Definition of a great user experience? No one notices it…

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Posted by Mark | Posted in Digital, Tech | Posted on 05-03-2015

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I’ve been using a range of different content management systems and data management engines over the last few years (well, actually over 10) and have a pretty good eye for a good user interface vs a bad one.  I think the one thing that really differentiates a good one is the ability for the user to use the system without having to really think about what they are doing.  The best uses of technology are the ones where the user experience is so good that the user is almost unaware of them having an experience, they are purely focused on what they are doing.  Take a mouse or a keyboard, or Photoshop, these user interfaces are so good, that they are ubiquitous and rarely questioned as being the best.  It’s a bit like where film producers choose to put Computer Generated Imagery Animation in films; this is another good example where, if done right, the viewer will not be aware of the vast amounts of technological expertise and hours of rendering that were required to make the scene of a dinosaur chasing a jeep through a forest or a building collapsing, they will just be immersed in the experience.  If you are looking to define the best user experience from the perspective of the user, then unfortunately, you should make it so good that they don’t even notice it is there…

The web carousel image

Web Project success carousel

Above is a diagram i put together which i thought i would share with everyone, it’s just a carousel of some of the key things to take into consideration when undertaking digital projects.  It’s a diagram, not a board game btw… :-)

Create your own bike

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Posted by Mark | Posted in Uncategorized | Posted on 07-11-2013

Last week i found this site, a really nice user interface for the process of choosing the colours and spec of a bike and then ordering it, very cool!

http://www.myownbike.de/

In God we trust; all others must bring data.

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Posted by Mark | Posted in Digital | Posted on 07-11-2013

i like this quote:

“In God we trust; all others must bring data.” W. Edwards Deming.

Words from a statistician. Too many people still make decisions based on their opinion – otherwise known as ‘no data’. In the early 2000’s, agencies were were building websites and running campaigns based on ‘no data’. These days, everything is data driven, if you have the intelligence available, you’d be crazy not to use it.

Good interview questions

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Posted by Mark | Posted in Digital | Posted on 17-04-2013

I’ve interviewed a lot of people in my time, the standard interview questions that i use usually follow this structure. This is for a developer, the process for a project manager, a UX professional, an Information Architect or a designer have slight variation, but you get the gist. I usually know after the first 2 questions whether it’s a yes or a no:

  • What do you know about our organisation?
  • What research have you done in preparation for the interview?
  • Tell me a little bit about yourself?
  • What are your biggest strengths?
  • Why do you want to work here?
  • What skills will you bring to the business that make us want to hire you?
  • What would your co-workers say about you?
  • Why did you leave your last job?
  • What is your greatest weakness?
  • What projects/ learning/ research are you working on outside of work?
  • What beta projects/ products are you investigating at the moment?
  • Which industry sites and blogs do you read regularly?
  • What inspires you?
  • How do you approach documentation?
  • What is your approach to testing?
  • What are your favourite development tools?
  • Give me an example of a project that you’ve worked on that completely failed and why?
  • What did you learn from this project?
  • Do you prefer to work alone or as part of a team?
  • How do you deal with pressure?
  • If you were to rate your output, would you rate it as low, medium or high?
  • If you were to rate the quality of your output, would you rate it as low, medium or high?
  • What kind of salary are you looking for?
  • What is your notice period at your current place of work?
  • Do you have any questions?

Making money, a great article by jason Fried of 37 signals.

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Posted by Mark | Posted in Digital | Posted on 12-04-2013

My favorite quote from this article is this:

Whether you’re starting your first business or your next one, my advice is to bootstrap it. Bootstrapping forces you to think about making money on Day One. There’s a fundamental difference between a bootstrapped business and a funded business. It’s all about which side of the money you’re on. From Day One, a bootstrapped business has no choice but to make money. There’s no cushion in the bank and not much in the pockets. It’s make money or go home. To a bootstrapped business, money is air.

A very good point. read the full article here: Making Money | Small Business Advice from Jason Fried of Inc.com

Single page websites – some good examples

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Posted by Mark | Posted in Uncategorized | Posted on 21-03-2012

Recently, there has been a trend for single page websites that have limited overall site copy to put all of the content into one page which scrolls to reveal what would traditionally have been separate sections.

Here are a few good ones:

www.carmelitawine.com (We did this one ourselves at Jellyfish)

http://nordkapp.fi/

http://lamoulade.com/

http://fashionphotography.com/

Post a comment if you know of any other good ones.

 

Porsche 928

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Posted by Mark | Posted in Auto, Prestige | Posted on 24-08-2011

I just saw this image of a Porsche 928 concept and thought it was really nice, so thought i would post it.  What do you think?  I think it is cool.

Inspiration

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Posted by Mark | Posted in Digital | Posted on 12-05-2011

My managing director gave a good speech last Friday at our company update.  He stood next to the pool table and told us about the importance of making sure we are aware of the commercial implications of everything we do.  He said that we should question everything we do and ensure that everything we do is focussed on delivering results.  This made total sense to me.  I’ve worked in companies where you had to get a signed form to make a cup of tea (well not quite) so the fact that he saw the value in people’s time, and the fact the every minute spent should be put towards earning money and getting results and not writing pointless document was reassuring and inspiring.  He’s a driven and motivational guy, and i have to say that I am enjoying working at Jellyfish even more than i expected!  Awesome.

Choosing a CMS

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Posted by Mark | Posted in Digital, Tech | Posted on 21-10-2010

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Choosing a CMS for your business is often overlooked as a pre determined piece of software that will do A, B and C.  Design agencies often spend many days, week and months getting the front end user experience right whilst they completely forget about one extremely important user group – the content editors.  These content editors will use the CMS all the time, and if they aren’t happy, then no amount of great front end user experiences will cure the fact that if content editors don’t like the CMS, or don’t understand it, they won’t use it, and the content will become dated.  The use of a tailored user experience for the back end user is as important as the front end in today’s competitive CMS environment, ignore this at your peril.

A great article on why choice of CMS is a very important piece of the puzzle for a successful web presence.  http://www.alistapart.com/articles/strategic-content-management/

Marketing Analogies

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Posted by Mark | Posted in Digital | Posted on 19-08-2010

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You see a gorgeous girl at a party. You go up to her and say, I’m fantastic in bed.

That’s Direct Marketing.

You’re at a party with a bunch of friends and see a gorgeous girl. One of your friends goes up to her and pointing at you says, He’s fantastic in bed.

That’s Advertising.

You see a gorgeous girl at a party. You go up to her and get her telephone number. The next day you call and say, Hi, I’m fantastic in bed.

That’s Telesales.

You’re at a party and see a gorgeous girl. You get up and straighten your tie, you walk up to her and pour her a drink. You open the door for her, pick up her bag after she drops it, offer her a ride, and then say, “By the way, I’m fantastic in bed.”

That’s Public Relations.

You’re at a party and see a gorgeous girl. She walks up to you and says, “I hear you’re fantastic in bed.”

That’s Brand Recognition.