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The Southwest Airlines Experience: Welcomed Whimsy or Inescapable Torture?
Submitted by Joann Agnitti on Thu, 2015-04-09 15:36

For over 40 years, Southwest Airlines has been showing its customers a whole lotta LUV.

Content Wanted: Lorem Ipsum Need Not Apply
Submitted by Joann Agnitti on Wed, 2015-04-01 10:07

Content is no longer the red-headed stepchild of design! Rise up, words!

What's NLT's Job?
Submitted by Joann Agnitti on Wed, 2015-01-21 18:35

My milkshake brings all the boys to the yard, and I'm like.... this is not why I bought this milkshake. Please get off my property.

So why did I buy the milkshake? Famed Harvard Business School professor (and author of Steve Jobs' favorite business book) Clayton Christensen can help answer that one. He developed the Jobs-to-be-Done (JTBD) theory to reframe a question product owners have been wondering since the dawn of the free market: instead of asking a customer why they bought a product, ask them what job the product was hired to do. Switching to this line of questioning returned surprising insights for Christensen and his team as they wondered why, in the very early morning, were people buying so many milkshakes from a fast food restaurant?

Watch this short (<5 min) clip of Christensen telling the story in his own words to find out the answer:

Wherein NLT Goes Speed Dating
Submitted by Joann Agnitti on Fri, 2014-11-21 15:07

I attended my second Test Tube event a few nights ago and it delivered; I got a lot of feedback in a little time. For this go-round I was testing NLT. Because you only have 7 minutes with each person, I couldn't go too in depth with any one task, but I did get some telling first impressions. Quite a few pain points surfaced; namely,

  • The hassle of having to sign up
    • Only one person said that they would leave the site immediately once the wall came up. The rest (4 people) felt it appeared too soon and of these people, 3 suggested allowing people to sign up through Facebook or Google.
      People also wanted more emphasis on the site being free.
  • Not understanding the featured stories block
    • Overall, it seems people need more context about this section. They weren't sure why these stories were being featured (one person thought it meant they were breaking news stories).
    • Two people thought this section was a video. One person said because of this, and because they peruse news sites while at work, they definitely wouldn't click on it. Interesting/troubling?
Like what you see on Meetup? There's a Team You Should Thank for That
Submitted by Joann Agnitti on Fri, 2014-11-07 19:00

What's better than a meetup on usability? Meetup's usability meetup!

I stumbled on their philosophy of testing by happenstance but the more I read about it, the more impressed I became. Meetup doesn't just have a usability team, it has a usability lab. It takes Nielsen's rule of 5 to the extreme: 5 (or more) testers every week of the year. In 2013, they tested over 400 people! They practice lean UX, so they are able to do numerous testing/dev cycles super efficiently. They want to learn what users think of their site as quickly as possible so they can iterate and maintain a pleasant user experience.

I found a brief explanation from Meetup itself of how it does user testing. But I think the more educational and thorough artifact is the vialogue I'm embedding below (sorry I got a little comment-happy).

In this presentation, VP of Strategy, Product, and Community Andres Glusman and then-usability lab leader Brenna Lynch lend great insight into the usability practices at Meetup. Their talk includes how they recruit all of those users, what their testing environment looks like, and how they incorporate user feedback into product development.

Be Bop 'Til You Drop, EdLab!
Submitted by Joann Agnitti on Tue, 2014-10-28 09:36

Does listening to music at work make you more or less productive? As much as I prefer to toil to the glorious sounds of absolute silence, recent research has inspired me to plug in and hit play.

Mindlab International, on behalf of MusicWorks, challenged 26 participants to complete a series of action-oriented tasks over the course of 5 days. While doing so, they listened to one of 4 genres of music (or nothing at all).

The results were surprising. For one, people who listened to nothing were found to make more mistakes! I would've thought the quiet would allow for more accuracy. Little did I know I've been making a mess of things for years.

More highlights from the study:

Classical music helps you solve mathematical problems with accuracy. (You listening, Xiang?)

Pop music helps you improve your speed on those data entry tasks. It's also good for spell-checking accuracy!

Ambient music is best for people who are solving equations.

Dance music was the genre linked to the highest overall accuracy and speed across a variety of tasks (solving equations, spell-checking, mathing). It's especially good for those of you who are proofreading.

So next time you hear sweet dance beats leaking out of BSweet's earphones, go ahead and marvel at his productivity. Better yet, ask him what he's listening to!

What music puts you into a flow state? Do you go lyric-less or do you just need some Beyonce to get it done?

FYI: Upcoming Conference
Submitted by Joann Agnitti on Tue, 2014-10-21 09:17

The FunnyBizz conference is around the corner and it's about time. Well actually I think it's about humor and work. And creating better content! Funny content! My favorite.

Thursday, October 30th, 2014
9am- 5pm (Not a bad way to spend a work day!)
16 Main St, Brooklyn, NY 11201, Brooklyn, NY

For more info: http://funnybizz.co/