May 13, 2010

UX Nuggets? Yes, please!

We've officially put our lunch conversations about best practices, new technologies and thought-provoking things we've read recently into print!  Why not share the stuff we've learned along the way with clients and peers?  The User Centric blog, UX Nuggets, is live and will feature weekly posts by our consultants. 

Our current post is from Gavin Lew and his Best Practices for Mobile Banking.  We've got future posts including enterprise software implementation, POS design, kiosk design, e-Commerce challenges, and even some thoughts on hot new technologies in the market.  Subscribe to our RSS feed and get new blogs delivered right to your inbox.  If you prefer Twitter, we'll be tweeting them too. (@UserCentricInc)

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Three Things to Consider in Mobile Banking Design

by Gavin Lew, Managing Director
We have a lot of experience with banks, and we've worked on even more mobile devices (175 studies in the past five years, with six of the top seven manufacturers).  These two come together with mobile banking, and in my mind, there are three major things to consider with regards to design for mobile banking...
Read full blog post

So What Have We Been Up To?

Wow that first quarter flew by!  We hope everyone is having a great year!  User Centric is celebrating 11 years this month!  When we look back over the years, we have had a significant positive impact on the user experience of people around the world through better design and solid research, through publications and thought leadership. There are a couple key areas of note:


User Centric is far and away the leader in mobile user research and design.  We have conducted nearly 200 engagements with the leading manufacturers, service providers, and application developers. We have also perfected a method of combining user testing and focus groups to gain further insights. Combining methods doesn't stop there, recently in one study, we tested a UI prototype on a computer, UI designs on the device to assess trackball interactions, and tested gesture interactions on a touch mobile device. We know mobile.


During the last few months, User Centric has gained attention as a leader in usability in Health Information Technology (HIT)Robert Schumacher was appointed to the National Research Council's Committee on the Role of Human Factors in Home Healthcare. User Centric is partnered with the Chicago Health Information Technology Regional Extension Center ( to support successful implementation of electronic health records into physician practices.  In addition, last fall, User Centric developed an important usability evaluation protocol for Electronic Health Records.  Our thought leadership extends to publications and presentations in upcoming professional journals and conferences.  We have also been working steadily with key policy makers in government and non-profit to maintain a vigilant focus on improving usability in HIT.  While notably, there is a long way to go in this area, User Centric is excited to be leading the charge on usability and user experience in HIT.

Usability Tip

Key Factor Often Ignored in Mobile Application User Experience

By Gavin Lew and Wendy Yee
A common mistake in mobile applications is not recognizing the impact of delay to the user experience. Even a useful application with well-designed screens and a solid workflow can fail when there is a delay in the interaction. Whether due to a poor device processor or slow wireless data transfer, the delay can kill the experience.
Delay is especially critical for the mobile experience because users are more likely to use mobile apps in time or context-urgent surroundings. (in their car, while walking, between flights, between classes...)
We use our mobile apps to either kill time or try to catch up with a moving data target (a call, a friend, or navigating while driving.) Our window of usage is 1-2-3 minutes, not 15-20. (Unless we're stuck in an airport.)
We would argue this makes us more prone to impatience when using mobile apps than when we're using Windows or MacOS.
Read more usability tips!

The Not Usable File

Photo courtesy of Dave Vanderveen
Photo courtesy of Dave Vanderveen

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Save the Date!

Exclusive Event!

UX Masterclass

September, 20, 2010
Montreal, Canada

The partners of the UXalliance, including User Centric, will be presenting the 2nd UX Masterclass this fall in Montreal.  This full day seminar, hosted by Yu Centrik, promises to have a list of speakers that will have you clearing your schedules on Monday, September 20th and booking your flight to Canada! 
This is a space-limited event for user experience professionals, executives or anyone on the cutting edge of interaction design and user research.  Come meet the leaders in user research from companies around the globe.
Details coming very soon!

The UXa Turns 5!

The UXalliance celebrated it's 5th Birthday of providing unmatched global research services to our clients at the semi-annual meeting in New Zealand.  Watch our Birthday Message on YouTube.

User Centric Updates

The UPA Conference this year is boasting an International location, Munich!  Robert Schumacher will be co-presenting a full day workshop with Trent Mankelow from Optimal Usability in New Zealand as well as presenting on a panel highlighting global collaboration.  Visit the links for details about these presentations.

User Centric has grown!  We welcome Ani Jovanova Arrizon, User Experience Specialist and Jennifer Belmont, User Experience Analyst!  They come to User Centric with a variety of user research experience and have been on quite a few projects already over the last few months. We enjoy having them as part of our dynamic team of consultants.

We extend a warm congratulations to Senior User Experience Specialist, Jessica Buttimer and her family on the birth of her daughter, Camille!  Congratulations also go to Jeff Byrd, our Technology Manager, and his family as they recently celebrated the birth of his son, Easton, earlier this year.

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