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Beyond Usability

  1. 1. Beyond Usability: User-Centered Design Strategies - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - Christina Wodtke :: christina@carboniq.com   Carbon IQ User Experience Group http://www.carboniq.com tel: 415 824 7090
  2. 2. Introduction to user-centered design <ul><li>What is it? </li></ul>NO! It’s more than usability testing
  3. 3. Introduction to user-centered design <ul><li>What is it? </li></ul><ul><ul><li>A method for understanding and considering the person who will experience your design while you design </li></ul></ul>
  4. 4. Introduction to user-centered design <ul><li>What is it? </li></ul><ul><ul><li>A way to get user reactions and feedback to design </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Performed throughout the entire product development cycle </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Used to ensure a usable product </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Iterative </li></ul></ul>
  5. 5. Introduction to user-centered design Test while you build Test before you build Test after you think you’re done
  6. 6. Introduction: How does it work? <ul><ul><li>Learn who the user is. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Design for that user </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Create a rough prototype to test with the people who will use it. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Revise based on what you learned. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Build a prototype that is close to the finished thing. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Test again. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Make fixes based on what you learned. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Ship the product. Include a feedback device so you can make the next version even better. </li></ul></ul>
  7. 7. Introduction: Who does it? <ul><ul><li>Internal User Research Specialist </li></ul></ul>
  8. 8. Introduction: Who does it? <ul><ul><li>Internal User Research Specialist </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Outside Consultant </li></ul></ul>
  9. 9. Introduction: Who does it? <ul><ul><li>Internal User Research Specialist </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Outside Consultant </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>You </li></ul></ul>
  10. 10. Introduction: Why do it? <ul><ul><li>Know if the product meets user needs before you build it </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Cheap to change a sketch </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Affordable to change a Photoshop comp </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Expensive to change fully coded product </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Customer service expensive as well </li></ul></ul></ul>
  11. 11. Introduction: Why do it? <ul><ul><li>Enable you to develop easy-to-use products </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Satisfy customers </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Decrease expenditures on technical support and training </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Advertise ease-of-use successes </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Improve brand perception </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Ultimately increase market share </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Next: who are the users? </li></ul></ul>
  12. 12. Who are the users of the system? <ul><li>Start by collecting pre-existing information </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Hunt down previous data (marketing demographics, surveys, past usability tests) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Hold stakeholder interviews </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Conduct customer service interviews </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Next: Talk to the user: recruiting </li></ul></ul>
  13. 13. Finding the end user <ul><li>Recruiting </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Develop a portrait of the user (a la the persona) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Develop a screener based on this </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Recruit typical end users </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Professional recruiter </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Do it yourself </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Offer a consideration: cash or a gift </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Watch for ringers </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Professional testers </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Inarticulate users </li></ul></ul></ul>
  14. 14. Not the end user <ul><ul><ul><li>Employees </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Designers </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Programmers </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Market researchers </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>You </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Next: Contextual Inquiry </li></ul></ul>
  15. 15. Talk to the end user: Questionnaires <ul><li>What is it? </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Series of questions to be answered by users </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Mail,or on website </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Quantitative, rather than qualitative </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Good for gathering large amounts of facts </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Less reliable when dealing with opinions </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>People lie, and with very little reason </li></ul></ul>
  16. 16. Talk to the end user: Questionnaires <ul><li>Two types: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Factual </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Gender: male or female </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Do you drink coffee daily? </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Opinion </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>From a scale from 1 to 5 where 1 is easy and 5 is difficult, how hard was it to use this system? </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Would you buy this product? </li></ul></ul></ul>
  17. 17. Talk to the end user: Questionnaires <ul><li>Tips: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Keep it short </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Do multiple surveys, rather than one long </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Phrase questions cautiously </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Use Likert scales </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Keep it anonymous, and state that in the beginning </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Allow single vote per IP </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Next: Contextual Inquiry </li></ul></ul></ul>
  18. 18. Talk to the end user: Contextual Inquiry <ul><li>Onsite observation. </li></ul>
