Intro to User Experience Design: Rethinking the Design Process

KENT: Hello everyone, and welcome to our April webinar “Intro To User Experience Design: Rethinking the Design Process”. Today, I am happy to introduce to you one of the Cardinal Path UX team members, also known as a major force in the Cardinal Path design team, Mike Jones. Mike is based out of our Phoenix office where he works closely with both internal teams and with clients to ensure striking and, more importantly, effective design. For those of you who have not attended a Cardinal Path webinar yet, though looking through the attendee list it looks like most of you have, my name is Kent and I will be sitting in on this presentation and taking any questions asked in the GoToMeeting’s question pane in the overall GoToMeeting panel. Then, at the end of this webinar, I will feed these back to Mike and we will see if we can answer as many of them as we can. So, without further ado… Mike take this away. MIKE: Hi everybody, this is Mike Jones. We’ll be doing an intro to user experience design webinar this morning hopefully you guys find it helpful and engaging. uh Real quick, just a couple of things about me. As Kent already mentioned, I’m a UX and user interface designer here at Cardinal Path. Those are some of my contact handles if you want to reach out to me after the webinar, that would be awesome and I can answer any further questions you guys might have. There will be another slide at the end so you guys can get that info. So, we’ll jump right in. Three main things we are going to cover today are: What is user experience, or UX and why should we care? Secondly is websites and UX. So, how does user experience deal with websites and website design. And finally, breaking down UX into five planes. We will get into that in a little bit. We’ll start with “What is User Experience?” Or UX. As you’ll see in the industry, UX is generally the term or the acronym you’ll see most for “User Experience”. So, what is user experience? Seems like everyone is throwing this word around right now, I see it all over blogs, and not just design blogs, but also blogs centered around business and start ups centered around big companies like Apple. Apple’s been a huge force in bringing user experience to the forefront of business. But what is it? What the heck is this term people are throwing around? I thought a good place to start is the all-knowing Wikipedia. Because they’re the source of everything useful.But actually, in this case, it’s pretty relevant. I thought their explanation, they’re synopsis of User Experience was really helpful. Basically, they said, “User Experience, or UX, is the way a person feels about using a product, system or service.” I think that sums it up pretty well. So, basically, what we want to say user experience is is “UX equals Feelings”. How people feel about using whatever it is you are putting in front of them. Let’s break this down a little bit. before we jump into the design of UX. I want to make sure we understand user experience and what goes into that. First up is let’s break down a user. Ultimately, a user is a person. So, it’s a real human being. They have dreams They have goals. They have thoughts and desires. And ultimately, when they use something they’re generally doing it with something in mind that they want to accomplish at the end of it. Whether that’s a product, or a website or some service that you provide, that has a user at some level. And these users are people, so they’re emotional, they have feelings. And ultimately, it’s these feelings about your product that become the user experience. Everyday we make decisions, based on how we feel. So, the decisions that people make about your product or the final conclusion they make about your website are generally based on what they feel and not so much based on what we like to think of as the very logical steps of did they accomplish exactly what they were looking to do. That’s a big part of it but ultimately, it’s feelings and emotions that build that user experience. And finally, it’s about experience, it’s about using something. Ultimately, it’s about accomplishing a goal. So, when we talk about users who have feelings, when they’re using something like your product or your service, ultimately, they’re trying to accomplish something at the end of that. So, we’ll talk more about that in a minute. A great example is making a phone call and making a reservation at a restaurant. So, the user in this case is someone making a phone call. And ultimately their goal or their desire is to book a reservation. But there’s a lot of things that go into that experience, such as: the phone they’re using, or how the person answers the call on the other end, and then that whole conversation, that experience with that other person, all comes together to build the user experience. All in the blink of, you know, 5 minutes at the most. Another example might be a day trader, someone who trades stock all day. A lot of these people do that online and they’re using a system that’s built. They’re using a product that’s built for doing just that. And they’re using it all day, so 8, 10, maybe even 16 hours a day, they’re sitting in front of a computer, trading stocks. What kind of user experience are they building over that 8, 10, 16 hour block of time? That’s a lot of time