From Experience to Trust

I recently revisited the latest Forrester’s web site review methodology, affectionately named Forrester’s Web Site User Experience Review 8.0. Essentially the methodology is an expert review based on a set of heuristics that Forrester periodically updates. The heuristics appear to be solid and well formed. As in all heuristic reviews, the methodology is only as good as the expert applying the heuristics. Presumably Forrester hires some of the best and brightest! BTW. You can download many of their evaluation tools, scorecards, etc.  free if you’re so inclined.

Essentially Forrester uses 25 rating criteria across four categories:

  1. Value
  2. Navigation
  3. Presentation
  4. Trust

Interestingly enough their heuristics line up reasonably well against the four categories in my User Experience Hierarchy of Needs:

  1. Useful,
  2. Usable
  3. Delightful
  4. Desirable

To be fair, Forrester heuristics are not intended to be hierarchical but rather a series of equally rated criteria across 4 groupings or categories. Still, it’s interesting to compare them a bit further.

Both models start with user need as the foundation. Mine with Useful, theirs with Value. When designing for business value, user need is unarguably the foundation. Without it, nothing else matters.

Next is my Usable and their Navigation. That makes sense too. Mine is a bit broader but remember they’re focused narrowly on web sites experiences. So far we have meet the user need first, then do it in a way that makes sense to them.

Next is my Delightful and their Presentation. Again this makes sense given the focus, mine broader, theirs more narrow. This is the tangible part of the look and feel. Right? It does what I need, in a way that I can use it…and…it’s nice!

The two models begin to diverge when we get to the last category. While both are focused somewhat on deeper psychological elements, my Desirable is about the intangibles of an experience. Its about the the things that create bonds, long-term bonds. The “I have to have it’ desire of a great experience.  The things that tap into deeper levels of ones psyche. Forrester’s final category is Trust. They’ve focused on what I consider to be a critically important psychological user need, especially in an online transactional space. Further differentiation is due to the flat nature of their model. Generally all 25 criteria and their categories are tactical and equal while mine is obviously hierarchical. Both are grounded directly in user need.

What really caught my attention though was the focus on Trust, even at a tactical level. It reminded me of a model I had been toying with a few years back where I looked at the substance required to broker relationships between humans and the advancing world around us.

I find that when predicting where we are going it’s often useful to look at where we’ve been.This preliminary model was constructed as part of that activity.

The model begins mid-century when the complexity of machinery and needs for productivity forced us to think more deeply about direct and indirect machine controls. Thus Man-Machine Interface was born.

The desire for productivity continued to grow and along with it technology progressed by leaps and bounds. The concepts of Time became more important as we looked at more complex work flows which brought us to the study of Human-Computer Interaction.

The continued growth and proliferation of digital technologies combined with the increasing mobility of the people using it presented a new set of challenges.  We added Context to the equation and began focusing on the mediation and facilitation of  experiences leading to the practice of User Experience Design.

So what’s the next disruptive challenge? I would argue it’s Authenticity. In the coming years there will likely be few challenges bigger than determining who or what is  real, safe and  genuine. Successfully navigating the landscape of technologies, products, services, and even people will require the assistance of Trust Brokers.

From Industrial Design to User Experience: The heritage and evolving role of experience-driven design

Some interesting thoughts on the origins and evolution of User Experience as a design practice. It won’t be a surprise that as an Industrial Designer, who was an active participant in founding and shaping UX, I would agree with some of the author’s points. UX definitely borrows from Industrial Design which borrows from Architecture, however UX considers context in a way that early architects and industrial designers never thought about.

Time Warner Cable Trades Lifelong Customer for $40

It’s official. Time Warner Cable refuses to waive the $40 Early Termination Fee for my condo. Result: I will now terminate my second account with them and replace TV, Internet and Phone services with Cincinnati Bell/Dish package. Up until now I was 100% dedicated to always using Time Warner Cable!

And of course I had no idea there was an early termination fee, but hey!

Passion vs. Obsession

John Hagel on Passion versus Obsession

To say passion becomes obsession is to make a distinction of degree. It implies that obsession is a more passionate form of passion—too much of a good thing. However, I’m now convinced that passion and obsession do not vary in degree, but in kind. In fact, in many ways they are opposite.

Thanks Michael Stich!

Puppy Tweets

Mattel launches Puppy Tweets: for owners who wish their dogs could talk – or in this case, tweet.

Mattel has plans to introduce Puppy Tweets, a plastic tag that attaches to a dog’s collar and automatically sends updates to the dog’s Twitter account. Yes, that’s right. Your dog can now Tweet. Puppy Tweets’ tag has a sound and…

Thanks Jeff!

Talk To Your Customers!!

Is it Possible

Is it possible that this blog will live again?

Over Zealous Saftey Advocates

I don’t get this whole movement to ban texting and cellphone use while driving. Seems perfectly safe to me!?