Recap: Getting in Bed with Your Users
March 28, 2012 Samantha Metheny
For our February 1 event, Chantal Foster discussed practical strategies for user-centered design. If you were unable to attend or need a refresher, we've got you covered:
3 Easy Ways to Incorporate User-Centered Design
- Conduct a User Interview
- Do a Card Sorting
- Usability Testing
Ask the users: “What kinds of problems are you having when you are using the site?” Then, get a sense of what they'd like to see on their site wishlist. Help users pinpoint problems and identify solutions by focusing on the top phone calls, emails, and questions they get from their customers/clients/user base/audience. After collecting the data from the interviews/surveys, Chantal uses a requirements matrix to formulate the new user-centered design.
Some possible questions to ask users are:
- What are the top 10 concerns that users have?
- What confuses users the most?
- What is most challenging for you to do on the website?
- What would you most like to change?
- What task takes you the most time to accomplish on the website?
A technique used for information architecture.
- For an in-person sort, use no more than 50 cards. An online sort needs about 25 cards.
- You will make the cards for the sort based on data gathered from the interviews/surveys.
- It is the job of the card sorters to organize the topics on the cards into categories, and then to name the categories anything they'd like based on what makes sense in their world.
- If the sorters run across a confusing card topic, don't explain it to them. Instead, let them categorize the card based on their instincts.
- You will convert the card sorting results into the navigation layers on the site.
- A good online card-sorting demo is Optimal Workshop.
Allows you to understand your users, defuse UI disagreements, and introduce a benchmark for success.
- Give your users tasks that are within a certain scenario.
- Repeat the task using a slightly different audience shift.
- Ask simple questions when you are your users to rate the site. Don't use industry jargon that will confuse users further and will not illicit the sorts of responses you are looking for.
- Try loop11 for an online usability tool. The loop11.com site will allow you to re-categorize your results pages. Certain usability questions may at first look like they are not giving you the results you're looking for, so study the results closely and perform re-categorization when necessary.
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