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DIY UX
Give Your Users
an Upgrade
(Without Calling In a Pro)



    Whitney Hess
    whitney@whitneyhess.com
          @whitneyhess
     http://whitneyhess.com
Hi, I’m Whitney Hess

 User Experience Designer
        Consultant
        New Yorker


      @whitneyhess
ﬔisIsIndexed.com
You
     are a
user experience
   designer
Shawn Liu & Danny Wen
Founders
Iridesco
New York, NY
http://getharvest.com
Design research
 Web analytics
Usability testing
Experimentation
  & iteration
Design
  research
What do our users actually need?
Footer
Kaizen   means “continuous improvement” in Japanese
Kaizen   means “continuous improvement” in Japanese
http://iridesco.wufoo.com/forms/harvest-survey/
“We don’t just want to
  patch; we want to
  address the core
      problem.”
        – Iridesco
“Customers love to tell
 you their workflow.”
         – Iridesco
Design Research
Make it easy for customers to
reach you

Log their requests & use them to
prioritize new features

Dig deeper to discover the
underlying problems

Keep in touch
For more on design research...



                 Observing the
                 User Experience

                 Mike Kuniavsky
Web
   analytics
What are our users actually doing?
“We don’t believe in
              data-driven design,
             but data doesn’t lie .”
                                 *


                      – Iridesco



* Sometimes it does
One month of visits



   Mon        Mon     Mon        Mon




             Highest usage at
             beginning of week
             Dropoffs on weekends
             Somewhat lower
             usage mid-month
Crazyegg.com
Crazyegg.com
Google Website Optimizer


   Same exact page with three
   different Free Trial buttons

   Found green and blue buttons
   performed much better than
   muted gray button

   10% improvement in trial
   acquisition over two buttons
   (Learn More and Free Trial)
Matthew Marco
Visual Designer
House of Representatives
Washington, D.C.
Chief Administrative Officer ->
  House Information Resources ->
CAO Advanced Business Solutions ->
       Web Solutions Branch
House.gov
97 most frequent queries on House.gov
and top 10 results of each
97 most frequent queries on House.gov
and top 10 results of each
Queries are, in fact, case-sensitive.
             “Nancy Pelosi” and “nancy pelosi” produce
             different quantities of results
             ﬔe Pell Grant Underfunding PDF by the
             Oversight Committee appears in the top-ten
             results of most state searches; more relevant
             than any member-generated page in Colorado,
             Missouri, North Carolina, and Texas
             ﬔere is no apparent weight given to the title of a
             document. Untitled documents are not subdued
             in the results


http://www.matthewtmarco.com/studies/2007/pathetic-to-absurd-to-disheartening-in-97-queries/
Sunday, September 28, 2008
1347 bailout
419 bailout bill
282 bail out
208 bailout plan
184 financial services
132 Search Other Sites
130 Emergency Economic Stabilization Act of 2008
103 bail out bill
95 financial bailout
80 Bailout
78 tarp
68 email
68 700 billion
66 rescue plan
66 rescue bill
66 old AND eye AND 6
64 financial
62 rescue
62 financial markets bill
58 contact
“Stats let me refute the
 client’s notion of how
their constituents were
       behaving.”
     – Matthew Marco, House.gov
Web Analytics
Understand your traffic cycles

Use analytics tools to uncover
usage patterns

Test design variations

Explore your search logs to see
what people are looking for
For more on web analytics...



                Web Analytics:
                An Hour a Day

                Avinash Kaushik
Usability
     testing
How well does our stuff actually work?
NOT Shawn & wife
Usability Testing Light

Shows a build, a prototype, a comp, a
sketch, whatever

Doesn’t tell participant what she’s
supposed to be doing

Asks “What are your general feelings
about this?” and then lets participant talk
“‘It looks good’
is the worst feedback
      we can get.”
        – Iridesco
“You need to have
   humility and listen.
Users aren’t always right,
    but you need to
      hear them.”
          – Iridesco
Where to Find Participants

 Friends and family
 Folks in your office who don’t work on
 the project: receptionist, HR, sales
 Twitter followers
 Starbucks
 Craigslist
Tools to Capture Feedback
#1 Most Common Question:
 What about testing
      online?
Online Testing Tools
Online Testing Tools
Moderated



Self-Moderated

       For A Long Time



Automated Live

       Conceptual



Automated Static

http://remoteusability.com
Drawbacks of Online Tools
   Don’t see the participants’
   expressions and body language

   Can’t ask probing, follow-up questions

   A lot harder to internalize the findings

   It’s cowardly – you need to feel the
   embarrassment of a sucky design
Usability Testing
Test your designs early and oen
Informal tests are just as valuable
Use people in your environment who
aren’t involved in the project
Choose participants of different
backgrounds & capabilities
Do it yourself & acknowledge your
poor design choices
For more on usability testing...



