Enterprise software usability is difficult to evaluate because the standard product shipped on a CD is almost always customized when it is implemented. How then can we learn about the design issues that actual users encounter with customized software?
Card sorting is a simple user-centered technique for obtaining insight into the structure of a site. But is it really so simple? This definitive guide to card sorting includes detailed instructions on how to execute and analyze a sort, plus helpful hints to improve your sorts. It is the first in a series of articles about card sorting.
Personalization, properly implemented, brings focus to your message and delivers an experience that is visitor-oriented, quick to inform, and relevant. Personalization, poorly implemented, complicates the user experience and orphans content. This article describes what separates the freshness from the noise.
“Observe your users” — a maxim most user experience professionals subscribe to. But how do you “observe?” When testing websites, generating hypotheses about user behavior can help inform the observation process, structure data collection and analysis, and organize findings.
The web is awash with sterile design solutions. IBM, Dell, Microsoft, and countless others are virtually indistinguishable from each other. Though one might say this makes browsing easier by virtue of a standardized interface, in reality such sites create mundane experiences for their users and fail to make a positive connection with their audience.
This article explains how to quickly derive easily-read, quantitative results from a card-sort activity by entering data into a spreadsheet template that is adaptable to any set of cards and categories.
Semiotics teaches us as designers that our work has no meaning outside the complex set of factors that define it. The deeper our understanding and awareness of these factors, the better our control over the success of the work products we create.
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.