Usability in Practice - Tips from the field

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Design

Published on July 4, 2009

Author: Titine

Source: slideshare.net

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This is a talk I gave to students of the Manukau Institute of Technology, focusing on key usability heuristics, and giving them tips on how to run their own user research or usability testing.

Usability in Practice Usability in Practice – Tips from the Field Justine Sanderson | 2 May 2007 © 2007 Justine Sanderson

Today 1. User Centred Design 2. You are not the user 3. Interviewing people 4. Creating personas 5. Running heuristic evaluations 6. Doing a Navigation Stress Test 7. Making sense of the data 8. Book recommendations

User Centred Design

User Centred Design

User Research: Contextual Enquiry

Iterative Design: Prototyping

Development: Usability Evaluations

You are not the user

hang out with Hang out withwho don’t people people use a computer 8 hours a day

Typical occupations architect cleaner waitress policeman teacher gardener farmer midwife receptionist musician builder marine biologist nurse florist photographer sales assistant nanny plumber sharetrader banana ripener accountant journalist coach politician student machine operator

People do strange things on their computers

You do not have their undivided attention

Interviewing People

Active Listening • Asking open-ended, clarifying questions to gain further information and insight. • Paraphrasing, or repeating back in our own words what the speaker has said, in order to clarify or confirm understanding. • Probing - questioning in a supportive way that requests more information or that attempts to clear up confusions • Providing nonverbal communication, like body language and facial expressions, to show we are paying attention. • Learning when to be quiet. Giving the other to time to think as well as to talk.

Open-Ended vs. Closed Questions Open Questions • Begin with how, what, or why • Are used to clarify information and keep the conversation open by encouraging a person to share as much as they wish Closed Questions • Result in a simple “yes” or “no” or in short, factual answers • Tend to bring the conversation to a stop, requiring more questions to get the full story

Lead-Ins for Paraphrasing • Did I hear you say… • So what you’re saying is… • You’re telling me that… • Am I hearing you correctly that… • Am I hearing you clearly that… • So what I hear you saying is… • I believe that you are saying… • Okay, let me see if I got what you said… • So let me summarize what you just said… • I want to be on the same page as you, so let me go over what you just said…

Creating Personas • Archetypal representation of your target audience • Based on user research (ideally) • Aggregation of your users’ goals, attitudes, and behaviours • Presented as a vivid, narrative description of a single “person” who represents a user segment

Personas

Sample Persona • Jordan is a 22 year old college senior majoring in graphic design. He is pretty laid back and fairly social. He frequently goes clubbing with friends. Jordan also does some of his own DJing for parties. He enjoys music and the ability it has to entertain and to make other people happy. • Jordan takes some pride in his extensive digital music collection. He gets music from his own CDs and from sharing with his friends. He is constantly looking for new music, often by browsing through Newbury Comics and other record stores that carry unusual things. http://hfid.olin.edu/sa2005/engr3220-gouda/phase1_persona_jordan.htm

Goals • Listen to a wide variety of music. • Find out about new or unusual music. • Entertain and/or help his friends. • Easily identify and play music to suit his activities. • Remain aware of all of his music.

Task: Share music with friends • Determine what specific songs, artists, albums, etc. that he likes or has liked • Make this information available to his friends • Find out what particular music his friends like • Determine what of this he likes

Task Analysis

Task Analysis

Task Analysis

Doing Heuristics Evaluations

Jacob Nielsen’s Heuristics 1. Visibility of system status 2. Match between system and the real world 3. User control and freedom 4. Consistency and standards 5. Error prevention 6. Recognition rather than recall 7. Flexibility and efficiency of use 8. Aesthetic and minimalist design 9. Help users recognize, diagnose, and recover from errors 10. Help and documentation

Visibility of System Status

1. Visibility of system status

Match between the system and the real world

2. Match the system and the real world

2. Match the system and real world

2. Match the system and the real world

2. Match the system and the real world

User Control and Freedom

3. User Control and Freedom

Consistency and Standards

4. Consistency & Standards

4. Consistency & Standards

4. Consistency & Standards

4. Consistency & Standards

Error Prevention

5. Error Prevention

Recognition rather than recall

6. Recognition rather than recall

Flexibility and Efficiency of Use

7. Flexibility & Efficiency of Use

Aesthetics and Minimalist Design

8. Aesthetics & Minimalist Design http://dev.uxmatters.com/MT/archives/000015.php

8. Aesthetics & Minimalist Design

8. Aesthetics & Minimalist Design

8. Aesthetics & Minimalist Design

8. Aesthetics & Minimalist Design

Help Users Recognise and Recover from Errors

9. Help Users Recognise Errors

Help and Documentation

10. Help & Documentation

Other Guidelines • Bruce Tognazzini’s First Principles of Interaction Design http://www.asktog.com/basics/firstPrinciples.html • A good introductory summary from a fellow student http://www.charlieguo.com/web_design_readings.php

Doing a Navigation Stress Test

Navigation Stress Test • "Randomly" pick a low-level page, not a home page, from your site • Print the page out in black and white, without the URL listed in the header/footer • Pretend that you are entering this site for the first time at this page and try to answer to questions below • Mark-up the piece of paper with what you think the answers are

Navigation Stress Test What is this page about? Draw a rectangle around the title of the page or write it on the paper yourself What site is this? Circle the site name, or write it on the paper yourself What are the major sections of this site? Label with X What major section is this page in? Draw a triangle around the X What is "up" 1 level from here? Label with U How do I get to the home page of this Label with H site? How do I get to the top of this section of Label with T the site? What does each group of links O: Off-site pages represent? How might you get to this page from the Write the set of selections as: Choice 1 site home page? > Choice 2 > .... Connect the visual elements on the page that tell you this.

Making sense of the results

Affinity Diagramming

Recommended Books

Donald Norman

Steve Krug

Alan Cooper

Jenifer Tidwell

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