User Experience: Why and How


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  • Have you had a similar experience with the computer lately? Keep your hands raised if you’ve felt like punching the computer screen or smashing your phone! Yep, it’s all too common! Ladies and gentleman, my name is Nirish. And I’m Dan. And we’re people who try to make sure you don’t have to punch your screen or smash your phone. They call us user experience consultants.
  • I’m sure you’ve seen the unusable tea-pot on Don Norman famous book ‘The Design of Everyday Things’.
  • And too often, we come across these doors which we’re not sure whether we’re meant to push or pull.
  • And then there are website menus that try to confuse you random icons.
  • Don’t we all love these??
  • Don’t we all love these??
  • Don’t we all love these??
  • And some are just so bad that they’re good…to make fun of! We’ve all seen this infamous homepage of a computer store. To my surprise, they recently revamped their website…
  • And made it even more confusing!.... GO TO SYDNEY WATER SITE!
  • On the other hand, they are some satisfying user experiences as well. For example, the new Chrome browser lets you do a google search straight from the URL textbox without having to go to the google page.
  • Some make it really clear what you can do on the page.
  • Others make the experience a bit more memorable.
  • This is true with any product, not just software products. You buy a glass a beer, not for the beer itself, but for the experience it gives you. This is especially valid in software because the customer cannot touch or feel the product. They can only experience it.
  • UX is important because we all have a customer.
  • User experience is made up of a variety of relevant fields. While Usability is still the most prominent (and provides a good framework for what we do) it is important that other factors are taken into consideration. It doesn’t matter if it works if the marketing team has told them something different. The video might be great, but most of your users are still on dial-up. These are the issues that we try to uncover.
  • Accessibility: Will colour blind people be able to use the colour coded map? Content: the right information at the right time? IA: general public users vs large corporate clients. Are their needs different? Functionality: does the site or application deliver the tools to fulfil a user’s needs? Platform: What is the experience like on a mobile phone on a crowded bus. User interface: Does the site using conventions?
  • I did my undergrad in IT.
  • And for a lot of our programming subjects, we had to draw these entity-relationship diagrams to show the relationship between different entities involved with the system. But the closest we ever came to meeting the user was this box called ‘Driver’.
  • Or stick figures.
  • I don’t remember actually meeting this elusive user that kept appearing in all our diagrams. After 3 and half years of hard work, I graduated I got a job as a programmer. But I found that a lot of the projects I worked on looked a bit like…
  • …the famous tree swing cartoon. [END]We used to develop these really cool industrial navigation and job dispatch applications for technician vans and security cars. We knew they were used by drivers but we didn’t know whether it was used by
  • Elderly drivers who had difficulty with their visions or
  • People who hated technology. We didn’t know.
  • We only thought in code. It was all about getting the requirements coded and shipped.
  • After years of hard work, we came up with this. But we started receiving a lot of complaints from people who found the application difficult to use. Are you kidding me? It’s easy! So we did what every engineer knows how to do.
  • We wrote a user manual with all the detailed instructions and pretty screenshots. But the there was one problem – no one read the user manual.
  • Life was imitating these Dilbert cartoons. If it couldn’t be solved by user manuals or tech support, just pretend nothing happened. After all, ignorance is bliss, isn’t it?
  • Not anymore. Have you heard the Google Ngram viewer? Using this, you can visualise the rise and fall of keyword across 5 million books and 500 years. As you can see, the keyword ‘user experience’ is trending up.
  • Whereas, the keyword ‘software engineering’ is trending down. But that doesn’t mean that software engineering is any less popular than it used to. It just means that people’s expectation of a satisfying user experience is going up. Now, technology has become something that’s taken for granted. It’s like 60 years ago, owning a TV was the coolest thing in the world. Now, owning a TV is like owning a pair of undies. Everyone’s expected to have at least one. Now people want something more than just the fastest hardware or the most-efficient algorithm.
  • So why is UX getting so popular? Well, obviously it has some benefits.
  • UX guru, Jared Spool, talks about the $300 million button. A big e-commerce company approached him to find out why customers were dropping out in the middle of the checkout process. Spool conducted some usability testing on the site. And found that the site was making the user …
  • ..register before they could make the purchase. He found that a lot of people did not want to register.
  • How many times have you seen these shopping sites which force you to register for an account when all you wanna do is pay for the thing and get the hell outta there? And if you look at the fields you need to fill in to register, it’s actually information you have to put in anyways when you checkout. So why make it look like it’s an additional step in the process when the customer is already in a rush.
  • Hence, now we’re starting to see more and more e-commerce sites that allow customers to checkout without registering for an account. Some others let you register while you checkout.
  • Now who here doesn’t want that? If we can save our customers or users time, that’s good for their business, which in turn in good for ours. But unfortunately, you see a lot of sites out there that love to play a game of cat and mouse and send you on a treasure hunt around the site.
  • This visualisation here is called a gazeplot and it shows the flow of my gaze on the page. As you can see, I had to scan the entire length of the page to find the online-check in function that was meant to be the most important function on the page.
