Article karen lindemann listening lab
Upcoming SlideShare
Loading in...5
×
 

Article karen lindemann listening lab

on

  • 2,848 views

Websites are very often developed from the operator’s point of view. So it is no wonder, when customers do not find their intentions represented on a Website. This can have dramatic consequences for ...

Websites are very often developed from the operator’s point of view. So it is no wonder, when customers do not find their intentions represented on a Website. This can have dramatic consequences for companies. Visitors leave the website without conversion and have no intention to visit it again. If you want to know how your users “tick” then you have to deal with the mental model of your users.

Statistics

Views

Total Views
2,848
Views on SlideShare
2,841
Embed Views
7

Actions

Likes
0
Downloads
8
Comments
0

2 Embeds 7

http://www.linkedin.com 5
https://www.linkedin.com 2

Accessibility

Upload Details

Uploaded via as Adobe PDF

Usage Rights

© All Rights Reserved

Report content

Flagged as inappropriate Flag as inappropriate
Flag as inappropriate

Select your reason for flagging this presentation as inappropriate.

Cancel
  • Full Name Full Name Comment goes here.
    Are you sure you want to
    Your message goes here
    Processing…
Post Comment
Edit your comment

Article karen lindemann listening lab Article karen lindemann listening lab Document Transcript

  • The  bait  has  to  appeal  to  the  fish,  not  the  fisherman  Websites  are  very  often  developed  from  the  operator’s  point  of  view.  So  it  is  no  wonder,  when  customers  do  not  find  their  intentions  represented  on  a  Website.  This  can  have  dramatic  consequences  for  companies.  Visitors  leave  the  website  without  conversion  and  have  no  intention  to  visit  it  again.  If  you  want  to  know  how  your  users  “tick”  then  you  have  to  deal  with  the  mental  model  of  your  users.    Who  doesn’t  know  this  situation:  You  simply  want  to  book  an  online  ticket,  but  in  case  of  some  websites  this  relatively  easy  task  results  in  a  kind  of  gauntlet  running.  In  the  end  there  is  only  annoyance  and  frustration  and  at  best  you  have  reached  your  aim  and  managed  to  receive  a  ticket.  However,  this  is  no  pleasure  and,  understandably,  no  encouragement  for  a  further  visit  of  the  relevant  website.  The  next  time  the  user  will  chose  a  different  website  which  provides  a  better  orientation  and  corresponds  to  the  personal  expectations.  But  what  offers  one  website  that  another  one  doesn’t?  It  may  be  that  very  often  neither  the  operator  nor  the  designer  are  aware  of  the  expectations  of  the  target  group  that  means  they  do  know  nothing  about  the  mental  model  of  their  main  target  group.  The  contents  of  a  website  are  structured  and  presented  in  a  way  that  corresponds  to  the  mental  model  of  the  operator:  Company  purposes  are  transported  to  the  outside.  Furthermore,  the  products  are  arranged  rather  to  correspond  to  the  organisation  of  the  purchase  department.  The  terms  for  the  navigation  are  borrowed  from  the  company’s  vocabulary  and  the  contents  are  presented  in  a  way  as  if  the  reader  had  all  the  time  in  the  world  to  read  the  texts  into  detail.    Users  always  have  an  aim  In  real  life,  however,  the  user  visits  a  website  with  a  certain  aim,  he  is  looking  for  a  certain  product  or  a  piece  of  information,  respectively  and  /  or  he  might  want  to  carry  out  a  certain  transaction.  He  searches  for  specific  key  words,  he  has  certain  expectations  based  on  experiences  with  other  websites  and  he  wants  to  reach  his  aim  as  fast  as  possible  without  difficulty.  That  some  visitors  occasionally  change  their  intension  and  are  easily  encouraged  to  browse  through  further  websites  is  the  nature  of  the  internet  –  and  this  can  and  should  be  offered.    Generally,  however,  the  user  always  pursues  a  certain  objective  on  a  website,  whether  consciously  or  not.  He  enters  a  search  term  in  a  search  engine  or  arrives  at  a  new  website  via  a  link  –  whether  it  is  a  homepage  or  a  different  landing  page.  The  first  thing  he  will  do  now  is  to  find  out  whether  he  found  a  suitable  site:  Does  it  refer  to  the  subject,  he  was  looking  for?  Is  the  website  optically  appealing?  Can  he  assume  that  he  will  have  no  trouble  navigating  through  the  website?  These  are  some  of  the  questions  a  user  asks  at  the  first  contact  with  a  website.  Just  like  in  case  of  the  first  meeting  with  another  person,  the  first  impression  is  of  particular  importance  and  decides  about  staying  or  leaving.     1  
