Improving your site's usability - what users really want

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slides from my workshop at Web2 Expo Berlin 08

slides from my workshop at Web2 Expo Berlin 08

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  • 1. improving your site’s usability: what users really want leisa reichelt | disambiguity.com web 2.0 expo berlin - 21 October 08
  • 2. wow. (you know we’re talking about usability, right?!)
  • 3. logistical stuff
  • 4. the ‘back-channel’ twitter: #w2e_ux (design & UX) or #w2e (entire conference) webexberlin2008.crowdvine.com
  • 5. think about how much time you spend with your computer today
  • 6. our schedule: 1pm: we start general principals and heuristics for making sites people like. 2.30-ish: coffee break. yay! how does one go about making a site people want to use? (UCD) 4pm: we end
  • 7. introductions - your name - what you do - where you’re from - three tags
  • 8. me - leisa reichelt - freelance user experience consultant - Australian, living in London - mum, research, seventeen disambiguity.com leisa@disambiguity.com
  • 9. and you? - your name - what you do - where you’re from - three tags
  • 10. warning: when rules go wrong!
  • 11. Studies by usability expert Rolf Mollichshow that no two sets of experts come up with the same results, when evaluating interfaces. Most experts come up with too many problems.
  • 12. rulesvstesting
  • 13. human brains the hardware we have to work with
  • 14. finite storage capacity short term memory struggles to store more than about nine things
  • 15. one decision at a time attention is a limited commodity
  • 16. habits are useful habits are task that require no attention
  • 17. recognitionvsrecall our long term memory stores only what what we can’t easy deduce
  • 18. interruptions burden our short term memory switching between tasks takes effort unexpected things happen making it hard to form habits computers expect us to remember!
  • 19. practical tips and guidelines
  • 20. the principle of commensurate effort people will spend an amount of effort on things that is in proprtion to the value they perceive
  • 21. . in pursuit of something valuable, it is amazing how much bad design people will put up with, and forgive.
  • 22. polite computing “If we want users to like our software we should design it to behave like a likeable person: respectful, generous and helpful.” Alan Cooper
  • 23. polite computing Polite software is: • Interested in me (remembers my preferences) • Perceptive (makes good guesses at what information I’ll want next) • Forthcoming (doesn’t hold back useful information) • Self-confident (doesn’t keep asking me annoying questions) • Responsive (discrete - not too demanding)
  • 24. polite computing Polite software is: • Forgiving (if you make a mistake it lets you undo) • Not a show-off (doesn’t cluttery with showy controls) • Focussed (too many choices becomes a burden) • Fudgeable (allows the user to partially complete)
  • 25. make the easy, easy and the difficult, possible
  • 26. make it quick to scan & digest * avoid clutter! * avoid text only
  • 27. speak the right language • don’t use meaningless ‘copy’ (especially ‘marketing’ content) • use your audience’s way of speaking, not your company-talk (or programmer talk, etc.) • information scent: use keywords to guide people in the right direction
  • 28. seducible moments “there are specific moments where designers are most likely to influence a shopper to investigate a promotion or special offer. Most of the time, these moments come after the shopper has satisfied their original mission on the site. If we identify the key seducible moment for a specific offer, we can often see over 10 times as many requests” Jared Spool
  • 29. the paradox of the active user haste to get rapid results means we make mistakes - making us slower! support users in a rush.
  • 30. image: Steve Krug, Don’t Make Me Think
  • 31. enter your address separated by commas GO
  • 32. street: town: GO
  • 33. feedback (you’re doing great!) your site should give lots.
  • 34. . people tend to avoid using ‘navigation’ as navigation. They’d rather use links in the centre of the website to get around. don’t rely on the navigation
  • 35. do not under-estimate ‘tunnel vision’. Task focussed users are *so* focussed on the task at hand you will be amazed what they are able to ignore.
  • 36. the 3-click rule is broken.
  • 37. people don’t like making decisions on a website - they like to be directed. it’s your job to know what they want to do and get them there.
  • 38. have an experience strategy An experience strategy is a clearly articulated touchstone that influences all of the decisions made about technology, features, and interfaces. Whether in the initial design process or as the product develops, such a strategy guides the team and ensures that the customer’s perspective is maintained throughout. - Subject to Change, Creating great products and services for an uncertain world, Merholz, Schauer, Verba & Wilkens (Adaptive Path) 2008
  • 39. never, EVER, try to design for ‘everyone’
  • 40. personas personas http://www.flickr.com/photos/anikarenina/550438755/
  • 41. patterns&conventions vs innovation
  • 42. coffee time!
  • 43. welcome back!
  • 44. how do you go about making a site that people want to use?
  • 45. usercentred design (UCD)
  • 46. what is UCD? a design process in which the end users are identified, their goals and needs are understood, the system is designed to support those users and their goals, and the design is tested with those users so that it can be improved until optimal. it involves both design and research activities
  • 47. User Centred Design is interested in both strategic and tactical elements of design and usability
  • 48. strategic: why do people want to use this in the first place?
  • 49. tactical: how well are people able to use it?
  • 50. Why do UCD?
  • 51. supposing is good. finding out is better. - mark twain
  • 52. http://www.flickr.com/photos/padday/1513526079
  • 53. Why do UCD? 100x After Launch Cost of making changes 6x 1x During During Development Design
  • 54. Why do UCD? There are four key benefits: • Increased revenue • Reduced project risk • Reduced customer support costs • Greater brand loyalty
  • 55. Why do UCD? • Project teams don’t understand genuine user requirements • Users often don’t understand their own requirements • Making late changes is slow and expensive • Late changes happen because of a lack of understanding of requirements
  • 56. we tend to project our own rationalisations and beliefs onto the actions and beliefs of others - don norman, the design of everyday things
  • 57. to design an easy-to-use interface, pay attention to what users do, not what they say. self reported claims are unreliable, as are user speculations about future behaviour - jakob nielsen
  • 58. user research helps you uncover, understand and design for real user requirements
  • 59. do I really need to do UCD?
  • 60. do I really need to do UCD? if: a) your end users are just like you and/or b) you’ve designed (successfully) for these users before and know them well
  • 61. do I really need to do UCD? if: you find yourself resorting to stereotypes and cliches (esp. involving your mother or grandmother), you need to research.
  • 62. what will I learn from UCD?
  • 63. Appearance - what it looks like and how it is arranged Usability Interaction - how the user interacts with the product components Information - the information required by the user at different stages User Structure Experience - the right elements in the right order Concept - the model for how the value is delivered Proposition - the value to the customer
  • 64. Jesse James Garrett, The Elements of User Experience
  • 65. generative research prototype evaluative research
  • 66. ways to do research
  • 67. quantitativevsqualitative
  • 68. The most striking truth of the curve is that zero users give zero insights.
  • 69. lab based research
  • 70. focus groups - care!
  • 71. field research (ethnography)
  • 72. ‘guerrilla’ research
  • 73. silverbackapp.com
  • 74. what to test? (prototypes)
  • 75. iterate!
  • 76. questions&discussion?
  • 77. just because nobody complains doesn’t mean all the parachutes are perfect - benny hill Library of Congress, Prints and Photographs Division, Washington, D.C. 20540 USA
  • 78. thank you :) contact me: leisa@disambiguity.com disambiguity.com twitter.com/leisa