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Usability Anonymous: A 12 Step Program for Better User Experiences


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Building successful user experiences often requires an intervention. Understanding common user interface mistakes and examples of good design can help developers and make their applications more usable. We'll look at a set of principles and practises to help developers to build better, more engaging user experiences for software and web applications.

Published in: Business, Technology

Usability Anonymous: A 12 Step Program for Better User Experiences

  1. 1. Usability Anonymous A 12 Step Program for Better User Experiences <ul><li>Jay Goldman • Radiant Core, Inc. </li></ul><ul><li>David Crow • Microsoft Canada </li></ul>
  2. 3. $yourName
  3. 4. Hi! My name is $yourName , and I have a Usability Problem.
  4. 5. We write BAD code. But we do GREAT design.
  5. 6. 1• Admit You Have a Problem You are powerless to design GOOD usability alone and the user experience of your software has become unmanageable.
  6. 8. Know thy User.
  7. 9. G o o g l e This! <ul><li>Personas </li></ul><ul><li>Qualitative vs. Quantitative </li></ul><ul><li>Analytics (web or other) </li></ul><ul><li>Guerilla Usability Tactics </li></ul>
  8. 10. 2• Believe in a Power greater than yourselves (and we don't mean Jakob Nielsen)
  9. 11. David Verba, Adaptive Path • RWE 2007: Practical Design for Developers
  10. 14. Citizens Police City Homeless Police City Citizens Homeless Priority
  11. 15. 3• All this could be yours Make a decision to recognize the value of GOOD design.
  12. 16.
  13. 17. “Design is not just what it looks like and feels like. Design is how it works .” — Steve Jobs
  14. 18. 4• Make a searching and fearless inventory of your user experience shortcomings.
  15. 19. Opportunity Matrix Value Cost Effectivness
  16. 20. Stick Figures 101 Dave Gray, XPLANE
  17. 21. G o o g l e This! <ul><li>Scott McLoud, Understanding Comics </li></ul><ul><li>Kevin Chang, Creating Conceptual Comics </li></ul><ul><li>Dave Gray, XPLANE & VizThink </li></ul>
  18. 22. 5• Admit to yourselves, and to another human being, the nature of your problems.
  19. 23. “ The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results.” — Albert Einstein
  20. 24. Talk to your users!
  21. 25. 6• Be entirely ready to remove these defects of character.
  22. 30. Of the top 10 feature requests, 5 had been in Office for more than a release.
  23. 32. 7• Ask for help! It's out there.
  24. 36. G o o g l e This! <ul><li>Jenifer Tidwel, Designing Interfaces </li></ul><ul><li>, Patterns in Interaction Design </li></ul>
  25. 37. 8• Make a list of all users you've harmed, and then make their lives better.
  26. 38. Focused on Tasks (Products, Features) Objective/Quantifiable Focused on Experiences (People, Activities, Contexts) Subjective/Qualitative
  27. 39. 9• Made direct amends. Make direct amends to people wherever possible, except when to do so would injure them or others.
  28. 40.
  29. 41. 10• Continue to take a personal inventory and when you are wrong, promptly admit to it.
  30. 42. Iterative Practitioner Observe Analyze Design
  31. 43. Observe Analyze Solve Know thy User Prototype to find possible Solutions Prototype to flesh out a Solution
  32. 44. G o o g l e This! <ul><li>Card sorting </li></ul><ul><li>Affinity diagrams </li></ul><ul><li>Wireframes </li></ul><ul><li>Sketching (Bill Buxton, Sketching User Experiences ) </li></ul><ul><li>Low fidelity prototypes (paper, etc.) </li></ul><ul><li>High fidelity prototypes (software) </li></ul>
  33. 45. 11• Without users, it doesn’t matter. We’re building things for people. No people = no things.
  34. 47. 12• Pay it Forward Having had an awakening as a result of these steps, try to carry the message to other developers and to practice these principles in any projects you're involved with.
  35. 49. Thanks!