Website Usability Tutorial For Online Marketers


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Tutorial for the Online Marketing Institute at the Online Marketing Summit, October 2009, San Diego CA.

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Website Usability Tutorial For Online Marketers

  1. 1.   Definitions,  terms,  principles     Some  real-­‐world  examples     Easy  things  you  can  do  today     Questions  and  discussion   2  
  2. 2.  …and  those  are  the  last  bullet  points  you’ll   see  from  me!    (I  hate  bullet  points  and  sentence  fragments.)   3  
  3. 3. 4   4  
  4. 4.  What  is  usability?      Your  intended  users  can  accomplish  what   they’re  trying  to  do  on  your  site  or  with  your   product.      Usability  has  several  components.  It  can   mean  learnable,  memorable,  efficient,  and/or   error-­‐tolerant.   5  
  5. 5. How  about  this?    Usability  is…   Getting  people  to  what  they  want  or  need  as  quickly  as   possible,  in  a  way  that  assures  that  they:   Can  figure  out  what  to  do  next   Understand  why  they  should  do  it   See  how  to  do  it   (And  will  like  doing  it)   6  
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  12. 12. Getting  people  to  what  they  want  or  need  as   quickly  as  possible  so  they  can:   Figure  out  what  to  do  next   Understand  why  they  should  do  it   See  how  to  do  it   (And  will  like  doing  it)   13  
  13. 13. What   Why   How     Like     14  
  14. 14. 15   15  
  15. 15. Let  me  hear  your  definitions:   16  
  16. 16.  I  like  this  definition:    The  fundamental  purpose  of  marketing  is   to  identify  what  people  want  and  need,   then  satisfy  those  customers.      John  Rhodes,  4  Jan  08.     17  
  17. 17. Sound  familiar?   18  
  18. 18. Marketing      SEO    Design  Usability   Identify  what      Make  it    Give  it  to  Ensure  that    they  want    findable        them    you  gave  it                      to  them   19  
  19. 19. 20   20  
  20. 20.  When  people  talk  about  “usability”,  they’re   usually  talking  about  user-­‐centered  design.   Without  a  design,  you  have  nothing  to  usability   test!   21  
  21. 21.  Respect  design.  And  designers.     They  help  create  the  emotional  bond  that   you’re  trying  to  build  with  your  audience.   22  
  22. 22.  Like  “security”  and  “accessibility”  (and   “beauty”),  usability  is  experiential  –  it’s   experienced  by  the  perceiver.     Usability  cannot  be  claimed,  it  can  only  be   established  through  demonstration.     23  
  23. 23. Determine  whether  your  intended  users  can:     Figure  out  what  to  do  next   Understand  why  they  should  do  it   See  how  to  do  it   (And  will  like  doing  it)   24  
  24. 24. 25   25  
  25. 25.  User-­‐centered  design  is  a  process  in  which  the   needs,  wants,  and  limitations  of  users  are   given  extensive  attention  at  each  stage  of  the   ideation,  define,  and  design  phases.     26  
  26. 26. Two  parallel  work  streams:   Design   Wireframes   Interaction  design   Visual  design   Research   Persona  definition   Site  visits   Workflow  analysis   User  role  identification   Usability   27  
  27. 27. Wireframes   Iterate  design     Iterate  design     Design   Visual  design   and    personas   and    personas   End  result:   Validated   design   Validated   user  models   “Default”   Customer     Synthesis   Research   personas   site  visits   of  customer   roles  and  workflow.   Usability  evaluation.   Time   28  
  28. 28. 29  
  29. 29. 30  
  30. 30. Model  your  users!   Start  from  demographic  data,  if  you  have  it.     Then  interview  and  observe  some  real  users   Identify  their  typical  goals,  experiences,  needs.     31  
