People Interact

Blog about people-centered design by Lisa Chow and Sandra Sajonas.

Tag Archives: usability

Hands-On UX at May 9th METRO UX SIG Meeting

METRO has moved to a new space. We’re taking the opportunity to do a hands-on UX study of METRO’s new space as part of the UX SIG meeting. Join us on May 9th from 10am-12pm. More info and RSVP.

Monthly Method Spotlight: 80/20 Rule

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What: The  80/20 Rule or Pareto principle is named after economist Vilfredo Pareto and specifies an unequal relationship between inputs and outputs. The principle states that 20% of the invested input is responsible for 80% of the results obtained.

When/why: The 80/20 rule can used in helping you make decisions in your user experience work. Wherever there is data that can be quantified there’s the possibility that you can use this rule to focus your efforts on the areas of your work that bring the most results.

How: For example, 80/20 can be applied to website usability. Analyze data to determine your website’s 20% most-used functions and concentrate on enhancing these functions. Don’t spend too much time optimizing stuff that falls in the 80% that’s not often used

Tips: When using the 80/20 rule in UX research to be mindful of sample or data size. You need to ensure that your research or analysis covers a sufficient sample size to be statistically relevant. 80/20 is a quick & dirty method and is by no means exacting in its results.

Interested in using/applying these methods in your work? Contact us for information.

IFLA Conference Registration: A Bad and Frustrating User Experience

I was pretty excited about attending and presenting at my first IFLA conference until it was time to register for the conference. I’ve registered for many conferences in the past few years and I have to say I had such a bad and frustrating user experience that I feel the need to share for two reasons: venting (I’m human, after all) and improving usability and user experience (I’m hoping that this bad user experience leads to IFLA and other organizations/groups to improve the usability of their conference registration/payment processes).

After creating an online profile, the online registration system asked me to choose a currency: USD or EUR. I selected USD currency.



It then prompted me to pick a logo for the credit card, in which the AMEX logo is one of the choices. I selected AMEX and proceeded to the next screen to input payment info.



After submitting the payment info, I got an error message. I tried re-submitting the payment info several times and it still didn’t work. I then contacted IFLA conference registration about the error message in which I attached a screenshot of the error message with my email; I was immediately told that if I’m having problems with online registration, I should use the paper form.

It wasn’t until insisting on finding out what the online registration issue is, I was then told they can’t take AMEX with USD currency. The online registration system should have been designed to not show AMEX as an option if the USD currency is selected and should have a note that says they can’t take AMEX with USD currency.

I was told afterwards that there is a note that says they can’t take AMEX with USD currency. However, the note isn’t very prominent. I missed it. It could be easily missed by others as well.


At that point (it was a week before the conference) and without any travel and lodging arrangements (I was waiting for conference registration to be completed first), I decided it was best to forgo this year’s IFLA conference. I was really looking forward to attending and presenting at my first IFLA conference.

Wandering Librarian: Public Library of Valencia

IMG_20160601_190855Wandering across the Atlantic Ocean to Spain, I made a visit to the Public Library of Valencia. Housed in an early 1400’s Greek cross structured building, what was once the Hospital for the Poor Innocents became the public library in 1979. Like most libraries confined to a historic building, library usability and navigation suffers. I had a difficult time even finding the entrance and had to walk around the entire outside before I found it. Despite the flag & arch in the photo, this door is not the entrance.

IMG_20160601_191924Once I was inside, I was floored by the beauty of the building. From the 2nd floor I got a better understanding of the layout; each wing of the building is a section of the collection. Although, the lack of map or floor plan made it difficult to tell where each section was.

From a quick walk around the building I garnered that the collection was organized by the Dewey system.  The infantile (children’s section) grouped titles by series or author’s collection. The infantile section to me was the most user friendly section. A padded and cushioned nook beckoned the tiny users to make themselves comfortable. IMG_20160601_191424IMG_20160601_191410

While the library has OPAC computers, self-checkout machines & computer terminals, the library needs way more in terms of upping the user experience; say basic signage. All in all, the library does what libraries are supposed  to do (provide informational, technological services etc.) but with less flare and ambition.


World Usability Day 2015: Innovation

World Usability DayNovember 12 is World Usability Day. World Usability Day is a single day of events organized around the world that brings together people from various communities and groups for one common objective: “to ensure that the services and products important to life are easier to access and simpler to use.

This year is the 10th anniversary of World Usability Day.  The 2015 theme is innovation.

“Innovation can mean different things to different people but most can agree it includes inventions and changes in products and services that improve a situation or solve a problem in a new way. Innovation in User Experience means that people can do what they need and want to, with technology, products and services that enhance their experience. We are celebrating 10 years of sharing the message that the user experience is a key to making technology work better for people. Innovation also means revolution: 2015 is the year to grow our usability revolution by bringing our message to the general public: No-one should have to suffer through products and services that get in their way. People should not be made to feel stupid by technology.

For those in the NYC area, the NYC User Experience Professionals Association (UXPA) has its annual World Usability Day event. Whitney Quesenbery will be one of the speakers. We heard her speak at World Usability Day 2011.

“People do quality checks, but not usability checks.” – Whitney Quesenbery