Discovery, Research, and Testing

As a specialist in the user, you gain knowledge through observation and direct questioning of individual users. Now, you can add to that insights gained from data pulled during their actions on the site. By looking at this information, you will get a fuller picture of user behavior, not in a lab, but in the true user environment.

How do you prove your worth to clients in today’s difficult economy? Performed as part of a sales proposal or the discovery phase of a project, a site assessment can uncover opportunities for improvement and help you speak knowledgeably about solutions to your potential client’s problems.

October 14th, 2002

Consolidated Assessment:

There are several research tools at our disposal for understanding user behavior. But how many times do we get the chance to spend as much time on research as we think is required? Combining techniques is one way to increase efficiency and still collect meaningful information.

There are several important factors to consider when you are planning to do prototyping for user testing. You will want to make careful choices about fidelity, level of interactivity and the medium of your prototype. Chris Farnum offers descriptions and best use scenarios to help you make the best prototype decision for your tests.

Jakob Nielsen has brought usability to the attention of the general public, but within the user experience community he’s been criticized by those who say he emphasizes a view that excludes other dimensions of user experience. So is he the defender of ease-of-use or the enemy of creativity?

It should come as little surprise that the basic flow of Yahoo! Mail has hardly changed at all since the portal first acquired the RocketMail service in 1997. But rather than offering an outdated solution to the web-based email problem, Yahoo! Mail demonstrates the lasting effectiveness of a simple approach.

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