Nikos Pappas • Crafting Digital Products & Impactful Experiences
Nikos Pappas • Digital Product Designer

Notebook

This digital notebook is about documenting interesting ideas, opinions and findings around user and customer experience, product design, strategy, processes and tools.

Modality: The UX Concept That Most Designers Don’t Fully Understand
  1. “Use Modal Screens for self-contained processes, use Non-Modal Screens for everything else.

  2. Use Modal Screens for critical information that requires a specific user task, decision, or acknowledgement.

  3. Try to minimize the use of modality. Generally, people prefer to interact with apps in nonlinear ways. Consider creating a modal context only when it’s critical to get someone’s attention, when a task must be completed or abandoned to continue using the app, or to save important data. “

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Intrigued? Read the full article by Fabian Sebastian at the following link:
https://uxplanet.org/modality-the-one-ux-concept-you-need-to-understand-when-designing-intuitive-user-interfaces-e5e941c7acb1

Barry Katz On [Product/Service] Design

“High quality of design, and I mean that in the sense not just of how a product looks or even just how a product works but the entire emotional valance of using product from beginning to end, is now a condition of entry into the market. It's the competitive difference and the competitive advantage that functionally similar products will have.”

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Originally posted on YouTube at the following link:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cB43c3o18Tk

#productdesign #customerexperience #servicedesign

To be strategic

How to be strategic” by Julie Zhuo is one of the best essays I’ve ever read on product strategy.

According to Zhuo these 3 things are the “secret sauce” of being strategic:
✔︎ Create alignment around what wild success looks like.
✔︎ Understand which problem you’re looking to solve for which group of people.
✔︎ Prioritize. And cut.

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The full post is well worth a read.
Find it at the following link: https://medium.com/@joulee/how-to-be-strategic-f6630a44f86b

#productdevelopment #productdesign #productmanagement #strategicthinking #strategicdesign

Product image galleries break out of the carousel
Nike Pages.gif

“There is simply no comparison between scrolling through six lovely images and seeing the product from every angle, and clicking staccato-like through a series of tiny thumbnails in a left hand side carousel.

The new Nike product page is all about showing off that trainer. Adidas is no disgrace, this thumbnail carousel is pretty much the default for all ecommerce product pages. Nike used to use it, too (check it out here).

Where the new imagery layout really comes into its own is where autoplaying video is part of the image tiling. Here’s an example (I’ve only captured a very short loop of the video, it is actually much longer).” (Ref: Why Nike’s refreshed product pages improve CX (& beat Adidas) | By Ben Davis • March 4th 2018)

And this is how “video is not anymore a single explainer video on top of your home page. This is how video became a continuum embedded in the customer journey. Go to any other website, app, or social feed from one of the digital unicorns and the use of video transcends the typical boundaries. You see motion graphics interacting with content; delightful micro-narratives explaining key featuresanimation merging with UI elements; even self-generated videos incorporating real-time data.” (Ref: Move over, UX. A new movement is here | Yann Lhomme  •  Jul 26, 2018)

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Read more on: https://econsultancy.com/why-nike-s-refreshed-product-pages-improve-cx-beat-adidas/ & https://www.invisionapp.com/inside-design/video-experience-vx

Craving technology-driven experiences

Reading "The myth of human-centered design," I thought that I couldn't disagree more with the author on what Don Norman's "human-centered design" means.

According to Norman, "human-centred design" is about "making technology work well with people". Hence, it's not about who comes first, people or technology, but instead, it's about "how we can build a bridge between human capabilities and technology".

However, I also couldn't agree more with the fact that people indeed crave experiences that are driven by technology:

"All of the critical ways we define ourselves are being changed by our relationship to technology. To suggest that technology must be designed strictly around what people want is missing the central theme of our time: We crave experiences that are driven by technology. And from this, technology has become inseparable from who we are, and from any notion of what we want."

