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Usability Tips And Tricks For Beginners Experience Dynamics Web Seminar

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Usability is commonly thought of as the art and science of making things easy to use. ...

Usability is commonly thought of as the art and science of making things easy to use.

What is behind the science of usability? How do we know when something is easy, easy to learn and satisfying?

Why is usability so important for any product, website, software or web application (including Rich Internet Applications)?

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  • Manipulate artifacts (icons, menus, handles) to make it happen. Interact with features and functionality (interaction).
  • How people who use software think! How to make it easier for people to use! How to make software people literate!

Usability Tips And Tricks For Beginners   Experience Dynamics Web Seminar Usability Tips And Tricks For Beginners Experience Dynamics Web Seminar Presentation Transcript

  • Usability Tips and Tricks for Beginners An Experience Dynamics training WEB SEMINAR With Frank Spillers, MS
  • About Your Speaker
    • Frank Spillers
    • Masters Cognitive Science (Collaborative Virtual Environments)
    • 11 years User Centered Design experience
    • Founder, Experience Dynamics- leading Usability Design Research firm
  • Agenda
    • Usability is commonly thought of as the art and science of making things easy to use. What is behind the science of usability? How do we know when something is easy, easy to learn and satisfying? Why is usability so important for any product, website, software or web application (including Rich Internet Applications)? 
    • Agenda
    • What is usability and why is it so important?
    • What happens when you design websites, software and products that people love?; What happens when you don’t?
    • 5 proven design tricks from Cognitive Science
    • 5 tested tips for making products easy to use
    • Q & A
  • 1. What is usability and why is it so important?
    • What is usability and why is it so important?
    • What happens when you design websites, software and products that people love?; What happens when you don’t?
    • 5 proven design tricks from Cognitive Science
    • 5 tested tips for making products easy to use
    • Q & A
  • Cognitive Science
    • Born post 1945
    • Science behind the academic field of usability (called Usability Engineering or Human Computer Interaction)
    pay attention recognize remember understand concentrate make mistakes solve problems make sense make decisions process information-events-emotions
  • Humans vs. Technology
    • Looks for patterns; clues and visual cues.
    • Fuzzy matching.
    • Expect things to work (as look; act).
    • Rely on past references.
    • Seek habit and familiarity (avoid understanding).
    • Want consistent and reliable (avoid re-learning).
    • Have imaginations (complex emotional episodes).
    • Influenced by social and environmental factors.
    • Good at computation.
    • Precise matching.
    • Good at handling linearity and sequence.
    • Has rules that make it behave a certain way (business & technology).
    • Influenced by commands, logic, reason.
    • Contain the decisions of other humans (who often forget why a design decision was made).
  • Don’t Make Me Think* User’s lane = tasks, goals, cognitive limitations (“lazy, stupid, not savvy”), emotional, social, environmental constraints. Development lane = dev culture, business limitations, technical constraints. If users have to understand they cross into the Developer lane (confusion or an accident might happen!) Aka Minimize User Cognition *I would add: Don’t Make Me Think, Like You Had to When You Created This Product AVOID UNDERSTANDING!
  • Easy to Use
    • Users know where controls are
    • Discoverability is reduced
    • No understanding is required
    • Features are where users expect them to be
    • Users feel in control
  • Easy to Learn
    • Users can find their way over time
    • Users remember shortcuts, rules, routines
    • Learning curve is short
    • Confusion is minimized
  • Satisfying
    • Produces loyalty behavior
    • Users enjoy using it
    • Users look forward to it
    • Stress response is removed
    • Users feel more bonded to it
  • 2. What happens when you design websites, software and products that people love?; What happens when you don’t?
    • What is usability and why is it so important?
    • What happens when you design websites, software and products that people love?; What happens when you don’t?
    • 5 proven design tricks from Cognitive Science
    • 5 tested tips for making products easy to use
    • Q & A
  • Avoid Interface Friction Every cognitive interruption to “Flow” to “rhythm” and establishing a bond with the user (keep them feeling good) adds friction. Cooper: Cognitive friction is "the resistance encountered by human intellect when it engages with a complex system of rules that change as the problem permutes." We call this “Synch”
