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User Empathy: Prioritizing Users in your UX Process


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A discussion on what user empathy is and how you can make sure that your UX process prioritizes users. Includes tips for doing this in WordPress. From WordCamp Chicago 2017

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User Empathy: Prioritizing Users in your UX Process

  2. 2. Hello, Chicago!
  3. 3. I’m Mary Fran Wiley, a UX designer with Ogilvy & Mather. Follow Me:  @maryfran  @maryfranw
  4. 4. imagine human body a site as the
  5. 5. the codewhich gives a site the bones structure represent
  6. 6. the UX designthat supports essential functions the organsrepresent
  7. 7. the UI designthey’re presentation and appeal the clothesrepresent
  8. 8. the heart UX is of the matter
  9. 9. they didn’t gives userssomething Great UX know they needed. (although, who doesn’t know they need a unicorn)
  10. 10. if you have to explain it a user interface is like a joke it’s not that good
  11. 11. get there? howdo we
  12. 12. to know we need our users
  13. 13. to feel we need with users
  14. 14. empathy we can use to enhance our knowledge
  15. 15. Empathy people. Brene Brown is feeling with
  16. 16. empathy a lesson in
  17. 17. why empathy? do we need
  18. 18. empathy low Research suggests that those working in a technological field, specifically males, have low empathy.
  19. 19. detachment user-designer Being detached from the users of a product or site - thinking of them only in the abstract - endagers the success. If we think only in technicalities, statistics and best practices, we lose the human component that is cruial to interaction.
  20. 20. self-as-user the One of the hardest aspects of UX design and Human & Computer Interaction is an assumption is that users will approach and solve problems in the same way as designers and developers working on your project do. bias
  21. 21. cognitiveemotional empathyempathy Cognitive empathy is a skill that can be learned, even if we struggle to truly feel empathy. It lets us uderstand the thought process of others typically by observation and applying empathy to a system using tools such as empahty maps and personas. Emotional empathy is typically what we think of when we think of empathy. The emotional connection. The warmth. The sensitivity. All the feels. This is what drives us to create interfaces that excite users.
  22. 22. take noteBeing empathetic isn’t just a switch you can turn on or off; it’s something you actually have to believe in and practice.
  23. 23. seeing & doing practicing empathy
  24. 24. seeingInterviews Home visits Read Watch documentaries Stay informed
  25. 25. doingTravel Volunteer Improv classes Mindfulness practice
  26. 26. creating a user-centric ux process applying empathy
  27. 27. observeCreating a truly empatheic UX process starts at the beginning of every project. Our very first step is to figure out what we can observe of our users so that we can truly learn about them - both the facts and figures and the intangibles such as emotion.
  28. 28. capture dataOnce we know what we are going to observe, we must capture data. Demographic data and general profiles are a start, but for an empathetic process we must dig deeper. Interviews, observations and experiencing situations the way users do are all types of data that can help foster empathy.
  29. 29. reflectAfter gathering that data, you need to reflect on it to make sense of it. This can be in the form of personas, but those can be vague and fall flat. You can strengthen them with your data and by creating both empathy maps and user stories.
  30. 30. personaOne of the most common UX deliverables, personas have the potential to be very useful documents if they are prepared from contact with actual users. Personas help visualize an example of a customer - perfect for helping to foster empathy.
  31. 31. Sasha Foxcreative · expressive · experimental Technology IT & Internet Mobile Apps Software Social Networks AGE: 26 Occupation: Advertising Creative Status: Single Location: Chicago, IL Tier: Enthusiast Archetype: Explorer Goals: • To gain knowledge in areas that interest her • To explore new opportunities in her local areas • To go on planned adventures with close friends Biography: Sasha Fox is a creative in an advertising agency where she spends most of her time writing about diapers and toilet bowl cleaner. She loves reading and margaritas with girlfriends. Frustrations: • Actions that haven’t been thought through • Content without substance • Close-mindedness Personality: Introvert Sensing Thinking Judging Extrovert Intuition Feeling Perceiving Motivations: Incentive Fear Achievement Growth Power Social
  32. 32. archetypeLess fluffy and business-oriented than a persona, an archetype is a data-driven description of user behavior. Archetypes provide insight into users behavior patterns including how they are currently using a product. Archetypes can directly influence functionality and determine, validate, and prioritize features.
  33. 33. empathy mapAn empathy map is a way to expand a persona and truly understand the feelings and motivations of a user.
  34. 34. think feel say do hear what really counts · major aspirations · preoccupations what friends say · what boss says · what influencers say seeenvironment · friends · what the market offers attitude in public · appearance · behavior twords others pains gainsfears · frustrations · obstacles wants/needs · success · obstacles
  35. 35. user storyBy telling a story, you can explain and understand the journey your user takes as they go through the site. This can help all the members of the team from UX to client prioritize the needs of the users.
  36. 36. (user) (do this) (achieve this) as a i want to craft a so that I can user story
  37. 37. brainstormDon’t set aside all the work you’ve done so far and revert to your old wireframing process. Use them to help guide your brainstorm - what is the most important information to your user? What problems do they face that you can answer? How can your interface anticipate their needs?
  38. 38. constructYou can’t go straight into prototyping and development and call it a day. As you build and adjust, make sure you weigh any compromises with your user priorities. Will a last minute client addition alienate users? Will an unforseen technical limitation force you to change your on- page strategy?
  39. 39. testYou need to test your ideas at every stage possible. Whether it is a formal user test, the mom test or going back to your interviewees to vet an idea or assumption - don’t leave your users behind now. Take those results and figure out where you can make tweaks to improve your experience. Always be testing and responding.
  40. 40. wordpress some specifics
  41. 41. architectureCard sorts give great insight into how users perceive and use sites and WordPress allows for custom post types and custom taxonomies for a flexible architecture. Structure your data so it can be sorted and browsed easily. Explore taxonomies and post types - use just enough to make your site easier, but don’t add them just to add them.
  42. 42. developmentIt’s easy to leave development out of the UX process, but it is the lynchpin to your success. Make sure not to cut corners here and make sure you involve developers early in the process to avoid unforseen compromises. (Developers are one of your user groups for your UX - make sure you have empathy for them, their role and their expertise).
  43. 43. designWordPress has a myriad of tools that allow your visual design to enhance your UX - especially targeting taxonomies and post types with custom templates or CSS. Be careful to not go too wild with unique implementations, consistency makes for strong user experiences.
  44. 44. contentContent is the oft-overlooked piece of UX, despite it being key to the actual experience. Make sure you are following best practices such as filling out alt text and meta data as well as using language that is familiar to your audience.
  45. 45. avoid empathy success We can’t and expect
  46. 46. prioritizing users Empathy is needs and emotions
  47. 47. is usability Prioritizing users
  48. 48. accessibility Usability is
  49. 49. Questions? Find Me:  @maryfran  @maryfranw  @maryfranwiley   Download the slides: 