  • The  first  impression  is  vital  /  decisive  Canadian  scientists  discovered  in  a  study  that  already  during  the  first  50  milliseconds  a  user  decides  whether  he  likes  a  website  or  not.  Considering  that  just  one  blink  of  an  eye  lasts  about  300  to  400  milliseconds,  it  becomes  clear  how  very  short  this  moment  actually  is.  It  was  also  observed  that  this  first  impression  has  an  equally  lasting  effect  like  the  first  meeting  with  another  human.  The  so-­‐called  halo  effect  occurs,  that  means  the  first  assessment  outshines  all  further  impressions.  For  this  reason  it  is  extremely  important  to  do  everything  as  correctly  as  possible  –  just  like  in  case  of  the  first  date.  So  first  of  all:  you  have  to  get  to  know  your  counterpart  better,  you  have  to  find  out  how  he  ticks.  Sympathy  and  acceptance  occur,  when  something  is  similar,  when  there  is  some  sort  of  a  connection,  when  our  mental  model  can  be  connected  to  something  familiar.  Therefore  it  is  so  important  to  know  the  mental  model  of  your  user.  This  is  exactly  where  the  methods  of  the  User  Centered  Designs  come  in.  As  the  term  already  indicates  –the  complete  process  of  design  focuses  on  the  user,  from  the  concept  of  a  product  to  its  implementation.  According  to  the  problem,  project  phase  and  restrictions  like  budget  and  time  the  use  of  different  methods  is  the  ideal  way.  Watch  your  users  surfing  the  internet  If  you  want  to  know  how  users  use  your  website,  then  you  should  commission  a  usability-­‐test.  Representative  users  are  invited  to  a  usability-­‐lab  and  asked  to  perform  typical  tasks  on  a  website.  Therefore  the  users  are  asked  to  think  aloud  that  means  to  say  aloud  everything  they  feel  and  think  –  this  is  also  called  Thinking-­‐Aloud-­‐Protocol.  A  test  leader  supervises  the  usability  test  which  is  carried  out  in  form  of  a  one-­‐on-­‐one  interview.  Optimally,  the  management  of  the  company  concerned  as  well  as  of  the  internet  agency  follow  the  test  live.  Using  special  software  all  screen  activities  as  well  as  image  and  sound  of  the  test  person  are  recorded.  Afterwards  the  expectations  as  well  as  the  needs  of  the  user  regarding  the  website  can  be  identified  due  to  a  detailed  analysis.  In  consideration  of  the  business  goals  of  the  individual  company,  optimisation  proposals  are  presented  which,  when  implemented,  lead  to  satisfied  customers  and  an  increase  of  the  relevant  company  indicators.  Listening  Lab  –  a  different  form  of  the  usability-­tests  The  usability-­‐test  is  suitable  to  identify  weak  points  in  the  use  of  websites  and  to  understand  their  causes.  What  the  usability-­‐test  does  not  show  is  how  the  user  actually  -­‐  in  normal  life  –  uses  the  internet.  The  test  is  carried  out  in  a  laboratory  situation  and  the  test  persons  are  confronted  with  predefined  tasks,  which  directly  lead  them  to  the  website  to  be  examined.  To  receive  a  more  realistic  image  of  the  use  of  websites,  the  New  York  design  agency  Creative  Good  has  developed  the  method  of  the  Listening  Labs.  The  main  difference  to  the  usability-­‐test  is  that  the  test  persons  do  not  receive  any  tasks.  As  the  name  suggests,  the  test  is  mainly  about  listening.  In  an  exploratory  interview,  carried  out  before  the  actual  test,  the  test  persons  are  asked  about  their  experiences,  needs,  thoughts  and  feelings  concerning  the  subject  to  be  examined.  Then  they  are  invited  to  look  through  the  internet  just  in  the  same  way  as  they  would  normally  do.     2  