to be using a system or a product and so, over the course of that amount of time they’re building up a lot of emotion about it. Either they’re building a lot of positive emotion or they’re building a lot of negative emotion as they continue to run into frustrations or hiccups or things that they just don’t really like. So, I want to kind of give a little example of user experience and a little story. So, this is a story about getting a flat tire. So, you’re going to put yourself in someone else’s shoes for just a moment. So, pretend that you have a big presentation at work. and you really want to “Wow” your boss and the client. And so you you get up early, you get ready, you jump in the car, in this case you have a car and will drive to work, so, you’re not mass commuting and saving the environment and all that fun stuff. So, you’re going to hop into your car and drive to work. And on your way there, you get a flat tire. And the great thing about getting a flat tire this day is you have never changed a flat tire in your life. So, you’ve never done it before, don’t really know how it works, maybe understand a bit of the gist but for the most part, you’re pretty clueless. So, you do what everybody does, you grab the owner’s manual, right? And, you open it up and you find the index and you look up, “How to change my tire.” And there are some instructions in there about where to put the jack and how to do it, so you grab everything out of the trunk and you get the jack set up and do everything. And as you are jacking the car up it doesn’t work, and the car actually falls and it falls on the jack weird and it breaks something. The next thing you know, you’re sitting 3 hours on the side of the road waiting for a tow truck He’s got to tow your car, find out you’ve got hundreds of dollars in repairs, you’ve lost all this time, you missed your big presentation, and you’re really frustrated. All because the owner’s manual told you to do something that wasn’t right for that car. So, what do you do? You’re obviously really frustrated and angry. And you pretty much make a decision you’re never going to buy a car of that brand ever again. And don’t use the Honda example in the picture as gospel here, I’m a huge Honda fan, So, not saying this happened to me or this is a problem with Honda’s [EVIL LAUGH] just, it was an easy image to grab. But not only are you frustrated about brands, but you also go and tell all your friends about your horrible experience you had. And you tell them about how when you opened up the owner’s manual, it told you one thing, and it totally didn’t work. and even though you were inexperienced, and you never changed a tire before, you expected the owner’s manual to tell you what to do. And you expected it to tell you what to do in a way that would protect your car. And not only did you tell all your friends, you decided to go online go to a couple forums, go to a couple review sites, and write some pretty nasty words. So, this is a great example of a negative user experience. And this long story, at the end of the day, the user is you, a person who is trying to get to work, on time. And you’ve got a big presentation, so there’s a lot of emotion involved. And at the end of the day, the product, you felt like the product failed you. And regardless of the reasons why the product failed you, in your mind, it did. And, so, when we talk about users, we want to make sure that we’re always looking through their lens, their eyes and what they see. How they’re interacting with your product, service or website. So, that’s a negative example. Probably good to have a positive example just to make sure we’re balancing everything out. This is actually a personal story I don’t know if anyone is familiar with that, but it’s a great little site. Basically, they sell business cards. They have a couple other products but primarily business cards. So, a couple years ago, I got an offer to come to and get some free business cards. I never really heard of them before and thought, man, I may as well check it out. So, I come to the site, it’s really nice, it’s clean, easy, easy to see what’s going on and find what I’m looking for. I find the business cards in the dropdown menu and I head over to it. I start looking at the product and what they offer and what’s different about it, and, you know, another online print shop, I find out that I can customize my design, I can even upload a bunch of my own photography, or my own images, and it’ll randomly print them on the back of the cards in a random order, and I was like, “That’s really cool,” a nice extra I wasn’t expecting when I got there. So, I go ahead and like, “Well, it’s free, so I might as well do it, I’ll get 50 free business cards.” And, uh, so I go and go through the order and it’s real easy and I upload my photos and that’s really easy and I get to the order form now I can check out, pay with a credit card, I can put my shipping information, and off it goes. and about 30 minutes later, I get an auto-email as expected to confirm that my order went through. And what was cool and what I wasn’t expecting was that that actually came from an email address they set up called LittleMoo the print robot. So, they created this little character who sends out all their automated emails that provided some personality to this straight mechanical automated robotic auto-email type system. Something I think most humans kind of go “ugh” another auto-email, I know this is just from their system, it’s not even a person on the other end and they went “You’re right, it’s not, so we’re going to make a little character and pretend their is some identity behind him. That was pretty cool, I liked that. And then, when I finally got the product, And you’ll see there’s a little image there, that’s not the the final product I got, that was one I grabbed online, same exact experience though, I got this cool little box, it was nicely wrapped, this outer design thing, and then inside it said, Yay, youíre our new best friend.