Storytelling is a powerful way to measure our understanding of our users and their experiences. But unfortunately, we don’t always get the story right. User experience rests more on listening to what the users want to tell us rather than the stories research teams and designers tell themselves within the confines of their organizations. Perhaps it’s time to first try story listening before recanting the tales. In this episode, we hear a story from Mike Monteiro about design going wrong. Jared Spool then talks to Marc Rettig about how the team could employ a technique, the Collective Story Harvest, to take apart the problem and come to new insights. All by listening to a story.
Ralf Otto leitet seit 30 Jahren den Mainzer Bachchor, den bedeutesten Oratorienchor von Rheinland-Pfalz. Der Chor aus Laien und Profis besteht seit mehr als 70 Jahren. Kathrin Kreusel stellt den Dirigenten vor.
Jared: This is the problem.
Six Flags is all about activities — one ride after the other — but Disney is about experiences. Experiences are the gaps between the activities. They’re designing for all those things that happen between the activities.
That’s where the real competitive difference is now, because everybody has the same activities. If you’re in retail or you’re in finance or you’re in medicine or whatever you’re in, all your competitors are designing for the same activities. It’s those gaps between the activities — what happens between the prescription refills, what happens between the deposits and the withdrawals in your bank — those things are the interesting places to design right now.
Trying to get a cab when it’s amazingly wet out is horrific. What if you could just bring up an app and press a button and summon a cab? That’s what Uber did. They revolutionized the taxi business, creating a little app that lets you summon a car. You press the button, figures out who the closest driver is, sends a message to his app, which is slightly different than your app, that says, “Hey, I’ve got a rider for you. Do you want to take it?”
If he says no, goes to the next car. If he says yes, sends you back a message saying, “Hey, I’ve got you a driver, and he can be here in 10 minutes.” Then you get to watch him approach on the map while he’s coming. Then you get in the car, and that whole ritual that happens at the end? That’s completely redone.
Instead of having to figure out what the prices are and what the added prices are and put a tip on top of that, and figure out if the credit-card machine is working, and it’s probably not working, or the guy doesn’t want you to use it because they keep all the money so he’d rather get paid in cash because then he can keep half the money and not give it back.
You go through that whole ritual, and meanwhile it’s pouring rain out and you’re trying to get to where you want to go. It’s a really awkward thing. That’s all gone.
What we have now is a phone. You press a button that says, “Yes, pay.” By the way, you’re going to rate the driver, which is OK because he just rated you, which is how he’ll know whether he’ll pick you up next time. Oh yeah, tip’s included. It’s automatically charged to your pre-entered card, and the receipt’s put in your email, and you’re done. They’ve filled in the gaps.
Groupon. Anybody who participated in Groupon in the early days knew that one of the more annoying features of Groupon is you’d go to someplace that actually you had a Groupon for and you forgot the piece of paper. What’d they do? They make it so that, either from the mobile website or from the app, you can bring up your copy of your Groupon, and they can just scan the phone or enter the number directly from that, and you’re done.
No more carrying around little sheets of paper that have all your coupons on them. Again, thinking about the gaps in the experience.
This whole QR-code thing, this is part of that. I was walking through Melbourne, Australia. There’s a huge black wall on the side of the street, says, “Live here,” with this giant QR code. It was this big. I scanned it, and it was for this little website. Turns out, on the other side of the wall was a hole in the ground, and in the hole in the ground they were planting a building.
When the building grew up, they wanted people to be able to live in it. You could find out all about the building that they were hoping would grow on the other side of the wall. You could even fill out a nice, easy-to-fill-out form that isn’t complicated to get your answer to that question.
That works. The problem with QR codes is that they have way too many dependencies. This is a series of QR codes that’s buried deep in the subway tunnel in the Denver Airport, where there is no cell reception. Some advertiser — First Bank, I guess — paid a ton of money for ads that nobody can take advantage of, because you can’t look it up. People don’t quite understand that those gaps in the experience, you have to actually pay attention to.
This idea of being competitive in the experiences, that is now a key priority. That’s the third force that’s pushing us in this direction.
The last one we call the Kano model. The Kano model was created by a dude named Noriaki Kano. Behavioral economist in the ’60s actually put this thing together, but turns out it’s absolutely explanatory of what’s going on right now. He was trying to explain the relationship between customer satisfaction and the amount of investment that a company should make.
“If you invest more, do you get more satisfied customers?” That was basically the question he was trying to answer.
In his collection of data, he found that there were three trends that predicted this. To measure that, he put them on two scales. The first scale, of course, is user satisfaction, which goes from frustration at the very bottom to extreme delight at the very top. It’s how to think about satisfaction. The second scale has to do with the amount of investment, from almost nothing to a ton.
When he started to plot the data of this, he started to realize that there were three trends that kept showing up. One’s known as the performance payoff. The performance payoff is what happens when you just keep adding features and you keep investing. Over time, you make customers more and more and more satisfied. If you make a big enough investment, you get them very satisfied. We all understand this. We all understand how this works. This is what drives that feature stage of the maturity model.
There were two other curves that he discovered that turned out to be really important. One is basic expectations. Basic expectations says that however much you invest, you’ll never go above neutral satisfaction, because it’s something we basically expect. We have WiFi at this conference. Used to be, if you had WiFi at a conference, that would be an awesome thing. Everybody would be overjoyed. They’d be absolutely delighted about it.
Now, if you go to a lot of conferences, like I do, and someone has WiFi, it’s like, “Oh, great, they have WiFi.” If they don’t have good WiFi, I get frustrated. But if they have great WiFi, I can never get across neutral satisfaction.
