Recap: The Secret World of Usability with Todd Moy

This month’s Home Grown session featured Todd Moy, User Experience Designer at Viget, who introduced us to “The Secret World of Usability.” Todd began by showing a video clip of a ballet piece—and I apologize but I forget what piece and from what period—that was not well-received by the audience. Why? Because it was unconventional and went against their expectations. What does this have to do with usability or user experience? When designing a product, application, or experience we need to think about the end-user’s perceptions, expectations, and most importantly, their emotional state when they interact with the design. Todd explains that usability is about perception, and there is no set model for it.

Perception is based on an emotional response, so we must design for emotion. It was previously thought that reason and emotion were in conflict with each other when making descions. But that is not the case, reason and emotion work together to help us make decisions. Knowing this, we can lead users through the decision-making process by designing for emotion and reason.

Todd says there are three places in the design process where we can predict and shape for emotion:

Onboarding:  a user’s first experience with the design. They will come with a certain amount of knowledge about the product itself, but there is often a large gap between current knowledge and mastery. It is during onboarding that we have the opportunity to shape how to span that gap. There are four ways to approach this.

Messaging:  the content, design, and tone all work together to create an experience and deliver the message. There are three aspects to messaging:

 Feedback:  how your product or application responds to the users actions. There are four common approaches to giving effective feedback to the user:


Todd was kind enough to share his slides from today’s presentation, you can find them here.



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