#notetoself
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Read more on: fastcompany.com/90208681/the-myth-of-human-centered-design
An article by Mark Rolston

 

People are creatures of Emotion
how people think.png

"When dealing with people, let us remember we are not dealing with creatures of logic. We are dealing with creatures of emotion, creatures bustling with prejudices and motivated by pride and vanity"
 - Dale Carnegie

#productdesign
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Found in an article by Eugen Eşanu, Designer & Founder of Laroche.co and host of Laroche.fm
Read more at the following link https://uxplanet.org/product-design-expectations-vs-reality-2e5b24473dc5

The Collaboration Gap
Airbnb's DLS

"Technology companies are expected to move at an incredible pace, and building software is complex. Add ever growing teams to the mix and you often end up with disjointed experiences. This has led us to try to better understand how multiple teams can efficiently collaborate to build great, cohesive software.

Software design has unfortunately not evolved at a similar pace. The gap between designers and engineers has only increased. Design teams can often struggle to reach a cadence that balances the creative process and cycles of continuous innovation. Quality suffers, the experience becomes less cohesive, and talented people spend an inordinate amount of time simply managing communication across disciplines."

Here’s the simple truth: you can’t innovate on products without first innovating the way you build them.

This led Airbnb to the development of its new Design Language System (or DLS), as well as a suite of internal and third-party tools that allow Airbnb's teams to not only work smarter, but also closer. The DLS is a collection of components defined by shared principles and patterns. This allows for rapid iteration using a shared vocabulary across design, engineering, and other disciplines. The structure of the DLS is simple and coherent, easing communication across teams.

Christopher Alexander, who wrote the seminal The Timeless Way of Building, states that “when language is shared, the individual patterns in the language are profound.” For this to happen, these patterns need to be fundamentally simple. “Nothing which is not simple and direct can survive the slow transmission from person to person.

So Airbnb's DLS focuses on common ingredients that follow Airbnb's core design principles: unified, universal, iconic, and conversational. Universal and Unified define the system’s approach we apply when defining patterns. Is it part of a greater whole? Does it work across devices? Iconic and Conversational help define the character of the system — its unique human qualities that tie back to Airbnb's community and brand values."

#designsystems
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Read more on https://airbnb.design/the-way-we-build/
An article by Alex Schleife, VP of Design at Airbnb

Consider Brand's Impact

"It’s important to consider to consider the conceptual model surrounding a business strategy. What is the business strategy? What is the strategic role of the brand in supporting that strategy? How critical is it? Is price competition the alternative to creating and leveraging brand equity? What impact will that have on profit streams going forward? Management guru Tom Peters said it well:

“In an increasingly crowded marketplace, fools will compete on price. Winners will find a way to create lasting value in the customer’s mind.“

"

  Old > New  At Home Run we deliver groceries from UK's favourite supermarkets, but including another brand in our update SMS wasn't helping us either to gain top-of-mind-awareness or to distill the brand associations that we have developed over the years.

Old > New
At Home Run we deliver groceries from UK's favourite supermarkets, but including another brand in our update SMS wasn't helping us either to gain top-of-mind-awareness or to distill the brand associations that we have developed over the years.

So, how do you leverage your brand's equitity while crafting customer experiences? 

#brandequity
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Read more on https://www.prophet.com
An article by David Aaker

E-commerce & Users’ Expectations

"Today’s online customers have a desire for instant gratification and immediacy when it comes to interacting with e-commerce retailers" - NNGroup

I'm so excited to see that our team at Home Run works towards what the large majority of consumers want and that 1-hour delivery is here to stay.

“In the past, ordering online often meant waiting for days or even weeks for the product to be delivered. Not anymore. Amazon has offered quick 2-day shipping for several years, and more recently it started offering same-day delivery, that, in many locations, can be customized by shoppers down to the hour. This is a step outside of the stereotypical “box” of delivery options dependent on third-party shipping providers (like UPS, FedEx, and government postal services).

As a result, today’s online customers have a desire for instant gratification and immediacy when it comes to interacting with e-commerce retailers.

Speedy shipping is a major benefit for web shoppers who are overwhelmed with options these days, and fast-delivery options differentiate retailers from their competitors. Users’ need for speed is not only about fast shipping — one-click ordering and streamlined purchase workflows are explored by retailers to get users through their shopping activities fast and with little effort.”