                  Handbook of
                  Usability Testing

                  Jeffrey Rubin and
                  Dana Chisnell
For more on remote usability testing...



                     Remote
                     Research

                     Nate Bolt and
                     Tony Tulathimutte
Experimentation
& iteration
How are we always getting better?
Sketch
Photoshop
Test
Static HTML prototype
Test again
Working prototype
Test again
Tweak
Launch quietly
Get feedback
Tweak
Roz Duffy
Web Developer
Comcast Interactive Media
Philadelphia, PA
Refresh Philly - June 2009
“We aren’t always
  working on the most
interesting stuff, but we
  always want to work
       smarter.”
  – Roz Duffy, Comcast Interactive Media
An amazing thing
happened because of
  this presentation
A relationship formed
An Experiment:
Engineering Lab Week
Experimentation & Iteration
     Never stop improving your product

     Make your working environment
     a creative one

     Encourage everyone on the team
     to solve problems together

     Soak up inspiration from
     everywhere
For more on experimentation and iteration...



                        Sketching User
                        Experiences

                        Bill Buxton
Design research
 Web analytics
Usability testing
Experimentation
  & iteration
IMPORTANT STUFF
Always be listening

Ask questions to get to underlying problems

Use data and anecdotes to inform the design

Test your designs and have the humility to
admit you’re wrong

Complete the feedback loop

Never stop trying to make things better
Make your users happy
and they will thank you
ﬔank you!
                     Whitney Hess
               whitney@whitneyhess.com
                     @whitneyhess
                http://whitneyhess.com


Special thanks to:
Danny Wen and Shawn Liu of Iridesco,
Matthew Marco, and Roz Duffy

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DIY UX: Give Your Users an Upgrade (Without Calling In a Pro)

