Guerrilla UX Studies Workshop at Car HMi

Guerrilla UX Studies Workshop at Car HMi 2018 Conference in Detroit, Michigan I’m pleased to have been invited to conduct my popular Guerrilla UX Studies workshop at this year’s Car HMi conference in Detroit, Michigan. This workshop is a cr…

Guerrilla UX Studies Workshop at Car HMi 2018 Conference in Detroit, Michigan I’m pleased to have been invited to conduct my popular Guerrilla UX Studies workshop at this year’s Car HMi conference in Detroit, Michigan. This workshop is a crowd favorite. The reason why is attendees get to conduct hands-on training in UX research and […]

SXSW 2018 Exhibit Hall 6 Minute Tour

SXSW 2018 Exhibit Hall 6 Minute Tour by Craig Tomlin This SXSW 2018 exhibit hall 6 minute tour is a guided tour by yours truly. Watch this brief video to learn what cool, interesting and new products were on display at this year’s SXSW. This is a…

SXSW 2018 Exhibit Hall 6 Minute Tour by Craig Tomlin This SXSW 2018 exhibit hall 6 minute tour is a guided tour by yours truly. Watch this brief video to learn what cool, interesting and new products were on display at this year’s SXSW. This is a handy way for anyone who was not able […]

Hawaii False Alarm: The story that keeps on giving

Right after the Hawaii false nuclear alarm, I posted about how the user interface seemed to contribute to the error. At the time, sources were reporting it as a “dropdown” menu. Well, that wasn’t exactly true, but in the last few weeks it’s become clear that truth is stranger than fiction. Here is a run-down … Continue reading Hawaii False Alarm: The story that keeps on giving

Right after the Hawaii false nuclear alarm, I posted about how the user interface seemed to contribute to the error. At the time, sources were reporting it as a “dropdown” menu. Well, that wasn’t exactly true, but in the last few weeks it’s become clear that truth is stranger than fiction. Here is a run-down of the news on the story (spoiler, every step is a human factors-related issue):

  • Hawaii nuclear attack alarms are sounded, also sending alerts to cell phones across the state
  • Alarm is noted as false and the state struggles to get that message out to the panicked public
  • Error is blamed on a confusing drop-down interface: “From a drop-down menu on a computer program, he saw two options: “Test missile alert” and “Missile alert.”
  • The actual interface is found and shown – rather than a drop-down menu it’s just closely clustered links on a 1990s-era website-looking interface that say “DRILL-PACOM(CDW)-STATE ONLY” and “PACOM(CDW)-STATE ONLY”
  • It comes to light that part of the reason the wrong alert stood for 38 minutes was because the Governor didn’t remember his twitter login and password
  • Latest news: the employee who sounded the alarm says it wasn’t an error, he heard this was “not a drill” and acted accordingly to trigger the real alarm

The now-fired employee has spoken up, saying he was sure of his actions and “did what I was trained to do.” When asked what he’d do differently, he said “nothing,” because everything he saw and heard at the time made him think this was not a drill. His firing is clearly an attempt by Hawaii to get rid of a ‘bad apple.’ Problem solved?

It seems like a good time for my favorite reminder from Sidney Dekker’s book, “The Field Guide to Human Error Investigations” (abridged):

To protect safe systems from the vagaries of human behavior, recommendations typically propose to:

    • Tighten procedures and close regulatory gaps. This reduces the bandwidth in which people operate. It leaves less room for error.
    • Introduce more technology to monitor or replace human work. If machines do the work, then humans can no longer make errors doing it. And if machines monitor human work, they ca
    snuff out any erratic human behavior.
    • Make sure that defective practitioners (the bad apples) do not contribute to system breakdown again. Put them on “administrative leave”; demote them to a lower status; educate or pressure them to behave better next time; instill some fear in them and their peers by taking them to court or reprimanding them.

In this view of human error, investigations can safely conclude with the label “human error”—by whatever name (for example: ignoring a warning light, violating a procedure). Such a conclusion and its implications supposedly get to the causes of system failure.

AN ILLUSION OF PROGRESS ON SAFETY
The shortcomings of the bad apple theory are severe and deep. Progress on safety based on this view is often a short-lived illusion. For example, focusing on individual failures does not take away the underlying problem. Removing “defective” practitioners (throwing out the bad apples) fails to remove the potential for the errors they made.

…[T]rying to change your people by setting examples, or changing the make-up of your operational workforce by removing bad apples, has little long-term effect if the basic conditions that people work under are left unamended.

A ‘bad apple’ is often just a scapegoat that makes people feel better by giving a focus for blame. Real improvements and safety happen by improving the system, not by getting rid of employees who were forced to work within a problematic system.