  31. 31.  It’s  not  “rocket  surgery.”     You  can  do  this!   32  
  32. 32.   Define  your  users,  their  goals,  and  their   constraints.     Design  interactions  to  meet  the  personas’   needs…     Does  your  persona  need  lots  of  support  and   reassurance?  Hold  their  hand!     Do  they  want  to  go  fast?  Let  ‘em  tab  through  fields.   Don’t  ask  for  information  you  don’t  absolutely   need.       Test  your  design  with  actual  users.     Optimize  with  A/B/multivariate  testing.   33  
  33. 33. OK,  I  lied  about  “no  more  bullets.”   34  
  34. 34.  The  job  of  research    The  job  of  design    Determine  the  target    Answer  the  visitors’  questions   users’  characteristics.   and  counter  their  objections.    Model  the  users.    State  the  offering’s  value.    Ensure  that  design    Clearly  indicate  price.  (Or   understands  and  accounts   clearly  indicate  how  to  get  to   for  the  user  characteristics.   it.)    Assess  whether  the  design    Show  them  the  path  to   addresses  the  three  W’s   uptake.     and  one  L.   35  
  35. 35. An  e-­‐commerce  web  site  I’ve  worked  on…    First,  the  quick  usability  fix.     Then  we’ll  evaluate  it  live…   three  W’s  and  one  L-­‐style.   36  
  36. 36. 37  
  37. 37. 38  
  38. 38. That  button  increased  the  percentage  of  clicks   to  the  configure  and  purchase  path  by  (low)   double  digits.   Who  knew  that  one  button  could  make  such  a   big  difference?   Well,  I  did  actually…     39  
  39. 39.  [Let’s  look  at  a  site  together]   40  
  40. 40.  Define  (business  goals,  target  users,  personas)    Validate  (assumptions  about  users)    Design  (workflow,  interactions,  layout,  visuals)    Validate  (whether  the  design  achieves  the  goals)    Implement  and  assess…and  repeat   41  
  41. 41. 42   42  
  42. 42. Ask  yourself  these  questions:   Have  you  defined  your  users  well?   If  not,  your  site  might  not  be  as  usable  as  you   think!   43  
  43. 43. Ask  yourself  these  questions:   Are  you  clear  on  what  you  want  your  site  to   accomplish?     Believe  it  or  not,  sometimes  organizations   aren’t.   44  
  44. 44. Ask  yourself  these  questions:   Have  you  tested  your…   Home  page?  Landing  pages?  Account  creation   flow?  Product  pages?  Main  conversion  flows?   45  
  45. 45. Ask  yourself  these  questions:   Have  you  begun  to  A/B/multivariate  optimize?   Make  it  a  Darwinian  struggle…survival  of  the   fittest  (pages)   46  
  46. 46.  If  you  do  even  some  of  these  things,  you’ll  be   on  your  way  to  a  better  designed  and  more   usable  site.     And  you’ll  convert  more  visitors  (to  users,   community  members,  buyers,  reviewers,   whatever  your  goal  is).     47  
  47. 47. Often,  doing  these  things  require  that  you   change  your  organization.  And  changing   organizations  is  hard!   You  need  a  strategy  and  an  implementation   plan.     And  you’re  going  to  have  to  sell  the  plan.   48  
  48. 48.  “[Strategy  is]  A  long  term  plan  of  action   designed  to  achieve  a  particular  goal.”    “Strategy  is  differentiated  from  tactics  or   immediate  actions  by  its  orientation  on   affecting  future,  not  immediate  conditions.”   49  
  49. 49. Driving  from  the  airport  to  the  hotel   50  
  50. 50.  Strategic  plan:   Go  from  airport   to  hotel    Tactics:      Make  some  turns   51  
  51. 51. How  do  you  “do”  strategic  user  experience?     It  sometimes  means    big  changes.     It  often  drives  process  and  organizational   structure  changes.   52  
