Guide to Planning and Conducting Usability Tests This document is meant to provide a foundation for your next usability test. Pages found here borrow heavily from Jeffrey Rubin's Handbook of Usability Testing. Overview of the basic usability test Usability tests include the following elements, each of which will be addressed in this document: Develop problem statements or test objectives. Use a sample of end users (which may or may not be selected randomly). Rubin, p. 29-30 Determine which type of usability test to implement Depending on where you are in the design process, there are three types of usability tests to choose from. Exploratory Test: The objective is to explore the user's mental model of the task you're trying to facilitate. When to use: This type of test is usually conducted during the initial phases of a design life-cycle. Assessment Test: This is the most common test conducted. When to use: Normally conducted early or midway through the design of the product. Validation Test: Rubin, p. 30-42 Develop a test plan Rubin, p. 83
Fresh UI Inspiration in the Era of Google Material and Design Patterns Elements such as full screen images or videos, parallax scrolling, hamburger menu icons, boostrap templates or "Google Design Material"... are everywhere! The saturation of these techniques and resources has led to a rather boring, generic web experiences. Responsive Web Design created a platform for safe design patterns which safeguard usability and multi-device adaptation. At this point in time, questions are being asked about the over-reliance on patterns and design materials; achieving visually creative and original user experiences appears to be the cause of much head scratching to some within the industry. Despite this rationalization of design, we can find original and creative examples which take the risk and look beyond flat design. Mobile UI examples are pretty commonly used to illustrate this point. By Michael Oh By Michael Martinho By Michael Martinho By Anke Mackenthun By Javier Perez By Ehsan Rahimi By Patrick Monkel By Ehsan Rahimi Elegant Seagulls Maan Ali JJ Lee Liz Wells Bytte
6 Steps for Measuring Success on UX Projects | UX Refresh – By MARK DISCIULLO The tepid economy is putting pressure on everyone from executives to User Experience (UX) teams to show direct, measurable results. So, I’m often surprised to hear of the many projects that include a UX component to them, yet there isn’t any true, quantifiable success criteria defined for UX. Even more rare, are efforts to baseline the current design experience of an interface or product prior to a relaunch so any newly “defined” success criteria has some context. This is critical information to know so you can quantify whether or not your new designs have truly made improvements compared to past designs. Anything that is done as an organization should have justification – otherwise, why do it? UX is still being treated as though it’s a very subjective topic to measure. “This is not acceptable. Without credible UX success measurements, we all risk not being able to quantify our success. Why are we not measuring our UX efforts? So how do we do this? Start measuring now!
Gephi, an open source graph visualization and manipulation software Seven Common Usability Testing Mistakes By Jared M. Spool Originally published: Feb 15, 2005 What's the easiest way to conduct a usability test? Well, you could just sit a person down (it doesn't matter who) in front of your design and ask them to do something (it doesn't matter what). If this is so easy, why does a standard usability test contain all that other rigmarole? Working Towards Informed Decisions When a design has a usability problem, it's because someone made a wrong decision. We consider a usability test to be successful when the design team members receive the information they need to make the right decision. There are two outcomes from poor decisions: either the user experience is worsened because of a change that just shouldn't have happened; or a valuable opportunity is missed to improve the design's user experience. As we work with teams all over the globe, there are mistakes that we see frequently. Mistake #1: Do You Know Why You're Testing? Mistake #2: Not Bringing the Team Together
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The product design sprint: setting the stage At the Google Ventures Design Studio, we have a five-day process for taking a product or feature from design through prototyping and testing. We call it a product design sprint. This is the second in a series of seven posts on running your own design sprint. Now that you know what design sprints are good for, you’ll need a few important ingredients to make yours successful. Pick a big fight The first thing you need is an important design problem, and if you work at a startup, chances are good you probably have one lying around the office. As long as it’s an important problem, it’s perfect for a design sprint. Get the right people The ideal sprint team is between four and eight people, but you can get by with more or fewer than that. Designer – If your startup doesn’t have a designer yet, try to bring in a ringer.CEO – At a small startup, the CEO is the key decision-maker and needs to participate in order to get an actionable solution out of the sprint. It’s also great to include:
The Mathematics of Gamification Jan 03rd At Foursquare, we maintain a database of 60 million venues. And like the world it represents, our database is ever-changing, with users from all over the world submitting updates on everything from the hours of a restaurant to the address of a new barbershop. To maintain the accuracy of our venue database, these changes are voted upon by our loyal Superusers (SUs) who vigilantly maintain a watchful eye over our data for their city or neighborhood. Like many existing crowd-sourced datasets (Quora, Stack Overflow, Amazon Reviews), we assign users points or votes based on their tenure, reputation, and the actions they take. Superusers like points and gamification. At Foursquare, we have a simple, first-principles based method of resolving proposed venue attribute updates. The Math Let’s make this more concrete with some math. Continuing, assume that after user 1 casts their vote, user 2 votes H_2 with an independent probability p_2 of being correct (i.e. agreeing with H_0).
Improving UX with Customer Journey Maps By Jacek Samsel The necessity of providing user satisfaction on every key touchpoint in your business is critical to your success. The issue, however, is identifying those crucial touchpoints. Customer journey maps could be an incredibly helpful solution in this area. Borrowing from Service Design Service design is an activity performed in the marketing and management departments of businesses. In the context of website production, the closest analogy would be user experience design (UX). In a nutshell, service design involves providing or creating positive feelings for customers while they are using the designed service (product), with the focus on the interactions that take place in a variety of channels (which encompasses both the online and offline world). A well-designed website is not enough when the customer’s visit to your brick-and-mortar physical store is an unpleasant experience, or when her tech support call was not satisfactory. What are Touchpoints? The Problem to Solve Tips: