UX Power Up: Novel UI’s

Typically we approach usability with a conservative mindset- meaning we don’t want to disrupt user patterns and expectations. This is mainly because designers have shown us that they can overwhelm users with whiz-bang designs. But on mobile is this true? In this week’s UX Power Up, Frank gets into novelty and the opportunities afforded by mobile to bring COOL to design.

Transcript of video above…

Novel UI’s – Mobile UX

Frank Spillers here, founder of Experience Dynamics and it’s time for this week’s UX Power Up.  So today, I’d like to talk about novelty in Mobile UX.   I think the mobile environment actually offers a great opportunity to do new and interesting things that you might have shied away from on desktop because people are very much in a kind of focused, task-oriented mode and they are not really playing around.  So mobile, just because it’s much more emotional allows for a little bit more playfulness, obviously you want to be careful that if you introduce novelty or playfulness that it just enhances and compliments task completion and it doesn’t get in someones way.

So, as opposed to ignoring novelty and saying “Ok, let’s just stick to something functional.”  I think it’s a good idea to explore and innovate a little bit.  

One of the things that some sites are doing is a concept where there’s kind of almost like a little curtain and you peel back, you swipe and kind of pulls back the data and its in a type of shimmery type of curtain style.

Another one is when you add an item to your cart, it actually drops down, kind of actually animates and goes down to the section where the shopping cart contains your items.  So kind of the events on the screen like that that show relationship, one of the mobile UX issues that typically comes up is people don’t know what happened, you know, it’s kind of like – you did an action, and you are in this really small screen – and then it’s like “Well, where is it?” Oh, well you forgot to look at the indicator that showed that you went from 1 to 2 or whatever.  

So adding things like that, like the kind of novelty of playfulness can really help with that.  

Another concept here comes from an app that helps you find deals it’s called Dealin.  When you swipe this one it actually unfolds, it’s almost like a little origami thing where it pulls back and it’s like visually 3D but feels like you are kind of opening a folder, but without turning the page.  It’s kind of just like down and unfolds and then you close it and open it like that.  So kind of a novel type of approach like that adds some flair to it, adds a little bit more emotion and it’s appropriate for the medium, for the mobile medium.  The other benefit is it helps differentiate the app and the experience for the user.  

So thinking about when you are in the mobile space, it’s okay to think a little more playful, a little bit more novel.  Make sure you are actually testing any type of novelty you introduce.  But definitely innovate, innovate, innovate.  I think it’s a great environment to do it in, with mobile.  

Happy UX’ing.  We’ll see you in a future Power Up.

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