Word: Enterprise software
Definition: Software, sometimes referred to as B2B, is designed to solve internal organizational needs. These organizations can include businesses, schools, retailers, and governments.
Thoughts: Essentially, enterprise software is used by employees, not consumers. While these internal applications and products are necessary to get work done and typically mandated within an organization, this does not mean they should be neglected. Employees are users too and organizations have begun to realize this. As a result, enterprise software has seen some increased love and attention from the UX community.
Enterprise is near and dear to my professional heart and I believe are at a point where great UX should be expected in all contexts. Productivity and user engagement should be at the forefront of all software development, even if it is not client or customer facing.
Read about recent enterprise love and attention here, here, and here. Dare I say, something once so mundane is getting trendy?!
Question: What’s the worst enterprise software experience you have even been forced to endure? How would you fix it?
Word: One eyeball, one thumb
Definition: A way to illustrate mobile usage patterns. The idea being that most mobile users tend to operate their devices with one hand while only partially paying attention.
Reference: The phrase was created by Luke Wroblewski in his book Mobile First. In the book Wroblewski writes,
“Thinking ‘one eyeball, one thumb’ forces you to simplify mobile designs so they can be understood and used in these kinds of situations.”
Thoughts: A study in 2013 demonstrated that 75% of smartphone users still operate mobile devices with one hand (be that holding it with one hand or cradling it). It is also understood that many smartphone users do not give the device their full attention all the time. How often do you use your phone while watching TV, commuting, or even eating dinner?
The “one eyeball, one thumb” notion is a great way to keep designers honest and always thinking about how their work will be consumed and utilized.
Question: How, if at all, will the rise of larger screens (phablets) change the game?
Word: Eye Tracking
Definition: A usability testing technology that records and tracks what users are looking at and focusing on when skimming interfaces.
Thought: Eye tracking generates a variety of metrics that are extremely useful to researchers. These metrics include gaze plots, time taken for users to locate target areas, fixation points, and heat map visualizations. While such research methods require expensive equipment and considerable time investment, they provides insight into exactly what people are looking at. It is extremely difficult for someone to tell you precisely where her gaze is focused and what she sees. Eye tracking is a very accurate way to fully understand a user’s exact visual focus and attention on a page. This method is most effective when combined with other research techniques and approached from both a qualitative and quantitate perspective. Keep and eye out for the opportunity to try this technique (pun intended).
Check out the F-pattern post for more on how users skim and understand interfaces.
Question: What sorts of interfaces do you think work best for eye tracking? On the other hand, what types of interfaces might eye tracking not be the most useful tool?