î So, hereís a little congratulations for a new customer relationship that they have with me. Theyíre excited, Iím kind of excited, I check it out, cards look great, feel great, product is really nice. So, overall, I had a really great experience and that actually led to me continue to order business cards from them for, like, the next couple years. I still have a bunch of them sitting at home. I still hand them out. So, hereís a great example of a positive user experience specifically with a website. And how all these little touch points that we have with the user, in this case is thinking about not just the design, not just the copy, but what are those little things that they can do to add a little personality to add a little bit extra to create this great, wonderful, exciting, fun, user experience. So, why should we care about user experience? I think we kind of already know but Iíll say it anyway, ìUser Experience builds brand loyalty, if you do it well.î If you have users who are having great experiences on your website or with your product, theyíre going to want to continue to come back, theyíre going to want to tell other people about it, and most of the time, theyíre going to continue being a great customer of yours. And thatís exactly what you want. Thatís business done well. When we have returning customers and people who want to continue to use our products, thatís a great sign that we are doing things well and that we have a healthy business or providing something very useful. Throwing up a couple logos just because I can, obviously Appleís a big one. Theyíve really defined user experience as a core part of everything that they do. From every little touch point of their product, Steve Jobs always had a great saying about ìUser experience is not just the design, itís how the product is actually built.î So, they incorporate user experience principles all the way down to the engineering and manufacturing of their products. And you got Nike, another great example of a user experience centered company. Iíd highly encourage you guys to go and check out some of the little apps. Theyíve got some great apps for iPhone and Android for athletics and running. Lots of cool stuff going on over at Nike. Mini Cooper this is kind of an interesting niche brand. I know most people donít own a Mini donít really see a Mini cooper a lot of times but Iíve got some good friends who are involved in the Mini Cooper realm of users, customers, and theyíve built really really great brand loyalty with their products. And a lot of it comes down to the user experience of not only their cars, but how they sell their cars, and that whole process of going and checking it out, ordering your car, customizing it, tons of options, highly recommend checking them out, following them to kind of see more of how a business thinks about user experience through the whole process of a product. So, moving on, we want to talk specifically today about websites and user experience. So, weíve kind of got the big general ìWhat is user experience?î and we saw examples of how that works with the product, but we really want to nail down what are we talking about with websites. Ultimately, most of us work in the web industry we run sites, or have clients who run sites, and this is where we really need to be on our (?) to user experience. So, websites and UX. Websites are not just text anymore. They are really becoming applications and anyone who has worked with any cus.. excuse me, anyone who has run a site thatís you know, sells product, online is really starting to understand this Thereís lots of sites out there that provide content but even at that, thereís a lot of interaction with users, functionality thatís becoming more and more application like. And so because of this we really need to start thinking more and more about user experience when weíre designing or planning or building websites. So, a great place to start is how do we break down user experience at websites, in particular. So, users have lots of experiences with their websites, positive and negative and a lot of them are affected by a whole bunch of different elements and different reasons why they have a positive or negative experience. I am going to list out a few so bear with me. One great one Itís always think should be at the forefront of your mind and when youíre thinking about your website is ìWas the user able to accomplish what they came to do?