Archive for the ‘Persuasive design’ Category

Six Circles – An experience design framework

Monday, January 30th, 2012

cover

This ebook has taken far too long to write but at last it is finally finished. The beauty of self-publishing is also the major problem with it – nobody pushes you, you aren’t paid and for all you know nobody will read it once it’s published. I wanted to see how the many different aspects of the book may develop conversations within the user experience community.

Elements of the book have already aged, but the principles continue, even though the examples may not! However, I hope you enjoy the read and I am really interested to know your thoughts, either here or on twitter. Currently it is only an ePub available for mobile devices but if the demand is there, other versions will be made available.

Download Six Circles for Epub readers
(See the comments section below for browser-based ePub readers)

Download Six Circles as a PDF

Some accompanying thoughts

In the last year I have seen how the different elements of the Six Circles transcend user experience, into the fields of brand strategy, service design and customer experience. It is my view that in ten years time we will be talking about what we do today in very different terms due to the contexts that we have to design for, using technology that is only beginning to become pervasive in our physical environment. I predict that UX and Service Design will cease to be differentiated, as they will be so entwined it would be too difficult, and potentially inefficient to separate into different disciplines.

I have seen enough of touch and tablet usage, mobile devices, ‘Everyware’ (and even Microsoft’s shift of it’s Windows 8 platform towards the touch paradigm) to feel that we are in for an exciting decade ahead.

Call it the legacy of Steve Jobs, but what he has left us with is a global population who are more instantly engaged with technology than we could have imagined ten years ago. To allow the very young and very old to interact with content through the same device is a stunning achievement, and for the interface and interaction designers to be able to support a richer experience is truly exciting.

Unfortunately companies are still catching up, fearful of failure and what they perceive as risk. Watching their competitors to see who makes the first move but the time for businesses to be brave and bold is now. There is not much time remaining for some businesses to make use of the power of meaningful, rich experiences delivered by brands that satisfy the culture and contextual uses of the users. Those companies that achieve this will simply dominate at a rate that is faster due to the networked society.

But all the talk of technology misses the point. It is the human needs, desires and emotions and their interactions with each other that create our insights that in turn drive innovation and success for companies. These experiences make the difference. It is the quality of experience that is the differentiator for any company in a crowded market.

Solving people problems will inevitably solve business problems. The challenge is to get businesses to believe in it, and trust those to deliver on the promise of user centred design. But with a process that is understood and a philosophy that appeals to many, there is alot we can do to ensure the business world adopts a path to greater product development, that builds on the needs and wants of people at its core.

UX Design Framework – Persuasion

Tuesday, September 7th, 2010

Previously I have written about Content, Behaviour, Visual Design and Interaction. The fifth element – Persuasion, is a part of the UX design framework that has many darker, or manipulative connotations. Some would say that persuasion does not align itself well with the ethics of designing for the user.

But as BJ Fogg in his book, Persuasive Technology, says:

The answer to the question – Is persuasion unethical? Is neither yes or no. It depends upon how persuasion is used…The designers intent, method of persuasion and outcomes help to determine the ethics of persuasive technology…If a human were using this strategy to persuade would it be ethical? We expect ethical persuasion to include elements of empathy and reciprocity but with interactive technology there is no emotional reciprocity.

Which is why we sometimes feel cheated when technology fails to deliver an experience that is empathetic, and why as designers we need to be more aware of these potential pitfalls.

Here persuasion is explored in terms of design principles that influence people and factors of motivation – competition, cooperation and recognition. These characteristics also give products that are connected (from social networks to mobile applications) the power to persuade.

(more…)

Engagement and Optimisation: Architecture for optimisation

Tuesday, March 9th, 2010

How do you construct the architecture of a site or web application you are designing to give an optimised experience? When talking about architecture it is not specifically about the technical implementation but more the concept of a site being able to exist in multiple areas, accessible from multiple paths and able to accommodate different user interactions.

