Everything you ever wanted to know about UX (*but were afraid to ask)
Everything you ever wanted to know about UX (*but were afraid to ask) Andrew Hinton | @inkblurt Patrick T Quattlebaum | @ptquattlebaumAndrew and I have been in town attending the IA Summit, which is an annual gathering ofinformation architects and other UX professionals from around the world. It is a verypassionate community of practitioners and leaders who have a lot of value to addorganizations, and our goal tonight is to give you some insights into how we think about theproblem space we and BAs work within in, as well as some thoughts about how we canbetter partner to do great work.
A questionFirst, a quick question. When I say “user experience”, what are some of the first words orphrases that come to mind?
#uxbaA couple of years ago I asked Macquarium employees to define “User Experience” and“User Experience by Macquarium”. (Note some of the unique brand attributes).Note “Design” is at the center, and this is the term that most UX professionals would say is atthe heart of what we do. However, many UX professionals define “Design” differently thanyou may think.
#uxba source:http://wpedia.goo.ne.jp/enwiki/Release_ManagementDesign is often defined as a step in an SDLC that occurs between solution definition andimplementation. In this definition, user experience is associated with the user interface, lookand feel, usability and aesthetics.
“Most people make the mistake of thinking design is what it looks like... People think it’s this veneer—that the designers are handed this box and told, ‘Make it look good!’ That’s not what we think design is. It’s not just what it looks like and feels like. Design is how it works.” Steve Jobs in Design Is How It Works: How the Smartest Companies Turn Products into Icons #uxbaUser experience and design are much broader than that definition, however. As Steve Jobsnotes in this quote, design is concerned with the entirety of a product or service, how itworks inside and out. It is the process, not a part of the process.
#uxbaAn example of UX design is the Kindle, which encompasses not just UI or even the formfactor of the device, but the design of the entire experience around the activity of reading.That includes finding, purchasing, reading, annotating, and lending texts across numerousdevices and different contexts. Designing the Kindle product to be seamless and pleasurabletakes great skill and approaching the problem not as a collection technologies and features,but a holistic experience.
UX The accumulation of the interactions a person has with a product or service. #uxbaSo, when I talk about UX in this presentation, my frame of reference is that UX is theaccumulation of the interactions a person has with a product or service, that design is theprocess, not a step, and that the role of UX practitioners is to help craft that experience fromday 1 in the process.
"We taught them about yacht design so they could participate in the design." #uxbaA different approach:I don’t know how many of you are familiar with the America’s Cup, but it is the premier racein sailing similar to the World Cup in soccer. For over 100 years, the country of New Zealandhad participated in the cup but had never won. In 1993, designers Doug Peterson and LaurieDavidson were given the opportunity to design the boat for the 1995 cup. Traditionally, therehad been little interaction between the designers of boats and those who raced them, butPeterson and Davidson decided to take a different approach, collaborating closely with thecrew to design every element of the boat. The involvement of the crew lead the team torefinements in the design that were not innovative in terms of new technologies but in howthey approached using existing approaches. The final product - Black Magic - was dubbed bythe press as “unusually fast” and resulted in New Zealand not only winning the 95 cup, butalso the successful defense of the cup in 2000.
The system shall... #uxbaThe Black Magic is an example of focusing more on people in design process. Too much of ourindustryʼs work focuses on the systems we develop instead of starting with the experiences wewant to create for people that technologies help us deliver.
#uxba source: http://www.theaeonsolution.com/security/?p=190Historically, users and how they behave has been considered very late, if at all, in manySDLCs. Thereʼs the old joke that issues with a system are a training issue.
#uxba source: cruciality.wordpress.com/category/humour/Many UX professionals think of our work as deeply humanistic. This means thinking about theneeds of users early and often, as well as the effect of technologies on human behavior.
UX emphasizes people psychology behavior culture context Cognitive Psychology and its Implications #uxbaMany of the methods UX professionals use, therefore, are about getting to the root of userbehavior and the context in which the products and services we designed will be used. This isthe more “scientiﬁc” side of UX that is blended with the “art” most people associate with userexperience design.Emphasizing human needs and behaviors means thinking about how people interact withcompanies, products and services more deeply than at a functional level. User experiencedesign is about creating enduring relationship between companies and people, objects andpeople, and people with other people. This is as emotional as it is functional. Understandingwhat makes people tick is necessary to design and maintain these relationships.
Empathy #uxbaThere are many schools of thought, such as user-centered design or design thinking, thatshare this focus. Empathy is a common goal of these philosophies and processes as theystress the importance of understanding who we are designing for and bringing those insights inthe design process.
