Bold Insight and The Office of Experience team up for charity

Bold Insight and The Office of Experience team up for charity

Focusing on designing and delivering great experiences, Bold Insight, a user experience research agency, and The Office of Experience (OX), an experience design and digital innovation consultancy, co-hosted a charity event in Chicago on November 13. Similar to a Bold Insight event in June, the casino-themed night provided winners with the opportunity to select their favorite charity to receive donations from Bold Insight and OX.

This event is a win-win.  We are able to make a contribution to a variety of non-profit organizations and bring together UX leaders in the community.  It’s a chance to connect professionally and have a little fun, while at the same time donate to worthy causes,” said Robert Schumacher, Managing Director of Bold Insight. 

Donations ranging from $150 to $300 were given to the following charities: Project C.U.R.E.Hearts to Art,  Multidisciplinary Association for Psychedelic Studies, Children’s Place Association, Gi Gi’s Play house, One Million Degrees, Hope For The Day, Chicago Public Schools through The New Chance: Arts & Literature Fund, and Friends of the Chicago River.

Carlos Manalo, Founder of OX, added, “We believe that The Experience is the Brand® and, for this event, all the UX leaders who represented their brands definitely raised the bar in terms of excitement, networking, and connecting for phenomenal causes. We’re humbled and excited to have been a part of this process.”

To be notified of the next event, sign up for our eNewsletter below. Check out event photos at flickr.com/boldinsight.

Learn more about our partnership with OX.

About Bold Insight

Bold Insight is a user experience and human factors research agency. We span the product development life cycle; our research informs early product design to global human factors validation, all to ensure user experiences are useful, usable, safe, engaging, and satisfying. We work with digital, next-generation technology – medical devices to mobile apps, in-car systems to websites, back office systems to end-to-end customer journeys.

About The Office of Experience (OX)

The Office of Experience (OX) is a design and digital innovation consultancy for the modern marketing age. A new breed of agency, OX’s human-centered philosophy and multidisciplinary approach integrates strategy, design and technology to help organizations reinvent their business and rapidly bring new experiences, products and messages to market. In an era of unprecedented disruption, OX is built to transform. https://officeofexperience.com/

Bold Insight’s Gavin Lew to present at Money 2020

Bold Insight’s Gavin Lew to present at Money 2020

The premier conference in the payments, fintech, and financial services industries, Money 20/20 hosts over 11,000 attendees and will be held in Las Vegas, Nevada, on October 21-24, 2018. Bold Insight Managing Director Gavin Lew is teaming up with Visa’s Head of Design, Kevin Lee, to present, Humanizing the Experience in Retail. Lee will share how Visa approaches experience design and the key moments that reveal opportunities for brands. Lew will dive into those key moments with real world examples and how to make those opportunities successful.

“Retail is at an inflection point where companies need to embrace the combination of digital and physical to design a more humanized experience—one that recognizes humility because the future will depend on collaboration across the ecosystem. This is where disruption will occur,” says Lew.

Visit https://us.money2020.com/ to learn more about Money 20/20, including registration details. Don’t forget to use the coupon code DISRUPT to save $250.

 

About Bold Insight

Bold Insight helps clients deliver outstanding experiences to their customers by understanding user expectations and designing products that seamlessly fit into their lives. The team has conducted research on hundreds of products and services delivered on a variety of platforms, including websites, software, mobile devices, medical devices, voice assistants, connected devices, and in-car navigation systems.  Email hello@boldinsight.com to discuss your next project.

Is customer channel-hopping hiding UX problems?

Is customer channel-hopping hiding UX problems?

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BOLD INSIGHT

Listen to reasons customers contact you and use those reasons to diagnose problems in your channels that may be hiding.

As a company with many channels, you should always be looking at the ways in which customers connect with you. Movement across channels often reflects customer choice, but it also may reveal poor UX in a channel. In other words, ‘channel hopping’ is often driven by a failure of usability or a lack of functionality.

I was recently speaking at a J.D. Power roundtable on the topic of employee experience in the contact center. The point of the presentation, one that I have given many times, is that good design is hard work, and good design begins with field research not in Photoshop. When doing field research in call centers, we want to understand the motivations of why customers call. It’s fascinating to listen to customer stories because you realize that, in today’s omnichannel world, a majority of customers do not choose the call center as their first point of contact to resolve a problem. Which is good to know except what often happens is that customers fail to get resolution in one of the other channels (often related to poor UX) and feel forced to call.

