IKEA without Impulsive Buy or IKEA Effects: New NYC Planning Studio

In April 2019, IKEA opened Planning Studio, the compact store oriented around consultation for the urban life-style, in Manhattan. This 17,350 sq.ft. store is only one-fortieth of the size of their biggest stores, and it covers only 1,000 of the 9,000 items in inventory. The initiative in Manhattan is the third one in the world, […]

White on black or black on white? The pros and cons of Dark Mode

There has been a lot of talk and leaks about Dark Mode for the upcoming WWDC 2019 (Exclusive: Screenshots reveal iOS 13 Dark Mode, new Reminders app, more | 9to5Mac). In the new iOS 13, you can turn on enable Dark Mode in the Settings app or from the option in the control center. According […]

Upgrade the UI with iOS 13

In WWDC 2019, Apple unveiled iOS 13 featuring Dark Mode, Apple Sign In, Performance Optimizations and more. From one of the keynotes, Modernizing Your UI for iOS 13, I picked three UI improvements that I thought were worth taking notes on. Although they are subtle changes, these incremental updates can get users to take and dismiss […]

Discovery of the Uncanny Valley

In The Power of Familiarity in Design: Skeuomorphic Triggers and Personified Machines, I explored and concluded how introducing familiar attributes to a new concept can provide the following three benefits: Hint and trigger users: When a technology is new and alien to users, familiar attributes could hint its function and trigger these users to take an action. […]

The power of familiarity in Design: skeuomorphic triggers and personified machines

In 2007, right after Steve Jobs first revealed the iPhone in a presentation focusing on Apple’s intent to reinvent the phone, Jobs opened the conversation on the revolutionary user interface: The iPhone replaced the physical keyboards of every smartphone at the time with a full-screen interface maneuvered by a pointing device, the human finger. He […]

UX Case Study: Handling Offline for Impatient Users

I recently came across a blog post on inVision listing the most influential UI animations of all time (Inside Design by inVision). On the list, it starts out with a flashing cursor and a command-line interface from 1967, and includes AOL login screens from 1995, and the iMessage “is typing” chat bubbles. Many of the […]

Is the chatbot a hype of the past? What are the key takeaways?

Why did people get excited about chatbots? Facebook debuted its Messenger bot platform in April 2016, and Google announced its Google Assistant in May 2016. During this time, I was on the team that launched The Wall Street Journal bot, which partnered with Facebook, and I witnessed how people’s expectations got so inflated. Unlike regular […]

Get Users Onboard with Your Push Notifications

Push notifications are an essential tool for bringing users back into apps. According to Invesp, sending push notifications can boost app engagement by up to 88%, whereas 65% of users return to an app within 30 days when push notifications are enabled. Push notifications can contribute to app retention rates up to 10 times more than apps without […]

Extra-gamified: why are some apps so satisfying?

According to Statista, an average of 6,140 apps were released in Play Store everyday in the first quarter of 2018. Yet, 77% of users never returned to the app after 72 hours of installing it. What makes some apps stick so much better with users than others? Gamification and a psychology behind Tinder Gamification is, “the craft […]

Slack goes from kooky chat room to imperative corporate pipeline

Since email became the major communication channel in the 1990s, the centralized inbox where users can access all of their conversation history literally also became the work communication hub. Decades later, emails are much more populous and filled with spam and marketing newsletters; the centralized inbox has become a symbol of unproductivity. Slack, the workplace […]