Dear employees, let’s grab the cleaning supplies, it’s Ayudha Pooja!

Perhaps, in Indian mythology monkey business means a good thing. The vanar sena played an active role and helped Rama defeat Ravana, and add yet another holiday to the Indian calendar – Vijayadashami / Ayudha Pooja, celebrating the triumph of good over evil.

Actually, monkey business means time-wasting activity. One of the biggest reasons of time-wastage at work is workplace clutter, which also affects productivity.

We are unable to locate important papers, critical files and vital emails on time. Add the dust and grime, our work atmosphere is clogging our brains! So how do we ensure that productivity triumphs over clutter? Simple. While we tidy our houses for Ayudha Pooja this year, let’s spruce up our office too!

Workstation


We reside here for around 7-8 hours every day. And on most days our desks look like bomb sites! Scattered papers, month-old sticky notes, long-forgotten whiteboard markings, the odd knick-knacks and the half-drunk coffee cup.

“If a cluttered desk signs a cluttered mind, of what, then, is an empty desk a sign?”

Einstein’s question is food for thought indeed. Well, HERE’s WHAT NOT to do!

via GIPHY

Here are some Dos:

  • Invest in a binder where you can store loose paper
  • Ensure that sticky notes are routinely discarded.
  • Use ‘To Dos’ in Outlook and track tasks efficiently.
  • Wipe photos, whiteboard and other knick-knacks
Let’s create our own quote! – “A clean, well-organized desk is a sign, of a planned and orderly mind.”

Hardware

dirty-system

The once sleek, shiny laptop is now covered in grime. The squeaky clean mouse is greasy. The yummy evening snacks of masala vada and samosa had to cause some casualties.

Dos:

  • Use a laptop cleaning kit to banish the dust and get the sparkle back on your laptop.
  • Avoid eating while using laptop, as crumbs get stuck between the keys and on the mouse.

 

Gadgets are every techie’s pride and joy. Let’s maintain them properly so that they serve us well.

 Email & Files

Often we click the file download button multiple times – sometimes out of frustration, sometimes by mistake. Result? Your Downloads folder is a nightmare! It is like Harry Potter’s doubling curse come to life!

Dos:

  • As soon as you download a file, assign it a place on your system. Create an appropriately-named folder and paste it there. This is mandatory when the file is visual or audio. Text-oriented files can be searched easily, but the other categories would require intensive efforts.
  • Periodically clean up the Temp files. Temp files mean just that, temporary. Don’t let them become a permanent guest on your system.
  • Allocate time for system cleanup. Ruthlessly delete old and unnecessary files. If you have a copy on the cloud, even better, as you have backup. Remember. Your mantra is – Sift. Delete. Repeat.
  • Put Outlook to good use and get on top of your overflowing inbox. Use Rules wisely to ensure proper categorization of your mails.
  • Unsubscribe from unwanted newsletters and mails! And if you absolutely need those, then try unroll.me

In the end, Work is worship. And we need to sharpen our work tools too. This year, let’s carry the spirit of Ayudha Pooja to our workspaces, and invoke the blessings of the divine.

Happy Vijayadashami everyone!

3 Pschology Tips for Better UX Design

3 psychology tips for better UX Design

Imagine a situation in which you want to window-shop ATVs (All-Terrain Vehicles). You are quite sure of your budget, make and model. You decide to browse online and visit a few websites.

Suppose you visited the sites shown below:

arngren-net-vs-amazon-com

                                arngren.net                                                                                          amazon.com

Which site would you prefer? Amazon right?

Why? Quite simple. Arngren.net is cluttered and unappealing. Maybe, it has good deals, but the navigation is a nightmare.

The first site causes information overload. In Amazon, however, there is proper categorization and additional options of filtering. This is simple cognitive psychology at play, a concept called cognitive load – a situation where a lot of memory capacity is used to make sense of the information presented, and this affects the user experience. Psychology is the study of behavior. So, it’s vital to understand human behavior when we create website designs, and aim for high utility and usability.

This blog covers three psychological concepts that can be applied to design UX better.

Hick’s Law

When a person has to make a decision, the greater the number of choices,
the more time it will take to decide.

 

How is Hick’s law applicable to UX design? It helps to estimate the time it would take to make a decision in an interface’s user menu.
Consumer takes more time to decide due to abundance of choices

Ambiguity due to abundance of choices

When users are overloaded with choices, they take more time to select. So, most firms now conduct A/B tests to understand the effect of too many choices on UX. Here’s a Medium article by Digital Product Designer, Kristof Orts on the UX and Hick’s Law connect.

 

 

 

Takeaway: Keep It Short and Simple. Don’t barrage users with choices and multitudes of decision. A clean UX demands that the user finds the whole experience unambiguous and effortless.

Form Fatigue

Suppose you are at the fag end of a call with a support executive, when you’re requested to fill a feedback form. You agree to it and upon clicking the link find a long form, consisting of 10 questions with 4 answer options each. How motivated will you be to complete the form? Since you aren’t going to reap any benefits out of it, and the task will consume much efforts and time on your part, you might not fill the form. This is because of Form Fatigue. The benefit accrued by filling the form is way lesser than the time taken to do it.

 

User experiencing Form Fatigue

            User experiencing Form Fatigue

 

Takeaway: Avoid lengthy forms. If the length cannot be altered, make it interesting. Here’s what designer Andrew Coyle suggests.

 

Selective Disregard

Have you heard of the term banner blindness? You too would have indulged in it, many times.

Banner blindness or banner noise is when users disregard irrelevant content on webpages. According to this study by Infolinks, 86% of consumers suffer from banner blindness. The users have seen so many ads, that now they just do not pay attention to the ads. They have cultivated selective disregard for these sections of the webpage. Read here on why banner ads are dead.

This behavior is not limited to banners. If the user has been doggedly using only one section of the webpage, then any change in any other section is not observed at all.

86% consumers suffer from banner blindness

Banner Blindness is a form of Selective Disregard

How do designers combat selective disregard? Have you seen sites, wherein a side pop-up ad would block the screen for a few seconds and would then slink away? This is an emphasis ploy of designers, which still annoys users. So what do you suggest then, you ask?

Takeaway: Do not over-emphasize. Limit design to show only the bare essentials. Use emphasis carefully and only when it is actually required.

 

To make UX a delight, it is important to understand how users think and what will make their journey on your application or website easier. Cognitive psychology is an important aspect to consider before starting with UX design. After all, technology is supposed to make human life easier.

Rio Olympics 2016

Stepout2Play: Time to ring in the Rio Olympics 2016!

The Olympic torch and the craze have been re-ignited after an interval of four years. This time it is the beautiful Brazilian city of Rio De Janeiro that is hosting the sporting mega event from 05 Aug to 21 Aug 2016. There are a record 207 countries participating in the Rio Olympics 2016. And the Indian delegation is at its strongest-ever, with a 100+ member team.

So, will India fulfill the dreams of a billion and own this Olympics?

We would like to find that out too!

Join us at Stepout2Play as we deep-dive into the world of Olympics and provide updates, medal tally and fun-facts every day!