Now, it’s interesting that the way we typically measure satisfaction is with something we call satisfaction surveys. They ask questions like, “Are you satisfied?” “Are you satisfied?” is this neutral line in the center of the scale. We’re asking, “Are you in the middle?” When they say yes, we consider it a win.
Then we wonder why people aren’t that excited, because satisfaction, being satisfied with a design, is like considering a meal edible. “Hey, how was your dinner last night?” “Oh, it was expensive, and boy, it was edible.”
Duration: 48m | 28.5 MB
Recorded: January, 2010
Brian Christiansen, UIE Podcast Producer
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[ Transcript Pending ]Podcast: Play in new window | Download (Duration: 48:08 — 27.1MB)Subscribe: iTunes | Android | RSS
At UIE, we receive a steady flow of questions about user research. There is a staggering amount of information out in the world, just waiting to guide your designs. Best of all, it’s nearly free for the taking. We’re happy to reveal the key to unlocking this information:
Ask the right questions.
Getting out into the world and actually interacting with real people who use, or potentially could use, your product or service is incredibly valuable. We tell our clients this constantly: the organizations who are most successful are the ones who are on intimate terms with how and why their customers use their product. But how? To answer that question, we invited our friend Steve Portigal, principal of Portigal Consulting, to conduct the UIE Virtual Seminar, “Deep Dive Interviewing Secrets: Making Sure You Don’t Leave Key Information Behind”
Steve’s specialty is informing design decisions by getting on the ground and speaking directly with customers. And sharing how you can do the same. Today, we release the interview Jared Spool conducted with Steve after his seminar, following up with a number of additional audience questions. You can enjoy this interview without first seeing the Virtual Seminar, but afterwards, you’re going to want to see it. You’re in luck. You and your team can still access the recorded seminar. (See special offer below)
Jared asked Steve, in the end, what does the interview process really boil down to for it to be effective? Steve’s answer?
You have to really, really listen.
Jared and Steve discuss several points about the interviewing process, drawing on stories from both their experiences. Here are some brief highlights:
Understand the why behind what people are saying. This improves designs.
Transcribe your interviews. They can be used as a deliverable for a client and they allow you to critique your interviewing technique. Steve uses Chromolume Transcription, but there are many options (see note at the bottom of this post).
How do you deal with uncomfortable situations, like when an interviewee’s supervisor wants to observe your interview? Steve thinks this is often an indication of a failure in the planning process. When you’re in the field, there are a couple of tricks you can use to help steer the situation towards productivity.
How do you deal with interviewees who ramble? Try not to interrupt, Steve suggests. This may be their natural inclination and you should try to roll with it. Try to keep them on track with very focused questions.
How do you end an interview when you discover you’re talking with someone that won’t be helpful? Hopefully your planning will avoid this, but even so, you may find later that the person’s insights help you more than you thought. Stay in the moment.
Can you interview well into the product design stage? Sure, you can even bring prototypes. Ask, “how does this work for you?” “How would you teach your (parent/significant other) how to use this?”
How do you deal with difficult interviewees? There’s no saving some interviews, but you should attempt to build a friendly rapport that exudes professionalism. Many times they’ll open up.
Have a listen to the podcast. You’ll certainly pick up some tips for the next time you’re planning research or are out in the field.
For a limited time, you can gain lifetime access to this seminar at a special price. Purchase the recording before May 21 for just $99 (that’s $50 off the regular pricing). Anyone in your organization will be able to watch Steve’s seminar whenever they want, as often as they want.
Note, as an aside,
Steve mentions having had some trouble with the transcription service, CastingWords. For what it’s worth, we use CastingWords at UIE for our transcriptions, and aside from the occasional issue, we have been happy with them. Also, they now offer time stamps, for an additional fee.
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Working out how to build ethical robots is one of the thorniest challenges in artificial intelligence.
MICROSOFT WINDOWSInternet Explorer:
Der Frankfurter Exzellenzcluster untersucht die Thematik der Herausbildung normativer Ordnungen mit einem speziellen Fokus auf die gegenwärtigen Konflikte um eine „neue Weltordnung“.
Photo by Marilyn Humphries
Hear Glenn Greenwald’s speech from the 2011 Bill of Rights Dinner
On Thursday, May 26th, 2011, award-winning Salon.com columnist and New York Times-bestselling author Glenn Greenwald gave a fiery address to attendees at the ACLU of Massachusetts annual Bill of Rights Dinner. He described how the Obama administration has aggressively defended—and at times expanded—the Bush White House’s attacks on civil liberties, expansion of government surveillance and secrecy, and executive power assertions in the "war on terror." He argues that this continuity between the two major political parties spells long-term trouble for the Bill of Rights in the United States, and suggests that the work of the ACLU is crucial to reestablishing the rule of law.
Listen to his remarks here (.mp3 audio file, 37 min, 17.1 MB)
This audio file can be played on any device that supports the MP3 audio format, including iPods and most computers.
Video series: Questions for Glenn Greenwald
Please note that by playing clips from YouTube that YouTube and Google will place a long-term cookie on your computer. Please see YouTube’s privacy statement on their website and Google’s privacy statement on theirs to learn more. To view the ACLU of Massachusetts’ privacy statement, click here.
Shot in six installments, Glenn Greenwald gave these video interviews to the ACLU of Massachusetts on a 2011 trip to Boston:
Justice for Who?
Security vs. Liberty
Why Should I Care?
WQXR - New York Public Radio
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