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Survival Skills for Lone UXers

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How to slip UX into your organization.

Do what you can, when you can.

Create your own team.

Always fight for the user!

Published in: Design

Survival Skills for Lone UXers

  1. 1. Survival Skills for Lone UXers Slipping UX Into Your Organization Jennifer Jefferson @uxjenn
  2. 2. David Coucheron Concertmaster Atlanta Symphony Orchestra
  3. 3. This is the experience. Get out of the way.
  4. 4. 3 Survival Tips Do what you can, when you can. Create your own team. Always fight for the user!
  5. 5. Do what you can, when you can.
  6. 6. –Charles Eames “The details are not the details. They make the design.”
  7. 7. Experience = Everything • Consistency (trust) • Speed • Errors • Good content • Visual design • Functionality • Usability
  8. 8. My Story
  9. 9. Day 1: We’re in the middle of redesigning our website! But you can’t make the decisions and we are not going to test anything - wireframes are enough. Oh, we’re behind schedule too… Photo credit: Marc Baptiste
  10. 10. Why redesign?
  11. 11. Having an inconsistent UI made our site look untrustworthy.
  12. 12. I did what I could. There was no time for a complete redesign of the commerce pages before the big sale and before the new main site was developed.
  13. 13. I did more. Finally, a design that was consistent, usable, speedier, and much more useful.
  14. 14. Usability Issues You can’t test or fix everything, so focus on the obvious and most glaring problems.
  15. 15. It was oversensitive and caused multiple usability issues. Dropdown Menu
  16. 16. “The menu keeps popping out while I’m trying to use the site.” “It’s too sensitive and I can’t click the link I want.” “I hate using this menu, it’s so frustrating!!!”
  17. 17. 78 customer service complaints, co-workers complained, and some vocal customers emailed me about the dropdown menu’s usability. Did a few usability tests to validate the reported issue and found it was a HUGE problem.
  18. 18. Found a good design pattern on NPR - a pushdown menu. Our menu now required a click or touch to open and close.
  19. 19. 0 complaints about the new pushdown menu. Tested the new design and the usability issue was gone!
  20. 20. We consistently had too many error messages and a super slow site. Slugs & Other Bugs
  21. 21. “Your site is worthless; a high school student could do better” –Angry customer via email “Do you actually want me to buy tickets on your site?” –Frustrated customer via Facebook “Can you just do my renewal over the phone? Every time I try to use the site I get an error.” –Board member called our fundraising department
  22. 22. Errors will always be a problem as a result of technical debt! We significantly reduced errors and sped up the site over a long period.
  23. 23. Create your own team.
  24. 24. –African proverb “If you want to go fast, go alone. If you want to go far, go together.”
  25. 25. Lead your peers to understand and care about UX and you will be able to make a difference. Customer Service Box Office Marketing PR Education IT Agencies
  26. 26. Customer Service, the Box Office, and Ushers were my front lines to our patrons.
  27. 27. Feedback Funnel • People called to complain, visited the box office and subscriptions office, and made remarks at concerts. This is where I got my jewels for user issues. • Secret: Their favorite person to complain to was our president!!!
  28. 28. Quality Assurance (QA) Testing Sessions helped my team understand UX.
  29. 29. Developing a content strategy with the PR team gave me “additional headcount” and waaaaayyyyy better copywriting!
  30. 30. Stakeholder interviews helped me develop empathy for my users – other departments who owned their section of the site.
  31. 31. I worked with an agency who cared about the user and who wanted to do a great job.
  32. 32. Whiteboard Session
  33. 33. Thoughtful IA
  34. 34. Always fight for the user!
  35. 35. –Steve Jobs “If a user is having a problem, it's our problem.”
  36. 36. Excuses…
  37. 37. “That’s just a cosmetic change. We will fix it later.”
  38. 38. “But it works on my computer! The user must be stupid.”
  39. 39. “We don’t have time to do usability testing and we can’t afford it.”
  40. 40. Patience
  41. 41. Diligence
  42. 42. Education
  43. 43. Teamwork
  44. 44. If I’m not representing the voice of our user, who will? Photo credit: https://genevaanderson.wordpress.com/category/classical-music/
  45. 45. In-Depth Thinking • The User Experience Team of One - Leah Buley • Undercover UX - Cennydd Bowles & James Box • Rocket Surgery Made Easy: The Do-It-Yourself Guide to Finding and Fixing Usability Problems - Steve Krug • Just Enough Research - Erika Hall
  46. 46. Do what you can, when you can. Create your own team. Always fight for the user! Jennifer Jefferson @uxjenn jenn@uxjenn.com

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