WUD 2014 - World Usability Day
On November 22, the 9th conference dedicated to World Usability Day was held at the Mail.ru Moscow office. Special to Crystal Service this conference was made by my participation in it as a speaker with a story about the self-service checkout counter.
A self-service checkout counter is a checkout counter where customers can scan and pay for their purchases themselves. She really deserves a report - while working on it we had to solve a number of difficult tasks and we really wanted to share our experience with the world. That is why we wrote an article on Habré in September .
The article was received with interest, and after a while the organizers of wud.ru contacted us and offered to talk about the box office at the conference. Our company and I personally, of course, agreed. And from that moment, preparations began, which I would just like to talk about.
Stage 1: topic selection.
At the half-hour report, I didn’t really want to just talk about the self-checkout counter. Firstly, because I often present such stories to potential customers, and secondly, the product approach taught me a very important principle - everything should have a focus, including a presentation. Mostly I wanted to share the knowledge about the design of the interfaces that I gained while working on the project. A couple of weeks of thought over the exact topic and the thought as always came quite suddenly - during my trip to 404fest (and to be precise - during Afterparty =)))). In the conversation, I mentioned that mental models are far from an abstract psychological concept, that we actively used their analysis in our work. I caught myself on this phrase and decided that this topic could be of interest to the public. Why has this idea not come to me before? When you do something for more than a year, you perceive all your actions and methods as something completely natural. As a result, the topic sounded a bit long, but it was catchy from all sides: “Mental models when designing the self-checkout cash desk interface”.
Stage 2: selection of material
Now, in essence, they had to do flash-back. Again, rummage through the articles on which I was based at work, find their authors, pick up a lot of data and figures from our studies. Any story is always a rethinking of the past path. We had a lot of research, but I decided to make the greatest emphasis on IT tracking testing - nevertheless, it is the most indicative and can most clearly represent the data we obtained.
But I wanted to start with theoretical material. Mental models are an important psychological concept, so without some references to research it would be easy for me to understand why I climbed into the psychological depths.
I will explain in more detail. In fact, modeling the world around us is a normal process for our psyche, and often it happens very quietly for us. Let me give you an example of one of the experiments I mentioned: in 1984, Donald Broadbent and his student Diane Berry conducted an experiment on the example of a computer game that was simple in gameplay. The subjects had to manage a sugar factory, and they could influence only 1 parameter - the number of workers at each iteration, but the amount of sugar depended on both the number of workers at this iteration and the amount of sugar at the previous one, using a rather complicated formula. However, after 15-20 iterations, more than 80 percent of the subjects performed the task better than the level that the experimenters themselves considered a successful level of completion of the task. But when it came to questionnaires, only 15 percent were able to answer enough questions correctly. Moreover, those who did the best answer the questions even worse than the rest. What is this talking about? Some models are implicit, i.e. hidden from our consciousness, the process of their creation in the psyche is usually called an implicit teaching. In our daily lives, these are the guidelines of iOS and Android, the principles of building websites. They can’t talk about them, but people act in accordance with these rules, because they have learned them during their interaction with other systems. In our daily lives, these are the guidelines of iOS and Android, the principles of building websites. They can’t talk about them, but people act in accordance with these rules, because they have learned them during their interaction with other systems. In our daily lives, these are the guidelines of iOS and Android, the principles of building websites. They can’t talk about them, but people act in accordance with these rules, because they have learned them during their interaction with other systems.
Stage 3: preparation for the speech
This is my first experience of speaking at the conference. There was no great fear: nevertheless, I was lucky to have a quite well delivered speech, but this does not mean at all that I did not need to prepare. As a result, I had 4 test presentations: 3 days before the presentation I demonstrated it inside the company, the next day at home, and the last 2 times I trained alone at the hotel in the evening and in the morning before the performance. And in the last 2 times I have already used a stopwatch to measure my time. This turned out to be a very good practice - by almost every topic at the time of the conference I knew how much to tell.
Stage 4: the conference itself
My performance was scheduled for 15:30 in the small hall, which means that it was more than 5 hours to prepare. I did not spend them in vain, in the best traditions of performances, I corrected the presentation a couple of hours before the performance. The organizers of WUD are all serious - the voice is written to the microphone, which is attached to the clothes, and the presentation itself is filmed on the video, which will be posted on the site wud.ru.
I’ll say a few words about the style of the report: given that there were many names of scientists and references to theoretical material, I wanted to dilute it with humor so that the audience did not have a chance to get bored. The idea is not mine, in fact, Lesha Ivanovsky has long been advocating this style, with whom many could meet at 404fest or ICR. In general, it seems to me that everything was successful and I got an almost full hall of attentive listeners and questions on the case.
Speaking at relevant conferences is an important step for any company. It seems to me that only when you move from the consumption of content to its production is there an opportunity to make a truly serious breakthrough in everything you do. This is similar to usability testing, which often puts everything in its place, only the solution is not demonstrated, but the approach. And it is at conferences that you can hear a useful comment or question that this approach will improve.