Process and Methods

March 10th, 2015

A Beginner’s Guide to Web Site Optimization—Part 3

Communication and team and tool selection

Web site optimization has become an essential capability in today’s conversion-driven web teams. In Part 1 of this series, we introduced the topic as well as discussed key goals and philosophies. In Part 2, I presented a detailed and customizable process. In this final article, we’ll cover communication planning and how to select the appropriate team and tools to do the…

The Jewish Torah teaches that the Creator created our world through ten utterances–for example, “let there be light.” The Jewish mystical tradition explains that these utterances correspond with ten stages in the process of creation. Every creative process in the world ultimately follows this progression, because it is really a part of the continual unfolding…

In the previous article we talked about why site optimization is important and presented a few important goals and philosophies to impart on your team. I’d like to switch gears now and talk about more tactical stuff, namely, process. Optimization process Establishing a well-formed, formal optimization process is beneficial for the following reasons. It organizes the workflow and sets clear…

January 13th, 2015

A Beginner’s Guide to Web Site Optimization—Part 1

Practical advice for starting and running your own A/B testing program

Web site optimization, commonly known as A/B testing, has become an expected competency among many web teams, yet there are few comprehensive and unbiased books, articles, or training opportunities aimed at individuals trying to create this capability within their organization. In this series, I’ll present a detailed, practical guide on how to build, fine-tune, and…

An important part of any user experience department should be a consistent outreach effort to users both familiar and unfamiliar. Yet, it is hard to both establish and sustain a continued voice amongst the business of our schedules. Recruiting, screening, and scheduling daily or weekly one-on-one walkthroughs can be daunting for someone in a small…

I can draw. I went to art school. I studied painting until I fell out with the abstract expressionists and switched to photography. But I can draw. What I cannot do is diagram. I always wanted to. I have models in my head all the time of how things work. But when it comes time…

The following is a composite of experiences I’ve had in the last year when talking with startups. Some dialog is paraphrased, some is verbatim, but I’ve tried to keep it as true as possible and not skew it towards anyone’s advantage or disadvantage. As professionals in the user-centered design world, we are trained and inclined…

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…

December 19th, 2013

Building the In-house Design Agency

Getting the best of both worlds

The first article discussed the pros and cons of different UX team structures. For companies that depend on user experience for business success, a strong internal team is essential. But how do you get there from here? Having built one UX group from scratch and managed another 230+ person internal UX groups, I’ve learned a…

November 26th, 2013

Soldiers & Hessians, Ronin & Ninja

UX team organization can make or break a company's design strategy

When UX’ers talk, they tend to talk about process, but the ability to deliver an innovative user experience starts before kickoff and lasts after the launch. Repeatable success in UX depends on the right culture. This is particularly important in enterprise scale organizations, with long-lasting relationships. Having worked as a consultant, at an agency and…

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