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Lean UX Secrets: 5 UX Hacks to Build Better Experiences, Faster

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Presentation by Sarah Weise at Digital Summit Denver June 16, 2015

Build better products, faster with these actionable, inventive techniques to help you amp up UX sessions with your team, customers, and stakeholders. Boost creativity and participation with activities inspired by lean UX, lean startup, agile coaching, express usability, design thinking and more. After a decade of experimenting with literally hundreds of hands-on activities for commercial and government clients, Sarah Weise will be sharing time-saving tricks for uncovering deep drivers and creating better experiences. Learn how to quickly and effectively identify, ideate and refine target audiences, business/site goals, top tasks, key differentiators, personas and more. Take these UX hacks back to your team tomorrow!

Published in: Design, Technology
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Lean UX Secrets: 5 UX Hacks to Build Better Experiences, Faster

  1. 1. Sarah Weise, UX Director, Booz Allen Hamilton @weisesarah Lean UX Secrets UX Hacks to Build Better Experiences, Faster
  2. 2. I  want  to  tell  you  a  story  about   the  first  UX  project  I  ever   worked  on.  It  was  over  a   decade  ago,  and  it  lasted  a  full   year…  
  3. 3. We  analyzed  customer  segments,  and   idenBfied  and  recruited  a  ton  of  users  in  each   of  those  segments.  We  made  sure  to  select  a   staBsBcally  significant  number  of  parBcipants   from  each  group  so  that  we  could  report  our   findings  with  scienBfic  precision  –  confidence   intervals  and  margin  of  error.    I  was  doing  t-­‐ tests  and  z-­‐tests  to  find  out  which   recommendaBons  should  go  in  Phase  I  versus   Phase  2.    I  even  remember  bringing  my  old   college  staBsBcs  textbook  to  work  with  me!  
  4. 4. We  conducted  our   research  in  a  lab  with  a   two-­‐way  mirror.    We   filmed  the  test   parBcipants  and  went   back  and  watched  the   tests  mulBple  Bmes,   scruBnizing  facial   expressions  and  body   language.  
  5. 5. By  the  end  of  the  year,  we  had  a  big  honkin’  report.     There  were  over  100  findings.    We  actually  had  tables   to  group  and  categorize  all  of  the  findings.           It  was  in  a  binder  like  this.    With  a  cover  page  slaved   over  by  a  graphic  designer.         This  was  my  first  UX  job,  and  at  the  Bme  I  was  so   proud  of  this  report.    It  was  massive.    It  showed  off  all   the  hard  work  we  did.      
  6. 6. The best part… Over  10  years  later,  their  website  is  largely  the  same.   Only  2-­‐3  recommendaBons  had  been  implemented   out  of  100+,  and  those  were  preRy  much  low  hanging   fruit.  
  7. 7. This  process  stole  a  year  of  my  life.  Countless   billable  hours,  your  taxpayer  dollars,   painstaking  work,  meeBngs  and  staBsBcal   nonsense.     Are  you  familiar  with  this  heartbreak?  
  8. 8. “The biggest lie in software is Phase II.” Jeff Gothelf
  9. 9. Over  a  decade  later,  the  organizaBon  re-­‐engaged  us.    Some  of   the  very  same  clients,  actually.  But  this  Bme,  our  process  was   lean.    In  under  a  month,  we  had  a  substanBally  beRer  product.   With  far  less  work  and  hassle.  Clients  parBcipated  in  the   process,  and  became  our  advocates.       It  leW  me  thinking…  Why  can’t  it  always  be  like  this?  
  10. 10. PRIX FIXE MENU Data Gathering :: choose one Usability testing Create scenarios based on top tasks, craft post-test survey, and conduct 6 hours worth of one-on-one usability testing* Web survey Create survey questions to solicit preference data and discover more about target audiences* Existing data trends Evaluate existing data such as help desk tickets, web analytics, and/or survey data Focus group Plan and lead 6 hours worth of focus group sessions* Analysis :: choose one Expert review SME evaluation of select screens from a website or application Visual evaluation Analysis of branding strategy, colors, images, typography Task analysis Evaluate paths to streamline information architecture Persuasion, emotion, trust evaluation Evaluate how to more effectively move customers to take action Stakeholder analysis Based on a web survey, focus group, or existing data if available Pattern analysis Identify trends in existing data Benchmark Compare my site to my competitors’* Recruiting/scheduling not included Presented in 2010 by Sarah Weise & Linna Ferguson, User Experience Professionals Association (UXPA) Now  this  is  not  the  first  Bme  I’ve  asked  myself  this  quesBon.  In   fact,  I’ve  spent  my  career  trying  to  make  UX  as  simple  and   effecBve  as  possible.       5  years  ago,  Linna  and  I  even  coined  the  term  “Express   Usability”  at  a  UXPA  conference  in  Munich,  where  we   convinced  a  whole  bunch  of  people  to  implement  UX   strategies  in  just  1  week  with  a  fixed  price  menu  approach,  an   idea  that  came  to  us  aWer  drinking  heavily  at  a  fixed  price   restaurant.  
  11. 11. PRIX FIXE MENU Deliverable :: choose one Recommendations report Details top recommendations based on our analysis in a finding-rationale-recommendation format Screen-by-screen findings report Points out areas on each page that can be improved Design concepts Pair with the visual evaluation: two alternate design concepts Information architecture recommendations Navigational outline or flow chart detailing enhancements to organization and page flow Wireframe(s) Visually displays layout recommendations; interactive prototyping may be an option if time permits Trend report Pair with the pattern analysis or benchmark; couple with stakeholder analysis if data is available and time permits Presented in 2010 by Sarah Weise & Linna Ferguson, User Experience Professionals Association (UXPA)
  12. 12. TOP UX HACKS Time-saving, inventive techniques 1 Play Mad Libs 2 Personas (Lite But Deep) 3 Start with Heuristics 4 Quick & Dirty Usability Testing 5 Journey Mapping… Just Sketch It
  13. 13. HACK 1 / PLAY MAD LIBS
  14. 14. HACK 1 / PLAY MAD LIBS •  There’s no dial-in number Maximize human connection with pure attention and focus. 4 – 20 people. •  No phones, tablets, laptops We have a short time with you. We have to focus! •  Goal is to generate a lot of ideas quickly There are deadlines and timers for each activity. •  ELMO Pretend your in an elevator. Talk quickly and stay on topic. Call ELMO. Parking lot for off-topic ideas. •  We are not in the idea or ego squashing business We succeed through a breadth of perspectives and concepts. Not just execs. Step 1: Schedule a “Hands-On Strategy Session”
  15. 15. HACK 1 / PLAY MAD LIBS Step 2: Mad Libs FOR: target customer WHO NEEDS: services/features UNLIKE: competitors/alternatives WE ARE A: business type WE PROVIDE: emotional benefit WE STAND OUT BY: key differentiator
  16. 16. HACK 1 / PLAY MAD LIBS Step 3: Wall Voting Retirees Entrepreneurs Lottery Winners Busy CEO’s
  17. 17. HACK 1 / PLAY MAD LIBS Step 3: Wall Voting Retirees Entrepreneurs Lottery Winners Busy CEO’s
  18. 18. HACK 1 / PLAY MAD LIBS Step 3: Wall Voting Retirees Entrepreneurs Lottery Winners Busy CEO’s When  everyone  adds  their   votes,  which  ones  do  we   need  to  discuss?    VoBng   saves  Bme!  
  19. 19. HACK 1 / PLAY MAD LIBS Step 4: Move popular stickies to top. Read vision statement across.
  20. 20. HACK 1 / PLAY MAD LIBS Step 4: Move popular stickies to top. Read vision statement across. Write it out.
  21. 21. Why would a UX director tell me to start by talking to internal staff (not users)? In  my  opinion,  the  key  difference   between  Lean  UX  and  tradiBonal  UX   is  the  idea  that  UX  professionals  are   NOT  just  advocates  for  the  user.    In   Lean  UX,  we  work  to  understand  and   define  the  business  and  product   vision,  and  find  where  that  intersects   with  customer  needs.         Let’s  say  we  find  out  that  users  need   bicycles,  but  the  goal  of  the  business   is  to  sell  unicycles.  If  we  don’t  take   that  into  account,  we’re  going  to  be   fighBng  every  step  of  the  way,  and   our  recommendaBons  will  never  be   implemented.  
  22. 22. HACK 2 / PERSONAS (LITE BUT DEEP) Hashtags are big. Let’s make sure there are at least 4-5 on our homepage.
  23. 23. HACK 2 / PERSONAS (LITE BUT DEEP) When I was 10 my father had a heart attack in front of me. From then I vowed to be prepared if that situation ever happened again. - Bill Winters
  24. 24. HACK 2 / PERSONAS (LITE BUT DEEP) Personas instantly create empathy because it’s much easier for humans to relate to other humans.
  25. 25. HACK 2 / PERSONAS (LITE BUT DEEP) Have people create personas in the strategy session. Instant empathy! It’s much easier for humans to relate to other humans.
  26. 26. Hi! My name is… Description Goals & Needs Tech Usage (laptop, tablet, phone, wearables, favorite apps…) Picture (yes, draw it!) Age / Gender: Occupation: Key Emotional Driver:
  27. 27. 1 page is more than enough Bullets are great. Quickly state what resonates (and what doesn’t) for a customer. Role play Stubborn exec or client? Have them role play. Ask them to take on a persona and then ask a bunch of questions. Hack of a hack Only have 10 mins? Give a team a half-started persona and have them fill in the rest. HACK 2 / PERSONAS (LITE BUT DEEP)
  28. 28. Can be visual Check out what’s on Amy’s work station! HACK 2 / PERSONAS (LITE BUT DEEP)
  29. 29. Deepen with image-based projective interviews Want to see if your hypothesis is right? Image-based projective interviews identify deep feelings behind behavior. Talk about images Ask participants to bring 10-15 images to the interview that reflect how they feel about your product / problem you are trying to solve. HACK 2 / PERSONAS (LITE BUT DEEP)
  30. 30. FEAR Of the unknown For my life (helplessness) For my health and body For my family and kids For my home. For nature, environment, planet PROTECTION For loved ones, especially kids ANGER At the government HACK 2 / PERSONAS (LITE BUT DEEP)
  31. 31. HACK 3 / START WITH HEURISTICS For me, the site might work better with a search. No shit.
  32. 32. There’s nothing worse than wasting your time with users validating things you already know. Standards can be your friend. Identify best practices Don’t conduct user interviews until you’ve fixed the basics. Focus on patterns •  Presentation – Especially first impressions •  Navigation – Information architecture, page flow •  Top Tasks – Findable, action-oriented •  Content – Value, structure, timeliness HACK 3 / START WITH HEURISTICS
  33. 33. HACK 4 / QUICK & DIRTY USABILITY TESTING
  34. 34. Bare minimum “tools” You can use a free screen share software like join.me, Google Hangout or WebEx and the phone. You don’t need pricey tools. Keep it small, then iterate! You’ll see trends with just 3-5 users. Make a few key changes, then test again with 3-5 users. Forget unmoderated testing Sounds tempting, but you’ll learn more qualitative data in less time from just a couple moderated sessions. You don’t need scenarios If you don’t have time or aren’t sure what to ask, have users walk you through what they generally do on the site. Don’t wait. Test wireframes or even sketches! HACK 4 / QUICK & DIRTY USABILITY TESTING
  35. 35. HACK 5 / JOURNEY MAPPING… JUST SKETCH
  36. 36. HACK 5 / JOURNEY MAPPING… JUST SKETCH
  37. 37. 30+ screens to apply for a job??? We streamlined it to 9 screens on the first pass using this technique. HACK 5 / JOURNEY MAPPING… JUST SKETCH
  38. 38. TOP UX HACKS Time-saving shortcuts to bring back to your team 1 Play Mad Libs 2 Personas (Lite But Deep) 3 Start with Heuristics 4 Quick & Dirty Usability Testing 5 Journey Mapping… Just Sketch It
  39. 39. You now know new techniques to build better experiences, faster
  40. 40. BUILD. AWESOME. THINGS.
  41. 41. Sarah Weise @weisesarah linkedin.com/in/sarahweise/ weise_sarah@bah.com Slides from the full workshop If you liked this, you might also enjoy the 4-hour workshop version, conducted at Digital Summit conferences in 2014 – 2015. Workshop slides >

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