Macadamian product camp sv-2012


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User Centered Design: How to please users and get the CEO off your back

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  • Who works primarily with software products? Hardware? Mix? Enterprise & business products? Consumer products?(after viewing video) – The analogy I had in mind when selecting this video was “you, as the product manager, are the person counting passes. You are concentrating intently on your task of counting passes. As your CEO interrupts you to say, “we don’t need an Windows Phone client yet” and the VP of Sales says “customer xyz insists we deliver this feature”, you continue to do your job and count passes. Unfortunately, you may miss something important if you don’t have a thorough process. You may miss the gorilla in the room..This session is basically about defending yourself against these types of distractions. We’ll use the User Centered Design process with an emphasis on user research and usability testing as our context for helping you to prioritize features, keep your designed focused on user value, and arming you with the tools to respond to strong opinions that may impact your ability to deliver what your users actually need… what you need to put into your product for it (and you) to be successful.
  • Please keep in mind that the more informed you sound when describing your product, the less resistance you will have, the more control you will have in designing your product, the more resources you will have to build your product. Information gives you confidence and confidence is reassuring to management. The table above is from Jared M. Spool’s book. It shows the path products take from early stage to maturity. This is a good reference tool to use as you are “pestered” to add features ad-hoc. Explain that yes, features are important, but based on qualified research… this is where we are headed. We need to focus on the UI or UX now. Feature wars are a fools errand – Experience and productivity is the next step in improving our product. Making the UI and navigation transparent is the ultimate goal… not comparing ourselves to product xyz.
  • Macadamian product camp sv-2012

    1. 1. User Centered Design:How to please users and get the CEO off your back Dan Arra San Mateo, CA 650-218-4444
    2. 2. “Selective Attention Test”, by Daniel Simons Confidential 4/2/2011 2
    3. 3. Agenda  User Centered Design (UCD) Overview  It’s a process… but negotiation is important  Support your choices with data  Storytelling is complementary and effective  Differentiate your product Confidential 4/2/2011 3
    4. 4. Demystify UCD – Activities & Deliverables  Users  Who are they? What do they care about?  How do they actually interact with your product?  How would they interact with a new version/feature?  Centered on value to actual users  Product Strategy Workshop  Key business objectives  User requirements  Design to illustrate value to users  Design, test, incorporate feedback  Rinse and repeat Confidential 4/2/2011 4
    5. 5. Demystify UCD – Activities & Deliverables  Users  Personas – context, context, context  Centered on value to actual users  Usage Scenarios  Your business objectives… their value  Still gotta have documented requirements  Design to illustrate value to users  Wireframes, models, mockups  Visual concepts Confidential 4/2/2011 5
    6. 6. Demystify UCD Confidential 4/2/2011 6
    7. 7. Demystify UCD Confidential 4/2/2011 7
    8. 8. Support your choices with data (and process)  Gain agreement thru metrics  Simplify your decisions  Justify your choices Confidential 4/2/2011 8
    9. 9. Gain agreement thru metrics  Define objective measurable targets  Express from the customer’s/user’s perspective  Both qualitative AND quantitative are good Confidential 4/2/2011 9
    10. 10. Simplify your decisions  With success metrics in hand…  Obtained from actual users…  You have confidence about what to include…  And what to remove Confidential 4/2/2011 10
    11. 11. Justify your choices ( aka defend yourself)  Charts, data – “During our first round of testing…  time on task was x seconds”  # of errors was reduced by y%  Narratives – “We watched the users actually smile and relax when then completed this task”  Storyboards – “As you can see from this diagram, the new path to the reservation screen is…” Confidential 4/2/2011 11
    12. 12. Gain agreement thru metrics  Organizational Confidence  Success is often a matter of confidence  If Sales believes in the product (based on metrics), they will do a better job selling it.  If Management trusts you’ve made the right decisions, you’ll get the resources you need  If Support understands the training issues, they’ll be more effective Confidential 4/2/2011 12
    13. 13. Differentiate your productFeatures are important IF they are valuable to users Confidential 4/2/2011 13
    14. 14. Identify Goals & Tasks  Users don’t approach with a feature in mind – think goals and tasks  More isn’t always better. More often leads to:  Clutter  Bloat  Complicated Confidential 4/2/2011 14
    15. 15. Differentiate based on those goals & tasks  Feature war  Bad User Experience  Study real behavior – needs, goals, workflow, workplace processes through:  Direct observation of users  Feedback from users  Organize tasks, sub-tasks by:  Order of importance  Frequency performed  Map relationships & dependencies between tasks:  Flowcharts  Mapping diagrams Confidential 4/2/2011 15
    16. 16. Information architecture & task relationships diagrams Confidential 4/2/2011 16
    17. 17. Differentiate your product and sell more of it  If it looks good, you will get more interest  It’s a process  Good design can be measured  Removes opinion and conjecture  Requires expertise to test (“Blink”, by Malcolm Gladwell – puppies, kitties and Aeron Chair) Confidential 4/2/2011 17
    18. 18. Who is Macadamian? Software Products Consultancy  When the user experience is key  Full scope of software development life cycle • UX Design & User Research • Software Engineering • QA Testing  Increasing customer adoption 14 Year Track Record, over 150 staff Hybrid Onshore/Offshore - Ottawa(HQ), Romania, Armenia Experience across multiple markets and products Wide range of skills and processes: • UX design + Software Engineering + Test/QA • Desktop (Win, Mac OS) • Mobile (iPhone/iPad, Blackberry, Android, WP7) • SaaS (.NET, LAMP, J2EE, RIA, Flash/Flex) • Strobe/Sproutcore Partner Confidential 4/2/2011 18
    19. 19. What have we done… lately? New Product Development, Extensions, Re-designs  Mobile client development – iPad, iPhone, Android phone & tablet  Web development – Web 2.0 apps with mobile “companion” products  Desktop Clients – Windows and Mac User Experience Design & Usability Testing  Product Families – Desktop, Web, Mobile Clients  User Research including • Usability “walk-throughs” • Usability Testing • Ethnographic research or “job shadowing” Examples  Cisco – FlipShare Mobile, Umi home telepresence  Juniper – Re-design of existing app to include web, mobile, desktop  BitTorrent – Macintosh client & Android Tablet (both design & build)  Varian Medical – Electronic Medical Record for iPad Confidential 1/18/2011 19
    20. 20. Our sweet spot…  End-to-end: from napkin sketch to release (and anywhere along your software development life cycle)  Creativity: innovating in design and technology  User Research: Validate user needs, usability, market, etc.  Uncharted territory: dealing with technical uncertainty & potential for change  Intense deadlines – need for rapid response times  Experience required – there’s no time for ramp-up Confidential 1/18/2011 20