  19. 19. Talk to the end user: Contextual Inquiry <ul><li>What is it? </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Observe users in the environment they use your product </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Watch them use the product </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Understand their behavior by encouraging them to “think out loud” </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Remember to compare what they say and what they do. </li></ul></ul>
  20. 20. Talk to the end user: Contextual Inquiry <ul><li>Technique: Thinking-out-loud </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Also used in usability testing, participatory design </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Users encouraged to voice their thoughts as they use the product </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Try an exercise to illustrate </li></ul></ul>
  21. 21. Talk to the end user: Contextual Inquiry <ul><li>Running a contextual inquiry </li></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Recruit a number of typical end-users </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Visit the location where they would use your product </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Ask them to show you how currently do their tasks </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Ask them to accomplish those tasks with your product </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Analyze your results </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Next: personas </li></ul></ul></ul>
  22. 22. Personas
  23. 23. Persona development <ul><li>Personas are: </li></ul><ul><li>A key to user-centered design </li></ul><ul><li>Not “The User” but “one particular user” </li></ul><ul><li>Inform the entire design process </li></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Who are we designing for? </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>What are we designing? </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>How will we design it? </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Does this design work? </li></ul></ul></ul>
  24. 24. Persona development/user profiling <ul><li>Personas are: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Archetypal users </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Conglomerates based on user data </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Built collaboratively by team </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Useful for keeping users front-of-mind </li></ul></ul>
  25. 25. Grace <ul><li>(62/ female/ widowed/ Little Rock, AR.) </li></ul><ul><li>“ I like playing my favorite games online, but if I can play with friends, well that’s even better!” </li></ul><ul><li>   </li></ul><ul><li>Personal Background : Her husband has passed on. She has two grown kids, both of whom live far away. She misses the kids, but has a fairly large circle of friends that she spends time with. </li></ul><ul><li>  </li></ul><ul><li>Technical Proficiency Profile : Limited. Can use her browser and her email. MS Word confuses her, and she doesn’t like using it. Doesn’t know what an OS is. Tends to click yes if the browser prompts her to do anything, and will click wildly until things work. </li></ul><ul><li>History with Shockwave and/or AtomFilms : Plays crossword puzzles daily and saves them. Plays card games, PhotoJam, but is offended by South Park cartoons </li></ul><ul><li>Shockwave’s opportunity : If Grace can be convinced to participate in community activities, she will become a loyal user of the site. She needs to be sheltered from the sick and twisted content, however. </li></ul><ul><li>  </li></ul><ul><li>  </li></ul>
  26. 26. Sarah <ul><li>(22/ female/ single/ Washington, DC.) </li></ul><ul><li>“ I like AtomFilms because it’s just about the films” </li></ul><ul><li>  </li></ul><ul><li>Personal Background : Liberal arts education at college in the Midwest Just graduated and moved to DC. Has a dog Likes music and art. Went to Lilith Fair. Sends out mass emails about causes she cares about, or jokes. </li></ul><ul><li>  Profession : Editor for non-profit organization ($35K/yr) </li></ul><ul><li>History with Shockwave and/or AtomFilms : First came to AtomFilms because she did a search on Sundance content. She’s heard about the merger with AtomFilms, and is very worried about AtomFilms losing its edge, or begin buried in the Shockwave.com site. She thinks some controversial material might be hidden if AtomFilm gets merged with Shockwave. </li></ul><ul><li>Shockwave’s opportunity : If Shockwave can prove they are trustworthy enough to coax her into signing up, she will become a loyal visitor and shortlist subscriber. If she feels clicking through ads will help Shockwave support independent film, she will. </li></ul>
  27. 27. Scott <ul><li>(17/ male/ single/ Shaumburg, IL.) </li></ul><ul><li>“ I want something cool and really on the edge. Something you can’t get on TV” </li></ul><ul><li>#2 most common user </li></ul><ul><li>  </li></ul><ul><li>Profession : Full time student (studies exercise and sport science) </li></ul><ul><li>Personal Background : Youngest kid in family of five. Likes to be seen as a little rebellious. Excited to be in college, but not really brave enough yet to actually do anything rebellious, so uses Internet to express his self-image. </li></ul><ul><li>History with Shockwave and/or AtomFilms : he’s been to Shockwave a few times, and usually clicks games as soon as the navigation bar loads. He likes playing arcade games, and “shoot ‘em up’s.” Spend two hours playing “King of the Hill paintball” recently. </li></ul><ul><li>Shockwave’s opportunity : he is already hanging out in the games section regularly. If shockwave can introduce him to it’s sick and twisted material, it can keep him on the website longer, and use his tendency to send out links to spread the word. </li></ul><ul><li>  </li></ul>
  28. 28. Persona development/user profiling <ul><li>How to create: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Summarize findings, distribute to stakeholders. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Hold a work session with stakeholders & development team to brainstorm personas. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Prioritize and cull lesser personas to develop primary and supporting personas. </li></ul></ul>
  29. 29. Prioritize personas
  30. 30. Prioritize personas primary secondary special
  31. 31. Prioritize personas primary secondary special
  32. 32. Use personas <ul><li>Keep them near </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Hang them on your wall </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Make poster, placemats, puppets </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Role-play personas </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Evaluate with them </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Next: mental models </li></ul></ul>
  33. 33. Analyzing what you’ve learned. <ul><li>Mental Models - diagram of the end user’s perception of product </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Study the user </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Map the mental model </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Design from the mental model </li></ul></ul>
  34. 34. Designing with what you’ve learned. plan task info execution info evaluate
  35. 35. A simple mental model
  36. 36. A simple mental model
  37. 37. A complex model
