Entries tagged: user experience

Article  |  Work

Contiki's New Homepage Design

4 Nov 2011

Contiki is the worldwide leader in tours for 18-35’s. This summer, they asked us to update their homepage to be more relevant for their users. They wanted more interaction and to organize many quick bits of information for potential travelers. The presentation near the bottom and middle parts of the homepage felt unorganized, and we sensed it wasn’t working as an introduction to Contiki.

Contiki’s homepage needs to create interest in the tours, draw potential travelers deeper into the site, and sell the brand as the best option for holidays. We spent a lot of time planning on how to help Contiki make a great first impression. Not everyone who lands on the Contiki homepage knows what Contiki is and what they have to offer.

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Article  |  Work

Designing the RCX Trail Camera System website

27 Sep 2011

Leupold & Stevens has been designing, machining, and assembling precision optical instruments for a century. They recently expanded their hunting lineup with the addition of an RCX Trail Camera System to track animals for hunting.

The RCX Trail System comes with a remote camera that you can place anywhere and a controller/viewer that allows you to see what that remote camera sees. This system allows the user to find targets they wouldn’t normally be able to see from their position.

Leupold came to us to make a microsite for the launch of the RCX Trail Camera System. Leupold is a local company, and it’s always a pleasure collaborating with clients in person for a project. We went with a sales sheet model for how to present the product on the website. We felt Leupold’s potential RCX customers would want a simple explanation of the products, large photos to view, and full technical specifications for evaluating their purchase.

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Article  |  Work

Evolving Contiki's print brochure order forms

26 Sep 2011

Contiki is the worldwide leader in tours for 18-35’s and operates in over 40 countries around the world. For more than fifty years, Contiki has primarily relied on print brochures to allure and entice young adults to explore the globe. The printed brochures provide detailed and photographic overviews of the many available tours and benefits of going Contiki, however they do not provide the same flexibility and accessibility of an always up-to-date website.

Regardless, Contiki still has a large customer base that prefers to flip through a physical brochure just like many of us do with our annual Ikea catalog. While we cannot share the correlation between print brochures and purchasing decisions, there is still a significant percentage of customers that use the printed brochure to decide which product to purchase. So it was critical that we improve the user interaction to increase leads here.

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Article  |  UX

WebVisions 2011

1 Jun 2011

Allison, Brian, and I attended WebVisions in Portland, OR on May 26-27. It was a great event, and I appreciated that time limits for speakers were mostly set at 15-30 minutes. This made for a more energetic conference than most, and speakers needed to get to the point quickly or risk not getting time to make one at all.

I attended as many design related presentations as I could, and this year the talk in web design has shifted from visual design to emotional and interaction design. What makes a user return? What excites them? How can you guide them through your site? Having a pleasing visual design isn’t a big deal anymore, because now that’s just expected.

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Article  |  UX

Empathy is just a few words away

24 Aug 2010

I recently received a welcome packet in the mail from our overpriced health insurance provider, which encouraged me to head to their web site to setup my account. They assure me that it is going to change how I manage my health!

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Article  |  Studio

Meteorites: Goodbye Summer!

25 Sep 2007

Even Simple Multi-tasking Can Make a Project 30% Late

“Instead of doing many things at once (thinly-veiled in the name of Productivity), focus your attention on one task at a time, which in the long run will allow you to do more.”

Collaboration with development is a handshake, not a handoff

“As designers, we have the opportunity to provide an immense amount of value as the design moves through the development process. This process is best when it’s less of a handoff and more of a handshake; it’s a commitment between the designers and developers. Trust is a key component of this relationship, and once developers learned to trust our design decisions—and realized that we were really listening to their feedback about technical feasibility—it allowed them to focus on writing code and not second-guessing our design choices.”

If you aren’t embarrassed by v1.0 you didn’t release it early enough

“It is well known that the sooner you catch a mistake in development, the cheaper it is to fix. I believe this is just as true in marketing. A sure way to find these marketing mistakes is to release. You wouldn’t write a thousand lines of code before you tried to compile it. Why would you spend a year or more on development before testing it in the market? Creating software should be an incremental process.”

