About Nirish Shakya

Nirish is a User Experience Consultant at Objective Digital. When he’s not designing experiences for his users, you’ll find him completing missions on the latest stealth games on his PS3, testing his wife’s patience.

Don’t bother me, I’m busy: Look through the eyes of your call centre staff

Traditional methods of user research and requirements gathering have long served us to help shape our designs. But as systems become more complex and users go beyond the screen, we are finding that it is getting more and more difficult to get accurate data on why our users, customers and even your staff are doing the things they do.

You customer sees a lot of things about you

You customer sees a lot of things about you

Often, it is difficult to get buy-in from stakeholders just based on verbatim comments from customer or insights based on the designer’s experience. This is where we’ve found eye tracking to be really valuable. It puts the science behind the hypotheses and clears up a lot of arguments.

Do you see what your customers see?

Do you see what your customers see?

Contextual inquiry has been a researcher’s best friend for a while now. It’s a tried and true research method which helps collect insights from the field without having to rely on the user’s memory or articulateness. But what users say they do and what they do are not enough to draw a complete picture of what’s happening. Many questions can be answered by where they look because the design of the system dictates the eye movements of the user.

Eye tracking helps you see what your customers see

Eye tracking helps you see what your customers see

Eye tracking enables the researcher to uncover subconscious eye movements of the user while using the system. Most of these eye movements happen without the user’s control or knowledge. More importantly, with eye tracking we can understand a busy person’s experience without distracting them from the task at hand, for example a call centre operator.

In a recent study of call centre systems, we observed where call centre operators looked at while serving customers over the phone. We found that the flow of the operators’ eye gaze on the screen was completely opposite to how the interface was laid out. This resulted in higher levels of stress for the operator as they had to constantly look for information on the screen and it was straining on their eyes as well. Even the operators and the stakeholders were surprised when they saw how their eyes were moving.

If you would like to learn more about conducting user research with an eye tracker, we have written a white paper on it that explains in more detail our eye tracking methodology and how you can introduce eye tracking into your lean UX processes. Download the white paper and drop us a line if you any questions.

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UX Australia 2013 Day 2: Top 3 Insights

Here’re the top 3 insights from Day 2 which follow the top 3 insights from Day 1.

Groundhogs in the source code: Navigation as cross-channel sense-making by Andrea Resmini

  1. People create their own meanings in places within physical and digital navigational meshes.
  2. Place is a way to understand the world. Intent and meaning is more important than geometry.
  3. The web is a map that leads to somewhere real.
    Andrea Resmini, Groundhogs in the source code: Navigation as cross-channel sense-making

Andrea Resmini, Groundhogs in the source code: Navigation as cross-channel sense-making

One team, one dream: Practical ways to work better, together by Kelsey Schwenk

  1. Traditional methods (such as personality tests) of categorising people into cubicles is flawed.
  2. The VIEW model developed by the Center for Creative Learning looks at relative scales of problem solving styles instead.
  3. We lie somewhere in the following scales: Internal vs. External, Explorer vs. Developer, Person-oriented vs. Task-oriented.
    Kelsey Schwenk, One team, one dream: Practical ways to work better, together

Kelsey Schwenk, One team, one dream: Practical ways to work better, together

Gesture control: Wave goodbye to your remote control and say hello to the future by Sean Smith

  1. There are 2 types of gesture: pointing and semantic.
  2. A combination of the two is preferred by most.
  3. Use both universally common gestures and customised culture-specific gestures.
    Sean Smith, Gesture control: Wave goodbye to your remote control and say hello to the future

Sean Smith, Gesture control: Wave goodbye to your remote control and say hello to the future

From faith-based to evidence-based design: Design by numbers by Miles Rochford

  1. Design decisions based on just intuition are not going to cut it anymore. We need evidence backed by data.
  2. Data is not about proving yourself right or wrong.
  3. Data is not automatically useful.
Miles Rochford, From faith-based to evidence-based design

Miles Rochford, From faith-based to evidence-based design

Designing surveys to get the responses you want! by Hendrik Müller

  1. 10 steps to designing surveys that get unbiased, valid and reliable data: 1. Decide if the survey is the right method 2. Objectives 3. Sampling 4. Questions 5. Avoiding biases 6. Visual design 7. Evaluation 8. Building 9. Fielding 10. Analysis.
  2. People answer more honestly if the survey is anonymous.
  3. People cannot predict the future. Ask about shortcomings, not wish lists.
Hendrik Müller, Designing surveys to get the responses you want

