Why do usability problems go unfixed?

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Workshop at UXBristol by Caroline Jarrett and Francis Rowland. Builds on 'But the lightbulb has to want to change' by Steve Krug and Caroline Jarrett.

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Why do usability problems go unfixed?

  1. 1. Why do usability problems go unfixed? Caroline Jarrett and Francis Rowland UXBristol 2012
  2. 2. Thanks to Steve Krug Why do the most serious usability problems we uncover often go unfixed? “But the light bulb has to want to change” http://www.slideshare.net/SteveKrug/upa-lightbulb
  3. 3. We are Caroline and Francis Caroline Francis What do you do? UX consultant, mostly working with the Open University UX designer, background in web design and science OK but what do you love to do ? Work on big complex complicated worthy things. (But my real favourite: tax forms) Help scientists share data and knowledge in useful, usable ways What’s your motto? “What’s the scope for change?” “What problem are you trying to solve?” What got you into this ‘light bulb’ thing? Change in big complex complicated worthy organisations never happens as quickly as I’d like it to Usability issues can get buried under “everything else we have to do”. 3
  4. 4. Who are you? You Your neighbour What do you do? OK but what do you love to do ? What’s your motto? What got you into this ‘light bulb’ thing? 4
  5. 5. What we’re going to do in this workshop Share and report Work on tactical solutions Delve into why Gather some examples 5
  6. 6. Share and report Work on tactical solutions Delve into why Gather some examples We’ll share a story… 6
  7. 7. You work hard to find serious usability problems I can’t find out where I sign in Image credit: infodesign.com.au 7
  8. 8. You present your findings to the client/team This video clip shows…… Image credit: Caroline Jarrett 8
  9. 9. They love your findings and recommendations That’s exactly what we needed to know! Image credit: Caroline Jarrett 9
  10. 10. Everyone agrees on the changes We know what we have to do and we’re going to do it Image credit: Caroline Jarrett 10
  11. 11. Months/years later, the same problems still exist If only I could find out where to sign in… Image credit: infodesign.com.au 11
  12. 12. Gather some examples  If this has happened to you, share your story with your neighbour - If it has never happened to you, give your neighbour a chance to share two examples. Or more. 12
  13. 13. Share and report Work on tactical solutions Delve into why Gather some examples Steve and Caroline did a survey 13
  14. 14. 14
  15. 15. We asked people why it happened (12 options) 15
  16. 16. Delve into why Which one do you think is most frequent?  Not enough time  Too much else to do  Not enough resources  Required too big a change to a business process  Technical team said it couldn't be done  Team did not have enough power to make it happen  Conflicted with decision maker's belief or opinion  No effective decision maker  Disagreements emerged later  Deferred until next major update/redesign  Other events intervened before change could happen  Legal department objected 16
  17. 17. Most people chose lots of reasons 0 5 10 15 20 25 30 35 Don't know 1 reason 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 reasons “I could have checked off just about every one of these. Was this survey written just for me?” 17
  18. 18. Steve and Caroline’s picks for most frequent  Not enough time  Too much else to do  Not enough resources  Required too big a change to a business process  Technical team said it couldn't be done  Team did not have enough power to make it happen  Conflicted with decision maker's belief or opinion  No effective decision maker  Disagreements emerged later  Deferred until next major update/redesign  Other events intervened before change could happen  Legal department objected Steve Caroline 18
  19. 19. We underestimated the politics 0 10 20 30 40 50 60 70 Legal department objected Disagreements emerged later Other events intervened before change could… Technical team said it couldn't be done Required too big a change to a business process Team did not have enough power to make it… No effective decision maker Too much else to do Not enough time Deferred until next major update/redesign Not enough resources Conflicted with decision maker's belief or opinion Number of times this reason was chosen
  20. 20. Share and report Work on tactical solutions Delve into why Gather some examples So, what can we do? 20
  21. 21. The four stages of usability problem discovery  Prepare  Test  Report Image credit: Francis Rowland  Act 21
