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Article  |  UX

The kids are alright...

3 Mar 2010

My nephew just turned 5 years old, which means that I was recently seeking a birthday gift. Last year, I had taken him to OMSI (Oregon Museum of Science and Industry) where he appeared to have a great time playing and learning. Money well spent.

In the back of my mind, I had been planning to purchase him an annual membership so that he could go more often. As his birthday neared, I began to look into this and was quickly discouraged by their membership packages.

At first glance, this may seem straight forward and reasonably priced. Yet, none of these plans were targetting my situation. You see, my goal was to purchase a membership for my nephew. One that might allow myself, his parents, grandparents, or babysitters to take him. Currently, this isn’t possible because their plans require named adult(s) and a number of kids they can take. I’m sure this works for many people, but I believe that a better option would be one geared towards the individual kids.

When I went to review their plans, I was expectig to purchase something like this:

..but all I could do is purchase a membership for some adult(s). Feeling disatisfied with my options, I decided to get in touch with OMSI. I sent in an email over a month ago to explain my scenario and see if they had a way to setup a special membership. Unfortunately, they never bothered to respond. Perhaps I’ll need to call someone in their offices to inquire, but regardless… I really find their strategy flawed.

Story time…

When I was younger, I had several membership cards to various attractions. One was GoKart license, another for an aquarium, and one for an amusement park. I was proud of my GoKart license and kept it in my wallet as kid. I remember getting newsletters in the mail from the aquarium letting me know about upcoming events. This would motivate me to ask my parents to take me (or find someone else to do it for them). I could imagine that this sort of membership model would be a great way to engage kids and invite them back on a more frequent basis. Kids are great at getting adults to take them to do stuff…

In the end, Micah (my nephew) didn’t get a membership pass and OMSI didn’t convert a ready-to-buy birthday shopper.

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Photo  |  UX

The Overlapping Disciplines of User Experience

15 Feb 2010

The Overlapping Disciplines of User Experience

It’s about the joining of the different disciplines, and not particularly a discipline in and of itself. While the best designers have an awareness of the disciplines that surround and overlap theirs, to be considered an experience designer would necessarily require management and coordination between the disciplines to ensure holistic products. This is an essential skill for making the best products, of course, but I would guess this is often a temporary role that designers move into during key points in the design process from a starting point of one of the other disciplines. Without the “raw materials” of the disciplines that make up UX, UX would be empty indeed. Source

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