Archives for August 2017

August 24, 2017 - Comments Off on Framing Effect

Framing Effect

Word: Framing effect

Definition: A form of cognitive bias, in which a person's reaction to a specific choice is different depending on the way in which the situation is presented.

Reference: Leaders in the study of behavioral economics, Amos Tversky and Daniel Kahneman, wrote a paper entitled "The Framing of Decisions and the Psychology of Choice" in 1981 to understand the psychological impact of framing effects.

The study asked the first group of participants if they would drive 20 minutes out of their way to buy a $15 calculator for $5 off. About 70% of participants said they would. For comparison, they asked a second group of participants if they would drive 20 minutes out of their way to save $5 on a $125 jacket. This time, only 29% said they would.

So what's the rationale behind this seeming irrationality? In the case of the calculator, the participant would be saving 33% off the original price, which feels like a great deal. On the flip side, she is only saving 4% when $5 is taken off the $125 coat and that just doesn't seem worth it.

It's all about the framing!

Thoughts: When creating a design that involves decision making, these are the types of psychological principles designers need to consider.

Remember to keep in mind that framing effects are closely tied to anchoring, both of which are extremely useful in e-commerce, particularly when it comes to price-setting.

August 23, 2017 - Comments Off on Skeleton Screens

Skeleton Screens

Word: Skeleton Screens

Definition: A blank version of the page currently loading. Users generally see gray boxes where images will soon appear alongside gray lines denoting areas where text will load.

Thoughts: This is a common user experience technique is used as a page load distraction device. It is acommon alternative to the loading spinners, beachballs of death, and agonizing progress bars.

By displaying skeleton content, it gives the user the illusion that things are happening immediately. When the user sees something, anything, appear on screen, she tends to be less impatient knowing that her command has been heard and action is taking place.

Reference: I first came upon this term reading Luke Wroblewski's blog in reference to his mobile app Polar, which utilizes the technique.

Skeleton screens can be seen all over the web and on mobile. Pay attention next time you're waiting for a Medium article to load or you're opening up your LinkedIn app.

August 23, 2017 - Comments Off on Predictive Persona

Predictive Persona

Word: Predictive Persona

Definition: A research tool that allows you to validate whether you can accurately identify somebody who will become a customer. These types of personas go beyond merely describing what a user is like, but also offer specific characteristics that will make a person become a new or a returning customer.

Reference: I first learned of this term from designer Laura Klein in her blog post for Invision. Klein wants to turn the traditional "describe your current user" persona model on its head by changing the way designers think about this portrait. She writes: 

"But the question they should be asking themselves isn’t, 'If I interviewed a user, would this describe her?' The question should be, 'If I found a person like this, would she become a user?'"

Thoughts: The key to predictive personas is to identify traits and feature that will make a person want to become a customer. Once the persona is created, then designers can recruit research participants that fit this description. If you have a hard time doing this, something is wrong with your persona! Eureka!

It is always refreshing to try out a new take on an old research technique, so let's get predicting!

August 23, 2017 - Comments Off on Stakeholder Interview

Stakeholder Interview

Word: Stakeholder Interview

Definition: A structured conversation between designers and important clients used to gather insights into a project and better understand the business goals and expectations.

Thoughts: Stakeholders can take the form of senior leadership with the financial stake and they can also be end users. Essentially, stakeholders are anyone who can affect the end product.

Clients or product owners do not always provide all the information a designer needs to fully understand a project. Enter, stakeholder interviews. These interviews provide a deeper understanding of your client's needs and they also give design teams early clues into where there might be conflict between business goals and user requirements.

Tips: It is best to go into a stakeholder meeting prepared. Have questions written down and remember to take notes! Keep it conversation but have a carefully planned agenda.