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LukeW | Digital Product Design + Strategy



Expert articles about user experience, mobile, Web applications, usability, interaction design and visual design.



Published: Fri, 24 Mar 2017 00:00:00 +0000

Last Build Date: Fri, 24 Mar 2017 00:00:00 +0000

Copyright: LukeW Ideation + Design
 



Conversions: Psychology Behind Mobile Behaviors

Fri, 24 Mar 2017 00:00:00 +0000

In her Psychology Behind Mobile Behaviors presentation at Google Conversions 2017 in Dublin, Ireland, Nathalie Nahai walked through several psychological principles to consider when designing mobile experiences. Here's my notes from her talk:

  • We use mobile for everything, even when it's not the best tool for the job. What interactions keep people coming back and why? Those backed by psychological principles like: cognitive load, processing fluency, hedonic adaptaion, and dopamine loops.
  • Cognitive load is the total amount of mental effort used to complete a task. We have a limited capacity for cognitive processing so we need to lower mental effort on mobile to optimize conversions.
  • Experiencing delays on mobile causes levels of stress higher than horror movies (Ercikson research)
  • To reduce mental effort, make it easier for people to make decisions. Examples: ratings, social proof.
  • Reduce the amount of effort required to purchase something. Single step checkouts: lower effort for each step. All information in one step can be overwhelming. Reduce the number of actions required to achieve the goal; split process into single steps; manage visual presentation by visuaally grouping elements.
  • Processing Fluency is the ease with which people process content; content that is easy to process is usually perceived as more trustworthy.
  • Repetition: we tend rate things that are receptive as more true. Repetative calls to action and jingles temd to be more memorable. Use messages with structure so people will learn them and respond to similar/familiar calls to action.
  • Visual clarity helps processing. If an interface is easy to understand, people are more likely to experience pleasure with it. This leads to higher purchasing intent & repeat experiences.
  • Increase contrast between text & background; simplify language; have direct, tangible calls to action.
  • Hedonic Adaptation: we become accustomed to positive or negative stimulus over time. The more exposed to something we are, the more bored we get with it.
  • Don’t give people a chance to get bored. Update product frequently; change layout structure; alter user experience: don’t do this in a way that pisses people off. Make smaller changes and test to not break things. There needs to be a balance between familiarity and new.
  • Dopamine is a chemical that causes pleasure seeking behaviors: makes you look for rewards.
  • Habitual products create dopamine loops: we seek more than we’re satisfied, anticipating rewards creates more response than when actually getting the reward. External triggers kickoff loops.
  • Small, unpredictable rewards elicit the highest rate of engagement (like gambling).
  • Understand the principles of persuasion to design the right experiences across devices.



Conversions: Faster Mobile Sites, More Revenue

Fri, 24 Mar 2017 00:00:00 +0000

In his Faster Mobile Sites, More Revenue presentation at Google Conversions 2017 in Dublin, Ireland, Guillaume Derolez shared a number of ways to optimize the loading time of mobile Web pages. Here's my notes from his talk:

  • Smartphones are performance constrained but users have high expectations of performance.
  • Mobile commerce is an upper funnel affair: customers have a 50% chance to engage with your brand on mobile first.
  • Most conversions touch 2.6 devices.
  • The average load time on mobile commerce sites is 7 seconds for US retail mSites.
  • As page load time goes from: 1s to 3s the probability of bounce increases 32%
  • Mobile pages that load 1s faster see up to 27% increase in conversions.
  • So how fast should mobile pages be? The target for page loading is one second but on a 3G connection, 600ms is needed for overhead which really leaves you with 400ms for round-trip server connection.
  • Top three areas to investigate in order to make mobile Web pages faster: images, non-minified resources, number of requests.
  • Images: 67% of bytes in the average Web pages are images; can be compressed to save bytes. Use lazy loading: only load what is needed for visible on screen elements, later load rest. Avoid “download and hide” or “download and shrink”.
  • Non-minified resources: CSS & JS can be compressed to save 70% of transfer sizes. Enable GZIP. Minify the files.
  • 68% of Websites on Web load more than 50 resources. To limit requests: make use of browser cache, consolidate page resources, load javascript asynchronously, prioritize above the fold CSS.
  • Too many redirects: DNS lookup + connection + data together take time for each redirect.
  • Mobile site speed should be considered a profitable site feature.