Hendrik Müller, Designing surveys to get the responses you want

Getting UX done by Ian Fenn

  1. Call it ‘critique’, not ‘design review’.
  2. Have smaller pre-meetings before the big meeting.
  3. DILLIGAF!
Ian Fenn, Getting UX done

Ian Fenn, Getting UX done

Designing meetings to work for design by Kevin Hoffman

  1. To help people hear better, start with divergent thinking followed by convergent thinking.
  2. To help people see better, use graphic facilitation (visual note taking).
  3. To help people do better, present and design ideas collaboratively. For example, for each section on the homepage, collectively answer who needs it and what they will do with it.
Kevin Hoffman, Designing meetings to work for design

Kevin Hoffman, Designing meetings to work for design

Designing services for messy lives by Andy Polaine

  1. Identify crevasses in your product experience and minimise them.
  2. If you don’t design it, someone else will.
  3. People have lives beyond the screen. Try to observe and understand their lives.
Andy Polaine, Designing services for messy lives

Andy Polaine, Designing services for messy lives

Conference recap by Steve Baty

  1. Small details are important.
  2. We are the humanising force. Understand people. Bring them in the design. Work with them.
  3. Lines between digital and physical spaces are getting blurred more and more.

UX Australia 2013 Day 1: Top 3 Insights

Here’s a highly synthesised version of the amazing talks I attended on Day 1 of UX Australia 2013.

Microinteractions: Designing with details by Dan Saffer

  1. Design is not about solving wicked problems.
  2. A microinteraction does one task well.
  3. Product experience is only as good as its smallest experience. Create signature moments!

Microinteractions: Designing with details by Dan Saffer

Our billion-dollar baby: From greed to good by Chris Paton

  1. Gambling can be designed for the good of the world.
  2. Slow down to go faster.
  3. Get a good scrum-master!

Microinteractions: Designing with details by Dan SafferOur billion-dollar baby: From greed to good by Chris Paton

How to run an effective Cultural Probe on your UX project by Matt Morphett and Rob McLellan

  1. Look at the longitudinal view of the user’s day.
  2. Brief all your participants together and look them in the eye while doing it.
  3. Provide an example entry in the diary to encourage expression of honest feelings.

How to run an effective Cultural Probe on your UX project by Matt Morphett and Rob McLellan

Usability and the art of gentle persuasion at Justice by John Murphy and Gavin Hince

  1. Find your REAL audience.
  2. Provide guidance for the lost. Demystify.
  3. Bring lots of “conceptual glue”!

Usability and the art of gentle persuasion at Justice by John Murphy and Gavin Hince

Winning proportions and frictionless navigation by Jon Deragon

  1. Navigation has a lot of baggage.
  2. Disproportionate navigation creates severe frustrations.
  3. Always ask: what have we adopted from the past and how is it applicable?

Winning proportions and frictionless navigation by Jon Deragon

Universal design for touch by Katja Forbes

  1. Sometimes, reinventing the wheel can change the world!
  2. Respect our elders when designing solutions, otherwise they won’t use your product.
  3. In text-to-speech, directive language sounds bossy. E.g. ‘Delete the event’ vs. ‘Deletes the event’

Universal design for touch by Katja Forbes

Two models of design-led innovation by Steve Baty

  1. Insight-led innovation and hypothesis-led innovation
  2. A 1-week rapid iteration includes: hypothesis > sprint > working prototype > test hypothesis.
  3. Use a time-lapse camera at a cafe to watch people. Get insights from their behaviours.

Two models of design-led innovation by Steve Baty

Agile ethnography in New York’s secret public spaces by Chris Holmes

  1. POPS (Privately Owned Public Space) are TOPS!
  2. Agile ethnography = Traditional ethnography + Agile methods. Don’t think too hard. Just f*cking do it!
  3. Everyone in your team is a researcher. Agile = adjust your expectations accordingly.

Agile ethnography in New York’s secret public spaces by Chris Holmes

GE Capital shows the way with a high-tech eye tracking lab

General Electric (GE) is a household name synonymous to innovation. Objective Digital recently teamed up with the User Experience (UX) team at GE Capital in Melbourne to help setup their next-generation eye tracking lab in Melbourne as part of their new UX initiatives. It was a lab that made even our experienced eye tracking consultants drool. So what was so special about the eye tracking setup?

