- Describe the problem which is blocking your goals. If the problem is abstract and hard to describe in a paragraph try using a mind map.
- Brainstorm why problems exists onto post-it notes, (remove your own judgement not to interfere with potential solutions)
- Affinity Diagram
- Organise the post-it notes into groups
- Give heading names (assign responsibility) to groups
- Card Sort - Solving taxonomy issues for menu navigation and category names
- Give the shuffled cards to users to sort into groups
- Open card sort requires users to sort cards into groups, the user creates the heading names themselves
- Closed card sort requires users to sort cards into groups and they are given heading names on the cards
- Use persona’s to find the right users to perform the following usability tasks. Start by finding out who your client/user is and create a general description that stereotypes the user. ( Good marketing people are ideal for creating persona’s as they know who their target audience is)
Creating a task analysis* can be time consuming as it requires the tester to understand the steps required to achieve the goal. A task analysis is important in defining the core functionality the system requires. The reason and purpose for the entire project!
- Using Google Analytics to setup and track the flow of goals is a good start to target areas of your site experiencing drop offs. Ideally you will have been collecting data for this for many months.
- During a contextual enquiry you will be required to take pen and paper notes while your user attempts the steps on the system to achieve the goal. The best thing you can do is listen and observe as the true performance of your system is revealed. Optionally install CamStudio the free solution to record user interaction, audio and video via webcam to capture all users task data & expressions. The valuable details of the user experience can all be done freely.
- Debrief your user with a Heuristic evaluation. The heuristic evaluation example shows questions to be asked after and/or during the user interacts with the designed system. Returns quantitative feedback (in the form of numbers).
- Report the findings, propose then implement best changes and rerun the tests
Reporting Metric Values
Take a task, apply the usability test and note the problem count.
Problem #1 has a multiple of 10 as this is the most important of the tasks. When you have a low problem count users can complete the goals and objectives of the design. By contrast Problem #3 is less important to the overall design goal, You will notice Task#3 has a total of 30, therefore needs more attention that Task#1 totaling 28.
Function = whether it provides the features you need.
Form = how easy & pleasant these features are to use.
Usability = Function + Form
Final tip; find popular hangouts of your users, take a laptop with pocket wifi, pen & pad and ask people if they have 8 minutes to spare?
You will be surprised how kind people are and will share their time and opinions. So send them off happy with a mouth full of jelly beans in return.
User experience design further reading
- Offline card sorting tool (free)
- Online card sorting tool (free when limited)
- Usability Case Study – Defence department
- Good example of usability
- Really great example of usability
- Costs of usability, cheap & expensive
- Usability Guidlines
- The Roadmap For a Great Joomla! 3.0 UX
- Usability elements
- Usability elements_simpleplanes
- Usability « User Pathways
- Usability Metrics and Methodologies
- Meet Google’s search anthropologist – SFGate
- Beyond usability thinking