Article's Key Takeaways:

  1. Participants in our studies appreciated e-commerce sites that prevented them from wasting time on pointless trips to the store.
  2. Today’s online customers have a desire for instant gratification and immediacy when it comes to interacting with e-commerce retailers
  3. Shoppers in our studies wanted to feel safe and needed to know that sites had the proper security measures and protections in place.
  4. Today’s shoppers expect precision in geolocation information, inventory data, order-status messages, pickup time frames, pricing, arrival dates, and user reviews.
  5. Users are also less forgiving about inaccurate information.
  6. Many sites these days take the idea of flexibility to the extreme by offering policies that were unheard of years earlier. This level of flexibility allows customers to interact on their terms and design a shopping experience that suits their needs.
  7. From chat to click-to-call and social media, study participants wanted multiple ways to get help.
  8. As users’ comfort level with e-commerce grows, they expect added elements of surprise and delight.

#ecommerce #ux #userexperience

• My Linkedin post:
https://www.linkedin.com/feed/update/urn:li:activity:6412068064073965568

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Read more on NNGroup.com: https://www.nngroup.com/articles/ecommerce-expectations/

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And, folks, we are crowdfunding on Seedrs! See our campaign at the following link: seedrs.com/homerun

Build Transparent Interactions

"We’re gradually moving away from designing GUIs, which require the user’s full attention, and moving towards designing calmer, less obtrusive interaction, bringing human-computer interaction without graphics to the core of the User Experience: Welcome to the world of no UIs."

"The Take Away

An effective no-UI approach is heavily based on the concept of context awareness, which includes the user’s goals and preferences, knowledge of the surrounding environment, social rules and device abilities for knowing how and when to deliver information in an non-visual way to users. The level of context awareness required for a complete no-UI service is difficult to obtain, but the examples above show where no-UI approaches are likely to work best: Allow the user to monitor the progress of ongoing tasks or get updates on important information as it emerges.

The key advantage of no-UI design here is that it eliminates the need for constant visual interaction with the device. You take the device from your pocket, causing it to exit stand-by mode, unlocking itself, and bringing the desired application to the foreground or expanding notifications for you so you can assess all the information displayed and make a decision.

In a world where we are surrounded by information and digital events, Mark Weiser foresaw the necessity for calm technology. As a designer, your task remains to harness and influence the developments in technology, deploying its capabilities with one thing in mind: to allow the user to keep calm and carry on (with the tasks at hand)!"

#noui #userexperience #ixd
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Read more on https://www.interaction-design.org
An article by Andreas Komninos

User flow fundamentals

So, what are user flows and why you need to use them?

 Nice and simple.  Source here

Nice and simple. Source here

"User flows are another method to segment and define your digital product, customer experience, website, or app.

So it’s just another method, except, the beautiful thing about user flows is their ability to define sections of something gnarly, abstract and technical like “cross-platform mobile experiences” from the perspective of the user." 

Fundamentals:

  1.  User flows show their purpose  🏆

  2. User Flows go in one direction  ➡️

  3. User flows represent a complete task  ✅

 All three together in this example. Source:   https://uxdesign.cc/the-biggest-wtf-in-design-right-now-87139f367d66

All three together in this example. Source:  https://uxdesign.cc/the-biggest-wtf-in-design-right-now-87139f367d66

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Read more on UX Collective
An article by Alexander Handley 

Dark Patterns (5/5)

Well, I was about to post my last piece about #DarkPatterns on Friday (an analysis of Messenger's sign in), but then a friend showed me what COSMOTE Mobile Telecommunications S.A. did with its new data protection preferences. 

Thus, I decided to post a video of how Cosmote attempts to trick users into giving full consent for the use of their personal data. 

P.S. The user interface, the content, and the flow have too many non-GDPR-compliant patterns, such as soft opt-in tactics. 

#darkpatterns #kingsofdeception #gdpr 
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* I’ve decided to dedicate my last few posts to “Dark Patterns”. Dark Patterns are carefully crafted features/tactics that trick users into doing things that they might not want to do, and which benefit the business in question.

