user-centric

Your personal museum guide: A fine UX example of the use of an app by a museum

If you own a museum, art gallery or runs an exhibition, have you ever thought about producing an app for your visitors? If so, how much have you considered user tasks analysis and customised your app’s user experience to facilitate those tasks? Here is a great example of the use of a mobile app by the Rijksmuseum in Amsterdam. Read more

I-S Magazine’s iPad app: Prime example of a great magazine app [Review]

More than six months ago, I did a review of a magazine’s iPad app (a TV-synopsis magazine called HUMO in Belgium) to show how print publishers are finding it hard to rethink their content presentation, sales and profit model, and marketing strategies since the advent of the tablet.

Since then, I have been on the search for the ultimate magazine iPad app to show you how magazines can, and should, devise great iPad app with great UX – AND make money out of the content. I-S magazine from Singapore emerges as a top winner in its own class. Read more

Keytrade Bank’s iPad app and KeyKash Android app [Review]

I think it is high time Belgian banks get their act together and produce quality mobile apps for their customers. ING and Rabobank were the first to have produced mobile apps for their clients. I would make a comparison between ING’s app and Keytrade’s towards the end of this review.

In terms of a user-friendly app specifically geared towards iPad users, Keytrade’s app, launched in November 2012, was well thought out. Read more

London 2012 Olympics iPad app [UX Review]

The London 2012 Olympics iPad app is a pretty nifty one. There is another app called Results but that is more for people checking out the results of each event. This app is entitled “Join In”, seems to be geared mostly towards people who are there in person. But it is done in a way that does not exclude the ordinary user who just want to follow the games at home (like myself). I will explain why later on.

Let me guide you through the app, and at each step, talk about the UI and UX of each category and in general. Once open, the app shows a clear menu bar at the bottom, with 8 categories: What’s On, Events, Map, Places, Buzz, Guide, My Games, Search.

A good UI would be to lessen the layers that a user needs to dive into, while not presenting too many choices at the top level. Each category needs to be self-explanatory and distinct from the next. As an iPad app, the app needs to make full use of the capacities and functions of the device, and caters to and offers the user the use of these communication and utilitarian advantages. Read more

Print people have difficulty embracing digital…

This is another uninteresting venture by print people in making iPad apps.

The Straits Times of Singapore fail to understand an app is not the tablet version of their website.

While I appreciate the choice of font and the clarity of it, you cannot zoom in or out, nor can you share the article on a social network. In many ways, this is worse than their website. FAIL.

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Poorly-made signs confuse your users

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Carrefour supermarket, Ghent, 4 June 2012, Belgium

The manager of this branch of Carrefour supermarket should be fired.

The door of this entrance has not been working since time immemorial. Instead of mending the door, staff tried to prevent customers from using the left door by putting up very poorly-made signs telling them to use the right door.

When the top sign that says “THIS DOOR” did not work, the hand-written bottom sign was put there elaborating the message in broken Dutch: “Please take other door thank you”

The result: customers continue to push both doors and the already broken left door suffers further damages.

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Another UX lesson from our daily life: use clear, recognisable visual aids

use clear, recognisable visual aids

Ghent, 28 May 2012, Belgium

There are some rules by which one can apply when it comes to design for good user experience:

  • Zero or minimal learning curve
  • Visually indicative environment to guide the user
  • As few steps as possible for the user to reach his goal
  • As little time as possible for the user to reach his goal
  • FUN!

The above picture indicates how a bad user experience costs time and money for the driver and for the city administration. Read more

Keep your signs within sight, lest your guests run amok!

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Ghent, 28 May 2012, Belgium

As I was strolling around the city today, I found this sign interesting. The panel in the left picture is the back part of it, in the counter-traffic direction. The panel in the right picture is the front part, facing incoming traffic.

As in accordance to traffic rules, the handicap parking panel is to be placed on the side of the road of the parking lot, just before it and facing the traffic. The lots are also clearly marked with a wheelchair sign. Read more