Miss Mimi Says

Thoughts and rants about user experience
#instaspam don’t get sucked in by profiles like these

#instaspam don’t get sucked in by profiles like these

random what nick wore post 1. (Taken with Instagram)

random what nick wore post 1. (Taken with Instagram)

I love your food but not the symbols #busaba (Taken with Instagram)

I love your food but not the symbols #busaba (Taken with Instagram)

Comment PASS, ux FAIL

Comment PASS, ux FAIL

Lovely packaging shame about the product

This is the lovely and very user friendly packaging provided by PEPPERSMITH for their all natural chewing gum. The branding is beautiful and I love the flip top with the nifty fold to keep it closed, but the used gum papers inserted into a slot at the back with quirky facts about gum printed on them are just pure genius and a fantastic example of sepcial kitty priniciple 6 - see previous post

The gum itself is a bit of a let down though, the taste lasts for about 1 minute and the gum starts to have a sticky stuck in your teeth texture after 2 minutes becoming bin worthy at about 3 minutes which considering the £1.59 price is a bit rubbish and overall creates somewhat of a UX fail.

6 Key Principles of a Good User Experience and the Internet of Cats

the internet is made of cats.

It has been well established by Digital Experts that The Internet Is Made Of Cats.

This makes cats integral to the effectiveness and success of the Internet, which is not unlike User Experience Folk who at AnalogFolk (where I am THE UE Over Lord) aim to ensure that the digital things we make are the best possible experiences for users to be found on the Internet.

But, I hear you ask, what do the UE Folk consider constitutes a good user experience?  Well, we consider the following principles to be core to creating the goodness:

1) Make it clear

Cat rubbing against legs

We all like a bit of mystery now and again but not when it stops us from finding our way – like trying to find that fantastic restaurant someone recommended in a city where the street signs are hidden – and the same goes for users in a digital experience.

Cats understand this and, though you might think it’s love, when they rub against you they are using scent marking to provide clear signposts to other cats.

The UE Folk believe clear signposts via obvious navigation systems, copy headlines, visual cues and calls to action are key to helping users find their way in the digital world.

2) Make it make sense

A button with a cat on it

Who hasn’t had a bit of a giggle at the expense of someone struggling to open a door when the action required is a push but the handle used implies a pull motion? Funny for the viewer but frustrating for the person trying to get through the door.

Equally frustrating for users is trying to find a button when said button has been designed to look like, lets say, a cat. The UE Folk believe interactions should have good affordance and provide visual cues that allow users to identify their use.

3) Make it consistent

A pug with a cat face

Consistency allows us to identify patterns and understand the world, for example we are able to identify a cat as a cat because cats have a consistent appearance. Consistency does not have to mean boring however, as seen in cats that come in a variety of guises that are still identifiably cat-like.

We think that consistency in experiences is important too because it means users don’t have to keep re-learning to interact. So we use tricks like keeping navigation in the same location and behaving the same across an experience, as well as applying visual standards to links and buttons.

4) Make it relevant

You wouldn’t send a cat food voucher to a dog owner, and why? Because they would have no use for such a voucher, it’s not relevant to them and in fact it might even make them like you less.

The UE Folk feel the same about irrelevant things in digital experiences. We know that sometimes it can seem like a good idea to force the user to give a bit more data, click another button or watch a lovely animation before they get what they are looking for, but we think there should be value for the user in every interaction and that’s what we aim for.

5) Make it respond

Cat purring

Imagine trying to have a conversation with someone who ignores you – it’s confusing, annoying, rude and quite frankly rubbish.

The same is true for digital experiences. Clicking a button that appears to do nothing is confusing, being charged three times for a purchase because you clicked a button that seemed to do nothing is annoying and not receiving a response to an enquiry is rude.

The UE Folk believe feedback is another facet that makes a good user experience, and like a cat that helpfully purrs in response to your loving attention, we like our experiences to change in response to interactions and provide confirmation that lets the user know, we know they are there.

6) Make it special

Scandalous I know, but we think a good user experience is about more then usability.

Cat lovers all over the worldwide Internet love cats because they make (some of) us laugh and feel warm and fluffy inside. This is what we think an outstandingly good user experience will do too and we endeavor to pepper glittery meow moments amongst our work, to make our experiences useful AND leave users feeling good.

And that is how the UE Folk rock a good experience.

Clicked to login to my online banking only to be confronted with a large error message… but wait, its actually an ad. Doh indeed. 

Clicked to login to my online banking only to be confronted with a large error message… but wait, its actually an ad. Doh indeed. 

Lovely little bill holder from Fifteen.

Random kitty post 2.

Random kitty post 2.