î Thereís a lot hidden in that little phrase but were they able to accomplish what they came to do? Weíll talk more about that in a minute. Did they find what they were looking for? So, when they came to the site, did they find what they were expecting to find? Did they find more than they were looking for, in a good way? So, maybe you provided more information or more features or more options than they were expecting, and they found that really helpful. Did they find what they were looking for easily? So, easy to find. Or was it, at least easier than other sites or products they have used? Or was it really hard to find? Or maybe the process of getting what they wanted was really long and laborious. They felt like that was way too many steps for what I was trying to accomplish. Was your site a new experience for them? And this can be both positive and negative. Sometimes, people might enjoy a new experience. Or other might be like mmm, that was too different for me. That was outside of the box and I didnít really understand what what was going on. This is where really understanding who your users are and what they like is great for understanding how to build a website that really caters to them. Maybe youíve designed and built a website thatís pleasantly familiar and comfortable. A visit is really easy for them because it feels like theyíve been here before, even if theyíve never been there. They know exactly what theyíre looking for, how to find it. Things make sense. Does your site stand out from other sites that these users have been to? So, a great, you know, thing to be thinking about is does your site differentiate? Are there tons of other sites that look and feel act and have the same exact thing that your site has and a user comes to your site and goes ìIím not really sure if Iím where Iím supposed to be.î Or ìThis really isnít any different than that other site that I always use, so why should I continue using this one?î And thereís a whole bunch more of these and actually Iíve got a whole bunch more, maybe some time Iíll throw these into a blog post and we can continue the conversation on that. For the sake of time, I going to Iím going to move on. So, how can we provide user experiences that are both effective and delightful when there are so many elements involved in the user experience? A great place to start is to break down the user experience of a website into bigger chunks. or as weíre going to call them today îPlanes of UX.î ìFive Planes of UX.î And these are: Strategy, Scope, Structure, Skeleton, and Surface. And Iíll be flat out with you guys, I did not come up with these names, or the structure, I totally ripped this from another guy, Jesse James Garrett. He wrote a book called the ìElements of User Experienceî and I highly recommend you check that out, if you get a chance. He wrote this book in 2000. and heís got some great insight into how to break down UX. And he breaks down UX into these 5 components: Strategy, Scope, Structure, Skeleton, Surface. And today I am going to break those down a little bit further. Give us a little more information about them. And hopefully make it all make sense. So, some important points as weíre talking about these, and as you see in the little diagram, again, ripped right from his book, and I promise Iím not ripping everything from his books, plenty of original content in here, but I thought this diagram was too good Strategies at the bottom itís really the foundation of everything you and then you build on that from there. And because of that you canít skip around and leave stuff out. It just doesnít work that way. Itís really important that you start with Strategy, and you move your way your way upwards all the way through to Surface. And these are also going to move from abstract concretes. When youíre working through the Strategy plane youíre probably going to feel a little bit out of your element if youíre not used to working in an abstract thought. But know that as you continue to work up that chain start building on Strategy building on Scope, building on Structure, things are going to become more and more solid. Youíre going to feel like your ideas are more concrete, as you move up. And thatís a good thing. The abstract thought that you start with in the Strategy plane is really important for defining and creating really concrete designs and user experiences that make sense. That said, each of these planes is going to overlap a little bit into the next. Itís not like youíre going to finish Strategy completely wrap it up tie a little bow on it and then move on to Scope. The reality is as you work through Strategy, you will begin to creep into Scope, and as you work through Scope, youíre going to creep into Structure. And thatís great. Each of these has a little bit of fluidity to it, and thatís great. So, letís break these down. First up is Strategy. So, what do we mean when we say Strategy? The word gets tossed around a lot. I see it everywhere, and it really just means ìWhatís the goal? Whatís the purpose? Whatís the big Why for your website?î And this is where itís really important that we start with users. What are maybe the one two or three core things that your users want to get out of your site? What is the desire or goal that theyíre trying to accomplish that your site is going to meet for them. And in turn, what are the ones two, or maybe three things that you and your business want your site to accomplish. So what do users want and what do you want? Hopefully, at the end of the day, what they want and what you want match up. So, a great example and weíll actually look a little bit more at Amazon in a little bit, but Amazon sells books. So, ultimately their big why, their big goal, their big purpose is to sell books. So, hopefully theyíre users want to buy books. So, if we flip that around and we say ìMy users want to buy books, and I want to sell books, that sounds like a great match.