Posts Tagged ‘web’
Posted on May 11, 2012 - by Khaled
UX is not just Usability + accessibility as some think! It is a level up! It may be considered as a compound of HCI, UCD, Usability, Accessibility, UI, IA, Aesthetics, Graphic Design, Web Design, Page behavior and even copywriting. The starting point for UX understanding (and how I knew about it for the first time) would be the diagram of Jessie James Garrett that I stumble upon in the early 2000. But I think it has evolved from that first concept. In my opinion, UX Design is related to all the aspects of the user experience when interacting with the website, the solution, the software, the service, the product etc… And it is dictated by the sought function, the interactive comportment, the final design wanted, the performance optimization and the targeted audience of the solution / Product / Service / Software. It involves all features and characteristics of usability, accessibility and desirability of a solution from the user’s perspective’ / point of view.
Our philosophy has some guiding concepts and principles that are:
The team working on a project has to be formed of individuals of different profiles and that will intervene in their respective layer of UX work. That means that the team working on one project has to agree and to be aware of the decisions of each team member when it comes to their field of expertise. Each member of the team should be able to let other members visualize his work in real time and keep them posted
The team should be able to create different routes and then be able to quickly decide which one is better suited to the project
The team must focus on solving the right problems and answer the right questions starting from the most central problem towards the less important ones.
Identify hypotheses and assumptions
Implement short processes and cycles: Brainstorm > Create > Check/feedback
Research the best source of information and the most reliable and trustworthy content
Involve users in the process of research and results validations.
When it comes to having a successful UX approach, it is vital to carefully consider the expectations and the assumptions of humans that the solution or product target.
For instance, we have developed and launched many e-commerce sites. In many cases we found that the sites’ owners have the assumption that just by having a shopping cart in their solution, customers will line up and buy their items, solutions, services or products. Most of the time they won’t understand the need to implement a whole strategy of UX and find the expenses unjustified! Some of them leave to some other companies and have a plain E-commerce installation and not long after, they will be disappointed! In fact and after audit, we demonstrate that their current “websites” don’t offer any user experience at all (or very little) and hence nobody buys from them. It’s proven through conversions rates that good UX design will always help users with their decisions to buy! “Call to action” incentives are very important here!
Among the assumptions we make I can cite the most important ones:
– Who’s the User? Who’s the client? (characteristics research)
– What’s the use of the considered service/product/ solution?
– Where, how and when is the considered service/product/ solution used?
– What problems does the considered service/product/ solution solve?
– What features of the product/solutions are the most important? Which ones are the less important?
– Considered all of the above, how should the solution / product look, feel, behave, work? (consider style, design, typography, dimensions, shape, colors, behavior…).
This was a fast explanation and some thoughts about UX and our UX process in my agency. Looking forward to hear from you!
Posted on February 8, 2009 - by Khaled
In the previous blog post I mentioned 46 Essential FireFox Extensions Every Web Designer Should Have. Among these WebNotes. I really liked this useful FireFox extension (available for IE and for Safari and Google Chrome in a light version) as it turned to be a fast and truly easy to use giving a whole new meaning to the online notes. Whether you are using it for academic sakes, for communicating with your clients or “just” to organize yourself, your business and collaborate with your team, WebNotes is really outstanding.
I had the oppurtunity to have an interview with Alex King, the Director of Marketing at WebNotes, and I didn’t want to miss such a chance. So here are few insights about WebNotes.
– I am really glad to have you answering my questions! First of all can you introduce yourself and WebNotes?
We appreciate you writing about us! My name is Alex King and I’m the Director of Marketing here at WebNotes. I’ve been here about 5 months and I am having a great time working with these guys.
WebNotes is essentially a service for anyone who wishes they had an online highlighter or sticky note tool to markup the web. Aside from being able to highlight/sticky note, annotations can be organized into nested folders (by client, or project, etc), and shared with colleagues via permalink or email. Many of our web design users like to use WebNotes to interact with their clients when iterating through various site proposals.
– What about the team can you quickly introduce them?
Right now there are 4 other full time employees and 1 intern. The 4 full timers (Ryan, Bennett, Peter and Matt) are all brilliant engineers from MIT and Roger, our intern, is a serial entrepreneur who is helping us with marketing.
– What sort of technology lies beneath WebNotes?
– Any specific reason for these choices?
– What inspired you to create such product?
Ryan Damico, our CEO, was doing research for a class at MIT a few years ago and found the available tools for organizing his research woefully inadequate. He soon realized that other people had the same issues and decided to create WebNotes.
– What advantages and features do you think are the most attracting for Graphic/Web Designers and Developers?
As a whole, WebNotes has been designed to be extremely easy to use such that it integrates naturally into a developer/designer workflow. That said, the sharing features are probably the most attractive for designers so that they can keep their team and clients up to date with new revisions of their work. For designers and developers doing research on their own, WebNotes is also a great tool to quickly manage online content and keep track of their thoughts.
