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It's all about the "user experience"

Tacky phrase, I think, "user experience". Having said that though, it is true - it is all about the "user experience". One of the key points to the project I am running at work is that the interface IS the product. The way it looks and feels (old way of saying "user experience") IS what the person remembers. If it works with them the product is good, if it works counter to what they believe then it doesn't.

For instance - MOSS (latest release of SharePoint) doesn't seem to offer drag-and-drop capability to uploading files. If you are emailed an attachment then you want to have it put into a document library (whatever that is?) - should be drag-and-drop. And this isn't a case of Microsoft forgetting to implement it - there are ways of doing it and so the feature is supported! However the interface doesn't work WITH me. It makes me think.

And that's the key, or maybe just one of the keys, to a site/product that people use.

To further educate yourself I'd recommend this two sets of 'usability' videos:
  1. CEO Sumit: Better by design - presentations
  2. Google: Seattle Conference on Scalability: Scaling Google for Every User
I have only watched the Sam Morgan video and most of the Marissa Mayer (Google VP Search Products and User Experience - try and ignore her blue top!)

Sam Morgan's three tips are:
  • Speed matters
  • Embrace convention - which is basically the Don't Make Me Think book
  • Measure everything