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Webinar: Tablet Shopping UX & Holiday Retail Sales, Nov. 11, 2013 by UserZoom

UserZoom Webinar

How the Tablet Shopping Experience Impacts Holiday Retail Sales

Thursday, November 11, 2013

11:00 AM PT/2:00 PM ET

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It is expected that during the 4th quarter of 2013, U.S. online shoppers will spend $83.2 billion, which according to eMarketer, is up 15.5% over the same period last year. According to a 2012 Forrester State of Retailing Online report, 49% of retailers reported that tablet shoppers spend more per order than people shopping from computers or smart phones.

In spirit of the holiday season and current statistics, we decided to conduct a competitive benchmark study that reveals how the experience of shopping on a tablet impacts sales this upcoming Holiday Season.

Join UserZoom‘s UX Researcher, Sneha Kanneganti, and Alfonso de la Nuez, Co-CEO, in a new webinar that presents the results involving three well-known winter season retail brands: Columbia Sportswear, The North Face and Under Armour.

(See also:  “Which Retail Mobile Sites are à la Mode? Results from a UX study” by Sneha Kanneganti, Sept. 26, 2013, UX Magazine, Article No. 1097)

During this webinar, we will share the results from the 300 participant study, addressing:

  • How effective is the tablet experience?
  • Which brand offers better usability?
  • How is it likely to influence the consumer’s final shopping decision this Holiday Season?
  • How does it affect the overall brand experience?

Meet Your Speakers: 

Sneha Kanneganti, User Experience Researcher at UserZoom

View Sneha Kanneganti's profile on LinkedIn


Sneha specializes in unmoderated remote usability testing. She also has extensive in-lab usability testing experience with various research methodologies, from in-depth interviews and task based studies to focus groups. Her background is in Information Science and Psychology and loves analyzing results and finding patterns in collective behavioral outcomes.

Alfonso de la Nuez, Co-CEO and CO-Founder at UserZoom

View Alfonso de la Nuez's profile on LinkedIn


Alfonso de la Nuez is a Co-Founder and Co-CEO at UserZoom, Inc. Prior to starting UserZoom, he worked for Dell Computers, Icon Medialab (pioneer Web Design and Development agencies from Sweden) and Proxicom. He teaches usability and user-centered design in various universities and academic institutes and is a frequent speaker at conferences. Alfonso also co-founded XperienceConsulting which is the market leader in Spain and one of the most experienced web and mobile usability firms in Europe.

I’m reading: Smartphones, Silly Users (HBR)

Exploded view of a Smartphone

Smartphone, exploded view

Last week I visited some new friends who have busy lives, working in the connected economy. They lamented that their omnipresent computers have reinforced habits that leave them remembering fewer facts and details. Instead, we agreed, their mental energy is spent building indices of knowledge sources.

Daniel Gulati puts it well in this short, observant post in HBR’s blogs, which I found while taking a look at “Mobile Handset and Smartphone Design” by Abhi Naha and Peter Whale (Cambridge U. Press, 2012) which includes a chapter by Scott Jenson, Google’s mobile UX lead designer.
Smartphones, Silly Users by Daniel Gulati, HBR, January 4, 2013

Coruscate, Word of the Day

I found “coruscating” today while reading Wil Hylton’s review of James Turrell’s new show at the Guggenheim, “How James Turrell Knocked the Art World Off Its Feet”.

Like “ineluctable” I love the word and am not certain of it’s meaning. I decided it would be today’s word:

After 44 years, it still has the coruscating radiance of something from a future world.

I had no hint of it’s roots. I could not recall another work with the same latin root, “coruscare”. I asked my cousin, a classics professor for another word of the same root. She didn’t find any English cognates in her big Latin dictionary, though it suggested the Greek verb σκαιρω as a cognate, which means to skip or leap. So glitter and leap are related through these words? Marvelous. Discovery. This is why I love etymology!

From Webster’s New American Dictionary

  • coruscating
    • ˈkôrəˌskāti ng
    • adjective
    • flashing; sparkling
    • brilliant or striking in content or style
    • Examples of use
      • a coruscating kaleidoscope of colors.
      • the play’s coruscating wit.
  • coruscate
    • ˈkôrəˌskāt; ˈkär-
    • verb [ intrans. ]
    • poetic/literary(of light) flash or sparkle
    • Example of use
      • the light was coruscating from the walls.
      • coruscation
        • ˌkôrəˈskā sh ən
        • noun
    • early 18th cent.
    • from Latin coruscat- ‘glittered,
    • from the verb coruscare.

Ineluctable, Word of the Day

I found “ineluctable” today while reading Frank Bruni‘s Op-Ed piece, “Sexism’s Puzzling Stamina“.

I love the word, but in his use, was not certain of it’s meaning. I decided it would be today’s word:

We’re listening to Saxby Chambliss, a senator from Georgia, attribute sexual abuse in the military to the ineluctable “hormone level” of virile young men in proximity to nubile young women.