Let’s look at how the setup was designed to ensure that every step of a usability session would run smoothly:

Interviewing

The eye tracking testing lab in Melbourne is where the action happens. This is where the user or customer comes in contact with the product. GE’s brightly lit and spacious testing lab meant that participants would feel comfortable. Since it looked like someone’s office, participants would not have to go too much out of their own normal working environment.

Traditional usability testing involves assessing the usability of a product by watching the behaviour of the participants. With the latest eye tracker from Tobii, the X2-30 Compact, GE are now able to see where the customers are looking at. The eye tracker is so portable that it evens fits in your pocket! This results in a drastic reduction in research effect as participants forget that their eyes are being tracked and display their natural behaviour.

Eye Tracking lab Melbourne

GE’s Eye Tracking lab In Melbourne

Mobile Device Eye Tracker

GE Capital also have a Tobii Mobile Device Eye Tracking Stand. For eye tracking mobile apps. It looks like this.

GE's mobile device eye tracker in Melbourne

Recording

Tobii’s eye tracking software, Tobii Studio allows seamless and simultaneously eye tracking and recording of the participant’s activities. Showing a real user talking about your product (e.g. how they didn’t notice a call to action or couldn’t make sense of the information on a page) is the easiest way to convince stakeholders of the value of usability testing and the importance of improving the design.

Tobii X2-30 Compact Eye Tracker in Melbourne at GE Capital

Eye Tracker in Melbourne research Lab with GE Capital

Observing Eye Tracking in Melbourne

Even better than showing stakeholders recorded clips of usability sessions is to let them watch the sessions live. GE had this covered with a big screen showing 3 videos at the same time:

  1. the stimulus with the participant’s eye gaze superimposed on top of it,
  2. the participant’s face to capture their facial expressions, and
  3. the fly-on-the-wall view of the testing lab to observe the things participants usually point at on the stimulus using their fingers.
Observation room for eye tracking in Melbourne

Observation room at GE Capital

Observers also had a choice of viewing the eye tracking session through a one-way mirror in the adjoining room (think CSI!). The room also had a live recording software which synced all video inputs into one.

Dark room with one-way mirror and eye tracking live recording

Dark room with one-way mirror and live recording

Collaborating the eye tracker

GE’s massive observation room also doubled as a collaboration room where designers, developers and other stakeholders can participate in rapid iterative design workshops while watching the usability sessions. This means that design changes can happen on-the-fly without having to wait for the findings to be analysed in detail and the big fat report to be produced.

Collaboration room

Collaboration room with multiple screens to view the sessions

Both GE and Objective Digital are excited about their eye tracking lab in Melbourne and looking forward to the new innovations coming out of GE.

How has your experience been setting up a usability lab in your company? We would love to hear from you in the comments below. Feel free to get in touch if you want to have a chat about setting up Tobii eye tracking usability labs in Australia, New Zealand or South East Asia.

Mobile marketing matters

Objective Digital recently teamed up with TNS and IAB Australia to study the Australian mobile advertising landscape. Our goal was to identify opportunities in the market, the readiness of the industry and the effectiveness of the platform in delivering advertising. Meanwhile, the Mobile Marketing Association (MMA) and IHS Global Insight conducted a similar study to understand the impact of mobile marketing on sales. Were there any correlations between the 2 studies?

Mobile web advertising is big

According to the US study, the mobile marketing spending will reach $20 billion by 2015. Every $1 spent on mobile marketing has been estimated to generate $20 in sales. Mobile advertising accounts for almost 50% of mobile marketing spending. Mobile web advertising has the biggest share. This correlates with the steady growth in mobile web usage in Australia in the past 2 years.

Image

But mobile app advertising is catching up

Although mobile web is getting the biggest share of ad investments, MMA is predicting a 158% rise in investments on mobile app ads over the next 2 years to reach $3.26 billion in 2015. Mobile apps are platform dependant and cost more to build and maintain than mobile websites which work across platforms. However, more and more users are expecting the seamless experience and access to built-in phone features (such as camera, GPS etc.) which are more difficult to implement on a mobile website. TNS recognises this as a niche market as currently less than 1% of installed apps are branded.

We’re spending more money on mobile ads

The Australian industry is spending more money per person than the US in mobile marketing. In 2012, the US spent $306 million compared to Australia’s $86 million.

Image

We don’t know what’s out there

The TNS / IAB research shows that although the Australian industry is aware of the global trends around mobile growth. But despite the awareness and the increased spending, there is a lack of familiarity with the different types of mobile adverstising that are available (e.g. location-based services, mobile game ads, augmented reality, NFC. etc). This lack of familiarity is resulting is a lot of lost opportunities in mobile marketing.

