Warning: ANOTHER addictive game for designers

Following yesterday’s post on the most addictive game for designers, I’ve been informed that there is another hugely addictive game! Thanks to Peter Brooks for the recommendation.

In this game, you view a wireframe and type in the name of the website you believe it’s representing.

I apologise for your lost productivity these last two days.

Click the image below to begin…

http://dedesigntheweb.com/2.html

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Warning: Most addictive game for designers

Get ready for the most addictive game you have ever played! Especially if you’re a designer or a UXer.

You’re going to have hours of fun with this one. Get ready for a decrease in productivity and an increase in competitiveness once everyone in your office gets their hands on this!

All you have to do is look at both images and click the one that you think is the correct visual design.

Click the image to begin…

https://cantunsee.space

Which do you remember? Computers of the past

Attending the Manchester Science Festival was incredible. Not only were there computers, mobiles and televisions from decades gone by, but they were all in full working condition, which meant I could re-live some of the highs (space invaders) and lows (error messages and recovery) of my first experiences with computers.

Did you have any of these computers? Did you play any of these games? Which was your favourite? Tweet me

BBC Micro: Chuckie Egg (1983)

I don’t remember this computer or Chuckie at all, but looking at the launch date of chuckie (1983) I was only a toddler so I’m pleased to say I’m too young to remember this one! Following Ricardo’s enthusiasm, I had a go at Chuckie and it was really difficult at first! Having to remember which letter or symbol did what took a bit of time to get the knack of, which is of course why UX is so important. But this game was great fun once I’d remembered the keys. I’d definitely play this. On another note, the tactile feedback from the keyboard felt hugely satisfying. You just don’t get deep key presses from modern day keyboards, and although it makes them slimmer and faster, you don’t get the cushiony, bouncy, weighty feel, which is really satisfying.

BBC Micro

Amiga – Lemmings (1985)

This is what I remember as our family computer. This and the ZX Spectrum. And I remember playing Lemmings all the time – I still think it’s one of the best games ever! But the game I used to play all the time was called Dungeon Master. Did anyone else play this? (please tweet me if you did!) The game started out in a chamber with portraits on the wall and you chose who you wanted in your team. Then you entered a maze and had to fight monsters, find food, complete tasks, find potions to make your way through the levels. I still remember my favourite character – he had a black cloak, red eyes and his name was Gothmog.

Commodore AMIGA

IBM

Ah these are the computers that we used at school. They never did what you told them to do and there were no end of hands going up in class for help with lost work, floppy disks that wouldn’t save, etc. And they took up the whole desk so you had to balance your school book on the edge of the table or on your lap. I don’t have particularly fond memories of this one!

IBM

Toshiba laptop

Toshiba Laptop

Oh no! It’s growing up with UI like this that drove me to get into usability. I remember constantly thinking, I know really clever people design and build technology, so why do they make them so difficult to use? Of course I know why now – if you’re too much an expert in something it’s difficult to look at things from a new users perspective. This error dialogue is a classic. Just look at the choice of colours used too – really poor readability on the command text at the bottom.

Toshiba Laptop Error

Floppy disks

There were lots of kids at the science festival and I wonder if any of them thought these were printed versions of the Save icon. I find it interesting that we’re still using this as a Save metaphor despite the fact that the true meaning is lost on many young people. However, they have learnt that it’s the Save icon, which begs the question should it really be updated or should it stay as a floppy disk, bearing in mind that although youngsters don’t understand what a floppy disk is, they do associate that icon with Save functionality. It’s a tough one.

Removable media

Other computers – do you know any of these?

Commodore 64

Dragon 32

Commodore PET

Macintosh

Why people hate online passwords

Over christmas, I was sat with my stepdad as he opened up his new Kindle and attempted to set it up (a whole other usability story!). As it asked for his Amazon password he exclaimed how he didn’t have a clue what it was but he’d find out. The next thing I know, he’s opening up a spreadsheet on his laptop full of all his passwords! There must have been 20-30 of them. He said it’s the only way he can keep track of them all.

I was at a focus group recently where discussion naturally lead onto the topic of passwords. Every single person described how frustrated they are with the increasing pressure to create ever complex passwords that they then don’t remember.

It’s clearly a heated topic amongst users but with security being a top concern for companies (and rightly so), it puts ux designers in an awkward catch 22 situation. Make the password too complex and you risk people making the very un-secure decision of writing the thing down. Perhaps even putting it on a post-it by their computer – yes this happens! 

Anyway, as it’s Friday, let’s take a funny look at how this feels from the user’s perspective. I suspect most of you have also experienced this, haven’t you? 

Why people hate passwords

How guys will use Google Glasses (Project Glass)

I just had to share with you this video on how guys might use Google Glass (or should that be glasses?) in the future. Pretty funny! Maybe we shouldn’t laugh too soon though as it may well become the future! People are distracted enough as it is, it’s just that the glasses may make the distraction harder to detect. At least right now you can see if someone’s using their mobile whilst they’re supposed to be listening to you.

I find it amazing the number of people who walk down the street looking down, eyes glued to their handset, using only their peripheral vision to navigate their way through the world. At least with Google Glasses they’ll at least start looking up once more, even if they are still not paying attention to the world around them.

Man mistakes red dog poo box for letter box (for 2 yrs!)

man mistakes dog poo box for letter box

This is a classic case of poor user centred design and highlights the importance of why we always think of the user’s needs, wants and expectations when designing for them. This is why analysing users’ current mental models is important too – his expectation based on his past life experience was that red boxes in the street are always letter boxes. So the designer of this box definitely should not have made it red!

This photo just goes to show:

– People don’t always pay attention to what you want them to.

– They don’t always read everything.

– People make assumptions based on visual appearance, like the colour of something. Post boxes are red so he presumed the obvious!

– Older people often suffer from poor user experiences. Failing eyesight makes them more reliant on good clear design.

And finally, this is why user experience designers and usability specialists will always be needed in the world 😀

Here’s a post box so you can compare:

red post box letter box

An inspiring Saturday at the first ever TEDx Salford!

This weekend saw the first ever TEDx event held in Salford and we were fortunate enough to get our hands on the last tickets. Having never been to a TEDx event before we weren’t sure what to expect but it turned out to be a day full of inspiring and uplifting talks on a whole range of topics by incredibly knowledgeable speakers. From rock stars and explorers to futurologists, CERN scientists and even an astronaut, the event really did have a wide variety of interesting speakers! To read the rest of my post you’ll have to click here as I wrote it for keepitusable.com 

Salford TEDx

Focus group doodles

This morning I finished the last of the workshops/focus groups I’ve been running with kids/teens for one of our clients. I’m just collating the data and thought you might like to see some of the lovely little pictures the kids have drawn on their sheets.

Certainly makes me laugh! 🙂

kids doodles

smileys

doodle