Client feedback suggests that users simply don't know where to begin. They see five options, but they don't think it's immediately obvious what any of the options means or why they should start with one option over another:
Steps have been taken to improve the situation through the addition of pdf and video guides, however these options have their own usability issues. The PDF is very long (over 200 pages!) and the video is 11 minutes long without a searchable transcript, so at best these options require significant user investment in finding the relevant information rather than providing the right information at the right time for each user.
At first glance, this appears to be an onboarding problem - providing a better onboarding experience could certainly make starting off in the right direction more obvious to people. But I tend to think onboarding is a solution to a symptom, not the root cause itself. Google Now and Siri are excellent examples of proactive, in-context help.
Onboarding: the practice of quickly equipping novice users with the minimum amount of knowledge required for them to get started on their own. See UserOnBoard's Onboarding Teardowns for much more on this.
I was inspired by some of the problems that Google Now solves, and decided to see if that might spark any ideas. Keeping in mind the '80/20 rule' really just means to focus on the problems that cause a disproportionate amount of issues for people, I wondered if there were a handful of most common types of analysis that people generally want to use, and therefore whether we can simply proactively generate them and suggest them to the user as examples of finished products to quickly demonstrate value.
A second idea came to me about having a more interactive way of learning how to create an Ad Hoc Table, which is a typical scenario. Having clearly visible steps, an indication of progress, time remaining, and questions prompting feedback and more tailored help experience - with novices receiving more verbose help, and experts receiving a much leaner help package, for example.
Client feedback indicates that another usability hurdle exists at the point when a user, such as a Line Manager, wants to see a certain kind of report. The main idea with this mockup is to investigate whether there are some kinds of reports or views that get created/viewed disproportionately more than others. If so, maybe we can proactively suggest those reports with the necessary values prefilled? Or alternatively go even further and provide the highlight findings using actionable cards?
Here, for example, the user is getting notified that the list of users he or she is managing is performing better than the previous cohort.
If the user wants to create or view their own report, the following storyboard shows one idea, relying on search. Visually you’ll notice these screens are a little different, with the current iconography and a floating action button. From here, the user clicks Search.
I'm also a strong advocate for the user and have experience leading organisational change towards more user-centered design methods through presentations, demonstrations, and hands-on workshops. I've been a community justice facilitator, mediator, and mentor, and one of my specialities is breaking down silos and bringing disparate groups together.
I believe in continuous improvement and learning both personally and professionally, so I try my best to nurture curiosity and enthusiasm in those around me.
This portfolio contains some examples of my work and an overview of UX processes I find particularly effective so you grow your own user-centered culture. If you have questions or feedback, please let me know!
Learn about the product and validate that they have chosen the right challenge to focus on. This step is especially helpful for existing projects, or if you are joining any team where prior work has been done. Start by:
Next establish a baseline: lead a design audit on the current product. The following are useful:
Stakeholder map: meaningful groupings of stakeholders in a visual mapping including all possible people concerned within a project.
Competitive overview: a summary of 3-10 other similar products and services that can inspire ideas. Best when reviewed with team, listing what they like and dislike.
Summarise the learnings: Conclude by sharing the first set of ideas and insights that people generate. Can include personas, data visualisations, etc. Use sticky notes to share the ideas and group them into themes. Vote on the best ideas and create a roadmap for further refinement. See IDEO's "How might we?" method for further details.
The following skills are integral to the user experience design process:
Consider ways in which technology's rapid evolution is changing users' expectations from a first-class user experience:
Opinions abound as to the aesthetics and beauty of an interface; my opinion on the matter is to leave it to the talent of the graphic designers (you may be one yourself) to generate styles from scratch. Given the quality of the frameworks and libraries available today, a result of tens of millions of dollars worth of human usability research or devoted team of volunteers (Zurb Foundation), unless your company's core output is web design and is willing to invest at the level of Twitter (Bootstrap), Google (Material Design), Microsoft (Metro/Tiles), or Apple, then the most effective way forward is to simply roll with whichever (responsive) framework that provides the best experience for your clients' users. Google's Material Design Spec in particular represents the most comprehensive set of open, user-centered UI/UX specifications to date, with over 130 sections, downloadable component templates, and element catalogue that helps deliver fast, beautiful prototypes.
Research-based insights into the human mind have resulted in findings useful to be aware of as a UX designer/developer. Insights such as how many options before choice becomes paralysing are gaining visibility thanks to websites like coglode.com
One of the most useful psychology concepts for UX is Mihály Csíkszentmihályi's concept of Flow States. Beyond mere functional usability, I would argue that the goal of everyone concerned with the user experience of their product or service should really be concerned about flow. Creating interactions that require the perfect balance between high challenge and high skill create more rich, engaging experiences that people will remember fondly. Flow Theory states that there are three conditions required to have optimal experiences:
The barrier to entry for web development is getting lower and lower, with advanced libraries and frameworks taking care of so much of the gruntwork by making use of solved problems using beautiful and performant UI/UX design patterns. Libraries like Polymer and frameworks like Bootstrap make it easier than ever to 'design in code'.
A useful way forward at this stage is to adopt a 'NO CSS' mindset, instead devoting all development effort to building the underlying structure using the optimised base elements. At later stages of refinement, CSS tweaks and changes should happen at the component level so that all instances of a component have a consistent look and feel.
The deadline for compliance with WCAG 2.0 AA on all publicly funded insitutions' websites was December 2014, and many other countries are following suit, with the provinces of British Columbia and Ontario, Canada, aiming to be fully accessible across all their online services by 2024 and 2025, respectively.
Prepare usability test plan. UXPin has an excellent starting kit.
Review the target sample demographic distribution to determine what would constitute a representative sample and explore suitable avenues for participant recruitment, given your target sample. I helped bring organisational change to the University of Queensland Library by shifting the focus of development from serving 0.4% of the total user base to targeting 97% of active users by documenting the results of user testing and advocating for users when making design decisions.
The following is a slide from a presentation about the shift, illustrating the point that we needed to focus more the people who most use the Library's services and tools: students, researchers, and staff, rather than Library staff:
Some tools such as xSort provide both the user testing software and analysis tools, such as the dendrogram tool which clusters participants' choices together and shows if they're statistically significant.
The key stakeholder of the projects often is the one who decides to fund or allocate resources to the ideas. This person may be the Director of the group or the CEO of the company. Their review and approval is essential for the sprint to succeed.
Do the design ideas match or exceed the technical capacity of the team? An engineering review can help the team scope the work appropriately, and discuss potential workarounds.