“User Experience (UX)” is the modern, designer way of saying, “the way a person feels about using a product, system or service”. I just thought that i’d share with you just one example of the things we worry about when presenting the whole Open Plaques service.
To begin with we displayed a single photo on the plaque page. This positively discouraged anyone who wasn’t the first person to take a photo, so we now display multiple photos per plaque.
The question then came up as to whether we should only include close-ups. The answer was gleaned from the mass of photos on Flickr – people take a mixture of “establishing shots” and “close-ups” – so we take this as natural behaviour and do the same.
When displaying a (75px by 75px) thumbnail image representing a plaque it is best to use a close-up so that you can actually see something.
But, what about the plaque page itself? Which image has priority? There are two main alternatives:
So, how will we choose? At the moment, there is no mechanism to rotate the images, so to aid understanding we display the close-up first. However, if there was an easy way to rotate images then I like the idea of setting the scene with an establishing shot and then being able to drill in to see the details.
The views are very different, but it is not clear which is ‘right’. This is one that we might need to test with real users, or even try A-B testing by showing some users one view and the rest another then watching their behaviour. But what would this mythical indicative behaviour be?
Anyway, I hope that this discussion and rhetorical questions shows the efforts we go to to try to get it right.