‘Mom, are we going to die today? Why won’t you answer me?’ – False Nuclear Alarm in Hawaii Due to User Interface

Image from the New York Times The morning of January 13th, people in Hawaii received a false alarm that the island was under nuclear attack. One of the messages people received was via cell phones and it said:“BALLISTIC MISSILE THREAT INBOUND TO HAWAII. SEEK IMMEDIATE SHELTER. THIS IS NOT A DRILL.” Today, the Washington Post … Continue reading ‘Mom, are we going to die today? Why won’t you answer me?’ – False Nuclear Alarm in Hawaii Due to User Interface


Image from the New York Times

The morning of January 13th, people in Hawaii received a false alarm that the island was under nuclear attack. One of the messages people received was via cell phones and it said:“BALLISTIC MISSILE THREAT INBOUND TO HAWAII. SEEK IMMEDIATE SHELTER. THIS IS NOT A DRILL.” Today, the Washington Post reported that the alarm was due to an employee pushing the “wrong button” when trying to test the nuclear alarm system.

The quote in the title of this post is from another Washington Post article where people experiencing the alarm were interviewed.

To sum up the issue, the alarm is triggered by choosing an option in a drop down menu, which had options for “Test missile alert” and “Missile alert.” The employee chose the wrong dropdown and, once chosen, the system had no way to reverse the alarm.

A nuclear alarm system should be subjected to particularly high usability requirements, but this system didn’t even conform to Nielson’s 10 heuristics. It violates:

  • User control and freedom: Users often choose system functions by mistake and will need a clearly marked “emergency exit” to leave the unwanted state without having to go through an extended dialogue. Support undo and redo.
  • Visibility of system status: The system should always keep users informed about what is going on, through appropriate feedback within reasonable time.
  • Error prevention: Even better than good error messages is a careful design which prevents a problem from occurring in the first place. Either eliminate error-prone conditions or check for them and present users with a confirmation option before they commit to the action.
  • Help users recognize, diagnose, and recover from errors: Error messages should be expressed in plain language (no codes), precisely indicate the problem, and constructively suggest a solution.
  • And those are just the ones I could identify from reading the Washington Post article! Perhaps a human factors analysis will become regulated for these systems as it has been for the FDA and medical devices.

    [humanautonomy.com] Dr. Mica Endsley: Current Challenges and Future Opportunities In Human-Autonomy Research

    We had a chance to interview Dr. Mica Endsley about her thoughts on autonomy. The social science research that we cover in this blog is carried out by a multitude of talented scientists across the world; each studying a different facet of the problem. In our second post in a new series, we interview one … Continue reading [humanautonomy.com] Dr. Mica Endsley: Current Challenges and Future Opportunities In Human-Autonomy Research

    We had a chance to interview Dr. Mica Endsley about her thoughts on autonomy.

    The social science research that we cover in this blog is carried out by a multitude of talented scientists across the world; each studying a different facet of the problem. In our second post in a new series, we interview one the leaders in the study of the human factors of autonomy, Dr. Mica Endsley.

    Down on the farm: Human factors psychologist Margaux Ascherl optimizes technology to make farming more efficient

    Complimenting the previous post about applied psychology, this new article dives into how one human factors PhD, Margaux Ascherl, is working to make farming more efficient with technology (she also happens to be my former student!): The world’s population of 7.3 billion is predicted to grow to 9.7 billion by 2050, according to the Global … Continue reading Down on the farm: Human factors psychologist Margaux Ascherl optimizes technology to make farming more efficient

    Complimenting the previous post about applied psychology, this new article dives into how one human factors PhD, Margaux Ascherl, is working to make farming more efficient with technology (she also happens to be my former student!):

    The world’s population of 7.3 billion is predicted to grow to 9.7 billion by 2050, according to the Global Harvest Initiative. To feed all those people, global agricultural productivity must increase by 1.75 percent annually.

    One person working to drive this increase is Margaux Ascherl, PhD, user experience leader at John Deere Intelligent Solutions Group in Urbandale, Iowa. John Deere recruited Ascherl in late 2012 while she was finishing her PhD in human factors psychology at Clemson University. Five years later, she now leads a team responsible for the design and testing of precision agriculture technology used in John Deere equipment.

    Ascherl spoke to the Monitor about what it’s like to apply psychology in an agricultural context and how her team is helping farmers embrace new technology to feed the world.

