User testing. Everyone knows it, everyone does it, or at least knows he should be doing it when creating user interfaces. Over time many different kinds of user testing, such as classic in-lab user testing, remote, or automated user testing, have evolved. They are all based on the same idea: user centred design. And they all have their advantages and their disadvantages. Let’s look into different approaches to user centred design and how the saying ‘many a little makes a mickle’ applies to automated remote user testing.
Tag Archives: usability
I studied Information Design, and besides to my fellow students and people who work in the field, explaining what I do is not always easy. I believe it is not because really smart people study information design and others just naturally have a hard time getting it. It’s rather that Information Design belongs to a quite new field of studies which most people are not yet familiar with.
Whether you test your work on a regular cadence or only once or twice per cycle, the inevitable question that arises is what to actually test. We start to wrestle with the pressure of maximizing our time and money spent on testing and getting the most insight for that expense. Is it best to put a rough sketch of an idea in front of potential or existing customers or to wait until there’s a more fleshed out version to show? Should it be clickable (really clickable, i.e., working code) or a mocked up experience created using Axure, Powerpoint, Fireworks or any other tool?
Summer finally hit Amsterdam. In the vacation high season we decided to devote our very first quarterly user experience report to the travel sector. We lined up a total of 18 travel sites in three different categories (hotels, airlines, and comparison sites) and invited 800 participants to give feedback and perform simple tasks.
When the planet Alderaan is destroyed in A New Hope, Obi-Wan senses “a great disturbance in the Force, as if millions of voices suddenly cried out in terror, and were suddenly silenced”. Now, like another Obi-Wan Kenobi, Harry Brignull has felt a disturbance in the Force and upon realizing that Dark Patters pose a threat to the whole UX community, gives a heads-up to all of us through his Dark Patterns wiki.
In one of the last projects I worked on I had the opportunity to conduct usability testing with children between 6 and 12 years old. In this article I present five things you should consider when working with children.
The recent redesign of TechCrunch caused a lot of noise among readers of the startup blog. Most of the critiques are similar to Youtube comments: almost all are unfounded, most contain a lot of grammatical errors; and some are blatant personal attacks. TechCrunch even provided a hatemail template to cater to users who seem to feel like “they’d woken up to discover that someone had crept in and rearranged the features of their wife’s face”.
Why would I take the effort to write a user scenario? I know my target group—is that not enough to design for them? Knowing your target group is important and working with personas definitely helps to ‘get to know’ your users. What personas do not tell you is why users come to your site, what exactly they are looking for and how they go about it. A good user scenario helps you grasp your users goals and design your product to perfectly match them. Get to know your users, understand their motivation for visiting your site and then start designing. Let’s have a look at how working with user scenarios can help us to achieve a high user experience.
I believe that the difference between a good and a poor UX designer is that a good UX designer finds out all the questions a user has and answers them well in his design. A poor UX designer creates a design that actually raises more questions than it solves. Let me explain a method I use to get to the good questions.
Usability testing has been a fundamental tool in the UX arsenal for decades now. The value of actually meeting your customers and letting them experience your product makes a significant impact to the shape of that product. In it’s most formal version, testing can be a multi-day, multi-thousand $/€ process that delivers final analysis days if not weeks later. With many organizations moving to an Agile philosophy and methodology, UX practitioners are finding it difficult to integrate formal usability testing into this faster-paced, iterative approach to software development.