“We’re here to make things that improve people’s lives. In doing so, our companies profit in both senses of the word... We should judge our industry by the happiness we create.” Cennydd Bowles, The fall and rise of user experience#uxba
#uxba source: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2lXh2n0aPywI love this example of smart experience design. A few things to note:1. The results are measurable (and impressive)2. The solution taps into a fundamental human behavior: play3. The solution uses a familiar pattern that communicates how it works immediatelyYou can see the video here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2lXh2n0aPyw
#uxba source: http://uxbooth.s3.amazonaws.com/wp-content/uploads/2010/03/05UXBooth_Goliath2.pngSay we want to build a product. A typical process would elicit requirements from businessstakeholders, looking at the competitive landscape, and marketing research. The IT team ortechnology partner might also provide a list of the features that can be built given the projectconstraints, such as budget or available technology. The BA is left with quite a long list andthe project team is facing the realities of time and budget. What features do you build? Howdo you sequence these features in releases?
#uxba source: Jared Spool, User Interface EngineeringAn example of “featuritis”.
#uxba source: http://www.pragmaticmarketing.com/publications/magazine/7/4/the-freemium-business-model-and-viral-product-management/Often, less is more. Features that map to core user needs and deliver business value is thesweet spot.
Market User Design Research Research Research Analytics Behavioral (what people do) Analytics Review Ethnography Split of Multivariate Testing Contextual Inquiry Lab Usability Testing Diary Studies Quantitative Qualitative Card Sorting Demographic Studies Intercept Surveys Desirability Tests User Interviews Surveys Focus Groups Attitudinal (what people say) #uxbaThere are numerous methods available to us in the UX toolkit for eliciting user requirements.Each has its strengths and relative budgetary impact. Some are quantitative and some arequalitative. The key is to get data from as many sources that you can to paint a completepicture of your user segments.
http://flickr.com/photos/spcoon/1606694538/ User interviews Conduct one-on-one or group interviews to explore, uncover and understand issues and opportunities facing users. #uxbaThe method we use most consistently in our research is interviewing. This method is quickand, when done well, precise in understanding the psychology behind user behavior andwhat users need to perform their work more efficiently and satisfyingly. Interviews focus onuser goals, tasks, needs and expectations.
http://flickr.com/photos/podtech/398080624/ Contextual inquiry and observation Observing users in the context of use can provide invaluable insight into what affects user behavior and can provide realistic scenarios to drive more effective design solutions. #uxbaWe often augment user interviews with contextual inquiry or similar techniques that explorethe context of use. While user interviews can be performed in a conference room or over thephone, contextual inquiry is performed where the target audience will use the product orapplication being designed. We recently used this method in helping a major hospital inChicago move from a page-based intranet to a role-based portal. During the planning andstrategy phase of the project, we interviewed dozens of employees to understand theirneeds and those of their peers in their role. Hospitals are complex environments, and howdifferent roles interact with technology varies greatly. So, we spent a lot of time studying thewhere different roles would use the intranet and how it fit into their daily routine. We metwith administrators in their offices, nurses in the ICU, followed doctors on their rounds. Ineach case, we saw challenges and opportunities for improving the requirements and designof the portal so it would support the employees. This insight gave us more confidence in ourdesign decisions.
Filling in the gaps about the users Field research provides insights into context of use that typical requirements elicitation does not provide. #uxbaHere’s an example from a recent project. What is great about this clip is that you can literallyhear how hectic her workplace is and she was constantly interrupted during our interviewwith little emergencies.This clip discusses her concerns about saving money through conserving product (food) andtraining her employees constantly. During the interviews, we learned that this audience hada universal set of concerns.
#uxba source: http-//www.blogcdn.com/www.kitchendaily.com/media/2010/02/cooking-without-measuring-456In Design Is How It Works: How the Smartest Companies Turn Products into Icons, theauthor gives a great example of design innovation. If you think about measuring cups, theyhave not changed much in decades.
#uxba source: http-//houseoffraser.scene7.com/is/image/HOF/I_107848688_00_20081211OXO, however, came up with an innovative design by watching people use measuring cups.They noticed that they were bending over constantly and looking sideways at the cup asthey filled it - an awkward position that puts strain on the back and neck.
#uxba source:http-//www.abetterbagofgroceries.com/wp-content/uploads/2010/04/OXO-measure-cup-from-top.jpgThis observation lead to the design in this slide, in which the markings on the cup can beviewed while standing over the cup and looking down. An obvious solution once you havethe right lens to find it with - the user lens.
#uxba source: http://www.emeraldinsight.com/content_images/ﬁg/2880300205002.pngTrue solution alignment requires an understanding of user needs and goals.