In one concrete (and very typical example), customers call because they don’t understand their paper bill. The root cause of this is that the bill is difficult to understand. Information is in the wrong place, numbers don’t appear to add up, taxes are confusingly represented, critical information may be missing, etc. They may try first to go online to get more detail and may or may not be met with success. So, the poor design of a paper invoice results in customers spending time trying to resolve and ultimately calling to discuss it. Then the customer runs headlong into an interactive voice response system (IVR) and gets even more frustrated by choices that do not match the reason for calling in his mind and with excessive hold times. By the time the customer gets to the agent, there’s a lot of pent up frustration. Much of this could be fixed by using a UX research approach to improving the usability and utility of the paper bill. We’ve fixed many paper bills and driven down both the volume of calls and length of calls regarding bill education from the call center.

This is but one example. There are others where poor design in one channel drives callers to agents (e.g., self-installation of modems, credit decisions, etc.). All of these are examples of channel-hopping due to poor attention to the UX. And, these are all self-inflicted wounds that increase cost to the business and reduce customer satisfaction.

One lesson for UX professionals is that when trying to understand the current ‘customer journey’ it is important to catalog the times when the customer channel hopped because the prior channel failed to meet needs. Doing this gets at a root cause of the problem and tells researchers, designers, and developers where to concentrate efforts.

Ultimately, you should listen to reasons customers contact you and use those reasons to diagnose problems in your other channels that may be hiding. Pay attention to all your channels and continue to monitor for channel-hopping, then focus on fixing the problems you find.

UX principles for robot design: Have we begun to baseline?

UX principles for robot design: Have we begun to baseline?

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BOLD INSIGHT

As the robotics industry continues to find its way into our lives, we can begin to identify UX design principles to apply to this tech to increase the acceptance of robots and improve the human-robot interaction experience.

The bold future of UX: How new tech will shape the industry

Part 4  UX principles for robot design: Have we begun to baseline?

In a previous post, I discussed the challenges of designing a user experience for AI and how it needs three components to truly deliver on the promise of the technology: context, interaction, and trust. These three elements allow for a good user experience with an AI. Today, we’re taking AI to a related area: robotics. A robot is essentially an AI that has been given a corporeal form. But the addition of a physical form, whether or not it’s vaguely humanoid, creates further challenges. How do users properly interact with a fully autonomous mechanical being? Since this fully autonomous mechanical being can, by definition, act on its own, the flipside to this question is just as important, how does a robot interact with the user?

Before we dive into these questions, let’s all get on the same page about what a robot is. A ‘robot’ must be able to perform tasks automatically based on stimulus from either the surrounding environment or another agent (e.g., a person, a pet, another robot, etc.). When people think of robots, they often think of something like Honda’s ASIMO or their more recent line of 3E robots. This definition would also include less conventional robots, such as autonomous vehicles and machines that can perform surgery.

A research team at the University of Salzburg has done extensive research on human-robot interaction by testing a human-sized robot in public in various situations. One finding I found particularly interesting is that people prefer robots that approach from the left or right but not head-on.

In San Francisco, a public-facing robot that works at a café knows to double-check how much coffee is left in the coffee machines and gives each cup of coffee a little swirl before handing to the customer.

While a robot in Austria approaching from the left and a robot in San Francisco swirling a cup of coffee might not seem related, it points to UX principles that should be kept in mind as public-facing robots become more ubiquitous:

  • A robot should be aware that it is a robot and take efforts to gain the trust of an untrusting public (evidenced by people’s preferences for robots to not approach head-on and to always remain visible to the user)
  • A robot should be designed with the knowledge in mind that people like to anthropomorphize objects (evidenced by people preferring the coffee-serving robot to do the same things a barista might do even if it’s something the robot doesn’t necessarily need to do)

As with all design principles, these are likely to evolve. Once robots become more ubiquitous in our lives and people become accustomed to seeing them everywhere, different preferences for how humans and robots interact may become the norm.
This may already be the case in Japan, where robots have been working in public-facing roles for several years. While anthropomorphic robots are still the dominant type of bot in Japan, there is now a hotel in Tokyo staffed entirely by dinosaur robots. The future is now, and it is a weird and wild place.

What are your thoughts on all of this? Comment below and let’s get a dialogue started!

