User Experience

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What I\'ve learned about User Experience while I\'ve been working with Drupal

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User Experience

  1. 1. User Experience What I’ve learned over the past couple of years.
  2. 2. What Have I Done? <ul><li>Views </li></ul><ul><li>Panels </li></ul><ul><li>Nodequeue </li></ul><ul><li>Advanced Help </li></ul><ul><li>User Titles </li></ul><ul><li>Delicious </li></ul><ul><li>Node access Arbitrator </li></ul><ul><li>Paging </li></ul><ul><li>DHTML Menu </li></ul><ul><li>Taxonomy Redirect </li></ul><ul><li>Taxonomy Lineage </li></ul><ul><li>Forum Access </li></ul><ul><li>ACL </li></ul><ul><li>LiveJournal Crossposter </li></ul><ul><li>Dashboard </li></ul><ul><li>Masquerade </li></ul><ul><li>Update Status </li></ul><ul><li>D6 Theme System </li></ul>
  3. 3. Makes Kittens Cry
  4. 4. Just Makes Me Cry
  5. 5. Developers bad at UI? <ul><li>Sorry, I don’t buy it. </li></ul><ul><li>Modular systems have trouble with Big Picture. </li></ul><ul><li>Lack of time. </li></ul><ul><li>Good UI is a lot of work. </li></ul><ul><li>Tools not there / available. </li></ul><ul><li>Browsers have limited, rigid capabilities. </li></ul><ul><li>Sometimes UI just isn’t the priority. </li></ul><ul><li>Developers tend to be focused on functionality. </li></ul><ul><li>Developers often only focus on a single user target. </li></ul>
  6. 6. Who is the actor? <ul><li>Site Builder </li></ul><ul><ul><li>First time site builder </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Experienced site builder </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Site Administrator </li></ul><ul><li>Site User </li></ul>
  7. 7. Site Builder <ul><li>CCK, Views, Panels, Block, Menu, Theming </li></ul><ul><li>First experience with Drupal </li></ul><ul><li>Less important once a site is up and running </li></ul><ul><li>Knowledge level varied </li></ul><ul><ul><li>The more accessible Drupal gets, the less knowledge the average site builder has. </li></ul></ul>
  8. 8. Site Administrator <ul><li>Content organization, User Management, Complex content creation </li></ul><ul><li>Very important for long term sites! </li></ul><ul><li>Administrators are much less knowledgable than Builders </li></ul><ul><li>Very important to find content </li></ul><ul><li>Very important to summarize activity </li></ul>
  9. 9. Site User <ul><li>Content consumption, simple content creation, such as forums, blog posts, etc. </li></ul><ul><li>Generally more focused on consuming information than creating it. </li></ul><ul><li>This is more the focus of the overall site design, layout and navigation tree. </li></ul>
  10. 10. Focus <ul><li>Currently, we focus on the site builder , and let the builder focus on the site user. </li></ul><ul><li>Does the site administrator get shafted here? </li></ul><ul><li>Focus on the new site builder can steal functionality from the experienced site builder. </li></ul><ul><li>Conversely, focus on the experienced site builder can confuse the new site builder. </li></ul>
  11. 11. Process of Using a UI <ul><li>See it </li></ul><ul><li>Experiment with it </li></ul><ul><li>Do something with it </li></ul>
  12. 12. Seeing is Understanding <ul><li>Organization Matters!!! </li></ul><ul><li>The most important pieces of the UI should draw the eye </li></ul><ul><li>Logical progression to next most important piece </li></ul><ul><li>Grouping similar or related items helps build a memory map </li></ul><ul><li>Build on associations </li></ul>
  13. 13. Learned from a Remote Control
  14. 14. Information Accessibility <ul><li>Windows method </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Hide everything </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Unix method </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Optimize for speed </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Difficult to learn </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Expert mode </li></ul><ul><ul><li>This is a sign of failure, up front </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Not too much </li></ul><ul><li>Not too little </li></ul><ul><li>Easily find more – Don’t hide, prioritize </li></ul><ul><li>Provide feedback after operations </li></ul>
  15. 15. Use Existing Assumptions <ul><li>Links to Administer a Thing near a Thing </li></ul><ul><li>Train the user. Let the user know this. </li></ul><ul><li>Use digestible bites – control the stream of information. </li></ul><ul><li>Show the important stuff up front. Create paths to related information. </li></ul><ul><li>There does not have to be just one way to get somewhere! </li></ul><ul><li>If you re-use a pattern, users will learn this and your life becomes easier. </li></ul>
  16. 16. Pitfalls to Avoid <ul><li>Put everything on just one form. Yes this is hard to avoid. </li></ul><ul><li>Forms that don’t show their results. Preview!!! </li></ul><ul><li>Browsers are weak with unsaved form data; don’t make the user leave the page unless you’re prepared. </li></ul>
  17. 17. Conclusion <ul><li>Know who the actors are and cater to them. </li></ul><ul><li>Understand how people see an interface and design visually. </li></ul><ul><li>Strive to keep the information accessible. </li></ul><ul><li>Take advantage of existing assumptions. </li></ul>

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