An Event Apart Chicago 2009 Session 5 was on simple things anyone can to to improve their user’s experience on their site, presented by Whitney Hess.
Slides for this presentation on slideshare.com
What do our users *actually need*?
- feedback mechanism: easier for users > easier for you
- feature/bugs system: most votes = done first (user based, not company based)
- have survey links all over the place
- designer research via email – teasing out more info; also feedback for customer
- let them tell you about their workflow – help you address the core problem
What are our users *actually doing*?
- data in conjunction with user research – data doesn’t lie, but it’s dependant on your inference
- crazyegg.com – create maps of where people click on a page
- record the top 100 searches: top 10 results of each
- “stats let me refute the client’s notion of how their constituents were behaving”
- search logs let you see what people really want to do w/ your site
How well does our stuff *actually work*?
Why not test online? don’t be a wimp! You should be in the room & feel the pain.
if you’re not there, youdon’t see body language, can’t ask follow-up
Informal testing can be just as valuable
- ask “what do you think”
- “‘it looks good’ is the worse feedback we can get”
- using the same people over and over again allows them to get used to being harsh
- where to find participants
- coworkers who don’t work on project (receptionist, HR, sales)
- Twitter followers
Experimentation & Iteration
How are we *always getting better*?
- launch new feature during quiet times, get feedback from user requesting it, tweak, repeat
- make your working environment creative
- solve problems together
- Is it necessary to have a wide user base for niche product?
- some is better than nothing, but wide user base is still better
- you’ll find variation in any user group