It was a great month. We watched with eager eyes as photos were sent in celebrating the things that were engaging people throughout their days for our World Usability Day 2014 competition.
And then, a winner. Judges from across the globe brought their wisdom to bear on the top ten entries with the most votes, and one came out on top:
Office LEGO Man performs his famous Chinese takeout box high bar routine
So how did Office LEGO Man impress the judges?
Being 'engaged' is a subjective human experience, so we established criteria for judging which included:
Composition: How well was the image arranged from an aesthetic point of view? Did it have an interesting foreground/background?
Originality: Was this a unique image, or am I likely to see dozens of photos just like this in a Google Images search?
Interestingness: I don’t even know if this is a word, but we had a score based on how interesting the image was.
Story: How compelling was the accompanying text for this image? Did the context give more insight to the story behind the image, or was it a throwaway caption?
This gave a total score out of 20. The winning image scored highly in all categories, which is why the judges chose it. Plus: Lego. Need I say more?
The judges were Matthew Magain and our CEO Andrew Mayfield. Matt co-founded UX Mastery, an online resource for aspiring user experience designers, and is a friend of ours at Optimal Workshop. He lives in Thornbury with his wife, two daughters, and a rambunctious kitten named Jasper. Connect with him on twitter because he's awesome — @mattymcg
Morgan on how UX tools will make VCU a better place to be
There's nothing like data — say, a heatmap from 'out in the wild' showing that nobody is clicking the 'thing' you thought they would click — to help solve a design or content problem.
I'm a Senior Front-end Developer with VCU University Relations, which serves as an in-house marketing 'agency' that produces digital, print, and video content for news and marketing channels. We work on dozens of projects each year — sometimes a dozen at once. Busy!
Being in higher ed, the purse strings are often tight. It's therefore been a challenge to make a case for UX tools. Now, having an opportunity to unleash the power of heatmaps, remote user testing, in-browser prototyping, and A/B evaluation tools, my team members' eyes are opening to the benefits of user feedback.
At VCU, I'm on a mission to evangelize the benefits of UX, user testing, analytics analysis and SEO in a higher ed setting. Our family of VCU sites makes up a 'digital campus', and I feel it is my task to try and make each part of the 'neighborhood' a pleasant place to visit.
We have work to do!
To catch a glimpse at what Office LEGO Man gets up to (and, of course, to connect with Morgan himself) follow him on Twitter at @redneckrobot
Thanks again to our sponsors, and to everyone who entered the comp
We had so much fun watching all of you upload awesome photos of what engages you. We hope you enjoyed the experience as well. Check out the interesting and engaging photos our sponsors uploaded.