tyfu.com | the portfolio of shawn kenney : » User Experience
Portfolio by Year Design
Photography
Random
User Experience

User Experience
What makes something a standard?
Or
Forcing design on users for designers sake.

Recently I’ve been part of a number of related conversations that in some form or another, revolve around the use of “standard design patterns” in various projects as defined by designers. For as long as I have been involved with web technologies and interactive design, there has been some level of what “standard” means and why as designers we should follow them. I tend to bucket usability into two core buckets. The first is the user centric portion; what is…

Read More

Conducting Discount User Interviews
Or
How to get meaningful information quickly

I recently interviewed with a major retailer where as part of the process I was asked to complete a design challenge in 48 hours. Aside from the quick turnaround that was requested for a deliverable, I was actually in the middle of a cross country trip and wouldn’t be home for another 16 hours which was to be immediately followed by 8 hours of sleep. Once I finally arrived home, caught up on sleep, ate and settled in to my…

Read More

Tips for password security questions
Or
Give users a chance to remember the answer

The attached screen grab of a drop down list is a real list of security questions you can select when creating an account with a major international non-profit. The goal of a security question on a website or web application is to ask you questions only you would know the answer to, in the event you have forgotten your credentials (username and/or password). While this is often times overlooked in the discussion of usability this functionality clearly falls under the…

Read More

Understanding the Climate for UX
Or
A technique to evaluate your UX culture

Over the last few months I have spoken to a number of companies that have either recently adopted the role of user experience into their organization or were in the early stages of doing so. As businesses continue to learn the value of design, the benefits usability has on bottom line, customer retention and customer satisfaction and the additional understanding of customers that UX can provide a business it’s equally as important to understand how this role will impact the…

Read More

E-Commerce is a Disconnected Experience
Or
Selling products shouldn’t be an either-or

Over the years the standard e-commerce approach has evolved from an “either – or” model. A retailer was either “brick and mortar” or “e-tail” with many traditional retailers in the pre-dotcom bubble shuttering stores and focusing exclusively on electronic sales. The introduction of e-commerce over the internet has helped to reduce certain frictions in the shopping experience. Geographic frictions have been mitigated, allowing customers to shop from retailers that may not be in their local market or allowing them access…

Read More

The usability of infotainment systems
Or
A Primer in Affordance

I’ve really been fascinated with infotainment centers for a few years now. If you are unfamiliar with the term, it’s a general term used for next generation audio systems in cars. These systems today are more than just your terrestrial car radio or CD player. They often integrate GPS functionality, satellite radio, Bluetooth connectivity to devices and more are beginning to integrate support for hands free calling and operation for mobile applications through your smart phone. The reviews of the…

Read More

Roadblocks to having empathy toward your users
Or
Is power a challenge to usability?

To suggest that empathy is a requirement for a user experience professional would be an understatement. It’s critical. It’s the foundation for everything we do from who to conduct research studies with, to the types of questions we ask, to the priorities that we advocate for when it comes to feature sets of a product, to the design and information architecture decisions that become something tangible that a person can use. So when I saw a news article a few…

Read More

Evaluating UX Readiness
or
Users are more capable than you think

One of the first questions I ask when meeting with a company is “Why are you looking to integrate UX into your organization?” The responses I get vary, but one common sentiment I hear from development managers, project managers, product specialists and business analysts is the most telling statement when attempting to identify the maturity of an organization as it relates to UX. So what is the statement you ask? You may have said it yourself, or have known of…

Read More

The usability of error handling
or
Why do forms punish users?

Forms are an integral piece to many websites, which makes their usability just as important as any other task (and maybe more so because their presence is so common). Forms are one of those pieces of a web site or web application’s functionality that users typically don’t want to complete, but have to complete. When users are completing tasks based on necessity it’s really in our best interest as the work flow provider to allow our users to move though…

Read More

Displaying your UI on the Right Device
or
It’s often the little things

Often times the biggest detriments to usability are the little things that are within our own control. A simple example of this making sure that when a user interface is designed for a specific device that it gets deployed on the correct device. A example of this can be found at a BP gas station just outside Cleveland. On my previous commute to work there were a limited number of convenient gas stations where I could fill up if I…

Read More

I am a certified usability analyst, user experience & graphic designer, and information architect with web & .net development experience based in Cleveland, Ohio.

Copyright 1996 - 2014

Member, American Mensa