  • This is another culprit when it comes to lost productivity. On the older version of the Transport Infoline website, when you click on the address boxes to type your own address,
  • The instructional text stays there and you have to delete the text yourself. Now, I timed myself deleting all that text from those 4 textboxes.
  • And it took me 19 seconds in total. Not let’s say the Transport Infoline gets around 1000 visitors in a day searching for public transport routes. That’s 190000 seconds, which is 13 hours per day which totals to 197 days of productivity lost in a year which the NSW government owes us!
  • Good user experience makes our customers happier and when they’re happy, they want to use our products more and more.
  • Do you remember these super-fancy smartphones running on Windows Mobile? They were so fancy, they even came with a magic wand! But unfortunately, for them and for a lot of other phones, this happened. In terms of the technical specs, they didn’t have much between them. In fact, I would say a lot of the other phones had better hardware and processing power. But people just felt good using these phones. Whether you were a techie or a grandma, you could just pick up one of these phones and enjoy using them. Now I’m not a marketing guy and I’m not here to talk about all the marketing that goes into Apple products, but there’s no denying that they offer a much superior user experience than other comparable products out there and that’s the main reason now you see most people on the Cityrail trains playing with their iPhones and no one with a Windows Mobile phone.
  • THE UCD or user centered design processInvolves research, concepts and testing with users.It can be an ongoing process which has touch points with users throughout the life cycle of the project.
  • Who is your user?
  • Who is your “User”? What is their environment like? What do they know about the system?
  • Is it a novice user who just wants to enjoy some of their personal music collection on the way to work and wants the simplest device to use?
  • Or is a full-blown expert or a professional who needs more power and is prepared to learn the complexities that comes with the power?
  • After you figured out why you’re designing or redesigning something, next step to understand in what context your users will be using the system.
  • As the famous saying goes, ‘If we try to be everything to everyone, then we become nothing.’ So we need to understand how our systems are going to be used by what kind of people.
  • Context—The user’s actual workplace. Watches users do their own work tasks and discusses any artefactsStep-by-stepre-tellings of specific past events when they are relevant to the project focus.Confirmyour interpretations and insights with the user during the interview. The user may expand or correct the researcher’s understanding.
  • Context—The user’s actual workplace. Watches users do their own work tasks and discusses any artefactsStep-by-stepre-tellings of specific past events when they are relevant to the project focus.Confirmyour interpretations and insights with the user during the interview. The user may expand or correct the researcher’s understanding.
  • Descriptive profiles of users, summarising their needs and motivations. They help to force a focus on user needs by putting a ‘human face’ end users.Make 1 per user type.
  • Use what you know from other researchProduce scenariosPredict issues arising
  • Who is your user?
  • Who is your user?
  • Explore ideas and iterate on conceptsQuickly and easily Don’t createdetailed mockups, just ideasConceive and predict the consequences of certain design arguments
  • Whether you have a bunch of paper prototypes, or HTML prototype or a full-blown website. Better early than late and better late than never.
  • Ask someone to do something on your product. You can grab someone at their desk or meet them at a coffee shop. As long as you have a comfortable space and the stimulusA lot of people will do it as a favour. Or you can just buy them coffee.Avoid designers & engineers
  • Ask someone to do something on your product. You can grab someone at their desk or meet them at a coffee shop. As long as you have a comfortable space and the stimulusA lot of people will do it as a favour. Or you can just buy them coffee.Avoid designers & engineers
  • Ask them to do a task. E.g. download a video / buy a pair of shoes. Watch and ask them open-ended questions ‘What are you looking for?’ or ‘What’s behind that button?’. 5-6 people generates 70-80% usability issues.
  • Evaluate a product by testing it on target users.Measuring a product's capacity to perform it’s intended purposeUse 6-8 people (per cell) to uncover the majority of issues.Start with context of use, then initial reactions, a set of tasks and closing thoughts.Ideally you have a lab & recording software, and participants are incentivised for their time.
  • If you follow an agile methodology, such as Scrum, you can do this kind of hallway testing towards at end of the sprint. Test in the morning, report in the afternoon. The returns you will get from that 1 day of testing will be several times the investment.
  • Make your ideas come to life – easily and cheaplyAn early sample modelA prototype is designed to test and trial a new design
  • User Experience: Why and How

    1. 1. User Experience (UX)Why and howJames Breeze Nirish ShakyaChief Experience Officer User Experience Consultant
    2. 2.
    3. 3. More like extremenavigation?
    4. 4. Customers don’t pay for the productThey pay for the satisfying experience
    5. 5. UX mattersBecause everyone has a customer!
    6. 6. What is UX?Not just usability
    7. 7.
    8. 8. What elements matter to us?
    9. 9. My good ol’ pre-UX days
    10. 10. 2 Driver
    11. 11. s
    12. 12. ? ? UserUser
    13. 13. How the How the How the businessHow the customer How the analyst project leader programmer consultant explained it designed it understood it wrote it described itHow the project What operations How the customer How it was What the customerwas documented installed was billed supported really wanted
    14. 14.