Conversions: Building a Testing Culture

Fri, 24 Mar 2017 00:00:00 +0000

In his Building a Testing Culture presentation at Google Conversions 2017 in Dublin, Ireland, Stuart Frisby discussed the culture, process, and team structures needed/used at Booking.com to support thousands of optimization tests. Here's my notes from his talk:

  • Booking.com's use of testing results in 2x-3x industry average conversion rates.
  • If it can be tested, test it. If it can’t be tested, don’t do it. No platform goes untested.
  • Teams are made for testing a hypothesis. They're assembeld based on what they need to vet a hypothesis.
  • Everyone has access to as much data as possible, which they get at Booking.com. Access to data allows more hypothesizes to emerge, which can thne be tested.
  • There is a difference between ideas & hypothesis. Ideas aren't useful. Hypotheses are grounded in the reality of your business and need to be proven or refuted.
  • Test small: too many changes at once makes it difficult to know what had impact. Most tests fail, so need to be able to move quickly and isolate insights.
  • 9/10 of tests don’t have positive impact and you don’t know why. This causes a lot frustration.
  • You have to keep spending money on research; this serves as an input into the A/B testing process. It creates more hypotheses to test.
  • Booking.com has more than a 1,000 tests running at any given time.
  • There’s a temptation to limit tests to 5% vs. 100%. You’ll need to go to 100% at some point, so might as well learn as much as possible as fast as possible, and nto limit test sizes.
  • A/B testing is predicated on trusting the tools you have. Without trust in tools, you can have a culture based on testing.
  • 75 product teams at Booking.com each made up of complete teams of designers, engineers, product owners, writers, etc. They are able to tightly integrate with horizontal support teams for each of these domains to create community, training, and more.
  • What kind of skills do you need in an A/B testing organization? entrepreneurialism, arability, humility, curiosity, statistics, analysis
  • Throw out your roadmap, and trust in the process and your people. Go where the tests take you. That may end up in a different place than you envisioned but it is where your customers are taking you.
  • You need to ensure people know what is the right thing for your business. Invest in training. You can't have a culture of trustng your people, if you don't train them in how your business works.
  • As a leader in a testing organization... are you willing to be wrong? Are you willing to be told you are wrong? Repeatedly?
  • Scale of impact of individual tests is quite small but when applied to a large scale business, it matters.



Conversions: Next Generation Web

Fri, 24 Mar 2017 00:00:00 +0000

In his Next Generation Web presentation at Google Conversions 2017 in Dublin, Ireland, Ani Mohan outlined the Chrome team's efforts to bring native mobile app-like capabilites to the mobile Web. Here's my notes from his talk:

  • The Web has been around for about 25 years. In 1996, we had 360M people using it on desktop computers. Today it is at 3.6B, mostly on smartphones. This is the largest platform that’s ever been built.
  • People spend most of their time in apps vs. Web sites on mobile. 188.6 minutes vs. 9.3 minutes. But people are getting tired of downloading new apps, rate is approaching 0 new apps downloaded per month.
  • You can think of this difference as a tradeoff between reach and richness. But Chrome and other browsers are working on closing that gap by providing rich experiences in mobile Web browsers.
  • Discovery on the Web starts with a link, so loading speed matters for creating a great first impression. 53% of users will abandon a mobile page if it takes more then 3 seconds to load. 7% reduction in conversions for every 1-second delay in loading times.
  • AMP is an open-source simplified version of landing pages that optimizes for fast initial load times. AMP pages are 4x faster, have <1 sec median load times, and use 10x less data than typical Web landing pages.
  • There’s more than quick landing pages needed for the Web. To increase engagement: Add to home screen (easy way to launch a site), push notifications (to tell people when to come back & why), reliable performance (pages need to work regardless of connectivity).
  • Web sites can prompt users to add them to a home screen, with no need to wait for an app download. This opens the site in a full-screen view.
  • Push notifications are now available in the browser, ask for permissions and send notifications.
  • Poor connectivity on mobile can cause Web pages to fail. Service Workers can cache content and when people are offline, you can use local content instead of going to server for content.
  • This suite of new capabilities is referred to as Progressive Web Apps (act and feel like native web apps but live on the Web). PWAs take advantage of the latest technologies to combine the best of web and mobile apps. Think of it as a website built using web technologies but that acts and feels like an app.
  • 66% of purchases on mobile happen on the web.
  • Mobile Web conversions are 66% lower than the desktop. Many reasons for this, but one is typing is hard. One-tap checkout helps solve this. The browser stores payment info and sites can ask for it at the moment of checkout. This is the PaymentRequest API.
  • 54% of people will quit if they have to fill in another sign-up form on mobile. Credential Manager is an analogous API that stores identity for people and sites can access them. Friction-free way to get people into an authenticated state.
  • More browsers are adopting these APIs and technologies. Public announcements from major browsers suggest they are willing to support these improvements.
  • Housing.com saw a 38% conversion increase when Web pages were boosted 30% in page speed. It costs Housing.com $0.07 to acqure a Web user vs. $3.75 to aquire an Android user.
  • Make My Trip first time PWA users book 3X more than app users.
  • 76% increase in conversions on Alibaba mobile site, +14% and +30% Android monthly active users.
  • How do you get started? 1. Move your site to https. 2. add features vis progressive enhancement.



