Why We Fail: Learning from Experience Design Failures
Just as pilots and doctors improve by studying crash reports and postmortems, experience designers can improve by learning how customer experience failures cause products to fail in the marketplace. Rather than proselytizing a particular approach to design, Why We Fail holistically explores what teams actually built, why the products failed, and how we can learn from the past to avoid failure ourselves.
released several changes to iDrive. It decided to keep the essential iDrive concept of the controller and screen-based menus but gradually changed the design. To revamp the system, the design process included research with 500 representative test participants in four locations in America, Asia, and Europe. It tested at varying levels of fidelity, using driving simulators, cockpit models, and two cars equipped with prototypes of a new design. To produce the new systems, BMW sourced the software
expectations of usability. OpenID In July 2008 a team at Yahoo! ran a series of tests on the OpenID method for signing in to a website, a method used by their own sites and thousands of others for the preceding two years, and found to their surprise that people didn’t understand what OpenID was or how to access it, much less how to use it (Figure 3.1).2 A technology evangelist on the team confessed, “Observing these tests was more than a bit frustrating for the Yahoo! OpenID team, and the test
attracted a large following on the strength of that simpler initial experience. Only once they gained that following could they leverage it into a platform. For example, Google’s platform allows it to sell and serve contextual advertisements alongside search results. It can display posts, photos, profiles, and conversations from Google+ within search results. And it can display maps and other useful information. But all that is possible only because the original search function attracted a giant
low; after the initial rush of finding old friends, Classmates didn’t offer much reason to return to the site. Betsy Schiffman, reporting for Wired, wrote, “We’re not billionaire investors here, but we’d rather buy a $12 hot dog than a share of Classmates.com.”5 126 Chapter 7 In December 2007 Classmates canceled the initial public offering, signaling a lack of interest from investors. In an interesting coincidence, the FTC ended its probe the same day, without taking action against the
experience failed: Customers, often feeling obliged to update to the latest version, faced a software interface radically different than previous versions and from industry standards. The software also lacked key features that editors needed to do their work. Apple reinstated these missing features within six months, satisfying those who were willing to learn the new interface design to benefit from Final Cut’s new capabilities. The underlying cause: Apple apparently misjudged how much current