î And that sounds like you have a great start to a successful website. So, what does Strategy do? Ultimately, it provides focus and foundation. Itís going to inform every decision you make after it, so when all those other planes that follow your Strategy is what youíre always going to be coming back to you and saying ìDoes this meet that end goal of our users?î Does this meet that end goal of our business? Hopefully, those two things match up. If they donít, you probably need to rethink things. If your users want something that your siteís not providing, you either need to change what your siteís providing, the big Why, the big Goal, or you might need to find different users. So, thatís part of that whole strategy, is really figuring out who your users are, the big Why, and focusing on all of that. So, letís move into Scope. Weíre going through these quickly, Hopefully, there will be some more opportunities in the future to really delve deeper into these 5 planes of UX. Thereís a lot to unpack in each of these. but for now, weíre just going to do quick overviews, so, moving on to Scope. Simply put, this is the list of things users should be able to accomplish on your site. So, all the tasks, or all the userís stories. What are all those little things that get the user to the final goal of what they really want out of your site. So, buying books is a great example. What are all those things that are going to lead up to them buying books? What are the extra things that you might want to tack onto that to provide for what your business needs out of it? Hopefully, selling more books. So, a great example talking about books, letís talk about Amazon. So, strategic goal, we already talked about this, Amazonís probably their big strategic goal, Iím guessing here, I donít actually work for Amazon, but Iím pretty sure this is one of them is to satisfy userís desire to buy books. So, what are all the ways that theyíre going to do this? Well, hereís a short little user story to kind of give you an example. So, users can search for books and be provided best matches of books based on their search keywords. That makes sense. I want to buy a book, Iíve got to find the book first. So, letís give them a way to find it. Theyíll be able to search by author, title, ISBN, maybe some other things. Thatís all part of that task. And then, as, weíre going to provide some extra information about the book when they find it. So, maybe theyíll be able to view the cover artwork, maybe read some reviews, see a synopsis, and actually if you check, Iím sure you all have been there, and you click on any product, but especially books, thereís tons of extra information that they provide. So, theyíve really built out that task and really said, ìWe want to make sure that our users have a lot of different options of content to be engaged with when they find the book they are looking for. And then, moving on, they can save them to a cart for later purchasing, so they can continue to search, add books to their cart, thatís a great user task. And then they might even be able to see related books, when you kind of have to go ìHow are they related, like, how do we determine what other books to show them based on something they have already looked at or already put in their shopping cart? Well, maybe itís based on all the other users on our site. So, as, theyíre tracking what people are looking at, what people are putting in their shopping cart, and theyíre saying, ìHey, you, you just looked at this book, why donít you check out some of these other books that a lot of our other users have looked at who also looked at the book that you saw.î Itís a great example of adding some an extra feature, an extra task, that a user might find really helpful in the process of buying a book. And then, moving on from there, obviously being able to checkout, pay with a credit card, and get an estimate for shipping, those are all additional user stories, user tasks, that can all be part of that that long string of that user going from I come to your site and now Iím going to accomplish the goal that I came to do. Thatís all part of that big Scope. tsk Sorry, there we go… So, the next one is Structure. So, weíve talked about Strategy, talked about Scope. Now, weíre getting a little bit finer, weíre going to talk about the Structure of our site. What do we mean by Structure? Well, you kind of need a plan for how those users are going to flow through your site. So, ultimately, Structure is talking about the flow of your site. So, as a user, how do I find what Iím looking for, whatís the flow of actions or interactions that Iím going to take on the site? A great way to visualize this is mind maps or flowcharts. Couple examples here, the one on the left is more of a content oriented site, thereís not a lot of everythingís pretty much just a static screen for the most part, itís just content on pages. We want to organize that in a way that makes a lot of sense. Maybe provide some categories for different sections. how are