Conversions: Mobile Patterns for Experiments

Fri, 24 Mar 2017 00:00:00 +0000

In his Mobile Patterns for Experiments presentation at Google Conversions 2017 in Dublin, Ireland, Craig Sullivan walked through a set of optimization testing best practices for mobile experiences and why they are key to business. Here's my notes from his talk:

  • What has manufacturing taught us? Order doesn't come by itself. The orchestration of people and stuff needs to be managed, this is what has been driving efficiency in manufacturing. This efficiency is critical to survival and used to: improve quality; remove defects & waste; increase capabilities; manage resources; plan resources; etc.
  • What has retail taught us? Thousands of tiny little details must work for you to have a good experience. There are many retail optimization components: window, greeting, lights, heating, displays, etc.
  • What are the atomic parts of cross-device optimization? navigation, search, login, registration, forgot password, etc. These can and should be optimzied to ensure return on investment and survival.
  • We don't learn enough from manufacturing & retail. No one has a meeting where stuff is removed from a Website. We just keep adding stuff. Many small things in digital experiences are broken: touch target sizes, overlays, errors, layout, etc.
  • How can you increase conversion? persuasion, motivation, usability, and broken stuff (start from the end and move backward). An experience is only as good as the crappiest part. A/B testing will only help you polish a turd, if that what you have to being with.
  • Product defects are very costly. Find bugs, fix them. It's a clear and fast return on investment.
  • We change stuff without evidence or observation. We build stuff nobody wants or needs. Product changes are not measured or tested. We build what internal people want, not customers. Ego is the enemy of all good work. A lot of Internet design is infused and driven by Ego.

Testing & Optimization Power-ups

  • Don't test unless you have enouh traffic for it to matter. Grow first.
  • Don’t copy stuff blindly: everything is unproven until tested against your specific audience/product.
  • Prioritize your test ideas. Score all your testing ideas, then decide what to focus on.
  • Get a hypothesis: Because we saw [data/feedback], we expect that [change] will cause impact, that we can measure using [metric/data].
  • Record the design people see, tests can look different across all devices. Build, borrow, or use a third party service: how does your experience look on different devices/mobile?
  • Audit your Google Analytics to make sure it is set-up properly.
  • Get a writer. Copy writing is a real job, you’ll make more money than you spend.
  • Look at the big picture in addition to the details. Both these spaces help you solve problems.
  • Stop wasting money on things that don’t work; or aren’t actually needed.
  • What is very simple and converts well… is really hard to do well.



Video: Obvious Always Wins

Wed, 12 Oct 2016 00:00:00 +0000

Conversions@Google published a complete video recording of my three hour seminar this month (Oct 2016 in Dublin) on creating obvious designs for mobile and beyond.

In part one I pull back the curtain on an significant design change for a large-scale mobile app and discuss the in-depth thinking/processes that went into it.

class="videoplayer" src="http://www.youtube.com/embed/OkeJg92PA4E?rel=0" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen>

In part two I answer audience questions and cover responsive web designs, native applications, form conversions, touch gestures, navigation, cross-platform consistency and more.

class="videoplayer" src="http://www.youtube.com/embed/1jUaGin7YTM?rel=0" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen>

Thanks to the Conversions@Google team for making these sessions available to all.




