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User Testing Lab

If you have the opportunity to build a User Testing Lab.  You should.

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Samsung Gear Live Review and Tips

I got my Samsung Gear Live watch about 5 months ago before the madness of the iWatch and I gotta say that I love it.  The biggest gain that it has made in my life is just the simple matter that it allows me to leave my phone in my pocket, hands on the wheel, and attention only slightly distracted to my wrist vs completely focused on my phone.

I’ve seen a bunch of reviews on it, but thought I would share some of my favorite quick tips/tricks that I use it for on a daily basis.

  1. “Ok Google, Send text to …”, “Send email to …” really is as easy as I could ever imagine.  You do need to have your contacts lined up for it to recognize the correct email or phone #, but I have never been able to text my wife “I love you”, faster than I can now.
  2. “Navigate to …” Navigating to a Starbucks has never been easier.  It will give you the option to see the navigation on the watch, or send it to your phone for full viewing.  I hardly ever need to use my phone with it.
  3. “Show me a picture of a …”  Ever need to immediately see how many floors there are on the leaning tower of Pisa in Italy for a game?  Try this statement, and you’ll have a picture on your wrist in seconds to show all your company.
  4. “Start Camera” (Wear Camera):  You can immediately see the camera view from your phone (front or back) using Wear Camera.  Easily take pictures old timer style of your family, use it as a nanny cam with your kids, or simply get a better view by holding your phone anywhere and taking the picture from your wrist.
  5. I am a big Google Keep guy, and I will typically say “Ok Google, Take a note to buy new bike helmet for race coming up.  The note will immediately be placed into your Google Keep account (after a couple of setting changes) for review later.
  6. Coin Flip:  Need to resolve something quick with a quick flip of a coin?  You no longer even need the coin.  Download Simple Coin Flip and it’ll emulate the perfect coin flip fast.  I personally play this with my son every once in a while.
  7. Custom Watch face:  Don’t like the stock watch faces on your app?  WatchMaker is a breeze to learn and allows a lot of fun great customization from local weather, to current steps, and even next calendar agenda item from Google calendar.
  8. Steps and Heart Rate:  Google Fit comes stock on the watch, and I am a full on believer at this point.  It syncs into my strava account, and also watches all walking and running (in the airport) that you do and calulates it all together and mashes them up against the goals you give Google Fit.  Ever wonder what your steps or heart rate are at a select time?  “Ok Google, How many steps have I taken today” “…whats my heart rate?” It is pretty money.
  9. Set timers or stopwatch:  Ever BBQ a steak?  Nothing is cooler than talking into your wrist “Ok Google, Set a timer for 12 minutes” to let you know when your steak is ready to flip.  Never needed to touch a single screen to get the timer going.
  10. “Whats my Agenda for today?”  Hook up to Google Calendar, and you have your whole agenda available to you in just a couple words.  You can even flip the screen to show more details, or edit easily.
  11. Reminders:  “Ok Google, Remind me to get Milk at King Soopers“.  Yes, it is that simple to have a smart reminder hit you up when you are near a specific location.  If it is not a familiar location, you may need to teach it at first, but it will nail it next time.  This is a function of Google Keep, so it comes through very simplified just like the note taking.
  12. Music:  I have a Spotify account, and since you control Spotify from your phone, it is now easily controllable from your wrist with your watch and allows you to turn music volume up and change songs even if you are far away (BlueTooth distance) from your phone.

I know there are a BUNCH of tips out there, but these are my favorites, and thought that it could help others fall in more love of their watch a bit more.  Enjoy!

UX Specialists Responsibilities
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UX/UI Specialists Responsibilities

Let me guess why you are reading this…

You’ve been told for a long time that a true eMarketing Company cannot make it without having a dedicated UX/UI Specialist for all your customer interfaces, so now you are considering getting one.  Well, before you hire one, consider what you will actually use them for.  Here are typically the primary reasons.  1) User Experience Design  2) Information Architecture  3) User Experience Analyst.  Every company needs something a little different, but as EVERYBODY in your company should be focused on bringing a better User Experience to your Site, App, Digital Marketing Channel …it definitely helps to have someone dedicated around to making sure that every bodies pursuits are organized.

Below is a list of responsibilities that I prioritize when considering a UX Specialist.

