I talk a fair bit about designing for the “best experience” and supporting fluffy concepts like “flow“, but only a lucky few of us live in a world where we can actually do that. For the rest of us, there are always limitations–both human (e.g. office politics, leadership mandates, etc.) and system (e.g. time or business constraints)–that prevent us from being able to actually create those experiences.
So that means you have to do one of two things:
- Design only what you can realistically build right now
- Design the best experience and then scale that back to something that viable
Continue reading “Scaling back to viable”
Yes, UX stands for User Experience, but what is it? In another post on communicating hard truths, I said that the user experience is the culmination of every interaction a user has with a product or interface. Ok, so what makes an experience good or bad? I would posit that the difference between a good and bad UX is how obvious the interface is to the user.
A good user experience supports Flow.
Continue reading “What makes UX good?”
Rather, how do you tell a product owner or dev lead that their UX is bad?
Congrats on your new job! Someone has just hired you as a user experience designer/strategist, but when you start looking at the product you see lots of glaring issues with the UX. The existing product/dev team has been hard at work on this and there is a lot of emotional investment in what they have already produced. So, how do you fix the UX without telling them that their baby is ugly? Or, better yet, how do you tell them that their baby is ugly, but in a way that makes them thank you for pointing it out?
I don’t have all the answers and every situation is different, but here are some guiding principles:
Continue reading “How to tell someone their baby is ugly”
The 5 W’s
Getting feedback from users is a critical part of designing the user experience for a product. But gathering feedback can be a daunting task. What is the best format? What questions do I ask? How do I translate what they are saying into something usable? Here is my guide to making user feedback more successful, I call them the 5 W’s:
- What are your objectives?
- What are your assumptions?
- How will you collect the data?
- Who are you going to engage?
- Who is going to conduct the session?
Continue reading “User Feedback Methodology”
I’ve done some freelance work and I really enjoyed it, but you don’t always get the opportunity to see things through to launch as a consultant. When you’re employed full-time in a UX role, you get to be part of the development team and are able to impact the product all the way through development to release. This level of continued involvement is what I have found to create the best-produced experiences. Here is my process for when I’ve been asked evaluate an existing project and manage the experience through to the new release of that product:
- Data Collection
- Product Review
- UX/Heuristic Evaluation
Continue reading “UX Evaluation for Existing Products”