DC94 T-Mobile Customer Service Nightmare

Even when the initial user experience of a product is good, the total customer experience suffers when a company ignores service after the sale. We at Design Critique argue that service after the sale IS AN INTEGRAL PART OF A PRODUCT'S DESIGN because it directly affects the customer experience. Only bad companies isolate product design from customer service design. In Tim's case, T-Mobile destroyed a loyal, 8-year customer relationship for its monthly prepaid service by

* Refusing to help replace a smart phone under warranty when it broke, in any kind of  realistic time frame,

* Refusing to unlock the phone after selling it on the condition it would be unlocked after 90 days, and

* Implying its monthly prepaid customers are not worth helping because only long term contract customers deserve good customer service.

It's a comedy of errors unless you're the one who wasted hundreds of dollars and hours of time dealing with T-Mobile's agressively anti-customer practices. What lessons can we draw from T-Mobile's mistakes?

One anecdote does not make a statistically significant trend, but anecdotes provide useful insights into the how and why of customer service failures.

Direct download: DesignCritique94_TmobileService.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 10:56pm EST

DC85 Critique: Sustainable Shaving Tools

In which Tim Keirnan and Mike Beasley discuss vintage shaving tool designs, featuring the safety razor and straight razor. Shaving with these old methods has many advantages, including:
* Closer shaves that last longer before the dreaded 5 o'clock shadow appears
* Improved skin condition due to premium creams and soaps used
* Lower cost of ownership (unless you start collecting gear as a hobby)
* Sustainable technology compared with disposable plastic-dominated, modern, overpriced crap
* Better user experience due to mindful nature of single-blade shaving that many find relaxing and even fun, due to the "gourmet" shave creams and soaps, brushes, and blades used. As Mike says, it's more classy.

Two forums in particular helped us convert from multi-bladed cartridge monstrosities with industrial "goop in a can" to vintage shaving:
http://straightrazorplace.com/
Mike frequents this forum and likes it a lot.

http://www.pogonotomy.com/
Tim favors this one for forum owner Bruce's blog and the very international nature forum that is small enough to feel neighborly and doesn't overwhelm you with millions of posts per day.

Legendary Zack's article on boar bristle shave brushes, and some other blogs:
http://www.shavemyface.com/forum/viewtopic.php?t=35880
http://www.shaving101.com/
http://sharpologist.com/

YouTube channels that helped us greatly include:
http://www.youtube.com/user/mantic59
Legendary Mantic59's Shave Tutor channel. Excellent how to videos.

http://www.youtube.com/user/geofatboy
Geo does a lot of terrific reviews of razors old and new, shaving with them while doing his reviews.

http://www.youtube.com/user/mokujingris1
http://www.youtube.com/user/MrGuysRazors

And Michael Ham's reference how-to book on safety razor shaves:

http://leisureguy.wordpress.com/shaving-book-reviews/

Direct download: DesignCritique85_SustainableShavingTools.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 9:48am EST

DC84 Panel: The State of the Internet User Experience, 2011

Recorded live at Internet User Experience 2011 on October 11th, it's the panel session "The State of the Internet User Experience" starring
Marti Gukeisen
Dave Mitropoulos-Rundus
Dante Murphy
Susan Weinschenk

and Tim Keirnan as the moderator.

Learn more about the panelists at
http://www.iue2011.com/presentation_stateofux.html

Thanks to all four panelists for allowing Design Critique to distribute this recording.

Direct download: DesignCritique84_IUE2011panel.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 11:19pm EST

I just published an article on usability testing for entrepreneurs at Entrepreneurial America's website. It's a great place and I encourage you to check it out.

Here's a direct link to my article.

Category:general -- posted at: 9:34pm EST

Happy New Year for 2009 Hi everyone,
Thanks for listening to Design Critique over the past year. 2008 was fun and I have three episodes in post-production right now for 2009. The photo is from the holiday card I sent this December to family and friends, and I thought why not share it with the listeners. I don't know who all of you are or where you are, but I appreciate that you're out there. I wish a useful, usable, and enjoyable new year to all of you.

Best regards,
Tim

Category:general -- posted at: 5:34pm EST