British Airways 'Picture Your Holiday

While conducting user research I often hear from people that “I don’t know what I’m looking for but I’ll know when I see it”.

@notonthewater shared a great example of a site from British Airways that deals with this in an interesting way.

Buying holidays is hard. People want to be inspired. Often we go to the same destinations again and again because we just don’t know what type of holiday we will have in Estonia or Turkey.

Travel sites often don’t help because the first thing they ask is ‘where do you want to go’. We often have no idea but we know what type of experience we want to have when we get there.

This site from BA acknowledges this behaviour (which in itself is smart strategic thinking) and allows you to browse by photos that represent the experience you are looking for.

This ultimately is translated into a destination list. 

I seem to post a lot on here these days about personas and photography.

I hope this is indicative of people paying photos more attention and creating better photos to accompany their UX deliverables.

This latest example by Jason Traviscaught my eye because the objects beneath the people help to tell us a bit more about that person. Perhaps this was for a bag design project?

What would be cool are persona photos that demonstrate key behaviours in some way.

I’m going to have a think about that for my next persona project.

 

MailChimp have posted a really interesting article that tells the story of how their new personas came to be.

I like their idea of getting large portrait photos of their personas framed and hung in their office. 

In the article Gregg describes the value of this…

"…so we could better empathize with them, and in turn design for and delight them.."

Yet another nice example of how photos can be used effectively within the user centred design process.

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I spotted this tweet recently and was interested to see that ASOS were increasing the size of photos to be the same size on their category pages as their product pages.

I think this is indicative of how important the photos are on category pages to allow customers to scan for products they might be interested in.

It can be a pain to find avatars of people to use in design work.

The kind folks at UIfaces.com have solved this problem for us all by providing lots of photos for you to use.

UIfaces

DITTO glasses lets you to take a photo of yourself with your webcam so you can see if you like the look of their glasses.

DITTO glasses

It’s a nice application of technology that fulfils a fundamental user need.

Clearly it’s cheaper to buy glasses online but there is the obvious hurdle of picking the ones you like.

I haven’t seen many sites that do this but can imagine this approach being taken for other fashion and clothing sites.

And no, I didn’t buy any glasses!

In his ‘8 Guidelines and 1 Rule for Responsive Images' article Jason Grigsby (@grigs) shares some great tips to help you to deal with photos on your next responsive design project.

(via @lukejones)

I’ve recently published an article over at UXMagazine that shows you how to use my new photo usability checklist.

In the article I show you how to use the checklist to evaluate the effectiveness and usability of photos from a hotel website.

The checklist has been designed to be used to evaluate photos (in an expert review situation) and also to help people to determine their own photo requirements.

I launched the checklist in my “Usability of web photos' eBook and article represents the first public demo of how to use it.

It is with great pleasure that I can now announce that my new eBook ‘Usability of web photos’ is now available to buy from Five Simple Steps (£2).

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I believe that this is the first book of it’s kind on this topic.

I’m particularly excited because within it I share my new photo usability checklist (Excel, 83kb). It is a simple tool for you to use to evaluate the usability and effectiveness of photos in your own work.

The book will appeal to anyone who wants to learn more about the impact that the photos are having within their digital product or service. It will also be useful for photographers to use to help them to plan to take more effective and usable photos. 

Within the 60 odd pages of the book I cover:

Part 1 - What are usable photos and why are they so important?

I explain what I mean by a usable photo and introduce some of the psychological reasons behind why they are so important.

Part 2 - Photo usability stories from the coalface

In every research project I see usability problems with photos. In this chapter I share some of my favourites.

Part 3 - How do you know if a photo is usable or not?

I have developed a photo usability checklist for you to use to evaluate the usability of photos in your own projects. In this chapter I introduce the checklist and explain it in detail.

Part 4 - The digital design process and web photo usability

I interviewed a commercial photographer and a digital designer to understand the issues they face when producing and working with the photos that we see online. This chapter identifies some of the problems that we face in typical design projects that directly impact upon the photos that end up on the web.

Part 5 - User-centred design techniques to improve photo usability

In this chapter I share some techniques that I’ve used during user centred design projects that have helped to improve the usability of the photos that were selected for the final product.

A cut of the book is being donated to Children in need.

I hope you enjoy it, drop me a line via @chudders to let me know what you think of it

A blog celebrating photos, the unsung heroes of great user experience design, by James Chudley (@chudders)

My 60 page 'Usability of web photos' ebook is available for only £2 / €3.50 / $3.50.

A percentage of every sale will go to Children in Need.

Buy Usability of web photos

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