How well do you know prototype

“Here, I’ve collected most common use cases that do NOT use all of prototype’s capabilities and their simple solutions. I hope this will be a basic checklist to go through when developing for your next project.”

Simple Ways to Help Your Design Suck Less

“I often deal with people that have programming and website creation experience but lack any design experience or even common sense in design. Creating things visually pleasing comes naturally to me (I think), I also study the area at a tertiary level. Following some published theories as well as my own aesthetic sense there’s some simple things you can do to create better design.”

Getting Creative With Specs: Usable Software Specifications

“Usability applies to our deliverables as much as to our designs. Creating a usable spec is an excellent way for us as designers to make things easier for the rest of the team.”

Foundations of Interaction Design

“…Interaction Design is distinct from the other design disciplines. It’s not Information Architecture, Industrial Design, or even User Experience Design. It also isn’t user interface design. Interaction design is not about form or even structure, but is more ephemeral–about why and when rather than about what and how.”

Hat Heads vs. Bed Heads

“Every project and every office has multiple personality types. How you work with them and how you manage the rationale of decisions and feedback is crucial to your success.”

Typenuts, The Funny Side of Typography

see for yourself… ;-)

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Article  |  Studio

Meteorites: Hot August Nights

2 Aug 2007

26 Reasons What You Think is Right is Wrong

“A cognitive bias is something that our minds commonly do to distort our own view of reality. Here are the 26 most studied and widely accepted cognitive biases.”

The Five Biggest Web Site Mistakes

“Mistake No. 2 Don’t organize your site based on what’s familiar or convenient for your organization or its departments. You want a site that’s convenient for its end users—they come first. Put yourself in their shoes. Use language that makes sense to your intended audience; translate terminology (and any other jargon) into plain English.”

Multi-Tasking: Why projects take so long and still go late

“In most project environments multi-tasking is a way of life. This seemingly harmless activity, often celebrated as a desirable skill, is one of the biggest culprits in late projects, long project durations, and low project output. At the same time it is one of the least understood factors in managing projects.”

IT Conversations – Several podcasts of conversations with Interaction Design experts, from Irene Au to Jesse James Garrett.

Survey: Internet Explorer ‘most influential’ tech product in past 25 years

“Interesting word “influential.”" .. ""Best" certainly would have been a different story."

Microformats in Google Maps

“Today we’re happy to announce that we are adding support for the hCard microformat to Google Maps results. Why should you care about some invisible changes to our HTML? By marking up our results with the hCard microformat, your browser can easily recognize the address and contact information in the page, and help you transfer it to an addressbook or phone more easily.”

Proving the Value of Design

“We know that design is an expense—just look at any company’s balance sheet. And we know intuitively that for many companies, design is a profit center. But few organizations can actually prove that great design drives profits.”

Open – Code – New York Times Blog – The New York Times launches a new “blog about open source technology at The New York Times, written by and primarily for developers. This includes our own projects, our work with open-source technologies at nytimes.com, and other interesting topics in the open source and Web 2.0 worlds.”

Why usability is a path to failure

…"why oh why do people in this day age still hold up “usability” as something laudable in product and service design? Praising usability is like giving me a gold star for remembering that I have to put each leg in a different place in my pants to put them on. "

Never Use a Warning When you Mean Undo

“Have you ever had that sinking feeling when you realize—just a split second too late—that you shouldn’t have clicked “Okay” in the “Are you sure you want to quit?” dialog?”

What Puts the Design in Interaction Design

“Designed behavior is not invisible. Sometimes it is obfuscated; at other times, it is apparent or even obvious. Most importantly, designed behavior dictates the flow between action and reaction, which is the basis of an interaction.”

Using Omnigraffle to visualise Rails model associations

“a quick script to scan the associations between models and output it in the Graphviz DOT format.”

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