Is it okay to compromise User Experience over Fun?

23 Jun 2009 - 4:11am
5 years ago
6 replies
874 reads
Sachin Ghodke
2008

I have been working on product customizers and these online tools
require immense user interaction. Developing and designing these have
always posed a challenge and now I am at a crossroad to choose whether
I should compromise on user experience or fun?

Please help!

Comments

23 Jun 2009 - 4:49am
stauciuc
2006

Hi Sachin,

Do you mean 'user experience' or 'usability'? To me 'fun' sounds like a
quality that could contribute to the overall user experience, in wich case
there would be no need for compromise.

What does 'product customizers' mean? Could you please give an example /
more details?

One thing's for sure, IMO - 'immense user interaction' will require quite a
bit of reward for the users, especially if they are engaging in the
interaction voluntarily (is that the case?). Making the interaction itself
fun could be one way of providing that reward. Of course, a good flow and no
needless interruptions when trying to create something is also quite
important :) Hmm, did I just rephrase your dillemma?

Sebi

On Tue, Jun 23, 2009 at 6:11 AM, Sachin Ghodke <sachyn.ghodke at gmail.com>wrote:

> I have been working on product customizers and these online tools
> require immense user interaction. Developing and designing these have
> always posed a challenge and now I am at a crossroad to choose whether
> I should compromise on user experience or fun?
>
> Please help!
> ________________________________________________________________
> Welcome to the Interaction Design Association (IxDA)!
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--
Sergiu Sebastian Tauciuc
http://www.sergiutauciuc.ro/en/
http://lookingatdesigns.wordpress.com/

23 Jun 2009 - 5:09am
Sachin Ghodke
2008

Yes I stand correct - Usability is the right word in this context,
sorry.

I was making an attempt to provide 'fun' (example: nikeid) as part
of a product customizer or you can check www.zazzle.com which does
not provide the 'fun' i was talking about. It does not 'wow' me
and comes across to me as something that makes my experience a bit
cumbersome. The technologies used here are different and probably
that also does play a part in the different user experience I have
had.

Some of the user experiences that i want to develop or design would
be linked to shopping online. After all the product customizers have
2 primary goals - one is to let user feel and experience the product
and two is to then goad the user to buy it. These have helped some of
my customers but not to the extent I think they should have.

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Posted from the new ixda.org
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23 Jun 2009 - 5:37am
Dave Malouf
2005

I would look to D. Normans book, "Emotional Design". it is clear
that adding positive emotional qualities (call it fun if you must) in
a design changes the user's overall perception of the products
utility and usability--PERCEPTION.

the best example I have is the context of the iPhone keyboard. As I
said recently in Malmo, as a die-hard iPhone fan/user, the keyboard
is flawed. Having been a Treo user for years and then a blackberry
user after that I know/understand the value of a physical keyboard
and moving to a virtual one is a big change.

But! the rest of the phone and even some of the features of the
virtual keyboard itself are so engaging that I could almost care less
about the flaws of the keyboard of the iPhone.

Now, a 'customizer' sounds a bit enterprisey to me. And in that
world you have to be cautious as not to appear frivolous, but I have
done major re-designs of enterprise SaaS software that incorporated
good engagement at the expense of total usability that seemed to work
for those doing the purchasing as well.

-- dave

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Posted from the new ixda.org
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23 Jun 2009 - 5:51am
Nasir Barday
2006

Giving people a rewarding experience in exchange for learning a complex
interface is one tactic. But let's take a step back. It sounds like the
strategic goals here are twofold:

-) Allow people to create their own products
-) Help them get to results that are good enough to buy

Maybe instead of thinking of "fun" in the context of usability and slapping
engagement on a complex, flexible product (e.g. with snazzy transitions,
'cool' graphical treatments, attitudey language, etc), you could first think
of ways to make the product creator more engaging and satisfying to use
functionally. A potential t-shirt buyer has an idea in his/her head that she
wants to make happen, e.g. "Sarah's 80s Party Bash." What if you give her
the right tools to help her along? For example, templates that give her a
satisfying head start, ensuring she will be happy with the results. Or a
color pallette for text and accents, based on the background color of the
piece (you could also let her pick her own colors, but make the suggested
colors more prominent).

Goading people to buy becomes an easier task once the thing they've made is
sufficiently awesome in their eyes :-).

- Nasir

23 Jun 2009 - 11:45am
Loren Baxter
2007

Why are Usability and Fun opposed to each other? I don't think that they
are mutually exclusive.
There is an old post on my blog concerning fun in IxD - it's something that
we need a lot more of. From this post:
"It’s standard practice to design with our user’s goals in mind. Too often,
though, we tend to focus only on the immediate goals: Send an Email,
Download a File, Do my Taxes. Although we may produce usable and successful
designs, we have ignored the user’s larger context.

They may be bored, tired, at work, grinding away at a long term deliverable.
They may be entering countless rows of data into a spreadsheet. People
love to have fun. Without sacrificing usability, let’s bring a little fun
into our designs." -
http://www.acleandesign.com/2008/11/fun-in-interaction-design/

Best,
Loren

-----
http://acleandesign.com
http://twitter.com/lorenbaxter

On Tue, Jun 23, 2009 at 4:51 AM, Nasir Barday
<nbarday+ixda at gmail.com<nbarday%2Bixda at gmail.com>
> wrote:

> Giving people a rewarding experience in exchange for learning a complex
> interface is one tactic. But let's take a step back. It sounds like the
> strategic goals here are twofold:
>
> -) Allow people to create their own products
> -) Help them get to results that are good enough to buy
>
> Maybe instead of thinking of "fun" in the context of usability and slapping
> engagement on a complex, flexible product (e.g. with snazzy transitions,
> 'cool' graphical treatments, attitudey language, etc), you could first
> think
> of ways to make the product creator more engaging and satisfying to use
> functionally. A potential t-shirt buyer has an idea in his/her head that
> she
> wants to make happen, e.g. "Sarah's 80s Party Bash." What if you give her
> the right tools to help her along? For example, templates that give her a
> satisfying head start, ensuring she will be happy with the results. Or a
> color pallette for text and accents, based on the background color of the
> piece (you could also let her pick her own colors, but make the suggested
> colors more prominent).
>
> Goading people to buy becomes an easier task once the thing they've made is
> sufficiently awesome in their eyes :-).
>
> - Nasir
> ________________________________________________________________
> Welcome to the Interaction Design Association (IxDA)!
> To post to this list ....... discuss at ixda.org
> Unsubscribe ................ http://www.ixda.org/unsubscribe
> List Guidelines ............ http://www.ixda.org/guidelines
> List Help .................. http://www.ixda.org/help
>

23 Jun 2009 - 9:51am
Dave Edelhart
2009

Seems to me you are underestimating how much fun some people find
getting their work done well. I would love to see your two use cases
articulated -- the "fun" design against the "usable" one.

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Posted from the new ixda.org
http://www.ixda.org/discuss?post=43092

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