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Tankar kring user experience, användbarhet och effektstyrning

Jeff Veen: Let's design a creating culture

Shadi Khorshidi Almviken

Having listened to Simon Bennet and Jeff Veen amongst other great talks at FBTB 2016 I can not help to wonder if we instead of asking “how to build a great product?” should be asking and in fact answering “how do we handle disaster?”

Why do some products become great products and reach great success while others do not? As an UX strategist I am often asked to help clients along a transformation journey from good to great. In most cases the focus is on setting up processes/practices for “building the right product” (BIM) and “building the product the right way” (Agile/Lean).  

But what if we have all these processes in place; we listen to our users, we have designers and engineers working together, we iterate and prototype and much much more, and still don´t succeed in making the leap to greatness? What more can we do?

Jeffrey Veen was one of the speakers at From Business to Buttons on April 15. In his talk, named “Designing Culture”, he pointed out that “Everything is connected and everything breaks”. It is your reaction, as the leader or as the team member, to that breakage that will determine whether you'll make or break a great product.

How do we handle disaster best? By creating a healthy and positive culture, where the team feel safe and trust each other. As Jeff Veen points out, culture is not something that just suddenly emerges but something that you create, every single day. Jeff shared a story on how he and his team have designed their work environment to build trust and respect. To summarize, it all comes down to:

1. Creating an environment that fosters communication or ”communication compression” as Jeff put it.

2. Creating an environment that fosters teamwork.

3. Creating an environment that is free from scapegoats.

Does it sound easy? Or obvious? According to Jeff it’s not, and a lot of companies seldom or never accomplish a truly creative, healthy and positive culture. To get the best hands-on advice – check out the video!

And, next time you ask yourself  “How do we build great products?”, take a moment to think about how your work culture supports your team or organization to do great work and start the change there.  

How to re-design a City

Sara Doltz

Our CEO is one of the consultants working on the Denver project. At From Business to Buttons he gave a talk called Transforming a City: Re-designing Denver.

Kjell Persson is inUse's CEO. Since last autumn he and other service designers from inUse have been helping the City of Denver become a smarter and more sustainable city.

From a sustainability perspective our planet undoubtedly is at a very critical point. Awareness among political leaders, industrial leaders and the general public is growing. There is enormous potential to achieve positive changes by building smarter and more sustainable cities.

A lot of cities across the globe look at each other, share insights and copy efforts as we speak. inUse is part of that change. So how do you go from idea to project in the smart city era? What tools can designers use to be a part of the change? We've just started our journey with the City of Denver, but really wanted everyone to get a glimpse of what kind of work we are doing.   

The talk was filmed at From Business to Buttons 2016. If you want to see more videos from the conference be sure to follow our Youtube channel, or check in regularly over the next couple of weeks.

Vi vill ha mer av allt – 4 enheter per person 2018

Sara Doltz

Medan många tillverkare satsar på att trycka in så många funktioner som möjligt i de smarta telefonerna verkar det inte vara vad konsumenterna vill ha. Gartner tror att situationen är den motsatta – vi vill ha ännu fler gadgets, för olika ändamål.

Analyshuset Gartner uppskattar att det idag finns 7,8 miljarder installerade uppkopplade enheter som smartphones, surfplattor och wearables. Om tillväxten fortsätter i ungefär samma takt kommer siffran att vara 8,3 miljarder om två år.

De tror också att användare på mogna marknader kommer att ha fler än en eller två enheter. Vi kommer snart vara uppe i minst tre eller fyra per person. Grundenheterna kommer vara smartphones, surfplattor, enheter med dubbla funktioner och notebooks. De mer nischade enheterna kommer dock växa till sig rejält, till exempel smarta klockor, hälsoband, smart glases och helt nya typer av uppkopplade prylar som till exempel smarta betalningskort och kameror.

– Kombinationen av att fler och fler snabbt tar till sig ny teknik, snabbare nätverk och att människor vill/behöver vara konstant uppdaterade för att ta fler beslut "på språng" kommer att leda till att ännu fler enheter behövs, säger Anshul Gupta, research director på Gartner.

Golden Krishna: Screen-based is not the solution

Maria Sjödin

At From Business to Buttons Golden Krishna spoke about the idea that the best interface is no interface. Golden wants us to solve the real problems and not routinely think of a screen-based interface as the best solution.

The answer to a design problem is not to make an app. To be innovative is not to slap a screen on something. UX design is not the same as UI design. Golden Krishna's talk at From Business to Buttons was one of the most appreciated.

Golden shared 3 principles for designing solutions that doesn’t depend on screens:

1.     Embrace typical processes instead of screens

2.     Leverage computers instead of serving them

3.     Adapt to individuals

In his talk Golden gives different examples for his principles. For example he refers to a door-opening app to prove his first principle. When all needless interactions have been reduced it ends up to be a back pocket app that unlocks the door while the phone is still in the pocket. Nothing else...

