A lot of parents want to let their children venture out into the world on the internet, but still worry about keeping them safe. How do you guide your kids without spying on them or over-limiting them?
Tank Design in Boston led the design for this challenging project for Norton, and they brought me in to assist with the user experience mapping and the information architecture. The branding and visual themes had already been established by Tank’s very talented crew. While there are lots of potential ways to approach the user experience, most of them are too techie. The key to the experience is keeping the model very simple: One Web page with three sections (activity, settings, and accounts) and one clear way to do everything.
The result recently launched. OnlineFamily.Norton lets you set rules in collaboration with your kids. They always know what the rules are (they can look ‘em up) and they know exactly what you know – which is pretty much everything. From any Web browser, you can monitor their activity and easily adjust rules.
Got kids? Curious? Sign up for OnlineFamily.Norton. It’s free until January 2010.
Tungle already had a great design going when they asked me, along with Matt Belge of Vision&Logic, to design an OpenSocial extension. Tungle’s value proposition is terrific, and also so innovative that it’s not easy to grasp quickly. To start with, you can schedule meetings with anyone by e-mail, letting them choose from multiple times to meet. You and they also can decide to show each other when you’re free, making it even easier.
In doing the design, we helped refine the value proposition (and even coined the current tag line, Make Meetings Happen.) We then proposed changes to the basic flow of the customer experience, so that users could better:
- Understand the advanced capabilities by experiencing them in context
- Have a clear understanding of what the person they were inviting would experience
Being very agile, the Tungle team took the recommendations hot-off-the-grill and applied them to the core product, with great results. Go sign up now. It’s free, and you’ll love the service.
Or, if you want to schedule a time for us to talk, you can Tungle me without even signing up.
When you already have a highly successful online dating service – with over 20 million registered users – what do you do next?
For Mate1.com, the answer was to undertake an ambitious technology overhaul to bring matchmaking to the next level. At the same time, they hired me to design a new UI with the challenge: How do you get members to build the confidence to keep coming back? Just as importantly, how do you get them to create the kind of rich profiles that will attract good matches?
I worked with their team in an intensive workshop to analyze their business, brand, and user goals. Then I developed a detailed wireframe specification with what we think are some very innovative solutions – always with an eye to quick feedback and consistent, simple structural model. Aspects of the new UI launch shortly on Mate1.com. A new site, eDate, is intended to work for an even broader audience, including people who are skeptical of online dating and who need to see progress in order to keep at it. Stay tuned for the launches.
The iPhone is so sexy (and indispensable – I keep mine with me 24/7) that everyone wants to do The Next Great Thing. But the Truly Great Thing about the iPhone is that you are able (or should be able) to use any app without learning it, or even really thinking about it. In my case, I have all these crazy French-language apps that drove me crazy trying to learn them. The designers were just trying to be original.
What if you were an ambitious startup offering high-quality, licensed news video from leading media companies around the world? Your content is searchable by topic, language, and location (using Google maps). Find a video you like? You can locate videos from the same region.
This was the problem MediaScrape™ in Montréal asked me to address. The answer is a simple UI with standard icons and menus, using all the standard love-’em-or-hate-’em iPhone conventions. It’s still in development, so I can’t send you to the App Store. Yet.
For a large multinational that handles thousands of customer complaints every week, I designed the tool used by the staff, both in the call center and in the field. The call center staff need to listen to complaints over the phone, recording all the customer information and details of the complaint while still conversing with an upset or angry customer. While highly trained, the staff had to grapple with multiple tools, each with its own confusing interface. The Web-based solution concentrated all the tasks into a simple set of three screens, always keeping present the fields that might be needed at any time in the interaction. The interface is proprietary, and can’t be shared here. I chose this stock photo of a call center worker because she reminds me of some of the many that I observed and talked with on-site before tackling the design.
Behavioural economists study how people make decisions – and how it is that we often fool ourselves. For a leading financial services company in the U.S., I worked on-site over an eight-month period with a post-doctoral behavioural economist to understand how these powerful concepts could be used to guide customers to make better decisions and achieve better results. I reviewed the original scholarly research and translated it into reports and presentations that were presented bi-weekly to marketing and design teams to help them design better products, services and Web tools. While the work I did is proprietary to the client and cannot be shared here, what I learned has tremendous application to the work I do, helping users to make choices and take action.
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