I thought it shared it’s roots with “elocution”, from the latin “eloqui” meaning “speak out” (as “eloquence” does). Ah ha! No, its another species, also latin, from “eluctari” or “struggle out.”


From Webster’s New American Dictionary

  • ineluctable
    • ˌiniˈləktəbəl
      • adjective
      • unable to be resisted or avoided; inescapable : the ineluctable facts of history.
        • ineluctability |-ˌləktəˈbilitē
          • noun
        • ineluctably |-blē
          • adverb
      • ORIGIN
        • early 17th cent.: from Latin ineluctabilis,
        • from in- ‘not’ + eluctari ‘struggle out.’
  • elocution
    • ˌeləˈkyoō sh ən|
      • noun
      • the skill of clear and expressive speech, esp. of distinct pronunciation and articulation.
      • a particular style of speaking.
      • elocutionary
        • -ˌnerē|
        • adjective
      • elocutionist |-ist
        • noun
    • ORIGIN
      • late Middle English (denoting oratorical or literary style):
      • from Latin elocutio(n-),
      • from eloqui ‘speak out’ (see eloquence).
  • eloquence
    • ˈeləkwəns|
    • noun
    • fluent or persuasive speaking or writing : a preacher of great power and eloquence.
    • the art or manner of such speech or writing.
    • ORIGIN
      • late Middle English: via Old French
      • from Latin eloquentia,
      • from eloqui ‘speak out,’
      • from e- (variant of ex-) ‘out’ + loqui ‘speak.’

Chauncey Wilson’s new book on (corporate) group ideation

The inimitable Chauncey Wilson has a new book on ideation: “Brainstorming and Beyond: A User-Centered Design Method” ($30).

How has your team come by its favoriate ideation techniques?

How does your organization’s culture influence the viability, the validity of proven – and approved – ideation techniques?


From the publisher’s precis:
Brainstorming and Beyond describes the techniques for generating ideas verbally, in writing, or through sketches. … brainstorming, the foundation method for ideation … a complex social process that is often flawed in ways that are not self-evident. … Brainwriting … which each person writes ideas down on paper and then passes the paper to a new person who reads the first set of ideas and adds new ones. …. Brainwriting is useful when time is limited, groups are hostile, or you are dealing with a culture where shouting out wild or divergent ideas might be difficult. Finally, … Braindrawing, a method of visual brainstorming that helps practitioners generate ideas for icons, other graphics, user interface layouts, or Web page designs. Each of these methods provides readers with ways to generate, present, and evaluate ideas so they can begin building a strong foundation for product success.
ISBN-10: 0124071570
ISBN-13: 978-0124071575
Publication date: February, 2013

Great word: echelon

Merriam-Webster Dictionary




  1. a (1) : an arrangement of a body of troops with its units each somewhat to the left or right of the one in the rear like a series of steps (2) : a formation of units or individuals resembling such an echelon <geese flying in echelon> (3) : a flight formation in which each airplane flies at a certain elevation above or below and at a certain distance behind and to the right or left of the airplane ahead
    b : any of several military units in echelon formation; also : any unit or group acting in a disciplined or organized manner <served in a combat echelon>
  2. a : one of a series of levels or grades in an organization or field of activity <involved employees at every echelon>
    b : a group of individuals at a particular level or grade in an organization <the upper echelons of the bureaucracy>


the lower echelons of the bureaucracy

We heard stories of corruption in the upper echelons of the firm.


French échelon, literally, rung of a ladder, from Old French eschelon, from eschele ladder, from Late Latin scala

First Known Use: 1796

To design quickly, design openly

Ryan Singer‘s SVN post, “Designing in the open“, from 2011 is still relevant.

He is right: designing “in secret” is unproductive.

The valuable remark*: “Instead of asking for 10 changes and waiting a week, you can ask for 1 change and wait 15 minutes.”

As with so much improvement, design leadership can be a powerful, simple catalyist:

Whoever is managing the project or directing it can ask for smaller, more frequent steps.

Instead of asking for 10 changes and waiting a week, you can ask for 1 change and wait 15 minutes.

…the set of constraints and motivating concerns is smaller. The design is easier to talk about because there are a fewer factors involved.

This is much the same attitude as SaleForce’s George Hu expressed in his New York Times Corner Office interview this week.

Q. What behavior do you have a low tolerance for?

A. I call it “going into your cave.” I might say to somebody: “I’d like you to assess whether this idea makes sense, but don’t go into a cave.” And what I mean is, don’t go off for three months and work on this detailed analysis. Because that’s not how things get done. … We’ll make much more progress that way, and it will be a lot more fun, too.

Outside of espionage or surprise, there is no inherent reason to work in secret.

Design which perennially hampered by it’s popular reputation as a magical, “creative” act, is especially susceptible to this treatment.

*However, I completely disagree with the author’s pop psychology touchy-feely approach. It’s just not that deep. It’s simply about the production process. Smaller steps move along the design toward done (or final approval) faster. By cloaking his idea is mumbo jumbo about confidence, maturiaty, shame and power, he distracts from productive process, which is enough reason to change one’s design approach.

