Why usability problems go unfixed - UX Bristol 2012


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Caroline Jarrett and Francis Rowland ran a workshop at UX Bristol 2012, on the subject of why usability issues go unfixed.

The participants brainstormed tactics that we as UX professionals could use to get those issues fixed.

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  • CHI 2010 Caroline Jarrett     
  • CHI 2010 Caroline Jarrett     
  • CHI 2010 Caroline Jarrett     
  • CHI 2010 Caroline Jarrett     
  • Why usability problems go unfixed - UX Bristol 2012

    1. 1. Why dousability problemsgo unfixed?Caroline Jarrett and Francis RowlandUXBristol 2012
    2. 2. Thanks to Steve Krug “But the light bulb has to want to change” Why do the most serious usability problems we uncover often go unfixed? http://www.slideshare.net/SteveKrug/upa-lightbulb
    3. 3. We are Caroline and Francis Caroline Francis What do you do? UX consultant, mostly UX designer, working with the Open background in web University design and science OK but what do you Work on big complex Help scientists share love to do ? complicated worthy data and knowledge in things. (But my real useful, usable ways favourite: tax forms) What’s your motto? “What’s the scope for “What problem are you change?” trying to solve?” What got you into this Change in big complex Usability issues can get ‘light bulb’ thing? complicated worthy buried under “everything organisations never else we have to do”. happens as quickly as I’d like it to 3
    4. 4. Who are you? You Your neighbour What do you do? OK but what do you love to do ? What’s your motto? What got you into this ‘light bulb’ thing? 4
    5. 5. What we’re going to do in this workshop 5
    6. 6. We’ll share a story… 6
    7. 7. You work hard to find serious usability problems I can’t find out where I sign in 7Image credit: infodesign.com.au
    8. 8. You present your findings to the client/team This video clip shows…… 8Image credit: Caroline Jarrett
    9. 9. They love your findings and recommendations That’s exactly what we needed to know! 9Image credit: Caroline Jarrett
    10. 10. Everyone agrees on the changes We know what we have to do and we’re going to do it 10Image credit: Caroline Jarrett
    11. 11. Months/years later, the same problems still exist If only I could find out where to sign in… 11Image credit: infodesign.com.au
    12. 12. Gather someexample s  If this has happened to you, share your story with your neighbour - If it has never happened to you, give your neighbour a chance to share two examples. Or more. 12
    13. 13. Steve and Carolinedid a survey 13
    14. 14. 14
    15. 15. We asked people why it happened (12 options) 15
    16. 16. Delve Which one do you think into why is most frequent? Not enough time  Conflicted with decision Too much else to do makers belief or opinion Not enough resources  No effective decision maker Required too big a change  Disagreements emerged to a business process later Technical team said it  Deferred until next major couldnt be done update/redesign Team did not have enough  Other events intervened power to make it happen before change could happen  Legal department objected 16
    17. 17. Most people chose lots of reasons “I could have checked off just about every one of these. Was this survey written just for me?” 17
    18. 18. Steve and Caroline’s picks for most frequent  Not enough time  Too much else to do Steve  Not enough resources  Required too big a change to a business process  Technical team said it couldnt be done  Team did not have enough power to make it happen  Conflicted with decision makers belief or opinion  No effective decision maker  Disagreements emerged later Caroline  Deferred until next major update/redesign  Other events intervened before change could happen  Legal department objected 18
    19. 19. We underestimated the politics Number of times this reason was chosen
    20. 20. So, what can we do? 20
    21. 21. The four stages of usability problem discovery  Prepare  Test  Report  Act Image credit: Francis Rowland 21
    22. 22. Work on tactical 3-12-3 activity solutions overview03 minutes Individually Lots of ideas12 minutes Team Pool, group, turn into tactics03 minutes Spokesperson Present ideas to the workshop 22
