Recent Posts

Interview: Wayne Neale on Customer Experience, Design Thinking, and Service Design

Wayne Neale, CEO of Kaydak, joins Tim Keirnan for an interview that ranges across several topics:
* Experience Design: From UI to User Experience to Customer Experience and beyond
* Design Thinking
* Service Design

You can find Wayne at
http://www.kydak.com/

The service design episodes of Design Critique Tim mentioned can be heard here:

http://designcritique.net/dc32b-interview-cafe-design-with-tom-diab

http://designcritique.net/dc47-interview-designing-the-ux-of-conferences-with-jared-spool

http://designcritique.net/10th-anniverary-episode-with-tom-brinck-on-starbucks-customer-experience

The Tim Cook interview that gives Tim a glimmer of hope that Apple isn’t completely a lost cause:
http://www.npr.org/sections/alltechconsidered/2015/10/01/445026470/apple-ceo-tim-cook-privacy-is-a-fundamental-human-right

Listener Garrick Dee emailed to say he liked our Sustainable Shaving Tools episode and he’s written his own article on traditional wet shaving. Check it out!
http://www.groomingessentialsblog.com/how-to-wet-shave/

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Critique: The UX of Android Lollipop

Time for a mobile episode! Aravindh Baskaran, UX researcher and designer, joins Tim Keirnan to look at the user experience of Android Lollipop. What did we like about it and what do we think could be better? With Android Marshmallow on the way, it’s time to reflect on Lollipop’s effectiveness.

Android is used, in one form or another, by more customers around the world than any other mobile OS (stats we found on this were so inconsistent that we gave up looking, but Android was clearly in the lead in all mobile OS usage stats). We used Aravindh’s Nexus 5 phone for this episode because Tim’s Nexus 4 now has Ubuntu Touch on it. The blog post image is Lollipop’s list design that you’ll hear us discuss when we refer to Google’s “Material Design”.

Note when critiquing Android UIs: Aravindh and Tim are critiquing pure Android as designed by Google and used on their Nexus devices and (for the most part) on Motorola’s smart phones. Other manufacturers can and do take advantage of Android’s open source nature to create their own Android UI that can be grossly inferior to pure Android or innovative, depending on one’s point of view. So the UX of Android is not one thing as with iOS and Windows Phone, but a fragmented mix of competing interpretations of Google’s Android reference design.

Email from Jan Jursa and Costan Boiangiu concludes this episode. Head over to Jan’s wonderful Information Architecture Television and take advantage of all the great material there:
http://iatelevision.blogspot.com/

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10th Anniverary Episode with Tom Brinck on Starbucks customer experience

The Design Critique podcast celebrates its tenth anniversary! While others have podfaded, we have persevered.
In this anniversary episode, show co-founder Tom Brinck returns to discuss the customer experience of Starbucks coffee shops with Tim Keirnan. Tom is the power user and Tim is the newbie. Two very different perspectives.
This anniversary episode’s album art features a cake with a Star Wars action figure on it, as befits any ten-year-old’s birthday cake. And you must admit it’s cool to have Palpatine himself with us, ready to slice, dice, and fry hypocritically corrupt Jedi. As they well deserved.
Thank-you for listening to us for ten years. And thanks to everyone who appeared on the show with us. Customer Experience research and design is more popular than ever, and if this show has helped you improve your products and services, or helped you acquire really good products that truly improved your life, we have accomplished our goal.
Best regards,
Tim and Tom

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Editorial: When the UX of Less is More

In this first audio editorial episode, Tim relates how he rediscovered the advantages  of small electronics devices over their larger-screened brothers. Thanks to Dad for inspiring this one.
Besides mobile phones, cars are another example of a product range that used to punish customers who wanted a small size by not allowing superior materials or features in them. Thankfully for small car fans, it’s getting better.
Smart companies recognize that small size product buyers actually have two categories: those who can only afford the smaller size with no extras, and those who want a premium customer experience and will gladly pay for the extras if made available in a smaller form factor. Small doesn’t have to mean cheap!

