2013-02-11 01.12.14 pm

Assignment Wk2: Compare User Experience

by Bona Kim and Azure qian

We are comparing the experience of searching plumbers. First, we thought of comparing experience of two search engines such as Google and Bing.

However, we thought it might be much more interesting to compare recommendation/ search sites such as Yelp.


2013-02-11 01.12.14 pm

You can search through map / location based search
Various filtering options
Can easily see the average customer rating

No search by serving locations
Plumbing category inside plumbing category
In terms of category, what it means home service and contractors was confusing

2013-02-11 01.14.06 pm
Simple and clear UX in terms of the top search bar.
The blue color makes the users to feel the site is reliable.
Claim in the front page saying The nation’s #1 plumbers directory.

No customer rating or reviews
It’s clear to have two icons on the left that says “have plumbers contact you” and “Live help”
Might be more noise to have resources and related categories
Big advertisement of feature business is another noise.
Have sort button but no options to choose.
Have Plumbers Contact You is underlined and not obvious whether it’s clickable. (View categories area as well)
No need to put view phone button. They can just show the phone number in the front.
When you first get the search result, you don’t see the essencial information right away such as phone number, serving areas or address.


Thesis reading #1 Design for the Real World by Victor Papanek

Summaries & Highlights

Our ways of thinking can be divided into various modes.
Analytical thinking, judgmental thinking, routine thinking and creative thinking

Three ways of creative thinking
1. spontaneous
2. discovery in a dream
3. systematic, solution- directed search for a new way of doing things

Modern day challenge – high value on conformity – creative responses was blunted and stifled as mere eccentricity.

Four factors that enforce conformity – mass production, mass media,, mass advertising, media manipulation. Conformity in thinking and conformity in action are different. However, enforcing conformity tends to kill creative imagination crucial for problem solving.

The wrong kind of problem statement can also block effective solutions. For example, “Build a better mousetrap and hte world will beat a path to your door” is a case in point. What is the real problem here, to catch mice or to get rid of them?

Even if I build a highly effective mousetrap which kills thousands of rodents, it may not be the best solution to the problem. The real problem was to get rid of mice and rats and not catching them. Ot might be far better to broadcast subsonic beam to sterilize all rats and mice.

What is my problem statement? Is it to help artisans in the third world countries to easily sell their in the US? or help travelers on selling items easily while they are traveling so that they can better support themselves?

Two problems I am talking about:
1) gaps between the artisans in the 3rd world and 1st world market.
-Great products out there but not being sold or known in the US.
-Great skills out there but not implemented in trendy way that’s attractive to US consumers.
(Questions: Even if I build a platform where artisans can access design consultancy and easily sell to US market, would they have the means to even get to this platform? Many of them do not have the access to internet.
Are there platforms where non-profit organizations in these nations can easily sell items on US market? Can they sell on existing platforms such as eBay and Etsy? If then, are they doing so? if not, what are the reasons they are not using the existing market?)

2) financial feasibility for serious travelers.
-Many have great experience/ stories to tell and want to be travel writers but don’t have the opportunities.
-Many are natural curators and have buying skills but don’t have the means to sell in US market while traveling.
(Questions: On what other methods do these serious travelers financially support themselves?
Do the even want to go through the hassle of selling items they found while traveling?)

Identifying this may change the end result greatly. What matters to me more? Which can I offer better solution? Which will I feel more passionate about? Which needs more help? Does the demographic of second idea even have a problem to start with?