“Designing in the open”, by Ryan Singer, 37signals, May 25th, 2011


“Using Just One Word, Try to Describe Your Career DNA”, By Adam Bryant, New York Times, April 18th, 2013

In one word, what is your career?

Today, The New York Times’s Adam Bryant interviewed George Hu, COO, Salesforce, for their column, Corner Office.

Hu asks job applicants, “How would you describe who you are, in the core of your DNA, in one word?”. (His own answers are below.)

Great question! Can you distill your work identity to a single word? My answer: “leader”. Earlier in my career my answers would have been, “Designer”, “Problem-solver”, “Translator”. While I still am those. In the last two years I have recognized that most people I work with (both clients and my team) do not feel comfortable having overall responsibility.

At the same time, I recognized that I, on the otherhand, am most engaged in my work when I take on responsibility for more than my own work. It bring out my best resources and motivates me to work hard and keep my eye on the ball.


With friends and family we often start our day’s conversation by asking, “what is the caption?” as a way of getting the other person to drop the minutea of their day and share the pith.

The one-word format intrigues me. In today’s “Brand You” career culture we talk often go on and on about ourselves in great depth, making sure to mention every aspect of our skills and accomplishments. What’s the caption?

Hu asks, “who are you?” What can we learn by answering, “what do you make?”

My question, “How would you describe what you do, in the core of your DNA, in one word?”

For me, it’s, “Products”.

For you?

And if you had two words to encapsulate your career?


Using Just One Word, Try to Describe Your Career DNA, by Adam BryantNew York Times, Thursday, April 18th, 2013

Interview Questions

  • You worked your way up from intern to chief operating officer at Salesforce in a decade. Where did you get your drive?
    • My parents gave me a lot of freedom, which actually allowed me to find myself.
    • One early trait: I always tried to do the thing that people said I couldn’t do, or was off-limits.
  • How did you start your rise up the ranks at Salesforce?
    • The Salesforce C.E.O. wrote, “We’re having some problems in Europe.” I talked to 20 people, did an analysis and sent it to him. He said, “I want you to tell me what’s wrong with the company.”
    • My advice: Don’t solve the problem that your manager or your boss tells you to solve. Solve the problem that either they don’t know they have, or solve the problem they know they have but nobody is solving.
  • That was a bold move.
    • If I think I have a good idea, I just can’t help sharing
  • What do you do to spur innovation?
    • We sort and filter up great ideas and execute the really good ones.
  • What are some unusual things about Salesforce’s culture?
    • On internal social network employees can rant about anything.
  • What else?
    • We ensure we are always communicating and aligning.
    • Every year, the management presents the business plan to every employee worldwide: The values and the 10 most important things we’re going to do
    • This is V2MOM (vision, values, methods, obstacles and measures).
    • Any employee can see what I’m supposed to get done that year.
  • How do you hire?
    • I ask “why” a lot, to learn what motivated people to make the decisions they made throughout their career.
    • A bias toward people in an organization for more than five or six years.
    • I force people to prioritize things
  • What behavior do you have a low tolerance for?
    • Responding to a request with a three month-long detailed analysis
  • What other career advice do you give people?
    • Answer “the core of your DNA, in one word?”
    • Know who you are, and really understand what you’re exceptional at.
  • How would you answer that question?
    • “Analyst,” then “Problem-solver.” Today, “Leader.”

Teaching children how to find justice by speaking with empathy and frank honesty.

An article in this week’s NYT reports on an Oakland, California public high school’s restorative justice program.

It shows reflection and dialogue given a place in the public school culture of rules, control, punishment, telling (not listening), and proscribed relationships of each type of actor: student, administrator, child, adult, and so on.

The approach taking root in 21 Oakland schools, and in Chicago, Denver and Portland, Ore., tries to nip problems and violence in the bud by forging closer, franker relationships among students, teachers and administrators.

It challenges young people “to develop empathy for one another”.

Very much like Quaker elementary school education.

Opening Up, Students Transform a Vicious Circle

By Patricia Leigh BrownNew York Times, April 3rd, 2013

Ten Slides:  Defusing Conflict in Schools

Ooomf looks interesting

I just came across Ooomf, a marketplace for short software projects who’s participants are invited.

Looks promising:

Connecting awesome mobile & web projects withhandpicked developers, designers, & copywriters.

They claim an average of 5 leads per project.

• You’ll reach 500+ handpicked developers, designers, and copywriters.

• Manually curated projects

• An average project budget of $3900

• Projects last 3 weeks or less

From the Ooomf Manifesto:

What’s wrong with the current systems is they tend to pit independent professionals against one another, ultimately landing on price as the determining factor for who wins a contract. This teaches the wrong behavior – that driving the price of a project down is good, so long as you can find someone that get’s the job done, nothing more. This doesn’t necessarily lead to innovation in the resulting products, but rather, mediocrity.
Follow them (@ooomf) for more news and details.