    23. 23. Work on tactical 3 minutessolutions Individual Politics Not enough time / resources Leave it until redesign Too small / not important Technical problems Conflict (in-team; with managers) 23
    24. 24. Work on tactical 12 minutessolutions Team Pool those ideas Group them: any themes? Turn them into tactics 24
    25. 25. Work on tactical Share and 3 minutessolutions report Spokesperson Tell us all about the results 25
    26. 26. Ideas from our surveyrespondents – in themes 26
    27. 27. Theme: Do nothing  Accept the situation ► “Sometimes recommendations dont get realized.” ► “Clients don’t have to follow our advice” ► “Ill chant some Oms” Image credit: shutterstock.com 27
    28. 28. Theme: Choose better clients or a better job  “Become more efficient at choosing who I accept as clients”  “Work for a company that gave a fig about UX” Image credit: shutterstock.com 28
    29. 29. Theme: Do basic UX better  Do testing earlier  Make stakeholders watch the sessions  Present results better ► More explanations ► Use video clips 29
    30. 30. Theme: Think about the impact on developers  “redefine problem as interaction bug”  “have a role in the implementation team”  “don’t spring surprises on them” Image credit: Effortmark Ltd 30
    31. 31. Theme: Get better at politics  Get decision-maker support  Understand priorities  “Get more buy-in. Explain changes to a sponsor. Argue the case. Make it harder to NOT do the change”. 31
    32. 32. Steve’s recipe(greatly shortened) * :Fly under the radar*For the full version, please seehttp://www.slideshare.net/SteveKrug/upa-lightbulb 32
    33. 33. Don’t try to convince everybody Mr. Big Higher-ups Stakeholders Your Other bosses boss he depends on Your team 33 You Image credit: Steve Krug
    34. 34. Ideally… Mr. Big Higher-ups Stakeholders Your Other bosses boss he depends on Your team 34 You Image credit: Steve Krug
    35. 35. i.e., the people you can get in an observation room 35 Image credit: Steve Krug
    36. 36. Keep them focused on the worst problems Focus ruthlessly on a small number of the most important problems. 36
    37. 37. Tweak, don’t redesign When fixing problems, always do the least you can do™. © 2001 Steve Krug
    38. 38. Caroline responds…about the mostimportant problem 38
    39. 39. Eat now, eat soon, or eat an elephant? 39
    40. 40. Sometimes teams need a success experience 40
    41. 41. Sometimes users have a different perspective 41
    42. 42. We have different ideas about rewards 42
    43. 43. Look for success in everybody’s terms 43 Image credit: Francis Rowland
    44. 44. Don’t call their baby ugly, let them learn it’s ugly 44
    45. 45. And Francis hassuggestions 45
    46. 46. You’re not ready for love (or usability testing)  Is your organisation ready for this? How much buy-in is there? How much can you realistically get done? Are people ready to act on what you find? Image credit: Renato Feijó – Planning your UX strategy See also presentations and articles from Michele Ide-Smith and Tomer Sharon 46
    47. 47. Report through the accepted channels  Helpdesk, bug-tracking, post-its on a whiteboard… Use whatever works best for the team… make it visible and actionable 47
    48. 48. Focus on what really matters to users  Designing with personas and scenarios Put usability issues in context. If you’ve used personas, scenarios, user journeys, etc. in the project, refer back to them. Image credit: Francis Rowland 48
    49. 49. Find fun ways to attack problems Stay involved. Help with  Be there prioritising and problem-solving. We  Use games don’t want to just “throw things over the wall”. You probably have some tricks up your sleeve for how to help break down problems and find solutions. Use them. Image credit: http://innovationgames.com/impact-effort-matrix/ 49
    50. 50. That light bulb reference Q: How many psychiatrists does it take to change a light bulb? A: Only one, but the light bulb has to want to change Image credit: shutterstock.com 50
    51. 51. Your turn  Questions, comments, requests for a refund? 51
    52. 52. Caroline Jarrett Francis RowlandTwitter @cjforms Twitter @francisrowlandcarolinej@effortmark.co.uk LinkedIn francisrowland I have 2 pages in here! … coming October 2012 52
    53. 53. For the longer version of this presentation http://www.slideshare.net/cjforms http://www.slideshare.net/SteveKrug 53