SAS usability

11Feb10

I’ve used SAS quite often recently because of their good prices and operated routes, and I must say their website service usability is simply awful. I’ll get to other problems some other time, but here’s a good one I found today:

A long time ago, I registered for their EuroBonus program. They sent me a client number.

However, when trying to register my flight to the program, I couldn’t succeed. “Wrong number”, it said. Their own number, which I copy-pasted from the confirmation email, didn’t work!

And yet, I managed in the end…

How did I do it? I removed the spaces from the number!!!

While the idea of formatting the number using spaces, to make for better readability, was of course a good one, it was only taken half way! The form was stupid enough not to remove the blank spaces.

I guess not too many SAS clients are really using their EuroBonus program…At least not online.


Some time has passed now since I’ve finished this project, and it was about time I wrote something about it.

For my first year’s individual project in the IxD school, I had the fortune of working with the Library in Huskvarna, on their Room as a Medium project.

[scroll down to bottom for videos and presentation]

I had two main learnings during the project:

On working with kids, I learned:

  • the ‘mode’ they’re in is very important, and determines the kinds of activities to prepare . When they’re in ‘free-time mode’, it’s not at all easy to keep their interest, and you must strive to entertain them constantly or you’re lost – as I had seen in a previous project. When they’re in ‘school mode’, you should still try hard for entertainment and find out what’s interesting for them, but there is a bit more space for simple discussion, asking some questions and getting some answers (which is very time-efficient sometimes). This is especially true when they are accompanied by their teacher or some kind of authority figure.
  • working with different languages is also interesting. Especially trying to convince them that it’s not necessary to speak English when there is a translator available
  • you should always be confident with kids, and know exactly what you’ll do next. This one I’ve learned from Rob before, but also got to test in this project.

On design process, I learned:

  • practice what you preach. Pressed by time, I almost chose to go ahead with only one solution at one particular point. Luckily, I got some good advice from my mentor, and came up with three possible solution at that stage (yes, there had been many more before)
  • time management: I must learn how to better evaluate my time and how much can be done within a certain interval. It sucks to have to adjust promisses to clients.
  • don’t limit yourself more than needed. Just because you have limited resources doesn’t mean you can only think inside the box.

I also got to practice some of my sketching and prototyping skills, which was pretty cool!

I’m really glad I was a part of this project. Thanks a lot to Lo Claesson, Gunvi Carlsson and Irene Rask for being such great ‘clients’!

Below are the slides used for the final presentation I gave on the project. It includes links to each of the supporting videos.

Here are the supporting videos separately, as well:

http://vimeo.com/4947834
http://vimeo.com/4947697
http://vimeo.com/4947577
http://vimeo.com/4947136

The recording of the presentation should appear in the school’s showroom soon. Until then, you can find it on Vimeo (I’m the second one in this video).

Let me know your thoughts!


Here’s a quite cool demo from the people at MIT. My thoughts will be coming just a bit later.

Ok, here are my thoughts:

All the technologies they used in this concept are well-known to many of us. The magic isn’t in the technologies, but in the idea of putting them all together like that and in the stories they tell for the concept.

Looking at the video, I could probably bet most of their scenarios don’t even work on their prototype, and were faked using video prototyping. Of course, that’s besides the point. The idea was to communicate the concept and its potential. And that they did very well. If they faked it, it’s even better – it means they know their stuff.

Of course, the feedback they got so far only means they have a strong concept, that got people interested and could work well. There are lots of details to get right before we can see this concept turn into a successful product.


IxDA has finally started posting the videos from the 09′ IxDA conference. The one I just watched was that of John Thackara, called Designing for Business as Unusual.

My reaction was quite predictable, I could say: a bit of depression and panique when re-realizing and remembering how bad things are with the world, followed by a lot of optimism seeing and remembering how many important changes are happening everywhere, followed by the dear old “I should be doing so much more to help, why am I doing so little?”

To do much more, I need to learn. To learn, I need time. To eat during that time, I need money. To get money, I need to do some kind of work. To work, I need more time (and ‘do well’ work isn’t so easy to come by yet, apparently).

Could someone tell me where to start?


SocioSwitch

28Mar09

This is a project we just finished working on in school. Waiting for comments first. More details later :)

Later edit:

Ok, here’s the official description of the project, which was part of our Critical Design course in K3, Malmö:

SocioSwitch, Malmö
Elif Ergür, Jansu, Mads Winther Nielsen, Chad Petersen

Switching sides
We present advertisements for an imaginary company offering two main “social switch” services:
the Instant Society Integrator helps people ‘outside’ of the system integrate into society.
the Instant Society Segregator helps people ‘trapped’ in the system escape to freedom.

Comparing the two sides
The advertisements use the same format, but have opposite content. One depicts people outside of the system as lost, hopeless and homeless, and presents the system as salvation. The other one show those inside the system as trapped, frustrated and enslaved, and invites them to find freedom and happiness on the other side.

Reflections
Which is better? Being inside or outside of society? What are the upsides and downsides to each? And how much of it is it really a matter of choice? These are the questions our design tries to address.




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