Addicting interactions #5

May 20th, 2013, Cero comentarios

Totally identificado:

Addicting interactions #4

November 23rd, 2011, Cero comentarios

This one comes via Twitter:

Me too, badly. And certainly not only for supermarkets.

A charming ticketing process

September 12th, 2011, 4 comentarios

Buying tickets for El Biógrafo cinema in Santiago remains analog and charming: you choose your seat by picking the ticket from a display that represents the room’s layout.

A charming ticketing proccess

Upon retrieving your ticket, you experience your seat becoming non-available.

A ‛referral feature’ for web browsers

August 27th, 2011, 3 comentarios

This is a (I believe) non existing feature I would love my browser to have in order to help my open links in the background Diogenes syndrome.

I call it “referral feature”: bring it up and it would tell you how the hell you ended up on that mysterious tab you are looking at right now. A proposed location within the browser IA is behind its window title bar, and a desirable trigger could be “⌥ + click on title bar”, emulating the “cmd + click” used to access to parent location on standard Cocoa apps. Ideally, it would interconnect with other applications so it could deep trace (and link to) obscure referrals such as a link within a Twitter DM you read through the Twitter app.

The really quick mockup that follows pictures a realistic approach to its GUI:

A referral feature for browsers - UI

I me mine

December 24th, 2010, 68 comentarios

A couple of days ago I got this email from Ticketmaster announcing their new features. On a quick scan, something caught my attention, a couple of words clearly stood out:

Yo, mi, me, conmigo

It seems a bit weird, to say the least, that items under “My favorites” and “Stuff you browsed” belong to the same person, doesn’t it?

Some questions arise:

  • Wich determiner is right, “my” or “your”?
  • Should designers use personal pronouns on their interfaces at all?
  • Do users detect this uncoherence or is it just a designer problem (thus, a non-existent problem)?

Because I’ve had this dilemma for quite a while now, I collected some opinions on the issue. Have you got any more? Your own, maybe? If so, please leave a comment.

My Computer. I’ve always hated this icon — its insulting, infantilizing tone. Even if you change the name, the damage is done: It’s how you’ve been encouraged to think of the system.

Ellen Ullman, 1998

“My” also presents the potential for substantial confusion. Let’s say I’m interacting with a widget-selling site. And I have a personal area on the site, and it’s called, “My Account”. Then the system, when referring to me, must call me “I” and “My,” which is weird, because, well, it’s odd when reflexive possessive adjectives are used and you’re not in control (or should that be, “and I’m not in control”?) Also, if I need to talk to The System for some reason (say, send email to the people who run it), how do I refer to it? Usually it’s “Contact Us”, but if I am “My”, than “Us” would be me as well, so that leaves “You” for The System, so it would be something like “Contact You” and, well, that’s weird, too.

Peter Merholz, 1998

Labeling stuff with “My” imitates the point of view of the user. It is as if the user has printed out labels and stuck them to various objects: My Lunch, My Desk, My Red Stapler. Except the user hasn’t done this; you (the site) did it for them.
Labeling stuff with “Your” instead reinforces the conversational dialogue. It is how another human being might address you when talking about your stuff. Even with MySpace, people say things like “I saw what you put on your MySpace.

Yahoo patterns — Your vs. My

if you succumb to the peculiar temptation of my, you just set yourself up for totally unnecessary inconsistency.

And, should you decide to brand a whole section of your site with “My”, you aren’t really branding the experience at all. You are inviting your users to draw an analogy with something another company did over a decade ago. It’s a missed opportunity, and that sucks.

Erika Hall, 2010

Comprando en con una tarjeta de ING

November 29th, 2010, 251 comentarios

Infinite sadness

Difícilmente superable.

5 minute walk

November 26th, 2010, 33 comentarios

Legible London, via Oyer Corazón.

When I grow up, I want to be a designer at Transport for London.

Re-spinning the web

September 2nd, 2010, 37 comentarios

When trying to come up with a new solution for something that people are already used to, there’s a high risk of getting things wrong. The new thing has to be better that the old, widely adopted one. On top of that, it has to work as well as (if not better than) the old, broadly tested one. Let’s see some right/wrong examples:

Say that you need a drop-down list and you can’t get by on the HTML select element.

Right: Google Translate keeps classic keyboard shortcuts for the list items (that’s me typing POR+ENTER):

Wrong: Zara focuses on aesthetics, but forgets about fucntionality (that’s me failing to select Madrid with the keyboard):

Or… say you want to bring music social networking to the desktop.

Right: Spotify gets the better of both worlds: super fast desktop class performance and persistent back and forward navigation. But above all, it gives everything —artists, songs, users— an URL.

Wrong: Ping, Apple’s just born social network is horribly slow. It displays a “connecting to iTunes” message everytime you click on something, most of its objects are not linkable and the navigation is a mess: suffice to say the Home icon takes you to… the iTunes Store.

How one word can change the whole thing

September 2nd, 2010, Cero comentarios

More on pattern recognition:
I have just activated GMail’s Priority Inbox in my personal account. It is meant to lower the time you spend checking email. Or the times you check email.
Because the default page title has changed from “Inbox” to “Priority Inbox”, I keep thinking I have a conversation open on the GMail tab, and I can’t help clicking on it to return to what would be its “normal” state (“Inbox”.)

Back to sidebars and popups

June 24th, 2010, 5 comentarios

If there was something I was not expecting to happen with the release of the iPad, it was the comeback of screen filling without a reason, non-linear layouts and let’s open a popup for that kind of interaction design.
If there was someone I was not expecting to follow this fashion, it was Google.

Two months ago, I was surprised to see that someone on the GMail team decided that having all your conversations on a sidebar was more important than having a linear, fullscreen view of the current conversation:

They have gone even further: they just released a new Compose window that asumes that, when writing an email, having a visible BCC field is more important than, say, being able to have a look at the whole thread you are replying to.

Now, I know there is a point for this: when designing for an existing platform, one must follow the platform’s UI guidelines. But this is the web, and we all know the GMail team can do better than just follow Apple’s Mail.

I really hope this trend will fad. For instance, Marco Arment is droping the sidebar on his great Instapaper app.