Everyday UX: The User Experience of Cooking With Plated

Last week while watching SharkTank I heard about a new company called Plated. Plated is a service that delivers a box to your door with the exact ingredients you need to cook a delicious meal.

I love to cook and my friends and family say I’m pretty good at it. But sometimes cooking stresses me out because I have to decide what to cook, then I have to figure out what I need to buy, then I need to actually buy it, and then I need to cook it!! Sometimes, I end up not cooking and I end up with wasted ingredients. Or if I do cook, sometimes I end up with extra of one ingredient because I bought a large quantity of it and only needed say 1/4 cup of it.

Plated aims to let people just enjoy cooking by taking all the friction out of the work that’s needed before you actually get to cook! So with Plated, they do the planning, shopping, and measuring for you. And the results are pretty good.

Here’s my experience of cooking with Plated. I cooked Poached Salmon with Red Quinoa, Kale, and Dill Yogurt Sauce.

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Everyday UX: The User Experience of Lyft and its Payment Userflow

Recently I was in Los Angeles for a business trip. I used Uber to get me around town and my experience was great. But, while I was there a friend suggested I try out another transportation service called Lyft.

I hadn’t heard about Lyft, but my friend had a coupon code so I decided to give it a go. The premise of Lyft is very similar to that of Uber. When you need a ride, you open the Lyft app and tap a “select a ride” button. Then, you’re given the driver’s estimated time of arrival. When the drive arrives, you hop in and you’re on your way.

In function, Lyft is the same as Uber. But, the user experience of Lyft is very different than Uber. As well, the brands have a very different feeling to them.

Uber prides itself on being “everyone’s private driver” and I feel like like Uber really delivers on that. The first time I used Uber was upon a late arrival to Seattle airport. The driver arrived, I hopped in the back of the black towncar, and I was whisked away to my hotel. There were even some business magazines and bottled water in the back seat to make my ride more pleasant.Continue reading

Everyday UX: Make Uber Easier, Let Me Enter My Destination

Earlier this week I was in Los Angeles for some client meetings. We had a rental car which was awesome, but a few nights we left the car at the hotel so we could use Uber and not worry about having drinks.

Overall, I was really impressed with Uber in Los Angeles. One of the things that I loved most was the pricing. Compared to NYC it is much more affordable. A friend of mine said it was because of all the competition that exists in Los Angeles from other companies, including Lyft.

In New York when I get in an Uber, I never tell the driver the exact address. Instead, I tell them the intersection, such as Broadway & 29th. But, in Los Angeles, things got a bit more complicated.

I haven’t spent a lot of time in Los Angeles, so I’m not that familiar with the street names and neighborhoods. And to be sure I didn’t get dropped off in the wrong place, I made sure to tell the driver the the exact address.Continue reading

Everyday UX: How to “Star” A Song in the Spotify UX

I’m a big fan of Spotify. But from a user experience perspective there are a few things that I find a bit confusing. I thought it would be great to outline a few of these little issues as a part of my Everyday UX series so you can see the things that a user experience designer thinks about. Consistency and familiarity is key to a great user experience. The experience of “starring” a song on Spotify provides a great example to outline this as a mini case study.

I’m always discovering new music on Spotify and when song comes on that I’m really into, I immediately want to star it. However, there’s one key place in Spotify where I cannot star a song from. Check out this screenshot of Spotify below.Continue reading

A UX Review of the BART Ticket Machines in San Francisco

Last week I was in San Francisco for some business meetings. On the weekend, after returning my rental car at the airport, I had to make my way to the Ferry Building to catch a ferry to Sausalito.

After returning my rental car, I hopped on the AirTrain and made my way to the BART (Bay Area Rapid Transit) station. As soon as I stepped off the AirTrain there was a huge line of people in front of the ticket machines and one unlucky woman whose job it was to help people with the machines.Continue reading

Product I’m Loving: Poshmark

People often ask me what products I’m really loving. The truth is, I try out a lot of products but I have only have a handful that I really engage with on a regular basis.

My new favorite product of the moment is something called Poshmark.

Poshmark is a way for me to sell clothes that I don’t want anymore and buy clothing from other people. What I love most about Poshmark is that they took a very analog experience and applied technology to enhance it.

Prior to Poshmark, if I was trying to declutter my closet I had a few options. I could give the clothing to friends, donate the clothing, or throw it out. Donating the clothing is the ideal option, especially because of the tax receipt. But, the process of donating clothing is very full of friction — especially if you don’t have a car. When I purge my closet, I end up with large bags of clothing, shoes and accessories to donate. Then, I have to carry all those bags to a donation center and more than once had to make two trips or hire a taxi because I couldn’t take it all on the subway. Continue reading

Everyday UX: The User Experience Of CitiBike

As a user experience designer, in the back of my mind I am always critiquing and improving experiences that happen to me in my life. Here are some insights I had while trying out CitiBike.

On Sunday, my cousin was visiting from London and we wanted to make a full day in New York City. So we met at 7:45 am and got CitiBikes near Wall Street.

Overall, it was a fantastic experience. We rode the CitiBikes from Wall Street to 84th Street where we discovered the beautiful world of Riverside Park and found out where the Boat Basin Cafe is. We then headed back down the 59th Street where we thought we’d get a mimosa at the Plaza Hotel, because what else do you do at 10:30am on a Sunday morning in Midtown? As we learned, there’s a law in New York City that you can’t serve alcohol on a Sunday before 12pm. Who knew?!Continue reading

Everyday UX: Google’s Gmail Interface

As a user experience designer, it is your job to be in constant observation of the world around you. Sometimes, you’re too close to something to see the problem. Sometimes, you need other people to help you see the world through their eyes.

A few days ago, a friend of mine borrowed my computer to send an email. She had cut and pasted some text into the message body and asked me how to change the formatting of the text. Quite easy, or so I thought.

Looking over her shoulder, we spent about two minutes trying to figure out how to change the formatting of the text in the body of the email. Continue reading

Everyday UX: How familiar design patterns and naming could improve Eventbrite

I’m so excited to announce a new series on my blog. Introducing …. Everday UX!!!!

Recently I’ve found myself tweeting screenshots when I encounter parts of websites that provide examples of where the user experience could be improved (such as Twitter and Facebook). Rather than just tweeting my thoughts, I thought encounters such as these could provide great education and case studies for people who are interested in learning more about user experience. Continue reading