During a recent vacation at Universal Studios Orlando (which is actually 2 separate parks), I thought I had a mental model of how public lockers work. Universal Studios broke my mental model. Twice.
If you’ve ever been inside the Minneapolis skyway—the human-size hamster tunnel—you immediately understand the critical need for clear wayfinding. The skyway system is notoriously confusing. Each building owns their branch of the skyway system—so signage is terribly inconsistent or non-existent.
I love introducing the concept of “information scent” to non-UX designers. They almost always find the concept fun to say and empowering. Once non-designers understand the definition of information scent—the ability to use design and copy to pull users deeper into an experience—concerns about “the fold” and “number of clicks” quickly fade away.
In the world of experience design and research, the lines are easily blurred between usability and user experience as well as user experience and customer experience. But then where does product fit? And brand? I’ve seen others describe these relationships in concentric circles or Venn diagrams. I see them as a hierarchy.
How many times have you run into a grocery store without a list — confident you will be able to remember everything you need — and then returned home missing one or more items? It’s not just you. It’s hard to keep several thoughts in our brains at the same time. Cognitive Load The amount … Continue reading “UX Word of the Day: Cognitive Load”
You probably don’t remember the first time you encountered a patio or sliding glass door. There was no knob to turn. No lever to push on. So how did you first learn to open this type of door? You looked for clues. You saw the roller track, vertical latch thing-a-bob, or both, and then put … Continue reading “UX Word of the Day: Affordance”
Have you ever stood outside for a photo—facing the sun—and it was so bright you couldn’t look up at the camera? Your eyes watered or even hurt? Poor readability on the web is like looking into an overly bright sky. It can literally cause eye strain and eye fatigue. Protect your customers’ eyes from the piercing glare of … Continue reading “UX Word of the Day: Readability”
Whenever you go to a baseball stadium or other sports arena, do you ever complain because the seats are broken up into sections? Sections make it easier and faster to find your seats. Imagine having to carry your hot dog and beer past 400 people who are already sitting in their seats. Excuse me. Pardon … Continue reading “UX Word of the Day: Chunking”
When a crowd forms around a street performer, you become immediately curious, too. You slow down. You stand on your tip-toes to see over people’s heads. To get someone to be curious online — to scroll or to click — you have to first catch their attention. Information Scent Providing an authentic clue or insight into … Continue reading “UX Word of the Day: Information Scent”
People only see what they’re looking for. Unless it’s car keys. Or my eyeglasses. Getting people to see what’s right in front of their face is a universal problem. Both metaphorically and, in the case of websites, quite literally. Banner Blindness People tend to ignore — or literally don’t see — any element that looks … Continue reading “UX Word of the Day: Banner Blindness”