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UX survival guide


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Software complexity and user expectations of technology have never been higher. Meanwhile our ability to guarantee we are building the right product features and deliver them on time has never been more uncertain. How do you decide what the user really wants? How do you design that experience and make sure it actually meets their expectations. How do you tell the difference between the minimal-viable-product, and the minimal-desirable-product?

In this session I will give you the tools to bootstrap your own UX design process within your team, and help remove uncertainty from your product design decisions. This session will be useful to anyone who wants to learn how to approach improving the usability of their products through simple exercises and processes. By the end of the session you will have the tools you need for your products to survive our ever changing technological landscape.

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UX survival guide

  1. 1. the UX Survival Guide Tools & techniques for creating a better user experience and reducing uncertainty
  2. 2. Nicholas McClay Usability Team Lead @ Forever Hi, I’m… @nickmcclay
  3. 3. My job in a nutshell: Determine what our users really want Find out why we haven’t given them that Do what is needed to change that
  4. 4. Shaolin Kung-Fu
  5. 5. Krav Maga
  6. 6. Certified Bad Asses
  7. 7. We need the Krav Maga of UX…
  8. 8. Building a survival kit
  9. 9. Building a UX survival kit
  10. 10. Triangle of Uncertainty Not Certain Very
 Certain Some Certainty
  11. 11. Let’s start here Not Certain Very Certain Some Certainty
  12. 12. Starts with People Most uncertainty
  13. 13. List of things that aren’t people Technology or infrastructure Business concerns or ideology Features or products
  14. 14. Need Validation
  15. 15. People have problems
  16. 16. Examples of problems I want to make more money. I want to be less stressed. I want to save time. Terrible Examples of problems, too generic
  17. 17. Real examples of problems I never graduated high school and can’t find steady employment. I haven’t taken a vacation in 2 years and my marriage is falling apart. I can’t do the things I used to love because raising my child is absorbing all my time.
  18. 18. –Tim Ferris “Creating demand is hard. Filling demand is easier. Don't create a product, then seek someone to sell it to. Find a market - define your customers - then find or develop a product for them.”
  19. 19. Need Validation Storyboard
  20. 20. Your Problem Our Solution Your Result Name of Concept Storyboard Template
  21. 21. Goals of Need Validation Storyboards • Do they recognize the problem? • Do they have boundaries/concerns around your solution? • Is there urgency or interest in the solution?
  22. 22. Market Research
  23. 23. Like… business stuff?
  24. 24. Social Proof Bias When undecided, we tend to follow the patterns of others
  25. 25. 2 Types of Market Research Market Reports Competitive Research
  26. 26. What to look for in market reports: Size of the target market Demographics of the target market Emerging patterns and trends Major competitors and influencers
  27. 27. Where to find market reports? Consumer Reports Marketing Intelligence Agencies Qualified thought leader blogs/articles
  28. 28. Competitive Research
  29. 29. Feature Gap Analysis What products do relative to the competition
  30. 30. Market Space Analysis Where products are positioned in the market relative to each other
  31. 31. Heuristic Product Analysis Where products are positioned in the market relative to each other • Focused on curating the best blog content into standalone e-books • re-inventing the self-publishing space • Buy a book - gift 4 free copies to your friends (because you will anyways) Low HighHeuristic Uniqueness Complexity Duration
  32. 32. Competitive Research Club
  33. 33. Design Workshop
  34. 34. –Johnny Appleseed “Creativity is a stepwise process in which idea A spurs a new but closely related thought, which prompts another incremental step, and the chain of little mental advances sometimes eventually ends with an innovative idea in a group setting.”
