In a previous post I ripped into a company for making it unreasonably hard to pause their service. I had a point, though: that sometimes looking too hard at the numbers can eliminate the human element of the User eXperience.
But UX shouldn’t be learned through what to avoid—if you avoided everything offensive, you’d probably end up with an app as exciting as oatmeal. Instead, I’d suggest starting a file of “Good UX.” Fill it with little experiences that charm and delight, and soon you’ll be thinking up ways to please your own customers.
Here are a few of my favorite example from my files:
Chocolat, the Text Editor
When Chocolat’s trial period ends, it asks for payment. It’s cute about it, with a little heart. This alone wouldn’t have made it into my file, but combined with:
This surprising notification, I was laughing.
Sure enough, when I opened my text document, it was entirely in frustrating-but-tolerable Comic Sans.
I haven’t spent the $49 yet, but between their funny UX and excellent service in general, I fully intend to with the next paycheck.
Oyster, the Books on Demand Service
While I was attempting to save money last month (this was the period in which I attempted to pause my freelancing software), I also went to cancel Oyster, a wonderful monthly service providing books.
When I went to cancel, it asked me why, and I chose from the drop-down menu that I was attempting to save money. This is what popped up:
This was genius. I went from being miffed that I was being auto-billed, to wishing that I could stay on the service, all with one overly-tempting screen. I’ll probably be back soon, Oyster, just you wait!
Timehop, the Archival Photo Service
Although I don’t actually use Timehop myself, but Lyle posted this amazing holiday-celebrating post from them on Twitter.
Not only is it a fun little celebration—it also takes into consideration the feelings of its users, who might naturally be a little down on Singles Awareness Day.
So I’m trying to put together a little set of rules for UX—a little Hippocratic Oath for UX designers, and so far I’m thinking HUMAN:
HONEST: upfront about privacy and pricing
UNDERSTANDING: overall empathetic to the customer’s feelings
MANAGEABLE: learning to use the app should be easy
ACCESSIBLE: the design should be aware of disabilities
NIMBLE: responsive to customer feedback
But I’d love to hear your thoughts—feel free to leave a comment or e-mail me at email@example.com. If you liked this story and want to share it, the little empty heart below this would love some attention! ☺