The Eclectic

Time moves in one direction, memory in another. – William Gibson

ArcReady June 2008

Posted by David Leslie on June 14, 2007

Here are my notes from the Microsoft ArcReady quarterly meeting hosted by Josh Holmes. The topic is User Experience.

Key Quotes

Coming soon to software development: Technical Director who will manage the UI tradeoffs. Much like the technical director on an animated film

An avatar in Second Life costs about the same in electrical costs as a person in Portugal

What is User Experience? It’s a bloodsport that must be fought for in order to happen.

Level 2 bugs are toxic as they cause the users to hate the application

HTML is the COLBOL of the web.

Software creates an Emotional Connection. People will have a program that they hate and that they will avoid using it whenever they can. This avoidance causes loss of productivity and profit.

It’s not a bad thing to entertain the user. Slow elevator story. Building owner gets complaints about a slow elevator, fixes it, elevator runs fasts but still gets complaints, fixes again which makes it run faster and still gets complaints, fixes it by taking back to the original equipment and speed – adds mirrors and the complaints stop.

Communicate –Collaborate –Create

Speaker / Creator blogs

Chris Bernard designthinkingdigest.com
Josh Holmes joshholmes.com
Jon Box blogs.msdn.com/jonbox
Drew Robins drewby.spaces.live.com

 

User Experience

User Research = How is this application going to be used in the wild

Information Design = Why ask for city and state if you’re asking for zip code

User Interface Design = Is the frosting on a cake

Usability Testing = Level 2 bugs are toxic as they cause the users to hate the application

Design Planning = How do we want to layout the application for the user

 

User Experience Design

Little D = colors, placement

Big D = What is the intent of the application.

McDonalds is a land trust that funds itself using hamburgers.

Buys land to build later when the market is ready

 

What is User Experience?

It’s a bloodsport that must be fought for in order to happen.

Design is inevitable and if not planned, the design will be bad

4 Concepts
Function

What is this thing suppose to do and who is going to use it.

Aesthetics

How does it look?
Too often this is the only thing people think of when they think design.

Interaction The Context in which it will be used.
How well does it relate to you when you work with it.
Process The most nebulous. When and Where does the experience begin and how does that color your perception?

Think of a hotel. The experience beings when we pick the hotel.

 

Feature discoverability: Usage of the Watermark feature went from 4% with Word 2003 to 28% with Word 2007

Word has 700 toolbar buttons. The average user used 25 of them.

Try CodeRush as an example of great feature discoverability with Visual Studio using contextual help

 

Business Principals

Technology tries to answer “What is possible?”

Business tries to answer “What is viable in the market place?” CueCat vs. The Target Pill bottle 

Experience / Design tries to answer “What is desirable?” Harley riders vs Ducat riders

Customer tries to answer “How can I be part of the conversation?”

60% of the Xbox 360 users are on Xbox Live (6 million people).

A Continuum of experiences

Ubiquity Richness Next Generation

Web + Standards

Supplemented Web

Platform Optimized

Lowest Common Denominator

AJAX + .net
WPF
Sliverlight

Mixture of specific user system (PC, Cell) client richness and web hosted data

 

Sliverlight RIA Showcase: Sliverlight.com/community

Consistent design and development story

Expression web / Visual Studio Web <—–> Expression Blend / Visual Studio

Ubiquity

Works with any browser but the problem with AJAX is it’s like growing your own food vs going to the grocery store

Richness

Uses frameworks to provide client slide richness from  a server streaming the application in the browser

Next Generation

Sliverlight and WPF based tools

Sliverlight apps will slower on XP than Vista due to the way Vista handles video graphics

The vision takes longer than the coding. OTTO store demo took three weeks with an 8 person team using WPF (4 designers / 4 coders)

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