UX Minute

A blog following my experience as a User Experience Architect at the NFL. Focusing more around my personal and professional path of growth with random posts thrown in regarding UX coolness, and otherness.

OhSoWe - New Hyperlocal Network for Neighbors

Mashable reports: 

OhSoWe provides a website for posting items to share or starting a local discussion…It has three key sections for connecting with the people who live closest: Neighbors, Communication and Shareables. Neighbors is simply a list of people who live near you. OhSoWe takes verifying a person’s address seriously; you have to either use a credit card or a postcard to verify your address. Communication is a public message board for your “Neighborstead”. Shareables is like a local Craigslist where you can offer items to lend or sell. You can also offer your skills.

I like this idea. I think its good that the owners have very defined use cases for the website and it’s not just getting friendly with the neighbors. After all, we’ll just find each other on the book (Facebook) IF we’re that interested (*cue memories of the nosey neighbor)…and I think it’d be weird to “get to know your neighbors” via an online app when they live 15 feet from you. Seriously.  

I’d totally borrow a snow shovel or power drill from my neighbor and if they get robbed or notice a peeping tom snooping through the hood I’d like to know that too.

I do wonder how or even if the site addresses how to handle a neighbor returning your item broken or not returning it at all. Clearly, that would make the neighborhood vibe worse and I might abandon the site (and maybe my neighborhood) altogether…in extreme cases of course. What makes or breaks this thing, I think, is trust. Such a site could create social cohesion and other benefits as people rise to the occasion…but a bad egg could spoil it.

Do you find value in this website for your neighborhood? Why or why not?

Usability Reference - Usability Body of Knowledge (BoK)

Eek! I’m so excited. While doing a random search on Neilsen’s Heuristics, I came across Usability BoK, a project underway by the Usability Professionals Association to provide a “living reference that represents the collective knowledge of the usability profession”. 

Usability Professionals Association

This is an excellent resource for newbies and old heads alike seeking more info on usability methods, design and all things usability like reading lists and info on professional development.

It seems to be a work in progress and all subject areas are not fully fleshed out. Feedback seems to be welcome so from the newbies to the well seasoned, take a minute to review a page or two, comment, and help this resource grow!

What resources have you used to aid your UX endeavors? It could be anything from marketing and branding, analytics to information graphics or selling an idea. 

Engage your Facebook Followers
Mashable.com posted a great article with tips on how nonprofits can meaningfully engage their Facebook followers while supporting their cause online.
Even better, the pointers offered in the article are appropriate for anyone trying to use a Facebook fan page to spread their brand to the masses.
Here’s a Quick Synopsis:
Have a goal. Is there something you want to communicate? A behavior you want to encourage with your page? Make sure this is clear by the posts you create.
Know the interest of your followers. You could have multiple pages for one organization in order to keep content pertinent to each group.
Ask open ended questions and encourage you-to-fan and fan-to-fan convos. That said, show that you’re listening and respond back. 
Keep it interesting. Press releases are boring. Posting only text or only photos can be snores. Variety is the spice of life. 
For specific strategies used by social media gurus at some well known nonprofits read the full article on Mashable!
Check out one of the non-profits I like on the Book: Heifer International.
Are there any Facebook group pages you think are done particularly well? Share them! I wanna know!

Engage your Facebook Followers

Mashable.com posted a great article with tips on how nonprofits can meaningfully engage their Facebook followers while supporting their cause online.

Even better, the pointers offered in the article are appropriate for anyone trying to use a Facebook fan page to spread their brand to the masses.

Here’s a Quick Synopsis:

  • Have a goal. Is there something you want to communicate? A behavior you want to encourage with your page? Make sure this is clear by the posts you create.
  • Know the interest of your followers. You could have multiple pages for one organization in order to keep content pertinent to each group.
  • Ask open ended questions and encourage you-to-fan and fan-to-fan convos. That said, show that you’re listening and respond back. 
  • Keep it interesting. Press releases are boring. Posting only text or only photos can be snores. Variety is the spice of life. 

For specific strategies used by social media gurus at some well known nonprofits read the full article on Mashable!

Check out one of the non-profits I like on the Book: Heifer International.

Are there any Facebook group pages you think are done particularly well? Share them! I wanna know!

Trends in Mobile - A Meetup

I went to a meetup this evening sponsored by the Los Angeles UX Professionals group entitled Trends in Mobile Development. The talk largely focused on the process and challenges used by the sponsoring company,.

The talk focused on (1) Trends in the industry, (2) Challenges faced by our two ThoughtWorks' speakers, Derek and Pete, and (3) Techniques & (4) Tools used by this consultancy.

Here’s the synopsis:

Trends:

Mobile is experiencing the same transitional phase the web went through in the early 2000s. “We’ve been here before.” There are issue with standardization, across platforms, devices and features a la Android, as well as overall user experience.

Pete’s bullish prediction: within 3 years we will see more movement toward mobile web apps…this is clearly debatable but would make life easier for all those developing experiences for the mobile user.

Trade-offs between three development approaches: Web App vs Native Apps vs a Hybrid

First off, what’s a web app? An app-like website optimized for mobile devices.

A native app? An app optimized for a specific device/OS.

Hybrid? Duh, a combo of the two. Maybe it’s a native app that relies on data from a website…

Second off (okay, maybe that doesn’t work)…Trade-offs!

User Experience Trade-offs

Native: Richer UX, Fancy animations, Supports advanced users

Web App: Simplified UI & Experiences, Limited animations, Increased download time                                  

Dev Tool Trade-offs

Native:  Java/Dalvic, Objective C

Web: HTML4/5, Javascript, CSS 3

Hybrid: Java S, Lua and C  

General issues with platform compatibility & culture of the developers. Will a Lua developer be interested in enterprise development?? Can you find enough developers to support your project?

Code Trade-offs

Native: Write it once, Test everywhere 

Web: Write many, Test once, Mature development tools             

*aaaaand I zoned out during the rest of code trade-off! 

Deploy Trade-offs

Native: Delay in delivery time, Delay in delivery time, Must use app store/market  

Web: Push to the user, Release when you want,…

*again it was hot and stuffy in that room and clearly i missed some points here as well. My bad!!

Other tradeoffs

Using the network vs functioning offline. Performance metrics and Device capabilities (can it support the multitasking often done on mobile?).

Stay tuned for Part Deux - Techniques & Tools.

Clients From Hell

clientsfromhell:

Client:  “This isn’t a criticism, but I wanted to point it out.”

Me: “Okay… what’s the problem.”

Client: “This business card you designed for me is upside down.”

This blog is too funny. Can’t believe these quotes actually transpired in real life.

Design should never say, “Look at me.” It should always say, “Look at this.”
David Craib