The concept underlying Agile Software Development is of rapid and limited design and development iterations with a continual feedback loop and involvement on the part of the users. The testing implications of Agile SW development are fairly obvious: frequent iterative user testing of each design and development improvement.
Unmoderated remote user testing, whereby user experience and usability professionals can set up tests and have participants respond to them at scale, from their home, anywhere in the world, is clearly a major part of the toolset for Agile UX.
One of the most active groups of professionals focused on Agile UX, almost 15,000 members worldwide, is the Agile UX Group in Linkedin (https://www.linkedin.com/groups/3803162). We decided to run a survey with them and see how they use un-moderated remote user testing, how they perceived the value proposition, and what features would have them use this methodology more extensively, as well as obtain buy-in from colleagues and business owners.Read more
What does moviemaking have to do with user experience and usability testing? It turns out that the answer is, quite a lot.
A great user experience design achieves an emotional response. When a user experiences a "wow, that was so easy and intuitive and cool" moment, that is when you know that you have built a great product.
The same is true for a movie or TV series. The ones that work are impacting our emotions, not our reasoning.Read more
For many years Agencies, Product Managers, Marketers, Usability professionals and Web Development firms have been able to quickly and inexpensively user test their prototypes and production sites by recording target Personas interacting remotely from their home or office.
This has allowed an insightful method of iteratively tweaking the design and functionality of websites and digital applications to enhance usability and user experience.
The explosive adoption and usage of Mobile devices in recent years has created a need for an easy way to perform usability testing of Apps on native mobile devices, in particular the user experience of unreleased Apps prior to launching them on Google Play or the Apple Store.Read more
A key consideration when planning remote usability tests with participants in their homes or offices is whether to record only the screen and device interactions, or in addition the participant himself/herself, through their webcam or a similar video recording device.
For many years we have had the possibility of capturing the screen experience of remote usability participants, including their verbal "think aloud" commentary.
The next generation of products that became available to usability and user experience professionals included recording the participant, in a "Picture-in-Picture" (PiP) video recording of the Usability test, usually via the Participants' own Webcam.Read more
"Seduce me by allowing me to learn something new;
Empower me by ensuring a coherent application thereof."
Every CMO, Product-Brand Manager and Advertising Executive knows we are in the midst of a massive disruption in marketing & advertising; the fragmentation of the traditional one way mass communication model of radio, TV, and print into an exploding ecosystem of interactive and cross polinating channels is changing the game in unforeseen ways.
In the US, online is about to displace TV as the largest media spend category, and within the category of online there continues to be a "Cambrian" explosion of channels and customer touch points, for both direct marketing and brand building.Read more
Mobile is hot. So is user experience, usability and customer experience.
Whereas many websites designers, developers and product managers believe thay have a good control of the usability and user experience of their landing pages when accessed from a desktop, in relation to mobile, and especially mobile apps, they know they don’t know.
So there is a huge interest in testing websites accessed from a smartphone or tablet (mobile browsing), and even more so in relation to the customer experience of interacting with mobile apps on iPads, Android devices, iPhones, Windows phone 8, etc, to optimize the mobile app usability & user experience.Read more
One of the issues that comes up time and again when planning user testing (whether usability testing, user experience testing, online in-depth interviews (IDIs) for qualitative research, etc), is whether to conduct the tests on a moderated or unmoderated basis.
Just like in politics, there are some who are firmly aligned with one type of testing or the other, and then there are the majority who see benefits for each methodology depending upon the context and the goals, and who may even wish to use both methodologies for the same project...Read more
Despite years of investment in time and money by usability professionals in improving the user experience of their companies and clients, there are very few companies that delight and retain customers as effectively as Apple through compelling user interface interaction and experience design.
Why? Is Apple simply a deity that we can admire and aspire to, perhaps try to copy but never reach its Olympian heights?
Or is there something else preventing us from going beyond “good enough” user interface experience design? ...Read more
It may seem counter intuitive, but they are not. What they are is “coherent” and the rules and proceses used to interact with them are consistent throughout; so even if you have to “learn” a new methodology of interaction, once you learn it, you are never surprised because it is applied commonly throught the user interfaces.
In the same way that a reader or movie goer is willing to temporarily “suspend their disbelief” and enjoy a story, as long as the internal rules of the story, whether they are based on magic, science fiction, or speculation, are consistent and coherent and obey this “internal logic”, a good interface design does not need to be “intuitive”. It can be completely different than every method of...Read more
Remember when IBM dominated the computing market in such a way that the Justice department filed an antitrust suit? The suit lasted for 13 years, from 1969-1982. That was the time when IT departments not only managed the IT assets of a company, but also provided the data crunching IT services.
Everything changed when Apple and Wintel liberated departments from that dependency. All of a sudden they were able to perform financial modeling, accounting, HR administration, and marketing analysis by themselves, using decentralized IT resources in the form of the PC.
Was that a bad thing? Clearly not for the users of IT, who radically increased both the range of what they could do and the speed of obtaining results.
What about the IT department, did it disappear?...Read more
User feedback is probably one of the most critical, effective and efficient methods for optimizing market research, marketing, and advertising.
Most companies are pretty good at acknowledging, and acting upon the need, to proactively solicit customer feedback.
This traditional type of proactive market research, solicited feedback, is all about asking people to form an opinion or conduct a task, and listen and observe to their answers and actions and reactions as they engage with provided stimuli. In other words, soliciting insights from users and customers.
However, despite the positive feelings we usually associate with the term "proactive", this is not the only valid way to receive feedback.
Unsolicited, “reactive” feedback,...Read more
Yesterday we made a post on designing for the users and some basic usability and user experience notions to remind our readers about the importance of user-oriented design and development.
Today, with that thought, we would like to add a note on our blog about a visionary, world leader and one of the most important and influential characters in the design and technology worlds.
Steve Jobs (1955-2011) once said “Design is not just what it looks like and feels like. Design is how it works”.
At only 56 years old, this great man who did not settle with the Status Quo leaves behind a legacy and the knowledge of a brilliant mind geared by creative thinking, new perspectives on users, and the beauty of combining usefulness and aesthetics...Read more
"If your users have many questions, it's a failure of your primary site design. It becomes not so much customer support, as much as customer complaints".
- Jakob Nielsen
Over the past years, we have seen a growing popularity of designs and Marketing and Advertising campaigns created and designed for end users and customers.
Once you start practicing user-oriented designs or campaigns, and you see the tremendous increase in customer take up and loyalty, and decrease in customer support costs, chances are that you will not want to stop.
Iterative Product Development
Experts say that designing and developing a product is both a creative and a communication process.Read more
It is often said that “less is more”, but when it comes to Online Marketing & Advertising Research, “the more the better”.
That said, doing both quantitative and qualitative should be only done with a clear understanding of the strengths and benefits of each.
For example, when doing qualitative exploratory research, the number of respondents beyond a number between 5-10 per study, is not the main factor; far more important is to enable a setting with a minimum of bias (within a participant’s home), and minimum barriers to participation (to ensure you are receiving feedback from your target demographic, rather than limiting yourself to stay-at-homes, students or the unemployed).
If you allow a minimum invasive testing...Read more