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Month: July 2010

The UX of Rock Band 3 – Prerelease

Check out this sneak peak at what Rock Band 3 will be like: A real keyboard, more realistic drums and a guitar that is a real world guitar.  This takes learning music to a whole new level. I am very excited to get this for my kids.  Currently, only the drums are a close analog to a real world drum kit and it still has it’s limitations.  Rock Band 3 makes the cymbals on the drums different than the tom toms. The guitar solution they came up with is terrific and the fact you could use a special electric guitar…

The UX of Ongoing Games

My first experience with an ongoing game was Dungeons and Dragons in the early 1980’s.  There was no ending.  You just played whenever you could get the right people together.  You gained in levels and collected new weapons and powers.  It was an addictive game. The next stage occurred with the introduction of a Tamgotchi pet in the late 90’s.  This was a game with no ending, but with an added twist.  When you went to sleep or put the toy down, the game kept playing.  There was no “time-out”.  Whether you liked it or not, your pet got hungry…

The UX of Support

Question: What is the difference between the approach UX takes and the one Support takes? Each group is dedicated to making the customer happy.  Of course, UX is often involved in the creation process of the product/service and support is not, but there are many times when UX is brought in specifically to help an unhappy customer in a quasi-support role. Recently, I had just such a case, where an unhappy customer was trying to do something a bit complicated.  The support team wanted to make the customer happy, so they immediately tried to figure out a workaround.  They came…

My Google AdSense Month

After 30 days of having ads on the right of my blog, I now have data that shows how much money I could make with Google.  It was really difficult getting analogous information on the web, so I hope this is helpful to other people.  I am going to disclose the exact stats and money here.  A whopping $5.28! Click on the image to see the full stats. So the question is:  Should I keep the ads or get rid of them.  On the one hand, they make me feel like a sellout.  On the other hand, $5 is $5…

Consistency in UX

Rule #15: Consistency is good. But how do you make decisions when it’s complicated?  Let’s compare some of the situations. A vs. B: No-brainer.  Of course, go for something better for the situation assuming all choices are inconsistent. A vs C: Again, no-brainer.  Of two equal solutions, choose the one that is more consistent with the rest of the experience. A vs D: Consistency here is strong in D, but A is a much better solution for the situation. D feels like shoehorning the UI into a situation it wasn’t designed for.  In these cases, you should create a new…

Reversing an Emotional Decision

Have you ever convinced yourself of a decision based on an initial reaction?  Of course you have, everyone has.  The more important question is: Have you ever reversed one of these decisions later when reality turned out different than you initially experienced? This is crucial to having good judgment.  Sometimes the initial WOW or YUCK factor weighs heavily on our minds.  We convince ourselves that this feeling is true and enhance or diminish new evidence as it supports or denies our initial hypothesis.  In other words, we make sure our initial feeling is true by interpreting the evidence with a…

Words are Imprecise

Imagine a chair.  You have it in your mind.  Now try and write (or speak) a short description of what makes a chair a chair. online dictionary definition: A piece of furniture consisting of a seat, legs, back, and often arms, designed to accommodate one person. It’s trivial to imagine a chair that doesn’t qualify for the above definition, but still is a chair.  Like this: (no legs) One could imagine a million varieties that are more or less chair like.  Language is ultimately fungible and depends on the reader to interpret. Words are imprecise.  Imagery and intuition work much…

Top 10 Tips for a New UX Designer

For anyone who is starting off as a brand new UX Designer: Always be observing and analyzing. Look around you. What do you see? Who made those things? Why did they make them that way? Why is the ceiling that tall? Who decided on the spacing of the boards in the floor? Why is the size of your pants measured in inches? Why is an inch exactly that long? Why did you want to buy that kind of dish you are eating off of? Who designed that fork? Look at the letter R. The font of this sentence. Look at…

Posting from the iPad

Trying to post from the iPad using Safari. Hmm, right away there is a problem. I can’t use the WYSIWYG editor. Crap, that is a serious limitation. Oh, well, No bullet points today. Lets look at the keyboard. For some reason the folding case i purchased never showed up, so I am propping up the iPad on pillows, lying in bed. Some of the characters are automatically fixed like the word can’t automatically gets an apostrophe. However, I see not all of the I characters got fixed. Let’s also didn’t get fixed in a previous sentence. I wonder if the…

Mayor of Awesome Town

I had a form in front of me for business cards.  I put Senior Director, User Experience.  I didn’t want to.  I wanted to put down, Mayor, Awesome Town.  Why did I chicken out?  Why did I go normal?  Ugh, I am looking at my card now and deeply feel the regret. What title do you wish was on your business card?  Why don’t you try?  No one ever checks these things.  Does fear of being unaccepted or different stop you from doing something unique and wonderful?  I stop myself most of the time.  I think, “This isn’t awesome, this…