Why Empathy Matters in UX

An empathic approach is intrinsic to the success of every project a User Experience designer takes on. Without the ability to understand and share the feelings of our users, we’d be making blind assumptions and decisions without any basis in their reality. Empathy gives us the ability to imagine ourselves as our users and better understand their emotions, reactions and overall experience with our products.

Before we can do that, we must first learn who we need to empathise with. When we successfully define who our users are and tailor our products to help them achieve their goals more efficiently and enjoyably, everyone wins! It may take time to have a comprehensive understanding of this and it’s frustrating when months of research are seemingly thrown away when they react unexpectedly to something painstakingly designed for them, but it’s important to remember that this is all part of the iterative process. Gradually building on previous insights will offer the best results over time. If you try not to take things personally (this can be hard!) and see every result: positive or negative, as simply more useful information to lead your users to success, you’ll be more enthusiastic when you learn new things about them.

The American inventor Thomas Edison said it well :

“Negative results are just what I want. They’re just as valuable to me as positive results. I can never find the thing that does the job best until I find the ones that don’t.”

At the end of the day, no fancy marketing techniques or Photoshop filters can hide how your users react to your design. If you’ve put yourself in their shoes, earnestly care about their goals and have the skills to make it happen - a quality, user centric result is sure to follow. Don’t rush the process!

Statushub Features Annoucement

2015 was great but 2016 will be awesome

Since we taken over Statushub from Copper Cloud we have been getting to know you all and it has been great. We have also been busy working to offer you a better user experience because while we know StatusHub is great we also know there are things we can do to offer you a better experience as users.

Everything is changing and it is awesome

Below are some of the changes we have made over the last six months
  • We have renamed Collaborators as Team Members
  • We have renamed Incident History as Notification History.
  • We have renamed Detected Problems as Notification History.
  • You now have the ability to edit and delete past maintenance and incident reports.
  • Updates have been made to the layout of your statushub (status.cogneto.io) so it is more user friendly on mobile devices.
  • Your subscribers now have the ability to unsubscribe and the ability to manage their subscription on a per service basis.
  • Subscriptions to the service can now be made either on a monthly or yearly basis ( yearly plans offer a 10% discount)
  • A dedicated plan for educational institutes
  • And a fully functional knowledge base http://spoke.cogneto.co
    • that comes with community features where you can propose and vote for new features 
Features Coming soon to StatusHub

More to come

Other changes still to come include;
  • a full site redesign so awesome it will be like using a brand new service
  • dedicated enterprise plan
  • An audit log will soon be available that will show changes made to status updates /maintenance & incident reports. It will show the change that was made who made it and when it was made.
  • and much more
But to help us deliver features you want we would love to hear what you would like to see; to submit a feature request visit spoke.cogneto.co and use the request a feature function.

4 Important Tips for Using Status Pages

First and foremost…the woman in the picture looks stressssssed out!
Tip #1: Don’t be that person

Now you may be wondering why the woman in the picture (above) is in such dire straits (and no, we are not talking about the legendary band from the 80′s). It may be because someone told her to look frustrated in order to take some excellent stock photos…but for the sake of this blog post let’s imagine she’s you (yup, that’s right) right after you find out your site/app (or a section of it) has been down for the past hour and you have no way of telling  your customers. No one’s having fun in this scenario :(

But what could you have done to prevent this?

Well there’s a whole bunch of things…but we’re really only here to talk about "statushub's", so I’m going to focus on that.

Here’s a fact everyone already knows: Websites go down. There’s no point in arguing this fact, no matter how much infrastructure, failover, backup, etc at some point or another your site is going to experience downtime. But if your website is down, how do you alert your users to tell them what’s happening?

Tip #2: Get an offsite status page ( your very own "statushub")

Know what’s great about offsite status pages? They’re offsite! That means when your site goes down (let’s face the facts – it happens) you’re still able to communication with your customers. In the event there is a crisis, your  engineering team will be working around the clock to fix the problem. In these types of situations communication with your customers can fall through the gaps, and you definitely do not want that.

Another thing to keep in mind is that sometimes it’s not your entire site that will go down. Quite often an error will only effect a small percentage of your site. If that’s the case, your users will have no idea something is wrong until it’s too late – like when they’re trying to use your broken e-commerce checkout…

“Captain, prepare the site for a rage-quit!”

But it doesn’t have to be this way. By having a "statushub" in place you are able to let your users know that you know there is a problem and you’re working to fix it. They’re able to subscribe to receive notifications when you are experiencing issues. Instead of using "support@company.com" or shouting down the phone at you when things are wrong, they can keep an eye on things by using your "statushub". This will reduce the massive amount of inbound support tickets/ support calls you receive in the event of an issue.

*Cheers of joy from the support team*
Tip #3: Anyone can be a user

Were you thinking this whole time that statushub was only for your customers?

No! Your "statushub" can be configured to be used by anyone, maybe even your own team. By setting up a private "statushub" you can give access to your team, another department, a specific sub-set of customers, but most importantly – not the entire world.

Tip #4: Use statushub

StatusHub provides a beautiful solution for status pages and gives you complete control over communicating with your users in the event of a crisis. If you haven't spotted yet it also does everything mentioned above ;)

Now that you know how important a "statushub" is you no longer have to live in fear of customers rage-quitting when something on your site breaks. But to prove you really are as smart as we think you are, you should ensure you have a "statushub" set up in the event of any future issues.

With cool features like this it no wonder companies Telenor Digital, Citirix, University of Gloucestershire, and Michigan State University are proud owners of a "statushub".

If you don’t already have one you can always pop over to statushub.io and grab one for your site.

Still not convinced that statushub is the Bees Knees? Check out this awesome video and see if we can change your mind.