An optimised architecture must be;

Adaptable – to adapt to different user needs (how they arrive to the product, via search, email, bookmarks or referrals)

 

404   Be aware that users arrive deep into the content a site offers. Every page should have the ability to act like a landing page. Ensure the user’s initial intent is satisfied by clear calls to action, signposting and visual clues to get them started and motivated to continue on site. Group pages together and see what percentage of the total audience arrive at them to give you an idea of how to shape and model the content around their wants and needs. Offer numerous opportunities for varied paths of navigation, from different user types.
(more…)

Neuro Web Design: What Makes Them Click?

Tuesday, June 9th, 2009

 

neuro-web-design

Verdict:  This book may well do for persuasive design techniques what Steve Krug’s Don’t make me Think did for usability. If you are involved in user experience I recommend reading this book.

 

The human brain is complex but this book manages to break it down into parts that we can relate to and is a very accessible and quick book to read.The author, Dr Susan Weinschenk, tells of us having three brains in one. Which certainly explains why it is so necessary to embark on research – with three brains how can we ever second guess our users?

 

She lays out how this complex system works but also states that the unconscious mind makes many of the decisions in our lives. By influencing the unconscious mind though design techniques, we can effectively persuade users to interact with our sites and become more engaged.

 

The book is not really a practical, by the numbers guide, but more about the concepts of why users do the things they do. As such its worth buying and an enjoyable read that gives us insights that are backed up with actual contemporary research.

 

Engagement and optimisation: Success Metrics

Tuesday, March 17th, 2009
sale You hear alot about engagement, and not just in the UX community.

How do you engage your website users? What exactly constitutes the different parts of a website’s content that will attract people and make the website an enjoyable experience for them and a profitable one for your business?


In the first of seven parts, I’ll take a look at what goes into creating an engaged website audience and an optimised site.

(more…)

Do you see numbers or people?

Monday, March 9th, 2009

 

omniture banner  

I recently attended  a training course where we were taught how to interpret figures in web analytics software. We learnt about the different reports to use in specific situations and where to look for trends and behaviours. All massively valuable and seen in Google Analytics, Omniture and WebTrends amongst others.

 

Remember – the figures are only a part of the solution
Something strikes me about this software, and web analytics in general. The knowledge of using the system and synthesising the data is really only the beginning of the work (and perhaps the job roles that are needed to be employed).

(more…)

User paths for conversion – elements in engagement

Tuesday, June 17th, 2008

 

 

clip_image002   This image was shown during Peter Moville’s talk about IA 3.0. What is interesting about it is how he linked this to Christopher Alexander’s text about design in architecture and also Peter Merholz’s essay Metadata for the Masses. In which he highlights ‘desire lines’ how paving is built once you see the paths that people tread.

If we look at online behaviour, user paths give us a solid idea of routes to content, where they return to and where they tend to go next. Human behaviour tends to follow patterns, see this article about mobile phone usage for an example of how predictable we tend to be. (more…)

Design principles for building user engagement

Thursday, May 15th, 2008

luke   Luke Wroblewski – Content Page Design Best Practices
One of the talks at the IA Summit was by Luke Wroblewski, author of two books and various resources published on his site. If you can see/hear the presentation at this location, I would urge you to do so. There will be something in there I have missed! The content he shared, was an insightful window into how we design pages and how the business requirements of a page may actually work against it. It really reminded me about the mechanics of persuasion, and he highlighted some insights explicitly. The following observations were made by Wroblewski. (more…)

Persuasion Architecture – getting the ROI on IA

Monday, February 18th, 2008

 

persuasion   Persuasion Architecture has been around for years, Bryan Eisenberg (and his brother Jeffrey) founded the term and has been successfully establishing it as a concept and a measurable process. However, in a recent post, he states that after 7 years we still must be aware of usability and optimising the user experience. Regardless of the passage of time, sites still struggle to be successful. (more…)

Wireframes – illustrating design strategy

Monday, January 7th, 2008

 

page_sketch  

The powerful thing about the wire frame is that it removes many emotive aspects of design that will cause division amongst clients. There are no uses of branding , colours or elements of graphic interest on a good wire frame. When they are stripped back to absolute functional essentials it is much easier to explain exactly why key elements are placed in certain areas on the page.

(more…)