Applying User Testing to Make UX Decisions in Real Time

  On a recent project, we (the project team) were having difficulty deciding on a particular method of navigation for our new app. It was for an app that would replace one currently being used by millions of customers of a large Telecom company, and there was a wide variance of opinion on which method of navigation was best. And the stakes for decision were high: the app had been through numerous redesigns and had never really lived up to user expectations, largely due to confusing navigation. So how could we decide which method of navigation would be most understandable…

Be The Interface

An experience, in the context of digital business, can be defined as the totality of visual, intellectual or other inputs that a user encounters through a digital platform or device, in relation to a product or service. Experience design, therefore, is the effort to create the optimal series of inputs and resulting user actions that achieve the desired result – an excellent user experience. In the best examples, this design effort encompasses both business and user goals in optimal balance. A good digital experience should be good business, as well.

The Case for User Testing

Who needs to user test their web site or apps? You do. Not to presume too much, but I am willing to bet that most of the people reading this post have never actually watched a user interact with their designs or products even in a casual environment. For those of you that test and test again, my apologies. And for those of you that have tested a little – congratulations, and keep going. I bet you learned some great stuff right? But by and large, most of the UX and visual designers I talk to have not conducted or benefited…

Why don’t architects and print designers use agile?

If you work in digital technology, in an Agile environment, you have probably heard the following statement: “Why do we need Agile? People don’t use Agile to design buildings, or cars, or airplanes?” And from the design team; “print designers don’t use Agile” or some variant of the “It’s not done this way” refrain. “Shouldn’t we follow established design paradigms (read: waterfall methods)?” This statement is usually made by designers (as opposed to developers), and usually by those who are earlier on the “agile continuum”. And it’s a fair question, which I have heard myself ask a few times in the past –…

Make Good Worlds

Just a quick thought here: remember that what we do is to create new spaces for people to explore, new digital worlds for people to exist in. Remember that these are imaginary spaces that we can shape in any way we choose, but that the decisions we make in this regard are not as casual as we may often think. Consider: if you design a form that requires a person to enter the sum total of their experience and human existence into three lines (“Name, Age, Gender”), what are you saying about humanity? By asking a person to reduce themselves to…

Lean UX – Why and How

“Phase 2 is the biggest lie in software development.” That’s opening line of Josh Seiden’s 2013 book Lean UX. And if you’ve spent more than ten minutes in the web and software business, you know the truth of that statement. So often, UX designers work hard to create a fully functional, achingly cool interaction design only to have the developer, or worse, the client come along and tell you that they aren’t going to build it or pay for it in “phase 1”. The thought is that we will come back and polish things up in phase 2, but phase…