Posts Tagged ‘Marketing’

Usability vs. UX: analysis of case studies

April 12, 2011 Leave a comment
Title of Study Results Tools Notes
1. Sullivan, Patricia. “Beyond a Narrow Conception of Usability Testing,” IEEE Transactions on Professional Communication, 32, 4, (December 1989):256 – 264 Suggests new frameworks for viewing usability studies methods and interpreting the validity of their results. Postulates that “a growing number of psychologists, engineers, and technical
communicators want to make the user more integral to the
whole development process.”
An analysis of other’s methods Questions Plain language movement probably has some influence on her too although not cited.
Title of Study
2. Hassenzahl, M. and Tractinsky, “User Experience – a Research Agenda.” Behaviour and Information Technology, 25, 2, (March-April 2006): 91-97 Suggest a new theory of UX where designers exert control to ensure that a positive experience becomes certain. UX is about contributing to our quality of life by designing for pleasure rather than the absence of pain.
Conducted a literature review of proposals received.
One can sense the rhetorician at work who works to craft the pleasing experience and downplay any lack of quality. iPhone antenna problems for example.
Title of Study
Results Notes
3. Nielson, Jacob. Writing for the Web. Suggests many best practices to follow and also suggests further study of papers and books – and then finally recommends that one enroll in his courses.
Years of usability studies and analysis drawn from that body of work. A website’s rhetoric will be less effective if users find it difficult to read. Notable in that a brief space many salient points of how people read – and how writers should take this into account when creating online communications.
Title of Study
Results Notes
4. Obrist M., Roto V., and Väänänen-Vainio-Mattila K. “User experience evaluation: do you know which method
to use?” CHI 2009, April 4 – 9, 2009, Boston, Massachusetts, USA. Extended Abstracts 2009: 2763-2766.
Unknown – this was an abstract. However the questions were particularly illuminating. Contributions from conference attendees on current known methods. Creation of a Special Interest Group (SIG) that will identify and gather
people interested in UX evaluation in different application
areas and contexts. results.
Can we ever really know how the user feels? Do they even know? Or can we only influence positive feelings and minimize negative ones?
Title of Study
Results Notes
5. Bevan, Nigel. “What is the difference between the purpose of
usability and user experience evaluation methods?” Internet paper,
Bevan notes a weakness in the methods – no metrics or requirements. He states that “user experience
seems to . . . .focus on evaluation [which] has preceded a concern with establishing
criteria for what would be acceptable results of evaluation. That comment was useful as I, too, wondered where the UX standards were.
Rigorous analysis of the UX methods and creation of a categorization of usability measures reported. He then compares and contrasts each method as to how it measures UX or usability. usable as roadmap of what one is measuring and how to do it better
Title of Study Results Tools Notes
6. Rodden et al, “Measuring the User Experience on a Large Scale: User-Centered Metrics for Web Applications”, Proceedings of CHI 2010. Creation of a UX framework – HEART: (Happiness, Engagement, Adoption, Retention, Task success). This was used to measure user satisfaction for a major redesign for iGoogle. They reported an initial decline in their user satisfaction metric (measured on a 7-point bipolar scale). However, this metric recovered over time, indicating that change aversion was probably the cause, and that once users got used to the new design, they liked it. With this information, the team was able to make a more confident decision to keep the new design. Happinesswas measured via a weekly survey on a 7-point bipolar scale).Engagement% of active users who visited 5 or 5+ days of the last week.Adoption how many new users? (i.e. # of accounts created in a week).

Retention how many users are still present (i.e. % of 7-day active users in a given week still active 3 months later).

Task success efficiency (e.g. time to complete a task), effectiveness (e.g. % of tasks complete), and error rates.

It makes sense to add a scale to UX measurements. Couldn’t it go to 11? Is it wrong to apply usability metrics to UX?
Title of Study
Results Notes
7. Large organizations need to track and compare their online sales, customers and trends such as shopping cart abandonment. Creation of overall framework to measure several factors to better identify causality. PULSE metrics: Page views, Uptime, Latency, Seven-day active users (i.e. the number of unique users who used the product at least once in the last week), and Earnings. Most of this data is proprietary and unavailable. Large ecommerce firms (Amazon, Ebay, Facebook) do have inhouse models and ongoing studies but this data is not shared nor publicly available.
Title of Study
Results Notes
8. How can Blackboard, Inc. better capture feedback and improve the UX on its web pages and software products?Presented at UX BarCamp DC in Jan. 2011 Blackboard created a framework for capturing user feedback. RUDES: Reliable, Useful, Delightful, Engaging, Simple. Users rate each experience as the RUDES and is asked if each component exceeds, meets, or misses.Unknown – appears to be a work in process. Unknown. Blackboard staff stated that scaling factors were necessary to make better design decisions. They did not disclose how this data would be collected, analyzed or used. Worth noting that the desired answer is positioned first. How good is a survey if one tries to influence it so strongly?
Title of Study
Results Notes
9. Fornell, Claes. (2011) “Citizen Satisfaction with Federal Government Services Plummets While Satisfaction With Government Websites Remains Strong”. News release and commentary. Nonsensical – agencies mission’s vary so widely that to compare satisfaction rates means nothing. Can one compare NASA to IRS? TSA to DOI? The popup survey ACSI reports scores on a scale at the national level for more than 225 companies, and over 200 federal or local government services. causes and consequences of customer satisfaction. The surveys vary among websites so comparing one federal agency’s score to anothers is not comparable – yet it is widely done.

