Week 10: Social Analytics and CRM

Many big brands have created and are now focused and armed with experts creating and monitoring their social media strategies. Even the University of Florida has dedicated an entire Masters degree to the Social Media field. This weeks readings touched on several topics and ideas that creatives can find resourceful.

Shane Kite’s article  Social CRM’s a Tough, Worthy Goal, broke down a case study on Bank of the West and a promotion they ran to open new accounts. Social media sites and blogs brought in the most new customers which proved social media has clearly defined a spot in marketing efforts of any brand trying to reach expand on their audience.

The Effective Social Media Analytics article by Danny Bradbury, described the collection of data and how users are creating a digital foot print with every post on social networks. Tools for measuring engagement success were touched upon and is something I am using in my work environment as well.

Effects of the Recession on Public Mood in the UK was a great read on analyzing the public’s sentiments and gauging their reactions at various times. At my job I use tool that we subscribe to called “Meltwater” news. It is a PR tool used for brand management and crisis management as well with a tool that can gauge how positive or negative certain news articles released or blog, forums and other social media postings.

My first hand experience has seen that the growth and opportunities to engage with our customers or potential clients are abundant. Engaging with them on social platforms can build a greater relationship.

Have you ever used any tools to measure your social media engagements? If so what tools do you prefer?


Week 9: Usability Testing


This weeks readings  touched on usability testing and the importance of creating a great experience. While as designers we tend to create a seemingly great experience the truth is that may not be reflected when it comes to the end user. By definition usability testing refers to evaluating a product or service by testing it with representative users. Typically, during a test, participants will try to complete typical tasks while observers watch, listen and takes notes. In the first article that I read Usability Testing Demystified, the author gave a good outline on the process needed. First would be developing a test plan then choosing a proper testing environment and then selecting the proper participants. Next you would need to prepare the testing materials, conduct the sessions, debrief the participants and observers followed by analyzing the data and then creating findings and recommendations following this recipe.

The paper prototype video was a bit odd to me and seemed a bit over done. I like to sketch out details on a project but the time and effort put in this method to create all the elements might be useful time spent in other areas. My take on a prototype would be to present it in a digital version layered with options than can be turned on an off and quickly adjusted as needed. Many digital assets are available that can be used in a mockup such as form elements mobile and tablet interfaces. Lynda.com also has a short course on creating layer comps which can help designers accomplish a full mock up of a designs with simulated movements and progressions.

Questions to the readers:
Have you ever created a usability test?’

What are your feelings on the paper prototyping? Would you create a kit for future projects?

Week 8: Eye Tracking


Is there a science to how we view things? This weeks readings covered topics on how eye tracking has been implemented within various platforms over the past two decades. While there are various ways that humans collect information, the way our eyes see and process information has been the most complex but important one.

For years scientist, designers and other stakeholders have been trying to implement analyzed data with the thoughts of improving a users experience. The first article that I read New Poynter Eyetrack research reveals how people read news on tablets provided details on how people were either intimately involved with a tablet screen while reading or detached while reading. I found this article very interesting and I myself tend to fall under the detached category.

The Economist.com article The eyes have it gave an overview with examples of how eye tracking can do much more than be used for research. As the cost of Eye-trackers have come down prototypes of video games or even television sets have been unveiled showing how a viewers gaze can control the device. The technology has been used as well for paralyzed people to operate wheelchairs or as a form of safety to keep drowsy drivers awake.

The Article from UX Magazine Eye Tracking and Web Usability: A Good Fit? broke down certain instances such as the ketchup bottle in the fridge example where often times we are starring at something right in front of us but the item is overlooked. Eye tracking would measure this as a something we saw which would prove to be the wrong result.

Desktop, mobile, and tablets are still a relatively new field where many methologies are still being established. Search engine could also use data to see what information is relevant when a user is searching. For the time being eye-tracking will continue to be a trending topic and as cost continue to drop more opportunities may come forward.

Do you find yourself to be more of an intimate or detached user with a tablet?

Do you think eye-tracking has real value as a research tool for website viewing and ad placements?