those categories related to one another. And a mind map or some kind of chart like that usually makes that very easy to visualize and really helps as you continue to move through the 5 planes of user experience. The one on the right is more of a flowchart. So, itís kind of, what are the interactions that a user is going to take, so they might click on the curiousity button, and then they have some options and then they have more options that they can choose from, and then whatís going to be provided if they click yes versus if they click no. Kind of just the whole flow of your site or the different functionalities within your site. It doesnít really matter what you end up using or what tool you use, the more important thing is you are really thinking these things through in a very logical manner and youíre thinking through as as much detail as you possibly can. You can spend a lot of time on the Scope, or excuse me, the Structure phase, and thatís really important. Itís really important to solidify these things before you move on to the next planes of user experience. The next one being Skeleton. So, weíve figured out the Strategy, figured out the big Why, big Goal, and weíve figured out the Scope, figured out what are all the functionality that weíre going to allow our users to have. And weíve kind of figured out a flow of our site. And so the next thing is the first kind of visual element of our site. And thatís wireframes, itís like the layout of sites. What are all the elements that are going to go on each of these pages or each of these views that the user is going to see? What images are they going to see? What copy are they going to see? Where is that button going to go? Is there going to be a call to action? Where is that going to go? A great way to visualize this is with wireframes. This can be as simple as a little sketch in a sketch book. I actually use those a lot. Theyíre really nice, just really quick quick and dirty explanations of how a user is going to see and visualize the site. Where things are going to go, how we communicate effectively. The one on the right is a little bit more fleshed out. Obviously, itís been rendered in some kind of computer graphics program. You can still tell itís not focused on the aesthetics of the site, itís focused on just layout. Where things are going to go, whatís going to have the most emphasis, things that are dark versus whatís going to have less emphasis, things that are light. What content is going to be on the site? Ultimately, the Skeleton stage is all about creating kind of a package from which you can build out the skin, or the visual aesthetics, of your site. And it also ensures that youíre creating a site that communicates really well. That things are clearly defined of where theyíre going to be so the user has a very logical and pleasant experience as they work through your site. And that leads us to the last plane of user experience, and thatís Surface. Basically, Surface is the interface. Itís the visual elements, itís the copywriting, itís the eye candy that the user is going to experience as they are on your site. I kind of like to think of it as the packaging of your site, if your site was a product. As they play with your site, theyíre going to open it up, theyíre going to play with the packaging, and even beyond that, theyíre going to actually play with your product, if your website is your product, and theyíre going to touch it, theyíre going to feel it. So, itís really important to be thinking through like the copywriting on your site, is it engaging? Does it really speak to the user? This is where itís really important to understand who your users are. People communicate in different ways. Great example, a really simple one, I think weíd all be like, Ugh, duh, thatís an easy one, but do your users speak English, or do they speak Spanish? If they primarily speak English, itís probably a good idea to have your site in English. And if they primarily speak Spanish, itís probably a good idea to have a site thatís built with Spanish. Or at least give them the option to switch back and forth because maybe your users are multi-lingual. But it could be even more specific in that you could be looking at users who maybe theyíre an older generation, and so if you throw around a bunch of slang terms, that are really catchy with people in their teens, then you might have a hard time engaging people of an older generation who donít really understand what you mean, or find that maybe that slang term is maybe a little offensive or maybe it just doesnít resonate with them. Same thing with a lot of business sites that I see. A lot of them write copy thatís industry related. So, theyíll use catchy industry related terms or theyíll use an abbreviation thatís familiar within their industry and thatís great if youíre talking to your competitors but a lot of times businesses are not talking with people who are familiar with all the industry jargon within your industry. And so, they might find that actually kind of off-putting, like ìMan, youíre using all these words and I have no idea what they mean. And, not only do I not know what they mean, but you havenít really given me anyway to figure out what they mean.