When was the last time you found yourself saying, “oh cool…a calculator!!!”
Well unless you have a thing for calculators (a different user experience all together, so I’m told ;-) ), then calculators don’t float anyone’s boat, much less write about the User Experience of an online payment calculator. One of the first user interface devices on the WWW was the advent of payment calculators. But why did it take so long to find one with such a user friendly experience???
Take a look at the image below and see what I am referring to. There are the 3 slider bars so you can see in real time what your payments will be for the vehicle, not having to refresh the page each time! No more of the old fashioned method of put in a variable, hit calculate, see what the difference is and then write down notes to yourself to view the payments. With this interface you adjust the variables in real time and the payments are reflected back to the user!
What a great User Experience! As the end user I dont have to write down notes, compare, refresh, enter data, refresh, rinse & repeat. The user experiences instant results with the adjustments and can quickly move on to a purchase.
So what? So what I’m in Human Resources…I’m in the tire kicking business…remember this: if you make the user experience friendly and where the information is readily available not only will the customer be more inclined to buy (and keep you in business) but your job became that much easier!
A great example of a making a product with the end user in mind when they built the device! Good job!
A picture is worth a 1,000 words…and who stops to read?
The exceptional user experience is in the DETAILS. Attention to detail in every aspect is what seperates the competition and creates a customer for life.
There was a time, not in this decade or the current century…but there was a time, back in the 1990′s that I experienced the BEST user experience for being on hold. I even told the Customer Service Rep to put me back on hold!
Stop and ask yourself, what could possibly make a user experience so great from being on hold that a person would prefer to sit on hold instead of having their issue resolved? And this was for a Fortune 100 company!!!
Now to add another ingredient to this user experience pie…the telephone hold music/service was for a company called……………………………….Microsoft. Yup. I called Microsoft with a headset question and the experience was the BEST user experience for a telephone wait system.
What made this user experience so outstanding that more than ten years later I am thinking of it, I remember the company and now blogging about it?
It was a live person on the hold channel,
The person would play great, upbeat songs while waiting,
The live person/Disc Jockey would come on after the song and give an update;
“Those of you waiting for hardware support, there are now 8 of you waiting with the longest person in que waiting for 5 minutes”
“Those of you waiting for video game support, there are 12 of you waiting with the longest person in que waiting for 9 minutes”
“Those of you wait………..”
“I know that the representatives are making progress towards answering all of your calls but while we wait, here’s another tune by XYZ band!!!
The music was upbeat/tempo/positive
The DJ would update after each song and was upbeat/positive
This is/was a great user experience service!!!!Leave a comment here if you know of this service being used or of another great similar service!
The Best Phone Hold Wait Service
The results are in from last week’s poll question and the results are pretty astounding:
90% of 200 votes were split between the frustration of calling a government office for an answer and the long tailed voice message recording
Everyone can customize their greeting, why not customize the ending of the message? Eliminate the message, shorten the directions, or just go to beep? (remember the phone answering machines…we never left directions on how to hold on or push one….just a silly/clever message).
The astounding part…the phone carriers can do something about there messages. But we have to demand it!
In traditional books, there are so many middle men involved that it drives up the cost of the book. There’s the author, the publishers, the distributors, the paper, the binding, etc. etc.
With an eBook, you simply need to convert the file to a .PDF file. Now you eliminate all of the middle men. However, should the price of the eBook be a bargain price because of the removal of the middle men? Or is the content still worth the same when the middle men where in place?
A convention is simply a standard. Not the convention hall or a group of people meeting but rather a conventional standard accepted by the mainstream of the population. Only an extreme innovation can break a traditional convention and thus become a new convention in itself.
For example, here are a list of accepted conventions in use today:
The numbers laid out on an ATM machine
Looking for the shopping cart symbol online to buy something or to check out.
The keyboard (which hasn’t drastically changed in close to 80 years).
As some people may know, the majority of websites no longer need the “www” typed at the front of a web address. Most hosting servers ignore the WWW and simply take the unique address, such “theUserExperience.wordpress.com“…there is a quantifiablie metric to give your boss!!! Instead of typing the 3 letters and the “dot”, you have just increased your productivity! Think of how much more company time you can spend surfing the WWW by NOT typing in the WWW. But I digress.
So I am looking at my keyboard the other day and it dawned on me that it is time for an update to the keyboard! There should be a “.com” button. Statistically the “.com” address is still by far the most used Internet address extension in use. iPhone has integrated their browser with a “.com” button….why not break the convention of a traditional keyboard and ADD a new button….the “Dot.Com” button. Simply have one button that you click and it puts in a complete “.com” for the address.
So on the front end we are saving the time, steps, and keystrokes by not typing in the “WWW.”, IF you know this information.
But we can carry this over to the back end of the Internet and simply create a new button on each/every keyboard with a “.com” button.
Yes, I am aware that there are keyboards & mice that can be programmed to run an application, put in this extension, a host of things. But this takes time and special skill. What I am proposing is a new convention to the old keyboard by adding one button, strategically placed, that will increase the User Experience by simply clicking one button.
My thoughts: once you used this button for a day, most people would not want to use the older keyboards and would upgrade. Perhaps we can start a stimulus package to recall the old keyboards and start the new ones rolling!!! :-)
Here is a very rough drawing of where I put the button and how it would take dominance on a keyboard as the Internet has become so integral in most aspects of life.
New Convention with a new Keyboard by TheUserExperience.Wordpress.coom
Your thoughts? Comments? I would appreciate the feedback on not just this idea but breaking a convention and starting a new one.