Archives For interaction design

I was noodling this idea early last year, and shared it with a local Austin company that deals in ratings for retailers. They nodded and said, yeah, yeah, we are already going to do that, it is nothing new. But I guess I am not shopping at the right places, because I have yet to experience this type of personalization while shopping for clothes online.

The problem in shopping for clothes online- I don’t want to see all the merchandise in a stores, just the clothes/lingerie/swimwear that will look great on me. If the store knew my measurements (they can collect it at account creation time or when I leave a review), and the measurements of other reviewers, they could just show me clothes that were highly rated by other women with my shape. This concept isn’t new, Netflix built an empire on it, but why hasn’t it extended to other e-tailers?

For example, when I land on AnnTaylor.com, it should show me 5 shirts and 5 pants that are perfect for me with a big “Add All to Cart” button. Throw in some matching shoes and accessories and I just dropped $1k in 5 minutes. Done! Happy retailer, happy shopper.

Oh, and make sure to follow up with an email when new items are rated highly by my same shaped peeps- odds are good you’ll hook me for another purchase or two.

Who’s going to do this first? Gap, Nordstrom’s Victoria’s Secret, David’s Bridal, anyone game to beta test this and watch the revenue spike? I’d be happy to help with the UX design.

When I started as an independent consultant in 2005, I had 2 clients. Seven years later I have a successful design group built entirely on referrals. My first 2 clients, both start-ups, referred me to other start-ups who in turn referred me to more companies, eventually allowing me to build a portfolio that includes Adobe, eBay, Fidelity, Salesforce and many others.

Unfortunately we can’t help every start-up that contacts us now, but we do accept 3-4 each year. Our Sponsored Start-Up plan is geared to help start-ups launch with a great user experience. We work closely with the team on their UX strategy, from contextual research through development and launch, at a reduced rate and generous payment terms.

Obaid Khawaja, a Carnegie Melon graduate and former program manager at Microsoft, presented his plan to us in early 2011. He had the magic formula to help eBay sellers increase sales, but the existing interface wasn’t intuitive. We created a simple UX that focused on showing sellers which listing had problems, and offered tips for improvement.

The Boost BI beta was well received and brought in a number of clients including BMW and Littlewoods. And just as importantly for a start-up, it generated valuable feedback.

It turns out customers were thrilled to get insights for improving their listings. But they wanted Boost BI to go one step further and allow them to take action within the application. In V1 (under development) we’ve taken the UX to the next level. V1 makes it easy for sellers to address their most critical (revenue and volume wise) listings problems, to significantly increase their impressions and conversions.

We wish Obaid and his team at Boost BI the best, and can’t wait to see what happens next!

I don’t know where I’m getting the free time to click through Slideshare over the past week, but here’s another presentation I enjoyed. I think they did an excellent job highlighting how a product’s interface (not just copy) can influence our behaviors.

Happy new year! I’m excited to say our group is continuing to grow, not just with more clients and projects, but in our experience as designers. In 2011 we had the good fortune to lead the design forImage

One thing that was common across many of these projects was the need for a comprehensive cross platform UX solution.

So we’re offering something new this year, a complete design and development solution for classic web apps + mobile  web apps + installed apps for smartphones and tablets.

We’ve pulled together designers and developers from our little group to build the UXpert Team. Our team includes:

  • a senior UX designer
  • a creative lead
  • 2-4 very experienced developers to code the user interface and provide integration support

So if you have a project that needs expert help, our first opening is mid-January. Email me for details.

Update: we are booked until fall (Aug-Sept) 2012.

We’re proud to have worked with Cloudera’s team and our friends at Projekt202 to design Cloudera Manager, the industry’s first end-to-end management application for Apache Hadoop. Read more on Tech Crunch.

Congratulations Cloudera on the release and the great press so far. Here’s my favorite quote:

“We were treated to demos of Cloudera Enterprise 3.7 at Hadoop World, and it really blew us away with its functionality for total lifecycle management of Hadoop Clusters. That lifecycle management includes planning, creation of clusters, management of their health, control of access, logging/auditing and many other tools, all put together in a fantastic interface.”

-Bob Gurley, SYS-CON Media.

We recently had a new mobile project starting and all of our experienced mobile designers were booked. This gave me less than a week to ramp up a new designer. So I made a quick tutorial with lots and lots of screenshots, illustrating good design and not so good design. Gradually a set of patterns for mobile application design emerged.

Even as I was cataloging these patterns, I knew that the real value wasn’t only the pattern identification, but in the hundreds of examples I’d captured. So instead of a tome of abstract patterns only an author can love, this book is a showcase, or gallery, of mobile application design. This book includes 400+ current screenshots from iOS, Android, BlackBerry, WebOS, Symbian and Windows mobile applications, organized by pattern type.

Check out the:

And follow me on Twitter, @mobilepatterns, for expert mobile design tips.

This is a little off topic from the normal posts on interaction design and UI design patterns. But I was really impressed by the software my son used at two camps this summer:

  • Game Salad for designing games for the iPhone and iPad
  • Lego Mindstorms NXT for the robotics camp we hosted for seven 10-12 year olds this week.

Game Salad

This installed application for the Mac has a slick drag and drop interface and makes it pretty simple to design a multi-level game for the iPhone or iPad. In one week my son created a 10 level game with a fire breathing dragon. The only thing that would make this tool better is if they offered image libraries for use. I would have definitely paid to license a library instead of spending an hour trying to find the “right” dragon egg for my son to use in class the next day.

Lego Mindstorms NXT

The NXT software is pretty cool because it has a simple drag and drop GUI, but you can also use Python for development. There are sample programs to download that even show best practices for commenting code. In our camp, the kids built their own robots from scratch and coded them.

Here’s a short clip of the final robot war. The goal was to be the last one in the ring (black tape triangle) after pushing the rest of the robots out.