    15. 15. requirements = GetRequirements();for (int i = 0; i < requirements.Count; i++){ CodeRequirement(requirements[i]); TestRequirement(requirements[i]); DeployRequirement(requirements[i]);}if (budget > expectations && client == happy) Celebrate();else PassTheBuck(buck);
    16. 16. Theusermanual
    17. 17. User manual Tech support Ignorance is bliss!
    18. 18. RO(UX)IThe benefits
    19. 19. Good UXIncreases sales
    20. 20. The $300 million button - Jared Spool, User Interface Engineering
    21. 21. Register before you buy
    22. 22. Good UXIncreases productivity
    23. 23. 19 seconds X 1000 visitors per day= 19000 seconds per day= 5 hours per day= 76 days per year!
    24. 24. Good UX= happier (and loyal) customers
    25. 25. User-Centred Design ProcessThe techniques
    26. 26. ? ? UserWho is the user?
    27. 27. Who is your user?
    28. 28.
    29. 29. Context is king
    30. 30. Know yourusers and theircontext
    31. 31. Focus groups
    32. 32. My mobile banking in a typicalweek - Sample responses 54
    33. 33. Observation
    34. 34. Call Centre Terminal
    35. 35. Call Centre Terminal RedesignCase Study• Challenges: – Difficult to navigate – Difficult to find things – Operator has to remember too many things – Easy to make mistakes – Customers are not forgiving – Steep learning curve – Long training times – Stressful environment for the operators – High staff turnover
    36. 36. Call Centre Terminal RedesignCase Study• Redesign methodology – Stakeholder interviews – Contextual inquiry – Design sessions with stakeholders – High-level wireframes • Daily hallway testing – Detailed wireframes • Weekly hallway testing – Usability testing
    37. 37. Call Centre Terminal RedesignCase Study• Outcomes (so far) – More streamlined navigation – Less mental load on the operator to find and remember things – Balance between • learnability (for novice users) • efficiency (for expert users)• Expected future outcomes – Reduced training times – Reduced staff turnover – Less stress for the operators – Faster transactions for the customers
    38. 38. Personas
    39. 39. Personas
    40. 40. Scenarios
    41. 41. ? ? UserHow should content be organised?
    42. 42. Information architectureNext-gen mobile banking solution for a major bank
    43. 43. Next-gen mobile banking solution for a major bankCase Study• Challenges: – Disintegrated mobile banking components – Information structure not logical – Lack of funds for an app for every platform – Lack of a common vision – Difficulty in getting buy-in from board
    44. 44. Next-gen mobile banking solution for a major bankCase Study• Redesign methodology – Stakeholder interviews – Focus group with end-users – Design sessions with stakeholders – High-level wireframes
    45. 45. Next-gen mobile banking solution for a major bankCase Study• Outcomes – Integrated approach to mobile banking – Logical information architecture and improved findability – Platform-agnostic mobile site – Shared vision of the expected system
    46. 46. ? ? UserHow should it work?
    47. 47. Sketching
    48. 48. Design sessions: Call centre system redesign
    49. 49.
    50. 50. Detailed wireframesSAI Global Financial System
    51. 51. ? ? UserDoes it work?
    52. 52. Hallway testingAMP Sharepoint Intranet Redesign
    53. 53. Hallway testingAMP Sharepoint Intranet Redesign
    54. 54. “You want to find the contact detailsof the key contact within the FinanceTeam.
    55. 55. Hallway testingFindings
    56. 56. Usability testing
    57. 57. Usability testing findingsTGA Database of Adverse Events Notifications
    58. 58. Usability testing findingsTGA Database of Adverse Events Notifications
    59. 59. Usability testing findingsTGA Database of Adverse Events Notifications
    60. 60. Usability testing findingsTGA Database of Adverse Events Notifications
    61. 61. UX testing in agile Daily scrum meeting Hallway Usabilit testing ytesting
    62. 62. Tools & Resources
    63. 63. Prototyping tools Learning curve Pen & paper Interactivity
    64. 64. Skills required Technology 10% Compassion & Patience empathy 10% 25% Others 10% Design Psychology, sociol 15% ogy, anthropology 15% Business acumen 15%
    65. 65. EyetrackingTobii T60, T120, T60XL Tobii TX300 Tobii X60 and X120 Tobii Glasses Tobii X1 Light Used to test images on a Used to test images on a Used to test large images Used to test in real life Portable light weight computer screen. screen, at high speed e.g. shelf layouts. situations e.g. shopping. eye tracker, which snaps (300Hz). laptops and kiosks.Visit for more information
    66. 66. Eyetracking outputs
    67. 67. Trends in UX
    68. 68. Trends
    69. 69. Responsive designMitsubishi Motors consumer website
    70. 70. Recap• Bad vs good UX• (Very) brief intro to UX• Benefits of UX• User-centred design methodology• Case studies• Skills required• Tools• Trends
    71. 71. Say hello! James Breeze Nirish Shakya Chief Experience Officer User Experience Consultant 0410 410 494 0431 170 608 @NirishShakya @NirishShakya 301/15 Lime Street King Street Wharf Sydney NSW 2000