Webstock: Bug Fixes & Minor Improvements

Thu, 11 Feb 2016 00:00:00 +0000

In her Bug Fixes & Minor Improvements, Writ Large presentation at Webstock 2016 in Wellington New Zealand, Anna Pickard shared the thinking behind Slack’s app release notes and communication with their customers. Here's my notes from her talk:

  • Words are good. Writing is one of the oldest techniques in the World but different forms of media have influenced how people write: stone tablets, pulp magazines, etc.
  • And now a new genre of writing has emerged inside of mobile app release notes: the copy that tells you when new features are released and bugs are fixed in an app release.
  • Release notes now contain poetry, stories, jokes, and more. People are responding with joy when they get new updates from their favorite apps. This is a great way to connect with your users.
  • Writing can happen in places where no one expects to find it. This creates an element of surprise.
  • App release notes used to be terribly boring: “additional bug fixes” and “minor improvements”.
  • Release notes aren’t intrusive, they are optional. People don’t need to read them but can if they want.
  • Release notes tell people they are being heard, their bugs are being fixed, the things they can do with the app, and that the team cares.
  • Slack began to write extensive release notes because they care about communication, their team comes from the era of blogging, of self expression.
  • Courtesy is a critical part of release notes. You need to know when to talk and when to listen. When things go bad, respond to as many people as you can.
  • Empathy: tell people when you are moving things; listen to people and tell them how to make things work for them.
  • Playfulness: look at the World sideways, be curious and interested. Do more than what is expected of you.
  • Being real people and reflecting that to others helps create real relationships. It shows the humans behind the scenes.
  • Color to the edges, even the parts no one can see. Say nice things in places no one expects to see them. Authentic, unfiltered voices are the truest form of Internet communication.



Webstock: The Shape of Things

Thu, 11 Feb 2016 00:00:00 +0000

In his The Shape of Things presentation at Webstock 2016 in Wellington New Zealand, Tom Coates shared his latest thoughts on designing for the Internet of Things. Here's my notes from his talk:

  • People used believed there would just be a few large computers that took care of our needs. They genuinely believed there wouldn’t be lots of little computers everywhere.
  • This year there will be 1.5 billion smartphones sold. In one human lifetime we went from essentially nothing to billions of computers shipped each year. There’s no sign of a slow-down.
  • In the future computers will be integrated into everything even when they only make tiny improvements. We already have smart ovens, scales, cleaners, security systems, batteries, etc.
  • You should use the network to amplify a tool’s core purpose not to be another Web browse or Twitter client.
  • There’s a push in the design industry to integrate software and physical objects. But we should be doing the reverse.
  • Many believe the world of screens and icons is an abstraction and that we should get back to manipulating the World as we used to: with our hands. The metaphor is enhancement: take an ordinary object and give it magical properties through network integration. The process is moving from abstraction to tangible interactions.
  • But is this really the answer to how we interact with networked objects? Perhaps not because the power of connected objects is in the connections. And those are hard to display physically.
  • An embodied object is not the same as the Internet of Things. We want our environment to respond to us not each individual objects.
  • Imagine if every object is completely intuitive because of interfaces optimized for specific tasks. You have to learn each of these UIs. But with a general purpose interface, you only have to learn to use it once to enable a variety of tasks.
  • What we should do instead is push the service layer further: to detach even more from objects. As an example, ZipCar uses very little hardware and is 95% service layer. All the value lies at this layer.
  • The ideal service layer: gives you control; supports you from initial set-up to the day you recycle it; understands it will be used by multiple people (the World is multi-user); is able to work easily with other devices; does not expect you to be a programmer; communicates clearly and politely in ways that are timely and familiar.
  • These six principles are important for any Internet of Things service layer. Thingdom is trying to build a UI layer that is rooted in social networking models and includes “robot butler” style prompts.
  • This type of service layer will ultimately exist for the planet. It will define how we interact with the World. Someone will build this, and infuse it with their ethics and beliefs. Get involved so your views are integrated.



