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61

Objections against user-centred design

Introducing a user-centred design approach in an organisation can sometimes be difficult. According to Jesse James Garrett, some of the most common objections are:

- We know our users - they're just like us.
- We know our users - we've done all this market research.
- All we have to do is follow this list of guidelines.
- The interface is trivial compared to the technical work we need to do.
- It takes experts to understand user behavior. We don't have that kind of money.
- It doesn't take experts to understand user behavior. We'll figure it out as we go.
- We'll fix it in QA.
- We can't make room for it in the schedule.

As a result, "Most Web sites are not designed. They are, at best, contrived - roughly patched together using a mix of half-understood guidelines, imitations of approaches taken by other sites, and personal preferences masquerading as "common sense""

Links:

  • The article All Those Opposed - Making the case for user experience in a budget-conscious climate

Henrik Olsen - July 28, 2003

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See also: Implementing user-centred design (7) 


 

62

Personas and the customer decision-making process

The Q3 2003 issue of GUUUI features a case study showing how the use of personas can help us capture the nature of online customers and design for their needs and concerns, as they progress through the customer decision-making process.

Links:

Henrik Olsen - July 01, 2003

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See also: Cases and Examples (12)  Personas (13) 


 

63

Most difficult part of user experience work

What's the most difficult part of UX work? Very simple: changing the organization. More in the column.

Links:

  • Read the full column

Mars Hurst - June 20, 2003

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See also: Implementing user-centred design (7) 


 

64

Personas according to Kim Goodwin

Personas are sets of representative user archetypes we can use to help guide us in design decisions. Director of Design at Cooper, Kim Goodwin, has written two excellent articles on what personas are and how to create them.

Some highlights:
- Start with the right kind of research, such as observations and interviews of users
- Focus on the information that is critical for design, such as workflow, behaviour patterns, goals, environment, and attitudes of the persona
- Avoid false precision, which has no evidence in your research - Keep your personas to the minimum number required to illustrate key goals and behaviour patterns
- Add life to personas and describe them in narrative form, but don't get caught up in personal details

Links:

  • Perfecting Your Personas
  • Getting from Research to Personas: Harnessing the Power of Data

Henrik Olsen - June 16, 2003

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See also: Personas (13) 


 

65

How search query analysis can help us understand users

At Martin Belam's personal web-site, you'll find some very interesting articles on his search query analysis of the BBCi website. His findings shows us how such analysis can help us shape better interactions with websites.

Some of his major findings:
- Over 80% of the users make unique searches that never make the top 500 searches
- 1 in 12 searches are misspelled
- 1 in 5 attempts to use advanced search fail
- URLs make up around 3% of searches
- 36% of searches consisted of just one word, 35% two words, 16% contained 3 words

According to Belam, we can use such findings to:
- Discover misspellings, synonyms, non-conventional naming, URLs, and searches with few descriptive words and leverage this knowledge to provide the best possible content available within search results
- Spot popular content to be promoted more prominently and what non-existent content to provide
- Verify navigational labels against terms used by the visitors

Links:

  • The article How Search Can Help You Understand Your Audience
  • The article A Day In The Life Of BBCi Search

Henrik Olsen - May 23, 2003

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See also: Web log analysis (7)  Search (24) 


 

66

Magnetic interface design toolkit

Building prototypes with this tool might not be ideal, but it could be useful for workshops and brainstorms - if it's big enough. Anyway, here you can buy your very own Magnetic Interface Design Toolkit – maybe just for the fun of it.

Links:

  • The Magnetic Interface Design Toolkit

Henrik Olsen - May 21, 2003 - via EASE

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See also: Prototyping and wireframing (32)  Funny tools and games (10)  Tools (51) 


 

67

Convincing clients to pay for usability

Jakob Nielsen on how to convince clients to pay for usability:

"Consider software programming as an analogy: If you hired developers to code a piece of custom software and they claimed that there was no reason to debug the code, you would think they were crazy."

"Modern user interfaces are just as complex as software in terms of the number of different variables we combine. More importantly, 20 years of usability engineering experience have shown that it's impossible to design the perfect user interface on the first try."

"One answer to the question of how to get clients to pay for usability is to include it in the overall price rather than charge extra."

"Ultimately, the real answer to getting clients to pay for user testing and other user-centered design methods is to point out usability's astounding return on investment."

Links:

  • The article Convincing Clients to Pay for Usability

Henrik Olsen - May 19, 2003 - via Jakob Nielsen's Alertbox

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See also: Cost-justification and ROI (19) 


 

68

New Version of DENIM Available

Berkeley's Group for User Interface Research have released version 1.1 of DENIM, a visual prototyping system for early stage website design. The two changes of note are that the input system (SILK) is much more responsive and you can now print the prototypes. DENIM is designed for sketching of prototypes - a graphics tablet is highly recommended.

Links:

Tim Lucas - April 30, 2003

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See also: Tools (51)  Prototyping and wireframing (32) 


 

69

User research techniques in comic book form

Dan Willis has created a condensed overview of some of the core techniques used in information architecture. The descriptions are in a comic book form and serve as entertaining reminders of some of our development options. Willis one-pagers cover sitepath diagramming, topic mapping, free listing, card sorting, and personas.

Links:

  • IA Classics: Tools of the Trade in Comic Book Form

Henrik Olsen - April 28, 2003 - via Usability Views

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See also: Site and flow diagramming (4)  Posters (5)  Card sorting (8)  Personas (13)  The design process (14)  Usability testing (30) 


 

70

Card sorting and cluster analysis for web site organisation

In an article from 1999, Shirley Martin describes a method for user card-sorting to involve users in the organizational design of web sites, and how to use cluster analysis to make sense of multiple participants’ inputs, by comparing the strength of the perceived relationships between pairs of cards.

Links:

  • The article Cluster Analysis for Web Site Organization

Henrik Olsen - April 21, 2003

Permanent link Comments (0)

See also: Card sorting (8) 


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