When consumers get delighted

This guy is talking about consumer delight. That is in my thoughts what I’m after also. I would really like to learn what makes people to happy. What are the things that makes them share their experiences with others. Why something brings delight and another doesn’t.

Giles Colborne from CXPartners is making excellent observation about delight coming from surprising the customer. User delight can be got even with bad UX in the beginning, if the corrective action is superb and surprising.

Check the slides out:

When I reflect this to myself, I’ve often found myself judging companies based on these though situations. When you have a problem with something and you ask for help. I actually blogged about this some time ago in my another blog, when I ordered bean bag which was faulty and how well they actually handled it.

Lesson here is again is that product itself is only half of the experience. Product must be good in order for customers to be happy about it, but so needs rest of the services around it. Weakest link metaphor goes well in here.

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How to make credit cards much more safe

I have simple idea how they could make credit cards much more safe. Often when credit (or bank) cards are stolen, first thieves get somehow to know your pin code. They look over shoulder or even there are these machines that videotape or record you pin code. Then they steal your card and use it asap.

What if credit cards would have two pin codes. Those would be then used after each other. So you would have codes 1234 and 5678. When you are buying something you would this time give 1234. Then on the next buy, or withdraw from ATM, you would use 5678. Then on the next you would again use 1234. Simple.

This would make thieves life much harder. If they would track you and somehow see what was the pin code you used, they couldn’t steal your card right away, since that code wouldn’t work. To somehow track your both pin codes is much harder I think.

What do you think? Isn’t it a cheap and easy way to increase security with credit cards?

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Book side notes are disturbing

Book often have side notes which have more information about the subject that is been told in the main text. I’m bothered that those are often located in some specific place in the page. Those are following a pattern and those are not actually in the place that you could easily read it.

So my problem is that I’m reading something interesting and then I turn page and I notice there’s box with additional information. (Like in the picture on the right.) I wouldn’t like to jump there right now, because I’m concentrating to a sentence and paragraph, but I already noticed the box and I’m curios what it might say. So I get disturbed, and when reading books that really need concentration to understand, I need regather my thoughts. That’s bit frustrating.

Why these boxes couldn’t be put to suitable location. One possibility could be in end of a paragraph when reader easily can jump out of context and check the additional information if he or she wants. I this there are other good options also. But first the guys who are defining these layouts needs to accept that problem exist.

Funny is that I don’t see this as a problem in most of the web pages. Maybe this is because in web pages there are different colors used and sentences and paragraphs are shorter. Also the content might often be bit easier to read and not needing that much concentration than books.

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What happened to “what’s on your mind box”?

Just a regular Saturday morning. I was drinking coffee and opened laptop and went to Facebook to say something funny about the amount of snow it has rained in past days here. But whaaat had happened!!! There’s no “what’s in your mind box” anywhere.

I really went to may different views and even thought there’s something wrong with my browser or mini laptop. Then after long period of searching, I found out it had been removed and replaced with icons to share stuff.

Bold move from Facebook. I think that box has been one defining element on their pages. Now they took it away. It even guides more and more on sharing links and pictures instead of status updates. Are they saying that time of status updates without links is passing? Or is it just an experiment?

For now at least, I just hate that change. What’s the benefit of it? Maybe bit more space saved for something else. I feel this change actually discourages people to share their thoughts and encourages people to just checkout others. I would really like to get that box back. It makes me feel safe.

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Usability trick used in ATM’s

First ATM’s (at least in Finland) used to “eat” many forgotten cards. That made customers unhappy and it also cost a lot to the banks. Then the guys designing sw for it revisited their thoughts.

Users only goal in ATM is to get money. What used to happen was, that user put the card in, entered pin code and then told how much money they want. Then money came, they achieved their goal and left. And the card was forgotten.

Currently ATM’s work so, that users are not able to get money, before they take the card out from machine. How simply they fulfilled the need users didn’t know they have. Users would be so much unhappier if they would lose their card. Now they don’t even realise this trick.

Maybe smart homes could grow to be similar in the future. When you are leaving the house, system would check that there no lights on and stove is off. Or maybe there’s much more obvious case I don’t even now realise. Surely something to keep in mind.

I just love these simple tricks to make users being not unhappy.

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What can we learn from UX in Grocery store

Have you ever thought user experience on grocery store. They have been thinking it for much longer than anyone on IT. Here’s my observations.

Often first ones when you come in are the fruits and vegetables. I think those have a couple of meanings. First those most often look nice and give a fresh look to the store. Then those actually takes most of the time in store, so having those first make store look popular, since there is always people there. Third, most of the people will always get something from theat section, so it is convenient to have it first, to minimise the trouble from everyone.

Shelves in the store are designed so that in the level of the eye and hand there are the most popular and most used items. In the top and bottom shelves are niche products, which users of those will find even from non optimal places.

Many stores also use the trick on placing products, which have a best before date coming sooner, on the right side of line of products. There are more right-handed people, so those products will get sold before the date from the right side.

Then thinking about cash desk. There are products which are often bought impulsively, like candies and soft drinks. Also close to cash desks there are products which are easy to steal, so cash personnel can try to take an eye on those ones.

In addition, there’s lot of stuff ongoing in the background making sure there are things to sell and those are fresh. Logistics and everything is meant to be silent and unnoticed, still having one of the most important parts of user experience. If there’s nothing to sell in grocery store, user experience is always terrible.

If you compare this to any software, it’s not that different. You want your customers to think this is fresh and easy to use. You want to look popular. You want your content to be there. You want people to exploit some new stuff also on the way. UX in grocery store and SW are not that different. And I actually think no user experience is that different from another.

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Hello world


I’m Henri Hämäläinen. I’ve always been intrested in why people behave like they do. What actually makes something look and feel better than the other. What makes us to select something instead of other. These are questions I will try to cover in this blog.

My thoughts are to cover here issues in much wider scope than in SW and IT. I think there are lot of good stuff outside of computer world which explains UX and behaviour. I have already some good topics to cover in my mind.

I’m no UI designer and I also think that UX is not something we should leave for UI design. In any company, almost all roles have an effect on how customers feel on product or service. I think you get the point what I’m gonna cover in this blog based on this thinking.

Finally few words about me. I’m currently working in Nokia in product management type of role. I’m from Finland and have two daughters. I try to keep up on many things on what’s happening in the world, specifically in high techs and many many sports. I also have another blog, which is for wider scope of subject and I’ll try to keep this in UX.

Hope you find this interesting and maybe give me a comment sometimes.

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