I really enjoyed Golden’s talk; it’s full of humour and at the same time it was very inspiring. He got a lot of laughs for example when he showed how our screen based thinking also has found its way outside actual screens: 3D tooth paste, 3D chips and sunglasses with HD vision(?). I also like how he used his book to read out parts that points out some of the design absurdness our screen-based thinking leads to.

But Golden is still hopeful, and thinks that the no-screen interface will be a non-isssue in the future. He has great hope that we won’t be drowning in screens that will take our attention away from what really matters. Instead he wants all design aims to solve real problems in the smartest and most effective way, where the user doesn’t have to be bothered with needless decisions and/or screens.

The talk was filmed at From Business to Buttons 2016. If you want to see more videos from the conference be sure to follow our Youtube channel.

Design for Engagement, a workshop with Susan Weinschenk 

Boris Kehr

Susan Weinschenk gave one of the most memorable talks at From Business to Buttons 2016. It was about robots and how they are going to be a big part of our life. Her workshop a day earlier was about something else, how to make design that actually makes a difference. 

In the workshop “Design for Engagement” Susan talked about how our mind and senses work. Sometimes they work with us, sometimes against us but mostly they just work without us thinking or knowing about what’s going on. The workshop covered a lot and I recommend reading Susan’s books if you want to learn more. Here are just few things that I found especially interesting:

All about communication

Design is more than just good looks, it's about communication. The design should say something about you and at the same time make people feel, think and hopefully do something. It’s not mind control, just good communication. A good designer has to know more then just the target audience. He/she needs to understand the psychology and biology of people, including vision, hearing and thinking. There is a reason for what sticks and why. A few years ago I would have told you that (neuro) psychology and design have nothing in common. Now I know better. 

The unconscious versus the conscious

Most mental processing is unconscious. Our thoughts are actually just a small portion of all the signals our brain process every second. 

There is an invisible line between the conscious and the unconscious. What we recognise as an independent thought sprung from our conscious mind is based on many factors from the unconscious. So our unconscious mind actually tells us what to think.

Think about the experience of buying a new car. Everything is carefully designed; all of your senses are addressed. The fast looking exterior, the comfortable chairs, the distinct new car-smell and the solid “thunk” sound when the car door closes.

So when you think that you have come with a smart and logical decision your subconscious has already made it for you. You are putting words of reason to that gut feeling. Nobody buys a car because it just feels good. Right…? Because if it feels good it’s suddenly not that expensive, environmentally friendly, has a lot of space and so on. 

Think Fast and Learn Slow

Susan refers to Daniel Kahneman, the author of the bestseller “Thinking Fast and Slow” and his definition of two kinds of thinking.

System 1: the easy, intuitive and fast one. This is our normal mode, driven by instincts and routines.

System 2: is the analytic, hard-core thinking. It takes time and energy, and we avoid it as much as possible. Couples messages that needs System 2 are often ignored. This has nothing to do with intellect. Even smart people's brains like to go on autopilot. (No wonder we find most commercials so superficial.)

But… when you have more time and want the user to actually remember or learn something, the System 2 is your man. People actually learn better the harder they have to work for it. So a dense and complex scientific text is actually better for learning than nicely designed, easy to read popular science magazine. So what we prefer have nothing to do with what actually gets results. Why can’t things ever be easy … 

I’m good with faces

Of course you are. Your brain has a dedicated area just for faces and facial expression. If you think about it, an awful lot of our communication happen in our faces. That’s why we have to enrich texting with emojis, to give our words a facial expression.

Faces grab our attention. It’s no coincidence that every magazine cover has a big face smiling at us, trying to make a connection. We can let the face in the picture  look at something (for instance an amazing product or a submit button) and make our viewer look in the same direction. The best way to make the viewer to take action is to display a photo of a strong positive reaction. It may sound cheesy, but it works. 

Focus on the peripheral vision 

One of the parts I found most interesting was about peripheral vision (PV). We often talk about centre of interest, and where to lead the eye, but we seldom mention the rest. The surrounding is not meaningless wasteland, it’s actually a majority of your vision. When you see something interesting in a corner of your eye, that’s where you look next. So the PV is a doorstep to your focal vision.

The PV even helps your orientation and decides if you are in the right place. It would take a tremendous amount of time to focus on every detail to find your way to a certain spot. The PV brings you the essence in a microsecond. It also registers danger much faster than the focal vision. Now you don’t have to be eaten by the lion or get hit by the bus that you saw in the corner of your eye. Thank you evolution. 

So for example: You visit a random website. The company is trying to sell you a service or a product. What's your first impression:  What does the big pictures on the top of the page say? What feelings does the person express, where is she/he looking and why? And what about your copy? Does it appeal to the System 1 with easy to process information or does it address System 2 with a promise of learning something new? 

It all sums up into one experience. And you as a designer are in control of the experience. Treat it with care.