  52. 52.  Remember,  in  many  organizations,   departments  and  teams  are  incented  to   create  bad  user  experiences.    Changing  organization  structures  and   incentives  to  refocus  on  the  customer  is  hard   work.   53  
  53. 53.  Offline:      Nordstrom’s.  Virgin  Air.    Online:    Zappos.  Amazon.  Land’s  End.  (Offline  too.)      Who  else?   54  
  54. 54. The  sad  truth:  most   organizations  don’t  align  on  the   user  experience.   55  
  55. 55.  Everybody’s.  And  nobody’s.      That’s  the  problem.     56  
  56. 56. How  do  you  take  a  strategic   approach  to  creating  a  great     user  experience?      Four  very  hard  easy  steps…   57  
  57. 57.  1.  Alignment    Find  the  disincentives  to  delivering  a  good   user  experience,  then  surface  them  to  your   leadership.  Eliminate  them.    Advocate  for  tweaking  the  business  model  if   you  need  to.      Don’t  take  “bad  profits”.  Bad  profits  are   unsustainable  profits.   58  
  58. 58.  2.  Values    Be  open  to  learning  and  improving  the  user   experience.      Those  aphorisms  about  the  customer  always     being  right?  They’re  all  true.    Remember  the  guy  who  complained  about   the  food  on  Virgin  Air?  He’s  now  a  taster.   Stunt?  Yes.  But  effective  and  revealing!   59  
  59. 59.  3.  Assess  the  user  experience  holistically    Walk  the  customer  corridor.  Assess  the  total   experience  –  not  just  the  user  interface.    Find  the  sticky  points,  the  little  trapdoors.    Remember,  one  bad  touchpoint  affects  the   whole  brand.   60  
  60. 60.  From  sign-­‐up  to  initial   use…free  to  pay   conversion…calling   and  emailing  help,   tech  support,  and   billing…even  closing   the  account.   61  
  61. 61.  If  you  don’t  know  about  this  concept,  talk  to   your  product  managers.  They  do.   A  typical  product  manager-­‐y  image…     62  
  62. 62.  4.  Leverage  user  experience  design    Don’t  just  fix  the  little  user  experience   trapdoors  and  holes.      Assess  and  redesign  the  customer   touchpoints…  all  of  them.     63  
  63. 63. Yeah,  but…  how  do  I  get  my   organization  to  do  this?     “Initiative”   64  
  64. 64. Give  yourself  a  new  job:     “Change  agent”   Easy  to  say…  harder  to  put  into  practice.   65  
  65. 65. A  person  who  leads  a  business  initiative  by:     Defining  and  researching  the  problem     Planning  the  intervention     Building  business  support  for  the  intervention     Enlisting  others  to  help  drive  change  –  “The  User  Experience  Practitioner  As  Change  Agent”   66  
  66. 66. “Change  agents  must  have  the   conviction  to  state  the  facts   based  on  data,  even  if  the   consequences  are  associated   with  unpleasantness.”  –  “The  User  Experience  Practitioner  As  Change  Agent”   67  
  67. 67. Successful  strategic  user   experience  is  not  just  about   delivering  a  design  or  testing   the  site.   68  
  68. 68. It’s  about  aligning  the   organization  to  measure  and   improve  the  user  experience…   Using  the  tools  and  techniques  of  user  research   and  usability  assessment.   69  
  69. 69. If  you’re  doing  your  job  right,   you’re  changing  your   organization.   “Initiative”   70  
  70. 70. 71  
  71. 71.  Connecting  Cultures,  Changing  Organizations:  The  User  Experience   Practitioner  As  Change  Agent.  Published  in  UXMatters  Magazine,   January  2007.    Usability  For  Strategic  User  Experience.­‐for-­‐strategic-­‐user-­‐ experience      A  Kit  For  Building  User  Experience  Teams  In  R&D  and  Product   Management  Organizations.­‐experience-­‐kit     72  
  72. 72.  Paul  Sherman    Sherman  Group  User  Experience    Twitter:  @pjsherman   73