We all have a sense that our world is getting more pervasively digital. However, I wanted to get a sense of the degree to which that change is happening with regard to our day-to-day communication. As I often do, I turned to my friends and followers on the social networks to get a reading. I did a survey three years ago asking questions on a variety of topics including this one. So, I thought it would be good to ask the key question again and see what change, if any, there has been in the use of electronic communication. I asked the following question on Twitter and Facebook: What percent of your interactions with others during a typical day would you say are via electronic means versus face-to-face? The results were pretty dramatic. In 2009, people responded that 65.7 percent of their interactions were via electronic means and the corresponding number in 2012 was shown to be 77.0 percent. A 11.3 percent increase in three years is quite amazing. Although this isn't a particularly scientific survey, it reinforces a pretty substantial trend toward more and more of our communication and interaction being experienced digitally. I'll follow up further to investigate additional factors underlying this trend, such as work versus personal interactions, the degree to which the communication leverages mobile devices, etc., and will report those results here as well.
Entries in survey (9)
Design guidelines and design trade-offs are often hotly debated in design circles. However, very little is know about them in actual practice. Now a doctoral student, Steve Szigeti, is doing research on this very topic. Steve is a doctoral candidate at the Faculty of Information (iSchool) at the University of Toronto, as well as a graduate fellow in the Knowledge Media Design collaborative program at the university. I'd like to share Steve's invitation for you to participate in his study here. Here are his words:
I'm seeking your help in a research study which looks at the role of design guidelines and design trade-offs in the process of web interface design. I would be grateful if you could share your opinions and experiences in a web based questionnaire. The questionnaire takes roughly 15-20 minutes to complete. All of your responses will remain confidential. This study is part of doctoral research in the Faculty of Information (iSchool) at the University of Toronto. I am interested in the experiences you and other web interface designers have with aspects of the design process, such as the use of guidelines and your experiences (if any) with design trade-offs. In appreciation for your participation, aggregate results of the survey will be posted at http://www.szigeti.ca after September 1, 2010. If you would like more information about this study, please don’t hesitate to contact me.
Please contribute to Steve's study by taking this questionnaire. Thanks.
As I mentioned in a previous post, we're witnessing a dramatic increase in the use of SmartPhones in doing core daily tasks. Couple that with the increase in the use of the browser as the mechanism for accessing information, and we see the need for addressing the question of what default user interface should be shown when access a website using a SmartPhone. To determine what people prefer in this regard, I created a poll and asked followers of my Twitter accounts to respond to it. The poll asked, "What should come up when you access a website with a SmartPhone?" The responses were interesting. As shown in the pie chart on the right, 65 percent preferred "a version of the site optimized for a mobile browser", 25 percent wanted "the regular site and a button to access a mobile version", while only 8 percent wanted "the regular site - there's no need to for mobile versions". A write-in comment preferred, "the mobile version with a button or option to access the regular version" so the opposite of option two above. These results indicate a clear strong preference for some type of support for a mobile version of sites with 90 percent of respondents wanting a site tailored for SmartPhones. The vast majority of those respondents preferred a special mobile optimized version of a site to appear by default when a site is visited by a SmartPhone. Interestingly, most websites don't do that today but will have to in the future to satisfy users' preferences. The number of respondents to this poll is 48 thus far and I'd like to see a substantially bigger number given the importance of this question so if you'd like to contribute to the poll you still can and I'd really appreciate it if you would take the poll.
Most people involved in user experience design spend the majority of their effort on honing their skills and applying them in creating a great look and feel for the offerings on which they work. However, it is often necessary to clearly communicate the business value of that design work. The most important business metric is often the impact of the design on purchase decisions. Similar to the surveys I've conducted in the past on this, I recently decided to poll the followers I have on my @ibmdesign Twitter account. I asked them the question, "what percentage of your product purchase decisions are typically based on the look and feel of the user interface?" and received the responses visualized in this pie chart. A total of 88% of respondents reported that look and feel was the basis of the purchase decision more than half of the time and 32% reported that it was the basis of their decision 76-100% of the time. These results corroborate and further extend previous findings which indicated that half of purchase decisions are based solely on the look and feel of the user interface.
As usual, please feel free to provide any thoughts you may have on this using the comment mechanism provided.
I've been interested for some time in getting other people's perspectives on a number of topics but most recently on the topic of the most influential books on design. So, I asked the followers of my @ibmdesign and @karelvredenburg Twitter accounts the question, "What's the most influential book you've read on design that you'd recommend to others?" I received a number of really good responses so thought I'd share them here. I've decided to include the additional words people used in describing their books. It is interesting to note that five people mentioned books by Donald Norman with the first four recommending "The Design of Everyday Things" and the fifth recommending his more recent "Emotional Design". The rest of the list includes some pretty interesting books some of which I know I haven't read but now will.
- Donald Norman's "The Design of Everyday Things".
- "The Design of Everyday Things" by Donald Norman, perhaps the best and most foundational design book.
- I think Don Norman's "Design of Everyday Things" is a must-read for anyone who designs anything!
- "Design of Everyday Things"
- Most influential book: "Emotional Design" by Donald Norman
- "Set Phasers on Stun" has great case studies of design gone awry.
- "Dreaming in code" is an interesting guide to software development.
- The most influential book on design that I have read is "Goodnight Moon" by Margaret Wise Brown. The audience is enormous.
- "Computers and democracy: a scandinavian challenge" (1987) - first major participatory design publication in english
- "Dont make me think" is the best design book. At least for me. Principals discussed applied any where.
- "Now You See It: Simple Visualization Techniques for Quantitative Analysis" by Stephen Few
- Jeff Johnson's "GUI Bloopers" is the most practical useable desktop reference for companies that don't have standards or UX staff.
- "The Illusion of Life"; "Design is multidisciplinary", so I don't think we've only 1 most influential book
- "Sketching User Experiences"
- "Reflective Practitioner"
- "A primer of visual literacy"
If you have any books to add to the list or have any comments on the books already listed, please leave a comment below.