Balanced Experience
Fall Newsletter
October, 2016
The Augmented Reality Experience

A few months ago, I spent some time testing out a new virtual reality (VR) headset model.  It was a lot of fun being immersed in a different world for a while.  The problem was, as soon as I tried to move or do anything, I started bumping in to tables, yanking on cords, and generally getting in trouble.  The problem was that the virtual world and the real world were competing with each other.  I was having two different experiences at the same time.  My takeaway was that virtual reality experiences will be great for some things, but not for a lot of others.

With that experience  fresh in my mind, I began  noticing 
how  common augmented reality (AR) experiences have become.  If you're at all a fan of football, augmented reality has become a given.  How did we ever live without that handy yellow first down line?  

Then the Olympics came on... and there it  was again. If  I had to keep track of whic h lane Michael Phelps was in on my own... I'd be lost.  And one of the most exciting parts for my family was watching the swimmers  chasing those world recor d lines!

But watching the NFL and the Olympics on tv is only about observing.  There's not much interaction.  Is there AR anywhere in our everyday lives?  Yes!  For example, the rear view video camera on my car shows me when I'm getting too close to something.  That's handy.

Then Pokemo Go found our house.  For a few months, my 12-year old and his friends were chasing those critters all around town.  They showed up in the yard, in the house, at the football stadium.  And when they showed up in the car while my wife was driving the boys around town, there w as quite the commotion.  

Augmented Reality seems to be showing up in a lot of places in our everyday lives.  Why?  I think one of the main reasons is that with AR you're having one experience... but a better one.  You don't have two different worlds competing for you attention.  It's just one world - your world - with a bit extra.  I'm a fan.
Your Voting Experience

November 8th is Election Day.  This isn't the place to talk about the politics of the different parties or different candidates, but it is a good place to reflect on some of the different ways your voting experience can be affected by good... or bad... design.
  • Ballot design - a poorly designed ballot can confuse voters and result in mistakes.  May we never see another butterfly ballot.
  • Plain language - complex or convoluted language can confuse voters. Think about some of the referendums you've tried to vote on.  Keep it simple.
  • Accessibility - every citizen has the right to vote.  If you're blind or just have a bit of trouble reading small text... if you have a tremor in your hand and have difficulty filling in tiny dots... if you have short-term memory issues... everyone has the right to be able to understand what they're voting for and to be able to cast their vote.
  • Polling place design - polling places themselves can have a huge affect on the voting experience.  Long lines, traffic flow issues, lighting, parking, and a host of other issues can all make or break your voting experience.
We'd love to hear about your voting experiences and how UX design played a role.  Please send us a note at with your stories and photos.  If we get any good ones, we'll share in our next newsletter.
Hidden Gems

Here are a few interesting tidbits that caught our eye:  
It's That Time of Year... Again.
I used to work at a company that seemed shocked every year around October that the holidays were coming this year... again!  I'm willing to bet that you and your company have a bit more forethought than that :-)  

Every year about now, companies are in the midst of hurriedly finishing up this year's projects and budgeting for next year's.  It can be a busy, stressful, and sometimes chaotic time.  We at Balanced Experience understand this and want to work with you to help however we can.  If you need help getting a project done on time, want to find a way to spend some leftover budget wisely, or just want to get a head start on next year, let us know.  

We'll work flexibly and creatively with you to figure out how to make it work.  Just send us a note at 
(608) 658-2878

Balanced Experience... Make it Better