I’ve been super busy recently which you can probably tell by the infrequency of my posts. As a business, Keep It Usable, has grown phenomenally this year and we’ve been working day and night to make sure we do great work for every single one of our clients. We genuinely care about every business we work with and we deliver high quality work for every single client. It’s something I’m passionate about, especially with the growing amount of people entering the ux industry with no formal training or experience. It puts businesses at great risk and damages the ux profession as a whole.
I’m a mentor for the UXPA and I’m in great favour of a regulatory body / chartership to distinguish between different levels of professionals. It’s difficult for me to read between the lines of someones cv or other agencies claims of ux so I can’t imagine how hard it must be for someone commissioning an agency to know who to believe and trust. In fact, one of our clients had a bad experience with quite a well known ux agency. They were failing in their capacity on a number of levels including the delivery of work, so we were called upon to effectively rescue the client, takeover the work and meet the deadline which was by this point very tight. Of course we hit it, and they were incredibly pleased with the work, so much so that we’re now partners. But what is concerning with this story is that even agencies you should be able to trust, because they are well known, you can’t. It really is a minefield out there.
It’s because of our commitment to our clients that we’re going from strength to strength and I’m honoured to be shortlisted for two Women In Business Awards: SME and International business. Keep your fingers crossed for me!
I’ve also been invited as a guest on BBC Radio Manchester tomorrow morning. I’ll be choosing several stories form the days papers to chat about. I don’t have much time to watch the news these days so it should be interesting!
BBC Radio Manchester, 29th October, 6.45am and 7.22am
Listen live: http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/p002mwyt
Fact: Anyone can sit with a user and ask the user to carry out some tasks on a product. So, in principle, anyone can do usability testing.
But: Quality usability testing that delivers reliable results is different. Quality usability testing requires skills like empathy and curiosity. It requires profound knowledge of recruiting, creating good test tasks, moderating test sessions, coming up with great recommendations for solving usability problems, communicating test results well, and more. The CUE studies have shown that not every usability professional masters these skills.
We need to focus more on quality in usability testing.
I’m pleased to welcome Danielle Arad as my guest poster for this article about the implications you must take into account when sketching user experiences. Danielle runs her own blog over at UX Motel and is also on Twitter.
Although business process mapping, flow charting, and the related processes might already sound familiar to you, for the success of your user experience design you also have to consider which are the factors that make the entire process work and how one can take advantage of them.
Undoubtedly, many UX professionals encounter the process of user experience sketching at least once in their career, mainly when the business plan and design meet. Such events are more usual with startups and enterprises, rather than small to medium businesses. Therefore, with user experience sketching representing a topic of actuality, it’s highly important for a designer to understand the key components which take part in design.
1. Think about the elements that will be comprised in the design based on what you think your users will need.
If you already have a business model in mind, you are most likely aware of your demographic, which is probably defined by your niche’s design and price range. This demographic is the first factor which you have to keep in mind throughout the sketching process. Think of how much your users’ would need the product and by a more thorough analysis of the said demographic, how are they going to act when they will interact with your finished product?
2. Don’t get discouraged if your prototype design isn’t working well
In case the design of your product is not gelling with your users, then, yes, your team might suffer from a small hit. However, it’s up to you which action you choose to take in such place. It would be strongly advisable to not sacrifice price in detriment of quality. Remember, it’s the about the alignment process which goes on beyond this how much money you will make in the end.
3. Keep in mind that time and budget are key factors in the process
Other factors which are relevant to sketching and design are time and budget. When sketching your user experience design, you must create an engaging flow for the user, yet design according to the time and budget specified for the task. For an excellent UX to be developed, you may have to pay a higher price in time and money. Remember, customers will be aware of how much you invested in preparing your design – it will definitely show in the final results.
When you’re in the process of sketching out a user experience, it’s essential to prioritize a flow for the demographic. You must ensure that the design you’ll come up with will fall within the users’ array of needs and that it will suit the given budget to. Additionally, when emphasizing the role of demographics, you need to ensure that a suitable connection is created with each maintenance components’ sub-flows, so that users will be able to easily use them whenever they are required to. Such flow will also see you where the numbers are negative or overly amplified, case in which they need to be adjusted.
Sketching user experiences is all about creating a flow for the process, tracking up the deductions, basing your model on intuitive prediction design, and ensuring that the UX works as it should. In addition, working according to the budget is also an important component for both parties’ profitability.
I just had to share with you this video on how guys might use Google Glass (or should that be glasses?) in the future. Pretty funny! Maybe we shouldn’t laugh too soon though as it may well become the future! People are distracted enough as it is, it’s just that the glasses may make the distraction harder to detect. At least right now you can see if someone’s using their mobile whilst they’re supposed to be listening to you.
I find it amazing the number of people who walk down the street looking down, eyes glued to their handset, using only their peripheral vision to navigate their way through the world. At least with Google Glasses they’ll at least start looking up once more, even if they are still not paying attention to the world around them.