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25 great free UX tools « UX for the masses

25 great free UX tools « UX for the masses
There might be no such thing as a free lunch but thanks to the wonders of Open Source software, freeware and trial software there most certainly is such a thing as free software. In this article I list 25 great free UX tools, including tools to help with prototyping, annotating, screen grabbing, site mapping, usability testing, accessibility and analytics. Prototyping tools Pencil Pencil is a nice little Open Source tool for creating prototypes, UI mockups, and UX diagrams, such as user journeys. Pencil – A free prototyping and diagramming tool LucidChart LucidChart is an online tool for creating diagrams, UI mockups and prototypes. LucidChart – A prototyping and diagramming tool with a free trial version Balsamiq Balsamiq is another online UI prototyping tool and like LucidChart it’s not fee but does allow you to create simple single pages for free using the trial version (just click on the ‘take a tour’ link). Balsamiq – A prototyping tool with a free trial version Serena Prototype Composer

UX for the masses Unmoderated, Remote Usability Testing: Good or Evil? By Kyle Soucy Published: January 18, 2010 “Recently, there has been a surge in the number of tools that are available for conducting unmoderated, remote usability testing—and this surge is changing the usability industry.” Conducting traditional synchronous, or moderated, usability testing requires a moderator to communicate with test participants and observe them during a study—either in person or remotely. Recently, there has been a surge in the number of tools that are available for conducting unmoderated, remote usability testing—and this surge is changing the usability industry. To clarify, there are a lot of tools out there that label themselves as usability testing tools, but don’t actually offer the capability of doing usability testing with users through task elicitation. and clickdensity —or Web analytics tools that turn analytics data into videos of actual user sessions—such as Userfly, ClickTale, TeaLeaf, and Clixpy. What You Can Learn How Actionable Is the Data? Define the study.

User Experience quotes and articles to inspire and connect the UX community | inspireUX Design de Services, la ressource francophone et collaborative d'une discipline innovante Subject-Matter Experts: Putting Users at the Center of the Design Process By Demetrius Madrigal and Bryan McClain Published: February 7, 2011 “The insights we gain from interacting directly with users are invaluable.” This month we’ll discuss the process of putting users at the center of the design process and what that means in regard to both design and product strategy. We’ll also discuss some different approaches to a user-centered design process that we’ve come across and outline their positives and negatives. Finally, we’ll outline the steps necessary to make user-centered design a reality and how to get the most out of a user-centered design process when working on different types of products. Why Users Matter “When we design a product to meet a market need, we’re addressing the problems, concerns, or desires of people who would use it on a regular basis.” Knowing our users is everything—without them, we’d have no one in mind to design for and few would purchase our products. User-Centered Research Strategies Working with Subject-Matter Experts Conclusion

247 web usability guidelines Web usability guidelines Home page usability: 20 guidelines to evaluate the usability of home pages. Task orientation: 44 guidelines to evaluate how well a web site supports the users tasks. Navigation and IA: 29 guidelines to evaluate navigation and information architecture. Forms and data entry: 23 guidelines to evaluate forms and data entry. Download an Excel workbook containing all 247 web usability guidelines You can also download translated versions of this checklist (in French, Spanish and Russian). How to use these guidelines Work through each of the guidelines in each list and mark your site as either conforming or not conforming to the guideline. Remember that all guidelines are context specific. The guidelines are purposefully expressed as positive statements, so that when you feed the results back to the design team you can identify some strengths of the design before you launch into the problems. And remember that guidelines can get you only so far. About the author Dr.

From Wireframes to Code, Part I By Bill Schmidt Published: December 20, 2010 “Why not create a design artifact that is not disposable, but instead, one your team can convert to actual production code?” Within many companies, the use of wireframes in user experience design can be a contentious issue. People typically think of wireframes simply as artifacts designers create when generating design concepts, then later discard. Why not create a design artifact that is not disposable, but instead, one your team can convert to actual production code? The Question “I was already aware of several software tools with which I could accomplish this goal and, in fact, had taken this approach on a recent project.” My exploration of this idea began when a software developer—who was in the audience during a recent presentation on wireframing and prototyping—asked me, “Why can’t you just use the code from your wireframes as the basis for the final code?” But What Are Wireframes? Blueprints for Software Figure 2—A house Two Approaches

18 Do’s and Don’ts Of Usability On The Web | Spyre Studios Are you a web designer or do you run a website? Good, because this article is for you. If you’re designing websites for a living or running your business online, there are 18 tips in this article that you should definitely read and remember. You can have the best visual design skills on the planet, but if you build a website that works like crap and doesn’t allow the visitor to feel comfortable going from item to item and page to page, you are missing the very core of a good website design. Do utilize a grid for your website structure Before you get upset and start screaming that a grid is a box for creativity, I’m not saying to ensure your entire site is boxed in. Do Not forget your search form A lot of people will go to your site and immediately look for a search box. Do make your navigation easy to find & readable Do Not make your “contact” link in your navigation bar a mailto: link Do utilize UX Apps as much as possible for web tests O.K. This is especially true for blogs/content sites.

Usability Testing Is Qualitative Only If You Can’t Count By Jon Innes Published: February 21, 2011 “Too many VP- and C-level folks still have no idea how to measure the value of usability or UX design initiatives.” I’ve recently found myself in a lot of discussions over the value of traditional user research methods. In particular, the value of that staple of user research we know as the usability test and its relevance in today’s world of Google Analytics and A/B and multivariate testing. Business Leaders Don’t Understand the Value of Usability Testing Having spent the past several years consulting on both UX management and user-centered design best practices—and, for about eight years prior to that, working with senior executives as a UX leader on staff, I’ve come to realize that too many VP- and C-level folks still have no idea how to measure the value of usability or UX design initiatives. Failing to Defend Small Sample Sizes “The use of the term quantitative research confuses many teams when researchers apply it to small-sample studies.”