  35. 35. Topic Brainstorming
  36. 36. Topic Workshopping
  37. 37. The humble sharpie & post-it
  38. 38. Radar Diagram
  39. 39. Radar Diagram
  40. 40. Abstraction Ladder
  41. 41. Abstraction Ladder Statement Why? Why? How? How?
  42. 42. Personas
  43. 43. An archetypical customer profile used for: •Evaluating feature requirements •Prioritizing product requirements •Alignment about user needs within business What is a Persona?
  44. 44. Customer Interviews
  45. 45. Ethnographic Photography
  46. 46. Relationship Map
  47. 47. Family of Personas
  48. 48. Prototypes
  49. 49. The Role of Prototypes Quickly validate concept direction Simulates general user experience and flow between tasks Identify parts of experience are working poorly
  50. 50. Prototype fidelity time realism Paper Prototypes Application Prototypes Interactive Prototypes
  51. 51. Paper Prototypes
  52. 52. Paper Prototypes
  53. 53. Paper Prototypes
  54. 54. Paper Prototypes
  55. 55. Paper Prototypes
  56. 56. Paper Prototypes
  57. 57. Paper Prototypes
  58. 58. Advantages of Paper Prototyping Fast (like less than 30 minutes) Really high level concept testing Totally obviously informal and simple Paper Prototypes
  59. 59. Interactive Prototypes
  60. 60. Interactive Prototypes
  61. 61. Interactive Prototypes
  62. 62. Lots of Interactive Prototyping tools Indigo Studio UX Pin Invision App Interactive Prototypes Justinmind Axure
  63. 63. Application Prototypes
  64. 64. Questions you should ask yourself: Do we clearly understand our user’s requirements & workflow? Do we need fidelity to get a realistic response? (projection issues) Is there anything else we can test faster than building real code? Application Prototypes
  65. 65. Next Level of Certainty Not Certain Very Certain Some Certainty
  66. 66. Shared Understanding build certainty with a
  67. 67. Design Radiators
  68. 68. Whiteboards
  69. 69. Wikis are where designs docs go to die…
  70. 70. Chat rooms
  71. 71. Mockups
  72. 72. –Erik D. Kennedy “I majored in engineering — it’s almost a badge of pride to build something that looks awful.”
  73. 73. Aesthetic-Usability Effect We perceive things that look nicer as easier to use
  74. 74. Krav Maga of Visual Design: • creating-gorgeous-ui-part-1-559d4e805cda (Great inspiration for this presentation)
  75. 75. Design Review
  76. 76. Focused presentation
  77. 77. Embrace Curiosity
  78. 78. –Jared Spool “Good design, when it’s done well, becomes invisible. It’s only when it’s done poorly that we notice it.”
  79. 79. When in doubt Revisit Principles
  80. 80. User Stories
  81. 81. Agile != UX
  82. 82. Minimal Viable Product
  83. 83. Minimal Viable Product Desirable
  84. 84. “As a _____________ I want to _____________ so that I can ______________” Not Optional Also Not-Optional
  85. 85. ― Douglas Crockford JavaScript: The Good Parts “We see a lot of feature-driven product design in which the cost of features is not properly accounted. Features can have a negative value to customers because they make the products more difficult to understand and use.”
  86. 86. Final Stretch! Not Certain Very
 Certain Some Certainty
  87. 87. Style Guides
  88. 88. Styleguide Benefits Take guess work out of visual design Easy reuse of existing design work Can vastly improve front-end development speed
  89. 89. Usability Research
  90. 90. ― Erika Hall, Just Enough Research “As a designer or a developer, you either care about usability, or you’re a jerk.”
  91. 91. Usability Tweaks Direct interaction with application Moderator is NOT the designer/ developer Single moderator in the room, others remote viewing only
  92. 92. Tasks over keywords
  93. 93. - User “I’ve read all your buttons!?”
  94. 94. Question the questions
  95. 95. Qualitative Research
  96. 96. User Metrics
  97. 97. Quantitative Research
  98. 98. Data driven design Large scale usage patterns Testing user assertions against behaviors A/B testing
  99. 99. Triangle of Uncertainty Not Certain Very
 Certain Some Certainty
  100. 100. Forbidden Secret Technique!
  101. 101. Synthesis
  102. 102. @nickmcclay Thanks! UX is about making sure your software solves real problems