A Joy to Hold? A Joy to Own. A Joy to Use.
A ceramics professor once told me that the vessels we were making should feel good in the hand, and "be a joy to hold". As I held my heavy, recently fired ceramic vase, I was pretty sure I had not yet achieved "joy to hold" status. The same principle should hold true for software we interact with everyday right?
The foundation of a good user experience with any product from the classic teapot to an interactive mobile device 'app', is that it's intuitive, simple, and (at least in mobile devices) a joy to hold.
The Nielsen Norman Group (started by two of the founding members of User Experience theory) famously noted that a well-designed product should: "...meet the exact needs of the customer, without fuss or bother. Next comes simplicity and elegance that produce products that are a joy to own, a joy to use." * Of course, this seems like a no-brainer. Doesn't everybody do this? The marriage of technology with familiar iconography and the layering of easy-to-understand, real-world systems is not as easy as it sounds.
Software developers a.k.a. 'enginerds', can sometimes fall into the trap thinking that a User Interface element which looks obvious to us (developers), and seems intuitive is.... not so much. In preliminary tests with family and friends, watching our loved ones (i.e. Mom, Dad, significant others) overlook or struggle with that same element, sends up a red flag. "What's this do?" or "How do I...." questions lead us time and again back to the UX drawing board. You may have heard the old adage, Keep It Simple, Stupid or 'KISS', a saying that has been adopted by user experience aficionados to inspire companies to make better, joyful products. In order to get there, and to meet customer expectations, a lot of testing, observation, and gathering of feedback, goes into creating a seamless experience.
What we can learn from our own user testing is that there is a tendency for developers to overlook the little things. A developer can get so close to a project, they fail to really "see" it anymore. It's important to see a concept or new product through fresh eyes. Watching someone else attempting to move through an interactive experience can be very revealing, highlighting elements that are misinterpreted, or not matching typical user expectations.
Updated ConveYour Learner Portal
So simple and a joy to use, you'll just want to "KISS" us.
We have taken our observable user portal experience, along with feedback we received and took a close look at the ConveYour Learner Portal. Customer feedback inspired some significant changes and enhancements. In the spirit of "joy to use" we re-thought, re-tooled, and revised the user portal to include:
- a more simplified menu
- new search by keyword feature
- clearly identified new lessons and completed lessons
- enhanced user preferences
The simplified menu is sealed with the KISS premise - it's very simple and intuitive. Because many of our customers use ConveYour as a learning tool - the ability for the user to search by topic and review lesson information is a critical enhancement to boost recall. The user preferences and settings are easy to find, provide greater flexibility, and the location meets user expectations.
We continue to learn, observe and enhance our product interface to meet or exceed those expectations, and we appreciate your feedback! If you haven't taken a look at ConveYour - give it try!
- https://www.nngroup.com/articles/definition-user-experience/ Nielsen Norman Group
Shelley Anderson - ConveYour UX Team
featured image by: Yuri Bodrikhin on Unsplash, happy app user Photo by Bruce Mars on Unsplash, 2nd Photo by Bekka Mongeau from Pexels