  1. Full Site/Mobile App review and audit – Take advantage of a fresh set of eyes on EVERYTHING that your company does or sells.  Have them go through all flows and funnels and detail the opportunities.
  2. Manage the current UX 1-N List:  You must have a list of things you’ve been thinking about doing.  Make sure that each of them now has justification and analytics on each of them so you know you are working on the right projects.
  3. Conduct User Testing: There are SO many ways to get feedback from customers.  Make sure the services that you typically use are on the list of ways they can go compile data.
    • Focus Groups
    • Interviewing Employee relatives
    • UserTesting.com
    • Face to Face Interviews
    • Field Research
    • Testing labs
  4. Detailed Analytics:  This person has GOT to know how to tell stories with data.  Once they have it, make sure they are…
    • Providing weekly UX meeting to show high Level findings and results
    • In depth funnel reporting
    • Heatmaping readouts and shifts on the site
  5. Design Team Requests:  They can’t do everything, so this person should be able to help provide Prototyping, Layouts, Wireframes, and whiteboard sessions based off of Analytics to make thier jobs even easier and reduce less guess work.
  6. Creating User Personas:  Do you actually know who your customer base is?  If not, UX should be able to help do this for you based off the data that you do have.  It might need to combine Google Analytics with several other data points, but having your complete company on the same page about who your customer is, will benefit you in the long run.
  7. Customer Journey Map: Knowing the most important channels and methods that your most valuable customers get to your site is CRITICAL.  Unleash thier ability to go look at customer logs, and attribution to allow them to tell you what journeys are the most valuable to the company.  These stories are not easy if you are trying to find value, but they are so worth it for purposes of ROI, Attribution, and effective Digital Stride with your customers.
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10 Ideas for Website Personalization

I recently had some time with a company that was struggling to find some great personalization ideas to use on their website.  I have used personalization heavily on several of the sites I have worked on, so this topic came easily for me. I decided to document them and see if it could benefit anybody else by providing some fuel to do personalization well.  Personalization isn’t for everybody though, you do need to know plenty about your customers in order to utilize it well.

  1. Landing pages:  Depending on if they are a returning customer or not, you can control what type of banner/content is displayed to them.  New Customer:  Educational message about what you do.  Returning customer:  Banner specific to best products and services.
  2. Landing pages:  Do you know what products or brands they have interacted with in the past on your site?  Make sure you have a direct tie into those products when they first arrive to reduce bounce/exit.
  3. Customer Interest:  Have you asked the customer any explicit questions about their interests during account registration? Make sure these categories are captured on homepage, landing pages, email programs, social posts and any customer engagements you attempt to make.
  4. Marketing Assets:  Does the customer already have a couple of your marketing assets? If they already have your mobile app, be smart and don’t ask them to download it again. What other assets can you have them download? Browser app. Email sign up, Mobile App, SMS list, Social channels, etc.  You can do this easiest through a proactive lightbox or modal, that way it is not intrusive to the customers flow.
  5. Customer Interest:  Make sure to have a widget about recommended products or brands. Best locations for this are either in your emails, internal search results, blog, or on your 404 page.
  6. Customer Interest:  Do you know what gender your customers are? Customize experience with colors or products at the top of the page based on their answer. If you don’t know what gender they are, take some liberties with the first names on your list and bounce it up against a gender matchup to understand your customers a little more.
  7. Customer Interest:  If you send a welcome email, make sure that it matches well with the referral topic (referral code) that they signed up with? It needs to match their expectations or else you will lose them fast.
  8. Customer Interest:  If you have a strong email campaign, results have shown adding localisation, gender or known technology (ie. iPhone) to your subject line and content.  I’ve personally seen engagement go up to 40% when you can appeal to their personal journey.
  9. Customer Interest:  If the customer has purchased with you in the past, maybe they need an accessory to the item they purchased? Or maybe they are looking for an easy way to repurchase, so give them a fast path to purchase again.  Ease is critical to our online shoppers.  Always give them an appropriate path based on their potential comfort with conversion by motivating with dynamic CTA language.
  10. Customer Info:  Use the customers account information to show that you know who they are.  You definitely do not want to me “big brother” and share an email address globaly, but if you know the customers first name, show that you know something about them.  Put it in your super-header, put their name near the sign out, but make them feel like you know who they are.

That’s my quick list to help fuel your pursuit. What am I missing?