  • 1. DIY UX Give Your Users an Upgrade (Without Calling In a Pro) Whitney Hess whitney@whitneyhess.com @whitneyhess http://whitneyhess.com
  • 2. Hi, I’m Whitney Hess User Experience Designer Consultant New Yorker @whitneyhess
  • 4. You are a user experience designer
  • 5. Shawn Liu & Danny Wen Founders Iridesco New York, NY
  • 7.
  • 8.
  • 9. Design research Web analytics Usability testing Experimentation & iteration
  • 10. Design research What do our users actually need?
  • 12. Kaizen means “continuous improvement” in Japanese
  • 13. Kaizen means “continuous improvement” in Japanese
  • 14.
  • 16. “We don’t just want to patch; we want to address the core problem.” – Iridesco
  • 17. “Customers love to tell you their workflow.” – Iridesco
  • 18. Design Research Make it easy for customers to reach you Log their requests & use them to prioritize new features Dig deeper to discover the underlying problems Keep in touch
  • 19. For more on design research... Observing the User Experience Mike Kuniavsky
  • 20. Web analytics What are our users actually doing?
  • 21. “We don’t believe in data-driven design, but data doesn’t lie .” * – Iridesco * Sometimes it does
  • 22. One month of visits Mon Mon Mon Mon Highest usage at beginning of week Dropoffs on weekends Somewhat lower usage mid-month
  • 25. Google Website Optimizer Same exact page with three different Free Trial buttons Found green and blue buttons performed much better than muted gray button 10% improvement in trial acquisition over two buttons (Learn More and Free Trial)
  • 26. Matthew Marco Visual Designer House of Representatives Washington, D.C.
  • 27. Chief Administrative Officer -> House Information Resources -> CAO Advanced Business Solutions -> Web Solutions Branch
  • 29.
  • 30.
  • 31. 97 most frequent queries on House.gov and top 10 results of each
  • 32. 97 most frequent queries on House.gov and top 10 results of each
  • 33. Queries are, in fact, case-sensitive. “Nancy Pelosi” and “nancy pelosi” produce different quantities of results ﬔe Pell Grant Underfunding PDF by the Oversight Committee appears in the top-ten results of most state searches; more relevant than any member-generated page in Colorado, Missouri, North Carolina, and Texas ﬔere is no apparent weight given to the title of a document. Untitled documents are not subdued in the results http://www.matthewtmarco.com/studies/2007/pathetic-to-absurd-to-disheartening-in-97-queries/
  • 34. Sunday, September 28, 2008 1347 bailout 419 bailout bill 282 bail out 208 bailout plan 184 financial services 132 Search Other Sites 130 Emergency Economic Stabilization Act of 2008 103 bail out bill 95 financial bailout 80 Bailout 78 tarp 68 email 68 700 billion 66 rescue plan 66 rescue bill 66 old AND eye AND 6 64 financial 62 rescue 62 financial markets bill 58 contact
  • 35.
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  • 37. “Stats let me refute the client’s notion of how their constituents were behaving.” – Matthew Marco, House.gov
  • 38. Web Analytics Understand your traffic cycles Use analytics tools to uncover usage patterns Test design variations Explore your search logs to see what people are looking for
  • 39. For more on web analytics... Web Analytics: An Hour a Day Avinash Kaushik
  • 40. Usability testing How well does our stuff actually work?
  • 41. NOT Shawn & wife
  • 42. Usability Testing Light Shows a build, a prototype, a comp, a sketch, whatever Doesn’t tell participant what she’s supposed to be doing Asks “What are your general feelings about this?” and then lets participant talk
  • 43. “‘It looks good’ is the worst feedback we can get.” – Iridesco
  • 44. “You need to have humility and listen. Users aren’t always right, but you need to hear them.” – Iridesco
  • 45. Where to Find Participants Friends and family Folks in your office who don’t work on the project: receptionist, HR, sales Twitter followers Starbucks Craigslist
  • 46. Tools to Capture Feedback
  • 47. #1 Most Common Question: What about testing online?
  • 49. Online Testing Tools Moderated Self-Moderated For A Long Time Automated Live Conceptual Automated Static http://remoteusability.com
  • 50. Drawbacks of Online Tools Don’t see the participants’ expressions and body language Can’t ask probing, follow-up questions A lot harder to internalize the findings It’s cowardly – you need to feel the embarrassment of a sucky design
  • 51. Usability Testing Test your designs early and oen Informal tests are just as valuable Use people in your environment who aren’t involved in the project Choose participants of different backgrounds & capabilities Do it yourself & acknowledge your poor design choices
  • 52. For more on usability testing... Handbook of Usability Testing Jeffrey Rubin and Dana Chisnell
  • 53. For more on remote usability testing... Remote Research Nate Bolt and Tony Tulathimutte
  • 54. Experimentation & iteration How are we always getting better?
  • 55. Sketch Photoshop Test Static HTML prototype Test again Working prototype Test again Tweak Launch quietly Get feedback Tweak
  • 56. Roz Duffy Web Developer Comcast Interactive Media Philadelphia, PA
  • 57.
  • 58. Refresh Philly - June 2009
  • 59.
  • 60.
  • 61.
  • 62.
  • 63. “We aren’t always working on the most interesting stuff, but we always want to work smarter.” – Roz Duffy, Comcast Interactive Media
  • 64. An amazing thing happened because of this presentation
  • 67.
  • 68.
  • 69. Experimentation & Iteration Never stop improving your product Make your working environment a creative one Encourage everyone on the team to solve problems together Soak up inspiration from everywhere
  • 70. For more on experimentation and iteration... Sketching User Experiences Bill Buxton
  • 71. Design research Web analytics Usability testing Experimentation & iteration
  • 72. IMPORTANT STUFF Always be listening Ask questions to get to underlying problems Use data and anecdotes to inform the design Test your designs and have the humility to admit you’re wrong Complete the feedback loop Never stop trying to make things better
  • 73. Make your users happy and they will thank you
  • 74.
  • 75. ﬔank you! Whitney Hess whitney@whitneyhess.com @whitneyhess http://whitneyhess.com Special thanks to: Danny Wen and Shawn Liu of Iridesco, Matthew Marco, and Roz Duffy