  • The  right  instinct  is  required  The  moderator  observes  the  test  persons  while  they  are  surfing  and  asks  one  or  two  questions.  He  subtly  draws  the  attention  to  the  websites  the  particular  project  is  focused  on  –  this  is  of  course  the  website  of  the  client  but  also  those  of  the  relevant  competitors.  It  is  very  important  that  the  tests  are  supervised  by  an  experienced  expert.  A  comfortable  and  confiding  atmosphere  guarantees  that  the  test  persons  freely  surf  through  the  net  without  being  afraid  of  doing  anything  wrong.  At  the  same  time  the  questions  have  to  be  formulated  in  a  way  that  they  do  not  influence  the  answers  of  the  test  persons.  The  comprehensive  results  generated  from  such  a  test  provide  knowledge  extending  well  beyond  the  current  usability-­‐test.  One  of  the  advantages  is  that  the  test  persons  evaluate  the  website  of  the  client  in  an  unbiased  manner,  because  they  do  not  know  which  website  is  in  the  centre  of  the  study.  At  the  same  time  the  test  persons  act  in  an  intrinsic  way  when  searching  the  internet  that  means  they  look  for  information  or  carry  out  interactions  that  are  inspired  by  their  own  motivation.  This  offers  insights  that  are  sometimes  quite  surprising  and  nobody  would  have  expected  them  before.  Not  the  opinion  is  interesting  but  the  behaviour  The  listening  labs  as  well  as  the  usability-­‐test  mainly  deal  with  the  behaviour  of  the  test  persons.  The  personal  view  or  opinion  of  a  test  person  concerning  a  certain  website  is  not  so  interesting,  but  it  is  important  to  know  how  the  person  acts  on  this  website  and  whether  he  reaches  his  aim.  People  very  often  tell  you  what  they  liked  and  what  they  would  want.  But  at  the  moment  of  making  the  decision,  they  mostly  act  completely  different.  In  this  respect  an  experiment  should  be  mentioned,  where  the  participants  of  a  focus  group  were  asked,  among  other  things,  which  colour  they  would  prefer  for  a  game  console.  Some  participants  voted  for  yellow,  others  for  black.  As  they  were  leaving  the  participants  were  allowed  to  take  one  console  each  as  a  present.  On  one  side  of  the  door  was  a  pile  of  black  units,  on  the  other  side  a  pile  of  yellow  ones.  What  do  you  think  from  which  pile  most  of  the  consoles  were  taken?  From  the  pile  with  the  black  consoles  –  not  one  of  the  participants  decided  for  a  yellow  unit.  To  find  out  how  to  use  the  method  of  the  listening  labs,  which  results  can  be  obtained  and  how  these  can  be  used  in  practice,  please  see  the  following  case  study.  Redesign  of  the  Website  www.remifemin.de  A  new  web  presence  was  to  be  developed  for  the  market  leader  in  the  field  of  prescription  medicines  in  the  menopause  indication.  It  had  to  be  taken  into  consideration  that  in  information  acquisition  referring  to  health  subjects,  especially  in  a  taboo  area,  the  internet  plays  an  important  role.  The  interactive  agency  white-­‐x  had  already  developed  some  proposals  –  it  was  thought  to  create  a  website  giving  the  impression  of  a  wellness  oasis.  However,  to  make  sure  to  be  on  the  right  track,  company  and  internet  agency  decided  to  have  a  usability  study  carried  out.  The  User  Experience  Consulting  Agency  NetFlow  was  entrusted  with  the  order  and  recommended  the  application  of  a  listening  lab.    The  test  was  carried  out  with  eight  participants  of  the  target  group.  At  first  their  professional  background  and  their  way  to  use  the  internet  were  discussed.  Afterwards  they  changed  to  the  actual  subject  of  the  study  –  the  menopause.  The  women  were  asked,  in  what  way  they  had  already  dealt     3  
  • with  the  subject,  whether  they  had  already  gathered  relevant  information  in  the  internet  and  whether  there  are  more  things  they  would  like  to  know.  With  the  invitation  “then  go  and  see  what  you  can  find  in  the  internet”  the  participants  were  sent  to  the  web.  It  was  up  to  them  to  choose  the  internet  browser  as  well  as  the  search  terms  to  look  for  the  desired  information.  And  already  at  this  point  the  first,  interesting  observations  were  made:  Which  of  the  entries  on  the  search  engine  result  page  encourage  the  user  to  click,  which  entries  are  skipped  and  which  are  not  even  found.  The  test  was  followed  live  from  an  observation  room  by  the  client  as  well  as  the  agency  and  the  astonishment  and  sometimes  even  a  certain  disbelief  –  was  obvious,  however,  this  is  reality,  this  is  how  users  of  the  target  group  approach  the  web  and  most  of  the  time  this  is  completely  different  from  our  imagination.  