1. How IT people see users, using their app for the first time.

    How IT people see users, using their app for the first time.

  2. For UX designers, stealing is good.

  3. Link: One Reason Women Fare Worse in Negotiations? People Lie to Them.


    The University of California-Berkeley and the University of Pennsylvania did a study where people role-played a real estate negotiation.

    The buyers had intentions that the seller wouldn’t like, so they told their agent to keep it on the down low (that’s a science term now).


    Both men and women were more likely to blatantly lie if the person they were negotiating with was a woman.

    Stereotypes are part of it, the perceived confidence/competence of women is part of it, and apparently the fact that business students cheat more often than non-business students might also be part of it.

    Interesting, no?

    The article doesn’t offer a lot of advice for fixing this issue, but does discuss how “acting like men” often backfires. 

    Read it now »

  4. Design is a plan for arranging elements in such a way as best to accomplish a particular purpose.
    Charles Eames

  5. Link: The Ideal Length of Everything Online, Backed by Research

    How long is the ideal blog post?

    Which length of email subject line gets the most people to open it?

    How wide should you design your paragraphs in a layout?

    How long should a tweet be to maximize the chance of a retweet?

    The linked article provides data (and visual graphs) to backup answers to each of these questions and more.

    As you read it, try to keep in mind that the length of these things is not what creates the retweets or engagement.

    It is people’s perception of the content because of the length, or that practical nature of those lengths.

    And sometimes, as you will see, the length is totally irrelevant. 

    Read it now »

  6. UX Therapy: When researching users teaches you something about yourself, making you a better person.

  7. Sometimes things are more predictable than they first look.Via beesandbombs.

    Sometimes things are more predictable than they first look.
    Via beesandbombs.


  8. UX Virality: 7 Short Lessons

    The word “viral” comes from the fact that digital things spread across the internet in the same way that actual viruses spread through groups of people in real life. Therefore, by understanding how real viruses are “designed” to get the job done, you can make your designs more “viral” as well.

    Epidemiology — the study of real epidemics and viruses — fits into UX design surprisingly well. When you’re trying to design something that you want to spread rapidly across the web, or via word-of-mouth.

    Below you will find 7 short lessons that explain some of the fundamental characteristics of viral products, apps, and content.

    Whether we’re talking about The Harlem Shake, or Snapchat, or Buzzfeed quizzes, they all share attributes of real viruses, and without those attributes they could not have spread as well as they do.

    Although virality can become technical and mathematical, I have focused on the ideas rather than the calculations. I like to keep shit quick and easy around here. ;)



    UX Virality:

    #01 — The Difference Between Virality and Popularity

    #02 — Viral Cycle

    #03 — Transmission & K-Factor

    #04 — Designing Adaptability

    #05 — Viral Emotions

    #06 — Incidence Rate

    #07 — Prevalence

    Questions? Ask me on Twitter.


  9. UX Virality Week: 7 of 7

    We have come to the end of the week, but before we finish, we have one more measurement to look at. The characteristics of a virus mean that we need to consider time and population when we define a “user”. Therefore, we will measure:


    (Missed the first six lessons? Start here.)


    Yesterday we learned about incidence, which is the number of new cases. People that weren’t users before.

    That tells us how fast the virus is spreading and how effective it is.

    Prevalence is the measurement of how many people are infectedright now, or at some time in the past.

    That tells use how much exposure there is. How much power the virus has to survive.

    Some viral things get popular over night, and the following week they are gone as fast as they came in.

    Some viral things grow slowly, but the bigger they get, the more unstoppable they become. 


    Normally in UX, we will measure how many people become registered users, or paying users, which is called conversion.

    We also measure how many people stop being users, which is called “churn”.

    And we often measure “active users” which is the number of people who use our stuff every day or month.

    Prevalence is sort of like all of those ideas in one number. And of course, you want it to be as high as possible, because that means more people are using your shit.


    How often do users use your design?

    In the third lesson of this series, we learned that the more people that can be infected by each user, the faster the virus will spread. That was called K-Factor.

    Prevalence will increase when your K-Factor increases, and vice versa, because it creates more simultaneous users, regardless of other factors.

    If people can use your design really often, like email, or if your app naturally shares content with lots of people each time, like Twitter, then your K-Factor will be much higher.

    A design that you only use once, or only once a year, like AirBnB, will spread much more slowly.


    Duration also changes everything.

    Another major thing to consider is: how long does it take to use your viral thing?

    If it’s just a photo or an article, probably not very long. If it’s Facebook, you might be there for 8 hours at a time, and you might be an active user for years.

    Things that are fast to use (they have a short Viral Cycle, remember?) spread much faster than things that take time to use or learn.


    Things that a user can use for a long time have much more value. They last and stay popular over time. They have higher prevalence numbers.

    You will never get millions of people to look at a photo for hours, so the prevalence numbers will be lower (and incidence rate will be higher).

    But you might get millions of people to look at Facebook for hours. But more commitment means more work to get new users (lower incidence rate, higher prevalence).


    For a more technical explanation of Prevalence, go to Wikipedia.


    And that’s it! Great work this week!

    This week you have learned several major factors in what makes a product or content travel quickly through the internet.

    Virality is not a simple topic. There are many moving parts. If you picked up any new ideas or strategies this week, you are ahead of the curve.

    When you’re working on your next project, especially if it’s something social, make sure you create a short viral cycle, make it easy to transmit to lots of people every time it’s used, make it easy for people to personalize it, connect it with behavior that already feels good, and measure the incidence and prevalence to analyze your success.

    Good luck!


    Questions? Ask me on Twitter.

  10. Link: Google: 6 Reasons Why Nobody Uses Your App

    I assume these insights about user engagement — or a lack thereof — are the result of Google’s research into why Google+ sucks.

    The article doesn’t say.

    With that in mind, they are decent tips about why people may not be spending lots of time using your app.

    These particular pieces of advice go against a lot of the “lean” type methodologies that are popular right now — correctly — and it’s worth skimming through the article so you remember that launching a quick-and-dirty version in 6 weeks isn’t the only way to do an app.

    It only becomes ironic when you realize that these tips are probably the issues Google runs into most often themselves.

    Learn from the failures of others!

    Read it now »