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August 25, 2008


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Great post, and thanks for the nod to my own blog entry on the survey. It brought me to your excellent blog, which I only now discovered.

You're right about my interpretation of the survey. My view of the data is colored by the viewpoint of someone (me!) made weary and old by interminable, unproductive looks-good vs. doesn't-work exchanges with designers.

From where I sit design should support function and create a low-friction user experience. I haven't at this point read enough of your blog to say so for sure, but it appears we agree on that.

Anyway, thanks again, and I suspect I'll become a regular visitor.



Thanks Craig, I'm planning to read more of your blog, too.

#1 and #2 are expected, as you said. #3 is the most interesting to me.

"On the Web, there's no direct analogue to the first option. If there were, of course some people would use it."

I've seen many websites that have that "live chat" option. Do people use it? Another example of this is Tango by H&R Block which offers "Unlimited Support & Assistance" in the form of a web chat. Every time I have used online chat, the person has to use a template, and does not seem to be able to answer advanced questions. Since it would be impossible for a person to offer chat support for every website on the Internet (and be able to help people instantly), is there an acceptable AI solution? What if, for popular websites, there was a video of a live person to answer questions? Would that be creepy? Would it be cost effective? I don't know if there is an acceptable solution.

I agree about live chat support -- it sounds like a good idea, but in reality users find it slow to ask questions and they get unhelpful answers. The cost of live support too, as you point out, is prohibitive for most websites.

I model the "person who designed the web site acting as your personal guide" after the kiosk check-in at the airport. People who are comfortable and familiar with the system breeze through. Less experienced users can quickly have a person behind the desk help them.

It's a nice model (minus the typical long queues and travel hassles of course!) but not too practical.

I love that headline "Designer survey discovers three things you already know" w00t!

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