Webstock: The Map & The Territory

Wed, 10 Feb 2016 00:00:00 +0000

In his The Map & The Territory presentation at Webstock 2016 in Wellington New Zealand, Ethan Marcotte shared his thoughts about the changing definition of the Web and his philosophy for making broadly accessible experiences. Here's my notes from his talk: In 1807, New York's population was clustered in the bottom part of the island where rivers, over crowding, and disease ran rampant. Civic planning was needed. John Randel Jr. was assigned to re-plan the streets. He created a structured plan that defined New York's famous street plan today. Randal developed a new map for New York. This system was designed for use to create regularity. Randal’s map was attempting to define a new territory: what could a territory be or should be. Maps capture our understanding of a space. They make us aware of our surroundings and make things feel a little less foreign. We’ve been focused on a relatively small portion of the Web: a few desktops & laptops. Five years ago, our view of the Web was much more limited. We were overly concerned about a few fixed width views of our layouts. The three main ingredients of a responsive design: fluid grid, flexible images, and media queries. This is an attempt to embrace the fluidity of the Web and design across device boundaries. This simple recipe has blossomed into lots of amazing examples. Notable examples include: An Event Apart, Currys, Expedia, Coop, Disney, Time, The Guardian, BBC News, and more. We’re drawing a new map and marking it with new sites both responsive and device specific. But this map is far from complete. Toward a New Map Many sites have been having success with responsive design. The Boston Globe and several e-commerce sites have published statistics about the positive impact responsive redesigns have had. The Tehan-Lax and Oakley Moto sites (originally launched at 84MB) are very beautiful designs but very large in terms of file size from 6MB to 21MB. Responsive design has often been criticized for being too heavy (not performant enough). But the truth is most Websites are much to heavy for today’s reality. Internet.org designed to get people better access to the Web in developing markets weighed 4.3 MB. The Apple Mac Pro website is 33.4MB -its not responsive. In 2009, the average size of a Web site was 320kb. Today in 2015, it is 2.2MB. Every two years, we’ve doubled in size. Moore’s law has not kept up with bandwidth. The map is not the territory. It can't capture all the detail of the complexity of what's around us. We may be doing the same for the Web. Our map of the Web is made through a vision of the Western world. We've mistaken the map for the territory. We think mobile devices are always on, always connected, and uniquely yours. But this isn't true around the World. 9.2M people live in 300 square kilometers in Dhaka, Bangladesh. There has been a 900% increase in mobile Internet access in these developing cities. The next wave of urbanization is helping in these areas. More people in the world have mobile devices than access to toilets and latrines. In Africa, 60% have mobile devices (700M). That’s more than have access to clean water. Mobile devices are shared across multiple people in many developing nations. This is slowly changing as smartphones get cheaper. What’s happening in these developing areas is emblematic of what’s happening across the World. A large portion of the world is coming online now, on less capable devices and networks than we are used to. Are we ready for this new reality? The Web doesn't evolve in one straight line. Is our work prepared for the new face of the Web? For low powered devices and poor access. Is this the new normal? Who does it change how we design & build for the Web? Randal’s map of New York was attempting to define a new territory: what could a territory be or sh[...]



Exploring the Just-in-Time Social Web

Tue, 02 Feb 2016 00:00:00 +0000

In her presentation at Google today, Stephanie Rieger shared how commerce is evolving (and in many cases innovating) in emerging Internet markets. Here's my notes from her talk: Exploring the Just-in-Time Social Web. The Web was first conceived about 25 years ago from mostly European origins. For the following 15 years, most of the internet's users and companies came from developed countries. The people who founded the Web were the ones who built it and consumed it. Today the situation is quite different. Internet penetration is nearing saturation in developed economies but fast growing companies are emerging from places like China, India, and Russia. There's close to 3 billion people that have yet to come online and thanks to cheap mobile devices, their barriers to entry are quickly falling. A New Kind of Web So the Internet that the next billion people "discover" isn't quite like "ours". For example, people in Kuwait are sleeping sheep on Instagram. This creates a lot of ad-hoc businesses. These businesses provide a glimpse of a new, digital, and mobile-fueled informal economy. "Informal" businesses are relatively ad-hoc. They use chat for negotiations and Facebook pages as store fronts. These services don't offer a great experience but they are "good enough". They balance reach, effort, functionality, and adaptability to local circumstances. Most of these businesses get their largest growth from the countryside, where brick and mortar shops are under-developed. But these businesses reach cities (very big, high density, lots of middle class) as well. Opening enough stores to serve 700 million urban residents is very expensive. Mobile fills this gap. In China shopping on mobile is the primary way of buying things. Chinese commerce is 90% through online marketplaces vs. in the US 76% is through online merchants. So in China, sellers and buyers find themselves online in large e-commerce platforms like TMall. Even large brands have big digital storefronts on TMall. Taobao is like eBay in China but very social as vendors aren't limited to selling things, they also sell services like travel planning. Running a shop on Taobao is a national pastime, like a second job or hobby for tens of thousands of Chinese. Digital commerce services in China are a mix of Amazon, eBay, and PayPal, with a dash of Google. They've evolved differently. Alibaba is bringing digital services to rural communities by identifying people who can order for villages. "We give them a computer and the start taking orders for the whole village." The Chinese model is moving to other countries like Jumia in Africa. They are trying to leapfrog brick and mortar commerce with online selling. Starting with Social With millions of vendors, how do you find stuff? Online shopping neighborhoods are created through social media where people can curate lists. These sites get a cut for each transaction. Part of the reason these services work because they feed of a cycle of mobile and social media adoption. Developing markets are going straight to social. When they come online, they just jump into social networks as their onramp into the Internet. The most poplar social media services are platforms. WeChat is a great example of integrating wallet, blogging, rss, messaging, etc. There's thousands of apps inside WeChat, you can book doctors, talk to stores, etc. WeChat adresses daily and hourly needs not monthly active users. There is no Web in WeChat its all inside the platform. Ironically, though many people reach WeChat mini-apps through Web pages and QR codes. Payments In sub-Saharan Africa, 1/4 of adults have accounts at formal financial institutions. Less than 15% of Indonesians have a credit card. As a result, they use mobile banking services. In many developing countries, you c[...]



