The User Experience Blog

November 20, 2009

Slick User Experience

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!

October 17, 2009

What’s Wrong with this Picture

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.

Hmmmmmm

Hmmmmmm

September 24, 2009

Put Me Back On Hold!!!

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?

  1. It was a live person on the hold channel,

  2. The person would play great, upbeat songs while waiting,

  3. 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!!!

  4. The music was upbeat/tempo/positive

  5. 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 Best Phone Hold Wait Service

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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!

September 16, 2009

Pick the Most Frustrating/Dreaded User Experience

The last poll was very revealing.  An overwhelming number of respondents voted that eBooks are worth less money than hard copy books.

Let us know your thoughts on this poll!

September 2, 2009

eBooks: Fair Price or Rip Off Price?

Filed under: 1 — theuserexperience @ 10:17 am
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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?

August 18, 2009

Do You Feel Cheap? Used? Or Do You Care?

Setting: You take the time to call a business OR a business cold calls you to solicit your money away.

Condition: You need their assistance OR you might be interested in their service/product.

Background: Literally in the background you hear an army of voices. You can’t actually make out many of the words, reminding you of the Charlie Brown teacher (mumble mumble mumble, “Yes ma’am!”)

Please post any comments here on this blog. Thanks!

July 22, 2009

Benjamin Floyd, The User Experience. Does the Message Match the Image

The User Experience…does the message match?

This reminds me of the silly signs and newspaper ads Jay Leno used to show once a week. Why didn’t anyone/someone/everyone notice this? Ask yourself…would you want to attend this seminar?

Happiness Lecture

June 22, 2009

Benjamin Floyd, The User Experience. What happened? Why did it change?

Filed under: Uncategorized — theuserexperience @ 11:34 pm
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First the word was “natural“.  Mother Earth grew it and the farmers did nothing special to it. They sent it to market.

Now everything is “organic“. Mother Earth grew it and the farmers did nothing special to it. They sent it to market.

Now there are nationwide stores charging astronomical prices (and getting it!!!) by changing the word from “natural” to “organic“.

So what happened? Why did it change?   $$$$$$$  And that changed the User Experience. By this one simple word change an entirely user experience is perceived.

June 15, 2009

Benjamin Floyd, The User Experience. Ego versus the User Experience

Filed under: Uncategorized — theuserexperience @ 9:58 am
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Take a look at the following sign.

Ego vs User Experience

Ego vs User Experience

Ego versus the User Experience. This is a brand new orthodontics store that opened. What exactly makes this a bad user experience BEFORE the customer walks in the door?

  1. The doctor’s last name is obviously PAYNE.

  2. The word/name PAYNE is the LARGEST word on the signage, not the fact this is an orthodontics store.

  3. Does it matter what the doctor’s name is on the signage? Will this draw customers in?

  4. Payne is pronounced the exact same way as the word P-A-I-N.

  5. Which customer would like to step forward and PAY good money to have braces that are painful? (those people that have been through braces realize there will be pain but why advertise it as a good thing)?

  6. What do children say when they read where they are going to have braces placed? Will they pronounce the word as P-A-I-N? You bet!

Too many businesses put their self image/ego in front of the customer. Watch television ads of owners of small businesses, auto dealerships, or in this case, an orthodontist. Have they accomplished a good business to afford being on television? Obviously. Have they accomplished a great task by going through medical school and dentistry school? Of course. But to sell… you must sell the user experience.

Placing your name or face into the marketing is usually not the best way to convey the user experience the customer will have with the company.  The objective is to have customers wanting to come back to the business.  Provide the outstanding user experience and the customers will come… not because of the name or face with the product/service.

May 24, 2009

Benjamin Floyd, The User Experience. National Stores that Missed the Boat

Filed under: Uncategorized — theuserexperience @ 9:49 am
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There are certain “given” items for businesses to have in this day & age. The main item is to have a web page. However so many companies miss the boat when it comes to their web page.  They dont stop and ask a simple question:

Why would a customer (or potential customer) come to our website?

Take a look at these 4 U.S. national chain stores and ask yourself these questions:

  1. Why would a customer come to this website?
    > To buy something or look up the information for the nearest store?
  2. Why is the store locate button buried or blended into the page?
  3. Is it reasonable to expect that the majority of customers coming to this website looking for store location information or to browse/shop?

These national chains have the money to design an information rich website but lost the user experience. If a customer is frustrated with finding the nearest store location, what is their pre-disposition to the store? Or to coming back to the website?

Home Depot

Walgreens

Sears

Best Buy

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