Nice article on small but premium Android phones:
http://www.3g.co.uk/PR/April2014/best-compact-smartphones-available.html

I forgot to say that as amazingly good as the Lumia 820 is, its camera is not why. This article details current Windows phones and sadly, their trend of providing terrific premium small phones is going in the wrong direction (still great phones if you like 5 inch screens):
http://www.3g.co.uk/PR/Nov2013/best-windows-phones-right-available-today.html

More good reads on premium small cars:
http://www.cheatsheet.com/automobiles/9-upscale-small-cars-to-splurge-on.html/?a=viewall

http://consumerguide.com/best-buys/premium-compact-car/

 

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Interview/Critique: The Beluga Razor and Website with Inventor Zac Wertz

Zac Wertz, inventor of the Beluga Razor, joins Tim Keirnan for an interview about the design of both the Beluga Razor prototype and the BelugaShave.com website. Across 80 minutes of uninterrupted, commercial-free conversation, Zac and Tim discuss hardware and digital designs, including
* Their mutual dissatisfaction with modern cartridge razor shave quality, its high cost, and environmental problems
* Their appreciation for traditional safety razor shaving
* Zac’s origin story for inventing the Beluga razor
* How Zac designs mechanical prototypes
* The design of the BelugaShave.com website to reinforce the Beluga brand
* Tim’s experience shaving with the prototype

The Beluga razor combines the advantage of the modern cartridge razor–a pivoting head–with the advantage of the traditional safety razor–its single, double-edged razor blade. Users thus have the low cost, superior effectiveness, and environmental advantages of traditional safety razor shaves without having to learn the fine motor skills needed for using a traditional safety razor.

P.S. You can listen to older shaving-themed episodes:
http://designcritique.net/dc85-critique-sustainable-shaving-tools
http://designcritique.net/dc48-shaving-razor-critiques

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Interview: Using List Building to Start Your UX Freelancing Career with Jonathan Tilley

Jonathan Tilley, voiceover professional, joins Tim Keirnan for a discussion on how user experience professionals can find freelancing opportunities, either full or part time.

This episode is about designing one’s career instead of designing a digital or hardware experience, and closes with a discussion of how college students could use list building to find an internship or first job.

Jonathan’s websites are:
www.leagueoflistbuilders.com
and
www.jonathantilley.com

Audiophiles take note: As a professional voiceover artist, Jonathan already sounds good. His choice of the Neumann TLM 103 microphone is why his good voice sounds so amazing in this Skype recording with Tim. There is no additional processing on Jonathan’s voice. What you hear is his voice through the proximity effect of a magnificent and expensive-but-worth-it cardiod mic.
https://www.neumann.com/?lang=en&id=current_microphones&cid=tlm103_description

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Interview: HFES 2014 Conference Report

Melissa Smith returns for a special Human Factors News Desk episode that reports on the HFES 2014 annual meeting. If you missed the conference, or if you want to hear about sessions other than the ones you attended and the overal trends and themes she noticed, listen to this half hour with Melissa!

Link to HFES2014 twitter hashtag:https://twitter.com/hashtag/HFES2014

We also read email from listeners Costan (about GPS unit designs) and Reed (about interactive voice response systems).

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Critique: Magellan RoadMate 2230T-LM GPS

Brad Jensen returns to help Tim critique the Magellan RoadMate 2230T-LM portable GPS. This completes our series on portable GPS for the car and provides a fascinating look at how three manufacturers have designed similar solutions. The strengths of the Magellan include
* Text entry is spoken by the unit to confirm input
* Dynamic rerouting around traffic problems works well
* Effective use of corners for touch points
* 4.3 inch size is not ungainly as the 5 inch Garmin was

Usability problems with the RoadMate could be summed up as bad color choices in the UI. The garish display and the difficult to read road names, plus general clutter that is unnecessary to help the user, are unfortunate negatives.The update software is also poorly designed and confusing to use.

Melissa Smith joins us for another Human Factors News Desk segment. Citations to follow as soon as I find them…

 

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Critique: Nokia Lumia 520 and 521 Windows Phone 8

Mike Velasco returns to discuss the Windows Phone 8 duo from Nokia, the Lumia 520 and 521. These smart phones may be the best value in a phone ever sold to this point. The guys explain why the design, including the price point, is so attractive.
Paul Thurott inspired this episode with his article here:
http://winsupersite.com/windows-phone/nokia-lumia-520-best-tech-deal-2013

Melissa Smith returns with the Human Factors News Desk to discuss the following:

Gaspar, J. G., Neider, M. B., Crowell, J. A., Lutz, A., Kaczmarski, H., & Kramer, A. F. (2013). Are Gamers Better Crossers An Examination of Action Video Game Experience and Dual Task Effects in a Simulated Street Crossing Task. Human Factors: The Journal of the Human Factors and Ergonomics Society.

Yanko, M. R., & Spalek, T. M. (2013). Driving With the Wandering Mind The Effect That Mind-Wandering Has on Driving Performance. Human Factors: The Journal of the Human Factors and Ergonomics Society, 0018720813495280.

Finally, contributor Costan Boiangiu told us about this article on step stool design, which echoes our 100th Anniversary Episode topic!
http://www.core77.com/blog/consumer_product/designing_for_step_stools_26772.asp

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