People do look at ads

It’s all well and good spending money on mobile advertising, but do people look at the ads? Objective Digital used a mobile eye tracker to find out.

eyetracking

We found that people were more receptive to an ad during passive consumption of content (e.g. news catch-up) than active consumption (e.g. looking for local weather). Ads on smartphones were looked at less frequently but people looked at those ads 17% longer than tablet ads. But the most critical component of ad effectiveness was consumer relevance. The ad needs to be relevant to what the user is doing or looking for.

So why does all this matter to you?

Despite the spike in mobile device usage, the majority of the mobile ad market is still untapped. You have the potential to have your company in your customer’s pocket at all times. If you haven’t thought about your mobile marketing strategy yet, you haven’t planned for the future.

Drop us an email if you would like more information on this study or if you would like help making your mobile ads more effective through eye tracking.

Changing course

When we conduct usability testing, we always have a plan – a discussion guide or testing script that has the entire session mapped out to the finest detail (how to greet the participants, what tasks to give them, etc.). However, sometimes, you need to change your plans in the middle of testing, as I found out myself.

I recently finished a usability testing project for a mobile website. It was a pretty awesome-looking site with lots of features from its desktop cousin. After the first 2-3 sessions, I started noticing a clear pattern: everyone was having trouble finding things on the mobile site. There were so many features on the site that users were getting lost trying to find things.

confused_user

It was evident that the issue was with the information architecture of the site (i.e. how information was structured in the site). I felt like there was no point getting the participants to do the same tasks and uncovering the same issues over and over again. So, I decided to conduct a card-sorting activity during the remaining sessions. During a short break between sessions, I quickly printed out cards with labels from the existing site.

lightbulb_moment

Before I showed the site to the participants and asked them to conduct the tasks, I gave them the pile of cards and asked them to group them into categories they deemed logical. After the grouping exercise, I then asked them to give a name to each of the groups that they came up with. The whole process just took 10 minutes and after asking a few participants to conduct the task I could see a clear pattern about how participants were sorting the cards. Not so surprisingly, the IA of the mobile site was very different to what the participants had come up with. No wonder they were having difficulty finding things, the site IA was totally different to what the participants had expected.

fruit

The clients were fascinated by the findings from the ad-hoc card sorting activity. It helped them get into the heads of their users and see the system from a users’ point of view. The clients were pleased to receive the extra deliverable: a new IA based on actual user input, and the good thing from a project management point of view is that the card-sorting activity did not cost us (or the client) any additional time or budget (10 minutes for the activity and a couple of hours to analyse the findings and restructure the IA).

IA

So it got me thinking…what would I have done differently next time? Maybe I could have prepared cards before the first session just in case I needed them or perhaps utilising a digital card-sorting tool like OptimalSort. Online tools are useful as participants would be able to sort the cards on their computer screens and the clients would be able to watch the results live via screen sharing.

Moral of the story: Don’t be afraid to change your course if you’re heading in the wrong direction. Always keep asking yourself whether you’re getting rich insights to answer the research questions and also are these the most important questions to be asking? If not, what other methods can you use to find the answers? Planning and being adaptable is more important than a plan (that doesn’t work).

change_direction

Had you had to change course in the middle of a usability testing project? What would you have done? Feel free to share your experiences and thoughts in the comments below.

What UX can learn from viral videos

When we think of viral videos, we think of cute cats doing cute things. Love ’em or hate ’em, viral videos do spread like wild fire. Viral video marketing has become a clever way for companies to pitch their brand and products. So what can we learn from viral videos to design better user experiences?

Cat_playing_piano

I’ve been attending some of the classes offered by General Assembly Australia’s Online Summer School. One of the courses I took part in was the presentation on Viral Video Marketing by Barry Pousman. Here are some insights I learnt:

Content is king…once again

Barry explains how every viral video fits somewhere on the matrix below:

Emotive_strength

How people feel about your design is based on what content you put into it. And what content you put into your design depends on what effect you’re trying to have on your users. Here are the links to the videos mentioned either to enjoy (or not enjoy):

(keep scrolling down for my quality blog content)

Popular ads: Old Spice

Rebecca Black

Charlie Bit My Finger

Pepper-spraying cop

Even though a video could be perceived to be disingenuous and is generally disliked, it could fall into the category of being ‘so bad, it’s good’. It’s important to realise that the prompt to share a video can be for a combination of reasons.

