Understanding The Value Of User Research, Usability Testing, and Information Architecture
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Understanding The Value Of User Research, Usability Testing, and Information Architecture

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This presentation was given at Drupal Design Camp Boston on 6/14/09 as well as Bar Camp NH on 9/26/09.

This presentation was given at Drupal Design Camp Boston on 6/14/09 as well as Bar Camp NH on 9/26/09.

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Understanding The Value Of User Research, Usability Testing, and Information Architecture Understanding The Value Of User Research, Usability Testing, and Information Architecture Presentation Transcript

  • Understanding the Value of User Research, Usability Testing, & Information Architecture Kyle Soucy, Founding Principal Usable Interface www.usableinterface.com
  • The Ockham's Razor Principle of Content Management Systems “Given two functionally equivalent content management systems, the simplest one should be selected.” - Dries Buytaert Original creator and project lead of Drupal
  • Are YOU responsible for this?
  • Don’t believe me? Ask them!
  • Don’t assume that people think the way that you do.
  • If you don’t care about people, you can’t create a usable product!
  • When people interact with a product they’re interacting with YOU.
  • Why Usability is Important? • Nowadays, it’s survival of the easiest! • Reduced support costs • Can’t afford to NOT get it right the FIRST time. • Higher revenues through increased sales
  • Common Usability Problems • Lack of objective (no clear call to action) • Vague/misleading labels and navigation • Poor functionality (broken links, scripting errors, etc.) • Too many features...
  • Source: Human Factors International, Inc.
  • How do we prevent this?
  • User-Centered Design (UCD) "Human-centered design is characterized by: the active involvement of users and a clear understanding of user and task requirements; an appropriate allocation of function between users and technology; the iteration of design solutions; multi-disciplinary design." - ISO 13407
  • Usability "[Usability refers to] the extent to which a product can be used by specified users to achieve specified goals with effectiveness, efficiency and satisfaction in a specified context of user." - ISO 9241-11
  • Usability Methods User Research Focus Groups Heuristic Evaluations Log File Analysis Surveys Eye Tracking Card Sorting Usability Testing
  • User Research
  • User Research is NOT Market Research
  • Qualitative vs. Quantitative Research
  • Why can’t I just use a focus group?
  • Purpose of User Research Making sure the product provides what the customer needs and wants. Quality Assurance ✓ Does the the feature work? Usability Testing ✓ Can it be used easily? User Research ✓ Is the feature even needed?
  • Value of User Research Making sure all your resources are being used effectively. RESOURCES: INVESTMENT: OUTCOME: Design Confidence that Engineering you are building a product that is Marketing/Sales wanted, needed Support and will be used by Etc. your customers.
  • User Research Methods • In-depth Interviews • Contextual Inquiries • Field Studies • Diary Studies
  • Personas Source:Viget Labs
  • Usability Testing
  • What is Usability Testing? Observing real customers as they actually use your product. Image source: facit digital
  • Usability Testing Process • Define what you are testing • Define who you are testing • Define the tasks you are testing • Recruit users • Prepare the prototypes • Conduct dry-run • Facilitate tests • Conduct Analysis
  • Usability Labs Source: Kent State University
  • Who should you test? • Create a recruiting screener • Include existing users as well as the people you are trying to target • Make sure to cover all user groups • Get buy-in from project stakeholders
  • How many users do you need to test? Source: Jakob Nielsen
  • Budget Allocation What NOT to do... 1 Round of Testing
  • Budget Allocation What you SHOULD do... Round 1 Round 2 Round 3 Design Design Iteration Iteration
  • Remote vs. In-Person Testing Vs.
  • When should you test? The earlier, the better...
  • Low vs. High-Fidelity Prototypes
  • UCD on a Small Budget • Don’t record tests on video • Don’t use a lab • Use surrogate users • Don’t write reports
  • Real-Life Example Vs.
  • Information Architecture
  • What is Information Architecture? Organizing, labeling, and classifying content so it can be easily retrieved. Image source: facit digital
  • How to Create an Effective IA You must understand: • Business Objectives • Content • User Objectives • Context of Use
  • IA Methods • Card Sorting • Free Listing • Mental Models • Affinity Diagramming • Search Log Analysis
  • Good Resources • Usability.gov • BoxesandArrows.com • UXmatters.com • UPAssoc.org • NNGroup.com • UIE.com
  • Summary • First step to user-centered design is to realize your end users are not YOU • Include your users in the design process • Usability testing is not a validation test • Testing earlier pays off more
  • Thank you! www.usableinterface.com