î So, no definitions, so if you are going to use industry jargon like that, great idea is to at least provide some explanation. Donít assume that your user understands all the terminology and vocabulary that you would normally use in your everyday life. Again, it all comes back to the user. Who is your user? How do you build an experience that really resonates with them? Moving on from copy, you can also talk about design. And thatís going to be everything from typography, like what fonts do you use, is it going to be big or small, are you going to use bold or italics to emphasize certain things? Building some typographical Structure for your site. Iím just going to include what images maybe you have specific styles for your images, I love this example on the right. This is a to be honest, I donít remember what site this was, oh, itís the eyeglasses, ya, so their product is eyeglasses, theyíre trying to sell eyeglasses, and theyíve created a really cool Structure of typography, so they have some interesting fonts theyíre using and but beyond that, theyíve really gone to the next step and they said, ìYou know what, letís have photography thatís all done in the same style.î And itís an engaging style, you kind of see thereís kind of this kind of quirkiness, slight quirkiness to it, like each of the the models they are using can have these quirky expressions, It really built the brand into everything theyíre doing with the design of their site, the aesthetics of their site, this interface that users are going to interact with. And even moving beyond just the static style of your site, is even transitions, animations, what are those little interactions when someone click on something or they roll over something. those are all part of the user experience. And while they might be really small and minor in our eyes, a lot of times, users find those things really engaging and fun. And not only fun but when you have buttons that feel like real things, people are probably more likely to click on them. When an interface has functionality that feels like Iím hitting a key on my keyboard, at least somewhat, thereís a connection there. People can go, ìOh, this feels like something Iím already familiar with.î That makes sense that I get to click on it and it and it looks like what would happen when I click a button on my computer.î Or, ìI use the power button on this other device that I have, that makes a lot of sense to me.î Lots of things to be thinking about in all these different planes as you can see I would love to dive into more detail on those in the future, so hopefully there will be some more opportunities for that. So, just a quick wrap up: what have we talked about today… First up, what is UX? Itís the feelings that a user comes away with when using our product, specifically, our website. So, why does UX matter? Are users feelings affecting immensely the likelihood of making a purchase? Continuing to use our product or website again and again. And even if theyíll recommend it to others. If people have great experiences more likely than not, theyíll find a way to share it. And thatís great for our product, means that we get to grow and build it, and itís also great for our business. Usually more users means weíll put more money in our pockets and the ability to continue to grow and expand as a business. And finally, we talked about what is our user experience design framework. So, we talked about number 1, Strategy, which is the goal of our site or product. We talked about Scope, which are all the tasks that users can accomplish on our site. Itís the Structure kind of that map how things are going to work. Itís the Skeleton, or the layout of out pages, or our views. And finally itís the Surface, itís the interface. Itís how it all looks and feels when the user interacts with it. Last slide Iíve got here, just some other resources that you guys can check out. And Iíll make sure that we provide a link to a PDF download so that you guys can click these links and check them out. Obviously, first off, ìElements of User Experienceî we already talked about this book, by Jesse James Garrett. Itís a great book to check out, thereís even a free chapter you can download that talks about some of the stuff we talked about today. Check that out there on the link. Another great book to check out, really short, really easy to digest, great for anyone working within a company who has got a site, where you want to be more user experience centered with the design and the build, of that site. Itís called ìThe Undercover User Experience Designî. I definitely recommend checking that out. Cardinal Path blog, of course, Weíve got lots of posts about UX, as well as lots of other digital analytics and digital marketing topics on there. Definitely check that out. ì52 Weeks of UXî If youíre looking for kind of a crash course on UX, this is a series of great essays and little brief thoughts that the writers have put together. There are guys that are UX industry professionals and they built a site and for 52 weeks, they posted once a week, on there, thereís some great stuff to learn. Wonít take too long to get through either, theyíre pretty short, but very insightful. UX Mag, or UX Magazine, itís got lots of great stories from the field of user experience of study and designs, so you get some research topics in there. as well as actual implementation of design and build. And across a whole bunch of different industries, youíll see everything