As Mobile Screen Size Increases... So Does Activity

Mon, 25 Jan 2016 00:00:00 +0000

Smartphones are always with us and (as a result) used all the time. But time spent on our mobile screens doesn't just increase with portability, it grows with screen size as well.

Nearly four years ago, an analysis of Web browser page views on a variety of tablets showed that as screen size decreased people's use of the Web dropped from an average of 125 page views on 10" tablets to an average of 79 page views on 5" tablets.

(image)

Turns out the opposite is true as well. As screen size increases, so does people's activity on the device... to a point. Looking at Android data usage, bigger screens mean more Web browsing, social networking, and communicating up until about 6".

(image)

One reason for this increased activity may be that bigger smartphones are now the norm. It took 5 years for the average smartphone to go from 3" to 4" but only 2 more years to get to 5" (by the end of 2014).

(image)

Another reason may be that larger phones take time away from other devices like tablets. Reading app Pocket found that users with 4.7" phones read 19% less on their tablets during the week and 27% less over the weekend. Those with a 5.5" phone were on their tablets 31% less during the week and 36% less over the weekend.

Screen size alone, however, can also lead to increased use. Pocket saw that people with a 4.7" phone opened 33% more articles and videos than they did with a 4" screen, and those with a 5.5" screen opened 65% more items than they did with a smaller phone.

(image)

More recent data from Flurry tells the same story. Time spent on 5" to 6.9" phones has grown 334% while only increasing 85% on 3.5" to 4.9" phones.

(image)

In other words: the bigger your portable screen, the more you're going to use it.




Why Day 1 Retention Matters

Wed, 13 Jan 2016 00:00:00 +0000

Given how few new apps people download on mobile and the steep drop-off within apps, getting Day 1 retention right is critical.

The reality of mobile apps is harsh. Most people don’t download new apps and once they do, abandonment is high.

(image)

Given the cost the effort required to get people to download your app, Day 1 retention is a critical metric.

(image)

Day 1 Retention is the fraction of people that return to your app one day after install. If you don't get Day 1 retention right, the rest really doesn’t matter.

(image)

So how do you get Day 1 retention right? Spend [a lot of] time working through the first time experience for your apps. How can you get people to come back the next day? Get that over 50% and then you can tackle the next metric...




Mobile Web vs. Native Apps or Why You Want Both

Thu, 07 Jan 2016 00:00:00 +0000

While the mobile opportunity has been clear for some time, how to best tackle it remains a subject of debate. In particular, when building software for mobile should we invest in Web-based solutions or a native apps? Yes... The tremendous growth of mobile has created an unprecedented opportunity to provide content and services to nearly everyone on planet Earth through software. Native mobile apps dominate time spent on mobile devices. Looking a bit deeper, most of these devices are smartphones. And just a few apps really dominate time spent on your phone, dwarfing mobile Web engagement. But mobile audience growth is driven by mobile web properties, which are actually bigger and growing faster than native apps. In other words. The Web is for audience reach and native apps are for rich experiences. Both are strategic. Both are valuable. So when it comes to mobile, it's not Web vs. Native. It's both. Whenever I make this point, someone inevitably asks "what about Web browsers within native apps?" Is there a large amount of time spent on Web properties within embedded Web browsers inside the World's most popular native mobile apps?[...]



