Category: user experience

Looking out for hindsight bias

Posted 15 August 2013 in design, research, service design, user experience | No comments yet

An illustration of a meeting where someone is thinking "I could have told them all of this!"

I’m currently diving in to a Social Psychology MOOC course through Coursera which is generating some personal reflection about design research.

One point I’ve been thinking about is hindsight bias, or the I-knew-it-all-along effect, where people, presented with some facts, strongly (and wrongly) feel that they already knew those facts. There have been a variety of studies in to hindsight bias to look at how and when it occurs. An excerpt from (an old version of) David G. Myers Exploring Social Psychology summarises the hindsight bias effect.

How can hindsight bias creep in to UX or service design research?


A few pieces written elsewhere

Posted 4 August 2012 in design, service design, user experience | No comments yet

New posts have been a little rare on this site recently but here are a couple of pieces I’ve written over at the Meld Studios blog in the past month:

First thoughts on the Ozaki iStroke-L stylus

Posted 21 August 2011 in design, user experience | No comments yet

I’d been thinking about getting a stylus for my iPad for a few weeks and since I’m not as adventurous as some in building my own, I was struggling with my options. I asked around but didn’t receive any strong recommendations, the computer shops seemed to be a little bewildered by my want to use a stylus with an iPad, and I googled a bit but apart from some flimsy looking stylus’, the brands I was reading about didn’t seem to show up anywhere I went in Sydney. I wasn’t keen to buy online because I wanted to be able to easily return it if the product was a dud.

Yesterday I ended up going to a Mac reseller and they had a few to choose from including ones by Bamboo and Ozaki. Although name-wise Bamboo seemed a good idea, I opted for the Ozaki iStroke L [at the time of posting, their site seems to have fallen over.. oops!] because it was a little cheaper (it was still AUD$34 which feels like a lot to me for effectively a pen with a bit of rubber on it!).

My thoughts on the styles after a short amount of playing:

  • it feels like a pen! The size and weight makes it easy and familiar to hold.
  • it has a pen on the other end – considering I usually carry a pencil case I don’t know how handy that’ll be.
  • the packaging (a big hunk of hard plastic box) is pointless but at least it’s re-usable so I will use it for storing something. It looks like their iStroke-L+ version, which hadn’t been in the store I went to, has less packaging.
  • the stylus doesn’t have a carry case – I don’t think I’ve seen any stylus’ that include one but I’m sure that the rubber tip will get dented if I store it in my pencil case. I’ll create a small box for it but a lid for the rubber end would have been useful.

When it comes to using it with an iPad, some programs seem to work better with a stylus than others. Some programs have a reaction lag and don’t compensate for a little bit of wobbliness.  My favourite so far is Sketchbook Express and it looks like it’ll be my app for practicing due to its adjustable brushes, layers, and finger-swiping for menu items such as undo.

I’ve also found that a long sleeve pulled up to the ball of your hand prevents accidentally drawing on the edges of your screen with other parts of your hand and arm.

What this will need is practice, practice, practice.

First drawing with a stylus on the iPad


Sparking creativity

Posted 14 July 2011 in business, design, user experience | No comments yet

Confession time: I can lose hours pottering around in fabric and yarn shops, feeling materials and balls of wool, day-dreaming about what I can make. A few months ago, staring at a roll of fabric, I found myself wondering “Could I really make a coat out of this fabric?” – the label I was starting at was providing me hints to possible uses for the fabric and it was encouraging my imagination.

When selling components, ingredients or elements that people use to create new things, sparking a sense of creativity can influence the purchase.

For instance, food products do this by showing “serving suggestion” photos and recipes for cakes and gravies on cornflour boxes so you can feel some benefit to buying a 250g packet when all you need is a tablespoon full. The function of Ikea products may be obvious, but their stores also encourage creativity by providing a pathway through their warehouses to see the same products used in different settings and combinations that might not be immediately apparent.

So I’ve been taking pictures on my recent shopping trips to demonstrate some of the good and not-so-good examples for informing customers and sparking creativity when it comes to encouraging the purchase of fabric and yarn.

(and no, I’ve yet to make a coat but I’m definitely thinking about trying it out one day soon!)