The most successful viral video of all time ‘Gangnam Style‘ by PSY managed to cross cultural boundaries. It wasn’t just a catchy tune with a funny dance routine and a cheesy video. But most importantly, the dance routine looked easy enough to imitate and represented a universally known activity – horse riding.

Context-based packaging

A lot of good videos out there don’t get noticed because of the title of the video or the thumbnail fails to grab attention. On the other hand, a lot of bad videos get clicked on because of their titles and thumbnails. Barry mentions that one of the best ways to grab user attention is to package your content with something timely and relevant to the user. For example, during the Olympics, products with the Olympic logo tend to sell more than the same products without it.

Keep an eye out for trends

To make your design and content contextually relevant, keep a look out for what’s coming up in the calendar (holidays, world events, etc.) to predict the trends. Marketers always grab onto the next big holiday, even if it’s 6 months away!

 

Finally, what happens when UX meets a viral video? My colleague Dan Sorvik decided to find out. I’ll leave you with a potentially viral video that my colleague Dan Sorvik made yesterday. It’s Sweet Brown Meets UX: Ain’t Nobody Got Time for Bad UX!

Can UX and Legalese make easy bedfellows?

What do you get when you cross user needs with legal needs? Sometimes, it can result in a big explosion! In my experience, legal needs quickly overshadow user needs because we all put in place safeguards against possible future legal action by customers / users. The ‘legalese‘ that we see on the web is just a simple progression from print. The Internet is pretty young compared to centuries of print history. How the legal jargon is presented on the web has not evolved much from its printed cousin to cater to the fleeting attention span of the web user.

We, in the User Experience industry see this as a hindrance to the experience of the user. If information is difficult to understand, there is more potential for errors by the reader / user. This then starts a blame game between the user and the provider. It’s a long-standing war where many battles have been fought and many have been left bruised on both sides. There are no winners in this war when it comes to long-term customer relationships.

There have been several initiatives such as the Plain Language Movement to make the legal stuff easier to understand. However, this blog is not about language because I’m no linguist, although simpler language is crucial. I believe, we, as designers of technology, have the responsibility to reduce this bloodshed from a design point of view and come up with designs that not only fulfill the needs of the users but also those of the lawyers who’re only doing their job.

I recently came off a usability testing project for a client that we have had a good relationship with for the past couple of years. This time, we were commissioned to test a confidential feature within their website. Let’s just say the purpose of the website was to let its users perform a search and receive results.

One of the major issues that we uncovered during the tests was that the users were finding it very difficult to get to the search results. This was mainly due to the huge amount of legal text on every page of the search tool. Before you can use the tool, it shows you a massive disclaimer lightbox which you need to have agreed to have read and understood.

Workflow

After closing the lightbox, the actual search page has another screen length disclaimer and you’re left wondering where the search fields actually are. They are actually all the way down the page.

Mockup_2

And then after you put in your search terms and get to the results page, again, another long disclaimer before you get to the results at the bottom of the page.

Mockup
The participants were definitely getting frustrated having to trawl through all that text. Web users want to get to their final goal as quickly as possible and anything that does not help them get to their goal can be perceived to be a roadblock causing immense frustration.

It’s totally understandable why the system was designed like this – because the client did not want members of the general public to use that information inappropriately in ways that could harm their wellbeing and take legal action against the client. But the problem is that if users do not understand the information presented to them, they are more likely to use it incorrectly. Sure, legally, organisations might be able to save themselves from lawsuits by dumping information on the webpages and shifting the blame on the users for not reading it carefully. But wouldn’t it be better to make the information easier to read and understand in the first place? 

Some might argue, ‘Well, if the customer reads and understands the fine print, they might not want to use our product.’ Well, if your business model runs with that assumption, then you shouldn’t be running a business at all. And then there will always be a minority of individuals who, regardless, of all the information, whether legibly presented or not, still would want to sue the pants off any organisation they deal with. But our goal is to make lives easier for the majority of users out there who are genuinely seeking solutions and also save the backside of organisations providing these solutions. So can we kill two birds with one stone? 

I believe we can. I don’t claim to be any linguist or a legal expert. All I did was follow some conventional design principles and stated my case that they are good for both sides – users and organisations. This is what we did:

1. Negotiate

First, we talked to the legal team and explained to them what the issues were. You might find that they are open to your ideas if it makes sense to them. Understand the need for the legal text and ask whether it can be removed, reduced or moved. You might be surprised to find that they’re willing to negotiate.

