Usability

"Sorry, I Don't Know This Yet..." An In-Depth Analysis of the State of Virtual Personal Voice Assistance

"Sorry, I Don't Know This Yet..."  An In-Depth Analysis of the State of Virtual Personal Voice Assistance

In an earlier glossary post, we discussed “VPAs”or Voice Personal Assistants. We thought this topic deserved further analysis considering the massive adoption of devices with “always-on” listening and a responding voice functionality. Considering these rapid developments in the era of voice interactive objects and AI in general, we should ask ourselves these crucial questions. 

  1. How will this affect you, your organization and your products? 

  2. How can your application use these powerful neural networks and machine learning based systems to intuit more precisely what your customer wants? 

  3. How can your customer service improve by leveraging the new forms of networked intelligence in the cloud? 

  4. In a world where touch, type, and swipe have been the primary modes of input, how can voice interaction provide a more natural access to your product? 

  5. How can this be integrated and at what cost?

It’s been 50 years since Stanley Kubrick’s dystopian thriller 2001 was released, where Hal,  the disturbingly calm onboard yet ill intentioned computer, frightened us with the possibility of computers taking over humanity and making decisions that may not preclude destroying the whole lot of us sloppy, imperfect humans.

Customer Experience: Doing It Right

Customer Experience: Doing It Right

🔈  We all know that the work doesn’t end when someone becomes a customer; yet, many businesses are not organized to bring the best experiences to their customers. Our client, John Zimmerer at Top Down Systems, recently wrote a series of blog posts analyzing how businesses can avoid pitfalls in the way of a great customer experience. He takes a look at several industry reports and analyses, and discusses how businesses can move from a siloed customer experience approach, which is rather common, to one where the customer experience fits into the very fabric of an organization.

Pitfalls in Interpreting Usability Test Results

Pitfalls in Interpreting Usability Test Results

Usability testing is an important component to User Centered Design. Whenever possible, we recommend that businesses validate changes to their UX design with actual  or potential users of the product. However on occasion, we’ve seen usability testing do more harm than good when project teams misinterpret the tests. They might take all results at face value,  misinterpret the user’s actual intent, or mistake a prototype limitation with a usability issue.

The Lead UX Designer – Because Every Project Needs a People Person

The Lead UX Designer – Because Every Project Needs a People Person

The User Experience (UX) Lead’s job is to understand users. She’s the person on the team who’s responsible for translating the project vision into a product that end users can use easily and happily. This is not just about creating a product that’s beautiful to look at. It’s about conducting user research, testing and trouble-shooting in order to understand the end user’s goals and motivations, so the team can design a product that improves the user’s experience. The main job of the UX Lead on any project is to identify a product’s problem and create an elegant, intuitive and optimized solution for it. Without the UX Lead, the design team is merely guessing at what end users want/need, and most often end up solving the wrong problem, albeit in an aesthetically pleasing way. In other words, you end up with a pretty product that is of little value because it’s not focused on the exact goals of the end users. Through research, testing and design iteration, a good UX Lead makes sure that the product will increase conversion and/or advance the mission of the company. So how, exactly does the UX Lead make that happen?

Customer Advisory Boards – The Perfect Project Think Tanks

Customer Advisory Boards – The Perfect Project Think Tanks

If you want to know what customers think about your product, the best way to find out is to ask them. Why do unnecessary guesswork when you can ask the customers directly? The customer advisory board, or CAB is a group of about 10-15 customers who meet regularly on behalf of your company to discuss their views on a particular product, of which they are end users. The discussions, which are based on the board member’s firsthand experience with the product, include thoughts on customer desires, motivations, and values, as well as information on competing products and industry trends. The CAB ultimately creates a list of actionable items for your company, which will facilitate product improvement, and in a more general sense, will help to assess prospective business priorities and direction. Assessing and using the data from CAB meetings is a great way to ensure that your company’s vision is kept in alignment with customers’ desires, safeguarding product profitability.