You can be played with Visual Rhetoric

October 21, 2008 1 comment

(Note: this is from a presentation for ENG 611,  Studies in Rhetoric, taught by Professor Widerhold at George Mason University, Fairfax, VA, and is slated to be delivered on 10/22/08).

Summary: This story I examined was The Force of Callas’ Kiss – The 1997 Apple Advertising Campaign, “Think Different” by Ronald E. Shields.  Ronald Shield, the author, explored  – Apple’s “Think Different” ad campaign from many rhetorical angles, including the grammatical error in the “Think Different” slogan, which would read as “Think Differently” if it were grammatically correct. However, it can come across in many ways: as a command, as a meta comment (Apple is commenting on its ability to think differently by thinking different instead), or as a organization so close to the bleeding edge of technology and innovation that it creates its own rules in that world and the world of using language.

The author also explored the content of the video, exploring the images chosen and the audiences that they were expected to resonate with. He drew parallels between the montage of images and the gestalt in the mind of the viewer that the Think Different ad created – versus the strategy used by Sergei Eisenstein of making images function rhetorically by deploying colliding images to create deliberate perceptual dissonance.

However, I found it difficult to derive meaning from the article without viewing the video. The original “Think Different” ad is published on Youtube, including versions in at least six languages (Japanese, Italian, German, French, Spanish, and Portuguese). Assuming that you will also benefit by watching the video, and then discussing them, let’s get started. 

To try to eliminate Visual Rhetoric, we will scan the text transcript of the TV ad. Then we will view the TV ad itself, and then a short video on the making of the “Think Different” ad.  We will rate our reaction to each viewing – so please keep track of your reaction to each one so you can determine how and which rhetoric works most or least effectively on you.




Please quickly scan this transcript of the TV ad and note your reaction, below.




Albert Einstein

Here’s to the crazy ones

Bob Dylan

The misfits. The rebels.

Martin Luther King, Jr.

The trouble makers.

Richard Branson

The round pegs into square holes. The ones who see things differently.

John Lennon and Yoko Ono

They’re not fond of rules.

Buckminster Fuller

And they have no respect for status quo.

Thomas Alva Edison

You can quote them

Muhammed Ali

Disagree with them, glorify

Ted Turner

Or vilify them

Maria Callas

About the only thing you can’t do is ignore them

Mahatma Gandhi

Because they change things

Amelia Earhart

They push the human race forward

Alfred Hitchcock

And while some might see them

Martha Graham

As the crazy ones

Jim Henson

We see genius

Frank Lloyd Wright

Because the people who are crazy enough

Pablo Picasso

To think they can change the world

Unidentified young girl

Are the ones who do

Apple Logo

“Think Different”


What was your reaction? Circle one, below and also note any questions you had.

  1. I loved it – Positive
  2. I liked it – Mildly interested
  3. Didn’t care either way – Not interested at all
  4. Disliked it – Negative
  5. Hated it – Very Negative
  6. Other:



Okay, are you ready? Now we will watch Apple’s TV ad “Think Different” video, once again record our reactions afterwards.



On YouTube




What was your reaction? Circle one, below and also note any questions you had.
I loved it – Positive
I liked it – Mildly interested
Didn’t care either way – Not interested at all
Disliked it – Negative
Hated it – Very Negative




Okay, are you ready? Let’s watch The Making of the “Think Different” ad and record our reactions


On YouTube


Note: stop at 1:56, and advance to 2:05



What was your reaction? Circle one, below and also note any questions you had.

I loved it – Positive

I liked it – Mildly interested

Didn’t care either way – Not interested at all

Disliked it – Negative

Hated it – Very Negative




Quote for this presentation:  “The projections of the dialectic system of things into the brain, into creating abstractly, into the process of thinking, yields: dialectic methods of thinking; dialectical materialism—Philosophy (45).” Eisenstein, Sergei. A Dialectic Approach to Film Form,” Film Form: Essays in Film Theory.


In classical philosophy, dialectic (Greek: διαλεκτική) is controversy: the exchange of arguments and counter-arguments respectively advocating propositions (theses) and counter-propositions (antitheses). The outcome of the exercise might not simply be the refutation of one of the relevant points of view, but a synthesis or combination of the opposing assertions, or at least a qualitative transformation in the direction of the dialogue. Wikipedia.

Discuss what you felt during the reading of the ad’s text, compared to viewing the ad itself, and then finally how you felt after watching the final video.





Discussion of quote and meaning behind it

Sergei Eisenstein felt that a dialectical collision of images forces the viewer to resolve the conflict and to drive a meaning not implicit in any of the individual frames.


This dialectical collision also acts in concert with the Gestalt psychology principles of perception: we are compelled to make meaning of what we sense (see, hear, touch, taste, feel).


If we can not make meaning, we experience a certain kind of uneasiness known as cognitive or perceptual dissonance. To eliminate this discomfort, we are compelled to process information in a way that forces meaning on it, in an attempt to understand it, that feels best to us. 


Both Eisenstein’s and Gestalt perception theory presents visual media specialists with an easy way to enter our unconscious mind.  They will create the mixed messages and we will subconsciously attempt to make sense of the confusing messages because we must understand incoming stimuli and reduce dissonance.


Another quote:  Art frequently exploits the perceptual dissonance between what is seen and what is recognised.  The degree of disparity between the form and what it suggests determines the degree of dissonance.