When  visiting  the  individual  websites  the  participants  were  asked  for  their  first  impression  of  each  website  and  it  was  observed  what  information  they  were  looking  for  and  how  they  searched  for  it  on  the  individual  pages.  It  was  also  very  informative  to  know,  which  kind  of  texts  –  concerning  the  contents  as  well  as  the  style  of  writing,  but  also  regarding  the  formal  presentation  –  the  participants  valued  most.  It  also  turned  out  that  the  version  of  the  website  www.remifemin.de  that  was  current  at  that  time  did  very  well  compared  to  the  competitive  websites.  Knowledge  about  the  mental  model  of  your  target  group,  gives  you  a  clear  advantage  In  a  dialogue  between  the  comapny,  the  internet  agency  and  NetFlow  the  common  observations  were  discussed  and  it  became  clear:  Concerning  the  redesign  we  have  to  change  the  direction.  The  women  concerned  did  not  want  a  wellness  oasis  –  as  was  the  intention  before  the  test  –,  instead  they  wanted  a  definite  answer  to  their  questions  in  a  “normal“,  and  unpretentious  manner.  Among  other  things  it  was  also  surprising  that  most  of  the  participants  thought  that  the  otherwise  unpopular  package  insert  was  useful:  „I  think  this  is  very  good.  I  would  print  the  package  insert  and  take  it  to  my  next  visit  to  the  doctor”.    Figure:  Homepage  of  www.remifemin.de  after  the  redesign  The  test  led  to  an  intensive  discussion  about  the  mental  model  and  the  behaviour  of  the  target  group.  So,  for  example,  when  designing  the  new  website  those  topics  the  test  participants  were  most     4  
  • interested  in,  were  adopted  as  menu  items  in  the  main  navigation.  The  formulation  of  the  categories  follows  the  language  of  the  users.  The  texts  were  clearly  arranged  and  most  of  them  were  provided  with  subheadings  so  that  a  quicker  scanning  for  interesting  key  words  –  which  were  identified  using  the  test  –  is  possible.  The  package  insert  for  the  products  is  available  in  four  languages  –  German,  English,  Russian  and  Turkish  –  and  can  easily  be  printed  as  PDF  file.  Also  in  terms  of  the  entire  look  and  feel  of  the  Website  the  internet  agency  took  its  inspiration  from  the  comments  of  the  users.  Due  to  the  precise  information  from  the  analysis  of  the  tests  it  was  possible  for  the  internet  agency  to  develop  the  new  target-­‐orientated  website.  The  manager  of  the  white-­‐x  interactive  agency  for  medical  marketing  (www.white-­‐cross.de/blog),  Henning  Lorenz  commented  the  use  of  the  listening  labs  as  follows:  “A  test  seemed  to  be  the  only  possibility,  to  approach  the  user  habits  and  requirements  of  women  concerning  a  menopause  -­‐website.  The  results  were  surprising  in  many  ways.  We  received  a  lot  of  important  information  that  considerably  influenced  the  new  internet  presence  with  refer  to  form  and  content.  An  indication  that  the  new  website  is  well  received  by  the  target  group  is  the  significant  increase  in  the  length  of  stay  per  session.  A  confirmation  for  us  that  the  users  feel  ”at  home”  on  our  website.  (Author:  Karen  Lindemann  of  NetFlow  User  Experience  Consulting,  Publication:  Magazine  "Website  Boosting"  07-­‐08/2010)     Karen  Lindemann  is  a  psychologist  and  experienced  advertiser  with   years  of  experience  as  a  writer  in  agencies.  In  2005  she  founded  the   user  experience  agency  NetFlow  and  consults  well-­‐known  companies   on  the  optimization  of  websites,  products  and  services.  Karen  also   advises  clients  on  information  and  product  strategy.  In  addition  to   standard  user-­‐centered  design  methods  such  as  usability  testing,   expert  reviews,  card  sorting,  personas,  co-­‐creation  and  mental  model     diagrams,  she  also  conducts  ethnographic  studies  and  deep   emotional-­‐based  interviews.  Karen  is  also  active  in  organizing   workshop  on  user  experience-­‐related  workshops  for  professionals  in   the  field.     Website:  www.netflow-­‐lindemann.de   Website:  www.ux-­‐workshops.com   E-­‐Mail:  kl@netflow-­‐lindemann.de   XING:  www.xing.com/profile/Karen_Lindemann   LinkedIn:  http://de.linkedin.com/in/karenlindemann   Twitter:  twitter.com/karenlindemann/       5