from website designs and website builds, all the way through to healthcare applications and software. Itís a great example of how to see a lot of whatís going on across multiple industries with user experience. LittleBigDetails, I love this site itís just a little Tumblr blog, basically the author just posts little screenshots of small little user interface details that they find inspirational. If youíre a designer or you work with a website, this is a great way to get some little inspiration on how you can make, those little things that make your website stand out that can make an experience just a little bit better for your users. And finally, 90PercentOfEverything, this is a fantastic blog by Harry Brignull. Heís a senior UX designer at Clearleft over in England. which is a top UX design firm. He just blogs about anything and everything that comes to his mind as a UX designer and itís brilliant. I definitely recommend checking him out. So, weíll wrap up with questions and thereís contact information if you want to hit me up later today or whenever, but Iíll hand this back over to Kent and see what questions you guys have. KENT: Oddly, we seem to have no questions right now, Mike. Letís give everyone a minute or two to to think things over and ask whatever they care. MIKE: Definitely. KENT: A good question and itís for me actually, Will the slides be available for download? Yes. I will see if I can get these slides through Mike soon, and theyíll be up on our blog in a new post either tomorrow or the next day, along with a recording of this webinar. I think thatís it. Mike… o wait… MIKE: Awesome. Thanks everybody. KENT: Thereís actually one last question, just popped in here. What Iím going to guess the question is is what are your favorite strategies for testing user experience? MIKE: For testing user experience? Great question. A/B testing is always good if youíre wanting to test one off type things like a call to action button. Multi-variate is also a great way, you can test multiple options over time. Thereís a ton of different ways to do that. I highly recommend checking out a site called Youíll see tons of examples of A/B tests and multi-variate tests on landing pages and website designs. I also highly recommend focus testing. So, getting a more subjective view from users of the experience that theyíre having on your site. You can do that as generally as you know, play with your site, give them a few tasks to accomplish through it, and see how they do. Notice the touch points where they get hung up. And ask them to talk through it a lot. Thatís a great way to get, like, just kind of down and dirty like what experience are users really having with your site. Data, you know, doing an A/B test, doing a multi-variate test with tons of people is a great way to test things. But a lot of times youíll get so narrowly focused on just one little element that youíre trying to test, that you donít see the bigger picture of ìOh my goodness, this whole series of checkout pages just doesnít make sense to people.î We had, you know, Ten different users go through it and everyone of them got hung up on it somewhere in that process. And so focus testing is a great way to, to really for you to experience how your users are experiencing your site. So, that was a great question, Iím sure thereís more we can talk about, hit me up if you got more regarding testing. KENT: One more here, and I quite like this one, how do you overcome clients who say things like ìI want it this way despite UX recommendations.î MIKE: [Evil Laugh] That is a great question. Well, first off, if youíre starting with Strategy, and hopefully you are, and you and the client have come to an agreement, on that Strategy, you can always point them back to that. and say, look, weíre making decisions based on this goal, this main reason why this site exists. Letís make sure weíre making decisions that make sense with that. Ultimately, youíre going to run into stuff or like, hey, the client wants a specific little thing or a specific desire on their part that you feel doesnít make sense itís always going to happen. Itís just the nature of human communications and just working with clients. Ultimately, I say, as a consultant, itís your job to tell them what you believe, to hopefully prove it with some experience or data to back it up. But at the end of the day, itís their site. itís their product and itís their decision, so Iíd say let them know a couple times ìI firmly believe this is the right way to go.î And if they continue to push back, Iíll say, ìNo what? Alright, weíll go with your route.î A great way to kind of justify yourself on this is start doing some testing once you launch. Say, ìHey letís try it your way, but do you mind if we do an A/B test or some multi-variate testing or some focus testing that focuses in on that specific user interactions just say, ìMaybe this actually doesnít work and letís find out just be sure. Great question. KENT: Weíll give a minute here and see if any more roll in. Doesnít look like it. Alright, I think we can wrap this up. Mike. MIKE: Cool. Thanks everybody. Hit me up if you got anymore questions, but otherwise hopefully weíll be doing another webinar on UX soon and we can dig more into this stuff. KENT: Bye everyone.

Danny Hutson

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