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DIY UX - Higher Ed


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Given at the Higher Ed Web Symposium at U Penn Wharton

Published in: Design
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DIY UX - Higher Ed

  1. 1. DIY UX Give Your Users an Upgrade (Without Calling In a Pro) Whitney Hess @whitneyhess
  2. 2. Hi, I’m Whitney Hess User Experience Designer Consultant New Yorker @whitneyhess
  3. 3. ﬔ
  4. 4. You are a user experience designer
  5. 5. Shawn Liu & Danny Wen Founders Iridesco New York, NY
  6. 6.
  7. 7. Design research Web analytics Usability testing Experimentation & iteration
  8. 8. Design research What do our users actually need?
  9. 9. Footer
  10. 10. Kaizen means “continuous improvement” in Japanese
  11. 11. Kaizen means “continuous improvement” in Japanese
  12. 12.
  13. 13. “We don’t just want to patch; we want to address the core problem.” – Iridesco
  14. 14. “Customers love to tell you their workflow.” – Iridesco
  15. 15. 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
  16. 16. For more on design research... Observing the User Experience Mike Kuniavsky
  17. 17. Web analytics What are our users actually doing?
  18. 18. “We don’t believe in data-driven design, but data doesn’t lie .” * – Iridesco * Sometimes it does
  19. 19. One month of visits Mon Mon Mon Mon Highest usage at beginning of week Dropoffs on weekends Somewhat lower usage mid-month
  20. 20.
  21. 21.
  22. 22. 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)
  23. 23. Matthew Marco Visual Designer House of Representatives Washington, D.C.
  24. 24. Chief Administrative Officer -> House Information Resources -> CAO Advanced Business Solutions -> Web Solutions Branch
  25. 25.
  26. 26. 97 most frequent queries on and top 10 results of each
  27. 27. 97 most frequent queries on and top 10 results of each
  28. 28. 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
  29. 29. 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
  30. 30. “Stats let me refute the client’s notion of how their constituents were behaving.” – Matthew Marco,
  31. 31. 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
  32. 32. For more on web analytics... Web Analytics: An Hour a Day Avinash Kaushik
  33. 33. Usability testing How well does our stuff actually work?
  34. 34. NOT Shawn & wife
  35. 35. 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
  36. 36. “‘It looks good’ is the worst feedback we can get.” – Iridesco
  37. 37. “You need to have humility and listen. Users aren’t always right, but you need to hear them.” – Iridesco
  38. 38. 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
  39. 39. Tools to Capture Feedback
  40. 40. #1 Most Common Question: What about testing online?
  41. 41. Online Testing Tools
  42. 42. Online Testing Tools Moderated Self-Moderated For A Long Time Automated Live Conceptual Automated Static
  43. 43. 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
  44. 44. 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
  45. 45. For more on usability testing... Handbook of Usability Testing Jeffrey Rubin and Dana Chisnell usability-testing-in-the-wild-presentation
  46. 46. For more on remote usability testing... Remote Research Nate Bolt and Tony Tulathimutte
  47. 47. Experimentation & iteration How are we always getting better?
  48. 48. Sketch Photoshop Test Static HTML prototype Test again Working prototype Test again Tweak Launch quietly Get feedback Tweak
  49. 49. Roz Duffy Web Developer Comcast Interactive Media Philadelphia, PA
  50. 50. Refresh Philly - June 2009
  51. 51. “We aren’t always working on the most interesting stuff, but we always want to work smarter.” – Roz Duffy, Comcast Interactive Media
  52. 52. An amazing thing happened because of this presentation
  53. 53. A relationship formed
  54. 54. An Experiment: Engineering Lab Week
  55. 55. 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
  56. 56. For more on experimentation and iteration... Sketching User Experiences Bill Buxton
  57. 57. Putting it all together In a university setting
  58. 58. Sorin Stefan Front-end engineer McGill University Montreal, Canada
  59. 59. @syktek
  60. 60. “I don’t care how it’s going to look. I need the information to guide me on how it’s going to work.” – Sorin Stefan, McGill University
  61. 61. Who is your target audience?
  62. 62. Who is visiting your site?
  63. 63. What are the goals for the redesign?
  64. 64. What isn’t working on the site today?
  65. 65. “Staff oen puts up with poor usability because they feel it’s part of their job to learn it.” – Sorin Stefan, McGill University
  66. 66. What does our target user really need?
  67. 67. Persona = “group of people visiting your website with things in common” Scenario = “what people are trying to do on the website”
  68. 68. New Old
  69. 69. Process Education Creating a Culture of UX
  70. 70. Karen Berntsen Information Architect Carnegie Mellon University Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
  71. 71.
  72. 72. “Using the CMS, and our services, is completely voluntary. ﬔat is the key to our success.” – Karen Berntsen, Carnegie Mellon University
  73. 73. ﬔe Process Initial Consult Content Outline Site Requested Site Created Site Reviewed Site Launched
  74. 74. Initial consult – 30 min meeting to determine if they’re eligible (95% of them are) Must have: Project Sponsor (FT faculty/staff) and Project Lead (day-to-day)
  75. 75. Computer Store Content Outline: Hardware Soware Freshman
  76. 76. “I can suggest that they don’t shoot themselves in the foot, but by all means if they want to, I let them. ﬔat psychology works.” – Karen Berntsen, Carnegie Mellon University
  77. 77. Design research Web analytics Usability testing Experimentation & iteration
  78. 78. 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
  79. 79. Make your users happy and they will thank you
  80. 80. ﬔank you! Whitney Hess @whitneyhess Special thanks to: Danny Wen, Shawn Liu, Matthew Marco, Roz Duffy, Sorin Stefan and Karen Berntsen