#ux #userexperience #cx #customerexperience

• My Linkedin post: 
https://www.linkedin.com/feed/update/urn:li:activity:6397020588589805568  

Nikos Pappas
Dark Patterns (4/5, Almost Friday)
theguardian.jpeg

Today’s example is from an organization that I deeply respect for its professionalism. 

Last week Guardian News & Media sent me a marketing email that caused me to believe that something had changed in my email subscription settings, while, in fact, I haven't been a subscriber since April 2016.

#darkpatterns #theartofdeception
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P.S. I’ve decided to dedicate this week’s posts to “Dark Patterns”. Dark Patterns are carefully crafted features/tactics that trick users into doing things that they might not want to do, and which benefit the business in question. 

 #ux #userexperience #cx #customerexperience

• My Linkedin post: 
https://www.linkedin.com/feed/update/urn:li:activity:6395241556625940480

Nikos Pappas
Dark Patterns (3/5, Wednesday)

This is my 3rd post on #DarkPatterns, let's keep it short.

Well, nothing, not a single product category, is free from dark design patterns - not even this salt mill.

Video source: https://lnkd.in/ekZXpta

For more #DeceivingPackaging examples visit the following link: https://lnkd.in/eE4zFFV

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P.S. I’ve decided to dedicate this week’s posts to “Dark Patterns”. Dark Patterns are carefully crafted features/tactics that trick users into doing things that they might not want to do, and which benefit the business in question. 

#darkpatterns #ux #userexperience #cx

• My Linkedin post: 
https://www.linkedin.com/feed/update/urn:li:activity:6394868657087930368 

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Video source: 
https://www.youtube.com/user/Nerdwriter
https://darkpatterns.org

Dark Patterns (2/5, Tuesday)
t-mobile.jpeg

To showcase that Dark Patterns go beyond graphical user interfaces and online experiences, I've decided to continue my posts with the recent "fake ring tones" case:

T-Mobile USA has recently agreed to pay a $40 million fine for using fake ring tones and lying to millions of users. The company used fake ring tone noises that created the appearance that the calls were going through –while, in fact, they were not– and no one was picking up.

Here’s how it worked:

"Whenever a phone couldn’t establish a connection with another phone, instead of remaining silent, the calling tone would start ringing in the caller’s ear. Logically, the person placing the call believes that the phone on the other side is actually ringing but nobody is picking up. Of course, the fact is that their call is not going through at all, and T-Mobile is using a fake ringtone to make it seem like it is." [1]

 

So, yes, "if there’s a pantheon for #darkpatterns, T-Mobile has earned a spot on it for that dreadful example of deceptive user experience" as Jesus Diaz points out in his recent article [2] on Co.Design - Fast Company Showcase Page.

[1][2]: https://lnkd.in/eGzTn3d

#darkpatterns #ux #userexperience #cx #customerexperience

• My Linkedin post: 
https://www.linkedin.com/feed/update/urn:li:activity:6394509821848154113

 

Dark Patterns (1/5, Monday)

I’ve decided to dedicate this week’s posts to “Dark Patterns”.

The term “Dark Patterns” is coined by Harry Brignull and refers to carefully crafted features/tactics that trick users into doing things that they might not want to do, and which benefit the business in question.

Dark Patterns can, of course, have serious implications for people and society. In fact, Flavio Lamenza argues in his article “Stop calling these Dark Design Patterns or Dark UX — these are simply a**hole designs” that “this all -the Dark Patterns that we encounter every day- is not bad user experience design, not psychology, not "dark patterns". This is being dishonest, deceitful, corrupt, and unethical tactics.”

Over the next few days, I will share examples of what NOT TO DO if you are a responsible organization which has its customers’ best interests at heart.

I would be truly thrilled to see more professionals posting one or more examples using #darkpatterns in an effort to raise awareness about this important issue.

Let's start the week with a video from https://darkpatterns.org, which includes various examples.

#darkpatterns #ux #userexperience #cx #customerexperience

• My Linkedin post: 
https://www.linkedin.com/feed/update/urn:li:activity:6394118694808670208 

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Video source: 
https://www.youtube.com/user/Nerdwriter