Jobs To Be Done Overview

Thu, 10 Dec 2015 00:00:00 +0000

At the Glance Conference in San Francisco, CA I had the pleasure of hearing Bob Moesta, an originator of the Jobs-To-Be-Done methodology talk over the process how it works and why.

  • Getting to consumer insights is difficult. How do you go from survey and/or ethnographic data to what people actually do?
  • Most of the time we’re doing research in the active looking stage. All of what people tell us then is unrealistic. Instead look at the trade-offs people are willing to make. Learn from what people already do. They are the innovators, not us. We need to keep up with them.
  • Jobs-To-Be-Done (JTBD) allows you to uncover what causes people to use a product. What causes behavior?
  • All consumers lie to you. JTBD is not based on research. It is based on interrogation. Don’t ask people what they want to do. Interrogate them after they do it and find out why they did.
  • If you listen to your best customers, they'll take you to the wrong place. They wanted advanced features/tweaks that take you away from the core needs most people have.
  • What is the job someone is trying to do with something? People don’t want a quarter inch drill, they want a quarter inch hole. The 5 Why’s method is a way to get to real needs.
  • The struggling moment is the seed of innovation. When people struggle is when they find new things to do what they want. People need to do something new, there’s no time to add an additional thing to their lives.
  • The competitive set of doing a job like “help me recover from a stressful day” includes drinks at the bar, the Xbox, yogas classes, and pepsi.
  • What’s the push of the situation against the habit of the present. What’s the magnetism of the new solution vs, the anxiety of the new solution?
  • You don’t always need to add features, you often need to take features away in order to help the customer make progress.
  • The 3 lens of JTBD: functional, emotional, social. Addressing emotional considerations is often the most valuable.
  • During JTBD interviews work to find the causality behind actions. Keep challenging people’s answers to get to the real reasons people do things. Don’t pay attention to attributes, try to understand what behavior the attributes lead to.
  • The JTBD premise: people are trying to make progress in their lives everyday. People don’t buy products, they hire them to do something. In specific situations where people struggle they seek out new solutions.
  • Find the micro-struggles. That's where value is created.



Meaningful Interactions on the Wrist

Thu, 10 Dec 2015 00:00:00 +0000

In his Glanceable Interactions presentation at the Glance Conference in San Francisco CA 2015, Josh Clark talked through design considerations for the Apple Watch. Here are my notes from his talk:

  • Making small improvements in people's lives is good but creating new pain is not. User experiences need to maximize value and minimize pain.
  • Where are the moments of pain in the Apple Watch today? Slow connections to phones, slow app performance, voice interaction issues, small screen that requires very precise interactions.
  • How do we lean into the strengths of smartwatches? The watch allows you to do more on your wrist so you have to pick up your phone less. How do we make experiences that enable this?
  • Actionable notifications are the product on the Apple Watch. Spend the time to make these meaningful & quickly usable.
  • Its not about the watch. Its not about engagement. Interactions on the wrist should allow you to stay more connected to the moment, to what's going on around you.
  • Simple, minimal, fast, and invisible. What are the push button interactions you can have with services? That's what makes a great watch experience. The best apps support fast interactions and focus on the content that people care about the most.
  • Google's wearables guideline: focus on not stopping the user.
  • Phone based interactions should aim for 30 seconds or less. For the wrist/smartwatch, we should aim for 5 seconds or less. Don't think micro-tasks, think nano-tasks.
  • Sustained glances: people will return to a service for a few seconds several times a day. How can you design for this?
  • On the Watch, app Glances should be focused on single action buttons. That's effectively what Glances are now: you tap them to open an app.
  • You can make your service's core action even more accessible through custom complications on the Watchface. Complications are the big opportunities for app developers.
  • Complications are the best way to hone your app's immediate value.
  • Think immediacy not urgency. What is useful now? Example: the Workflow watch app gives you a set of simple options: get ride, go to coffeeshop, calculate a tip, etc.
  • Hand-free activities: how can the time and your current status trigger an valuable action? Its not about engagement, its about triggering services when they are appropriate.
  • What are the push-buttons you need as you move through the world?
  • What's next for the wrist? Further progress in making technology and information more personal.