  22. 22. Work on tactical solutions 3-12-3 activity overview 03 minutes Individually Lots of ideas 12 minutes Team Pool, group, turn into tactics 03 minutes Spokesperson Present ideas to the workshop 22
  23. 23. Work on tactical solutions 3 minutes Individual Politics Not enough time / resources Leave it until redesign Too small / not important Technical problems Conflict (in-team; with managers) 23
  24. 24. Work on tactical solutions 12 minutes Team Pool those ideas Group them: any themes? Turn them into tactics 24
  25. 25. Work on tactical solutions Share and report 3 minutes Spokesperson Summary of the results: http://bit.ly/NRC3HA or http://ebiinterfaces.wordpress.com/ 2012/08/03/lightbulb-tactics-dealing- with-usability-issues-that-dont-get-fixed/ 25
  26. 26. Share and report Work on tactical solutions Delve into why Gather some examples Ideas from our survey respondents – in themes 26
  27. 27. Theme: Do nothing  Accept the situation ► “Sometimes recommendations don't get realized.” ► “Clients don’t have to follow our advice” ► “I'll chant some Oms” Image credit: shutterstock.com 27
  28. 28. Theme: Choose better clients or a better job  “Become more efficient at choosing who I accept as clients”  “Work for a company that gave a fig about UX” Image credit: shutterstock.com 28
  29. 29. Theme: Do basic UX better  Do testing earlier  Make stakeholders watch the sessions  Present results better ► More explanations ► Use video clips 29
  30. 30. Theme: Think about the impact on developers  “redefine problem as interaction bug”  “have a role in the implementation team”  “don’t spring surprises on them” Image credit: Effortmark Ltd 30
  31. 31. Theme: Get better at politics  Get decision-maker support  Understand priorities  “Get more buy-in. Explain changes to a sponsor. Argue the case. Make it harder to NOT do the change”. 31
  32. 32. Steve’s recipe (greatly shortened) * : Fly under the radar *For the full version, please see http://www.slideshare.net/SteveKrug/upa-lightbulb 32
  33. 33. Don’t try to convince everybody You Your team Your boss Other bosses he depends on Stakeholders Higher-ups Mr. Big Image credit: Steve Krug 33
  34. 34. Ideally… You Your team Your boss Other bosses he depends on Stakeholders Higher-ups Mr. Big Image credit: Steve Krug 34
  35. 35. i.e., the people you can get in an observation room Image credit: Steve Krug 35
  36. 36. Keep them focused on the worst problems Focus ruthlessly on a small number of the most important problems. 36
  37. 37. Tweak, don’t redesign When fixing problems, always do the least you can do™. © 2001 Steve Krug
  38. 38. Caroline responds… about the most important problem 38
  39. 39. Eat now, eat soon, or eat an elephant? 39
  40. 40. Sometimes teams need a success experience 40
  41. 41. Sometimes users have a different perspective 41
  42. 42. We have different ideas about rewards 42
  43. 43. Look for success in everybody’s terms Image credit: Francis Rowland 43
  44. 44. Don’t call their baby ugly, let them learn it’s ugly 44
  45. 45. And Francis has suggestions 45
  46. 46. You’re not ready for love (or usability testing)  Is your organisation ready for this? Image credit: Renato Feijó – Planning your UX strategy See also presentations and articles from Michele Ide-Smith and Tomer Sharon How much buy-in is there? How much can you realistically get done? Are people ready to act on what you find? 46
  47. 47. Report through the accepted channels  Helpdesk, bug-tracking, post-its on a whiteboard… Use whatever works best for the team… make it visible and actionable 47
  48. 48. Focus on what really matters to users  Designing with personas and scenarios Put usability issues in context. If you’ve used personas, scenarios, user journeys, etc. in the project, refer back to them. Image credit: Francis Rowland 48
  49. 49. Find fun ways to attack problems  Be there  Use games Image credit: http://innovationgames.com/impact-effort-matrix/ Stay involved. Help with prioritising and problem- solving. We don’t want to just “throw things over the wall”. You probably have some tricks up your sleeve for how to help break down problems and find solutions. Use them. 49
  50. 50. That light bulb reference Q: How many psychiatrists does it take to change a light bulb? A: Only one, but the light bulb has to want to change Image credit: shutterstock.com 50
  51. 51. Caroline Jarrett Francis Rowland Twitter @cjforms carolinej@effortmark.co.uk Twitter @francisrowland LinkedIn francisrowland I have 2 pages in here! … coming October 2012 51
  52. 52. For the longer version of this presentation http://www.slideshare.net/cjforms http://www.slideshare.net/SteveKrug 52

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