Methods

March 25th, 2014

Forms: The Complete Guide

Part 2: Input Types

Forms are one of the most important parts of any site or app—they are the most common way for our users to give us the information that we need to help them do what they want to do. But in many instances, we design forms statically, often as wireframes. But so often, what makes or…

So you want to extend your website’s account management features to mobile devices. Well you’re not alone; most major websites today have cross-platform accounts and profiles that make for a more engaging and cohesive user experience. And many sites enable account management features on mobile devices. After all, you want people to be able to…

Does your company have display booths at trade shows and conferences? Typically, these are marketing-dominated efforts, but if you make the case to travel, working the booth can be used for user research. Here’s how I’ve done it. Positioning and justification At times it can be a hard internal sell to justify the costs and…

Improvisation is a very old and time-tested form of theater. The earliest use of improvisation is found in records of a Roman farce performed in 391 BC. Given its long history, it’s surprising to me that in our modern world, comedy–and comedic improvisation–is considered a low-brow form of entertainment. It is generally eschewed by the…

Personas are essential when you are working on a project and don’t know the target audience very well. For instance, not every designer has experience in fashion or banking. Creating a model of your target audience may help you and your stakeholders feel significantly more empathy for those people. Personas can also help you get…

October 29th, 2013

Context matters

Using eye-tracking to test email marketing

What makes a marketing e-mail or newsletter efficient? One can judge, for instance, by the number of users that opened the message or clicked on a specified element representing primary action, such as a product link or button. Those indicators measure user engagement precisely; however, they are limited to the last phase of interaction with…

My first experience in improvisational comedy was in 1989. I was a freshman at Texas A&M University. Some of the students in the theater department decided to get an improv troupe started and somehow talked me into joining them. In the beginning, I was petrified to perform without a script. Looking back now, I can…

April 9th, 2013

The Shallow Dive

How to Survive When UX Meets Budget Cuts

At a recent job, my department faced large budget cuts. When the dust had cleared, I found I had become a UX group of one. This didn’t come with a corresponding slowdown in work – in fact, following a major rewrite of our call center application, our department was already struggling to keep pace with…

March 26th, 2013

Site Speed and Usability

The cost of every lagging second, and what you can do about it

Did you know usability tests have shown that the maximum number of seconds a user is willing to wait, on average, before abandoning a web page, is 8.6? If that number surprises you, it should. The study took place in 1994. The bar is exponentially higher now for people involved in website user experience design…

January 8th, 2013

Interviewing Executives and SME Stakeholders

And Everyone Else

This is an excerpt from from Kim Goodwin’s excellent Designing for the Digital Age. It is quite long, so we’ve broken it into several sections. Many thanks to Ms. Goodwin and Wiley for allowing us to share this with our readers. Understanding the Business The General Stakeholder Interview The Marketing Stakeholder Interview The Engineering Stakeholder Interview The…

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