Incorrect grammar in push notifications

Using incorrect grammar in push notifications is an undesired way of keeping the people who signed up for a service up-to-date.

This morning I got a push notification from the Monsterboard app (iTunes) telling me about one job openings. Although tiny, it is a mistake I wouldn’t expect from them.

20130627-104534.jpg
Translation: ‘There are 1 new job openings for you’

Solution: create an exception for the case in which only one search result is available and fit with correct grammar.

CZdirect Declareren

I worked on creating a pleasant user experience for a product for  CZ, one of The Netherlands biggest health insurance companies.

As part of a multidisciplinary team from Mirabeau and CZ combined, I contributed at several stages in the process: initial clients meetings, scope definition, paper prototyping sessions with users, and delivering an interactive prototype.

 

Get it at Google’s Play Store or Apple’s Appstore. Or at CZdirect.

 

Paper prototyping workshop

A group of 24 Media Design students from the Fontys attended my guest lecture and paper prototyping workshop today (have a look at the presentation – in Dutch).

In short: after I explained what paper prototyping is, when I use it and how I choose to execute user testing sessions we dove into the real stuff with a hands-on workshop.

Main take-aways today were:

  • Think in steps, first get the whole picture and secondly zoom in on details – repeat!
  • Paper prototyping is lean & mean, no computer necessary. All your focus is on the user experience!
  • Prototyping on paper, keeps you away from the computer & code, prevents you from having to redo code in a later stage.
  • During user testing with the paper prototypes, it’s quickly visible that details are easily overlooked: notifications, warnings, confirmations, etc.
  • Getting feedback from someone who is not part of your development team, is very valuable!
  • Iterate: incorporate your findings in the paper prototype and test again with new users. You’ll quickly refine your prototype based upon real human feedback!

Content strategy for the web

Content Strategy for the WebEven though I am not a copy writer or on a editorial team (yet), I believe a website’s quality centers around content – it’s the initial reason why visitors go to on the web: they need to find stuff. But when a (large )website has been online for more than three years, dust start settling in on some pages. These pages are not looked at anymore, not by the editors and even the visitors quickly move away from the page would they encounter them. It’s like opening a door, finding a room filled with old stuff you didn’t want to see. It just doesn’t hold any relevance anymore.

We all have encountered this at least sometimes, and this made me wonder how to make sure your website stays relevant. How to keep your content fresh? Does it add to your online success? I know website visitors will spot old and irrelevant content from miles away. But where to start? Just deleting some pages might not be the trick. Is the answer to go and look at Google Analytics in order to find the pages that are lowest in ranking? In my quest to find answers on these questions I happened to bump into a great read called Content strategy for the web on from contentstrategy.com (you can get a free sample chapter here).

Basically what’s the problem with large sites with old content, that it’s just kind of organically grown like that. And that there is no such thing as a content strategy. You might think ouch. But the great thing about strategy is you can start applying it from any existing situation. You don’t necessarily need a new website. But you do need a vision and a plan – it’s that simple. More on this book later as soon as I finished it.

Realtime feedback on password forms

While I was updating a password at my iTunes connect account, I was positively surprised with how Apple was guiding me to move swiftly through the password updating process. Basically they provide realtime feedback on password forms.

How realtime feedback works

After answering the security questions (social engineering alert to self) I got to the cool stuff. Basically the website combines explaining the password requirements, with a real-time client-side validation of the password. Nice, way to do it since it prevents you from submitting a password that doesn’t fit the requirements and having to redo the whole thing of coming up with a password that does work. Foolproof stuff.