazine

Smashing Magazine always features the most comprehensive well written articles on UX. Here is another worth a quick read! Seven Guidelines For Designing High-Performance Mobile User Experiences – Smashing Magazine.

UX: ‘Usability Rules the Web’ but what is it? Usability 101 – Definition and Fundamentals – What, Why, How | Jakob Nielsen

If you’ve just heard about usability, you need to start with the basics. The definition; how, when, and where can you improve it? Why should you care?

Usability can be defined in many different ways and can be seen as vast complex field of studies; it mainly represents a user’s ease to perform a function efficiently. Helen Sharp and Jakob Nielsen, among the well-known and respected gurus of interaction, define usability as:

“… effectiveness, ease of use, and satisfaction…” Helen Sharp

“… a quality attribute that assesses how easy user interfaces are to use.” Jakob Nielsen

Ben Shneiderman, a man of equal stature, and Nielsen further go on to divide usability into five factors that fit into the categories of efficiency, effectiveness and satisfaction. The category of efficiency relates to the speed of performance and the time it takes for a user to learn how to use the function; whereas effectiveness relates to the memorability and rate of errors (van Welie et.al, 1999). Such an approach reflects the ‘user and task dependent’ nature of usability as well as relating it to “how well the user is able to accomplish what they set out to do, how efficiently the user can do this, and how satisfied the user is during and after the process” (Whitehead 2006).

To get you started, check out this overview that covers the basic questions by Jakob Nielsen. Usability 101: Definition and Fundamentals – What, Why, How Jakob Nielsens Alertbox.

Example of bad usability design from theletter.co.uk

Example of bad usability design from theletter.co.uk

UX: Efficiency: The second essential of a customer centric business | UX Magazine

Effectiveness and efficiency are the basis of a good user experience. This is a great read on how investing in simplfying the user experience pays off for your business. Efficiency: The second essential of a customer centric business | UX Magazine.

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