This blog post is part four of a series, The bold future of UX: How new tech will shape the industry, that discusses future technologies and some of the issues and challenges that will face the user and the UX community. Read Part 1 that discussed Singularity and the associated challenges with UX design , Part 2 which provided an overview of focus areas for AI to be successful , and Part 3 which dug further into the concept of context in AI

Three things to improve acceptance of AI

Three things to improve acceptance of AI

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BOLD INSIGHT

To truly deliver on the promise of AI, developers need to keep the end users in mind. By integrating three components of context, interaction, and trust, AI can be the runaway success that futurists predict it will be.

The bold future of UX: How new tech will shape the industry

Part 2  Three things to improve acceptance of AI

Artificial Intelligence (AI) is one of the hottest topics in tech right now. Conversations around AI inevitably lead to dreams of a world where a computer is predicting every need one might have and/or the impending doom of humanity through a SkyNet / Ultron / War Games-type scenario.

As entertaining as that discussion might be, instead I’m going to focus on what AI needs to do to become more functional and more accepted by society (that is, users). As it stands now, technology (including some of the advances in AI) seems to be advancing simply because developers want to see if they could build it. What my colleagues and I want to see, as user experience (UX) professionals, is meaningful advancements in AI that deliver functionality that is useful for users.

To meet this goal, I sat down with my colleague Gavin Lew, who has recently been talking a lot about AI, to identify three things that AI needs to be successful:

  • Context – At its core, AI is based on pattern-recognition. Once AI learns a pattern, it can make predictions about outcomes of similar patterns. However, while we’re giving AI the raw data it needs to recognize patterns, we’re not giving it the context in which to make good decisions. Our take on this is that we are doing a disservice to AI by not giving it the proper context.
    • An example of this is IBM Watson Health. IBM Watson for Oncology was fed data from the Sloan Kettering Cancer Center and then suggested treatments for various cancer types all over the world. It was able to suggest the correct treatment for lung cancer over 96% of the time in India. However, in South Korea, it was only correct 49% when suggesting treatments for gastric cancer. Why? Because South Korea’s treatments for gastric cancer aren’t in line with Sloan Kettering’s recommended treatments. In other words, Watson was lacking the context needed to suggest the right treatment approach.
  • Interaction – Our understanding of user interactions with AI is still developing. The user interactions of AI are largely still unknown to most. How is someone supposed to use AI? Is “use” even the right term when it comes to AI? Once it is fully realized, a complex AI system will entail the systems of a home, car, office, appliances, and personal tech gadgets, all talking to each other and exchanging information without the user having to actively do anything. Thus, the user is seemingly not doing anything to use AI, while the system itself is passing and parsing data behind the scenes.
    • Think ahead to the future where you have your own personal AI. Our interactions with AI may consist of nothing more than an offhand comment, essentially interacting with the AI without knowing that we’re doing so. For example, when I’m making breakfast and mutter to myself, “Almost out of milk,” a strong AI will know to remind me at an appropriate time to buy milk. Or maybe it will just take the initiative and order me a gallon of milk from the automated grocery service in my area and there will be a milk delivery timed for when I get home from work. Or maybe I don’t need to state that I’m out of milk for the AI to act…. perhaps finishing the gallon of milk is my passive interaction and the AI figures out what the next logical step is by ordering automatically.
  • Trust – Trust in AI has been a recent topic of discussion in the tech sphere. For people to want to use AI on a regular basis, they need to trust it. The early buggy interactions people had with Siri scared them away from voice assistants to the point that most have not attempted to try Microsoft’s Cortana. A new form factor (i.e., Alexa) finally encouraged people to give voice assistants (read: AI) a second chance, and it was more widely accepted and used.
    • But why? Because of trust. Trust is created when a question is asked, and the right answer is given, when a task is given and correctly performed, when a purchase is made and the correct product was bought, and, possibly most importantly, when personal info is kept safe.

Once AI has the three components of context, interaction, and trust, it will be much easier for it to hit the mainstream and be the runaway success that futurists predict it will be. Even if the above three pillars are never fully recognized, to truly deliver on the promise of AI to the end users, the developers of AI systems need to keep the end users in mind since the AI is ultimately being created to benefit them.

What are your thoughts on all of this? Comment below and let’s get a dialogue started!

This blog post part two of a series, The bold future of UX: How new tech will shape the industry, that will discuss future technologies and some of the issues and challenges that will face the user and the UX community. Read Part 1 that discussed Singularity and the associated challenges with UX design.

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