2.    Break up the text with headings and subheadings

A lot of times though, the legal text cannot be changed. If the text on the disclaimer page looked like a boring essay in Latin, then we can at least make it a scannable and readable boring essay.

As a general rule, web users do not read, they scan. During the tests, we found a lot of participants preferred to scan the text but the way the text was presented made it difficult for them to read it. So we just broke up the text to make it more readable:

Recommendation

3
. Use visual hierarchy

If you try to make everything on the page look important, then nothing becomes important. Hence, use:

Big text for important things

Smaller text for less important things

Even smaller text for even less important text

Bold text for sub-headings

Indenting to break the monotonous flow of the user’s eye gaze along the left hand edge of the text from top to bottom

  • Bullet points for list
  • Bullet points for list

4. Show clear call to action

After reading the disclaimer, make it clear what the

Nextstep

is. Reading the fine print is hard enough, looking around trying to figure out what to do next can be more frustrating.

5. Keep the fine print easily accessible 

Instead of filling the entire page with fine print which not many people read anyways, show links to the detailed information and keep it above the fold for users who would like to read that information. We used the headings of the sub-sections of the fine print text as the links so that it was easier for the users to scan down the list to see what the fine print contained.

After the initial resistance from the legal team, we finally managed to convince them of the value of these design principles and how they can help achieve goals on both sides – legal needs and user needs.

All I’ve done here is to barely scratch the surface. What is your experience in trying to keep the both users and the legal team happy? Share your stories in the comments below.

Merry Christmas from the OD team!

We had a client Christmas party on Tuesday and the team setup a DIY photo booth in the office. It was a massive hit as you can see below:

We, at Objective Digital, have had a great year, thanks to all the awesome people and organisations we had the opportunity to work with. We’re super-excited about the year ahead and are looking forward to even bigger things. Safe holidays and see you in the new year!

 

The Bucket Analogy

Who doesn’t love a good story? I know I do. Storytelling has been gaining in popularity in the business world. Following the trend, I’ve also been using stories to help clients understand user / customer experience better.

A lot of times, I find that non-UX stakeholders find it more difficult to make sense of how a particular usability issue affects their bottom line. I’ve found that using stories that they can relate to helps them visualise the issues better. One of the stories that I like to use during my presentations of findings to clients is what I call the bucket analogy (originally mentioned that Steve Krug in his famous usability book, Don’t Make Me Think). 

The story goes something like this. Imagine you’re having a house party and have lots of guests coming over. Let’s say it’s 6pm on Saturday and you didn’t get a chance to clean your house. So you’ve got stuff lying all around the house. So you go ‘Oh well!  I’m sure the guests won’t notice. At least, I’ve cooked some nice food for them.’ Now imagine each of your guests turn up with a bucket of sangria. Don’t ask why. They just do. It’s a sangria party. 

Sangria2
One of the guests, while walking towards your front door, almost trips over a hose you’ve got lying on the driveway. They spill a bit of sangria. No worries. There’s still a lot more left. You greet the guest at the front door and welcome them in.  They enter the house but there’s some oddly placed furniture at the entrance, which they have to squeeze past. In the process trying to get past the furniture, the guest spills more sangria. ‘Oh no! I’m so sorry! I forgot to move the hallway table away from the front door!’ you apologise. The guest consoles ‘Hey that’s cool! Don’t worry about it!’ 

Since it’s their first time visiting your house, you decide to show them around. Unfortunately, the guest doesn’t see a toy car on the floor and slips on it. Luckily, you were there to catch them. But half of the sangria still manages to spill from the bucket. The guest is definitely showing signs of frustration now.  

Finally, the guest walks over to the kitchen, still carrying half a bucket of sangria. This time, they slip over a banana peel randomly left on the floor. This time, you weren’t there to catch their fall and they fall smack on their bum, spilling all the sangria. 

Bananapeel

The sangria in the bucket is the confidence the customers have in your site. When customers visit your site for the first time, they come in with a bucket full of confidence. But the more hazards they comes across in your site or app, the more confidence they lose and eventually they fall flat on their face and leave your site.

When I tell this story to clients, most of the time, they have an ‘Aha!’ moment. It helps them to experience the usability issues through the eyes of their customers. So sometimes, instead of saying ‘That’s a critical issue.’, I just go ‘Now that’s a few banana peels on the floor right there!’. 

What stories do you tell to make things clearer for your stakeholders to understand customer experience?