  • Source: Pfeiffer Consulting independent study Speed bumps= bad experience
  • When people love your product:
    • Easy on
    • Perfect fit
    • Looks great
    • Feels great
    • A trusted friend
  • Improved ROI
    • Improve marketability
    • Reduce development costs
    • Reduce support and customer complaints
    • Reduce documentation time
    • Reduce maintenance costs
    • Increase satisfaction
    • Increase loyalty
    Companies focused on customer-experience design outperformed the S&P 500 by a 10-to-1 margin. (Peer Insight, 2007)
  • When people hate your product:
    • Difficult to adjust to
    • Not exact fit
    • Takes a while to get used to
    • Causes stress
    • Not first choice
  • Weakened ROI
    • 45% of features never used. Top 2 causes of failure: Lack of user input and lack of clear requirements. (Standish Group 1995)
    • 44% were late, over budget, and/or with less than the required features and functions. (Standish Group 2009)
    Users spend almost 40% of their computer facing trying to get things to work or work better. (Ceaparu, Lazar, Bessiere, and Shneiderman, 2004)
  • 3. 5 proven design tricks from Cognitive Science
    • What is usability and why is it so important?
    • What happens when you design websites, software and products that people love?; What happens when you don’t?
    • 5 proven design tricks from Cognitive Science
    • 5 tested tips for making products easy to use
    • Q & A
  • Proven Trick #1: Task-Oriented Design Design based on the sequence, steps or chunks of a user’s workflow. Streamline the screen toward the task the user is trying to complete. Make the most common tasks apparent.
  • Proven Trick #2: Pre-set Defaults Use the most familiar elements. Set the most common filters or settings. Avoid configuration behavior!
  • Proven Trick #3: Group Like Items Use containership of actions (keep global and local objects separate or together). Exploit Proximity (keep controls near objects that are related).
  • Proven Trick #4: Sequence Complexity Use a “progressive disclosure” of features and content. Give users what they need, only when they need it.
  • Proven Trick #5: Deliver Aesthetics with Utility Visual or graphic design is important to capture the initial pre-cognitive processes. Remember users are information processors- they need it to work (if it doesn’t they may hate you). Never create eye candy without delivering ease of use.
  • 4. 5 tested tips for making products easy to use
    • What is usability and why is it so important?
    • What happens when you design websites, software and products that people love?; What happens when you don’t?
    • 5 proven design tricks from Cognitive Science
    • 5 tested tips for making products easy to use
    • Q & A
  • Tested Tip #1: Understand User Roles Users wear different hats to get things done. Roles help users solve problems. Role-switching can reveal different usage scenarios. A user or person is not their role. * Think of roles as behaviors!
  • Tested Tip #2: Provide visual clues & cues Provide built-in cues for users. Provide cues about how something works- what the user should do. Affordances provide strong clues to the operations of things. Plates are for pushing. Knobs are for turning.
  • Tested Tip #3: Exploit user Context Understand users priorities, values, needs. Experience a user as they remember, share their story, reveal their requirements. Get an “on the ground” usage perspective. Context gives you the best empathy.
  • Tested Tip #4: Make Rules Transparent Never make knowledge of how something works necessary. Don’t make users figure things out. Remove the need to explore and learn. The logic of how something works stays in your head!
  • Tested Tip #5: Don’t Ask Users-- Watch Users Never ask users if they like something. Focus groups are inappropriate- stop using them for usability requirements immediately. Go out to users homes, workspaces…interview them inside their “activity space”. Ask users to “complete a task” and watch them as they problem-solve, interpret, make sense and decide what to do (with design elements).
  • 5. Q & A
    • What is usability and why is it so important?
    • What happens when you design websites, software and products that people love?; What happens when you don’t?
    • 5 proven design tricks from Cognitive Science
    • 5 tested tips for making products easy to use
    • Q & A
  • thank you ! 1-800-978-9183 www.experiencedynamics.com Frank Spillers, MS [email_address]
  • Design for Users Who are they What are their needs, expectations, goals, desires What does your software have to have for them to fall in love with it… Desirability- does it have what they need?
  • Design for Tasks Design for user Tasks Tasks: areas, questions, features, problems users want to solve Successful task completion- #1 usability metric (can they do it?)