    Human-Robot/AI Relationships: Interview with Dr. Julie Carpenter

    Over at https://HumanAutonomy.com, we had a chance to interview Dr. Julie Carpenter about her research on human-robot/AI relationships. As the first post in a series, we interview one the pioneers in the study of human-AI relationships, Dr. Julie Carpenter. She has over 15 years of experience in human-centered design and human-AI interaction research, teaching, and … Continue reading Human-Robot/AI Relationships: Interview with Dr. Julie Carpenter

    Over at https://HumanAutonomy.com, we had a chance to interview Dr. Julie Carpenter about her research on human-robot/AI relationships.

    As the first post in a series, we interview one the pioneers in the study of human-AI relationships, Dr. Julie Carpenter. She has over 15 years of experience in human-centered design and human-AI interaction research, teaching, and writing. Her principal research is about how culture influences human perception of AI and robotic systems and the associated human factors such as user trust and decision-making in human-robot cooperative interactions in natural use-case environments.

    Throwback Thursday: A model for types and levels of automation [humanautonomy.com]

    This week’s Throwback Thursday post (next door, at humanautonomy.com) covers another seminal paper in the study of autonomy: This is our second post on our “throwback” series. In this paper, I will take you through an article written by the best in the human factors and ergonomics field, the late Raja Parasuraman, Tom Sheridan, and … Continue reading Throwback Thursday: A model for types and levels of automation [humanautonomy.com]

    This week’s Throwback Thursday post (next door, at humanautonomy.com) covers another seminal paper in the study of autonomy:

    This is our second post on our “throwback” series. In this paper, I will take you through an article written by the best in the human factors and ergonomics field, the late Raja Parasuraman, Tom Sheridan, and Chris Wickens. Though several authors have introduced the concept of automation being implemented at various levels, for me this article nailed it.

    Get Inspired – Blow Your Mind Website Examples!

    Looking for some design inspiration? Venturing into the world of UX design? Investigating new website trends? In our feature article, we’re going to help you get inspired with some blow your mind website examples. We picked these examples because they are dynamic, user-friendly, interactive websites, and they grab the website visitor and compel them to […]

    The post Get Inspired – Blow Your Mind Website Examples! appeared first on Landing Page Optimization Blog.

    Get Inspired - Blow Your Mind Website Examples!

    Looking for some design inspiration? Venturing into the world of UX design? Investigating new website trends?

    In our feature article, we’re going to help you get inspired with some blow your mind website examples.

    We picked these examples because they are dynamic, user-friendly, interactive websites, and they grab the website visitor and compel them to dig deeper.

    You’ll find that these blow your mind website examples take web design to a new level, fully engaging the website visitor on an often wild and unconventional path.

    magic-in-new-york

    Magic in New York

    We lead off with Magic in New York, a fantastical Google experience that was made for the movie Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them.

    Website visitors can explore a map filled with multiple locations in 1920s New York City. They explore as a wizard would such locations as a speakeasy and the Magical Congress of the United States.

    With nearly 360 scenes with sound and motion-picture quality effects, this site truly stands out.

    Visit Website

    fantastic beasts

    Fantastic Beasts

    We’d be remiss if we didn’t mention the main website for Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them.

    While some sites with this amount of video and audio fall quite short in the speed category, this website thrills with incredible graphics, high-quality video and imagery, and there is virtually no waiting at all.

    Not only is the website quick, but it’s very easy to navigate. It’s intriguing and provides a top-notch user experience. While writing this article, we had a hard time pulling ourselves away!

    Visit Website

    Become a Kingsman Knight

    Become a Kingsman Knight

    While not a new website, we loved the enthralling content and the scenes pulled right from the movie.

    Using the imagery and content, the website creators designed an interactive website that involves the visitor at every step and guides them on the path to becoming a Kingsman knight.

    The site uses movie clips, action, sound and music in a sophisticated way that makes website visitors want to play their “game.”

    Visit Website

    4 Rivers Smokehouse

    4 Rivers Smokehouse

    Hungry? If not, you sure will be when you visit this blow your mind website.

    This site lands on our list for its outstanding photography and its creative use of typography.

    We also like the parallax scrolling – this website is fun and easy to navigate.

    The super-charged accordion menu for their menu options is dynamite. Easy to use, it allows the visitor to only look at the portion they are interested in.

    This is one top of the line foodie site.

    Visit Website

    Braastad

    Braastad

    Another interactive website that keeps visitors engaged is Braastad Cognac.

    Huge images, a grid structure and plenty of video make an orderly presentation for visitors.

    We love the classy typography, and the images styled to look old-fashioned are a bonus. Take a closer look, and you’ll notice a sparkly sheen to some of their photos and video.

    The user experience on the Braastad website is terrific, gently guiding website visitors from one page to the next.