– WebNotes is still in public beta, when a final version will be released?
We are looking to release a new and improved version of WebNotes in the next few months.
– What are the main differences between WebNotes toolbar and WebNotes Bookmarklet?
First and foremost, the bookmarklet doesn’t require any sort of installation (it’s just a bookmark that you place in your browser). This allows it to run on a greater variety of browsers such as IE, Safari, Firefox and Chrome. The toolbar works on Firefox and IE and allows the user to access the organizer directly from a side panel. At the end of the day, however, the difference is based on what the user prefers and whether they want the fully featured toolbar or the more lightweight bookmarklet.
– I noticed that your web site and the toolbar itself are nicely designed! Do you think this is a plus?
Yes! I’m sure that you and your readers realize the importance of good UI, and we have spent painstaking hours focusing on this area of our product. In fact, it took us an entire day just to pick out the colors to make available in our highlighter tool!
– In the footer of the WebNotes site one can read: “Go green… make notes online!” is it just a slogan or do you mean what you say?
A substantial number of our customers used to print out websites for the sole purpose of annotating them and distributing them to their team or clients. We firmly believe this wastes paper and printer ink on resources that are easily lost and misplaced. While our number one goal is to improve the productivity of our users, we want to let them know that saving paper is a great ancillary benefit.
– Did this kind of ecological concepts help shaping your initial idea of creating WebNotes?
As per this question, we started off as a productivity tool and quickly realized that there were ecological benefits to be had as well.
– Is there a grand plan for the future of WebNotes?
There are many directions we can take at WebNotes as we move forward, but our goal will always be to offer the highest quality, easiest to use research tool on the Web. Right now we’re focused on building up our core services, listening very carefully to feedback from our users, and scaling up; where we take our service after that will depend on the needs of the market.
– Do you have a business model? how do you make money?
Later this year WebNotes will be releasing a premium version of its service. After that, we plan on continuing to add functionality that will greatly enhance the productivity of our users.
– Anything I didn’t ask about and you want to add?
We’d love to give your readers access to WebNotes. Would you like any Beta invites to distribute?
I hope that thanks to this interview you have a clear idea and a better knowledge of WebNotes. The excellent research, annotation andorganizing tool. For the invitation code (you need one in order to register) just click here. There are 50 invitations available for the moment. But once they are all used we can probably have more offered here.
Posted on February 4, 2009 - by Khaled
Twitter Effect Vs Mash Effect: Experimenting how Twitter traffic can crash your server!
Twitter and it docile little blue bird is not that inoffensive! If you are not careful it could literally crash your server! How? By sending huge amounts of traffic to you! If you don’t believe me just ask the poor server hosting http://www.litmanlive.co.uk…
It all started when the rock star twitterer and blogger Pete Cashmore linked in one of his tweets to a blog post entitled “How to use Twitter to find your next job“. And a retweeting snow ball started causing the litmanlive server to collapse! Pete called it the “Mash Effect” whereas Pingdom dubbed it the “twitter effect” or more exactly the “dawn of the twitter effect“! And I agree it is the Twitter effect rather than the Mash effect (despite the huge popularity of Mashable)!
“The Twitter Effect” formula!
Believe it or not the “Twitter effect” can be mathematically calculated via a formula:
The Twitter Effect = (Original tweet * followers) + (retweets * followers of retweeters) + (retweets of retweets * followers of those)! (etc.)
Thoughts and predictions:
I would just add “potentially active” in front of each repetition of the word “Followers”. The tweet effect will really vary according to the tweeting time and to the importance and the relevance of the topic during that period of time! Speaking of getting work in recession and firing times like these days is really and highly relevant in my opinion and that might explain why this very special tweet by Cashmore had this effect!
Twitter can be a source of great direct traffic and all of us are interested in building traffic to our web sites and blogs especially a traffic constituted by visitors that already know why are they checking this very specific web page. Twitter has been unceasingly offering an increasing source of traffic. And it is probably going to continue to do so. So prepare to witness the “Tsunami Twitter Effect” that I believe will reach new heights in the next years in comparison with other sources (i.e. Digg, stumble upon or FaceBook) as Twitter is more accessible and a lot easier to use by everyone than the other tools. Twitter is probably less famous than Digg or FaceBook but soon the great buzz/boom about it will happen and everyone and his dog will be using Twitter! Just look how many blog posts, media and news items are focusing on Twitter!
Twitter might even cause a drop in the use of RSS organizers such as Netvibes. It won’t probably replace them completely but it will make you want to visit them less! Netvibes even has a Twitter widget now!
Anyway I think it is important to start monitoring the traffic coming to you from twitter which could be quite challenging. I would suggest reading this article to help understand how you should proceed.
So what do you think? should Twitter be sorry for crushing servers? or may be not? Anyway it is time for you, Twitter, to get a clear business model!