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Today, Penelope Trunk blogged about the value and importance of the visual. She explains in her post, Next phase of your career: Design ,”This means that you will be more valuable and more relevant if you can think in terms of visuals.” This topic has been on my mind for the past several days, especially, as I have been reviewing Visualize .me, the same infographic tool Penelope highlights in her post. What I’ve been grappling with is the disconnect between what is “cool” and “new” — even cutting edge — and what is actually useful for job seekers. Remember VisualCV?
Web analytics tools often only give you a limited understanding of your visitors. So when I recently ran a trial of Ethnio on my site to recruit people like you to interview, I was amazed with how much insight I gained. What is Ethnio? It’s a service that uses your website to recruit users for research purposes.
One of my favorite parts of my job is interviewing a huge variety of people about their habits, needs, attitudes, and reactions to designs. I like the challenge of quickly getting strangers to talk freely and frankly about themselves, and to try figuring out new designs and products in front of me. User research shouldn’t be like the boring market surveys they read from clipboards in the mall.
On November 2, 2010, Oracle announced that it has agreed to acquire Art Technology Group (ATG), a leading provider of eCommerce software and related on demand commerce optimization applications. ATG's solutions enable enterprises to provide a cohesive online customer experience with sophisticated merchandising, marketing, content personalization, automated recommendations, and live-help services. The transaction has closed.
Over the past few years there's been a lot of discussion around whether an experience can be designed. But it seems like everyone's just getting hung up on semantics; an experience can be designed, but the user will always have the opportunity to experience it in a unique way. The reason every experience has the potential to be unique to the user is, in part, because cognition is unique to each user. Cognition is about knowledge and understanding, so there's a ton of psychological principles that fall under the umbrella of cognition. I'll focus on two principles that, once understood, will elevate a UX practitioner’s designs to a whole new level.
The second speaker at this mornings An Event Apart in Boston is Whitney Hess . Here goes with the liveblogging… Whitney’s talk is about design principles. As a consultant, she spends a lot of time talking about UX and inevitably, the talk turns to deliverables and process but really we should be establishing a philosophy about how to treat people, in the same way that visual design is about establishing a philosophy about how make an impact.
In part one , Michael shared his first four lessons learned on navigating company politics to set up and prepare for great stakeholder interviews. Here, in part two, he covers his last five tips. 5) Determine how each stakeholder influences the User Experience While strategies for new sites, features, content, and tools should bubble up from interview findings, outside research, server log analytics, and other information, you will probably begin work with a fairly clear sense of the problem space. Start by guiding your client toward a clear set of issues to attack.
Interviewing is a skill that takes years to master, one that cannot possibly be taught in a few paragraphs. However, here are a few helpful pointers to help you to improve your interviewing skills: Send ahead an agenda so as to set expectations and allow your interviewee to prepare for the interview. Verify a few hours ahead of time that the interview is still on because people’s schedules can change. When you first meet the person, thank them for taking time out of their busy day. Tell the interviewee what the project is about and how they fit into the overall process.
In the first part of this series I explored what makes a good stakeholder interview in general. In this article, I will write about how to use open questions, sketches and thinking out loud during stakeholder interviews. These techniques from the fields of usability and user experience can make interviews with project stakeholders more effective.
Assumption personas are fake personas It's easy to create a set of plausible statements about the primary users of a product or web site. We can make assumptions about their goals, their background and their behaviours, find a suitable bit of clip art and voila, we have a persona. It's much harder to create an accurate description of users that the design team will believe in and actually use to resolve design disputes. How do we know if we have a real persona or something fake?
Run a usability test I put this one first for those people who don’t scroll — because it’s the single most powerful weapon in the user experience arsenal. Nothing beats watching a user struggle with your interface: it’s truly one of those scales-falling-from-the-eyes moments. The simple version: find your participant , give them a task with your system/product/web site, then shut up and watch. Overachievers might want to read the slightly more complicated version . Ask one of your non-designer friends what most irritates them about web sites and “not being able to find stuff” will be one of the first things they say.
By Steve Baty Published: September 10, 2007 “A simple, semi-structured, one-on-one interview can provide a very rich source of insights.” If you’ve read some of my previous columns on UXmatters , you could be forgiven for thinking my entire working life is spent largely surrounded in a sea of quantitative data. This is, rather surprisingly even to me, not nearly close to the truth. Looking back over recent months, by far the most common form of research I’ve carried out is that stalwart of qualitative studies—the interview.
For those who build websites and applications for a living, it is important to understand the realities of how clients work in order to guide effective strategy, IA, and user research aligned with business goals. Interviewing different people who deal with a company’s website will help you simplify complex strategic directions, create appropriate research plans, develop information architecture, and design interactions for great user experiences. Interviewing is both art and science, and it is something that any UE practitioner with a little additional time and moderation skills can employ to extract clear business requirements. Without this foundation, business requirements can be unclear and deadlines for launching new sites, features, and content can be unrealistic. Worse, companies may launch features that users do not really want.
Designers who don’t understand their users frequently develop products that are difficult to use and understand, do not meet real-world requirements, or provide irrelevant functionality. The best way to get to know users is to spend time with them, in their own environments, watching them do the things that your Website is going to support or enable. Of course, you can just go out and visit a few users informally, and that in itself will provide valuable information.
Contrary to what you may read, peppering your form with nice buttons, color and typography and plenty of jQuery plugins will not make it usable. Indeed, in doing so, you would be addressing (in an unstructured way) only one third of what constitutes form usability. In this article, we’ll provide practical guidelines that you can easily follow. These guidelines have been crafted from usability testing, field testing, website tracking, eye tracking, Web analytics and actual complaints made to customer support personnel by disgruntled users.