Personalize Every Interaction—From Digital to In-Store and Everywhere In Between

Personalize every interaction. That feels like a dream doesn’t it? Luckily, that vision is no longer a far fetched fantasy. Brands can now create personalized experiences across any channel—for real! Until now, personalizatio…

Personalize every interaction. That feels like a dream doesn’t it? Luckily, that vision is no longer a far fetched fantasy. Brands can now create personalized experiences across any channel—for real! Until now, personalization has been primarily limited to online...

The 1-to-1 Vision Behind 10 Years of Innovation at Monetate

In commemoration of Monetate’s tenth anniversary, co-founder David Brussin offers his reflections on the role the company has played in the development of ecommerce marketing, and the journey of its growth into the full-fledged omn…

In commemoration of Monetate’s tenth anniversary, co-founder David Brussin offers his reflections on the role the company has played in the development of ecommerce marketing, and the journey of its growth into the full-fledged omnichannel personalization solution that it...

‘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.

    Are you keeping up with your peers? Internet Retailer recommends asking these five questions when evaluating vendors

    We’re doing a happy dance over here at Monetate. Internet Retailer has once again recognized us as a top 10 personalization vendor. It’s a great way to start 2018 for our hard working team and our fantastic customer community.&nbsp…

    We’re doing a happy dance over here at Monetate. Internet Retailer has once again recognized us as a top 10 personalization vendor. It’s a great way to start 2018 for our hard working team and our fantastic customer community.  ...

    Your customers are omnichannel—so why aren’t you?

    I have one big prediction for 2018. (Yes, I know the year has already begun, but I can almost guarantee many of you haven’t laid out your plans for 2018 either.) I predict that omnichannel will become more than…

    I have one big prediction for 2018. (Yes, I know the year has already begun, but I can almost guarantee many of you haven’t laid out your plans for 2018 either.) I predict that omnichannel will become more than...

    How Pearle Vision Is Redefining the Data-Driven Organization

    Big data obsession has taken over many businesses. But what does it really offer? With so much information available, the trick isn’t in collecting as much as possible—but in knowing how to ask the right questions, analyze f…

    Big data obsession has taken over many businesses. But what does it really offer? With so much information available, the trick isn’t in collecting as much as possible—but in knowing how to ask the right questions, analyze for...

    How Office Depot Used 1:1 Personalization To Send Revenue Through the Roof

    Office Depot currently ranks as the 13th largest online retailer in North America. But, like so many other businesses, they started out as a small local company with a single storefront. What’s the secret to the tremendous growth t…

    Office Depot currently ranks as the 13th largest online retailer in North America. But, like so many other businesses, they started out as a small local company with a single storefront. What’s the secret to the tremendous growth they’ve...

    [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.