  38. 38. Map the mental model <ul><ul><li>Pencil and paper </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Write down how the user thinks </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Sketch it– don’t worry about being pretty </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Adjust by adding business restraints </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Design from this model </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Share with development team </li></ul></ul>
  39. 39. Designing with what you’ve learned <ul><li>Persona Scenarios – the power of story telling </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Get your personas out </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Tell ideal user experience for one persona </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Adjust for business constraints </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Build for this scenario </li></ul></ul>
  40. 40. Example Persona Scenario
  41. 41. Designing what you’ve learned. <ul><li>Task analysis </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Step by step breakdown of scenarios </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Helps define interface/interaction needs </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Flushes out potential opportunities for errors </li></ul></ul>
  42. 42. Designing what you’ve learned <ul><li>Task analysis </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Start with scenario </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Break it up into discreet tasks </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Subdivide into smaller steps </li></ul></ul>
  43. 43. Task analysis Purchasing a purse at nordstroms.com might include the tasks: 1. locate purse 2. add purse to shopping cart 3. check out f. Review order “ CHECK OUT” BECOMES g. Finalize checkout e. Input payment d. Input billing address c. Input shipping address b. Sign in/sign up a. Select checkout
  44. 44. Task analysis And so on… <ul><ul><li>v. Input state (dropdown of standard abbreviations) </li></ul></ul>f. Review order “ INPUT BILLING ADDRESS” BECOMES “ CHECK OUT” BECOMES <ul><ul><li>vi. Input country </li></ul></ul>g. Finalize checkout <ul><ul><li>iv. Input street address </li></ul></ul>e. Input payment <ul><ul><li>iii. Input street address </li></ul></ul>d. Input billing address <ul><ul><li>ii. Input family name </li></ul></ul>c. Input shipping address <ul><ul><li>i. Input first name </li></ul></ul>b. Sign in/sign up d. Input billing address (prepopulate all fields from c.) a. Select checkout
  45. 45. Example Task analysis
  46. 46. Designing for the end user - and with them! <ul><li>Prototyping </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Simple low-fi mockup </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Often paper or simple html </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Early or not designed </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Quick, easy to revise </li></ul></ul>
  47. 47. Designing with the user <ul><li>How to: Designing and Preparing a paper prototype test </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Required: paper, pens, tape, scissors and 3 people </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Use paper and hand draw prototype </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>One person acts as the computer, one as moderator, one takes notes </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Ask users to accomplish tasks </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Make small changes as needed </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Paper prototyping kit available at http://www.infodesign.com.au/usability </li></ul>
  48. 48. Rapid prototyping <ul><ul><li>Paper or html </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Very early stage design, or half complete design </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Allow time between tests to make changes </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Note where design gets better or worse </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>You should be making fewer changes as the test continues </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>The report is partly the final prototype </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Next: card sorting </li></ul></ul>
  49. 49. Participatory Card Sort <ul><ul><li>Way to understand user’s mental models and language </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Useful on sites with large amount of content </li></ul></ul>
  50. 50. How to: Running a successful card sort <ul><ul><li>50-75 pieces of content (not categories!) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Provide as much information as possible while not overwhelming </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Lay all content out on a large table, shuffled thoroughly </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Provide blanks for category labels </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Encourage thinking-out-loud </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Be helpful, but do not suggest or advise. Play psychiatrist. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Collate results and look for patterns. </li></ul></ul>
  51. 51. Usability testing—at last– or at first? <ul><li>Do testing while you still have time to fix problems </li></ul><ul><li>Do testing before a redesign </li></ul>
  52. 52. Fighting for it. <ul><li> </li></ul>You will have to fight. Prepare your arguments in advance. “ User-centered techniques help define target market.” “ Everybody is our market.; that’s too many people to test” ARGUMENT EXCUSE “ Market research is not the same.” “ We’ve done market research.” “ Observe, don’t ask.” “ Users don’t know what they want.” “ Test prototypes.” “ It’s never been done before; so there’s nothing to test.” “ Use discount methods.” “ We don’t have time.” “ Use discount methods.” “ We don’t have the budget.” “ Designers are not users.” “ We have great designers.”
  53. 53. More reading <ul><ul><li>Contextual Design </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Don’t Make Me Think </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Designing Web Usability </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Inmates are Running the Asylum </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Software For Use </li></ul></ul><ul><li>All can be found at </li></ul><ul><li>http://www.eleganthack.com/reading/ </li></ul><ul><li>(and more!) </li></ul>
  54. 54. More reading <ul><ul><li>Usable Web http://www.usableweb.com </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Usability Toolbox http://www.best.com/~jthom/usability/ </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Ask Tog http://www.asktog.com/ </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Useit.com – Jakob! http://www.useit.com </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>UIE.com – Jared </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>http://www.uie.com </li></ul></ul>
  55. 55. Conclusion <ul><ul><li>User-centered design works </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>It makes good business sense </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>It’s affordable </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>It’s satisfying </li></ul></ul>
  56. 56. Questions? - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - Christina Wodtke :: christina@carboniq.com   Carbon IQ User Experience Group http://www.carboniq.com tel: 415 824 7090

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