    Visit Website

    Subaru Zero Landfill

    Subaru Zero Landfill

    If you’re ready to explore the mountains and Subaru’s environmental initiative, this site takes you along for a beautiful ride.

    Gorgeous photography is complemented by simple typography – we’re sure this is so the words don’t take away from the incredible imagery.

    Another interactive website, this one is also easy to navigate and lets website visitors find their path on their own.

    After you spend some time on this site, the spectacular photography and videos will have you lining up to buy a Subaru even though there is no hard sell.

    Visit Website

    void

    Void

    Wow. This site is mind blowing because we bet you’ve never seen anything like it. At both times eerie and fascinating, it’s an incredible walk through unparalleled creative advances.

    Simply holding your space bar brings the cutting animation right towards you. Release it, and it backs off.

    Featured imagery, animation and text is mostly in a black and white theme, but that in no way means the site is devoid of interest. Quite frankly, it’s one of the most interesting websites we’ve seen in a while.

    Void makes the website visitor think while exploring and asking the question, “How did they do that?”

    Worth noting though is that this site can only be viewed on Chrome or Safari.

    Visit Website

    legwork studio

    Legwork Studio

    To complete our genius list of mind blowing website examples, we introduce you to Legwork Studio.

    They bill themselves as a company building world class work off-the-grid, and once you take a look at the site, you’ll see why.

    This company specializes in animation and interactivity. Don’t be fooled by the avant-garde look of their own website. Check out their portfolio, and you’ll be mesmerized by their work.

    What we especially like about their website is their complete abandon of traditional website norms. With no photo in site, their graphics are visual, off beat and incredibly interesting.

    The navigation is intuitive, and their graphics so compelling that you can’t help but click through the pages to see what they’ve come up with next.

    Visit Website

    Final Thoughts

    You’ve seen our top website examples in this feature article. Now, it’s your turn to incorporate a blow your mind website example.

    Wondering about some specifics to keep in mind as you design your new website? Look no further:

    • A fast website – load times should be under three seconds, or you’ll lose customers. If you’re adding interactivity like we’ve seen here, be sure you consult an expert.
    • Give users the who, what, when, where and why – tell your story.
    • Use calls to action on as many pages as possible. You don’t want to risk losing your customers. Give them a reason to stick around and a task to complete.
    • Incorporate a strong site architecture including good onsite SEO and a sitemap.
    • Utilize an easy to use layout with intuitive navigation. Don’t use multiple layers of menus.
    • It’s vital that your site adapts to different browser sizes with ease, so mobile responsiveness is key. Your site should look equally good on desktop, laptop, tablet and mobile phone.
    • Make sure that the content you provide is relevant, interesting, shareable, original and compelling.
    • Ensure a simple, user friendly experience. Don’t make content hard to find.

    Look for more blow your mind website examples next month!

    Are you ready to squeeze more profit out of your website? That’s terrific! We’re here to help you optimize your website so it works fluidly for your website visitors. In fact, we promise you we’ll do just that.

    With our guarantee, you can rest assured we will increase your profits through landing page optimization.

    We can help you improve your content to increase the likelihood your customers will make a purchase. Contact us today.

    We’ll provide you with our FREE site performance analysis so we can work on your landing page conversion rates.

    Image: Jens Kreuter

    The post Get Inspired – Blow Your Mind Website Examples! appeared first on Landing Page Optimization Blog.

    How You Can Master And Benefit From Automating Your Email Marketing

    Email marketing automation is one of the top marketing buzzwords of the year. You’ll find that email marketers everywhere are abandoning mass-emails for a more personalized, strategic approach. In this article, we look at how you master and benefit from automating your email marketing. First, we’ll tell why you’ll benefit from it, and then we’ll […]

    The post How You Can Master And Benefit From Automating Your Email Marketing appeared first on Landing Page Optimization Blog.

    How You Can Master And Benefit From Automating Your Email Marketing

    Email marketing automation is one of the top marketing buzzwords of the year.

    You’ll find that email marketers everywhere are abandoning mass-emails for a more personalized, strategic approach.

    In this article, we look at how you master and benefit from automating your email marketing.

    First, we’ll tell why you’ll benefit from it, and then we’ll give you some advanced tips for using automated email workflows.

    Let’s get started with your automated email marketing information.

    Why Automated Email?

    According to Email Monday, marketing automation is growing at an unbelievable rate. They go on to say that, “Best-in-Class companies are 67% more likely to use a marketing automation platform.”

    If top companies the world over are leveraging automation, there must be something fantastic about it, right?

    The answer is yes. Automated emails allow you to reach directly into your customers’ inboxes with a personalized message tailored to their needs.

