- Only team members who went on at least 2 visits can work on personas
- Research shows members who works closely with end users create better products (not just designers!)
This is like cooking: Taking inspiration here and there to come up with something that works for us.
- Foundational research: Who are Tufts staff, students, faculty, researchers and other key stakeholders, what are their needs and pain points?
- When a project kicks-off: conduct additional user research if needed
- Create personas
Use Jeff Gothelf’s Lean UX principles to start up project
- Declare Assumptions
- Create hypothesis
- Create MVP
- Test hypothesis
- Fold new knowledge into process. Repeat.
Use Jared Spool’s Magic Brief method and read the project brief at beginning of each meeting.
Jared Spool suggests that within a day’s work, one can create personas, design principles, and scenarios, using foundational user research done before hand:
- 12 half day customer visits. (2 customers per day, 2 days per week)
- Each team member goes on 3-4 visits
- 2 page summary of each visit, with picture of person and environment (with permission)
By Jared M. Spool
Summary: 3/4 page creative brief, read by team members at the beginning of each design meeting.
Part 1: The Project Objective
Part 2: 1-2 Key Personas
Part 3: The Key Scenarios – how people will use this and why
Part 4: The Key Design Principles
I’ve been hearing a lot about gaming and how we should make some web-based systems fun. I don’t have anything against games, but what is the development cost of game-like features, and do all users want it? My guess is that no, not all users want it, and should we then provide a version without those features?
Working at an educational institution where in the past, the usability of our academic, business and marketing websites and web-enabled technologies have been at best an after-thought, I don’t need fun. I just want a pleasant, frictionless, efficient tool where I can do what I need to do, and move on.
This short video by Human Factors International: 3 Common UX Mistakes Made by Financial Institutions and How to Fix Them gets it right:
- “What’s impressive is when a tool gets out of the way, and supports what the customers want to do”
- And of course, good old ROI: “A good user experience increases usage, satisfaction and trust”.
“Communicating the User Experience” book by Richard Caddick & Steve Cable.
Researching LUMA’s Human-Centered Design Framework
- LUMA Institute: http://www.luma-institute.com/
- Came across this blog post: Getting an Organization to Adopt Human Centered Design (aka Design Thinking): Working with LUMA, http://sethstarner.com/getting-an-organization-to-adopt-human-center
“What is design thinking? It means stepping back from the immediate issue and taking a broader look. It requires systems thinking: realizing that any problem is part of larger whole, and that the solution is likely to require understanding the entire system. It requires deep immersion into the topic, often involving observation and analysis. Tests and frequent revisions can be components of the process. Sometimes this is done in groups: multidisciplinary teams who bring different forms of expertise to the problem. Perhaps the most important point is to move away from the problem description and take a new, broader approach.”
- Don Norman
Disclaimer: Quote taken out of context, but I like what it says.
The interactive agency OnetoOne in Charlestown, hosted the February UPA Boston meeting, on the topic of Mobile best practices. (Thanks for hosting. Cool digs!)
Here are some take-aways:
- Think of mobile strategy first, before designing main website
- All content needs to be there (Same as main website)
- The focus for mobile is Context, Content (Information), and Task-Specific (Services)
- Tom DeMarco, famed software engineer, talks about simplifying tasks, never more than 3 clicks away or 3 pages deep.
- Search is most important
- Order tasks to start with most frequent
- Group by categories. Maximum 10 items by category
- Total links per page: 10
- Main Nav: 3 or 4 links
- Most used features at the top
- Have a “go to top” link at the bottom of information pages
- Provide a back link
- Top Aligned form fields
- No horizontal scrolling
- Use all available width (not columns) for links, list elements, text inputs
- Consider the color palette in different environments (low light, bright light)
- No to low multimedia
- Only essential elements on home page
- Don’t use graphics for text
- They use Omnigraffle to create “User Journeys”
- They like Axure as a tool
- Test for the 4 main carriers
- Android has the main share of market, followed by Apple
- Check on actual devices, as performance can be an issue
- Simulators are okay for first round of debugging (DeviceAnywhere, PerfectoMobile)
- Interface Design
- Interaction Design
- Information Design
- Performance and Stress
- “Monkey testing”
- Low/no network
- Interruption testing
*For testing, they build a “sled”, a lip-stick camera mounted on a plastic frame that hangs above the mobile device.
- NFC will drive payment methods (Near Field Communication) “Pay with your phone”
- Mobile ALM (Application Life-Cycle Management)
- Private clouds for mobile testing
- Tablets here to stay
- Paradox of Choice
WORK IN PROGRESS… DRAFT
Gone are the days when we built everything from scratch. We are in an era of Software as Service, 3rd-party product implementation, open source… More than ever, it is important to integrate core UX principles in IT projects.
Need: A definition of UX
- Consider the complex eco-system in which this new project (tool or service) will live in.
- How can a new project help simplify the “technology landscape” at Tufts?
- Will this new project involve asking users to learn one more destination, one more system name, one more url? (can it be avoided?)
- Can this project be integrated with other related tools or services? (or make it look like it’s integrated)
- Is it a hermetic 3rd party product, or can we link to specific pages inside the new system from other websites? (you’d be surprised…)
- Get end-users involved.
- Talk to real end-users, early and often.
- Do not create user requirements based on business requirements
- You are not the end user (in most cases)
- Each project requires its own UX approach
- UX work is not one-size fits all
I am keeping a list of resources to consult in this post: http://sites.tufts.edu/usercentereddesign/2012/01/18/ux-guiding-principles/
IBM’s User-Centered Design principles
For each principle, the goal is to involve users — to ask the right people the right questions.
Set business goals. Determining the target market, intended users, and primary competition is central to all design and user participation.
Understand users. A commitment to understand and involve the intended user is essential to the design process. If you want a user to understand your product, you must first understand the user.
Assess competitiveness. Superior design requires ongoing awareness of the competition and its customers. When you understand your users’ tasks, you must test those same tasks against competitive alternatives and compare their results with yours.
Design the total user experience. Everything a user sees and touches is designed together by a multidisciplinary team. This includes the way a product is advertised, ordered, bought, packaged, maintained, installed, administered, documented, upgraded, and supported.
Evaluate designs. User feedback is gathered early and often, using prototypes of widely ranging fidelity, and this feedback drives product design and development.
Manage by continual user observation. Throughout the life of the product, continue to monitor and listen to your users, and let their feedback inform your responses to market changes and competitive activity.