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  1. I want to live and work in a world where we are actively engaged with our audience, not taking advantage of them. Seeing the people I design for as rich and complex yields many more exciting opportunities than reducing them to a set of eyeballs with a credit card.

  2. Gamification is the use of game design techniques and mechanics to solve problems and engage audiences, according to Wikipedia.

    It’s a major element in many popular social platforms, including but not limited to, Foursquare, Codecademy, and Quora.

    We recently introduced an element on Wattpad that is a first step towards gamification. Wattpad isn’t big on gamification, but it could be! We have all the right elements for it - namely, a very active community (players) and unlimited stories (game pieces). It’s not something that is too high on the priority list for us, though. We have different stats that we collect and display. Like the number of fans, votes, reads etc. Kinda like YouTube.

    The element that I’m talking about is the progress bar. I’m sure you’ve seen it on Facebook and LinkedIn before. It’s a motivational tool for users to get the most out of Wattpad. We show a little progress bar with tips on what they can do to get to a “complete” profile and get rid of the bar (as an added bonus!).

    This is just a small step towards a lot of great things coming to Wattpad in the future. Can’t wait to feature some of our stuff on here soon!


  3. Your users like being in the know. Don’t just tell them you fixed bugs, tell them how they can expect a better experience.


  4. Look at that stick man. It’s hugging its dropbox like a teddy bear! Cute, huh?

    Dropbox is a fantastic service: easy to use, HUGE market, solves a problem. Needless to say, it’s one of my favorite startups of all time. They make you love their product by loving it so much themselves.

    It’s the little things that count. The funny quirks here and there, the personal touch, the addition of humor to something that would otherwise be mundane.

    I wish more businesses followed this ideology. It would bring the User Experience of their audience to a whole other level.


  5. I went to see IDEO’s CEO Tim Brown speak at a Rotman event on the UofT campus the other day and he talked about designing for behavior instead of designing for a process or a desired outcome.

    This video is that concept in play.

    A great article worth reading by Joshua Porter, director of UX at HubSpot:


  6. Usability VS. User Experience


  7. When we talk about User Experience, it’s not just about where someone placed which button and what their ulterior motive was behind it.

    It’s about the entire package. And if there’s one company that gets that, it’s Apple. When people buy an iPhone, they don’t just buy a device, they become part of a very dedicated consumer base, get excellent customer service and the security that if their device doesn’t function as expected, they can get an immediate hardware replacement (at least within the one-year warranty that comes with it).

    The kind of customer loyalty Apple enjoys is mostly thanks to the User Experience people get out of it. The reason they can provide this great experience? Focus on products.

    Companies like Nokia offer great, affordable devices - but they don’t come with the same UX. Why not? Because they produce way too many devices to be able to offer the same UX. It’s almost the same as an organic vs. bureaucratic structure in a company. The less layers you have, the more efficient/useful you are.

    So Nokia, listen to Jack Dorsey, focus on a few choice devices, please?


  8. American Express. Their cards look slick and they seem to have all sorts of point collection schemes. I recently got one. Their customer service is beyond terrible. BUT one part of their website is actually very awesome. It’s where they ask you to register your card. See how nicely everything’s laid out? So simple my grandmother could figure out.

    Bless the UX Designer behind this.


  9. Recognize that? It’s that annoying tag on the inside of shirts.

    I understand the importance of branding etc., but why would you want your customers to forever be bothered by those annoying things? Nobody even looks at it!

    Talk about bad User Experience. Tsk tsk.


  10. Card Flick is a smartphone app that lets you share your business card with people with just a flick. It’s a great idea. To date, the app has almost 50k downloads!

    I’ve attached screenshots of the Settings page above. the screen on the left is the first one the user comes across. I tried entering my number a bunch of times before I realized the page wasn’t editable and that I had to click the “Edit” button in order to go to the screen on the right. The problem here? The display and Edit screens shouldn’t look identical. 

    I’m referring to the iPhone version of this app. If we look at the native iPhone interface, we can see the difference between displaying information and allowing users to edit information. If you go into contacts and click to open one, it first displays it to you (screen on left) and on the top right allows you to edit it. But it makes sure you know what you can and can’t do.

    the native iPhone interface

    Don’t get me wrong, the Card Flick app is actually really great! I just think this is an obvious UI design error they overlooked.

    Two things:

    1. Make use of familiarity with interface (in this case, design for users who are used to their iPhones)

    2. Reduce information access cost. Why can’t the setting screen take me to the Edit menu right away? The worst I can do it go back or click cancel if I don’t wish to make changes.

    So yes, it’s free and very easy. But one tap? Maybe not.

    **I’ve been notified by the crew at Card Flick that it is in fact “one tap” if you use Facebook to sign up ‘cause it fills out all the fields for you!

    **Minutes after posting this review, I got a response from the Card Flick crew (see below). Good news! New changes coming in the update :)