Blog, Thoughts and Free Stuff

Applying User-Centred Design To Your Career

12th November 2018 - Be the first to comment on this post
Posted by in Brain Bites: 2 Minute Insights | Tags:

I was speaking with a friend recently about the difficulties she’s having when it comes to deciding what the next step in her career should be. She’s gained a lot of transferable experience and skills from the jobs she has previously held but hasn’t yet found a role that she wants to build into a career.

There were two key problems my friend and I discussed: Firstly, she didn’t really know which role(s) she was most suited to, and secondly, of the jobs that were seemingly appropriate, which one should she go for?


Video Games – Addictive By Design?

5th November 2018 - Be the first to comment on this post
Posted by in Brain Feasts: Longer Reads | Tags: ,

If you were asked to characterise a ‘gamer’, chances are, you’d describe a socially awkward teenage male. That’s the general perception of a gamer – and something that has been perpetuated by films and TV for decades – but it’s a far cry from the truth. In fact, the average gamer is 35 years old, and 40% of gamers are women (and women make up more of the gaming population than boys under 18).

Research has shown that gaming can have a variety of positive impacts on the players. For example, video game technologies like virtual reality have been used to help people recover from PTSD, get over phobias, and learn to manage drug addictions. Action-based games can boost hand eye-coordination for adults and kids, and gaming, in general, can help people relax, feel better, and trigger positive emotional responses.

But nothing is ever black and white. And as gaming has become increasingly adopted as part of the “mainstream” – it’s estimated that there’s at least one gamer in 65% of American households – a dark side has been lurking in the shadows.


Using Chatbots to Triage Live Chat Customer Needs

24th October 2018 - Be the first to comment on this post
Posted by in Brain Bites: 2 Minute Insights | Tags: ,

Conversational interfaces (voice assistants and chatbots) have not lived up to their launch hype, due to how hard it is to design and build conversations which obey the subtle nuances of human communication and language.

However, these technologies – when they are implemented knowing their limitations – are still valuable when designing multi-channel experiences. We’ve user tested chatbots which have been designed to answer simple questions where possible, and to gather all the information a live chat agent will need to answer more complex ones.

A well-designed chatbot can effectively triage or sort customers, helping some immediately and reducing the time that an agent needs to deal with others.


Are Casinos The Best Example of Dark Patterns At Work?

15th October 2018 - Be the first to comment on this post
Posted by in Brain Bites: 2 Minute Insights | Tags: ,

The other day, I was watching one of Louis Theroux’s old documentaries, called Gambling in Las Vegas. Theroux has tackled grittier topics throughout his career, but nevertheless, seeing people in the throes of a gambling addiction – a retired doctor claims she’s spent over $7 million in 10 years at the Las Vegas Hilton casino – isn’t easy viewing.

But the thing that interested me the most was the insight into how Vegas casinos (well, casinos anywhere) are specifically designed to keep people interacting with them as much as possible – even when it’s not in the customer’s interest.

If that sounds familiar, it’s because the definition of ‘dark patterns’ in UX is eerily similar.


Lift Buttons: A Usability Nightmare?

12th October 2018 - Be the first to comment on this post
Posted by in Brain Licks: 10 Second Wisdom | Tags: ,

The other morning, I left my flat to find a few of my neighbours conversing by the lift.

“Oh James, maybe you can help us with this!” one said.

What dilemma could I possibly help with, you might well ask. Well, it was this one: “If we want to go down in the lift, should we press down to go down, or up to call the lift up to us?”


The ‘Perfect’ is the Enemy of the ‘Good’ (and other Lessons from Rolf Molich)

8th October 2018 - Be the first to comment on this post
Posted by in Brain Bites: 2 Minute Insights | Tags:

A couple of weeks ago, we had the pleasure of hosting Rolf Molich, a UX and usability pioneer who has been in the industry since 1984, at two events here in the UK. Rolf kicked off with a talk about ‘Ethical Dilemmas in User Experience’ at UX Sheffield (which we sponsor) followed by a slot at our very own half-day workshop, ‘What “Good” Looks Like in Usability Testing’.

At both events, Rolf was speaking in front of nearly 100 people – from some of the UK’s biggest brands – addressing and debating the key issues within UX and usability today.

Here are a couple of the most interesting topics that were discussed over the two days…


What Do Michelin-Starred Restaurants Have In Common With User-Centred Design?

2nd October 2018 - Be the first to comment on this post
Posted by in Brain Bites: 2 Minute Insights | Tags: ,

The goal of user-centred design is to elevate products and services to create high-quality experiences for those who interact with them. Businesses are increasingly recognising that they can no longer look at users as transactions and are now focusing on delivering great service at every touchpoint.

From working as both a sommelier in a Michelin-starred restaurant and as a UX designer, I’ve thought a lot about how these experiences relate. When considering what is ‘good’ service, Michelin-starred restaurants set the benchmark. They are defined by their service and exude the traditional notions of what excellent service means.

As it turns out, many of the principles of hospitality are universal and translate well to those working in user-centred design…


What ‘Good’ Looks Like in Usability Testing – Workshop Recap

25th September 2018 - Be the first to comment on this post
Posted by in Events | Tags:

How should we view the practice of usability testing? Are we ‘unruly artists’ who have the ability make up the processes as we go, or are we moving into a mature field where standardised methodologies are important? This was just one of the things Rolf Molich, a UX pioneer, discussed with our audience at our last half-day UX workshop, ‘What “Good” Looks Like in Usability Testing‘.


The Biases That Shape Us (Even When We Don’t Know It)

29th August 2018 - Be the first to comment on this post
Posted by in Brain Bites: 2 Minute Insights | Tags: ,

In my previous blog, I talked about why creating an emotional experience through design is so important to a product/site/app’s success. But if you think about it, it’s odd that this is the case; we humans like to think we’re rational beings, superior to our animal counterparts; when we make decisions – to buy a BMW over a Tesla, to get our coffee from Costa instead of Starbucks – we make them objectively, based on logic – not instinct or emotion.

But… that’s rarely the case.


In UX, ‘Functional’ Doesn’t Cut It; Experiences Need to Be Emotional

21st August 2018 - Be the first to comment on this post
Posted by in Brain Bites: 2 Minute Insights | Tags: ,

A while ago, I noticed a post on Twitter that said, “a user interface is like a joke. If you have to explain it, it’s not very good”. Now, that’s obviously true; if your users have to spend their valuable time figuring out what your website (for example) is trying to tell or sell them or how the interface works – it’s (probably) not very good.

But in terms of user experiences, it’s no longer enough to just be usable; products, sites and services have to be enjoyable – people have to want to use them for them to be a success.


About Bunnyfoot

We are psychologists, interaction and design experts, researchers, usability specialists. We cover Web, software, mobile, print, service design and more.
More about us