Fooled by best practice

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As a practice, UX is confused about what is a short cut, what is a convention, and what is a best practice. Fortunately, the process on this project revealed where all of those were broken for the target users: people with low literacy.

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Fooled by best practice

  1. 1. Fooled by best practice ! ! ! Dana Chisnell UsabilityWorks and Center for Civic Design
 dana@centerforcivicdesign.org @danachis
  2. 2. The eureka moment
  3. 3. “Choice” was the wrong choice.
  4. 4. The project of a lifetime
  5. 5. $7,000,000
  6. 6. What if anyone could vote on any device?
  7. 7. Designing for the invisible
  8. 8. Low literacy 48% of US adults linear reading literal meaning
  9. 9. Best practices Embed assistance Include illustrations Add supplemental content Prevent unintentional voting or skipping
  10. 10. 2007 2008 Started with 
 best practice
  11. 11. Rapid Estimate of Adult Literacy in Medicine REALM
  12. 12. Participants of the REALM
  13. 13. Process related research competitors design principles sketching paper prototypes digital prototypes
  14. 14. Process 33 sessions at least 3 iterations up to 20
  15. 15. The promise of “best practices”
  16. 16. Best practice: Someone else has made the mistakes already.
  17. 17. Conventions are enforced learned behavior The way things are usually done
  18. 18. Best practices v. 
 conventions ALT text 
 captions on videos
 good contrast 
 obviously clickable 
 relevant illustrations
  19. 19. Best practices v. 
 conventions scroll bar behavior 
 save as v. duplicate 
 mega menus 
 pull to refresh
 hamburger menus
  20. 20. Shortcuts (that we confuse with conventions)
  21. 21. Avoiding reinvention
  22. 22. Why “choice” was bad
  23. 23. Voting Summary deciding decided
  24. 24. Before After
  25. 25. Lessons learned
  26. 26. Before After
  27. 27. Before After
  28. 28. Before After
  29. 29. Trust the process
  30. 30. The process proved 
 the conventions 
 were broken
  31. 31. Plain interaction
  32. 32. Plain interaction The fewest, simplest steps with maximal focus on the user’s immediate next interaction.
  33. 33. “Best practice” is not enough.
  34. 34. Thank you.
  35. 35. Dana Chisnell
 Center for Civic Design and 
 dana@centerforcivicdesign.org centerforcivicdesign.org 
 
 
 @danachis
 @ChadButterfly
  36. 36. P.S. Try out a prototype of the ballot for yourself at anywhereballot.com

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