    For example, if a customer downloaded one of your eBooks, you can then send them targeted emails on topics similar to your eBook. You’ve shown them you care, and with automated email, you can continue to nurture them.

    Your business also benefits in many ways from automating email marketing. Let’s look at a few of the ways.

    Lead Nurturing

    First, with automated emails, you have the ability to nurture your leads from their first point of contact all the way to the ultimate sale or desired action.

    The whole point of email marketing is to gently guide your subscribers through your sales funnel without them even realizing it. For example:

    • You welcome them in the first email, with no sales pressure.
    • In the second email, you give them a tip that pertains to what you already know about their needs and desires, with no sales pressure.
    • In the third email, you give them another resource, perhaps in the form of a video. Again, so sales pressure.
    • In the fourth email, now that they have come to appreciate you, trust you and value your advice, you can offer them something. They are more likely to bite because now that they trust you, they’re willing to pay for what you’re offering.

    With automation, you can tailor funnels for particular customers. For example, you might send subscribers you met in your brick-and-mortar store down a different funnel than you’d send a first-time email subscriber on your website.

    Smarter Emails

    Next, you benefit because you can send smarter emails. You are no longer throwing emails out and hoping you catch someone.

    You are building personal, valuable relationships with customers so you can send the right message at just the right time.

    Save Time

    Lastly, one of the biggest bonuses of automated email marketing is that you save precious time.

    Email Monday again tells us that nearly 75% of marketers say saving time is the biggest benefit to automating emails.

    You can take a few hours to create several automated series of emails, and then set it and let them run on their own.

    You don’t have to set subscribers up or decide what to send them. You create the emails, set the triggers, and your system does the heavy lifting for you.

    This then frees you up to focus on additional ways to reach your customers with a personalized message.

    How to Master Automation

    Now let’s look at how to master automation by looking at the different types of workflows you can create.

    1. Welcome Workflow

    When someone signs up for your email list, you want to send them through a welcome workflow of automated emails.

    Your first email might welcome them, the second and third ones might direct them to some interesting content, the fourth email might introduce them to your social media platforms, and the final one would prompt them to take an action.

    2. Educational Series or On-boarding Workflow

    Let’s say a subscriber downloads an eBook, whitepaper or free buying guide. You would then send them through an automated workflow tailored to their interests.

    For example, if they downloaded a hot tub buying guide from you, you’d send them through a hot tub topic workflow whereas if someone downloaded a swimming pool buying guide from you, you’d send through a pool topic workflow.

    The bonus for the customer is that they continue to receive information that interests them. The bonus for you is you can keep nurturing them for the final sale.

    3. Abandoned Shopping Cart Workflow

    Ecommerce shopping carts are abandoned at huge rates. But, the good news is you have an avenue for getting them back.

    These automated emails are re-engagement emails. If someone fills a cart on your website, you can then send them a special offer to entice them to return.

    Discounts and free shipping offers work well.

    One study even says that initial emails sent three hours after a consumer abandons a cart, average a 40% open rate and a 20% click-through rate. Those are great statistics!

    4. Review Product After Purchase Workflow

    Another valuable automated email is the one that you send after someone makes a purchase.

    Your business thrives when you have multiple online reviews as these matter to buyers.

    Once your customer makes a purchase from you, send them a survey or a request to leave a review on your website or Google. Then, reward them with a coupon for their trouble.

    5. Miscellaneous Workflows

    Finally, you can also set automation up for service reminders, birthdays and holidays.

    Use additional workflows to reach specific customers at specific times.

    Final Thoughts

    A California-based study found that more than 215 billion emails are sent each day. That amounts to an average of 126 emails received per person every day.

    That’s a huge number of emails landing in inboxes all over the world, and it’s up to you to figure out how to stand out in an imposing crowd.

    The best way to do that is to concentrate on providing the highest quality personalized content to your subscribers at just the right time.

    You already know your subscribers want to hear from you. After all, they did give you their email address. Now it’s up to you to leverage automated email marketing to gently nurture them through your sales funnel with valuable content.

    Are you ready to squeeze more profit out of your website? That’s terrific! We’re here to help you optimize your website so it works fluidly for your website visitors. In fact, we promise you we’ll do just that.

    With our guarantee, you can rest assured we will increase your profits through landing page optimization.

    If you’re ready to work with the leader in landing pages and conversion rate optimization, contact us today.

    We’ll provide you with our FREE site performance analysis so we can work on your landing page conversion rates.

    Image: Matteo Paganelli

     

    The post How You Can Master And Benefit From Automating Your Email Marketing appeared first on Landing Page Optimization Blog.