Is it just me or as an UX professional do you find yourself constantly evaluating the experiences around you and trying to make them better. I knew you’d agree. I found the perfect example of an experience that needs some help. Roadside construction… at least in my city.
Last night on my drive home I sat in traffic for almost an hour. Now don’t get me wrong I realize that these guys/gals are just doing their jobs and trying to make the roads safer and better. And I also am usually very patient in these situation because of this understanding but last night all these questions were running through my head. How far down the road does this construction go? Why are they starting this DURING RUSH HOUR? How many days will this work last? What will these improvements get me?
Obviously making this experience my ideal is probably over the top, but a sign or two telling me how far I have to drive before the construction ends isn’t too much to ask. Someone out there please tell me that you’ve seen something different. That there is one construction company in one city/town/village out there that gives you some sort of heads up. Or are we just destined to sit and wonder…..
This is my dog Isabelle: .
Today I was relaxing a little after work (in all about five minutes before I thought about this post) and starting thinking about why I love this dog. I love Isabelle because, besides being very cute :), she’s consistent. I come home from work and she’s waiting at the door… everyday. I take my gym clothes out of my bag and she rolls in them… everyday. There are a few inconsistencies but all in all she’s on her game. Then I came to the realization that this is very similar to why I enjoy certain web experiences. I enjoy going to the North Carolina Tarheels’ site every Tuesday because I know there will be an interesting commentary from their writer and so on and so forth.
Now I realize that this is something very fundamental to what we all do, but I couldn’t help but get this one out. After living in a world that was consumed by our company’s overhaul of the website and knowing that this would negatively effect our users and being slightly annoyed that they didn’t understand our pain… I can’t help but blame them. They just wanted a little normalcy.
Over the past week or so I’ve been following a discussion concerning an article that was written about the “Millennials”. A Millennial is defined as “born between 1980 and 1995” and described as “raised by doting parents who told them they are special, played in little leagues with no winners or losers, or all winners. They are laden with trophies just for participating and they think your business-as-usual ethic is for the birds. And if you persist in the belief you can, take your job and shove it. ” So immediately I thought Hey! that’s not me… well sorta… I mean the born between part but otherwise not so much.
So there were of course posts to the discussion board that went either way. Some of my co-Millennials argued with the same thoughts that I had. And many respondents mentioned that similar attributes and stereotypes were given to previous generations (Generation X anyone??). Why do we do this? It’s frustrating when we all see the point that hey not all so and so’s are the same, yet we continue to group people, places, things etc. into “common” areas.
In a way this is very much related to information architecture. We decide a set of characteristics that are part of the whole and then break the whole down into digestible and easily managed chunks. By doing so a user is more likely to find the information they need and leave satisfied.
The article that spurred on this post:
Oh and you can never have TOO many trophies :).
A truly great read from Adaptive Path. What lady can’t relate to this??
How the Retail Clothing Store Experience Continues to Fail
Now that I’m living in the world of strategy I’m finding all sorts of fun problems that I get to solve. Here’s one that I posted to the IxDA: