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UX HACKS. Better Experiences. Faster. Leaner. Smarter.

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Presented by Sarah Weise at the HOW Interactive Design Conference in San Francisco. September 2015 / HOW Design Magazine.

Build better products, faster with 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 ideating, uncovering deep drivers and crafting 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 time-saving UX hacks back to your team tomorrow!

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UX HACKS. Better Experiences. Faster. Leaner. Smarter.

  1. 1. Sarah Weise, UX Director, Booz Allen Hamilton UX Hacks Better Experiences. Faster. Leaner. Smarter.
  2. 2. I  want  to  tell  you  a  story  about   the  first  UX  project  I  ever   worked  on  –  back  when  I  was  a   UX  virgin.  It  was  over  a  decade   ago,  and  it  lasted  a  full  year…  
  3. 3. @weisesarah We  analyzed  customer  segments,  and   idenCfied  and  recruited  a  ton  of  users  in  each   of  those  segments.  We  made  sure  to  select  a   staCsCcally  significant  number  of  parCcipants   from  each  group  so  that  we  could  report  our   findings  with  scienCfic  precision  –  confidence   intervals  and  margin  of  error.    I  was  doing  t-­‐ tests  and  z-­‐tests  to  find  out  which   recommendaCons  should  go  in  Phase  I  versus   Phase  2.    I  even  remember  bringing  my  old   college  staCsCcs  textbook  to  work  with  me!  
  4. 4. @weisesarah We  conducted  our   research  in  a  lab  with  a   two-­‐way  mirror.    We   filmed  the  test   parCcipants  and  went   back  and  watched  the   tests  mulCple  Cmes,   scruCnizing  facial   expressions  and  body   language.  
  5. 5. @weisesarah 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  Cme  I  was  so   proud  of  this  report.    It  was  massive.    It  showed  off  all   the  hard  work  we  did.      
  6. 6. The best part… @weisesarah Over  10  years  later,  their  website  is  largely  the  same.   Only  2-­‐3  recommendaCons  had  been  implemented   out  of  100+,  and  those  were  preRy  much  low  hanging   fruit.  
  7. 7. @weisesarah This  process  stole  a  year  of  my  life.  Countless  billable   hours.  Your  taxpayer  dollars  (it  was  a  government   website,  aVer  all).  Painstaking  work,  meeCngs  and   staCsCcal  nonsense.  You’re  familiar  with  this  type  of   heartbreak?    Well,  let  me  tell  you  a  secret…  
  8. 8. “The biggest lie in software is Phase II.” Jeff Gothelf @weisesarah
  9. 9. @weisesarah Over  a  decade  later,  the  organizaCon  re-­‐engaged  us.    Some  of   the  very  same  clients,  actually.  But  this  Cme,  our  process  was   lean.    In  under  a  month,  we  had  a  substanCally  beRer  product.   With  far  less  work  and  hassle.  Clients  parCcipated  in  the   process,  and  became  our  advocates.       It  leV  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  Cme  I’ve  asked  myself  this  quesCon.  In   fact,  I’ve  spent  my  career  trying  to  make  UX  as  simple  and   effecCve  as  possible.       5  years  ago,  Linna  Ferguson  and  I  coined  the  term  “Express   Usability”  at  a  UXPA  conference  in  Munich,  where  we   convinced  a  whole  bunch  of  people  to  that  they  could  “do”  UX   faster,  and  that  in  just  40  hours  they  could  make  an  impact.       We  did  this  with  a  fixed  price  menu  approach,  an  idea  that   came  to  us  aVer  drinking  heavily  at  a  fixed  price  restaurant.  
  11. 11. 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)
  12. 12. 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)
  13. 13. TOP UX HACKS Smart, time-saving techniques 1 Play Mad Libs 2 Lean Personas 3 Start with Heuristics 4 Quick & Dirty Usability Testing 5 Journey Mapping… Just Sketch It @weisesarah So  today  I’m  going  to  share   with  you  a  my  top  UX  Hacks.   Doesn’t  maRer  what  you  call   them.  They  are  shortcuts   that  work  for  my  team  of  UX-­‐ ers  at  Booz  Allen  –   techniques  and  tricks  that   we’ve  adapted  from  Lean  UX,   Lean  Startup,  Agile,  Design   Thinking,  and  all  those  other   methods  de  jour.      
  14. 14. HACK 1 / PLAY MAD LIBS
  15. 15. HACK 1 / PLAY MAD LIBS •  There’s no dial-in number Maximize human connection. 4 – 20 people. •  No phones, tablets, laptops We have a short time with you. We need pure attention and focus! •  Goal is to generate a lot of ideas quickly There are deadlines and timers for each activity. •  Call ELMO Tell people up front that it’s not rude to call “ELMO”. Goal is to talk quickly and stay on topic. No history discussions here! •  We are not in the idea or ego squashing business We succeed through a breadth of perspectives and concepts. Not just execs. Facilitator required to diffuse tensions. Step 1: Schedule a Hands-On Visioning Session @weisesarah
  16. 16. HACK 1 / PLAY MAD LIBS Step 1: Schedule a Hands-On Visioning Session @weisesarah E.L.M.O  stands  for     “Enough.  Let’s  Move  On.”     Bring  these  cards  to  your  meeCngs.  Tell  the  group  up  front   that  it’s  everyone’s  job  to  keep  the  group  on  track,  and   that  it’s  not  rude  to  hold  up  these  cards  while  people  are   speaking.       An  agile  team  I  know  actually  uses  these  cards  during  their   daily  stand-­‐ups  to  keep  them  to  15  mins.  One  guy  even   holds  it  up  on  himself  quite  a  bit.  
  17. 17. 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 @weisesarah
  18. 18. 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 @weisesarah
  19. 19. 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 @weisesarah
  20. 20. HACK 1 / PLAY MAD LIBS Step 3: Wall Voting Quickly visualize the most agreed-on concepts. @weisesarah
  21. 21. HACK 1 / PLAY MAD LIBS Step 3: Wall Voting Dual-colored dots save you time. Only talk about the ones with red and green. @weisesarah
  22. 22. HACK 1 / PLAY MAD LIBS Step 4: Move popular stickies to top. Read vision statement across. @weisesarah
  23. 23. HACK 1 / PLAY MAD LIBS Step 5: Write it out. @weisesarah
  24. 24. Why would a UX guru advise me to start by talking to internal staff, not users? @weisesarah 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  fighCng  stakeholders  every  step  of  the  way,  and   our  recommendaCons  will  never  be  implemented.     Knowing  the  business  vision  (or  more  specifically  the  vision  for  the   website,  app,  or  product  we’re  building)  gives  us  context.  It  saves   us  Cme  because  we  can  ask  users  targeted  quesCons  –  and  bring   back  recommendaCons  that  no  one  can  argue  with.    
  25. 25. HACK 2 / LEAN PERSONAS Hashtags are big. Let’s make sure there are at least 4-5 on our homepage.
  26. 26. HACK 2 / LEAN PERSONAS 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 @weisesarah
  27. 27. HACK 2 / LEAN PERSONAS Personas instantly create empathy because it’s much easier for humans to relate to other humans. @weisesarah
  28. 28. 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: @weisesarah
  29. 29. HACK 2 / LEAN PERSONAS Have people create personas in the strategy session. Instant empathy! It’s much easier for humans to relate to other humans. @weisesarah
  30. 30. 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 / LEAN PERSONAS @weisesarah
  31. 31. Can be visual Check out what’s on Amy’s work station! HACK 2 / LEAN PERSONAS @weisesarah
  32. 32. HACK 2 / LEAN PERSONAS 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. @weisesarah
  33. 33. 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 / LEAN PERSONAS @weisesarah
  34. 34. HACK 3 / START WITH HEURISTICS For me, the site might work better with a search. No shit.
  35. 35. Argh! There’s nothing worse than wasting your time with users validating best practices. Start with best practices Don’t conduct usability testing on wireframes, mockups, prototypes or the website until you’ve fixed the basics. HACK 3 / START WITH HEURISTICS @weisesarah
  36. 36. Do this even if when sketching quickly! Patterns to follow… •  Presentation – Especially first impressions •  Navigation – Information architecture, page flow •  Top Tasks – Findable, action-oriented •  Content – Value, structure, timeliness HACK 3 / START WITH HEURISTICS @weisesarah
  37. 37. HACK 4 / QUICK & DIRTY USABILITY TESTING
  38. 38. 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 @weisesarah
  39. 39. Get out from behind your desk. People talk about how hard recruiting is. But honestly, people are everywhere. Strike up a conversation. HACK 4 / QUICK & DIRTY USABILITY TESTING @weisesarah
  40. 40. HACK 5 / JOURNEY MAPPING… JUST SKETCH
  41. 41. HACK 5 / JOURNEY MAPPING… JUST SKETCH
  42. 42. HACK 5 / JOURNEY MAPPING… JUST SKETCH A  sketch  is  all  you  need  to  visually  communicate  the  journey  that  your  average  user   goes  through.     This  way,  we  can  understand  the  complexity  in  order  to  simplify  it…  
  43. 43. HACK 5 / JOURNEY MAPPING… JUST SKETCH
  44. 44. A journey map for each persona is often helpful to visualize differences between target users. HACK 5 / JOURNEY MAPPING… JUST SKETCH @weisesarah
  45. 45. 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
  46. 46. TOP UX HACKS Time-saving shortcuts to bring back to your team 1 Play Mad Libs 2 Lean Personas 3 Start with Heuristics 4 Quick & Dirty Usability Testing 5 Journey Mapping… Just Sketch It @weisesarah
  47. 47. You now know new tricks for a super fast cycle to design & test. Scientific precision is overrated. A little push here, little pull there is all you need to build better experiences, faster. @weisesarah
  48. 48. BUILD. AWESOME. THINGS. @weisesarah
  49. 49. Sarah Weise @weisesarah linkedin/in/sarahweise/ weise_sarah@bah.com

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