Eric Reiss’ workshop: “Usable Usability”

Eric Reiss’ workshop: “Usable Usability”

Eric Reiss is the celebrated author of three books, including the recently published Usable Usability: Simple Steps for Making Stuff Better. He is the CEO of The FatDUX Group, an international user-experience design company headquartered in Copenhagen, Denmark. Here are some notes and photos from his workshop.

Eric has also lectured on design principles at the Bauhaus University in Weimar, is a former Professor of Usability and Design at the IE Business School in Madrid, and serves on the advisory boards of several universities and institutes in both Europe and the United States. His Web Dogma, a design philosophy that transcends both fashion and technology, has been adopted by 1000s of developers and companies around the world.

He recently came to Los Angeles and gave a workshop on UX Design. Here are some twitter bites, highlighting the workshop content:

  • Watch out for fad and fashion. It is not always for the better. Invention is not always innovation.
  • Do your social media tools live up to your design guidelines? Everything must be in harmony across all channels.
  • Service is exquisite when everyone is working together as a team. It doesn’t work well when designers just hand off over to developers.
  • Use your design to let users know ahead of time how many steps there are in a process and where the are. n
  • Do you have multi-function buttons or knobs? Perhaps you need more single-purpose buttons.
  • The learning curve for an application may be higher than a website. Keep it simple & respect retroductive inference.
  • Always call things by the same name. Don’t call it “save” in one place then “submit” at another for the same function.
  • Don’t make users relearn the basic. Keep the learning curve short. @elreiss #UX #UXDesign
  • Features that look like ads will not be used. Content needs to look like content.
  • Use color, shape, texture, direction, size to group and differentiate various tasks, tools…
  • Anytime you see a handwritten note on something, there is an usuability problem there.
  • Are personalization tools remembering behaviors that are no longer relevant to the user?
  • Is the foolproof solution you’re providing actually worse than the problem?
  • People don’t want to do a lot of of customization, except if it’s something they use a lot.
  • Customization (what I do to something) vs. Personalization (what the thing does because it thinks I might want this)
  • Can users find the information they need quickly?
  • Convenient for users: Can you eliminate areas where users must give you the same info several times?
  • Convenience for users: Can you reduce swaps between on and offline functions?
  • If content is the king, then context is the kingdom. We have to think about how things are put together.
  • Convenient for users: Elements that must be used simultaneously should also be visible simultaneously.
  • Talk to your users to see how they use your product.
  • Don’t fall in love with technologies and build features that users can’t use, don’t need or want.
  • Does your user get ongoing feedback during long procedures?
  • Responsive content: designing/adjusting content differently for each different platform: desktop/tablet/mobile phone.
  • Optimize your site for performance because of mobile access and even with a computer, not everyone has a broadband connection.
  • Five factors to consider in ease of use: functional ,responsive, ergonomic, foolproof, convenient.
  • When design your form, consider: If people are interrupted can they return later?
  • Everytime you add another input field into your form, conversion rate is going to go down. (Increasing friction.) n
  • Forms and checkouts are the most important page of your site because it’s where conversion takes place.
  • Usability = ease with which people can employ a particular tools. It’s about elegance and clarity that a site/app is designed.
  • Is your usability problem a functionality or a surface design problem? Design is not limited just to visual appearance.
  • Are your users go to your website to be entertained, or to seek specific information or functionality? Think about this.
  • Usability is situational. Best practices (like links should be blue) may not be right at times.
  • Reality is that this is a new industry, we’re making this up as we go along, there are no rights or wrong. –
  • “If you can trigger people to think about usability in a usable way, things will happen in the right way.” –
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