I recently gave a talk on Persuasive Design to the final year undergrad students on the Digital Marketing course at Manchester Metropolitan University. It was filmed for their course archives by the good people of Connect Wisdom, and made available to everyone else via the wonders of the You and the Tube.
Usability: Designing for Persuasion, Emotion and Trust
The article includes a few observations which echo my own (admittedly anecdotal) experiences of tablet computing:
large screens make users feel uncomfortable about looking at stuff in public – people reading their screen over their shoulders, fear of being judged
a sizeable % of iPad users had wifi-only devices, so contextual “on the go” features were irrelevant as they couldn’t use the device outside of the home
iPads were shared amongst the family, so no one person had them with them at all times or “owned” the device
most iPad usage was while sat on the settee watching the TV – they’re light, quick and easy to use, and have replaced laptops for quick content consumption
I agree with the author’s comment about it “not being about mobile”. If anything, it’s “about touch”, but I’d also add that it’s about screen size, as this is a key differentiator between tablets and smartphones when considering interface and interaction design. Consider the way good iOS apps are universal, but have interfaces optimised for the device, and compare that against the lack of Android apps optimised for tablet when the devices were first launched? The user experience of opening an app on a tablet and seeing a “stretched” version of the smartphone interface is very disappointing.
The numbers quoted around WiFi vs 3G device usage are also interesting, even if they are US-centric and specific to the author’s research group. I think I need to look into GA (or any of the other analytics providers) to see if it can provide that level of granularity. It would certainly help gauge a site’s usage patterns and allow you plan a tablet strategy that fits your own users’ behaviour.
Food for thought when thinking about the desktop > tablet > mobile paradigm, and when thinking about contextual usage patterns.
Definitely one to save to Pocket app for future reference!
This article was original posted on the Amaze Blog, May 20, 2013
For me, one of the most fundamental points she raises is that we tend to map the journey as it relates to us, not to the customer… we tend to map our process and superimpose the customer experience onto that. Her approach flips that on its head.
For me, one of the most obvious scenarios would be when the typical user behaviour is to “pogostick” between say, a product list and a product detail page, and back.
Having a short list means that upon returning to the list page the user can easily work out where they were, and resume their search from the next item. Infinite scrolling doesn’t support this user behaviour very well: when the user clicks the back button, the view of list they are confronted with is likely to be so huge it would be difficult to work out where they were up to, resulting in disorientation and frustration.
Infinite scrolling is a relatively new technique (Twitter and Facebook could be considered pioneers in introducing this a couple of years ago). It’s visual appeal is undeniable, and when used correctly it’s a great tool for surfacing content, but as with any new technology there will always be requests for the feature that are inappropriate, or do not offer the best user experience.
I thought the article was worth keeping in the back pocket as a reminder of when to consider scrolling infinitely, and when not to.
This article was original posted on the Amaze Blog, May 8, 2013